Help please......Tube question......

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by OldSchool, Jun 24, 2005.


  1. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    I just got a new Bruno Cow Tipper 100 on a trade here. Fantasic amp..........it came with Plilips 7581A Military Spec Tubes. 1 got broken in transit. These are kind of expensive. Matched sets are about $90. I see some really nice matched quads of JJ's, Grove Tubes coke bottles) and Electro Harmonix from $50-80.


    Right now I just stuck some old dusty 6L6 I robbed out of my maggie just to make the Bruno work. It sounds fantasic........mismatched Tube and all. Is it worth it to buy these Military spec tubes!? Should I just buy a new matched quad and throw the Philips in my Maggie and keep a spare!?


    What should I do before I waste Hard earned ca$h? Any and all comments welcome................thanks ahead of time!! :cool:
     
  2. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

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    I am here as you are here as you are me and we are
    I can't tell you what anything is worth to you, but here's some ideas:

    Why don't you test the Philips in the Maggie and see if they make an improvement?

    If they do, move them over.

    If they don't, then maybe try to find a single Philips (or a pair) that matches the originals? Find out where the Philips came from, and give them a call. They may have the specs they matched at.
     
  3. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd contact Bruno directly about this.

    Most important would be the Biasing if it is auto-biasing or not.
    Beyond that, although an amp might be designed around certain tubes, you should feel free to play around and see what sound you like yourself.
    One thing I notice with different tubes is a difference in Headroom and a brighter or darker sound.
     
  4. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    The extended life span of the JAN Philips 7581As (about 5:1 over new production 6l6s) is enough to justify the price. Tonally, it's up to you.
     
  5. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I hope this doesn't cause offense (and isn't directed only or particularly at you) but it never ceases to amaze me that people will spend a couple of thousand dollars on amp and then complain about the price of tubes - especially when the difference in price is so small... it's not as if you're talking about $200 vs. $50.

    It's like buying a Ferrari and then complaining that the proper tires are more expensive than remolds...

    Tubes are a vital part of the tone of an amp. Even if they didn't last any longer, I'd say that NOS 7581As were worth double a cheap modern-production type, and they do actually last at least five times longer as Mike says (I find it surprising that the difference is that small, actually).

    I would do exactly as tonedaddy suggested - try them in your other amp, if they make a big difference there, order a new set as well and that way you'll have great tubes in both amps and a spare one.
     
  6. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    I usually try to estimate on the low side. 5X is more than enough to justify the price difference so I'm conservative with my estimates.

    I echo your senitments on the expensive amp, cheap tube philosophy. It's a tough position to take as a NOS tube dealer, though, as rocks will surely be thrown at me;)

    I like to use the analogy of a Ferrari with KMart oil (if there were such a thing).

    To each his own.
     
  7. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    You know what amazes me? People who buy expensive stuff like guitars and amps on a whim and then sell them the next week at a discounted price. I don't know about you but I work damn hard for my money and I hate to waste it. If I don't understand something I ask..........My question was is the Military spec tube hype or worth it!? I just wanted to know my options. Just becuase you have a nice amp dosen't mean you have to now throw money into the wind.

    Bluestrat answered it best..........thank you.
     
  8. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    It's not so much the "Military tube hype" as it is the "Made in the USA or the Western world 30+ years ago" hype, versus "made in the third world today with crappy materials and craftsmanship" for Wallmart prices.

    There's actually no hype at all. Whether or not you prefer the tone is totally a personal issue.
     
  9. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    And you bought a Bruno???





    (a joke)





    :D




    Just another point of view: you could get a set of new manufacture tubes from several different makers for the cost of one set of NOS tubes, and then experiment to see which you like best.
     
  10. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Riff is such a card! (or as they say in New England, "a cod")
     
  11. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    I'd love to do that...........but then I have to get into the whole Biasing thing.........Not my bag. I'm just gonna buy 1 Tube , stick it in and I should be set for a long time coming in that amp..........:dude Thanks again for the help/suggestions............:cool:
     
  12. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    hey man, biasing your amp is FUN!!!! :D


    (and seriously, it's easy as pie)
     
  13. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    What Riff said. If you plan on owning a tube amp for any length of time, it's worth investing in a bias probe and learning to bias the amp yourself.

    In reality, you should be checking the bias of the tube(s) in your Cowtipper. To assume that the previous owner biased it correctly would be silly and could be dangerous.
     
  14. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    You guys are killing my new amp high............:(
     
  15. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    It's not a big deal, TRUST ME!;)

    Honestly, owning a tube amp is a responsibility that can't be taken too lightly.

    BTW, I got your order (minus shipping), thanks.

    As explained in my policy section, I don't warranty power tubes that aren't biased properly. Operate the tube at your own risk without biasing or let me know if you'd like to cancel the order.
     
  16. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    That was you!!? Here I am waiting for information from you guys and all along I was getting it anyway..........:rolleyes:


    Email sent...........:dude
     
  17. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Customer service;)
     

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