5AR4/ GZ34 Substitutes - Telecaster Guitar Forum
The Number 1 Fender Telecaster Guitar authority in the world.
   

Go Back   Telecaster Guitar Forum > Amplifier Discussion Forums > Amp Central Station
Forgot Username/Password? Join Us!

Amp Central Station Amps, tubes, speakers & everything AMP related.


Wilde Pickups by Bill & Becky Lawrence WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Amps, Mods, Pedals dallenpickups.com Warmoth.com seymourduncan.com


Forum Jump


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 24th, 2012, 08:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
Tele-Meister
 
die Bullen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Westfield, NJ
Age: 44
Posts: 478
5AR4/ GZ34 Substitutes

I try to keep subs in stock for every amp I have but I am going to be coming into another amp with a 5AR4- a tube for which I have no spare stock because of price. I generally avoid Russian and Chinese tubes- is there any older American tube type that could sub the 5AR4? I really can't go spending $200 on a rectifier tube. Surely something else could sub this tube?

die Bullen is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 08:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
Poster Extraordinaire
 
BobbyZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Motley MN
Posts: 6,715
What's the amp ?
If it's say a vintage AC30 then don't be cheap buy a Mullard !
Some amps need a big rectifier like a GZ34 but most will work fine with 5R4s or 5v4s.
A few can use a 5u4 if the OT will handle the heater current.
BobbyZ is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 08:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
Poster Extraordinaire
 
uriah1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: toledo
Age: 59
Posts: 9,836
I tested a sovtek against a nos mullard I had..Could not tell difference..
but, if need be, you can find nos 5AR4 at some ham fest for 5bucks..
online for more.
__________________
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything....Plato
uriah1 is online now   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links   #
Sponsored posting
 

Old April 24th, 2012, 09:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
Poster Extraordinaire
 
muchxs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 8,504
Quote:
Originally Posted by uriah1 View Post
I tested a sovtek against a nos mullard I had..Could not tell difference..
Here's the difference. Yank a Mullard out of an old hi-fi from the '60s. Stick it in your '60s Fender or Marshall. It's almost 50 years old and will probably last another 50 years.

New Sovtek... carry a spare.

No foolin'!

Quote:
Originally Posted by uriah1 View Post
but, if need be, you can find nos 5AR4 at some ham fest for 5bucks.. online for more.
It's gonna cost you a couple billion in parts and R&D to build a time machine and go back 20 years. Everyone knows what NOS 5AR4s are worth at hamfests.

A dude showed up with a dozen Siemens 5AR4s a couple years ago. Didn't even unpack his stuff and they were all sold. Five bucks won't buy the empty box.



Alternatives:

M a t s u s h i t a. Most sites profanity filters block " M a t s u s h i t a ". It's a Japanese 5AR4 that seems to be made on the same tooling as Mullard. Found in '60s Realistic (Radio Shack!) hi-fi receivers. You'll find 12AX7s and EL84s in the same receiver but those are junk. The 5AR4s are solid.

Hi-Test has 'em NOS for $55. That's halfway between new production and the high priced spread.



U.S. made GE. Fender used 'em. The hi-fi weenies prefer Mullards so the GEs are a lot less expensive.

Good pulls. There's a certain Eico transmitter that uses one. Don't buy every old Eico you see, you'll miss a lot more than you'll hit.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-GE-5...item27c63f3d54



Serendipity: I was out chasin' down an old phonograph to hack some parts out of. Turns out the dude had a tube tester and had been yankin' and testin' tubes for years. He point me towards a big cardboard box, said "Those are all tested. Take what you want for another ten bucks." Lotta goofy stuff in there but I got some 6V6s, some 6K6s for old Fender reverb units. One tube had all the lettering buffed off it (Mullards wipe clean just handlin' 'em) but looked familiar. The British codes don't wipe off. Got it home, turns out it's a real old Blackburn Mullard GZ34!

Mullards come to those who wait.



