Tung Sol 5881 Reissue

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by templar, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. hasserl

    hasserl Member

    Messages:
    4,719
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal
    On a side note, a '62 Bassman is a pretty special amp, it deserves only the best. I'm not sure I'd leave it in the hands of a tech that wants to put Sovteks in it. Are you sure this is the guy that you want working on this amp? I'd be looking for someone who specializes in vintage amp restorations. The amp is worth the extra effort.

    But that aside, it's kind of a shame to only use it for bass when it makes such a great guitar amp, and there are lots of amps out there that work better for bass. Have you considered selling the Bassman, which should bring in a tidy sum, and buying a bass amp? If you want to stick with a nice vintage amp an Ampeg B18 would be really cool, and IMO better for bass.
     
  2. 64lusso

    64lusso Guest

    Actually I have not considered selling it and most likely won't because of sentimental value. I got a brand new Precision Bass for my 15'th birthday in 1966 and then used my summer job money plus some contribution from my aunt to buy this amp (I wanted a new B-15 if my memory is right but this was the best I could afford at the time). I used it for a guitar amp when I switched around 1971 but I remember it having weird overtones and it got put away after I could afford something better. Through the years I have always sold whatever I had to finance the next thing I wanted but for some reason I never sold either this amp or the bass so I will most likely keep it and I do realize it wouldn't keep up in a modern gig but I would like it to work as good as it can. The guy who is working on it is well respected locally but he is not a vintage amp specialist at all and I don't know where I would find somebody like that around here (central Va). So far all he has done is check it out, I could pay him for his time and send it somewhere else if someone can give me any ideas.
    Jay
     
  3. hasserl

    hasserl Member

    Messages:
    4,719
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal
    Hey look, maybe I ws out of line. I apologize if I was. I can certainly understand sentimental reasons for keeping things, especially guitars and amps. I hope you can keep it forever and pass it on to someone who will cherish it when your time on this earth is over. Please don't be offended.

    Recapping an amp is not technically difficult, I'm sure the guy will do a good job. I shouldn't be so quick to judge him. You might suggest to him you'd like to make sure the amp retains full value, you want to use top line parts. Sprague filter caps tend to be the standard for a good recap job on those amps. Ask him if that is wat he will use. Can you supply tubes? That's not always possible, it's like taking sparkplugs with you when you take your car in for service and asking the mechanic to use them. But if he's okay with it you might want to contact Mike at KCA NOS Tubes, you can find his posts in this thread, and get his reccomendation for that amp. He can set you up with a set of tubes that will give you good results while maintaining the value of the amp.
     
  4. 64lusso

    64lusso Guest

    Geez---not offended in the slightest. I have had so many nice instruments pass through my hands through the years, you just gave me a chance to talk about the only two that I didn't let slip away!
    Actually, I had emailed KCA this morning with the very question you suggested after seeing his post in one of these threads, haven't heard back yet. I would hope this guy would let me supply the tubes and I will check with him to request sprauge caps. He wasn't going to order anything until I gave him a deposit so I should still be in good shape.
    thanks--Jay
     
  5. hasserl

    hasserl Member

    Messages:
    4,719
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal
    Cool, things can get misunderstood too easily on boards like this, where you can't see the person you're talking to. :AOK
     
  6. VintageJon

    VintageJon Member

    Messages:
    153
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    Austin TX
    I would go for the 6L6GC rather than a 5881, for bass applications especially. THe 5881 won't have the headroom or power you can get from a good 6L6GC.
    I recommend the Ruby 6L6GCMSTR. BE SURE it has this suffix as Ruby sells a lot of different tubes. Have seen these run for years and I can't tell 8 year old from brand new!

    It is well known that I don't like plot-against-moose-and-squirrel Sovtek. That being said it depends on where you are. In NYC or L.A. or San Francisco they do well. HUH? It's the shipping that seems to be the logical suspect. (I'm in Austin TX and they don't do well here..)

    64lusso- WHERE are you??

    I would insist on low wattage screen resistors as screen-collaspe is the usual failure mode for these and they can make a real mess with a 3W screen resistor. (Low wattage resistor will act as a fuse...)

    -Jon
     
  7. 64lusso

    64lusso Guest

    Jon,
    I think you lost me on the Rocky and Bullwinkle reference about location, Why would Sovteks do well in some places but not others? I am in central Va by the way only a few hour south of KCA referenced above.
    Thanks for ecouraging me to check out 6L6s that's the kind of thing I want to make sure I explore before I spend the money. Will the amp take those without some other adjustments?
    Jay
     
  8. SteveStrat

    SteveStrat Member

    Messages:
    235
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    Richland, WA
    I got mine from thetubestore.com. Nice tube, they sound great in my '66 Bassman. Don't know how they sound compared to the originals though. For what is worth, I have played them next to my Sovteks, and the TungSol's sound much better. Better bass and smoother, more articulate top end. The Sovtek are real glassy and brittle sounding to me.

