Rectoverb 50 6L6 tube and speaker discusson.

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clutch71

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I am looking to pick up a used Series 2 Rectoverb combo and looking to purchase a matched set when I do. As an EL34 guy I am looking forward to have a 6L6 platform but do not have much experience with 6L6 tubes. It will most likely to come with a Black Shadow and I can't remember for the life of me how I felt about that speaker when I had a Rectoverb for several years! I do know that I bought a 2x12 Rectifier cab and ran it that for along time. I have Heritage Greenback (75hz) and Marshall Vintage speakers in various cabs currently.

  1. What 6L6 tubes do members like in their Rectifiers
  2. What speakers they like paired with Rectifiers
 
I'm sure someone's gonna say I have no ears but I don't find a huge difference between 6L6 brands in Rectos. The amps already have such characteristic high and low ends that the differences between tubes are kind of a wash, especially for the 50W ones. Preamp tubes, though, you can go nuts rolling preamp tubes in a Recto, especially if you don't boost it much.

I really think Rectos sound best with V30s, especially for recording.

I had a Rectoverb head for a few months, great 'refined' Recto but I already have a Tverb so I didn't keep it.
 
You could be right because most of what we hear in modern amps are preamp break up not power amp. I've had issues ordering two Rectoverb's so far so still on the hunt.
 
As far as tubes, I agree that the preamp really sets the tone of the amp, especially with most of these ‘modern’ designs.

While power tube choice is as opinionated as Dunkin’ Donuts vs Starbucks, I would say they tweak the overall character and feel of the amp, with the latter being most important to me.

For example, it’s still opinion, but to me and many others the old SED =C= is The 6L6GC for Rectifiers. There is something about that tube in that circuit that brings out the best of a Recto, and they can take a beating. My current ‘go-to’ 6L6GC is the JJ, they are consistent, rugged & reliable, and many players swear by them.

Speakers and their cabinets on the other hand can have a huge impact on the tone and feel of the amp. Just adding or removing the back of a cab can completely change one’s perception of that cabinet. Speakers swaps can easily become more than a ‘rabbit hole’ adventure, they end up more like a ‘rabbit subway system’ LOL.

The V30 is a studio staple for sure, tons of great performances have been captured with that speaker. That’s the speaker I prefer to record with and will use the house Mesa 4x12 in the studio. But for live use I prefer the Eminence version (DV-77) mixed with either Swamp Thangs in a Recto 4x12 or mixed with Celestion Red Backs in the vertical 2x12.

Dom
 
I have the Rectoverb Series 2 and have JJ 6L6GC's in it. I'm not really into preamp tube rolling and couldn't even tell you what tubes I have in which position at this point. All I know is this is one mean MF'er. I love the tone of this amp and it's tight enough on it's own that I don't feel the need to boost it.

As far as speakers go I have the WGS Retro 30 installed and am incredibly happy with it. So much so that I'm thinking of swapping out the G12T-75 I have in a 1x12 cab for my Marshall DSL with the Retro 30.
 
Can you imagine having a discussion about which brand of 60w incandescent lightbulb is best suited for kitchen?

If you really want to tune the poweramp and have difference you can pick up in a blindtest, install bias trimmer. I modified my dual in such way that el34 setting biases the 6l6gc tubes ’correctly’ so something like 60% of the max plate dissipation and 6l6 has stock setting which is close to 20% max plate dissipation.

JJ makes good tubes.
 
Can you imagine having a discussion about which brand of 60w incandescent lightbulb is best suited for kitchen?

If you really want to tune the poweramp and have difference you can pick up in a blindtest, install bias trimmer. I modified my dual in such way that el34 setting biases the 6l6gc tubes ’correctly’ so something like 60% of the max plate dissipation and 6l6 has stock setting which is close to 20% max plate dissipation.

JJ makes good tubes.
All my amps (except the TC100’s) are modded for adjusting the fixed bias point, and I prefer my Roadster at about 50% idle plate dissipation. I know plenty of guys with Rectos that are totally fine with stock bias settings. Again, an opinionated view. Mesa designed the Rectos to have a clean output section, so the ‘correct’ value for them is at the point the tubes move out of cross-over distortion.