.
__________________
.
muchxs is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 09:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
Tele-Afflicted
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Four Corners USA
Age: 69
Posts: 1,182
From time to time you can find NOS RCA 5AR4s on Ebay, relatively inexpensive compared to the Mullards. Pretty sure they are Sylvania made and I suspect they are actually 5V4s because they'll consistently generate about 10vdc less than a comparable NOS GZ34. They have a large base, so you may have to swap out the spring retainer. Very durable tubes.
SoK66 is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 09:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
Tele-Meister
 
die Bullen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Westfield, NJ
Age: 44
Posts: 478
The amps are a 1967 Ampeg B12XT and a 1962 Ampeg B12XY. They are both all original so I don't want to take any risks with a bad sub that could blow trannies.

Sadly Muchxs I don't have the kind of luck you do with tubes- good ones don't seem to come cheaply to me! I suppose I could go with Russian or Chinese as a last resort- frankly I have no spares of this type as it is so I think I am going to have to do something.

Would a 5v4 work safely? I do have a couple of them lying around...
die Bullen is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 10:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
Friend of Leo's
 
Rod Parsons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Winchester, Va.
Age: 67
Posts: 2,452
There is an easy inexpensive solution to you problem, in my opinion.... Go to a nos tube web sight...[Brent Jesse Studio is one good one],and buy yourself a couple 5R4 rectifier tubes, [12-15 dollars]. I didn't know what to put in my Bandmaster Reverb, which had the 5AR4/GZ34 on the tube chart, [1968 or 69 ].... An amp tech advised me to use the 5R4 and I did and it works great. It draws only 2 amps as does the 5AR4. It drops the voltage on the plates just a little, but I like that.. Makes the amps more soulful to me... I put one in both the Bandmaster and my 1980 Princeton Reverb... Works great in both....The 5R4s that I bought were made by RCA and labeled #1} Rogers Co....#2] General Electric,[GE],... and they were both made in yr. 1950... They will probably last the rest of my life. Try it and see. NOS=good.... new= not so good. In my opinion... Good luck.... Rod
Rod Parsons is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 10:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
Tele-Afflicted
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Califon, NJ
Age: 43
Posts: 1,054
Quote:
Originally Posted by muchxs View Post
Here's the difference. Yank a Mullard out of an old hi-fi from the '60s. Stick it in your '60s Fender or Marshall. It's almost 50 years old and will probably last another 50 years.

New Sovtek... carry a spare.

No foolin'!



It's gonna cost you a couple billion in parts and R&D to build a time machine and go back 20 years. Everyone knows what NOS 5AR4s are worth at hamfests.

A dude showed up with a dozen Siemens 5AR4s a couple years ago. Didn't even unpack his stuff and they were all sold. Five bucks won't buy the empty box.



Alternatives:

M a t s u s h i t a. Most sites profanity filters block " M a t s u s h i t a ". It's a Japanese 5AR4 that seems to be made on the same tooling as Mullard. Found in '60s Realistic (Radio Shack!) hi-fi receivers. You'll find 12AX7s and EL84s in the same receiver but those are junk. The 5AR4s are solid.

Hi-Test has 'em NOS for $55. That's halfway between new production and the high priced spread.



U.S. made GE. Fender used 'em. The hi-fi weenies prefer Mullards so the GEs are a lot less expensive.

Good pulls. There's a certain Eico transmitter that uses one. Don't buy every old Eico you see, you'll miss a lot more than you'll hit.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-GE-5...item27c63f3d54



Serendipity: I was out chasin' down an old phonograph to hack some parts out of. Turns out the dude had a tube tester and had been yankin' and testin' tubes for years. He point me towards a big cardboard box, said "Those are all tested. Take what you want for another ten bucks." Lotta goofy stuff in there but I got some 6V6s, some 6K6s for old Fender reverb units. One tube had all the lettering buffed off it (Mullards wipe clean just handlin' 'em) but looked familiar. The British codes don't wipe off. Got it home, turns out it's a real old Blackburn Mullard GZ34!

Mullards come to those who wait.



.
Well, there is exceptions to every rule. I spent some good money on a true, Amprex Bugle Boy GZ-34. Tested and the whole deal.

After a year it shorted out and went dead. Other amps have ying yang Chinese GZ34 and a Sovtek, still running strong.

