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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing!
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    Default Original Blockletter 5150 Preamp tubes

    Hey.
    Self explanatory title. Does anyone know with certainty what the original Peavey 5150 tubes were, or where they were made?
    I came across my originals, and they just say "Peavey" and "Ruggedized"
    No other info stamped on them. Reason being, I tried some that were still good in an old Marshall, and Wow! Sounded way better than the JJ's.
    I'd like to find some more NOS if possible. I know Peavey switched by the time the combo came out.
    Thanks.
    J.
    Last edited by we die young; 03.03.11 at 09:56 AM.

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    By "were", I mean't what was the actual manufacturer name...I know their 12ax7's.
    I'm assuming they were just re-branded "Peavey". I'm thinking maybe Tung Sol?
    At least by their kinda noisy performance, but I do likes the distortion they produce in the stock Marshall.

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    Let me do some checking, but I'm about 99% sure that they are Chinese 12AX7's rebranded to be "Peavey" stamped in either red or white. When I talked to Brown, he defiinitely confirmed that the amp was originally designed around the Chinese 12AX7's available at the time.

    Unfortunately, I don't know which brand/plant they were made in.... not sure if the same Shanguang plant was in operation then.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    Let me do some checking, but I'm about 99% sure that they are Chinese 12AX7's rebranded to be "Peavey" stamped in either red or white. When I talked to Brown, he defiinitely confirmed that the amp was originally designed around the Chinese 12AX7's available at the time.

    Unfortunately, I don't know which brand/plant they were made in.... not sure if the same Shanguang plant was in operation then.
    Mine are actually in black ink. My power tubes were in red I think.... The ink or paint or whatever flaked off completely. Been a while. I had bought a couple sets of replacement "Peavey" preamp tubes early on all were in black labelling, then switched to a succession of brands to long to list here over the years, before settling on JJ's which I have been using for about four or five years now.
    I still like them better in my 5150, but like I said, whatever the ones actually were in the Peavey, I really like them in the Marshall. Much dirtier at lower levels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by we die young View Post
    Mine are actually in black ink. My power tubes were in red I think.... The ink or paint or whatever flaked off completely. Been a while. I had bought a couple sets of replacement "Peavey" preamp tubes early on all were in black labelling, then switched to a succession of brands to long to list here over the years, before settling on JJ's which I have been using for about four or five years now.
    I still like them better in my 5150, but like I said, whatever the ones actually were in the Peavey, I really like them in the Marshall. Much dirtier at lower levels.
    Ok, I've seen the black ink ones too -- I thought they were a later version though. It seems like I see a lot of the red ink preamp tubes in early combo's and early 'signature logo' heads, so maybe a 1994-1997 ish thing?

    I've only seen the red ink 'Peavey' power tubes.

    I think for an 'authentic' 5150 tone nowadays, the best options are probably Shanguang 12AX7's and JJ or Winged =C= 6L6's. (Of course lots of people get great results using other mixes though.) I know when my Winged =C='s go, I'm getting JJ 6L6's. The Winged =C='s were pricey when I bought them over a year and a half ago, and they've since gone up a LOT

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    Ok, I've seen the black ink ones too -- I thought they were a later version though. It seems like I see a lot of the red ink preamp tubes in early combo's and early 'signature logo' heads, so maybe a 1994-1997 ish thing?

    I've only seen the red ink 'Peavey' power tubes.

    I think for an 'authentic' 5150 tone nowadays, the best options are probably Shanguang 12AX7's and JJ or Winged =C= 6L6's. (Of course lots of people get great results using other mixes though.) I know when my Winged =C='s go, I'm getting JJ 6L6's. The Winged =C='s were pricey when I bought them over a year and a half ago, and they've since gone up a LOT
    haha! Nope! Got it in '91. Actually had to pre order the sucker through TMT in Richmond British Columbia. First time I changed the preamp tubes was in late '93, and I wrapped them and stored them. I just kept ones from both sets that were'nt microphonic, and chucked the rest. I just came across them the other day when I was cleaning out my closet, or as I refer to it the time capsule! lol.
    I'm always amazed at the shit I find in there. Jesus! Even toys I had as a kid....Remember Big Trak?
    Haha. Found that too. Terrorized my dog with it yesterday before she tried to destroy it!!!!!!
    Back on topic.....Dude...Yesterday a coworker who plays an old Hammond with a Leslie cab told me about a place in Vancouver. I checked them out. They carry mainly JJ and EH stuff for new tubes, but they've got a huge selection of vintage NOS stuff, mainly uncategorized by brand in their warehouse, but I'm hitting the place this weekend to see the selection. Basically, you give them the code tube you want, and they pull out what's in inventory. I did talk to a guy there, because I was trying to source some vintage Telefunken tubes for an old mic pre I have. That's how I found out about it. He didn't have any of them, but he does have 60's Mullards.
    The prices are insanely cheap compared to music stores, so it's worth having a look. i'll let you guys know what I find before I post a link. As far as I can tell you can order and they will ship, but I don't know all the specifics yet.
    Last edited by we die young; 03.03.11 at 02:14 PM.

