HX/DA INFO (and my NAD 50 W Head) Share your HXDA knowledge with the world!

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by RickP, Aug 21, 2020.

  1. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    You are a great friend.

    Viola was from Michigan, world's first solo female recording accordionist!

    Here she is playing a mazurka. I mean, nothing gets 'em up on the dance floor like a good mazurka!

     
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  2. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    I’m back, with more pertinent HX/DA discoveries.

    I decided, and received quite a bit of enabling support from fellow HX/DA Owners, to do some tube experimenting. Having run the NOS Siemens EL34s there in place of the Winged C, and also run a pair of Marshall branded large bottle Winged Cs, it was time to check out some preamp tubes. Beyond the scad of Mesa tubes, I had or acquired a NOS Mullard 12AX7 from the original Blackburn UK factory, some USA made GEs, some Russian made Genalex Gold Lion gold pins (reputedly among the best current production tubes), and a few others. I focused on using them in different positions, but it becomes quickly clear V1 is the telling position for the audible effect made by the character and construction of the tubes.

    JJ- The original tube for the HX/DAs not fortunate enough to get the Brimars. Although I’ve never been overwhelmed with any JJ tube, these sound great in this amp. They have the right amount of aggressive edge for doing the actual Plexi thing. Pleasantly surprising.

    Mullard- Smooth and musical, just as reputed to be. Less edge than the JJ (or Mesa) tubes, and easy on the ears, even loud. The combination of Mullard pre and Siemens power is full, round, and musically articulate. Truthfully, not an actual Plexi clone tone, but a righteous tone of its own with Plexi DNA. Probably the most universally usable combo for all-around playing.

    Gold Lion- Another surprise. I don’t know how many classic tube names have been commandeered and near-dishonestly emblazoned on tubes that are nothing like their namesakes. In my opinion, these Gold Lions have a lot of the smooth character of the 50s and 60s era great preamp tubes. Easy on the ears, and look to be very well constructed. As good as the Mullard? Probably not 100%, but it is clear that’s the target they’re aiming for. One thing I did notice was that the glass bottle is marginally fatter, and they are a tighter fit in the PRS tube holders than any of the others. I would say these are a tube you could use in place of a Mullard or Telefunken and not fall off the cliff in tone. At as much as a 90% discount from what I’ve seen some NOS originals going for, it’s a good option if this is the response you’re looking for and don’t want to drop collector cash.

    All of the 12AX7s from the 70s back were smoother and easier to get a clean tone from without losing mass from the “on 11” tone. Of course, none of them were new so maybe it’s aging or materials of the time. The newer tubes were more aggressive, with the Genelex exception, and beg for rock mayhem.

    So, what did I end up discovering? I found, and I am laughing at myself so feel free to join in, that the most authentic Plexi tone came from the JJ preamp tubes combined with the Winged C EL34s in the power section. That’s right... exactly as it came from PRS in the first place. Weird. Almost like Paul and Doug planned it that way and had an actual amp to compare it with while choosing.

    I decided to keep the JJ/Siemens combination going. Probably more DA than HX in tone, but it gets the Plexi essence with an authoritative punchiness. It cleans up to a nice, round tone. In the end, it’s a little less pure-Plexi, with some Marshall Major muscle added in. It’s not more powerful, but somehow sounds like it is.

    Now I have a bunch of great tubes I’m going to try in my other amps!
     
    #102 RickP, Sep 18, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  3. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Go figure that the originals sounded the best! Fun experiment, though.
     
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  4. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    Of course, now I need to find some Brimars to see why they used those!
     
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  5. dsenoj

    dsenoj Old dude in a PRS T-shirt

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    I don't think PRS ever sold an HX/DA with Brimars. I know the first 20 DG 30 amps did come with Brimars.
     
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  6. Tucson Thump

    Tucson Thump Mint Heavy Relic

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    Was she a fun date?
     
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  7. Tucson Thump

    Tucson Thump Mint Heavy Relic

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    Nice report!
     
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  8. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    Reminds me of one the pedals I have that uses a tube. The FAQ on their support page included the question, "Can you recommend a tube that will make my pedal sound better?" The reply was something like, "Really? If there was a tube that we thought sounded better, don't you think we'd already be using it?"
     
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  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I dunno. She was too young for me. ;)
     
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  10. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    Good to know! Just saved a couple of hundred bucks!
     
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  11. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    New add for the HXDA...

    Screaming deal on a matching V30 2x12 Stealth cab, an SM57, and stand.

    [​IMG]

    $250.00

    Feeling good about that one :) Made the same year as the amp, only 69 numbers apart on the serial.
     
  12. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    SCORED!
     
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  13. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Major deal!
     
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  14. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    Nice one Rick!
     
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  15. Straight_six

    Straight_six Always originate, never duplicate

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    Wow that was an amazing deal, congrats!
     
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  16. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    It got loud...

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Nice! Ears bleeding loud, plaster peeling loud?
     
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  18. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    The “amazingly, I still hear well, so I better turn down” version. It was like being 18 again though... with the Ampeg V4 full stack raging. I’m not sure how I ever got away with that!
     
  19. MC58-In-SC

    MC58-In-SC New Member

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    I've got a 30w 2x12 inbound... Should get here Wed. Cannot wait!
    I'm also on the lookout for a matching paisley 2x12 cab, if one presents itself.
    Are dealers able to specify these types of cabs if I can't snag one on the used market?
     
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  20. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    I’m pretty sure the paisley cabs can still be had, and there’s been talk of a new HXDA, but just talk so far. It’s a great amp, really great if you like that real Plexi sound. Looking forward o hearing your review!
     
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