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Old 18th September 2007, 05:32 PM   #1
PRNDL is offline PRNDL  United States
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Default 6J5 and 6F6 SE - enough gain for guitar?

I have an old tube amp that has a 6J5 Triode and a 6F6 Power Pentode.

It has very low volume with guitar, which I believe might be because there's only one preamp gain stage.

I calculated the gain of the 6J5 to be 20.
6J5: Av = (mu * Rp)/(Rp + ra) = (20 * 220K)/(220K + 7K) = 20

The 6F6 output tube has an old Champ transformer connected to the plate.
It has a 390 ohms in parallel with a 25F cap connected to the cathode.
I believe it has unity gain.

Is this enough gain for guitar?

I could replace the 6J5 with a dual triode. I have a 12SN7GT on hand.
Usually amps with two preamp gain stages also have negative feedback. This one does not.

Thanks!!
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Old 18th September 2007, 06:59 PM   #2
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6SL7 would be better - especially if you want any tone controls. Without tone controls, 6SN7 or 6SJ7 pentode might be enough. Negative feedback is not usually used with instrument amps.
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Old 19th September 2007, 03:21 PM   #3
gerryc is offline gerryc  United States
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Take a look at the schematics for the original Fender Champ amps. They used either a 6SJ7 (old version) into a 6V6 or a 12AX7 into a 6V6. There are slight variations over the years but they are very similar. If you want to stick to octals, you can also use a 6SL7 instead of the 12AX7 with little real-world difference. Also, a 6F6 would work fine in place of the 6V6 if that's what you already have. Take a look here:

http://tdsl.duncanamps.com/schematics2.php?make=Fender

Old Champ:

http://www.ampwares.com/ffg/schem/champ_5c1_schem.gif

Newer Champ:

http://www.schematicheaven.com/fende..._5e1_schem.pdf

check some of the others there too.
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Old 19th September 2007, 03:44 PM   #4
PRNDL is offline PRNDL  United States
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Thanks!!

I have a 12SN7GT on hand and will most likely use that initially, and order a 6SL7. I believe the pin outs are the same.

Is negative feedback necessary?

I also have a single knob tone stack, which will drop the gain a bit.
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Old 19th September 2007, 04:40 PM   #5
gerryc is offline gerryc  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by PRNDL
Thanks!!

I have a 12SN7GT on hand and will most likely use that initially, and order a 6SL7. I believe the pin outs are the same.

Is negative feedback necessary?

I also have a single knob tone stack, which will drop the gain a bit.
Pinouts on the 12SN7 and 6SL7 are the same but the heater voltage is 12.6 instead of 6.3 on the 6SL7. You'll have to accomodate the higher heater voltage for the 12'. The 12AX7 allows you to series or parallel the two heater halves to use with 6.3v (as is normally done) or 12.6v respectively, the 12SN7 does not.

Negative feedback is not absolutely necessary but it would not sound the same without it. The distortion would be higher, and the sound would be less "tight" (higher output impedance to the speaker) although the gain would be higher as well (not a bad thing if you use a lower gain preamp tube). If the tone stack is just a passive tone control (treble cut) it shouldn't affect the overall gain that much. I would experiment with the feedback (none, or various amounts). Just be careful of the polarity of the output transformer when you add feedback. If it's backwards, you'll have positive feedback and it will oscillate, in which case you would need to swap the secondary leads to the feedback resistor.
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Old 19th September 2007, 07:03 PM   #6
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By the way, I suppose 6J5 still is half a 6SN7...
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Old 19th September 2007, 07:05 PM   #7
PRNDL is offline PRNDL  United States
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Thanks Gerry.

I ordered a 6SN7 today.
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Old 19th September 2007, 07:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by boergars
By the way, I suppose 6J5 still is half a 6SN7...
A 6J5 is pretty much half a 6SN7GT. However, the 6SN7GTA and B are different: higher Pd, hardened control grid and characteristics extended into grid current territory. This being done for improved operation as a TV vertical deflection amp.
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Old 20th September 2007, 05:31 AM   #9
SHiFTY is offline SHiFTY  New Zealand
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6SN7 will prolly not have enough gain- you need a 6SL7 or get a 12V transformer and run that 12SL7 you have; or run a 12AX7 with a socket change. ((If you really want to get creative you could run a 6J7 pentode, replace the rectifier with a couple of diodes and run a 6L6... )

Base the input stage off something like a fender princeton 5E2 but using the 6SL7 and you will get a nice sounding unit.

Negative feedback is not necessary in guitar amps, but good earthing/grounding schemes are, you could get some hum otherwise...
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Old 20th September 2007, 08:10 AM   #10
engels is offline engels  Israel
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Default no

I would not put the 6SN7 - it's heater rating is 0.6A which might be crucial in such a small amp - twice more than 6J5. The power transformer may overheat or you'll be getting lower voltage. Those old 6F6-period amps never had overrated transformers, everything was minimal to save costs.

I'd be looking for 6SL7 (newer champ with 12AX7 circuit) or 6SJ7 (the first champ) which has the same 0.3A heater rating as 6J5. 12AX7 is not a good idea - you already have an octal socket there, so why?
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