Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

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Larsongs
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Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by Larsongs » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:05 am

Have any here swapped out the Tubes in their Fender Amps with Tung Sol's? I own a RI 65 Princeton Reverb, DRRI & a Twin.

I swapped the Chinese Tubes in my Vox AC10 (with upgraded Celestion Greenback Speaker) to JJ's & it sounded better. Then I tried a new Set of Tung Sol's & Man! It's a different Amp! I had to stand back for second or two! It sounds day & night better.

I like the improvement of Sound so much I've ordered another Set for my Vox AC15CC1X....

Curious about my Fenders now.....

Thanks,

Lars

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Re: Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by Sid Nitzerglobin » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:46 am

The New Sensor Tung Sol RIs are my go to for modern production tubes for American voiced amps. Haven't tried their 6L6s but their 6V6s , 5881s, 5AR4, and 7591s (and 12AX7s) have worked great in everything I've put them in (Fender wise a couple DRRIs and a '79 DR, for the Ampegs GVT-5 & 15H, Jet J-12-D, and Gemini VI GS-15-R, for the boutiques the Dr. Z Z-28 and Remedy and Swart AST Pro). They've definitely seemed well worth the money over pretty much any other make that the amps came to me w/. Generally speaking they seem clearer, more precise, and w/ a more interesting break up character than JJs, GrooveTubes, EHXs, Sovteks, etc. that I'll usually run into them equipped w/.

I've liked the NOS Tung Sols in the Fenders and Swart too, but the RIs are alot easier and cheaper to get a hold of and in some cases led to sounds that I was happier w/...

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Re: Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by øøøøøøø » Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:59 pm

see if you can save up just a bit more and get some NOS RCA (or even "used, tests new") 6V6s for the output tubes, and any old American or Western European 12AX7 for the first preamp tube.

You might be surprised that the night and day difference is even greater!

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Re: Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by Larsongs » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:34 pm

Did RCA's come with Fender Amps back in the day?

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Re: Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by DeathJag » Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:07 am

Seems like filling up a Twin or something with vintage tubes is an expensive proposition! I realize it’s what, 80 year old technology and big manufacturers aren’t making them anymore, but why can’t new tubes be made with the same specs?

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Re: Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by øøøøøøø » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:19 am

Larsongs wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:34 pm
Did RCA's come with Fender Amps back in the day?
Yes, Fender amps in Leo's era (and actually into the 1980s) shipped near-universally with RCA tubes (or in the case of the Mullard GZ34s, RCA-badged tubes).

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Re: Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by øøøøøøø » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:26 am

DeathJag wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:07 am
Seems like filling up a Twin or something with vintage tubes is an expensive proposition! I realize it’s what, 80 year old technology and big manufacturers aren’t making them anymore, but why can’t new tubes be made with the same specs?
Short answers (no time for a long answer at the moment):

COULD be expensive. Or could be less-expensive than you think. 6L6s are more expensive than 6V6s. If you only do the tubes that matter most (output tubes and first preamp tubes) and leave the stock tubes in less-critical locations for now, it could even be less-expensive than a "complete re-tube" with New Sensor "Tung Sol" badged tubes, and give way better results.

New tubes absolutely cannot be made to the same specs, and likely never will again. We could expound at length on why (it's interesting!) but it's not for lack of caring or trying.

It's due primarily to an entire industry-wide infrastructure that's gone and is never coming back. A few factors (there are more):
  • Very expensive tooling that has long-since been destroyed or dismantled, and the demand for tubes will never be great enough to re-engineer or re-make it.
  • Engineering know-how that was developed over a century of perfecting these designs that has died or forgotten how, and the knowledge was never passed-down. So the wheel must be re-invented
  • Perhaps most importantly, entire raw materials supply chains that do not exist anymore, and there simply isn't the industry to support them. Even if New Sensor could put together the tubes just as well, they'd have nowhere to source the same quality of raw materials that made the mid-20th-century tubes go
There are more, but that's a start. We will never see truly great tubes again, unless something drastic changes. Remember, the military was the primary driver of innovations and quality standards in tubes. And they largely don't need tubes anymore. Consumer electronics, even when tubes were in EVERYTHING, would've never been enough of a market force to make the kind of tubes we had.

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Re: Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by DeathJag » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:43 am

øøøøøøø wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:26 am
New tubes absolutely cannot be made to the same specs, and likely never will again. We could expound at length on why (it's interesting!) but it's not for lack of caring or trying.

It's due primarily to an entire industry-wide infrastructure that's gone and is never coming back. A few factors (there are more):
  • Very expensive tooling that has long-since been destroyed or dismantled, and the demand for tubes will never be great enough to re-engineer or re-make it.
  • Engineering know-how that was developed over a century of perfecting these designs that has died or forgotten how, and the knowledge was never passed-down. So the wheel must be re-invented
  • Perhaps most importantly, entire raw materials supply chains that do not exist anymore, and there simply isn't the industry to support them. Even if New Sensor could put together the tubes just as well, they'd have nowhere to source the same quality of raw materials that made the mid-20th-century tubes go
There are more, but that's a start. We will never see truly great tubes again, unless something drastic changes. Remember, the military was the primary driver of innovations and quality standards in tubes. And they largely don't need tubes anymore. Consumer electronics, even when tubes were in EVERYTHING, would've never been enough of a market force to make the kind of tubes we had.
Wow. So it’s completely by accident / default that tube amps were ever invented. Wow!

