PSA regarding tubes

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davetheslave
RM100
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Post by davetheslave » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:52 pm

Thanks for posting this Rob. I've been having heaps of the said problems with my LoneClean and even though I had been changing the tubes I had consistently been putting one of the sovteks in V2. Once I changed it to one of the better tubes in V2 it's gone back to being a gig worthy module.
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MarcoR
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Post by MarcoR » Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:53 am

I had a new JJ HG+ from Valve Queen in the V2 position go out last night...
I thought the JJ was safe there but apparently not? When the Mullards died there, it was just a huge drop in volume but last night I was jamming and it was sounding off the hook and then dead instantly! No sound... Never had it happen like that before.

I popped out the module, pulled the JJ in V2 and tested it in the Orange VT1000 and sure enough... it didn't get halfway through the test and came back with a big FAIL. :?
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suphuckers
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Post by suphuckers » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:07 am

I've had some JJ's fail there also Marco. I think the point was that some other tubes fail much faster/sooner. Some of them immediately. No tube will last forever. Any tube can fail at any time in any socket.
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Jaded Faith
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Post by Jaded Faith » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:12 am

I wouldn't worry about that one Marco, tubes can (and do) fail. Laura is great and her tubes are excellent. It just failed before it's time. I stock and use more JJ preamp tubes than any other and they are extremely reliable, quiet and consistently the highest gain on average.

As a side note story, I just had an amp come back into the shop Tuesday that was picked up last Friday. One of the brand new Sovtek 12AX7's had a small base pin fracture that went unnoticed until he drove it home and fired it up. The crack became a vacuum leak and the tube died. It happens.
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MarcoR
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Post by MarcoR » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:43 am

I had just put the tube in the night before so it was fresh from VQ. This batch was the best batch of tubes I think I've ever ordered; I tested them all when I got them and they all tested great and better than anything I had on hand.

The good news is I was going to put that one in my VHT 2502 and I'm glad I didn't! That's a lot of screws to get the top off! :lol:
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Post by Yatagan » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:54 pm

Rob

In general, are there a specific type of JJ's you typically would recommend for the modules? Are there types that will give a varmer tone than others?

Finally would the Preferred Series 7025 / 12AX7 tubes improve or alter the sound and/ or sensitivity significantly?
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KernelSanders
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Re: PSA regarding tubes

Post by KernelSanders » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:33 pm

Resurrecting an old thread but...

Rob, anything changed in the last 4-5 years regarding tube quality? I test with a digital tester and found the reissue Mullards to score consistently strong for transconductance and gain, but I haven't really checked them over time for reliability.

Also do you still order mostly from Euro tubes and if so what level of tube do you order? Looks like Euro tubes now has standard, high gain, and "definitive series" for different quality levels and the markup for the better levels is significant.

notyet
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Re: PSA regarding tubes

Post by notyet » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:02 am

There is a fairly easy modification to the cathode follower circuit to deal with the voltage issue. Merlin Blencoe deals with it in his preamp book and probably on his valve wizard website.

Might be worth incorporating as a proactive measure- I think it would be mildly easy to do on the back of the tube riser board.

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Re: PSA regarding tubes

Post by Jaded Faith » Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:53 pm

For the last two years I have nearly exclusively stocked and sold Ruby Tubes from Magic Parts with prescreening and burn-in. These services are for shops, so I don't know if the the consumer Ruby branded tubes have the bad tubes weeded out like mine do. It also allows me to offer a 3 month warranty period on tubes I sell and install.

That said, the following tubes have been what I recommend for the past 2 years in my repair shop:

Ruby 6L6GCMSTR
Ruby EL34BSTR
Ruby 6V6GT
Ruby JJ 6V6 (for amps with higher plate voltages)
Ruby JJ EL84
Ruby 12AX7AC5
Ruby ECC83S (JJ)
Ruby 12AX7WBC

Keep in mind the Shuguang factory in China closed a few months ago for one year due to a fire next door. They are moving the factory. As such, a lot of the Chinese offerings are starting to dry up or are already out of stock. I've moved over to the Sovtek 5881R/5881WXT and the JJ EL34 in the past two months due to stock drying up and so far, so good. I go through a ton of tubes, so the sample size is pretty good.
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