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Removing gain channel preamp tube(s) Palomino V50 for better clean channel tone?
Removing gain channel preamp tube(s) Palomino V50 for better clean channel tone?
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Old 20th March 2012, 09:54 PM   #1
tubeFrank is offline tubeFrank  U.S. Virgin Islands
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Default Removing gain channel preamp tube(s) Palomino V50 for better clean channel tone?

I have Palomino V50 (made by Crate), which has been a decent (and loud) amp, but I've never been thrilled with the sound I got from either channel, no matter how I tweek the settings. It always seemed harsh and not particularly dynamic or responsive, especially the gain channel. I had a pair of JJ 6v6s and a couple of 12ax7/ECC83s tubes lying around, and I decided to swap out the Electro-Harmonix EL34s and the Sovetek 12ax7wa tubes that came in the amp. The difference in the clean channel was like night and day. The amp breathed, the treble end had some nice bite if you laid into the note, and the bass notes had that good tight bounce feel, etc... like a tube amp should. However, when I tried switching to the gain channel, I got zero sound out of the amp. I traced the problem to one of the JJ 12ax7s that I had put into the V2 spot. Since I had no extra JJs, I put one of the Sovteks back in. That solved the problem of the non-functional gain channel, but it noticeably flattened out the responsiveness of the clean channel. In the long term, I'll probably get another JJ 12ax7 to throw in that spot, and see how it sounds, but until then, I'm wondering about just removing one or both of the gain channel preamp tubes (V2 & V3), since I currently don't really use the gain channel anyway, and the amp sounded so good with the dead tube in there. I understand that it's fairly common to disable one of the channels on Fender Reverbs and Twins in this manner, for the purpose of altering the sound of the remaining channel, since components of the 2 channels interact even when only one is engaged. However, there is only a single 12ax7 for each channel in those amps, so disabling one of the channels just means pulling the corresponding tube.

If I'm reading the diagram correctly, the V2 and V3 are the preamp tubes for the gain channel. When V2 was dead, the amp sounded sweet.

a) Is it ok for the health of the amp and remaining tubes (esp. V3) to simply pull V2 and render the gain channel non-functional?

b) If it's ok to take out V2, is it advisable to leave V3 in or remove it as well?

I've attached the V50 diagram so y'all can take a look for yourself how this thing is set up.
Thanks in advance for any thoughts or insights... -frank
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File Type: jpg Palomino V50 diagram.JPG (42.7 KB, 34 views)
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Old 21st March 2012, 09:25 AM   #2
Nigel Goodwin is offline Nigel Goodwin  England
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: North Derbyshire
You can happily remove both V2 and V3 with no ill effects.

However, I don't see how it would make any difference?.
Nigel Goodwin
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Old 22nd March 2012, 11:54 AM   #3
doozerdave is offline doozerdave  Canada
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Location: Kitchener, Ontario
The only thing I can think of is that with V2&3 out, the B+ at V1 may be higher (assuming standard passive B+ dropping), possibly giving more headroom, depending on how V1 is biased.
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