The best ‘bang for your buck’ is speaker and cab selection, but again, an opinionated view, like chocolate vs vanilla ice cream.

And I always preferred the clear glass lightbulbs for the kitchen and the frosted ‘soft’ bulbs in the living room and bedrooms before I changed them all to LEDs ;)

Dom
 
As far as tubes, I agree that the preamp really sets the tone of the amp, especially with most of these ‘modern’ designs.

While power tube choice is as opinionated as Dunkin’ Donuts vs Starbucks, I would say they tweak the overall character and feel of the amp, with the latter being most important to me.

For example, it’s still opinion, but to me and many others the old SED =C= is The 6L6GC for Rectifiers. There is something about that tube in that circuit that brings out the best of a Recto, and they can take a beating. My current ‘go-to’ 6L6GC is the JJ, they are consistent, rugged & reliable, and many players swear by them.

Speakers and their cabinets on the other hand can have a huge impact on the tone and feel of the amp. Just adding or removing the back of a cab can completely change one’s perception of that cabinet. Speakers swaps can easily become more than a ‘rabbit hole’ adventure, they end up more like a ‘rabbit subway system’ LOL.

The V30 is a studio staple for sure, tons of great performances have been captured with that speaker. That’s the speaker I prefer to record with and will use the house Mesa 4x12 in the studio. But for live use I prefer the Eminence version (DV-77) mixed with either Swamp Thangs in a Recto 4x12 or mixed with Celestion Red Backs in the vertical 2x12.

Dom
I have rolled many EL34 tubes through amps...Tungsol EL34B, Mullard, JJ, and SED. Could I tell much difference? Probably not. The TungSol EL34B lacked mid crunch and I was never really happy with them in my DSL. SED were supposed to be the be all end all and were just pricier. I blew those up (more heads than cabs at the time lol) and went with JJ. Those lasted 4 years and retubed with JJ again which lasted 7 months; just past warranty and APEX matched too whatever that means. Mullards are in there now and I am happy with them but not sure I could tell from JJ in a blind test.

I have owned both a Rectoverb and 2ch Dual Rec in the past but can't remember what was in there. The Rectoverb was a Series 1 so it would only take 6L6. The 2 ch I may have put EL34's in. I am going to have to search this forum for some old threads, see what I find. Back when I had Mesa's I was chasing Marshall tone and didn't realize it. I have that covered in spades with my DSL and Splawn SuperSport.

I actually ordered a series one from GC in Mayfield Heights Ohio for a great price but they cancelled the order. The hunt continues...
 
Can you imagine having a discussion about which brand of 60w incandescent lightbulb is best suited for kitchen?

If you really want to tune the poweramp and have difference you can pick up in a blindtest, install bias trimmer. I modified my dual in such way that el34 setting biases the 6l6gc tubes ’correctly’ so something like 60% of the max plate dissipation and 6l6 has stock setting which is close to 20% max plate dissipation.

JJ makes good tubes.
I am not interested in modding amps anymore. I have had good luck JJ's and they are a really good price on Tubedepot.com for $19.95.
 
I have the Rectoverb Series 2 and have JJ 6L6GC's in it. I'm not really into preamp tube rolling and couldn't even tell you what tubes I have in which position at this point. All I know is this is one mean MF'er. I love the tone of this amp and it's tight enough on it's own that I don't feel the need to boost it.

As far as speakers go I have the WGS Retro 30 installed and am incredibly happy with it. So much so that I'm thinking of swapping out the G12T-75 I have in a 1x12 cab for my Marshall DSL with the Retro 30.
I'll give the Black Shadow a listen and if I don't like that I will roll in a Marshall Vintage which will be close but not exact to a Mesa V30.
 
HA ! digging through my ancient posts I found that I had Groove Tube EI 34 LS (whatever that stands for!) quartet in my 2ch dual rec. Good trip down memory lane.
 
