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Rectifier Tubes in SE Amps

kirkb

Member
2010-08-30 6:35 am
I've heard that rectifier tubes in single ended amps don't affect tone. Is this true? Is there no sag? The reason I ask is I've recently acquired some 40's and 50's tubes and put an old 5Y3GT in replacing a new JJ/Tesla tube. I've also replaced the 6V6GT and 12ax7 with these old tubes. My amp is more mellow, smoother. I'm wondering if the 5Y3GT has any affect at all on the overall tone. My amp is a Li'l Dawg Prince, based on the venerable Fender 5F2a. I have another 5Y3GT of different brand and design. Am I wasting my time trying to listen to the difference?

The usual way I try and discern differences in tubes is to record them. My mic took a dive the other day. So I'm just wondering and relying on experience from the forum here for now. Thoughts?

-Thanks, Kirk
 
I've heard that rectifier tubes in single ended amps don't affect tone. Is this true?

It has been said that the rectifier tube doesn't matter in a SE HiFi amp. I have seen evidence to the contrary.

Is there no sag?

In a HiFi amp which is normally operated in the linear range, the tube current doesn't change much. In a guitar amp cranked to 11 and driven well into distortion, all bets are off, and there is indeed plenty of sag.

I used to make "turbo champs" and the rectifier tube (or SS diodes) definitely made a difference in the sound of the amp. If you can't hear the difference between a 5Y3 and a 5AR4, you aren't cranking the amp hard enough!
 

kirkb

Member
2010-08-30 6:35 am
Yeah. The JJ I replaced is a 5AR4 and I do crank my amp! :D Thanks for the real-world feedback. Can't wait to get a new mic and do some recordings of all my different tubes. I mean, with one tube change, I can tell the difference with my ears usually. I have to find the right combination of all three now. I thought I had my sound down. Chasing tone seems to be an endless pursuit!
 

20to20

Member
2010-06-23 9:25 pm
I've heard that rectifier tubes in single ended amps don't affect tone. Is this true? Is there no sag? The reason I ask is I've recently acquired some 40's and 50's tubes and put an old 5Y3GT in replacing a new JJ/Tesla tube. I've also replaced the 6V6GT and 12ax7 with these old tubes. My amp is more mellow, smoother. I'm wondering if the 5Y3GT has any affect at all on the overall tone. My amp is a Li'l Dawg Prince, based on the venerable Fender 5F2a. I have another 5Y3GT of different brand and design. Am I wasting my time trying to listen to the difference?

The usual way I try and discern differences in tubes is to record them. My mic took a dive the other day. So I'm just wondering and relying on experience from the forum here for now. Thoughts?

-Thanks, Kirk

Your 5AR4 will provide about 35v higher B+ operating voltage than the 5Y3. So when you ask, will different rectifiers affect the tone, you must understand that anything that affects the operating voltages is going to produce some sort of change. The power output for a given volume control setting will change. If the other tubes see a different voltage, will they still be running in their optimum range? Will the change be so subtle as to be not worth spending a lot of money on a bunch of different brands of tubes, searching for some magical and perfect sound? Probably.