Mk50 II tubes / sound

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leos
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Mk50 II tubes / sound

Post by leos » Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:12 pm

I recently got my mk50 II , an early model "pre straight edge" - Martin Kidd built, cirka 2008.
I have a Roadhouse 30 combo and a Marshall jcm 800 100w resissue (2203x).

I would describe the sound as very "complex" and while it has gain and loads of it it never really gets as gritty or dirty like my other amps (especially the marshall). It has a very direct feeling, and can sound very agressive but still (too) clean somehow. I have spent hours and hours trying every setting and guitar I could get my hands on, even a few pedals but I am just not into pedals - always seem to take away more than they bring.
It also (suprisingly ..) doesnt feel as touch sensitive as the other two ... perhaps because I tend to turn up the gain pretty high to get at least some grit and at that point, cleaning it up with the guitar volume control or the pick attack is out of reach.
Now this might just not be the amp for me but I cant help but wonder if a different set of pre amp tubes or even EL34's would bring it more along my tastes in british sound.
I really really want to like this amp and I can sort of hear the "quality" in tone in there - and obviously articulation , note seperation etc. The build quality and feature set alone is just so fantastic that it would (almost) be reason enough to keep it.
Hope somebody has some suggestions I can try.
Cornford RK100 (SE)
Cornford Mk50 II Black #450 (Martin Kidd)
Cornford MK412 Black
Cornford RH30 Combo (6L6 SE)

LM62
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Re: Mk50 II tubes / sound

Post by LM62 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:34 pm

Hi,
I would definitely recommend EL34's. I put a set of JJEL34 in my MK1 MK50 with a simple bias mod and some changes in the tone stack and it sounds to my ears much more like the sound I want. It has a better balance with a bit more mids and less 'ice picky' high end. Give the EL34's a go you.

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leos
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Re: Mk50 II tubes / sound

Post by leos » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:36 am

thanks for your answer. i have just ordered a bias probe and tommorow i will order the el34's along with some different pre amp tubes and start experimenting. my amp has the el34/6l6 switch so it should all be quite easy.
you said you made some mods to the tone stack... was those needed for the el34 switch in your mk50 or was it to fine tune the sound to your taste?
Cornford RK100 (SE)
Cornford Mk50 II Black #450 (Martin Kidd)
Cornford MK412 Black
Cornford RH30 Combo (6L6 SE)

RichM
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Re: Mk50 II tubes / sound

Post by RichM » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:48 am

I gotta ask - if you want your Cornford to sound like a JCM 800 then why not just stick to your Marshall or get an original JCM if you don't like the reissue that much. The 'sound in my head' has moved from JCM800 (I had an 80's one years ago) to Cornford and I end up trying to make other amps sound like my RH30!! I recently got a Jetcity JCA22h as they just seem so cheap and I wanted to try he SLO style preamp and after much research and knob twiddling got a sound I like and then found I had, as far as is possible,copied the sound of my RH with all the tone controls at midday!!

If anyone is interested I think the JCA is a total bargain at £200 (Thomann) but the Cornford (RH) is higher quality, more dynamic and has a much better eq so wins for me ....

R.

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Re: Mk50 II tubes / sound

Post by s&m freddy » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:23 am

I have toyed with modding my old MK50 to take EL34's....particularly as Cornford provided this option on The MKII. Nothing wrong with a bit of experimenting if it's easy and safe to do.

I also recently bought a Jet City JCA22H from the UK distributor....to use for band rehearsals. It has to be the bargain of the century! Sounds amazing...and to be honest I could live with this for live quite happily too (if I didn't have the choice)....
Cornford RK100 #108 used on Winery Dogs UK dates 2016 by Richie Kotzen
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Cornford Hurricane #1895

LM62
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Re: Mk50 II tubes / sound

Post by LM62 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:51 pm

Hi,

The changes I made in the tone stack were to fine tune the sound. They were not necessary for the switch to EL34's.

The MK 50's are known for their articulation and note separation. The MK 50 distortion sound I find is a bit smoother than a JCM 800 and a bit more Hi Fi if you like so if you want a more dirty sound you may need to make some changes. The Chinese pre amp valves/tubes are pretty hot a sizzly so might be worth giving them a go. Some other posters on this forum can give you some more advice here.

If you are looking to just fine tune your Cornford then its probably worth trying some valve/tube changes. If you are looking for a more fundamental change then you might be best letting it go.

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Re: Mk50 II tubes / sound

Post by SabbadiusUSA » Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:41 am

Changing the tubes is not going to make your MK50H II react like a Marshall. The MK50H II is what it is... If you're not bonding with the character tone and feel of the amp, sell it. If you want Marshall tone, play a Marshall.

leos
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Re: Mk50 II tubes / sound

Post by leos » Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:27 pm

thanks for the answers to everyone.
i just tried to put in two el34's from my marshall. those that came stock / probably cheap tubes rebranded as marshall so probably a pretty poor quality. anway, biased the amp and plugged in. wow, the difference was pretty amazing. while the cornford sound is still there i got the grit and raw sound i was looking for.
I guess we are all different in what tone we pursue, but i am definately a lot closer than before - i will experiment further with both preamp tubes and better power tubes.
and also, i really really really want to try to modify my roadhouse 30 to take el34's - does any of you guys know what work needs to be done for this?
Cornford RK100 (SE)
Cornford Mk50 II Black #450 (Martin Kidd)
Cornford MK412 Black
Cornford RH30 Combo (6L6 SE)

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