That’s a GREAT tip about just replacing sound-important tubes. I’m a complete dummy so I’ve really enjoyed this thread.

What about JJ & Ruby? A google search turned up this Stewmac bundle of a Twin tube set:

https://www.stewmac.com/Pickups_and_Ele ... Tubes.html

“About Ruby Tubes:
Ruby tests each tube in its US-based warehouse for dependability, microphonics, noise, plate current and transconductance. Their custom designed equipment precisely and accurately measures every aspect of tube performance. A final check is completed by hand independently to ensure you're getting the best tube for your money.

About JJ Tubes:
JJ is one of the only tube companies that manufactures every component of its tubes in house. Each tube is burned-in to ensure stability. Throughout the process they rigorously test insulation characteristics, vacuum level, cathode emission efficiency, filament voltage, plate currents, and microphonics. Each batch of tubes is sampled and undergoes several thousand hours of additional reliability testing so that you know you are getting a high quality product.”

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Re: Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by tdbajus » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:48 am

I think the Tung Sol 5881 are amazing sounding tubes. When the RCAs in my brownface Pro die, I'm going to get it set up with those.

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Re: Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by øøøøøøø » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:26 am

I don't know that I'd go so far as to say that tube amps were invented by accident-- it's more that consumer electronics (like guitar amps, and radios, and televisions) benefitted substantially from what the military needed, and the demand they drove, and the level of quality they needed. That trickled down to the consumer side (in the same way that racing innovations in engines and brakes trickle down to regular passenger cars).

As far as brands of tubes-- I'd say that generalizations are risky. JJ makes a very nice 6V6, for instance, but I don't much care for their 12AX7, and I've had serious issues with their 5AR4/GZ34 rectifier in the past. Ruby (which is a brand for tubes made in China) markets a very nice-sounding 6L6GC, but I don't much care for their 6V6, etc.

As for being selective about which tubes you replace and where you put your money-- it really is worth it.

For instance, in the Deluxe Reverb, Twin Reverb, etc., one of the tubes is for the tremolo oscillator. It is not in the signal path at all, and makes no difference to the operation of the amp as long as it's working. It's a great place to put your least-expensive tube. I'd never put a nice tube in there, even if I had infinite money. It's just a waste.

Also, there's one tube that runs the preamp for the "Normal" channel, and one that runs the preamp for the "Vibrato" channel. If you use both, then put decent tubes in both. But if you only ever use one or the other, put any old tube in the one you don't use. If you like to take advantage of the reverb and tremolo, and as a result never use the "normal" channel, then don't waste a nice tube there.

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Re: Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:10 pm

I've often wondered what my Delta Blues would sound like with vintage, or just better, tubes, but I haven't done it. Any suggestions for brands with Peavey amps?
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Re: Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by øøøøøøø » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:37 am

Not specifically. American 20th century brands like GE, Sylvania, RCA, Tung Sol (original), etc. tend to have great longevity and sound better as a rule than modern-production tubes.

Western European brands like Mullard, Valvo, Amperex, and Telefunken tend to be very nice, but pricey.

In a Peavey amp, I'd be inclined to just rock new production tubes, honestly. Get some decent-sounding new stuff and just play.

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Re: Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:51 pm

øøøøøøø wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:37 am
Not specifically. American 20th century brands like GE, Sylvania, RCA, Tung Sol (original), etc. tend to have great longevity and sound better as a rule than modern-production tubes.

Western European brands like Mullard, Valvo, Amperex, and Telefunken tend to be very nice, but pricey.

In a Peavey amp, I'd be inclined to just rock new production tubes, honestly. Get some decent-sounding new stuff and just play.
I'll have to look to see what's in there. I suspect JJ's, as my Classic 50 had JJ's from the factory.
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Re: Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by Larsongs » Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:49 pm

Is there an Amp Forum where they have discussions about Tube Rolling? What or which Tubes & or combinations of different Tubes that work best in different Amps? Even Video Reviews?

I know it's subjective but could be very informative & interesting...

Thanks,

Lars

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Re: Tung Sol's in Fender Amp?

Post by Despot » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:58 am

øøøøøøø wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:59 pm
see if you can save up just a bit more and get some NOS RCA (or even "used, tests new") 6V6s for the output tubes, and any old American or Western European 12AX7 for the first preamp tube.

You might be surprised that the night and day difference is even greater!
100% this.

Try Watford Valves if you're in the EU - they have reasonably good stocks of NOS 6V6s.

I put a pair of old RCAs into my Princeton and I was very impressed with the results. I've also previously used Brimars in my NR Princeton with really good results. The Brimars also seem to be really over engineered too - solid as rocks. Other friends of mine swear by RCA (I think RCA made by branded 'National' - but could be wrong on that) and Mazda 6V6s - though I've no experience with the Mazdas myself.

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