Tube rolling 2018

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floid
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Tube rolling 2018

Post by floid » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:55 pm

I'm always too broke to really do it right with NOS. And trying to figure out exactly how different/better new makes are seems like a bottomless rabbit hole.
What are you digging? What's overhyped? What sux?
Mainly interested in various preamp tubes right now - ef86, 12a*7, ecc88, etc.
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Nick Sevilla
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Re: Tube rolling 2018

Post by Nick Sevilla » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:20 pm

NOS is overrated. the problem is getting one or a pair or whatever, which actually work as advertised.

Check this out:

https://www.tubesandmore.com/products/vacuum_tubes

I have been using Electroharmonix for years with good results. This company makes the following tubes:

https://newsensor.com/

That is a subsidiary of Electroharmonix. Good company.
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floid
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Re: Tube rolling 2018

Post by floid » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:14 pm

Looking over the new sensor page, I see electro harmonix, genalex, mullard, jj, etc etc. I'm aware this is a small market with few players. But it's easy to find discussions that run along the lines of, "JJ's suck. Get Genalex." Or whatever.
Except, they're both New Sensor, yeah?
I've got a few pieces of gear that I really would like to roll just to see what I can hear, and vice versa. Some of the old crusties from my shoebox do make quite a difference, probably 'cos they're on their last legs. But if I'm shelling out $20, $40, and $60 for examples of the exact same tube with different labels and, maybe, different tolerances...
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Re: Tube rolling 2018

Post by kslight » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:04 pm

Theres a lot of snake oil. There’s some truth to stuff on its last legs sounding great though for sure.

I’ve taken amps and totally redid them with new matched whatever JJ sets...and it sounded good...but the amps sounded good prior too :???:

I’ve also got an amp which has the most random mismatched (older but not cork sniffer brands) tubes imaginable...and it sounds great. :high:

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Re: Tube rolling 2018

Post by Nick Sevilla » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:41 pm

floid wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:14 pm
Looking over the new sensor page, I see electro harmonix, genalex, mullard, jj, etc etc. I'm aware this is a small market with few players. But it's easy to find discussions that run along the lines of, "JJ's suck. Get Genalex." Or whatever.
Except, they're both New Sensor, yeah?
I've got a few pieces of gear that I really would like to roll just to see what I can hear, and vice versa. Some of the old crusties from my shoebox do make quite a difference, probably 'cos they're on their last legs. But if I'm shelling out $20, $40, and $60 for examples of the exact same tube with different labels and, maybe, different tolerances...
Rabbit hole.
Yes, all those brands are ONE company making them. Year ago, Mike Matthews, owner of Electro Harmonix, travelled to Russia and other places which still had tube factories, and bought them all. So, a Russian tube is still made in Russia, but marketed now by New Sensor Corp.

I praise Mike for saving the tube industry, almost singlehandedly. He hardly gets enough credit for this.
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Re: Tube rolling 2018

Post by Nick Sevilla » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:43 pm

kslight wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:04 pm
Theres a lot of snake oil. There’s some truth to stuff on its last legs sounding great though for sure.

I’ve taken amps and totally redid them with new matched whatever JJ sets...and it sounded good...but the amps sounded good prior too :???:

I’ve also got an amp which has the most random mismatched (older but not cork sniffer brands) tubes imaginable...and it sounds great. :high:
When re tubing an amplifier, you almost always have to REBIAS it as well, to make sure the new tubes are getting their correct voltages. I check my guitar amps about once a year, or before an important recording session, to make sure they are within spec. Most manufacturers can tell you how to do it, it is not hard at all (but can be dangerous depending on their design).
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Re: Tube rolling 2018

Post by markjazzbassist » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:45 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:41 pm
Yes, all those brands are ONE company making them. Year ago, Mike Matthews, owner of Electro Harmonix, travelled to Russia and other places which still had tube factories, and bought them all. So, a Russian tube is still made in Russia, but marketed now by New Sensor Corp.
that's false. That website is selling a ton of different brands that they don't make. Here is how it goes:

Tung Sol, Electro Harmonix, Mullard, Sovtek, Svetlana are all New Sensor which is Electro-Harmonix and Mike Matthews.
JJ are made in Slovakia.
Winged C are Russian tubes made by what used to be Svetlana before EHX bought/got rights to the name.
Sino/Ruby, TAD (Tube Amp Doctor) are made in China.
Fender, Peavey, Groove Tubes, etc. are all re-branded tubes bought from one of the above, they aren't specific and come from any of Russia, Slovakia or China.

