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Author Topic: What tubes are best for an MP-2?  (Read 3973 times)

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nomorepeople

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What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« on: Time Format »

SHORT STORY:  Which tubes would be the best for getting a deep crunch with a defining midrange and enough highs to cut through the mix?  I love the rhythm tones of Obituary (for the thickness) and Carcass (for the definition).  My signal chain:  Carvin 7 string DC 727 with SD Invader -> ADA MP-2 noise modded -> Rocktron Velocity 300 -> Genz Benz G-Flex 2x12


I've spent most of my free time with my MP-2 playing/practicing/recording and I noticed it's a bit more (microphonic) feedback-prone than before so I either adjust the gate threshold higher or put a decimator pedal before the preamp.  I know this can be a sign of aging tubes.  I've had my MP-2 for 2 years and bought it used so no telling how much usage the tubes had prior to my extreme use over the past year. 

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van Sinn

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Re: What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« Reply #1 on: Time Format »

There are limits to my experimentation on the MP-2..

My experiences have been that, as the MP-2 were pretty much build for that 80's big hair metal saturated sound, trying to reduce gain by using lower gain tubes for a more crunchy sound really doesn't work too well.
I'd suggest using a fairly high gain 100-105 tube in pos #1, and go for a 95-100 tube in pos #2, most likely a long plate, like a Ruby or Mullard Reissue.

I'd avoid the JJ 110-115 tubes; not that there's anything wrong with those, they just don't crunch.
You could try a 12AT7 in pos #2, but you'll loose out on high gain solo distortions, at least unless using a high gainer in pos #1 and use voicing 8 with some additional juice from the Overdrive parameter.

Microphonicity is most always a sign of aging tubes.
Are the foam tube stabilizer pads in place?  If not, the bottles might shake more - and we don't wanna shake dem bottles unless it's party time, do we now.. ;)
« Last Edit: Time Format by vansinn »
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Soloist

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Re: What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« Reply #2 on: Time Format »

I don't if they are the best but Tong Sols sound great in my Mp2. Very warm sounding!
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Dante

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Re: What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« Reply #3 on: Time Format »

I can back van up on this: using lower gain tubes in an MP-2 doesn't have nearly the same effect it does in an MP-1. The MP-2 really does well with clean sounding tubes, in my experience. The cleaner the tubes (like Tung Sols), the deeper your cleans. However, I did get more bottom end from some old Sovteks in my MP-2.

No wrong answer here, tone is subjective

If you put ten tubes in front of me in a blind audible test, I'd probably pick 10 different ones ;)
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« Reply #4 on: Time Format »

Hey nomorepeople,

      My personal preference in the MP-2 for the time being are the Mullard RI's. They give a good bottom end delivery, that is solid and defined with a bit more articulation in the mid-range. The MP-2 already has plenty of gain on tap, in fact, more than I need, so I have been more focused on tubes that might help with the dynamics. The Mullards seem to help with this. Lately, those have been a popular choice among the MP-2 users on the Forum. Decent quality tubes can be had at Doug's Tubes

http://www.dougstubes.com/

      Harley 8)
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van Sinn

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Re: What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« Reply #5 on: Time Format »

Just to mention: I use a TAD RT001 (a Chinese tube, selected to specs by the German dude Tube Amp Doctor) in pos #1 and a NOS Philips ecc83 in pos #2.
The TAD is semi-high gain, IIRC around 100, and a Bit edgy in the high register; I choose this in order to have shrill harmonics.
The Philips likely has a gain in the 92-95 range, and is semi-hifi'ish in tone, i.e. not specifically warm, neither shelving nor presence peaking; I chose this for a nice overall characteristic AKA the warm fart ;)

Now, this combo isn't what the OP wants; however, all I'd need for a more crunchy tone would be to replace the first tube with a non-edgy one.
I don't think locating NOS Philips will be that easy, so I'd likely choose a Mullard RI (as Harley also commented).