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    Thanks for the help BTW MRJ.
    Always a wealth of knowledge!
    Last edited by we die young; 03.03.11 at 02:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by we die young View Post
    Thanks for the help BTW MRJ.
    Always a wealth of knowledge!
    No problem man!

    See if you can find any vintage GE or Sylvania 6L6GC's -- (the ones with the big 'regular' 6L6 bottle). That's what Ed used in his 5150's, and I've heard most of the really desirable Mesa's, like the Mark II, as well as the very first 5150's shipped with those as well.

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    Romeo Delight
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    Ok, here is a dumb question - I don't know much about re-tubing amps, but I'm sure mine could stand to be upgraded. I have a 5150 combo.

    So, do you recommend replacing every tube with JJs over the stock tubes? the 12AX7 and 6L6s? I mean I have no reference point other than the stock ones, so if JJ is the most reasonably priced option - without scouring the earth for vintage tubes - I'd like someone to opine.

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    From my experience (and I've owned 3 5150 combos), all JJ's sound a little dark for my taste. So if you play lots of metal and like a darker tone, go for all JJ's. If you want the 'authentic' 5150 tone, go for JJ 6L6's and Chinese Shanguang 12AX7B's.

    http://thetubestore.com/chinese12ax7.html

    I prefer the mix over all JJ tone, especially in the combo.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by slick4772 View Post
    Ok, here is a dumb question - I don't know much about re-tubing amps, but I'm sure mine could stand to be upgraded. I have a 5150 combo.

    So, do you recommend replacing every tube with JJs over the stock tubes? the 12AX7 and 6L6s? I mean I have no reference point other than the stock ones, so if JJ is the most reasonably priced option - without scouring the earth for vintage tubes - I'd like someone to opine.
    For my 5150, I like JJ's in the preamp...they are actually a mix...some are 12ax7, and two of them are 12ay7. For power tubes, Ruby's sound real good in the 5150. I've heard from folks that say they don't last real long, but then the 5150 is a cold bias amp, so power tubes last a very long time. I've not had any die. I've heard of people, no joke, having the same power tubes in the 5150 for ten years +.

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    Quote Originally Posted by we die young View Post
    For my 5150, I like JJ's in the preamp...they are actually a mix...some are 12ax7, and two of them are 12ay7. For power tubes, Ruby's sound real good in the 5150. I've heard from folks that say they don't last real long, but then the 5150 is a cold bias amp, so power tubes last a very long time. I've not had any die. I've heard of people, no joke, having the same power tubes in the 5150 for ten years +.
    I've got an older version of the Ruby 6L6GC-MSTR's, and they do sound pretty good.

    I've still got 3 or 4 sets of power tubes -- all out of older 5150's. All of the sets still work fine, except 1 brown bottom chinese 6L6 that started smelling really hot and almost caught fire.... I've even got a set of NOS USA 6L6's (not sure of the real brand) rebranded to be "Groove Tubes" that the original owner put in a 1995 5150 combo probably in around 1996 or 1997. Those tubes are small bottle 6L6's, they'd been used nonstop for about 11 years, AND they were being used in a 5150 with a bad bias mod, so they were running too hot most of the time! Even when I put them in a stock 5150, they draw way more current than any other 6L6 I've ever used at the stock bias setting. (54+ mA measured!!!!)

    They still work perfectly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by we die young View Post
    haha! Nope! Got it in '91. Actually had to pre order the sucker through TMT in Richmond British Columbia. First time I changed the preamp tubes was in late '93, and I wrapped them and stored them. I just kept ones from both sets that were'nt microphonic, and chucked the rest. I just came across them the other day when I was cleaning out my closet, or as I refer to it the time capsule! lol.
    I'm always amazed at the shit I find in there. Jesus! Even toys I had as a kid....Remember Big Trak?
    Haha. Found that too. Terrorized my dog with it yesterday before she tried to destroy it!!!!!!
    Back on topic.....Dude...Yesterday a coworker who plays an old Hammond with a Leslie cab told me about a place in Vancouver. I checked them out. They carry mainly JJ and EH stuff for new tubes, but they've got a huge selection of vintage NOS stuff, mainly uncategorized by brand in their warehouse, but I'm hitting the place this weekend to see the selection. Basically, you give them the code tube you want, and they pull out what's in inventory. I did talk to a guy there, because I was trying to source some vintage Telefunken tubes for an old mic pre I have. That's how I found out about it. He didn't have any of them, but he does have 60's Mullards.
    The prices are insanely cheap compared to music stores, so it's worth having a look. i'll let you guys know what I find before I post a link. As far as I can tell you can order and they will ship, but I don't know all the specifics yet.

    Dude...try the Mullards in your 5150!...they're all i use in mine anymore, they really round the tone off, less hiss and it almost looses the buzzsaw tone that people hate, be warned though, they don't last as long as other tubes do.
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


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