5AR4/GZ34 rectifier tube recommendation

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Mojoworkin, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. Mojoworkin

    Mojoworkin Supporting Member

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    Can anyone make a good recommendation - one that won't break the bank. Thanks!
     
  2. Primakurtz

    Primakurtz Member

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    Sovtek. Sturdy and cheap.
     
  3. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    Tube World

    (BEST MULLARD VALUE) GZ34 Mullard NOS 1979-1980 (single, 10 in stock)

    $ 109.00
     
  4. The Dirty Tube

    The Dirty Tube Member

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    Sylvania or GE.

    As good as the Euro types but cheaper.
     
  5. fuzzface71

    fuzzface71 Member

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    JJ's are cheap and sturdy $20. I really don't hear much difference in tone with the rectifier anyway. Unless, it's a vintage amp and you wanted it to be close to being "period correct" or something. ;)
     
  6. earthmud

    earthmud Supporting Member

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    +1. I preferred a sylvania fat bottle to a mullard f32 gz34 in my amp.
     
  7. davebc

    davebc Member

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    You beat me to the punch!
    Millard hands down!
    That's a decent price too
     
  8. Vibrolux

    Vibrolux Gold Supporting Member

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    me too......and they seem to last forever.
     
  9. JPW

    JPW Supporting Member

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    I just ordered two of these. Hopefully I'm set for life.
     
  10. Winnie Thomas

    Winnie Thomas Member

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    That's a pretty steep price...

    JJs are a good tube at a reasonable price. I use them in my amps and there's no indication that they fail in use.
     
  11. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    I thought $109 was cheap.

    I use a 1961 Mullard Fat Base in my Metropoulos GMP45. It was $270. I will last forever. Not 500 hours. Not 1000. Not 5000. Probably closer to 20,000 hours.

    I find most CPT have a 50% rejection rate and also don't last very long ad are noisy.

    All tubes I buy must have a 30 day guarantee. That gives me 1 week if Power tubes, to have installed/Biased and 3 weeks to put 100 hours on them at as close to full output as possible.

    If preamp tubes I put them in myself and run the crap out of them for a month. Usually I go for at least a good 100 hours burn in.

    I use Mullard 12AX7 10M Gold Pins in V1 x V2 in my Metro and a 56 Long Plate in V3.

    The 10M from the factory Origianlly had a 10,000 HOur Guarantee or 2 Years.

    That means 24 Hours a Day. 7 days a week at Full Output. 10,000 hours. Thats 59 weeks.

    59 weeks = 10,080 hours. Youll never convince me CPT will last this long.

    Tube World has a 45 day warranty for NOS.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  12. MogwaiBoy

    MogwaiBoy Member

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    Goes into 5AR4 thread, shows off unobtainium ECC83.

    :D
     
  13. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    Nope I was just showing that the old tubes were meant to last. 10,000 hours. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week.
    Notice the Guarantee on the box ?

    TA Good GZ34/5AR4 will even last Longer than the 10M 12AX7 is My Point. Probably 20,000 hours. I don't think Current Production will last that long.

    Also 10M's are readily available. With or without Gold Pins. The GP's just make for better corrosion resistance.
     
  14. Oatie

    Oatie Member

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    The old stock Mullard GZ34 will last the life of the amp almost. You still need to be careful with them, I installed an old 1968 Sawtooth Mullard GZ34 and it shot the plate voltage up to 460 volts on the Deluxe Reverb. I swa-pped it with another Mullard GZ 34 and the Plate was 430 v. much better for this amp, 420 is spec I think.

    And don't forget the Phillips Miniwatt, they are made in Holland (Back in the day) and just as good. Sometimes you can get them cheap.

    You can get a bad new stock rectifier and damage your amp, it;'s best to by a new tested tube from a good dealer. A new JJ damaged one of my amps a few years ago
     
  15. LPVM

    LPVM Member

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    In the '80s Philips had defense contracts for 5V4GA tubes. They had acquired Sylvania's 5AR4 fat bottle design and were selling them labeled as 5V4GA tubes. They used to be a lower cost alternative that not everyone knew about. They've gone up in price over the years but they are still a bargain compared to NOS Mullards. I picked up a pair of them from a local CL seller about a month ago.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. DaveKS

    DaveKS Member

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    This, find you some nos/nib Philips, GE ect on eBay/used. Mullards are icons of reliability but a lot of other nos brands are 99% as good at a fraction of the cost if you shop wisely. Get you good pair of nib GE or Philips and you'll be set for life. It not like your ton'z go through them, their power rectifiers, all the old school stuff is stellar in build quality, reliability and running at close to spec which can't be said about current production stuff.
     
  17. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Any NOS 5V4. Almost the same tube and real cheap. Especially if your amp is an older one that was built for 110volts!
     
  18. DCH

    DCH Supporting Member

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    Keep in mind that the 5V4 is an entirely different rectifier tube if the OP is asking for good GZ34/5AR4 options.

    An NOS 5V4 can be a great rectifier in the right amp (or to produce the desired results), but it will lower the B+ voltages a little and be a little "softer" than a GZ34 in the same amp.

    For example, I just measured my NOS Mullard GZ34 in a 2xEL84 amp at 340vdc on the grids of the EL84s and 342vde at the plates (the actual measurements at the pins of the tube sockets). With an NOS 5V4 installed right after it, I get 331vdc at the grid and 332.2vdd at the plates. A drop like that will alter the tone and performance of the amp.

    Of course, it might also be useful for intentionally dropping the B+ a little in a vintage amp running on modern domestic AC supplies, or to make it a little easier on certain output tubes.
     
  19. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Yep , that's about the right decrease. My BFDR runs about 455 volts+ with a Mullard GZ34. The only 6V6's that will stay in it long are the JJ's. I'm now running a 5V4 and down to maybe 445 volts. That's fine for me! The last NOS 5V4's I bought were $12 apiece.
     
  20. DCH

    DCH Supporting Member

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    Yep, it's a very handy tube if you want to drop a few volts.

    I just wanted to make it clear that it's a different rectifier tube than the OP was requesting, and that people shouldn't expect it to be a direct replacement. Most amps will sound and behave differently with a 5V4 than with a GZ34/5AR4 (which is why the Matchless DC30 lets you use two 5V4s in place of one GZ34 for a softer feel).

    Kind of like your results, I might even like it better than the GZ34 in this 2xEL84 15-watter (even though the amp was spec'd for GZ34). The amp's got just a hair more compression to the tone, and the EL84s are likely to last a little longer, too.
     

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