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Old 17th December 2005, 11:27 PM   #1
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Default penta labs?

I was going about trying to build my first tube amp and bought some tubes at the local electronics store. they are penta labs for both the el84 and the 12ax7. I was wondering are these tubes any good at all or are they going to be some cheap brand tube that wouldn't be worth much time to build the amp with?
I know to really find out I need to build it and find out but I am being held up with a few things right now like the power and output transformers plus nobody seems to have 300+v caps around here.

I kinda played with the 12ax7 a little with a starved plate design on as a distortion pedal for my guitar but really didn't care much for the sound of it. but then again from my understanding starved plate designs never sound that great.

also with the tubes whats up with the made in russia on the el84 and made in germany for the 12ax7?


plus since this is going to be my first tube amp any helpfull hints?
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Old 18th December 2005, 08:28 AM   #2
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Hi! I believe Penta Labs out-sources their tubes from different manufactuers and I really can't comment on them since I've had no experence with them. Maybe someone here has more experience with this company.

www.pentalaboratories.com/teslovak.asp

Quote:
I know to really find out I need to build it and find out but I am being held up with a few things right now like the power and output transformers plus nobody seems to have 300+v caps around here.
I take this going to be a guitar amp? As far as for the caps you may have to order them from Digi-Key (Minnesota), Mouser, Parts Express, Triode Electronics, MCM, or AES (Antique Electronic Supply in Arizona) and many others.

AES:
www.tubesandmore.com

Which is where I mostly source my tubes (lots of NOS tubes and Hammond Power and OPT's) and coupling caps. Plus if this going to be a geetar amp, you will be at the right place here in the U.S.

You have a LOCAL electronics store that sells toobes? You lucky...
Gee when I was knee-high to a grasshopper I could go to the corner Drugstore and buy tubes, there was one on every corner! Time machine anyone?

Quote:
also with the tubes whats up with the made in russia on the el84 and made in germany for the 12ax7?
Here's a site with some good info on what you speak of:
www.vacuumtube.com/
www.vacuumtube.com/FAQ1.htm

Cheers
Wayne
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Old 18th December 2005, 03:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: penta labs?

Quote:
Originally posted by rx7speed
I was going about trying to build my first tube amp and bought some tubes at the local electronics store. they are penta labs for both the el84 and the 12ax7. I was wondering are these tubes any good at all or are they going to be some cheap brand tube that wouldn't be worth much time to build the amp with?
I know to really find out I need to build it and find out but I am being held up with a few things right now like the power and output transformers plus nobody seems to have 300+v caps around here.

I kinda played with the 12ax7 a little with a starved plate design on as a distortion pedal for my guitar but really didn't care much for the sound of it. but then again from my understanding starved plate designs never sound that great.

also with the tubes whats up with the made in russia on the el84 and made in germany for the 12ax7?


plus since this is going to be my first tube amp any helpfull hints?

Penta mostly deals with the JJ/Tesla/Teslovak family of tubes and the Shuguang family of tubes. I have had good and bad experiences with both brands, but the JJ's all sound better than average-to-excellent, and the Shug's seem to be pretty even toned and consistant, at least recently.

Personally, for current production ek84, I'll take a JJ any day over the Russian stuff.

Those starved distortion pedals don't neccesarily sound BAD... just different. You'll never get a Soldano tone out of a starved pedal, but you can get a lo-fi raunchy sound. As far as tube pedals go, the best that I have seen are the full B+ types like the Mathless Hotbox
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Old 18th December 2005, 03:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: penta labs?

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Originally posted by rx7speed
plus since this is going to be my first tube amp any helpfull hints?

Yes. http://ax84.com/bbs/
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