Changing the Tone of the Cyber Twin
I was reading an article about changing the tone of tube amps.... So I thought I would try it in my CT and change the pre amp tubes from 12AX7... To 12AU7 and I can not believe the difference in the tone... I had a couple of 12AU7's is an old univox amp head from my high school days in the late 60's so I put them in my Cyber Twin SE.... Right off I could tell every thing warmed up.... that overly bright sound was gone.... I went through all the amp settings and now there all usable... Even the custom shop settings sound better... There still are some of the metal head settings that are still bad... but no where near what they used to be.... Where I really notice it is in the Drive Circuitry.... In the Hot Rod settings 1,2, 3 all sound a lot better... Before there was way to much gain now it's not so over powering... Even the real extreme settings aren't to bad... The blackface settings are really quite so now I get to crank up the master Volume.... from 4 or 5 to 7 which really starts this amp tone to come out.... I have it sitting right next to my Twin Reverb and damn if I can tell the difference now.... There are several different tubes that can be used to change the tone, the 12AU7's are the mildest with a gain of 20.. where the 12ax7's have a gain of 100... Heck I'll just copy and paste the article...
"Amp Tips" By Dan Torres
"Clean up your act." (complete article available on our Literature page under "Vintage Guitar Reprints")
This article will give you a few easy ways to make your tube amp cleaner sounding and/or modify the tone easily.
Tube amplifiers can provide the absolute perfect clean tone for jazz, blues, Surf, rock, country, all kinds of music. It just takes some knowledge and the right approach.
#1. Preamp tubes. It's pretty easy to clean up the amp and get a lot of very musical and unique tones by switching just a couple of tubes in the preamp.
Normal guitar preamps use the 12AX7 (7025) tube as the main building block of the circuit. There are several other tubes that will plug into the socket with no circuit changes necessary. Each of them will change the gain and the tone of the preamp.
Take a look at Chart #1 for some numbers, then a simplified explanation.
12AX7 = 100
5751 = 70
12AT7 = 60
12AZ7 = 60
6072/12AY7 = 44
5965/12AV7 = 27
12AU7/6189/5814 = 20
(Chart is used by permission of Torres Engineering Catalog #8)
All of these tubes are "dual triodes," two circuits packaged in one tube. Therefore replacing a single 12AX7 with one of the alternates will change the gain of two stages of the preamp.
To make it simple I will ignore the circuit losses and assume the maximum gain for each tube stage. With an input of .0001 volt two stages of a 12AX7 will boost the signal to 1 volt.
But substitute a 6072 tube (available brand new now from the Torres Web Site) and the final gain is 0.1936. Only 19% of the gain of the 12AX7. This is much cleaner, less likely to distort. (Math .0001 X 100 X 100 again = 1 .0001 X 44 X 44 again - check out the chart = .1936)
Application. Standard Fender two channel amps, like the Super Reverb, Twin Reverb, Deluxe Reverb, Vibroverb, Bandmaster etc. Change the second tube (V2) to a lower gain tube (this is the reverb/vibrato channel.)
Stevie Ray Vaughan was very fond of the 5751 in his Super Reverbs for a cleaner tone. (Available brand new from the Torres Web Site.)
Marshall JCM 800, JMP, Super Lead, Plexi, Fender Tweed amps like the Bassman, and Twin, try changing the second tube in these amps also.
One channel Fender amps like the Princeton, change the first tube.
See the "Tubes for your Amplifier" web page for all these tubes
(the article continues with considerable technology and design explaination as "Clean Up Your Act" Vintage Guitar Reprint.)
Well I just thought I would pass this on.... I'm ordering a set of 12AY7's and a Set of 12AT7's and see how they sound....Jake
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to JakeJ For This Useful Post:
Rx Tone (01-02-2014), shadowwolf (05-18-2010)
Great find and info, Jake.
I think I asked here before if I should change the tubes to something like that.
Let us know what the others sound like if you decide to change them.
