Vintage Ampeg's and Tube Availability

ChrisVereb

Member
Messages
2,118
I've been considering buying an older Ampeg combo lately and I'm curious if tube availability will be an issue. It seems like the older Ampeg's seem to contain tubes that are less common in amp designs now, and I'm somewhat hesitant to buy an older amp that would present problems with sourcing parts for maintenance. For instance, I was looking at a Gemini VI today and read that it takes a pair 7159A power tubes. That tube turns up 0 results at the tube store. I'm betting there's some supply out there, but what about in 10 years..and a what cost?

The prices are reasonable (IMO) on older Ampegs, and I realize it all comes down to risk assessment, but I'm curious if TGP has any input on this I hadn't considered. Or possibly alternate amps that sound like an old Ampeg Gemini that use more widely available tubes. I've really been enjoying Heath Fogg's (Alabama Shakes) tone lately for some context on what I'm hoping to get from the amp.
 

FFTT

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Messages
28,352
$120-$160 for a matched pair of NOS power tubes.

Many original preamp tubes may still be good.

Make sure tremolo and reverb are working.
 

ChrisVereb

Member
Messages
2,118
I believe they are 7591a.
http://www.thetubestore.com/Search?go=&search=7591a
http://www.kcanostubes.com/catalog/33


Gemini VI is an amazing amp.
If the price is good, get it.
I guess you can't trust everything on the internet:
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...-the-tube-order-in-an-ampeg-gemini-vi.310171/

A search for "ampeg gemini vi tubes" led me there, which lists it as 7159A instead of 7591a. There's a few other pages that incorrectly list it as 7159A as well, to where I didn't doubt it. Thanks for the heads up!
 

Hallogallo

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dewey decibel

Member
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10,736
A lot of those Gemini's have been converted to run 6L6s IIRC, so there's always that to consider. I have a Reverbojet here, runs the 7591As, they're used in old hi-fi gear and I know there are a couple that make them. Also has a 6U10 which I doubt is in production, but I don't think NOS are very expensive.
 

Leonc

Wild Gear Hearder
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,262
I've been considering buying an older Ampeg combo lately and I'm curious if tube availability will be an issue. It seems like the older Ampeg's seem to contain tubes that are less common in amp designs now, and I'm somewhat hesitant to buy an older amp that would present problems with sourcing parts for maintenance. For instance, I was looking at a Gemini VI today and read that it takes a pair 7159A power tubes. That tube turns up 0 results at the tube store. I'm betting there's some supply out there, but what about in 10 years..and a what cost?

The prices are reasonable (IMO) on older Ampegs, and I realize it all comes down to risk assessment, but I'm curious if TGP has any input on this I hadn't considered. Or possibly alternate amps that sound like an old Ampeg Gemini that use more widely available tubes. I've really been enjoying Heath Fogg's (Alabama Shakes) tone lately for some context on what I'm hoping to get from the amp.
First, as others have pointed out, you gotta spell it right -- it's 7591, not 7159. Makes all the diff in the world ;).

Meanwhile, here's what used 7591s have been selling for on eBay. If you're value-oriented, your best bet is to find some used old stock tubes that have been tested (and come out pretty good) and the seller will refund if you're not happy. Plenty of sellers will. You'll see you do not need to spend 120 bucks/pair if you're willing to buy tubes that not supposedly "new".
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,857
I've hauled home two organs with a pair of 7591s in each. Plus some other nice tubes like a real Mullard British GZ34.
Cost a little strain on my back and the guilt of saying "I'm hoping I can fix your grandmother's organ". Knowing I'm going to bone it out and toss the leftovers into the landfill.
99.9% chance it was going there any way and with all those nice tubes.
.
 

Grasley

Member
Messages
271
The 65amps Stone Pony runs on 7591's....very easy to find tubes for it.....the JJ's i tried were microphonic. Sent those back and got Tung-Sols
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,352
Mike at KCA has always treated me fairly.

I tried a guy in Florida and ended up with what was supposed to be a matched pair of 7591's only one was Sylvania, the other RCA.
I keep them for backup.
 




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