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Chris Antram

Trace Elliot Hexavalve

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Hi, I'm the very lucky new owner of a Hexavalve (or will be in a few days time), and I have a few questions which I'm hoping may get answered. I do apologise though if these questions have already been answered elsewhere - I'm new to this site and don't fully know my way around yet.

1 - my model is one of the earlier ones without fan cooling. Is this likely to be a problem and should I consider retrofitting a fan? I guess though if I did I would somehow need to get a new upper front panel with vent slots.

2 - I'm starting to understand a bit more about valve amps compared with solid state and the importance of impedance. With my existing AH600SMX I know that it's ok to run one of my 8 ohm cabs or both of them despite amp stating minimum impedance of the speakers must be 4 ohms. However, am I right in saying when a valve amp states 4 ohms it is not a minimum and must be directly matched? In other words I could only run one cab if it were 4 ohms, but as both of mine are 8 ohms I would have to run them together (they're wired in parallel hence 8 ohm + 8 ohm = 4 ohms)?

3 - When most cabs seem to be 8 ohms, does anyone know why the Hexavalve is only switchable between 2 or 4 ohms? Was this because if it was 8 ohms you could only ever use a single cab? 

4 - I looks like the amp has no feet - was this standard on Hexavalves, and should I look at getting some heavy duty rubber feet (self adhesive so I don't need to drill through the chassis) to minimise vibration etc from the transformers? 

5 - How will I know if the valves are working or not? They are the original TE 6550's. It says to replace them in pairs - how will I know which ones are paired together. If I did have to replace them I presume TE's are no longer available, so are there some good recommendations?

6 - If it did need servicing, can anyone recommend a good TE specialist in Sussex please?

7 - Finally, does anyone have a copy of the user and service manuals (for the Hexavalve and the GP12XV pre-amp)?

8 - Yet another finally - if anybody has some general info about this amp I would be very grateful e.g. history of them, what people thought of them, pros and cons etc.

Many thanks,

Chris

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Hi Chris

Congratulations on your incoming purchase. They're great amps.

I'll try to answer some of your points/concerns and I'm sure others a little more knowledgeable than me will be along to further elaborate.

  1. Not sure regarding the fan. Mine had one (pictured) and you would have to assume that there was a reason that TE added one to later models, but others may have more knowledge as to why or at least the extent of any issues. If yours has survived this long I personally wouldn't worry about it.
  2. With regard to cabs, I too had some confusion/concerns when using valve heads. However as long as you are using at least the same or higher ohm cab/s there will be no problem although you may not be as loud i.e. using 1no. 8ohm cab with your amp switched to 4ohms won't be an issue
  3. Not sure why there's only the option of 2 or 4 but as above, going lower is more useful than going higher as most cabs are either 8 or 4 ohm i.e. you can use your head with 2no 8ohm cabs = 4ohm, or 2no 4ohm cabs = 2ohm
  4. I think my Hexa did have some feet but I had it in a rack case anyway. I imagine there will be pre-drilled holes for them
  5. I've never had a valve amp die on me so I'm not too sure of the symptoms (I do seem to remember strange whistling when a mates guitar amp went down)? There are however many suitable replacement valves available, mine had Ruby KT88 valves fitted (pictured)
  6. If you have a look in the 'Repairs & Technical' section there's a list of recommended amp techs
  7. A search online should be able to bring you these up. Any Series 6 GP12 user manual will suffice as they're the same operationally
  8. I've attached a page from an original TE brochure (I believe from '89-'90) showing the Valve range

Enjoy!

 

6.jpg

8.jpg

 

img011.jpg

Edited by Deedee
another typo
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No problem. 👍

You'll find there’s a wealth of knowledge on here and lots of members who are only too happy to help (and whose help and advice I have gratefully received on many, many occasions).

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Sounds like you have a lovely bit of kit inbound. 😀

I've never had a Hexa but I currently own a V-Type V4 Mk2 and a while back, I owned a Twin Valve combo - both are superb..