This link has the factories. https://www.amplifiedparts.com/tube-factories


I have found the JJ tubes to be the most reliable and best priced. EHX and New Sensor tubes i have not liked, i have found many to be too brittle in the high end (i'm a bass player keep that in mind, you might like the sheen). JJ have the most low end other than NOS.

NOS it's gotta be RCA/GE stuff from the 60's/70's. Warm Warm Warm. Had some Telefunkens but i find those to be very clear and precise sounding with less coloration. Some cheap but good would be Sylvania i found they were pretty warm like an RCA or GE but had more midrange crunch.

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Re: Tube rolling 2018

Post by kslight » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:04 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:43 pm
kslight wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:04 pm
Theres a lot of snake oil. There’s some truth to stuff on its last legs sounding great though for sure.

I’ve taken amps and totally redid them with new matched whatever JJ sets...and it sounded good...but the amps sounded good prior too :???:

I’ve also got an amp which has the most random mismatched (older but not cork sniffer brands) tubes imaginable...and it sounds great. :high:
When re tubing an amplifier, you almost always have to REBIAS it as well, to make sure the new tubes are getting their correct voltages. I check my guitar amps about once a year, or before an important recording session, to make sure they are within spec. Most manufacturers can tell you how to do it, it is not hard at all (but can be dangerous depending on their design).
I have a cute little gadget that installs in a tube socket to check it myself, and I regularly bring my amps in for service. Had to add a bias trimmer to my Bassman. I assumed this detail was a given...though I can’t guess what others at home do... :alien:

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Re: Tube rolling 2018

Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:13 am

markjazzbassist wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:45 am
Nick Sevilla wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:41 pm
Yes, all those brands are ONE company making them. Year ago, Mike Matthews, owner of Electro Harmonix, travelled to Russia and other places which still had tube factories, and bought them all. So, a Russian tube is still made in Russia, but marketed now by New Sensor Corp.
that's false. That website is selling a ton of different brands that they don't make. Here is how it goes:

Thanks for the clarification. Cheers!!!
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Re: Tube rolling 2018

Post by vvv » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:44 pm

I own a few (Ok, under 10) tube amps.
I bought a bias meter, have read how to do it, seen the vids.

In the past, I accidentally took 120v. futzing with a amp - reached back in immediately and did it again. :shock: Not uncommon, I'm told.

Anywhat, I've never biased an amp, some of what I've been playing since the 80's.
I change tubes only as needed - which for me means when they burn up or break.

Now, I'm not a road dog, firing up for a gig every night.
My amps might be on for 3-4 hours for a cuppla nights a month, max.
Some get played a half-hour, 1x a month or every other, even.

Truth be told, I had to re-cap and change a tranny inna '60 Rick M8E.
Otherwise the only repairs are the usual maintenance shite like pots and switches.
I did put fans in a couple of the hotter amps.

I do buy matched power tubes on the theory that they are a little more stable - they are matched to each other, but not biased for, altho' I tend to stick with Groove tubes or JJ's.

All sound good.

I also like 12AT7's or even AY's instead of 12AX7's in my Tiny Terror and Pro,Jr - cleans 'em up some, gives more headroom. (AU's are too quiet, but good in recording preamps and mics.) New, I'll usually get JJ's, but I like to buy used old tubes, particularly GE's. I think in 30+ years of playing tube amps, I've burned up 3 or 4 pre-amp tubes, altho' I have broken a few more.

I seem to burn up a power tube or 2 a year (I have 6L6's, EL34's, and EL84's in my various amps.)
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Re: Tube rolling 2018

Post by floid » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:49 pm

markjazzbassist wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:45 am
I have found the JJ tubes to be the most reliable and best priced. EHX and New Sensor tubes i have not liked, i have found many to be too brittle in the high end (i'm a bass player keep that in mind, you might like the sheen). JJ have the most low end other than NOS.

NOS it's gotta be RCA/GE stuff from the 60's/70's. Warm Warm Warm. Had some Telefunkens but i find those to be very clear and precise sounding with less coloration. Some cheap but good would be Sylvania i found they were pretty warm like an RCA or GE but had more midrange crunch.
Cool. JJ's have kinda been my default new tube for years. Did not like them in my Valco though - lost it's "thing". Stuck the old Sylvanias back in.

GE 5751s have been good in some mics and pre's.

What about gold pin versions?
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Re: Tube rolling 2018

Post by KennyLusk » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:37 pm

For preamps:

I've always found JJ's to be reliably good.

JAN Philips 12AT7's always good.

Lately I've been very impressed with Psvane 12AX7's and 12AT7's. The sound is "hi-fi". To my ears they have less distortion than my RCA's, Sylvania's and GE's. Psvane's cost more, but they are well worth it IMO.
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