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  1. #1
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    Default Peavey 5150II tubes

    Is there any way to test the tubes in an amp? My 5150II sounds a little weird. All tubes are glowing but just sounds off. I bought it off ebay about a year and a half ago so I don't know the life on the tubes. Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    tap the tubes with a pencil and listen for a squeal. They mightbe mocrophonic. That the pramp tubes.

  3. #3
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    You are probably long overdue for tubes. A year and a half is a long time to go on a set of tubes in a 5150. Considering that the tubes are probably much older than that, since it is unlikely that the person you bought it from re-tubed it before he sold it.
    I would go through pre-amp tubes about every 8 months, and power tubes about every year and a half in my 5150 combo.

    That being said, it's probably your pre-amp tubes. Replacement is something you can do on your own. Simply remove the old ones and replace them with new ones. No biasing is required to replace your pre-amp tubes. I've always had the best luck with JJ and Ei Tubes. Ei's have great tone, but burn up quicker than the JJ's. Never had a good experience using Groove Tubes.

    If your amp starts sounding funny, 9 times out of 10 it will be the pre-amp tubes. If your amp seems to be weak, losing power or breaking up, it is more than likely your power tubes.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  4. #4
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    You are probably long overdue for tubes. A year and a half is a long time to go on a set of tubes in a 5150. Considering that the tubes are probably much older than that, since it is unlikely that the person you bought it from re-tubed it before he sold it.
    I would go through pre-amp tubes about every 8 months, and power tubes about every year and a half in my 5150 combo.

    That being said, it's probably your pre-amp tubes. Replacement is something you can do on your own. Simply remove the old ones and replace them with new ones. No biasing is required to replace your pre-amp tubes. I've always had the best luck with JJ and Ei Tubes. Ei's have great tone, but burn up quicker than the JJ's. Never had a good experience using Groove Tubes.

    If your amp starts sounding funny, 9 times out of 10 it will be the pre-amp tubes. If your amp seems to be weak, losing power or breaking up, it is more than likely your power tubes.
    What tubes came stock in it?

  5. #5
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuddman5150 View Post
    What tubes came stock in it?
    Anyone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuddman5150 View Post
    What tubes came stock in it?
    12AX7 preamp tubes and 6L6(GC) power tubes. They are probably ones that say something about China on them... or nothing at all on the glass. I think most of those Power tubes had brown plastic on the bottoms...

    Take a pencil and lightly tap each of your (6) preamp tubes. If they ring like a bell, or squeal, then they are microphonic, and need to be replaced. I would go ahead and do ALL of them if 1 is bad -- you're probably overdue.
    Powertubes are harder to diagnose, but if you know your amp is quieter at a given volume level then before, then they might be going bad. You can get a kit for the whole amp, or just buy individual tubes here

    http://www.eurotubes.com/

    Eurotubes carries JJ tubes, which are probably the best being made currently. NOS tubes might be a little better, but are also much more $$$.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuddman5150 View Post
    What tubes came stock in it?
    Buy the JJ or Electro-Harmonix tubes. Don't buy Groove Tubes.

  8. #8
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    My Combo came with Sovteks. I've heard of them coming with other types of tubes in them though.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  9. #9
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    Anyone ever try the old NOS tubes from the 70's off ebay. The Phillips and RCA are the ones I'm looking at. Would there be an advantage or better sound?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuddman5150 View Post
    Anyone ever try the old NOS tubes from the 70's off ebay. The Phillips and RCA are the ones I'm looking at. Would there be an advantage or better sound?
    The short answer is yes and no.

    It really depends completely on the amp you are putting the tubes in. For example, my original 5150 sounds WORSE in a lot of situations with a $120 RCA NOS preamp tube in V1. It also sounds worse for what I'm playing with JJ preamp tubes in it. I've been the most happy with cheap Shanguang (generic chinese tubes) in the preamp in that amp! I do have really nice Winged =C= tubes in the power section of that amp though, and that sounds best out of about 6 brands I've tried.