I may get blasted here, but of all the rectifiers, the GZ-34 has the least impact to tone. If we were talking 5Y3's, an entirely differnt story.

I don't hear or have heard sag, etc. in any of the different GZ-34's that I have. From what I understand, they aren't designed to sag.

It's your money and do what you want, but after this Bugle Boy deal, I'm not too willing to spend money in a GZ-34 since I've found little to no impact on the the tone of my BF Fender amps.
Custom Deluxe is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 11:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
Tele-Afflicted
 
vibrasonic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: sault ste marie canada
Posts: 1,337
"Hi test tubes" has the matsu****a GZ34 NOS for $55
__________________
Fender, Gibson, Rickenbacker Guitars.
Fender Amps
vibrasonic is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 11:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
Tele-Afflicted
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Califon, NJ
Age: 43
Posts: 1,054
Quote:
Originally Posted by vibrasonic View Post
"Hi test tubes" has the matsu****a GZ34 NOS for $55
Thanks. I'll check that out.
Custom Deluxe is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 11:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
Friend of Leo's
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Maryland
Age: 53
Posts: 2,875
UOS from a vender you trust is a very viable option as muchxs says. I don't see Ebay as a source of trustworthy vendors, not that are not many, just not the best way to do business when you are looking for reliable.

For a long time, the sovtek 5AR4 was the most consistent reliable 5AR4 on the new production marker, only because the bar was not set very high. Lately (last 2years) the vendors I trust the most have been saying the current production Chinese 5AR4 is better, more consistent and reliable. Just like most of the newest production Chinese tubes, they are setting current production standards. It seems New Sensor is not going to let the Chinese have to top end of the market without a fight, and the old Reflektor factory is producing some the best tubes it ever has. Problem is, there are still a lot of substandard old production floating around, so if you don't know how to tell, you depend on the knowledge and ethics of your vendor.

It pains me that JJ has fallen so far behind, but consistency is just not coming out of their factory. I have stopped using most of their tubes except for the EL84, ECC99, ECC83 and 6V6S.
celeste is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
Poster Extraordinaire
 
uriah1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: toledo
Age: 59
Posts: 9,836
Quote:
Originally Posted by muchxs View Post
Here's the difference. Yank a Mullard out of an old hi-fi from the '60s. Stick it in your '60s Fender or Marshall. It's almost 50 years old and will probably last another 50 years.

New Sovtek... carry a spare.
.
I could send you mine, but, maybe I should try again....

I do remember old electronic ads that said 100,000 hrs. which is pretty good.
I think they used in Halifax bombers i WW2??

But really, I did not notice much. Maybe different amps, it is more apparent.
and Yes, I do have backups for all tubes.
__________________
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything....Plato
uriah1 is online now   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
Poster Extraordinaire
 
muchxs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 8,504
Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom Deluxe View Post
Well, there is exceptions to every rule. I spent some good money on a true, Amprex Bugle Boy GZ-34. Tested and the whole deal.

After a year it shorted out and went dead. Other amps have ying yang Chinese GZ34 and a Sovtek, still running strong.
There's no such thing as 100% reliability.

I must have 20 old Mullard GZ34s in various amps right now. I don't anticipate havin' problems with 'em.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom Deluxe View Post
I may get blasted here, but of all the rectifiers, the GZ-34 has the least impact to tone. If we were talking 5Y3's, an entirely differnt story.

I don't hear or have heard sag, etc. in any of the different GZ-34's that I have. From what I understand, they aren't designed to sag.
A 5AR4 won't sag in a Princeton. I like to use 5AR4s to tighten smaller amps. I'm nowhere near the tube's limits with a pair of 6V6s.

It's a good match with a pair of EL34s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom Deluxe View Post
It's your money and do what you want, but after this Bugle Boy deal, I'm not too willing to spend money in a GZ-34 since I've found little to no impact on the the tone of my BF Fender amps.
Regardless, one tube isn't a large enough sample to demonstrate a trend. I'd say your experience was atypical.