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All my amps (except the TC100’s) are modded for adjusting the fixed bias point, and I prefer my Roadster at about 50% idle plate dissipation. I know plenty of guys with Rectos that are totally fine with stock bias settings. Again, an opinionated view. Mesa designed the Rectos to have a clean output section, so the ‘correct’ value for them is at the point the tubes move out of cross-over distortion.

The best ‘bang for your buck’ is speaker and cab selection, but again, an opinionated view, like chocolate vs vanilla ice cream.

And I always preferred the clear glass lightbulbs for the kitchen and the frosted ‘soft’ bulbs in the living room and bedrooms before I changed them all to LEDs ;)

Dom

Leds are nice as you can choose the colour temp! There you really have differences (other than clear or opaque glass) between brands, very few are great most are ****. Poor ones show the different colours on the spot like blue ring and stuff. Awful.

I agree about the plate dissipation, 50% is just fine. The commonly agreed best possible setting of 70% is usually too spikey for my ears. Yesterday i biased one of my marshalls at around 50%, so much better than the 70% previous tech (or previous owner) had set it. The thing is that stock setting in my dual was 19%, i dont have a scope but it sounds like crossover distortion. Benefit though is that it is so much quieter, which is good given how poorly channel volume and master work when set low..

But yeah, to improve 3ch dual i’d do something else than buy some obscure nos tubes. Like bring it back to revG or revC spec.
 
I purchased a Series II Rectoverb 1X123 combo last year. I came with a C90 that to my ears is dark and the amp is very 1 dimensional. I'm going to swap the C90 out for something different. Have yet to hook it up to the Recto 4X12 cab w/ V30's. That may help with speaker decision. Thanks for the info here !
 
1- I've got a quad of Russian 6P3S tubes in my tremoverb.

2- I love rectos with a white label t75 (the ones from around '83-'88 or so), but the modern ones are a totally different speaker and sound like anus.
 
My Rectoverb Series 2 arrived today, and it was very well packaged. Unpacking it I noticed a peculiar switch under the chassis so I removed the back to see if there was anything else that did not belong, but only found a broken tube post and a piece of glass from a power tube. I proceeded to unpack the tubes and they were 6V6's!

Is it safe to run the amp with them?

Based on the switch alone I am considering returning it. Who knows what else may have been done and I just don't feel like messing with it. Bummed
 
JJ's website said it is safe if the bias select is set to EL34, The switch is near the loop mix pot and as I expected it appears to be for the loop I do not know enough by looking at it to know if it is a loop bypass or Parallel to Series mod. The work looks clean and the rest of the circuitry looks intact which makes me feel a little better.

Gut shots
rov guts.JPG

rov guts 2.JPG


Close up of switch
rov switch.JPG
 
Ran all tubes through a tube tester and had to replace the 6V6's and 2 preamp tubes. The amp roared back to life (sounded like crap before) in all of its Rectifier glory. Nice tight and punchy! More so than I remember.

A parallel loop is something I do not have much experience with. The mix seems to have no effect but I did not have (and won't for the next couple of days) time to truly explore. The switch appears to kill all output when something is plugged into the loop. While the work is neat and clean, I do not understand it's purpose.
ROV.JPG
 
The amp arrived on my wife's birthday (D'Oh, a Tuesday) and I had a surprise party to execute the following weekend. With all that behind me a couple of observations;

Once I got the tubes sorted the Rectifier roar immediately put a smile on my face. I revisited the manual and dialed in some suggested settings. I found I prefer the Modern setting over the Vintage which was not the case with the Series One or 2ch Dual Rec I had.

It sounds great with the Marshall Vintage DIY 1x12 and 2x12 I made but the on-board Black Shadow sounds great.

I plan on replacing the EL34's (JJ) as they tested good but are older tubes and all I had at the time. I'm going to go with JJ 6L6 since that is what I ended up with in the preamp section. Will probably replace the PI tube (even though it tested good) so the power section is all new. I have some NOS GE and RCA's 12Ax's but don't think this amp will benefit like my Marshall does when used with NOS glass.

Started off rocky but great purchase!
 

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