New Tube Day (NOS JAN Philips 5751)

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by KailM, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    [​IMG]IMG_5102 by Joe Blow, on Flickr
    So I finally got around to buying one of these. At $70 shipped, it was not an easy purchase, as I'm not made of money, and JJs are cheap and have always served me well.

    Curiosity got the better of me though. As you may have read in one of my many posts regarding 5150s/6505s of all varieties, I have found the 5751 type tube to be excellent in V1 and, to a lesser extent, in the phase inverter position.

    I've now tried this in V1 of both my 6505 head and my 5150 III 50-watt head. Previously, I've run JJ 5751s there.

    I haven't had a lot of time to try it cranked, but I did spend a few minutes A/Bing the JJ with the Philips through my 6505 with the volume at "2" just a bit ago (to those of you unfamiliar with what a 6505 sounds like on "2" through a 4 X 12 cab -- it's LOUD). Honestly, I'm a bit disappointed.

    Not because it doesn't sound excellent -- it absolutely does. However, I think I still prefer the JJ there slightly.

    This is probably splitting hairs, but here is what I've noticed so far -- and note, I kept all amp settings the same throughout.

    The Philips has a little more clarity in the mids and high-end, but not a huge amount. The mids have a delicious grind to them, and the highs have a sheen/sparkle to them.

    What I notice about the JJ 5751 is it has just a hair more balls in the bottom end and in the lower mids. The upper mids have *almost* as much richness and grind as the Philips. The biggest differences are noticeable on palm mutes. The JJ, I have to say, just has a little more thump, and it's noticeable. When letting distorted chords ring out, I do have to say that I slightly prefer the Philips due to that clarity in the mids and highs. It is a very close call though, and I plan to keep playing with my EQ and EQ pedal to see if there is an optimal setting with the JAN Philips that might yield a superior result -- for example, upping the bass and mids a bit.

    I guess the disappointment comes from hoping a known "holy grail" tube might be immediately better sounding than a $15 JJ, but it wasn't. However, it will likely last longer, and that's maybe where the value is. I'll keep experimenting. :cheers:
     

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  2. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Thanks for the write-up :yesway: glad to know the NOS sounds good, but even more so to know I'm not missing out on anything too major with my JJ's :D

    Maybe I'll pick up an NOS if Tube Depot sends out another round of good coupons :idea:
     
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  3. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    Indeed. And it also opens the door to maybe buying used ones — I’ve seen a lot of deals on eBay, for example, selling two “used, but testing well” for around $50 shipped. They certainly are well-built and were good enough for Army/Navy specs, so probably good enough for our purposes.
     
  4. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    I've mainly used JJ, Tung Sol, and occasionally Shuguang (Chinese) tubes over the years. I've found that using only JJs can be a bit dull and using only Tung Sols can be a bit bright. Shuguangs tend to be a bit shrill and fizzy on top, but I have one amp with a darker voicing that loves them. So I ended up mixing a Tung Sol in V1 (and possibly V2) and JJs in the rest of the slots.

    When I picked up some NOS an UOS that tested as new a year back, I tried tube rolling in my my Mesa Road King. There were some pretty highly rated tubes (Mullard ECC83, Telefunken ECC83, RCA blackplate 12AX7), but I wasn't expecting anything magical, I was just curious how they would compare to what's available new these days.

    What I found is that the old tubes tend to have a clarity that new tubes don't, and can have a nice bright high end without being harsh. And the mids can be really rich and complex, but never muddy. But they're not magical, and new tubes can sound really good, too. In fact, the durability of the older tubes might make them a worthwhile purchase for preamp tubes tsince they last a long time, but NOS tubes probably aren't worth shelling out for n the case of power tubes unless you have an amp that you have to crank the output to get your tone. And even then, it's still subjective.
     
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  5. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    Not all NOS are "new old stock", the source must be reputable unfortunatley, the tube could be down 50% or more. So unless you have a way to test the condition, it's hard to know if one would benefit from a $70 tube.

    If you want a great V1 that's not too expensive, try a RFT, should be much cheaper and more common. They can still be found at or near 100%.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  6. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    I've got one of those tubes too and I would characterize it as "sweet" sounding more than anything. It works well as a tube further in the gain stages, I didn't care for it in V1 on my Bogner Goldfinger but it does sound good in V2 (overdrive channel) or V5 (boost).
     
  7. MetalHead40

    MetalHead40 SS.org Regular

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    I've hesitated for a long time in picking up high dollar glass. In my my mind the law of diminishing returns would come into play here. Like you though, I'm still curious.
     
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  8. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    I got this one from Thetubestore.com, and it was sold as-new. I believe them.:)
     
  9. c7spheres

    c7spheres SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for your post. I would certainly give it time and at proper volumes (sweet spots). I have heard the difference between the JJ's , RCA, Tungsol I believe, Shuguang and this tube before in my budddys 5150 block logo head years ago, and could absolutely tell the difference. We spent days doing it and again a few months after that. I was their when he was a/b'ing them and the main difference (all at sweet spot "jam with a drummer levels") was in how tight the low end was and how fizzy the high end was. The chunky mid seemed to be possible with all them depending on settings. And i agree with tedtans' statements above, but what is funny is I actually liked the Shuguang the best. What I think is happening here is that literally every tube, even the same make and model, all sound a little different, especially with hours of use. In my 2-50-2 for example putting winged-c's in there, at one time I had mulitple new sets and they all sounded different even when the plate volts etc were almost identical on the tester. I actually ove Shuguang 12ax7's! though, but those sound different from tube to tube also. I think having a good ear (not saying you don't have one) for it is also important which only lots of a/b testing and critcal listening and Lots of time over time can reveal. The classic combo for example for modern tones is Chinese preamp and Russian power amp tubes, Classic Marshalls, Mesas Peavey's etc all used this combo in their amps and then later changed it, not because the new tubes are better but because the old tubes are expensive, scarse and unreliable until you find a good set. Tubes like Winged C and these JAN and great but not made any more obviously. Also, some amps sound almost the same no matter what tubes you put in them like certain old Randalls etc. Those JAN's do kick ass though for reliability and sound imo. you could also put it on a meter and ping it for it's freq.'s to speed up the process. Please update us after you've given it more time as it would be interesting to hear the results!
     
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  10. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    Did they write any numbers on a sticker on the box?
     
  11. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    No, they didn't. All the markings on the box appear to be the original markings. I've ordered from TheTubestore before though (JJs) and I've seen what you're talking about, particularly with power tubes.
     
  12. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    I did A/B it some more last night, at "jam with a drummer" volumes, and a bit higher than that as well, haha. Certainly, it sounds phenomenal. But I kept going back to the JJ 5751 and still preferred its low end response. Really, the JJ barely gives anything up in terms of midrange complexity and high-end clarity, it just seems to also have more low-mids/low-end thump and aggression that I really like. Of course, you understand that the differences we're talking about are not huge -- it's just that once you get an ear for how an amp sounds, you can start to tell differences between even a single tube change in V1, and definitely develop preferences.

    I currently own the following other tubes, all of which I've tried in V1 of my 6505:

    JJ ECC 803 -- Long-plate design, Great mids and clarity, not quite as much low-end muscle
    JJ ECC 83 MG -- New design for them, sounds great, more low-end than the 803, still has pretty complex mids and highs
    JJ ECC 83 (standard 12ax7) -- I don't like these as much; too much gain in a 5150/6505
    JJ 12AT7 -- Neuters the gain a little too much, amp sounds "choked"
    JAN Philips 12AT7 -- same as the JJ above, but a little clearer
    Tung Sol 12AX7 -- Better than a JJ 12ax7, because of clarity and brightness, but ultimately the slightly lower gain tubes like 5751s and JJs modified 12ax7s sound better to me in 5150s/6505s
    Shuguang -- Various models. Some of them sounded like crap, some were quite decent. I think I sold my last good ones in my Peavey Classic 30 a year ago

    I'm gonna start playing this new Philips in my 5153 next to see how it affects that amp, as most of my time so far has been with the 6505. I might also start experimenting with different placements, such as V2.

    So far though, for me it's the JJ 5751 that rules all the others.
     
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  13. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Contributor

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    I use the JJ 5751 in several of my high gain amp PI slots and it's glorious. I paid for Tubedepot to test them to ensure low microphonics and low noise and I still think they were only $20 each?

    Unlike KailM above, I really like the 12AT7 in the PI slot of my 5150 212 combo. It actually sounds more like my KSR Ares than a 5150 right now. Chugs for days!

    5150s (and variants) just really love JJs. Other tubes sound better in my other amps, but I always come back to JJs with these amps.

    Bottom line... if you have a 6505 you need to change out the stock tubes if it still has them. Peavey uses (or used) garbage ones stock (I haven't seen what they are currently shipping with).
     
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  14. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    I thought 5751's for 6505 amps were for v2 or v3?
    I think half of v1 is for the "clean" channel?
     
  15. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Contributor

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    V1 drives everything. A 5751 is similar to a 12AX7 but in V1 it will lower the gain stage. You won’t get much more headroom because it’s too similar. You need a 12AT7 before you will really notice a noticeable difference in headroom. But overall ratio of preamp to power amp dirt is lower.

    Changing the phase inverter tube type will change the percentage of how much preamp signal is passed to the output stage. So it has a more dramatic effect in taming an amp. You get less power tube section distortion at higher preamp gain, so that gain is more useful. Usually on a 5150 anything past 7 just gets muddy and feeds back. This allows usable gain to 10. And it’s less distorted on the power tube side so it’s more articulate sounding (like a German amp?). A 5751 there lowers how hard the power tube section is hit by 10-30% and a 12AT7 by 20-40% (based on contrasted brands gain factors) IIRC.
     
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  16. c7spheres

    c7spheres SS.org Regular

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    That's a sweet collection of tubes. Thanks for the descriptions on them, that makes total sense. It's awesome you can hear past the cost of the tube too. I love it when I like something less expensive more than the expensive stuff! Easier to afford backups. I really like the chinese str-12ax7a in my old Mesa preamps, I noticed thre are several version of them and Mesa just rebrands them. I can tell by the big getter and plates in the tube when I see them if they are the ones I like. The other ones are tiny and sound different but labeled the same. Good travels in your tube quest!
     
  17. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    That’s a good point about the PI. I’ve found that affects the feel almost more than the tone. I’ve run 12at7s there and it was a bit too saggy for me. I’ll try the Philips there later tonight.
     
  18. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    If a NOS tube costs the same as 4 current ones, and lasts about the same, I personally dont see the value.

    I do enjoy reading people's experiences with tube rolling (not a thing I do) so keep it uo :yesway:.
     
  19. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Contributor

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    Yeah that’s pretty much spot on. The PI spot is where I hear the difference in articulation and tone, as well as more usable gain and less bees in the amp. The V1 mostly affects the 1st gain stage of all channels (usually) only. But it’s more subtle than most people expect when they use a 5751 in these amps, especially if you’re using a II or III with so many gain preamp tubes and a savage circuit. Reason being most 12AX7 aren’t really at 100 gain factor they’re somewhere between 70-90... so if a 5751 is around 70, you don’t end up with as much of a gain change as expected (with 12AT7 yes!). They do have different tonal characteristics, but you hear it more because everything in the end is colored by the PI, vs the V1 being the first gain stage and it’s gets so dirty after that the initial differences become lost in the mix. Anywho, let me know what your ears tell you! That’s all that matters. :)
     
  20. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Most of my experimentation has been around V1 through V3. I've only ever replaced the PI as a means of keeping a fresh tube in play. Are there any tubes you can recommend to help get a more compressed feel out of a Mesa Rectifier?
     

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