Did the 12AU7's change the volume of the Cyber? You could break windows with it before.
Not all 12ax7's are equal you know...some are" harder" than others (more head room) and some have lower gain than others.
Most modern made tubes suck compared to NOS (new old stock) This is definitely one area where they just don't make 'em like they used to!
If you're looking to really clean it up, go that extra step and get NOS Telefunken or Sylvania blackplate 12au7 or 12at7
Of course results will vary depending on how a tube sounds to you in your own rig...
I have some bogen 12ax7a's (British) from the 60's that gave me a lot "nicer" gain ( less grit) in my SF Bassman pre than any modern made equivalent I have tried (JJ tesla, Groovetubes)
I recently acquired a very expensive Telefunken 12au7 that is just too damn clean for my guitar amp...this baby's going in my microphone pre-amp!
Check out these guys for "grail" tubes
Last edited by Sinistem; 05-04-2010 at 02:54 PM.
Reason: forgot link
I did notice that on the Blackface tone stack and Blackface 1 Circuit you needed to turn up the Master Volume, but it still will rattle the windows... you can stiill get the red peak light to come on and it will start clipping on some of the harsher settings... I really like that it made any little adjustment more noticeable, with the less gain of the tubes any little adjustment has a big change in the tone... before I thought this amp was to bright and I wanted that warm sound with out being muddy... I think now it took it down a notch and gave me the adjustments I was looking for... I have swapped the 12AU7's and 12AX7's back and forth now several times to see the difference on certain settings and every time I stick the 12AX7's in it's like finger nails on a chalk board, I'm turning every thing down Gain, Master Volume, Treble, middle, you name it... It made the presence Knob come alive in changing tone now at least I can tell the difference when I adjust it... I really like the Hot Rod Circuit settings now with a tweed tone stack they have a really nice Bluesy sound, before I thought they were to harsh and the amp hiss was to much.... That's gone till you crank her up with some compression, which now is usable....even the noise gate works better as I hated the noise gate and didn't use it, I didn't like the way it cut in and out....
Pre and Post Distortion setting is usable now... before the Post distortion setting I thought was unusable as it made every thing sound tinny... now your getting a little crunch but not getting over powerd by it.... It is now way more adjustable.... Same way with the Speaker Settings now standard polarity and reverse make a big difference in the sound....
I have had my Cyber Twin SE since 2004, I have been running Cyber Commander for over a year to control the amp and all the settings from my computer and now when I tweak a setting it makes a difference... If I want bright I get bright if I want warm and fuzzy I get that... The harsher drive circuits are now usable not just a bunch of noise...
I'm still going to try the 12AY7's and the 12AT7's when they get here just to see the difference in the gain, as the 12AU7's are the mildest of all the tubes.... I understand Fender using the 12AX7's as they will blow your hair back.... But for pure sound and tone I think less is better especially when it's putting out 135 watts...65 per channel that's more than enough to get the neighbors attention.... I still like my amps loud but I want a good loud sound.... I thought the cyber Twin was allways close but not quite there, but now with the 12AU7's it's a totally different amp, warm and clean when you want it or big and nasty with out that overly brightness that I hated because when you tuned that brightness out I thought it made the sound muddy....
Well that's how I hear my Cyber Twin now and I know everyone hears there's differently... I judge my Cyber Twin against my 65 Twin Reverb and now it is really hard to tell the 2 apart.... I use an ABY switch so I can switch between them or have them both on, and now I'm running over and tweaking the Twin Reverb to sound like the Cyber Twin which never happened before.... Hope this helps... JakeJ
Thanks, Jake. I again look forward to when you get the other tubes, and what you think of those.
The reason I got my Cyber was that you could get different amps out of it. Also a lot of "real" musicians also actually did gig with the amp. My complaint was exactly as what you described. It's noisy, gainy, etc.
Update: Jake, you bastage (smile), I had tube GAS thanks to you. I couldn't wait for your other reviews and your review sounds exactly like what I'm looking for, so I went to Eurotubes and ordered me some of their matched 12AU7s.
