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Tube Rolling the Monoprice 5W (Bendix, RCA, Blackglass...)

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by bpr103, May 5, 2017.

Which tube do you like best?

  1. Tube 1

    2 vote(s)
    13.3%
  2. Tube 2

    1 vote(s)
    6.7%
  3. Tube 3

    6 vote(s)
    40.0%
  4. Tube 4

    1 vote(s)
    6.7%
  5. Tube 5

    2 vote(s)
    13.3%
  6. Tube 6

    1 vote(s)
    6.7%
  7. None: get a JJ

    2 vote(s)
    13.3%
  1. bpr103

    bpr103 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    12
    Mar 5, 2017
    Pennsylvania
    I decided to roll some different tubes in my 5W Monoprice and here's the video:



    Post #5 below reveals the tubes if you're playing along.

    Here are the tubes in order of price (not the order of the video):

    Stock Shuguang 6V6GT

    OS RCA 6V6Y (Metal)

    OS Raytheon 6V6GT

    OS Sylvania JAN 6V6GT

    OS Motorola 6V6GT Blackglass

    OS Bendix 5992 (yeah, I put a $100 tube in an $80 amp. :-/ The other five tubes combined were cheaper than this one)


    Please let me know what you think (preferences, duds, all sound the same?), as I think I'm a bit biased by the pretty blue glow of that Bendix.

    Telecaster on middle position. Everything turned up to 11.
    Preamp Tube: United Electronics (?) OS 6072 (don't even ask how many I went through, but this was my fave)

    Chain:
    1x12 Tone Tubby 40/40 > Sennheiser MD421 > Symetrix SX201 > ESI Juli@ > Reaper
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
    Commodore 64 likes this.

  2. theprofessor

    theprofessor Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thanks for the demo. I liked 4 and 5 the best. Which ones were those? Also, My guess is that the Motorola-labeled black glass tube is a Tung-Sol. Perhaps there is an EIA code on the base to confirm that? It would have a 322 on it somewhere.
     
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  3. pdcorlis

    pdcorlis Tele-Meister

    Tube 3 for me...
     
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  4. scottser

    scottser Tele-Holic

    591
    Mar 6, 2009
    dublin
    nothing wrong with the stock tube - i'd leave it in there.
     
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  5. bpr103

    bpr103 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    12
    Mar 5, 2017
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks for the feedback.

    "322013 Made in the USA"

    Thought it might be an RCA, but you seem to know something about these.

    Expensive taste, pdc.

    It's quite similar to the Motorola/TS IMO.

    Tube 1 - Stock Shuguang
    Tube 2 - OS Motorola 6V6GT black glass
    Tube 3 - OS Bendix 5992
    Tube 4 - OS Raytheon gray glass 6V6GT
    Tube 5 - OS Sylvania gray glass JAN 6V6GT
    Tube 6 - OS RCA 6V6Y (Metal)
     
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  6. theprofessor

    theprofessor Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Yes, I believe that's a Tung-Sol black glass 6V6GT from the 13th week of 1960. I really like those tubes a lot. I have a matched pair of them in my DRRI. But it sounds like I voted for the Raytheon and Sylvania. I really liked those.
     
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  7. pdcorlis

    pdcorlis Tele-Meister

    What can I say, champagne taste on a beer budget...
     
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  8. Treynor

    Treynor Tele-Meister

    Age:
    59
    291
    Feb 6, 2016
    Dallas, TX
    Although I liked #3 the best, #5 was a close second for me. Interestingly, #1 (the stock tube) was 3d...and I cloud easily live with it.

    BTW...I own a MP 5 and have your unnumbered choice for both pre and amp...JJ!
     
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  9. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    58
    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Five, then 3
     
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  10. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    27
    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    Five.


    Also just to note. I pretty much exclusively use Chinese Shuguang power tubes in all my amps. Chinese does not equate to low quality.
     
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  11. bpr103

    bpr103 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    12
    Mar 5, 2017
    Pennsylvania
    Duly noted, and no slight was intended. Of the three Shuguang tubes that I have two hold up very well in shootouts like this. I was disappointed in the 12ax7, though.
     

