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JJ ECC83S / 12AX7's!!
Just received a large lot of JJ ECC83S / 12AX7 Dual Triode Tubes and this has been the best testing lot yet!


Tone Tubby® Speakers
TONE TUBBY speakers are manufactured by A Broun Soun Inc. in San Rafael, CA. The experienced audio techs and engineers at A Broun Soun have been the premier audio speaker repair and sales facility in northern California since 1974 … these guys know speakers! They are also a great bunch of guys to work with. High energy, knowledgeable, personal attention, immediate response and always willing to help out, is business as usual for them!

I was not looking for any new speaker lines and had not ever considered carrying the TONE TUBBY line. Until, their cabinetmaker stopped by my shop one day and dropped off a couple of speakers for me to try out.

Being the resident gear-head around here, I immediately loaded them into some demo cab's and began A/B testing them against numerous other speakers I already had in the shop. The results …. I was just plain knocked out by the rich, full tone throughout the entire guitar frequency range! A big bottom end, rich mid-range and a sweet top end with no harshness or cone cry at all. Most speakers are voiced with an emphasis on some part of the guitar frequency spectrum and are excellent in maybe one area, such as a big bottom end or mid-range punch and are mediocre in the remaining frequency ranges. Which is why the mixing of dissimilar speakers, in the same cabinet, is so popular among players and professional musicians. Very few speakers are really strong across the entire guitar frequency range and the TONE TUBBY's are definitely one of them!

I'm mostly a blues/classic rock player and therefore, always look for a warm, smooth breakup type of tone, from my personal speakers, and the TONE TUBBY's deliver! Even the Ceramic TONE TUBBY has a smoother than normal breakup, compared to other ceramic type speakers.

HEMPCONE®: the TONE TUBBY speakers come standard with their own proprietary designed and manufactured HempCone. The hemp fibers are longer and denser than paper and are more conducive to delivering more lows, mids and highs with cuts on a dime tone. The new H1E HempCone (original HempCone treated with an enzyme for extended highs) now comes standard on all TONE TUBBY speakers. The TONE TUBBY HempCone has set a new standard in the world of speakers, even Eminence is getting in on the act. The Eminence Cannabas Rex speaker uses a TONE TUBBY HempCone.

The bottom line, TONE TUBBY speakers are the first "new" line of speakers I've played in many years that have just plain "wowed" me!

SVVA is now an authorized dealer for TAD (Tube Amp Doctor) tubes! The first couple of lots of these tubes have just plain knocked us out! TAD extensively tests their tubes better than any other tube vendor and they sound awesome!


Okay, I don't even sell Valve Jr's, but I just have to share some thoughts on this amazing little amp.

I recently installed a Mercury Mod Kit (from Mercury Magnetics) in a local Harp player's Valve Jr Head (Version 2). Wow, what a huge improvement!

I've played it with several different speakers, a Tone Tubby AlNiCo 12", Celestion Gold, and Jensen P12N and I haven't measured the output yet, but if it is indeed still 5-watts, then it is THE loudest 5-watts I've ever heard.

The best way to play this thing is to just dime the volume knob on the amp and control the volume/sound from your guitar's volume knob.

Turn the guitars volume knob down and it gets a really nice, crisp, clean sound. Crank up the guitar's volume knob and you'll be looking around on the floor for a distortion pedal ... only, there isn't one. The sweet, bluesy breakup and sustain is coming from JUST the amp, very cool!

Man, what a difference the Mercury Mod kit makes to this little amp! Also, you'll need to replace the cheap Chinese preamp tube and Sovtek output tube, if you want a better sound. I put a JJ EL84 and JJ ECC83S/12AX7 in it and they made a huge improvement.

Now, to the instructions. They are okay and if you are an experienced tech or electronics hobbyist, you'll be okay. I did find several errors in the Version 2 instructions and several more inconsistent issues through-out the document. For example different views of the "after" board that physically showed different components in different locations. While the way they did it is electronically equivalent, someone who isn't really familiar with this stuff will most likely be really confused.  I did forward the errors and inconsistencies that I found to Mercury Magnetics, so hopefully these issues have been corrected in the latest Version 3 instructions.

Around $99 for the Valve Jr Head at Musicians' Friend and $299 for the Mercury Mod Head Kit (slightly less from me) and you have one killer little amp!

I was so wowed by this amazing little amp ... I just went out and bought one of the Valve Jr Head's (Version 3) and the Mercury Mod kit for myself.  I'll review the Version 3 instructions, once I get a chance to complete the project.  I'm also going to do the 6V6 mod (adding a 6V6 along with the stock EL84) and will be using this little baby in the shop as a demo amp!  Small, portable and a killer sound = perfect for a shop amp!

Version 3 Update: I have now completed several V3 Valve Jr mod's and the instructions have been improved and are much clearer.  


The Ultimate 4x10” Speaker Cabinet (at least for me)! I just wanted to share with you my latest personal cabinet.

A little history first.  I have two (2) 2x12” cabinets, one with speakers that are warm, sweet, smooth and with an early bluesy breakup (my Blues and Rock cab) and the second has speakers with a brighter, crisper sound, with more sparkle and clean headroom (my Rockabilly, chimy British Rock cab). Well, I got tired of lugging around these two (2) 2x12” cabinets, not to mention that I don’t really play anything big enough to really need a 2x12” anymore.

Solution = a single 4x10” cabinet (“Custom 4 x 10" Fender Blackface Style C/D-Select Pine Speaker Cabinet, 3-Jack, OPEN Back”) wired with my 3-Jack Fail Safe Wiring configuration that is really two (2) 2x10’s in one cabinet! On the bottom I have a Tone Tubby AlNiCo 10” and Ceramic 10”, wired in parallel to the left jack, which provides my “warm, sweet, smooth, early breakup” sound. And, on top I have a Weber AlNiCo Blue Pup and AlNiCo Silver Ten, wired in parallel to the right jack, which provides my “bright, crisp, with more sparkle and clean headroom” sound.

And, if I want to, I can always plug into the center jack, which puts all four speakers in parallel! I even have a passive A/B footswitch, so I can switch between the two 2x10” speaker sets on-the-fly while playing!

All in one, easy to lug around cabinet … very cool!