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rectifier tubes question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by thesjkexperienc, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^ Silver Supporting Member

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    What is the differences in tone or performance in the older nos tubes verses the new models? Specifically the GZ-34. I have the JJ that came with the amp, but was wondering why some of the NOS models go for well over $100. Is the tone different or is it just the durability and longevity of the tubes themselves?

    Thanks.
     
  2. nitehawk55

    nitehawk55 Member

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    NOS rectifiers like the Philips/Mullard GZ34/5AR4 have a slower warm up time and a slightly higher output of voltage than that produced by current production rectifiers . With them performing better at supplying the DC voltage a lot of amps will benifit from that by sounding a bit more lively , tighter and focused . Reliability of these NOS tubes is far beyond the Russian/Chinese made ones and will last many years....possably the lifetime of the amp . In most cases you are lucky to get a couple years from the others if they don't have a sudden failure and cause damage to your amp .
    The USA made Sylvania " Fat Boy" rectifiers are fine too and can be a bit cheaper than the Mullard type .
    If you plan on keeping the amp investing in a good NOS or a used one that tests good from a reputable seller is a good investment .
     
  3. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^ Silver Supporting Member

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    Great thanks! I am used to 5y3 rectifiers and their cheap prices. The cost for the big guys is a little daunting, but I do plan on keeping the amp for a long time, so I guess I save up for one before the JJ blows.
     
  4. nitehawk55

    nitehawk55 Member

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    If you amp uses EL84's or 6V6 type tubes try a NOS 5V4GA tube......they are a bit softer and slightly less output that the GZ34's .
     
  5. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    If nothing else, keep backups for your new production rectifiers (really, all tubes). The new production rectos don't tend to last very long and it sucks to be dead in the water on a gig for the sake of a $20 rectifier tube.

    Some guys do notice an improvement in tone or, more likely, feel of a NOS rectifier. The Russian rectos are particularly sketchy as their 5Y3s and 5AR4s aren't even truly what they pretend to be. They both produce higher than correct plate voltages which can make an amp feel stiffer and the tone shrill.

    YMMV.
     
  6. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^ Silver Supporting Member

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    My favorite tube guy has some NOS for $95 and that seems smarter to buy once instead of buying new production over and over again. I also dont want to deal with a broken amp should one fail. The amp in question is a Swart and takes either GZ-34 or 5y3 and I missed the punch of the big guy. My 5y3 are great and sweet sounding nos tubes from Blue Strat. It also takes 6L6 or EL -34. I have a stash of NOS 6v6 from my tweed amps and found the Marconi to be the best over all sound. I have a GE in the first position and a new production tung sol in second and a JJ 12dw7 in third. Looking to change that one as well.
     
  7. nitehawk55

    nitehawk55 Member

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    And you can always stick the JJ in the amp if you do sell and keep the NOS for your next amp .
     
  8. nitehawk55

    nitehawk55 Member

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    Forgot to mention if you want a very rugged 5Y3 type rectifier get a Bendix 6106 .....I believe Blue strat has them .
     
  9. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^ Silver Supporting Member

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    I got some super sweet, slow warm up, coke bottle by Mazda? I bought four I liked them so much.
     
  10. nitehawk55

    nitehawk55 Member

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    I've never had any Mazda's but I've read good reports on them .
     
  11. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^ Silver Supporting Member

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    I had some of the small phillips 5y3 and I got some slow to warm up tubes as three of the amps we have dont have a standby switch. Little did I know they would add an incredible sweetness to the tone.

    Do different GZ-34 tubes sound really different or is it just durability?
     
  12. nitehawk55

    nitehawk55 Member

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    Sound is more noticable in some amps than others but all I can tell you is I sold off most of my Phillips/Mullard type GZ34's a year ago ( about 10 ) to most of the fellows on the Dr. Z forum ( not all were used in DR. Z amps ) and most were really impressed with the difference over the Russian/Chinese rectifiers , some claiming it made a very noticable to others saying a slight difference but all comments posative.

    No question on the durability .
     
  13. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^ Silver Supporting Member

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    So, why did you sell them all? Found something better?
     

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