Regarding the fan, I wouldn't worry too much about it - as suggested above - if it's lasted this long (with it's original valves) then I'm sure it'll survive without for a good few years yet. And speaking of those original valves, it might be worth looking at replacing them in the near future or at least having them tested as they'll be at least 25 years old by now - valves do wear with use. I had PM branded 6550 and also Tung Sol branded 6550s in my Twin, both worked well in it plus I've also had good service from Shuguang KT88-98 and EHX KT88 types in the V4..  

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Hi Chris, 

you've got a great amp there !

are you anywhere near Worthing ?

I have a Hexavalve ( and a few other TE valve amps ).

Happy to check your valves on my Orange valve tester, and I'll dig out my copy of the T/E service bulletin regarding the fan issue, however, simple solution in a hot environment is to raise the case lid, to  let the air flow around the valves more freely.

Best Wishes

Mike.

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On 21/10/2019 at 10:24, Chris Antram said:

2 - I'm starting to understand a bit more about valve amps compared with solid state and the importance of impedance. With my existing AH600SMX I know that it's ok to run one of my 8 ohm cabs or both of them despite amp stating minimum impedance of the speakers must be 4 ohms. However, am I right in saying when a valve amp states 4 ohms it is not a minimum and must be directly matched? In other words I could only run one cab if it were 4 ohms, but as both of mine are 8 ohms I would have to run them together (they're wired in parallel hence 8 ohm + 8 ohm = 4 ohms)?

 

On 22/10/2019 at 12:26, Deedee said:

With regard to cabs, I too had some confusion/concerns when using valve heads. However as long as you are using at least the same or higher ohm cab/s there will be no problem although you may not be as loud i.e. using 1no. 8ohm cab with your amp switched to 4ohms won't be an issue

I must admit, I thought the impedance on valve amps needed to be matched to the speaker. This being because each impedance output on the valve amp is a different secondary on the output transformer...which would make the original query's statement correct. ...but I could well be wrong, and am happy to be corrected by those who know better! 

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3 hours ago, RichardH said:

 

I must admit, I thought the impedance on valve amps needed to be matched to the speaker. This being because each impedance output on the valve amp is a different secondary on the output transformer...which would make the original query's statement correct. ...but I could well be wrong, and am happy to be corrected by those who know better! 

I too am quite happy to be corrected on this. I initially thought the same (I even sold the 8ohm cab I had at the time and bought a 4ohm one). It was only after this that I was told that it would run quite happily into a single 8ohm cab.😟

EDIT - I've just checked back through my notes/emails. I was advised that running my Hexa into a cab at double the ohmage was fine, but anything more than that was not i.e. amp set to 2ohm running into a 4ohm cab would be ok (not that you would need to of course), amp set to 4ohm running into an 8ohm cab was ok, but amp set at 4ohm running into a 16ohm cab was a big no-no.

Basically if you can't get a 1:1 amp-cab impedance then 1:2 would be fine but not 1:4

 

Edited by Deedee

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Hi Mike,

Many thanks for your kind offer. I'm just the other side of Lewes, so not very far at all. I'll check everything out, but yes at some point I'd love to bring it round to test the valves.

Any other info you have on this head would be fantastic - I'm trying to track down a user manual for it, but not very successful so far.

I also need to find a good local (Sussex) tech as well - it could probably do with a service and my AH600SMX certainly needs a service.

Thanks everyone for your help so far.

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Hi Chris

The manual shown below which states ‘Valve Series’ is basically the standard Series 6 manual with the above 2 pages added at the back. So if you search for ‘Series 6 GP12’ (such as the link below) you should be able to find what you need.

https://dokumen.tips/documents/trace-elliot-gp12-series-6-manual.html

 

9B2762A2-D3C2-4707-9C07-E6499C8AADAB.jpeg

Edited by Deedee

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I'm going to print that off tomorrow. 

My employers are generous when it comes to using their paper and printer ink 😉

  • Haha 1

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13 hours ago, Chris Antram said:

I'm just the other side of Lewes

Well hello there! I'm just outside Ringmer! Can't be any tech help, but thought I'd just say hello to a local :)

 

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13 hours ago, Chris Antram said:

I also need to find a good local (Sussex) tech as well - it could probably do with a service and my AH600SMX certainly needs a service.

