favorite kt88 guitar amps?

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Professor Plum
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favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by Professor Plum » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:15 pm

i dont know a lot of amps off the top of my head the use these tubes, but from what i gather they can sound pretty rad. (i haven't played one though)

from what i understand they stay pretty "clean" and are ballsy and punchy when they break up. people with tendencies towards the heavier side of the spectrum tend to like them, i think.

any experiences, comments, favorite kt88's/amps that use them, would be welcome! thanks guys! -plum
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Re: favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by mynameisjonas » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:30 am

i don't think i've ever played a KT88 equipped amp, but i know they're usually found in really loud amps (often well suited for bass), such as the orange thunderverb, the electric 180W amps, hiwatt DR201, matamps etc.
my bandmate has a DR201 but his is the 6xEL34 version...

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Re: favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by analogsystem » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:50 am

KT88s are the best power tube ever.

My Sunn 100s just kills.....the low end thump just feels so good.
Of course a Model T loaded up with KT88s.......... :? :? :?

Try plugging your bass player's SVT into your guitar cab sometime as well.

If they weren't so damn expensive I'd probably mod my JCM800 for them as well (ala Corgan).

There is something happening in the low end that is just magical with these valves. 6550s are supposed to be the same but just don't seem to have it (at least the ones I've tried in my Sunn).

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Re: favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by kalipigeon » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:10 pm

I've always liked the sound of KT88s in bass amps, though I don't think I've ever played a guitar through one. ( I've also never wondered what a guitar at 300 tube watts would sound like..ouch)
I do wonder now with the trend in modern variations on the single tube, low watt amps of the past if there will be a low(er) wattage KT88 amp available any time soon. Something like the Carr Mercury amp with the option of a KT88 power section would be amazing.

the wiki article on KT88s says they can do 50w hifi clean and up to 100w with 2.5% thd distortion, so imagine if you could have a lightweight modern amp that had a single power tube and maybe a few 12a_7s that you could swap out in the pre for different gain in each of two channels. I wonder if you could pull 50-100 watts out of say a 15-20 pound head that way with all the sweet tone KT88s can pump out?

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Re: favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by Professor Plum » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:00 pm

the initial thing that started this thread is my INTENSE GAS for one of the x2 kt88 sunn o))) heads. those pump out about 50-60w. perfect. :?
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Re: favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by redeyeflight » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:17 pm

never tried it w/ KT-88's but a buddy of mine had a THD bivalve made here in Seattle and it was a fantastic sounding and loud amp...self biasing so you could put any type of octal-based tube in there including the KT-88 (or a KT-88 and a KT-66...whatever ya want!). Worth checking out as I can attest that it sounded fantastic with a variety of different tubes and I couldn't imagine it sounding bad with the KT-88's.

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Re: favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by analogsystem » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:00 am

Professor Plum wrote:the initial thing that started this thread is my INTENSE GAS for one of the x2 kt88 sunn o))) heads. those pump out about 50-60w. perfect. :?
I got my 100s for $100. I have seen many 200s's and Sonaros, etc in the $350 area.

Just keep your eyes peeled and you'll find one!

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Re: favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by panoramic » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:01 am

had them in the jtm45 clone and man was it a beast, yeah that would be my pick for sure
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Re: favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by dug » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:13 pm

I'm about to pick up a different amp since I sold the marshall, and I was really wanting something that I could put either 6550s or kt88s in.

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Re: favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by Jazzle » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:16 am

I know this should go in the mods section, but I've had a lot of success modding my musicman 210 sixtyfive with a pair of JJ KT88s

It was a clean amp before....but now it's full range clarity at its best.

It's simply awesome on bass duties...

I learned from a tech that KT88s really like high plate voltages to help prevent against impedance issues, so he was really happy about the idea of the mod in the musicman which was running 780volts on the plates.

Next thing is to get a graphic eq and start playing with the tonestack. I believe these little musicman's are unknown to the masses, I'd never get rid of mine for anything

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Re: favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by RuffiansFC » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:46 am

i prefer 6550s with my Model T. kt88s tend to have a tighter sound. based on my playing and style, the 6550s just make the most sense for me. a little beefier and warmer to my ears.

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Re: favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by mbene085 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:10 pm

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Re: favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by Wil_66 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:23 pm

I have a '67 Sunn Spectrum ii withJJ kt88s in it and a 2x15 cab, the sound is incredible. Really any of the old 60 watt Sunn amps sound incredible, 6550 tubes also work in them and generally break up a bit sooner. If you've never experienced one in person, you are kinda missing out.

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Re: favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by s_mcsleazy » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:46 pm

best kt88 amp i ever used was a bass amp.

trace elliot v8. basically 8 kt88's
offset guitars resident bass player.
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Re: favorite kt88 guitar amps?

Post by Kent » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:50 am

Keep in mind that much of the mythology of “a tube’s sound” is actually a change of impedance matching between the tube’s output and the output transformer. A tube, as a stand-alone device largely doesn’t have a sound, within reason. If you were to compare a 6L6 tube to an EL34 in the same circuit and with each impedance ratio equal between the tubes and xfmr, there would be negligible difference (probably not audible) in sound; given equal volume levels, etc.

Audible differences are coming from the output input impedance remaining static (and interfacing with the speakers) whilst the differing tube type has a greatly different output impedance.

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