    On the other hand, my handbuilt custom SLO type amp sounds pretty dang good with JJ's and other types of tubes in it. JJ's seem to sound really fantastic in a lot of Marshalls and old marshall clones. A lot of amps can respond really well to NOS preamp tubes or mixes of different brand preamp tubes. NOS 6L6 tubes like Sylvanias or Philips/GE tubes can cost a ton but sound like magic in many amps.

    It really just depends on what tubes the amp was designed for, and what just happens to work in each particular amp. As long as you stick with the same tube type, try some different brands for the preamp -- even mix and match different brands. I wouldn't mix different brand tubes in the power section though -- but you can try different brand matched sets. See if you find a huge improvement, or if it all sounds the same. In one amp, a $150 NOS preamp tube might make it sound like a completely different amp. In another amp, you might not even be able to tell the $150 tube from a $10 chinese tube.

    Just experiment, but be careful.... one can go completely overboard and borderline obsessive about endlessly swapping tubes trying to chase that perfect tone....

    NOTE: with the Peavey 5150's -- that amp was designed around the amazing Sylvania/GE 6L6's. They sound FANTASTIC in the Peavey 5150 line. The original 5150 I's shipped with Sylvanias, which is what Ed always used in them (except maybe in 2004). I do know that Ed bought up a massive stash of NOS Sylvania/GE/Philips 6L6's... that should tell you something about them. The winged =C= 6L6's I use in my Block Letter 5150 are supposed to be very similar to the Sylvania 6L6. I wish someone would make a reissue/exact copy of those tubes.
    Last edited by mrjstudios; 12.28.10 at 09:08 PM.

  11. #11
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    i use NOS Mullards in my 5150 and it sounds incredible, the gain is slightly lower/smoother and the buzzsaw charicteristic is reduced by some degree, the only downside is that they don't last terribly long and are very expensive. I have considered looking at cryo treated tubes but somethig at the back of my mind keeps telling me it's just a gimmick.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    The short answer is yes and no.

    It really depends completely on the amp you are putting the tubes in. For example, my original 5150 sounds WORSE in a lot of situations with a $120 RCA NOS preamp tube in V1. It also sounds worse for what I'm playing with JJ preamp tubes in it. I've been the most happy with cheap Shanguang (generic chinese tubes) in the preamp in that amp! I do have really nice Winged =C= tubes in the power section of that amp though, and that sounds best out of about 6 brands I've tried.

    On the other hand, my handbuilt custom SLO type amp sounds pretty dang good with JJ's and other types of tubes in it. JJ's seem to sound really fantastic in a lot of Marshalls and old marshall clones. A lot of amps can respond really well to NOS preamp tubes or mixes of different brand preamp tubes. NOS 6L6 tubes like Sylvanias or Philips/GE tubes can cost a ton but sound like magic in many amps.

    It really just depends on what tubes the amp was designed for, and what just happens to work in each particular amp. As long as you stick with the same tube type, try some different brands for the preamp -- even mix and match different brands. I wouldn't mix different brand tubes in the power section though -- but you can try different brand matched sets. See if you find a huge improvement, or if it all sounds the same. In one amp, a $150 NOS preamp tube might make it sound like a completely different amp. In another amp, you might not even be able to tell the $150 tube from a $10 chinese tube.

    Just experiment, but be careful.... one can go completely overboard and borderline obsessive about endlessly swapping tubes trying to chase that perfect tone....

    NOTE: with the Peavey 5150's -- that amp was designed around the amazing Sylvania/GE 6L6's. They sound FANTASTIC in the Peavey 5150 line. The original 5150 I's shipped with Sylvanias, which is what Ed always used in them (except maybe in 2004). I do know that Ed bought up a massive stash of NOS Sylvania/GE/Philips 6L6's... that should tell you something about them. The winged =C= 6L6's I use in my Block Letter 5150 are supposed to be very similar to the Sylvania 6L6. I wish someone would make a reissue/exact copy of those tubes.
    here here..(sound of clapping) you're getting pretty good!

 

 

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