Our guitarist has recommended Michael Still in lancing. Apparently very good and all the studios in Brighton use him,as does BIMM.

Edited by RichardH

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Hi Richard, we’re practically neighbours! Thanks for the tech recommendation. I’ll give him a call once I’ve had a go with the Hexa. Best wishes, Chris 

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I have one too.  Haven't actually played it yet owing to the small matter of 6,000 miles distance between us.  I used to own a Trace V8 but it was too much for me in every way.

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Hi Richard,

Following your recommendation I took the Hexa and my AH600 to Mike Still for servicing and he was absolutely great. Very quick turnaround and very reasonable. Fortunately the Hexa turns out to be in excellent condition and the valves are lovely (I was expecting some may have needed changing). So, I'm a very happy bunny! He also sorted out the hiss on my hi-fi amp too.

Thanks again,

 

Chris

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Here are a few pictures, though heaven knows why they have been rotated, and I have no idea how to correct this! Anyway, one showing the full rig with both heads, one with just the Hexavalve and one attempting to show the glow from within!

IMG_5743.JPG

IMG_5754.JPG

IMG_5757.JPG

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Mine is currently being repaired. Full new set of six 6550's is going in to replace the original (!!!) 1991 or 1992 tubes.
Am stoked about getting my fave amp in the world back in working order again. The tech also fixed my RAH600SMX which I will use in the rehearsal room.

Isn't this stack sexy as __ck? Good times ahead and screw class D amps.

Barefaced_Trace_Hexa.thumb.jpg.f8b75117d2f21d721283d22bc85f7143.jpg

Edited by DiMarco
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On 29/10/2019 at 19:42, Chris Antram said:

Hi Mike,

Many thanks for your kind offer. I'm just the other side of Lewes, so not very far at all. I'll check everything out, but yes at some point I'd love to bring it round to test the valves.

Any other info you have on this head would be fantastic - I'm trying to track down a user manual for it, but not very successful so far.

I also need to find a good local (Sussex) tech as well - it could probably do with a service and my AH600SMX certainly needs a service.

Thanks everyone for your help so far.

Was about to suggest that you PM'd @chimike having been to get a TE1818 from him recently and witnessed some of his TE wondroussness . Enjoy your great Amp when it arrives.

Are you aware that Ashdown have floated the possibility of undertaking servicing classic TE kit, though Essex a fair way from Lewes.

 

Edited by JottoSW1
Ashdown TE servicing Comment

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On 23/11/2019 at 19:21, andytoad said:

I Should never have sold mine

!!!!

BTW, got mine back. I'm a very happy boy!

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28 minutes ago, andytoad said:

BTW, got mine back. I'm a very happy boy!

Heft heft heft hefty.😃👍

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On 23/11/2019 at 18:55, Chris Antram said:

Hi Richard,

Following your recommendation I took the Hexa and my AH600 to Mike Still for servicing and he was absolutely great. Very quick turnaround and very reasonable. Fortunately the Hexa turns out to be in excellent condition and the valves are lovely (I was expecting some may have needed changing). So, I'm a very happy bunny! He also sorted out the hiss on my hi-fi amp too.

Thanks again,

 

Chris

Chris, not sure how I missed your reply - really glad he worked out well for you! I'll let the guitarist know he's been useful for once :D 

  • Haha 1

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Looking to replace my original TE 12ax7. Currently I have Tung-Sol in my Hexa and a bit of a 50hz hum problem.

Are TAD JJ ECC83S/12AX7 a good replacement? I know those are hugely popular but afaik the S in ECC83S stands for high gain.
Will those tubes enable met to dial in some girth? The current Tung-Sol stay clean whatever amount of gain I dial in.

I have zero experience with differences between preamp tubes and could use some advice. Thanks for any help!

20200621_125641.thumb.jpg.b36f106cc154287d245315ebaac8f543.jpg

Edited by DiMarco

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