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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Vintage tubes vs new production tubes

Next 20 Messages  
Tony F

Long Island, NY

When you come to fork in road take it
Jun 14th, 2017 10:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I never bought into the vintage hype thing. I mean I'd rather have a new Fender than a 70's therefore for many years I've been using new production tubes and tried most brands.The price of NOS always put be off but now found an alternative. Used vintage tubes. I put a 50's era Mullard 12ax7 Made in great Britain found in antique store $5.00 and a 50's era RCA 6v6 ebay cheap in my Vht combo and will never buy new production tubes again. I'm sure some here can explain why they're better and they are. I've since bought a bunch of 6v6's Ken Rad, Sylvania and RCA and they all kill the JJ 6v6S I pulled out. They have such sweet breakup I can't get over it.

jhawkr
Contributing Member
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******

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Jun 14th, 2017 11:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

They (NOS) are better and last far longer on average and new production tubes. They used to be better because the manufacture had science down to an art. I use mostly NOS or used old manufacture that still test "as new". Some of the new tubes do sound OK but they just don't hold up as well. Put a good set of RCA tubes in a Deluxe Reverb replacing the stock GT's, even when brand new, and you will be amazed how much stronger the amp sounds. I hope that new manufacture will get to the point that at least the "premium" tubes will be comparable to NOS but I'm not holding my breath. I have most all the NOS and gently UOS tubes I will ever need. I started buying in the 90's.

daveg
Contributing Member
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Northern VA

The Fine Line Between Clever & Stupid
Jun 14th, 2017 04:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The following is just my opinion and observations:
I've noticed that in a newer circuit, my HRDX for example, the difference isn't quite as much. They definitely sound better, but it's not a night and day difference to my ears.
I also have 2 clones, a 5F1 Champ and 5E3 Tweed Deluxe. There's where the difference is absolutely noticeable...and between brands as well. Over the years, I've built a pretty good collection of Mullards, Telefunkens, Ken-Rad, RCA, Sylvania etc. They have different tonal characteristics. The trick is buying them without getting ripped off or spending a fortune.
East German RTF have a great breakup characteristic and are usually cheaper than most NOS tubes. CBS/Hytron can also be a great tube for less than an RCA or Mullard.
If you've never tried Brimar power tubes...give them a shot if you find a good deal on them. IMO their 6v6's are as good as the hype. Very smooth over drive.

For rectifier tubes, less commonly used power tubes, or things like reverb or tremolo that use an 12AT7, the NOS's can still be purchased for the price of a "top-line" new production tube...and they'll last longer.

(This message was last edited by daveg at 03:19 AM, Jun 15th, 2017)

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

We all want

our time in hell
Jun 14th, 2017 05:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Depends on the tube comparison, I've never heard a JJ tube I liked.

I'm actually happy with the current production TungSol reissues - they may not last as long as the old ones, but...I can afford ten sets for the price of one of the old ones, and that will probably last longer than that old set will as I'm running stuff very hot these days with an attenuator for recording stuff.

Before that, I liked the old Ruby stuff when they first came around in the early 90s, as the NOS started to creep way up in price.

I replaced all my old production tubes I use long ago - other than *occasionally* swapping in a very nasty microphonic Telefunken ECC83 when I want that particular sound, they're there as backups now.

champster
Contributing Member
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Oceanside, CA

Jun 14th, 2017 05:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've tried the NOS tubes. Current production tubes to me sound just as good and they last for years for me. Buy into what you want.

DrKev
Contributing Member
*****

Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Jun 15th, 2017 04:06 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

There are more than enough excellently done comparisons of preamp tubes on YouTube to convince me of what I have always suspected based on with my own amp and a small selection of tubes - that except for differences in gain/volume, there are no significant tonal differences between a current production tube and NOS Mullard Telefunken RCA Brimar even if they were farted out the ass end of a magic tone unicorn. And if there ever was you can be darn sure that Mullard Telefunken RCA Brimar etc would have produced frequency response curves for their tubes. Not one of them never did.

If your ears think different, that's totally cool. Spend your money on what makes you happy. For me that choice is current production JJs for price and reliability.

Leftee
Contributing Member
*****

VA

Jun 15th, 2017 04:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The JJ 6V6 is more a 6L6 than a 6V6. You won't get the typical 6V6 breakup from those.

I've sold off my NOS and lightly used old tubes over the years and gone with new production. I have a few NOS left but not many. For instance, I put a pair of NOS 5751s in my jet City Custom 5. I've found new production tubes that work well for me.

There is a difference. It can be ever so slight. In the end I felt like I was chasing unicorns.

IMO, ymmv, etc.

Tony F

Long Island, NY

When you come to fork in road take it
Jun 16th, 2017 08:24 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'll never understand the love affair so many have with JJ's and dislike of groove tunes and lastly the distain for all Chinese tubes.
I just try to keep an open mind and let my ears and the unicorns tell me whats good.