Out of the 4 or 5 Fender amps I'd want to get if I didn't have the CT is the '65 TR.
What settings do you use to get the CT-SE to sound like the '65 Twin Reverb with the 12AU7s? Thanks.
Sorry about the Gas but we all get it.... I'll post my new 65 twin Reverb settings with the 12AU7 tubes... But First I want to stick the 12AX7's back in and see the difference between the tubes with the new setting....I'm writing this while I let the tubes cool so I can pull them.... Interesting story behind these tubes, In 1969 I was in a band we played high school dances and grange hall dances Fridays and Saturdays here in NorthWest Montana and Idaho... I played rhythm and a little lead... My friend who played lead had a old Fender Twin amp Tweed covering 2X12's chicken knobs the greatest sounding amp I had ever heard, I had a 35 watt Univov head with a 4X12cab still got the head.... I had reverb he didn't so we would switch amps all the Time....I loved the sound that came out of that fender amp...Any way we were messing around and noticed that the Fender Twin was supposed to have 12AX7's in it and it had 12AU7's so Mike changed them and we put the 12AU7's in my univox... They've been sitting in my old univox head since the summer of 69... So when I was reading the article about changing tubes I remembered my old univox amp and remembered putting those Fender tubes in it.... Made a mad dash to the bottom of the closet and pulled the old head out and sure enough there was those old tubes still in it....I just pulled them out of my Cyber twin one is a GE 12AU7A Ecc82 the other has red writing but it's all most all gone Looks like a Slyvania tube c82 is all I can make out.... But they still work and sound increadable I bet a matched set of JJ's would sound even better...
Ok I put the 12AX7's back in turned the amp on WOW LOUD but sounds like a piece of crap I hate the hum it's pulsating with the light on the tap button, have to turn every thing down to get a usable sound, and now the tone is gone, bright and sterile... Those 12AX7's are the Fender Groove Tubes, there about a year old, had a tube rattle so put new ones in....
Well stuck the old 12AU7's back in... The hum from the tap light pulsating is gone turned the gain, volume, master to 10 no hum, put them back to there original positions wow what sound and the tone is back, nice and mellow and rich again...
I used my three main guitars just to see if it was one of them, my Fender American Strat, Fender American Tele, and my Gibson Les Paul...all three sounded like crap with the 12AX7's with the new 65 twin reverb patch...
Next test I'll pull the preamp tubes out of my 65 twin reverb and put them in the cyber twin....Ok their a Mullard ECC83/12AX7A.... Still very loud not quite as much hum but still to much and very bright and sterile.... back to the old 12AU7's here is the settings for the Cyber Twin SE this will work for the Origanal Cyber Twin as the only FX is Tremelo....
1 "Twin Reverb '65 " =Preset Name ;
2 "Modern" =Tone Stack ;
3 "Post-Distortion" =Tone Position ;
4 "Reverse Polarity" =Speaker Phase ;
5 "Blackface Tube 1" =Drive Circuitry ;
6 "Amp Tremolo" =Effect Type ;
7 "Blackface Reverb" =Reverb Type ;
8 "FX Input Only" =Reverb Bypass ;
9 "None" =Timbre Type ;
10 "Off" =Compressor Type ;
11 "Low" =Noise Gate Type ;
12 8.1 =Gain Value ;
13 8.4 =Volume Value ;
14 6.0 =Treble Value ;
15 4.0 =Middle Value ;
16 4.8 =Bass Value ;
17 3.8 =Presence Value ;
18 6.7 =Reverb Value ;
19 4.18 =Trem Out Level ;
20 4.32 =Tremolo Rate(Hz) ;
21 4.64 =Tremolo Depth ;
22 3.15 =Trem Duty Cycle ;
23 "6.93" =Tremolo Shape ;
24 =Dly/Time Change ;
25 7.95 =Reverb Input ;
26 4.14 =Reverb Tone ;
27 5.48 =Reverb Time ;
28 8.66 =Reverb Diffusion ;
29 5.02 =Noise Gate Depth ;
30 OFF =Noise Gate ;
31 "Tremolo Depth" =Expression Pedal ;
32 "Presence" =Cont. Controller
As you can see I used a Modern Stack with a Blackface 1 Circuit which before would have blown every one away now it's calm and quite and such a beautiful tone... I have the Presence knob controlled by the continuous controller on my Fender Foot Controller so as I play I can adjust the higher tones and make this setting sparkle... Looks like about 4 or 5 is about max before it starts to get a little bright in the high range, First time I ever noticed the Presence knob doing much of any thing, Wow before this setting would be useless.... Everyone try this setting with your 12AX7's and let me know... It should sound like crap.... you'll have to turn every thing way down and then you loose the tone.... With the 12AU7's the amp is as quite as a church mouse just sitting there but once you start to play WOW.... I left the Timbre setting to none to be fair but with it on full body the sound even gets better....just need to adjust the presence with each timbre setting to keep the tone from getting to bright....I like all the timbre settings with this patch except Acoustic way to much bass for it....
