Swapping tubes in my amp....


New member
Hi guys,

Time for me to change my tubes in my Fender Champ, the power amp tubes. I've got two 6L6's at the moment. I am wondering if it could be a good idea to try and change for different tubes. Yes....no ?.....if yes, for which tubes should I go ?

I play mostly blues and hard rock tones.

Thanks guys



Cosmic Cowboy
Throw a set of JJ's tubes into it and don't worry about anything else.
Eurotubes is a good source - tell them which amp and how you like it, early/later breakup...etc.
If you want to spend more money...the Gold Lion brand is also good, but so far, I've been quite happy with the various JJ tubes I've tried alongside NOS/old tubes.

While you can get some different flavors with different brands/vintages...unless you are prepared to really buy a lot of tubes, test and try them all out...it's not worth discussing this or that tube, because only you will now which tone from which tube you like.
I only say this because I've already done all that and have a rather large selection of old and new issues tubes, though it's taken me awhile to find which I liked.
Getting into any of the NOS/old issue tubes at this point in time is a gamble. The reputable tube suppliers are charging crazy prices for NOS tubes...and eBay is very dangerous if you don't know what to look for. There is a HUGE flood of fake NOS tubes coming in from China/Hong Kong. They are taking current production Chinese tubes and putting the right emblems and labels on them to make them look like USA made tubes from the 60s/70s.

At least with new production...you kinda know what you are getting, and the prices are not that bad.


Cosmic Cowboy
You mean the THD converter sockets?
I have a pair...and will sell them to anyone for 1/2 price. :)

I got them awhile ago to try out, and while they will let you plug in an EL84 into a EL34/6V6/6L6 socket, and it all works, they don't really sound all that great IMO.
I mean...it's not like actually playing a EL84 designed amp, and they don't sound in any way better than what your amp was originally designed to use.
I put them back in their boxes and they've sat there for the better part of 3-4 years now....

Just my $0.02


Reluctant Commander
Are you talking about changing the BRAND of the tubes? Or are you talking about changing to different tubes like 6L6 or EL34, etc?

I didn't know the Champ uses more than one power tube? Mine is a 65 black face, only one 6V6 in it. (the other one is a rectifier, might be good to change that one also, but it is not a 6V6)


New member
Ok, let me straighten this all out:

Yes, it's a Fender Champ 25 SE and yes, I'm looking into maybe changing the 6L6's to something else like EL34, for example, if it's a good idea, if this represent an added value tonewise. I mean, I like when the clean amp tone break up early, without having to go to very high volume level. So it's not the brand, but the type of tubes I question.
I may be better staying with 6L6's, or not, that's what I'm investigating.

Now, seen on the web :


Pre amp: Solid State. A 12AX7 tube is listed on the schematic, but this is for a phase inverter.
Power: 2 x 6L6GC
Rectifier: Solid State

and again...

This is a USA-made Fender from the early nineties. It is a hybrid design like the early Music Man amps (2x 6L6, solid state preamp and a 12ax7 phase inverter tube)

Thanks guys for all your inputs


Cosmic Cowboy
You need to check if the amp can even handle EL34 tubes...it's not always a straight swap.
It might work...and then again it might kill your transformer.


Well-known member
Unless your amp was designed to swap tube types (fenders are not known for that) you can't just change from a 6L6 to an EL34, they have different power requirements, etc...

An amp can be modified to work with different types of tubes by a tech, but you can't just swap them out.


New member
I rather enjoy the "yellow-jackets" in a drri fwiw. granted that is a dual 6v6 setup not 6l6. different adapters in my case. The above guys are correct and to the point. Tube rolling is dangerous habit. I will second the JJ sugestion.


Cosmic Cowboy
I rather enjoy the "yellow-jackets" in a drri fwiw. granted that is a dual 6v6 setup not 6l6. different adapters in my case.

Well the transition from a 6V6 to an EL84 is not too drastic, electronically speaking. Most 6V6 and EL84 amp designs are pretty close, and the two tube types are also very similar electronically...so I could see that kind of swap working better, but try taking an EL34 amp and using Yellow-jackets to turn it into an EL84...it's kind of pffffffft.


New member
I think the OP might be better off with speaker change. But if his tubes are truly toast go JJ. my .02. Was he not referring to a dual 6l6 amp? I just chimed in b/c I really like the YJ's el84 conversion for a 6v6 amp.

Enough of that.......... Emery Superbaby!!! :) I love mine. No association btw.


Just another guy, really.
...it's a Fender Champ 25 SE and yes, I'm looking into maybe changing the 6L6's to something else like EL34...

Decent amp, I like it. I have one of those, too, as well as a Super Champ XD. I am thinking basically the same amp, with some minor differences. Speaker swap is easy, but IMO the stock speaker in these is fine.

As for tweaking the tone, I am not sure what you can do, really. For me, the distorted channel is WAY over the top (I play blues, rock, etc.) but after listening to you "looking for a singer" tune you posted, I am thinking the amp's distortion may be much more to your liking than it is to mine. I'd like to tame that part of the beast, but I have found no mention of mods to this amp, on-line, other than the speaker swap.

I did an A/B/C comparo with those two and a vintage Deluxe Reverb, and my GF liked the tone of the Champ SE the best! Turns out the DR had a tear in the speaker, so that no doubt played a part, but still, I do like it's clean tone.