Leftee
Contributing Member
*****

VA

My Fame is Cropped
Jun 16th, 2017 08:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Agreed!

The voices inside my head guide me.

I have tried all sorts of tubes in all the sockets of numerous tube amps over the years. I've come up with tubes that work for me.

I don't like a JJ ECC83s in V1. In other positions they are usually fine. I do like a JJ ECC803s in V1. Gotta be careful with that tube in a combo, though, as they can be prone to sqealing from vibration.

I have a fat bottle Chinese 6L6 in my Jet City Custom 5 and that is floating my boat.

rfrakes331K
Contributing Member
*******

IL USA

RonHalen Jokingly He Says
Jun 16th, 2017 01:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Also made during a time when OSHA wasn't around. They were also many made for mils peculiar applications. More vibration resistant!

champster
Contributing Member
*********

Oceanside, CA

Jun 16th, 2017 05:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

How come when I use JJ 6V6 tubes they sound like 6V6 tubes to me? Any amp with 6L6s sound way different to me. Guess I'm hearing different than everyone else.

Tony F

Long Island, NY

When you come to fork in road take it
Jun 16th, 2017 06:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

champster pop it out and put in most any other 6v6gt and you'll hear earlier breakup. Try it, just a/b it in your amp.
Now pop in a 1950's Ken Rad 6V6 GT and you'll be a believer.
I don't want to debate with my fellow FDP'ers I posted this to share something I discovered after 50 years of playing tube amps.


champster
Contributing Member
*********

Oceanside, CA

Jun 16th, 2017 06:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've done it all and all power tubes from different companies have their own character.

I have a number of RCA, Brimar, and Mazda 6V6 tubes on hand. I use new because that's what I want to use and they're cheap. I use what works for me. If a cheap tube from where ever works for me, I'm in. It's just about playing, even if people hate how I sound. I f enjoy it and it makes me want to keep playing then that's a good combination.

BbendFender
Contributing Member
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American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Jun 16th, 2017 08:37 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I use used tubes in all of my Fender amps and I have since my old band got back together in 1997. I had a couple old Fenders worked on by a tech and he put new JJ's in the output section. I still like the old tubes better. I have been building up my supply of these tubes and I have a lifetime supply and more at this point, especially 12AX7 and 12AT7.
We all have to use what we like and what we think sounds good to us.

stratcowboy
Contributing Member
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USA/Taos, NM

Jun 16th, 2017 09:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"If enjoy it and it makes me want to keep playing then that's a good combination."

"We all have to use what we like and what we think sounds good to us."

Absolutely on both those counts.

A good number of years ago I bought a whole mess of tubes, including NOS, to do a round-robin of listening experiments. At the time, my main amp was a Peavey Delta Blues w/a Weber California (15") in it. I spent a good number of hours and days going through 12AX7 after 12AX7 (and of course, ECC83s). Even though I had some NOS tubes of great reputation in the mix, my favorite sounding tube came out to be the modern day Tung Sol 12AX7. So that's what I stuck with.

After reading all the NOS postings, I was sure I was missing something. That's why I made the purchase and did the work/experiment.

Both my amps today are made by David Allen. When talking to him, his comments said basically the same as others have here. That he looks for tubes that are reliable and sound good, regardless of who makes them or where they come from. That's become my method as well.

Works for me. YMMV...

Modal Magic
Contributing Member
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MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
Jun 17th, 2017 06:36 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If the tubes I use provide bell-like juicy tones, touch sensitivity, and a good point can be found that changes from clean to overdriven/distorted tones as a result of playing dynamics I'm happy. I have yet to find modern production tubes that don't do what I ask.

Edit- clarity and note definition clean and distorted is also important too.

(This message was last edited by Modal Magic at 08:39 AM, Jun 17th, 2017)

picnic
Contributing Member
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NJ/FLA

I like guitars and amps
Jun 22nd, 2017 11:02 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm losing my affection for JJ's. They don't last as long as they use to, that's for sure. I replaced a quad of EL84's in my Mesa LSS this morning after it started blowing fuses. New tubes are not blowing the fuse.
Last winter a bad 30 day JJ EL84 damaged my 2 Peavey Classic 30's.

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Jun 22nd, 2017 11:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Blowing fuses is more likely a capacitor thing.




Leftee
Contributing Member
*****

VA

My Fame is Cropped
Jun 22nd, 2017 07:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A bad output tube can take the HT fuse.

Tony F

Long Island, NY

When you come to fork in road take it
Jun 23rd, 2017 07:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Alos a bad power tube can also blow a fuse. In my blues junior the fuse blew and it turned out to be a bad EL84 (JJ btw).

QUESTION Why are current production 6V6's larger than there vintage counterparts? Anybody?


Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Vintage tubes vs new production tubes




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