Vacuum Tubes

Chuck D. Bones

Circuit Wizard
We already know which one died first. Any guess as to which one will die last? I'd run a contest, but the 5881 might outlive me. The warranty on the Russian tube was 90 days. That's like no warranty at all. All of the risk is on the buyer when it comes to vacuum tubes, so I figure eBay is as safe a bet as buying new tubes, at least when it comes to power tubes.

vacuum tubes 02.jpg
 
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jubal81

Well-known member
And I've been wanting to switch over to 6V6s because I'm sick of replacing EL84s .... sigh.
 

Chuck D. Bones

Circuit Wizard
I have high expectations for the NOS tube I just bought. A couple of years back, I restored a '66 Deluxe Reverb for a friend of mine. It spent most of its life in storage. All tubes tested in-spec, including the 6V6s. I checked the bias and it was good too.

I put some JJ EL84's in my 15W amp two years ago and they're still working well. You could always look for NOS EL84/6BQ5. I can provide a link to the guy on eBay who sold me the 6V6 last week. He runs every tube on a curve tracer and provides test data. Matching is available for a nominal fee.
 

fig

Village Idiot
When I was 8 or 9, my dad bought a used console television/record player/radio. To me it looked like NASA guts. About a mile away was a 5 &10 that not only had the horse AND the spaceship ride out front, but something called a Tube Tester....right across the aisle from the pinball machine that never worked. I had no idea what it was for until I saw someone use it. I knew right away all of the tubes in my dad's entertainment center should be tested immediately, you know....as a surprise. I popped all of those glass beauties out in record time, threw them in a box, and away I went. As this is the abridged version, let's just say it never worked again.
 
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Chuck D. Bones

Circuit Wizard
Fig, thanks for the trip down memory lane.

I remember troubleshooting our old B&W TV set with my dad. The process went like this:
1. Look for tubes that didn't light up. The #1 failure mode was the filament burning-out.
2. Swap tubes with the same part number and see if the problem changed or went away.
3. Take the suspects down to the local grocery store and run 'em on the tube tester.

The cabinet under the tube tester held new tubes for sale.

Ahhh, the good old days.
 

jubal81

Well-known member
I usually buy the Russian 6P14P, which is closer to a 7189. They used to last about a year, but I've had some bad luck lately and they're getting a lot hard to find and a LOT more expensive. Man, I miss the 'good 'ol days' of 8 years ago. :rolleyes:

The power section on my amp is AC15, but I've raised the screen resistors and rebiased to try to not run them so hot. Been meaning to build a class D power amp to used with my tube preamp pedal. Hopefully get around to that some day.

Anyway, I'd appreciate supplier recommendations, cause even Tube Depot let me down last time.
 

Harry Klippton

Well-known member
I usually buy the Russian 6P14P, which is closer to a 7189. They used to last about a year, but I've had some bad luck lately and they're getting a lot hard to find and a LOT more expensive. Man, I miss the 'good 'ol days' of 8 years ago. :rolleyes:

The power section on my amp is AC15, but I've raised the screen resistors and rebiased to try to not run them so hot. Been meaning to build a class D power amp to used with my tube preamp pedal. Hopefully get around to that some day.

Anyway, I'd appreciate supplier recommendations, cause even Tube Depot let me down last time.
I got a little stash of those 6P14P tubes a few months ago but haven't (had to) put them in any of my amps yet
 

Paradox916

Well-known member
1276CD2B-77B1-4907-8382-B7DBA852345A.jpeg

I scored these at a garage sale for $25 a bout 3 years ago they are in my Mesa still going strong.

I only ever bought one set of grove tubes..... never again... one of the 12ax7s lasted maybe a week and another one was DOA.
 
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danfrank

Well-known member
Groove tubes used to be good, until Aspen Pitman sold the company off, I think Fender bought it.
As for Chuck's russian 6V6 tubes... They suck!! End of story. The russians can handle around 330-350volts max, they don't last any time at all in old Fender amps because of the high plate voltages. The only currently produced tube that can handle the voltages of the old Deluxe/DRs is the JJ 6V6-S, it's a pretty robust tube.
BTW, I have a couple of NOS Westinghouse 891-R triodes that are good for 2-3kW in single ended Class "A" service, if anyone is interested... The filaments of each tube takes 22 volts at 60 amps! Lol.
 

Chuck D. Bones

Circuit Wizard
LoL. A stereophile friend of mine brought a Russian directly heated triode to work one time to test it out. The filament power was something like 50W and it was blinding.
 

cooder

Well-known member
My experience with the heavy duty Russian 6P14P-EV (EL84 alike) is so far pretty good, didn't have one dying.
And apart from that I like to drool over my vintage stash and hope that I won't need to put them in too early...

ualTW7B.jpg


p9wekME.jpg
 

danfrank

Well-known member
My experience with the heavy duty Russian 6P14P-EV (EL84 alike) is so far pretty good, didn't have one dying.
And apart from that I like to drool over my vintage stash and hope that I won't need to put them in too early...

ualTW7B.jpg


p9wekME.jpg
Wow! What a great looking display! I'm also envious of the tubes you have.
The 6P14P-EV is probably the most rugged EL84 type easily available. The "EV" in the code means "militarized" so it's a ruggedized version and is rated for longer lifetime. Not all 6P14P tubes are the same, the "EV" version is the one to get.
 

danfrank

Well-known member
Speaking of EL84 types, this is a weird one but a great one: The 6DZ7...
It's actually TWO 7189 tubes in one glass envelope, and they can take the 400+ volts of a lot of tube amps. These were widely available 20+ years ago and cheap (under $5 each) until a foreign buyer bought every last one of them from all the tube distributers in the US. Screenshot_20210811-110221~2.png
 

Chuck D. Bones

Circuit Wizard
That 🖕 was for the foreign buyer, not you danfrank.

Cooder, don't you get earthquakes down there in NZ? I hope those tube are retained in some way. Some people have a wine cellar, you have a valve cellar.

Jonnytexas, is that vintage DR not the sweetest amp? I had my buddy's '66 here for a few months while he was deciding whether he wanted to sell it. Pure heaven. Some people pooh-pooh the neon bulb tremolo, but I love it. Reverb tank is exquisite as well. Yours look perfect.
 
That 🖕 was for the foreign buyer, not you danfrank.

Cooder, don't you get earthquakes down there in NZ? I hope those tube are retained in some way. Some people have a wine cellar, you have a valve cellar.

Jonnytexas, is that vintage DR not the sweetest amp? I had my buddy's '66 here for a few months while he was deciding whether he wanted to sell it. Pure heaven. Some people pooh-pooh the neon bulb tremolo, but I love it. Reverb tank is exquisite as well. Yours look perfect.
An absolutely outstanding amp. It is loud enough (clean loud) for almost any room I play without a mic, yet retains great tone at lower gigging volumes. Eats pedals for breakfast. Best I have ever have had. The tremolo is cool, but I usually use a pedal to avoid taking the footswitch to gigs. Reverb never goes off!! I have been meaning to get the original speaker reconed, but the GA-64 Eminence I have in it will be difficult to unseat.
I aquired it in a trade and I could not believe the condition when I first saw it. The dude I got it from had told me "yeah, I have an old Deluxe, I don't really like it." He made it sound like it was a POS. One man's trash and all that.
 
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