Octal-tubed amp is a type of amp that needs a complementary speaker. To make the search easier, you have to test different speakers. But since there is a number of speakers these days nearly no one can do that.
Well, it is indeed difficult to find a correct speaker that matches your amp nowadays. If you increase the headroom, you might need to swap the tubes. If you accent the treble, it does not guarantee that the circuit attenuates frequencies. And if you just pick any speaker with smooth treble, that doesn’t exactly be the right choice.
Let’s solve that speaker-searching issue today. But first, let’s make a deep dig on what an amp with octal tubes really is.
What is an Octal Amp
An octal amp is considered a fun amp as it has smooth and warm sound with a gentle breakup. Such breakup usually begins at 3 and gets rock distortion on 10. The octal is a single-ended amp for guitar with a 6SL7 preamp. The preamp tubes ramp the signal up from the guitar. It also has 5Y3 rectifier and 6F6 output tube. The rectifier tube is the type of tube in an amp that in as the power stage of the amp. An octal 6SL7 pre-amp tube provides a wide frequency response, great overdrive and clean chimney.
At the back of your amp, there are big bottles that pump out serious wattage called output tubes or power tubes. These tubes are responsible for creating the output of your amp. Output tubes are mainly the amplifier within your amp. If the preamp tubes are responsible for ramping the signal from your guitar, the output tubes are considered to be the babies that make the signal loud.
Output tubes can easily be recognized. It is commonly the biggest or the tallest tubes on the back side of your amp. In any amp, there are at least two similar output tubes that can be found mostly on guitar amplifiers.
Octal amps work well with single coils and on humbucker loaded guitars. If you are looking for a bit brighter and more refined sounding amp, an octal amp can be a great choice. The amp is very dynamic and responds beautifully than many tweed amps.
Everything about Octal Tubes
Octal tubes are different. Fender stop using tubes like this in their amplifier in 1950’s due to lesser reliability issue than those 9-pin tubes. The 9-pin tubes became very important to electric guitar players. However, the 8-pin octal tubes became an inexpensive alternative. Some amp makers nowadays begin to use 8-pin tubes again but some companies are producing octal tubes even more too.
Octal tubes are different in application and in personal taste. There are a bunch of guitar amps with octal tubes such as tweed Fenders, Gibsons, and Valco-made amps and they are good in certain things. This kind of amp is good for blues guitar or harp. Amplifier with octal tubes is also great for the brightest Telecaster that just spews shards of glass with a twin reverb.
When you use octal tubes, you don’t have to crank the gain in order to get the sweetness you wanted. As long as the octal tubes warm up the sound along with one of the crudes in early phase inverter designs, you don’t have to get bothered a lot. The combination of the octal preamps will give you all the juices you’ll ever need.
Best Speaker Suggestions
Since an octal amp is the old octal-preamp amps fantastically mixed with a modern amp, you can do mixing too. You can use the old amp Fender or Gibson with a Princeton or deluxe/vibrolux reverb. An early Pro guitar amp rig may run parallel with a late-50’s tweed Tremolux. The old Magnatone can also be mixed with the later more scooped-mids sound, Magnatone vibrato.
You may also opt for decent speakers that work well for a low-to-medium power guitar amplifier such as old alnico Jensen, Rola and University speaker. The vintage Jensen, as well as the CTS and oxfords, can have fairly poor efficiency but they can be the best for octal amp still. You may also look for a bit pricey option such Celestion alnico gold for super-efficient, med-high power rating with deep low bass.