  12. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    41
    Mar 1, 2010
    Kent, OH
    This demo conclusively indicates that different tubes sound different at the same amp settings. To me this supports the following assertion:
    1. Tube rolling is a viable way to alter amp tone, in some cases in fairly obvious ways. I could really hear difference in some of those tubes.


    The more interesting piece, to me, would now be:

    1. How the B+ changed given the current draw with each respective power tube.
    2. How the bias point of each tube changed (both the preamp and the power tubes) when a new tube was swapped in.
    3. How the virtual suppressor grid location changed within each tube given small differences in B+ (and thence to OT, screens, and preamp bias/operating points). Difference of 1-2V in the screen voltage have been shown to have audible effects. (That's how the "beam power" part of these tetrodes works).

    This is a really good demonstration regarding how we are all right when we argue about tube rolling and whether NOS is better than NEW.

    I would now offer the hypothesis:

    1. If we could align the operating points of all tubes, then all tubes would indeed sound the same.


    In other words, it matters not whether a tube is old or new or whether a tube cost 10$ or 100$. Neither is better or worse. For those who would argue that the $100 tube will last longer, we would then need to test whether that tube would last 10x longer than the 10$ new production tube.

    OP: awesome vid and experiment. Much appreciated!
     
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  13. zippofan

    zippofan Tele-Meister

    394
    Mar 16, 2014
    Pennsylvania
    I know this is a couple months old but I couldn't help reply. I picked the Sylvania each time. Funny enough, I seem to prefer Sylvanias in every one of my amps, from the 1W Wangs mini through an 8" to my Panama Loco (preamp tubes) through a 12". My VHT Special 6 opened way up with a JAN Sylvania 6V6, and I love their 12AX7/5751 tubes too.
     
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  14. tomkatf

    tomkatf Tele-Holic

    798
    Aug 21, 2004
    San Diego
    3-5-6...
     
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  15. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    I like 2 and 4, but then you did play a couple of things that sounded out of tune on 2 on the 2nd and 3rd clip, and really it didn't sound good on all the riffs.

    It depends on your playing style a lot too, if someone else played I'd probably pick others.
     
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  16. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 13, 2011
    UK
    Only listened the once, and it is an instant reaction, but I could live with any of 1,3 and 5. 2, 4 and 6 all seemed a bit muffled or flabby to me. Nothing sounded good on the sample starting at about 1:12
     
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  17. bpr103

    bpr103 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    12
    Mar 5, 2017
    Pennsylvania
    Those were actually my favorites in order. 3 seems to have the most even distortion from the lows to highs. But 6 has a biting low end that I really like. 5 was a nice compromise.

    The samples starting around 1:40 are the most useful, IMO, since it's an A7 that spans all six strings with the low E moving from 3rd fret to open.

    No doubt, there's a lot of variance between playing and even tuning... Im' a keyboardist and acoustic guitar player who's only now dabbling in 'lectrics. Sorry about that, but short of re-amping (and I'm not there yet) this is the best I can get.

    Interesting to see that this is the first mention of 6! I actually loved #6 after I figured out which tube it was, for a measly $5 shipped. And, a friend of mine with an "audiophile" background picked six, hands down.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017

  18. bpr103

    bpr103 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    12
    Mar 5, 2017
    Pennsylvania
    Yeah, I'm pretty much an acoustic player, and my style is best described as "sloppy," and my tuning preference is "optional," so this isn't the most empirical test (see above post), but it should give you an idea of the variance between tubes in a low-end single-ended 6V6 amp. :)
     

  19. pdcorlis

    pdcorlis Tele-Meister

    Too funny, I just listened again after all these months. In fact I totally forgot I had posted here back on 5/5 - but my opinion still hasn't changed...
     
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  20. Big Steve

    Big Steve Tele-Holic

    707
    Apr 24, 2006
    I consider myself somewhat of a tube snob. I have a couple hundred tubes in my collection that I roll in and out. I couldn't hear a lot of difference between the power tube in your particular amp. I would start rolling the 12ax7 and it will give you a much greater tonal variation. For me, I would even try a lower gain tube in V1 like a 5751 or a 12AT7 in order to clean things up.
     
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