Here are the settings I was using on my 65 Twin reverb to make this comparision.... I'm plugged into the tremelo side Bright switch off, Volume 7.... have to make it fair as the twin needs to be pushed a little.... Treble 6 Miiddle 4 Bass 2 Reverb 6 Tremelo speed 3 Intenisty 5.... Pretty much your Fender Clean Clean with a little surfy Sound.... What can I say I like reverb....
One more thing is my cyber Twin is plugged in to 2 Marshall 4X12's Cabs.... verses the Twin Reverb's 2X12's so there is a slight advantage to the cyber twin....hope this helps everyone with a Cyber Twin as I unlock what's inside this amp it just keeps getting better....JakeJ
The Following User Says Thank You to JakeJ For This Useful Post:
How does it sound with those tubes and no cabs, just the 2x12's?
Les Paul Traditional Pro
Fender VG Strat
Fender CyberTwin SE
That's a good question as I haven't tried it yet so hold on let's find out....Just got to shut the amp down for a second...Well I plugged the Cyber Twins speakers back in and put the tubes back in my 65 Twin Reverb There sitting across from each other about 20 feet apart I'm in the middle guitar in hand, foot on the Big Shot ABY switch...Let the games begin...Well I have been wailing away for ten minutes both amps on then switching back and forth damn if I can tell the difference.... The Cyber Twin sounds even better as a 2X12 now than it ever did before.... I had to turn the master volume down on the Cyber Twin to match the Twin reverb, I had them both set at 7 turned the cyber twin down to a little over 6 to match loudness... Gain and Volume is set in the sweet spot between 6and 7 Trim is 10 with my Gibson Les Paul pushing 3 lights and maybe a little red once in a while, bridge and neck pickups set about 5 or 6.... neck maybe a little less to keep the trim from clipping.... WOW That's all there is that I can say is WOW, I had this amp since 2004 and it never sounded like this.... I can't wait till I get with my guys and they hear this amp now.... That Fender Bassmen and Super Reverb are going to get a run for there money now.... Jakej
Just wanted to give you a quick thanks for the settings and knob settings of the CT.
I didn't like the original Groove Tubes, I replaced them with Sovteks. No difference in sound. Got the JJ's, and they sounded much better, but still that annoying noise and hum. Same thing, I had to turn it down to make it usable.
I have the SE as well, it'll be interesting to see what it sounds like with the new tubes when I get them.
Well crap! Reckon I'll join the bandwagon and get my tubes replaced, thanks for the info guys!
Les Paul Traditional Pro
Fender VG Strat
Fender CyberTwin SE
The words Fender®, Telecaster®, Stratocaster® and other Fender-owned brands, and the associated headstock designs, are registered trademarks of the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
FenderTalk is an independent, member supported forum and is not affiliated in anyway with the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
IMPORTANT:Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult! No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.