By Stephanie Shanks. Guitar Electric. Published at Friday, August 31st, 2018 - 09:23:43 AM.
This effect is very sharp, with a distinct on-off sound. It is very different than trying to turn the volume knob quickly. You just won't get this effect that way. You need the help of the switch to get that sharp cut in and out of the sound. Eddie Van Halen was always cutting up and customizing guitars in the early Van Halen days (when this track was recorded). It's likely that he had only one pickup active at all: the bridge pickup. At the tail end of the guitar trick (at 1:42-1:43), he's switching the sound out very quickly. My guess is that he wired the "three way" pickup switch to be two-way. So he only had to flick the switch up one level rather than two to get the sound to completely cut out.
Another thing to consider is the location in the amplifier of the preamp tube you are replacing. The preamp tube that is located the furthest away from the power tubes will generally have the greatest effect on the tone of the amp; and the preamp tubes that are closer to the power tubes will have the least effect on the tone. So you could put a premium Tung Sol or Mullard in V1, but then a less expensive JJ or a Chinese tube might make more sense in V2. Even if you find a long plate too noisy for any of those positions, a long plate tube might still make a good phase inverter tube for the V3 position (or whichever position is closest to the power tubes).
6l6 Tubes. 6l6 power tubes not only have different size plates, they also come in different size bottles. There are basically three (3) types. The small bottle "stubbies" modeled after the original Tung Sol 5881, the tall bottles based on the original Sylvania 6l6GC STR, and the clear tops that have the side getter construction of the famous black plate RCA 6l6GC. The most common OEM 6l6 is the Sovtek 5881WXT, which is sort of an anomaly. The Sovtek is a short plate tube in a tall bottle. It's called a 5881 but it's really a 6l6. It can handle high voltages like the other 6l6's but it has the lower output of a 5881. And you will see it branded both ways. Sovtek calls it the 5881WXT but Groove Tubes sells it as a 6l6GC, Fender calls it a 6l6GC, and a Mesa Boogie sells it as a 6l6GC STR. Regardless of the name, the Sovtek is a very reliable, inexpensive tube, but it doesn't have the best tone.
You really can't go wrong with any of these tall bottles. If you like big and beefy, try the JJ or the TAD. If you want a brighter tone with more detail, go for the SED or the Svetlana. If you would rather have something with a little flatter eq and smoother sound, I'd recommend the Electro-Harmonix 6l6EH or the Sovtek 5881WXT+. I especially like smooth overdrive tone of the 6l6EH and 5881WXT+ in a master volume amp.
Any content, trademark’s, or other material that might be found on the Pajama Music website that is not Pajama Music’s property remains the copyright of its respective owner/s. In no way does Pajama Music claim ownership or responsibility for such items, and you should seek legal consent for any use of such materials from its owner.
© Copyright 2018 Pajama Music. All Rights Reserved.