Geez, the amount of time we can spend discussing shiny bottles of glass, containing near-nothingness and metal shrapnels.. ;)
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rnolan

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Re: What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« Reply #6 on: Time Format »

Hey NMP, I'm all for the Mullards, they work really well in MP2, really opens up the sound (and yes it does sound like the tubes are needing replacement). I haven't tried the tung sols, but they should also be nice (and Soloist knows his sounds  :thumb-up: ). 
Try also using the less hot voices (if you're not already).  Eg 5 Warm Vintage (which has heaps of gain anyway).  I've been using this on my main patch for a while now, it's got plenty for a nice solo and also turns down nicely for rhythm (I use the master vol pedal allot for this but also I've started to roll the guitar vol pots down 2.5 - 3 ish)
« Last Edit: Time Format by rnolan »
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nomorepeople

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Re: What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« Reply #7 on: Time Format »

Thank you, everyone, for your input.  Looks like I may contact Doug for the Mullard route.
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GuitarBuilder

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Re: What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« Reply #8 on: Time Format »

You might want to try a 7025 - they tend to be smoother and quieter than 12AX7:

http://www.thetubestore.com/Resources/Product-Reviews/12AX7-Tube-Reviews-Chart
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Dante

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Re: What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« Reply #9 on: Time Format »

BUMP

I had my MP-2 out of the rack today & just wanted to share what tubes I have in mine: TAD and Tung Sol. I rolled a lot of tubes before settling on these. IIRC, the TAD handles the high gain stuff and the Tung Sol is warmth and clean tones.
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van Sinn

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Re: What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« Reply #10 on: Time Format »

Fun coincidence.. I use a TAD 001 and a Philips NOS, the latter I believe is fairly close to the Tungsol, maybe a bit more neutral.
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Rawk777

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Re: What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« Reply #11 on: Time Format »

I'm using tung-sol.

I tryed mesa, but sounded too smooth, more mid, and less agressive.

I also tryed JJ, and generic chinese, but tung-sol sounded fuller (JJ and generic chinese where not brand new).
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Dante

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Re: What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« Reply #12 on: Time Format »

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong here, but I believe the Mesa tubes are actually rebranded Chinese or Russian tubes ? I remember a time when Mesa used to put a thick black rubber band around the tube with their logo printed in silver on the rubber band, and a generic 12AX7 was printed on the tube itself.

I was not fond of them myself. No real articulation in notes, too mushy on open chords, a little flubby on the low end chugga chuggas. Now, those tubes might work in the Mesa gear, but I didn't like them in my MP-2. I can get a better Mesa tone with the TAD/Tung Sol combination  :lol:
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rnolan

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Re: What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« Reply #13 on: Time Format »

Hey Dante
Apparently Messa/Boogie get their tubes from a variety of places, apparently they have a machine that scrubs off the label and then they re-badge them so it's hard to know what they are (unless you are very familiar with the internal construction).  They also use JJ tubes.  The Boogie dealer for Australia is the shop I go to in Canberra.  One of my mates there has been to the factory a few times and told me a bit about it.  I've used the SPAX7s from time to time as I can buy them locally.  I liked them in my MP1 years ago, I tried them in my MP2 and apart from that they have a great feedback tone (best I've heard), I was nonplussed with them for the MP2.  So now I use the Mullard long plates.  The other downside with Boogie tubes is the cost, in Australia they cost more than double similar tube offerings.
The SPAX7s still have the thick rubber band (as opposed to the Boogie STR 12AX7-As which don't), I assume to further reduce microphonics.  As I ended up with a couple spare I gave some to MikeB for his MP1.  He currently uses a Mullard short plate in V1 and SPAX7 in V2. Works well in that configuration for the MP1.
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: What tubes are best for an MP-2?
« Reply #14 on: Time Format »

SPAX7 :dunno:

  I never heard of that one, time to do some research...
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