2 channel h w/ 5881 tubes

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by NIKS1, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. NIKS1

    NIKS1 New Member

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    Hey; Was wondering if I could safely run my favorite tubes, 5881, into my 2 channel h head. After consulting w/, & getting the nod from Matt K. @ PRS customer service, they went in. Matt suggested 30 ma. They are a closely matched set of used Tung sols. Nothing wrong w/ the 6l6 Ruby's they replaced, but 6l6 to my ears seem to sound "boomy", Maybe the 5881 are slightly compressed? I dunno, supposedly some people claim they are the same/interchangeable. I think the 5881 puts out less wattage. Anyhow, through a a solid pine 1x12 cab loaded w/ a wgs 8 ohm et-65, humbucker guitar, they rule. Give em a try! Ymmv...
     
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  2. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    Good to know I have EL34s in my H and am very happy !!!
     
  3. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    You’re right, they’re not the same, but lots of 6L6 amps will work with 5881s (or 6L6WGBs as they’re sometimes called). In any case, it’s a 6L6 variant with a bit less headroom, which translates to a bit more compression. They can be a little less scooped sounding, too, which is often nice.

    I ordered several of my old Two-Rocks with NOS Philips 5881s, and they sounded fantastic with them.
     
  4. NIKS1

    NIKS1 New Member

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    Rider & Les; Im curios to know if you tried 5881 in your h & hxda respectively, or other tubes for comparison, & what differences in character you have observed. It's a good feeling to find a certain tube type or brand, that makes your favorite amp sound even better. Still can't believe the way the h gets bad mouthed by some individuals, (not on our forum,of course). If they only spent some time trying different guitars, tubes, speakers, speaker cabinets, & settings. After all, it's a passionate hobby, & that's the fun & inspiration to play more, practice more, & become better.
     
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  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I haven’t tried them in my HXDA, I like the EL34-ness of that amp. However, I’m planning to put a quad of NOS Philips 6L6 WGBs (5881s) in my Lone Star 100 at some point this winter, just for grins.

    You mentioned they’re your favorite tubes, so no doubt you already know they have a bit less headroom and a bit more crunch than typical 6L6 variants. What I like about them is that I can more easily get to that elusive transition from clean to grit.

    If you get a set, the NOS Philips are pretty easy to find, aren’t horribly costly, and are probably the best sounding out there, unless you can score a set of the original 50s-60s Tung-Sols.
     
  6. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    I can't say what the tonal differences are exactly between a standard 6L6 (which is the GC IIRC) and the 5881, although I have used the 5881. Didn't have enough of a back-to-back comparison to say for sure, but they struck me as very similar, just with the headroom difference. The 6L6 family, to me, adds a broad band of midrange when it starts to compress and distort, which can be really nice, depending on the amp. Although it can also make the amp sound slightly dull on top, but that depends on the design of the amp. Presence control to the rescue.
     
  7. NIKS1

    NIKS1 New Member

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    Now I pulled the 5881's & replaced w/ a used pair of JJ 6l6 that were stash. Set bias @ 34ma. Also replaced a 12ax7 w/ a 12at7 that was supposed to be there. The JJ's sound very lush, fuller, & sparkly right through. The beauty of the H, IMHO , is that it sounds really good @ lower volumes. I've owned many amps over the years that were great builds, that were small wattage, some w/ master volumes, & still needed to be cranked to sound good. I just sold my third Dr.Z maz18. They sound great, but need to be opened up (ideally in a band setting). I'm no longer playing out, relegated to the basement. My ears ring constantly, probably like many forumite brothers. Im attracted to larger wattage like most, because they dont collapse when turned up.It's nice to be able to find a 50 watt amp like the H that doesnt get choked when played @ lower volumes. Oh, just bought a Reason Bambino combo. Should be delivered Thursday. Anyone familiar w/ these ?
     

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