If I look in the back of a "pristine" '60s Fender and see Chinese or Russian I'll knock $100 off the value of the amp right there. If it's all Czech, Sino or Russian the value of the amp gets nudged towards the middle of the range. Pet Peeve: "We just sent it to a tech. It's re-tubed and has a clean bill of health." Then they hand me the receipt for a couple hundred bucks... That's not value added for me. I'm just payin' for stuff I'll replace as soon as I get home.


We used to have a guy known as Marty Green Teeth around here when I was a kid. Marty had a whole bookshelf full of tubes. I used to go over to Marty's and gaze at his stash. Marty was generous with 6L6s, 12AX7s and most rectifiers. Not with his 5AR4s! He had maybe three of 'em. He'd be happy to take 'em out and show 'em off but they remained part of his permanent collection.

Marty is long gone and his house has changed hands a couple times since then. I wonder what happened to his stash?

Anyway, I got hip to the relative scarcity of GZ34s a long time ago. Now I have my own stash. I'll take 'em out of the boxes if anyone wants to see but I'm hangin' on to 'em.

I'm wonderin' how many loose Mullard GZ34s are in my back room right now. Maybe half a dozen?
__________________
.
muchxs is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 11:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
Tele-Meister
 
die Bullen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Westfield, NJ
Age: 44
Posts: 478
I will look into the Matsu******s- not a "cheap" option to be sure but I do want to treat my stuff right.

On the other rectifier subs (other than GZ34) what would be a better/ safer choice? 5R4 or 5V4? Or something else?

Just a little more information. I typically play rhythm guitar for swing jazz- this stuff is not fast enough to worry about sag. Distortion in my world is a very bad thing- hence vintage Ampegs...
die Bullen is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 11:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
Poster Extraordinaire
 
muchxs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 8,504
Quote:
Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
I will look into the Matsu******s- not a "cheap" option to be sure but I do want to treat my stuff right.
They're right there in New Jersey. You never know what cool old stuff they'll have. They trade vintage guitars, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
On the other rectifier subs (other than GZ34) what would be a better/ safer choice? 5R4 or 5V4? Or something else?
I'd go for the 5V4 for a sub. It's cheap, available and compact.

I've got a couple sleeves full of those, too.
__________________
.
muchxs is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 11:40 AM   #16 (permalink)
Tele-Afflicted
 
DavidP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,481
Another substitute...

is the JAN Philips marked 5V4GA. It's really a Philips/Sylvania large plate 5AR4/GZ34 (just Google it and you'll find the whole story about the mislabelling). Great bang for the buck if you can still find them!
__________________
barely in tune and teetering on the brink of oblivion...
DavidP is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 11:54 AM   #17 (permalink)
Tele-Afflicted
 
vibrasonic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: sault ste marie canada
Posts: 1,337
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidP View Post
is the JAN Philips marked 5V4GA. It's really a Philips/Sylvania large plate 5AR4/GZ34 (just Google it and you'll find the whole story about the mislabelling). Great bang for the buck if you can still find them!
I put one of those in my 62 deluxe and it works and sounds great. I got mine at KCANOS for $85.
__________________
Fender, Gibson, Rickenbacker Guitars.
Fender Amps
vibrasonic is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 11:57 AM   #18 (permalink)
Tele-Meister
 
die Bullen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Westfield, NJ
Age: 44
Posts: 478
Thanks guys- this is good news to me if I can use 5v4's. I can get them easily and reasonably- and as I recall the 5v4/ 5v4ga can sub a 5u4gb too- double bonus.. Tell me if you ever want to sell some of those Muchxs!
die Bullen is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 12:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
Tele-Afflicted
 
DavidP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,481
Re: 5V4s...

Remember, its only the JAN Philips marked 5V4GAs that are the mislabelled 5AR4s...
__________________
barely in tune and teetering on the brink of oblivion...
DavidP is offline   Reply With Quote

Old April 24th, 2012, 02:06 PM   #20 (permalink)
Tele-Meister
 
die Bullen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Westfield, NJ
Age: 44
Posts: 478
got it! Thanks again
die Bullen is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


» Random Photo for Guests
panaramic
Untitled Document



 


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2



IMPORTANT:Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult! No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 RC 2
© TDPRI.COM 1999 - 2014 All rights reserved.