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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    57 Twin Reissue Owners - Is this Normal?

    I have had my 57 Twin for about two years now. I really like it but am usually using it live on bigger venues or cranked up pretty good in the studio.

    Because of COVID-19 I have not used it live for a while (I think November was the last time) but I'm noticing when playing it at low volumes I can't get a clean sound out of it. The guitar will sound clean but there's this little bit of odd distortion around the notes.

    At first, I thought it's because the guitar I was using had hotter type of pickups (GMP not sure of pickups) so I tried it with a Strat (Lace) and it was better on the bridge but still there on the neck. If I turn the bass down and the treble up it's much better, but the sound I get that way isn't really what I want.

    Do you think this is a tube problem or is it just the way the amp works? I tried cleaning all the sockets because it almost sounds like something's dirty and maybe it helped a little (?) but that annoying sound is still there.

    Any help appreciated.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: 57 Twin Reissue Owners - Is this Normal?

    I had a similar concern with the clean sound from my Dr. Z Nova (which Dr. Z says is based on the 5E8-A Twin, though the circuit looks more like a 5F4 Super to me). There's a slight clipping artifact enveloping clean notes. It almost like the clipping that you'd hear in a recording of a loud amp made with a cell phone- the phone's mic clipping (but it's not). I don't hear it with my Strat. It's much more noticeable with humbuckers.

    I thought there was something wrong with the amp. The folks at Dr. Z assured me that it was normal. I played the amp with my Heritage H-535 and it sounded awesome. Kinda like you don't see your nose- I don't really notice it anymore.

    I can hear it at about 3:50 in this '57 Twin reissue demo.

    https://youtu.be/zih0iJwfwGA

  3. #3
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    Re: 57 Twin Reissue Owners - Is this Normal?

    Thanks Don. I appreciate the reply. I also have a 535. Killer guitars!!

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member jrgtr42's Avatar
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    Re: 57 Twin Reissue Owners - Is this Normal?

    Is this something that's happenned all along? or have you not really played it at low, clean volumes before?
    I don't know that model too well, but many of that era amps don't really have the squeaky clean sounds that we're used to now.
    Does it clean up more if you bring down the volume on the guitar? I know the Lace Sensors are a bit hotter pickup than the average single coil, so that may be part of it as well.
    ********************************
    "Do you call sleeping with a guitar in your hands practicing?"
    "It is if you don't drop it."
    - Trent Lane, Daria, Episode 1-2.

  5. #5
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    Re: 57 Twin Reissue Owners - Is this Normal?

    Usually I put everything pretty far up and play it loud. It's def got some weird issues. The volume pots are dead until about two and then the volume comes up. I should make a video of this weird distortion. I'm going to try putting some new preamp tubes in it to see if that makes a difference as I have some lying around.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: 57 Twin Reissue Owners - Is this Normal?

    First, pull and reinstall all of the tubes a few times to see if you have a socket contact that is dirty. Use a cleaner on the tube pins if you have some. If that does not cure the problem..l
    Try a good 12AY7 in V1. the original LO-power Twin used 12AY7s in both V1&v2. I have found that 12AY7s in V1 for big tweed based circuits perform better for my ear. Using the 12AY7 in V2 presents a situation where the heater to cathode voltage slightly exceeds the 90vdc that is specíd for the 12AY7. A 12AX7 has a heater-to-cathode voltage max of 80, and that is preferable in that respect.
    I have owned an original 5E8A and ran 12AY7s as the tube chart called for. It was a magnificent amp with this sonic artifact that you describe.
    One 12AY7 and one 12AX7 should allow you to sub in and find out if any of the 12A-7s are the problem.
    If the problem is not in those tubes, the power tubes become suspect. If those are not the problem, then one starts checking out the cab, the grille cloth, the speaker, and finally the circuit components. This type of problem s9metimes is quickly solved, and sometimes it is more of a ..welll...problem. A good tech with a signal tracer and an oscilloscope could find it quickly if it is a components problem.
    "As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." Albert Schweitzer

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: 57 Twin Reissue Owners - Is this Normal?

    Thanks. I actually pulled all the preamp tubes out as they were old GE. I replaced them all with other old NOS GE and the artifacts I was hearing is gone. I have enough NOS GE 6L6, 6V6, 12a-7 to last me a lifetime because my grandfather worked at GE for over 50 years and when the company store was getting rid of all the tubes he bought me everything they had for $1.

    Anyways, problem is solved! Thanks everyone!

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: 57 Twin Reissue Owners - Is this Normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amp360 View Post
    Thanks. I actually pulled all the preamp tubes out as they were old GE. I replaced them all with other old NOS GE and the artifacts I was hearing is gone. I have enough NOS GE 6L6, 6V6, 12a-7 to last me a lifetime because my grandfather worked at GE for over 50 years and when the company store was getting rid of all the tubes he bought me everything they had for $1.

    Anyways, problem is solved! Thanks everyone!

    Amp360, congrats on resolving the issue. However, I will observe that by simply replacing all of those tubes at once you did not learn where or what the problem was. You may have had good tubes that were not the source of the problem. One dirty or oxidized tube socket pin connection could have been the problem. Pulling an reinstalling a tube sometimes cures this type of problem. Or....if you did have a tube problem, you now have a handful of GE tubes among which there is only one tube that needed t9 be replaced....and you donít know which tube is bad. A systematic search and analysis would have been advantageous, ime.

    Iíll give you $3 and shipping for the tubes you pulled out. (;^) Then, I will go to the trouble of ascertaining which of them if any are bad. I never keep a bad tube, and I never throw away a good tube.
    "As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." Albert Schweitzer

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: 57 Twin Reissue Owners - Is this Normal?

    Oh...and I have a stockpile of U.S. tubes myself....NOS and good UOS. They donít make them anymore, from rumors I have heard.
    "As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." Albert Schweitzer

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member corpse's Avatar
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    Re: 57 Twin Reissue Owners - Is this Normal?

    Holy Shit- Wally! Missed you here oh Father of all Things Tube Amp!

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: 57 Twin Reissue Owners - Is this Normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    Amp360, congrats on resolving the issue. However, I will observe that by simply replacing all of those tubes at once you did not learn where or what the problem was. You may have had good tubes that were not the source of the problem. One dirty or oxidized tube socket pin connection could have been the problem. Pulling an reinstalling a tube sometimes cures this type of problem. Or....if you did have a tube problem, you now have a handful of GE tubes among which there is only one tube that needed t9 be replaced....and you donít know which tube is bad. A systematic search and analysis would have been advantageous, ime.

    Iíll give you $3 and shipping for the tubes you pulled out. (;^) Then, I will go to the trouble of ascertaining which of them if any are bad. I never keep a bad tube, and I never throw away a good tube.
    I would have given them to you but I actually threw them away when I put the new ones in. I'll remember you next time!

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