    Steve
     
  9. VintageJon

    VintageJon Member

    Messages:
    153
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    Austin TX
    Amen on the "...brittle...", Steve.

    Jay, I think they get damaged in shipping, as do so many tubes. Sovteks show a high number of screen failures here.

    The 6L6GC is just a more robust 5881 and runs with no changes other than normal bias adjustment.

    May The Tone Be With You,
    Jon
     
  10. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,523
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    out in the cornfields
    Well I bought a pair of these tubes for my Marshall Bluesbreaker RI, and took it to my tech for re-biasing to accomodate these and the filter cap change to lower the filtering in the amp for a more vintage sound. Well guess what... THE TUBES FAILED. Right off the bat, he said they kept popping the fuse, then he stuck the POS Sovteks back in, and the amp was fine.

    I ordered from thetubestore.com, and they are mailing me a new pair overnight, so the new ones will come in tomorrow. I'll make my final judgements then.

    Guess what I've had 3 pairs of REAL Tung Sols in my life, and lots of NOS RCA's, GE's and JAN Phillips 6L6 "family" tubes, and NONE of them went bad when getting biased up, not ONE pair, in fact none of them ever went bad period, they just got sold in various amps over the years. This really steams me...:mad:
     
  11. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,048
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    Don't worry, be happy!:dude

    Surely, you don't live in a world where nothing goes wrong. Does anything ever go wrong where you work? ;)

    Be happy that they're overnighting replacements to you. NOTHING, including US made tubes, is immune from failure (especially when you buy tubes from Canada :AOK).
     
  12. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,523
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    out in the cornfields
    Of course not, everything goes wrong at my work, I'm a claims adjuster, NOTHING is ever right.;)

    Hopefully the new ones work better, I paid for the overnight, because I'm going out of town tomorrow for a private gig, and wanted the Marshall, but I may be taking the Victoria instead, as there is nothing wrong with it.
     
  13. VintageJon

    VintageJon Member

    Messages:
    153
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    Austin TX
    It's what I've been saying all along about Reflektor Factory and shipping...

    Sorry to hear of the failure, but I'm not surprised...

    The Vicky may be a good choice anyway!

    -Jon
     
  14. twangbanger

    twangbanger Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Location:
    Rockford Il USA
    just slapped a set of them in my bassman and had to change the bias resistor to get the amperage draw from 43 ma to 36 ma. They sound great !although I don't have an original set to compare them too. I think they sound alittle more compressed than the SED 6L6's I had in there, but still very warm and punchy with maybe alittle softer top end. But turn up the treble and wow you have a very chimey tone! I did n't here any vol drop between the 6L6 and the 5881.
    Rob
     
  15. templar

    templar Member

    Messages:
    45
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Coppell, TX, USA
    No drop in volume? That's great news to me! I have used the Sovtek 5881's for a long time in my amps because I liked the price, the overall sound and dependability of the tube for the most part, although I'm sure they in no way compare with a real set of Tung Sol 5881's, or the reissues. The difference in output between the Sovteks, and a SED 6L6 was just something I always accepted. What did you pay for the reissues?
     
  16. twangbanger

    twangbanger Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Location:
    Rockford Il USA
    templar they were 47.95 + shipping at thetubestore.com My total was 54.90 and received them in 4 days! I wouldn't think that rebiasing would change output level but as I said I didn't notice any change in vol and I actually hoping for alittle drop so I could push the amp harder!
    Rob
     
  17. templar

    templar Member

    Messages:
    45
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Coppell, TX, USA
    thanks for the info twangbanger! doug roccoforte seems be a big fan of these TS 5881 reissues. i'm sure that there will be some bum tubes from time to time just like any others. so far from most everything i've been reading, they are getting good marks. i'm thinking about trying a quad in my slo-100.
     
  18. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,523
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    out in the cornfields
    Guess what THE SECOND SET popped too... As soon as I put them in the amp, I got a loud crackling sound, and then it blew the fuse. Popped the Sovteks in, NO PROBLEM. Popped in a set of EH 6L6's that I had laying around and again NO PROBLEM.

    No more Tung Sol Reissues for me, I'm done, two sets failed is at least, one set too many for me.
     
  19. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,048
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    Wow! That's definitely odd. My limited experience with these has been good so far.

    Did you try adjusting your bias to the coldest setting before plugging them in?
     
  20. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,048
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    As opposed to say China or Slovakia? You'e kidding right? ;)

    I've had no worse luck with Reflektor tubes (the few that I carry) than any of the other "third world tubes" out there.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice