#1
Ok, first off, by Rectifier, I'm not meaning Mesa's Rectifier Series, but simply the AC to DC current rectifier in most guitar amps, which is usually a diode, but sometimes (as in several Mesa amps and some old Fenders) is a tube.

(Actually, I'm relating this post to a Mesa, but it's a Stiletto Ace. Confused yet? )

Right, so I been checking out and researching and testing old tubes and the like. Up to this point I've only messed with preamp tubes. But I have, as I said, a Stiletto Ace with a tube rectifier (actually it has both diode and tube recs), and inevitably I'm gonna at least try a NOS rec tube or two in it. I recently retubed it with JJs, and since Eurotubes gave the option to do so, I bought both a 5u4gb and a gz34 for the rec. I ended up going with the gz34 since it was tighter than the 5u4 but still thick enough.

So here's my question: does anyone have any experience using NOS or old 5u4 or gz34 rectifier tubes? How do they sound compared with new production tubes? Are there any particular brands to look for or to avoid? I know that Mullard gz34s command a hefty price tag, but most 5u4s can be had for pretty cheap. What should I be looking for here?

Apologies for the confusing background info
Ibanez UV777 - Carvin TL60 & 727 - Jackson KE3
Splawn QuickRod - Mesa Stiletto & RoadKing - Peavey Ultra+ - Peavey Bandit
Some pedlulz & cabz


7 String Legion
#2
I would imagine the rectifier makes zero tone difference aside from the attack response lag between tube rec and solid state rec.

NOS seems like a waste there.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#3
NOS is much more reliable. Other than that, no difference.
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THD Flexi 50

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EBMM JP13 Rosewood
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WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#5
Quote by stykerwolf
Just get those solid state rectifiers in the tube cases. i doubt you'd want sag with the gear you have in your signature


Just so you know, the Stiletto has both a solid state diode rec and a tube rec that you can switch between. And no, you're right, normally I don't need that much sag due to the music I normally play. And that's one reason why I opted to put the GZ34 in instead of the 5U4, because the 5U4 sags way too much for my needs. But first, I like having the option of having that tube sag for when I play stuff that needs less preamp gain, and second, I've grown to like the thickness of the tone out of the tube rec, even when playing metal. JJ seems to put out a pretty good GZ34, so bubb and mmolteratx are probably right about the quality difference not being worth the price.

Thanks for the input gentlemen. I just had to satisfy my curiosity a bit.
Ibanez UV777 - Carvin TL60 & 727 - Jackson KE3
Splawn QuickRod - Mesa Stiletto & RoadKing - Peavey Ultra+ - Peavey Bandit
Some pedlulz & cabz


7 String Legion
#6
Now I can't give you any opinion on GS34's but I do have a fair assortment of NOS 5Y3's for my Champ. I have tried them all and compared them to a JJ. There is no difference in sound whatsoever. One would expect that. I have blown one rectifier and it was a NOS one. I blew it while screwing around with the bias resistor in the power amp and being a directly heated filament they are an easy rectifier to blow - and it was my own fault it blew.
The funny thing about rectifiers is that you can often pick up NOS ones cheaper than modern ones. That's because rectifiers aren't in great demand - the reason? They don't affect the sound so people don't care. I would expect them to last longer but rectifier tubes last for a very long time, NOS or not. That makes them pretty cheap in cost per year so who gives a shit?
Bottom line, I wouldn't spend big money on a rectfier. If you can get them for a comparable price to a JJ go for it; if not, don't bother.
I like running NOS ones in my 5F1 Champ so they look right against all the other NOS tubes on it and on that amp they are sitting out in the open in sight. It's only for artistic considerations, not practical ones. They all look period correct for a Tweed Fender circuit. It's a piece of art as much as it is an amp so my concerns extend beyond merely how it sounds and how long the tubes last.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#7
Cathbard has spoken!

Thanks. I was hoping you'd come by and offer your input. You've been quite helpful to me in my short time on UG so far.

BTW/off-topic something you may find interesting: i have a pair of 12ax7s coming, an Amperex and a Telefunken. Gonna put em through the ringer in the Splawn!
Ibanez UV777 - Carvin TL60 & 727 - Jackson KE3
Splawn QuickRod - Mesa Stiletto & RoadKing - Peavey Ultra+ - Peavey Bandit
Some pedlulz & cabz


7 String Legion
Last edited by BCKRedBaron at Feb 6, 2012,
#8
Telefunkens are my absolute favorite 12AX7 ever. Got my Diezel and CAA loaded with them. If you've only got 1, put it in V1 and listen to the toanz.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#9
^Absolutely! Amperex isn't too far behind in quality are they? I'll be looking for more of those brands in the future; this is just a test case right now.
Ibanez UV777 - Carvin TL60 & 727 - Jackson KE3
Splawn QuickRod - Mesa Stiletto & RoadKing - Peavey Ultra+ - Peavey Bandit
Some pedlulz & cabz


7 String Legion
#10
Amperex is one of the few brands I haven't tried. I started off with the cheaper US made stuff and when I finally tried a Telefunken, I just stopped buying anything else.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#11
Telefunkens are everybody's favourite, that's why some cost over a thousand dollars. That was as good as valves ever got or are ever likely to get.
Amperex are damn good too, probably the second best valves ever. Pretty hard to get those cheap too.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#12
Telefunken long plate 12ax7 is best 12ax7.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.