When to get a re valve?

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mark_jwedgemark_jwedge Frets: 109
I was just wondering at what are the signs your amp needs a re valve? 

I bought my cornford roadhouse 50 2x12 combo second hand about 6-7 years ago. It was just used in the house initially but over the last 4 years has been gigged once a month with a weekly rehearsal. I think it sounds nice but in a band situation it seems to lack some punch and disappears into the mix a bit. I set it up pretty bright, gain 11 o'clock, bass 10 o'clock, mids full and treble 3 o'clock. EL34s, vintage 30 speakers. I also have a treble booster on all the time as I like the way it enables me to go from sparkly clean to classic rock overdrive between 8 and 10 on the guitar volume. I also have a really nice buffer on my board - the fuzzdog clone of the Cornish buffer.

On it's own it sounds lovely, with a nice sparkle. But just disappears in the mix as bit and lacks some punch. It's naturally a very dark amp, particularly as the cabinet is bigger than most other 2x12s I have come across.

I think it might just be the natural sound of the amp but would a re valve help? Any other ideas? I love the punch of old Marshall Plexi style amps, maybe trying to get that out of the Cornford is foolish and I should sell up and just get a Plexi style amp! 

The other guiatrist has a suhr bager 35, through a 1x12 V30 combo, sets all eq to noon and sounds full, present and punches out of the mix beautifully!

I never really get the master up above 2-3 in the band. Could it be I'm just not cranking it enough to get that punch? 
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  • ricorico Frets: 786
    Where are you based? Any good amp tech will be able to test the valves for you. More likely to be power than preamp if it is the valves. 

    Try turning it up! 
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  • SCMIVSCMIV Frets: 13


    The other guiatrist has a suhr bager 35, through a 1x12 V30 combo, sets all eq to noon and sounds full, present and punches out of the mix beautifully!

    I never really get the master up above 2-3 in the band. Could it be I'm just not cranking it enough to get that punch? 

    It's all relative, if the amp all sounds well tonally outside of the band-mix, don't forgot it's kinda the job of 1x12's (well, quality 1x12's) to be more focussed and to punch out of the mix - 2x12's sometimes won't subjectively feel as punchy by comparison (especially if there's only a 20w power difference between the two). Could be inherent amp differences right enough, but I get the same experience in similiar situations, so maybe sommat to consider?

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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 7188
    Just revalve it anyway, at least you'll still have usable spares. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 29644
    p90fool said:
    Just revalve it anyway, at least you'll still have usable spares. 
    This is good advice. You should always have spares, and in fact valves which have been working fine for years are a *better* choice than brand new ones, which can sometimes fail after only a short time.

    If you’re trying to brighten a dark amp and improve presence and cut in a mix, avoid JJ and Sovtek preamp valves - they’re both dark and slightly muddy-sounding. JJ power valves are fine though. EH, Tung-Sol, and any Chinese-made preamp valves are brighter sounding. Both Karltone and TAD sell a good range of them.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • mickstermickster Frets: 12
    edited January 13
    ICBM said:

    If you’re trying to brighten a dark amp and improve presence and cut in a mix, avoid JJ and Sovtek preamp valves - they’re both dark and slightly muddy-sounding
    .... EH, Tung-Sol, and any Chinese-made preamp valves are brighter sounding. Both Karltone and TAD sell a good range of them.
    ...I always thought these were same valves (Sovtek / EH / Tung-Sol) - basically russian New Sensors just rebranded? This seems to be saying they're at opposite ends of the tone spectrum. Not saying yr wrong ICBM, just goes against what I've heard elsewhere...
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 29644
    edited January 13
    mickster said:
    ICBM said:

    If you’re trying to brighten a dark amp and improve presence and cut in a mix, avoid JJ and Sovtek preamp valves - they’re both dark and slightly muddy-sounding
    .... EH, Tung-Sol, and any Chinese-made preamp valves are brighter sounding. Both Karltone and TAD sell a good range of them.
    ...I always thought these were same valves (Sovtek / EH / Tung-Sol) - basically russian New Sensors just rebranded? This seems to be saying they're at opposite ends of the tone spectrum. Not saying yr wrong ICBM, just goes against what I've heard elsewhere...
    No, the standard Sovtek 12AX7s are definitely not the same valves as EH and Tung-Sol.

    They have an entirely different internal construction:

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41cnBggOLaL.jpg

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71QPOuv3EPL.jpg

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71nL8195IxL.jpg

    ... and they do also sound very different.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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