Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

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Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby keithb7 on Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:13 pm

I recently picked up a nice 1962 Vibrolux that someone had converted to solid state rectification. I am putting it back to stock. It requires a GZ34/5AR4 rectifier tube. Someone on line who also owns one. suggested that this is the one tube worth spending big bucks on, and going with NOS. This particular NOS tube is quite pricey and I am reluctant to throw out $100 for one tube. No guarantees on used either. After contacting a few sellers, it would seem that these tubes are prone to being noisy. One fellow has 3 up for sale. Very low use. I asked him to test them in his amp for noise, all 3 were buzzy. One sounded like bacon frying. I have had great success buying NOS 5Y3 rectifiers. What's up with the GZ34? I am tempted to try a new production, at least to hear the amp and check the amp out. I have not plugged it in yet as it needs a service bad. It has all original, blistering caps. Do new production GZ34 tubes produce consistently higher voltages than new production, as is the case with new 5Y3 tubes? This amp is surely worth spending a $100 on a proper tube, however I want something solid, reliable and quiet. Any comments, suggestions, experience appreciated. Thanks. Keith

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Re: Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby tubeswell on Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:39 pm

There are a number of current production GZ34s that will do the job just fine. JJ for example, or something from the Mike Matthews factory
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Re: Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby Unit_1 on Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:49 pm

GZ34 used in Marshall, so it has M-Hype value. There are a number of rectifiers that are very similar that will do just fine as well. However, Mullard remakes are supposed to be pretty good too....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MULLARD-SINGLE- ... 2093464373
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Re: Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby stratele52 on Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:50 pm

I use JJ or Sovtek, they work fine.
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Re: Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby Gasstationman on Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:54 pm

I use Sovtec after testing several brands. Maybe not the coolest vintage choice but warm and good tone. If your amp still have the 125P6A/68409 PT you will have sag anyway.
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Re: Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby OldSchoolDave on Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:57 am

keithb7 wrote:This amp is surely worth spending a $100 on a proper tube, however I want something solid, reliable and quiet. Any comments, suggestions, experience appreciated.


In my experience, a rectifier tube can contribute to the dynamic response of an amp, but not to the tone per se.

I've had very good luck with the big bottle Shuguang GZ34's (like this: https://www.tubesandmore.com/products/5ar4-chinese ).

They have tested stronger for me than TAD counterparts, which are generally well regarded ( https://www.tubesandmore.com/products/5 ... amp-doctor ).

I think either one would serve that beautiful amp well.

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Re: Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby stratele52 on Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:49 am

Better to put money on a good tune-up than a NOS rectifier
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Re: Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby keithb7 on Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:41 pm

Thanks for the assurance folks. I'll try new production. The amp is getting a full service by me as well. It'll be top top running condition sion.
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Re: Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby Gasstationman on Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:32 pm

Please post some pics when the belly is open.
Good luck with the work.
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Re: Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby spoond on Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:37 pm

The expensive part of refitting a tube rectifier is getting a compatible tube socket, so I assume yours is still there.

Good NOS glass has both an aesthetic quality and a tone impact. People say the rectifier can't affect tone, but listen to different tubes before you agree. There's a reason people spend ridiculous amounts of time and money to get nice NOS glass for tube amps. I have a bone pile of reject (noisy or microphonic) tubes that someone else might sell you on eBay. Caveat Emptor!

A couple more thoughts: DON'T fall for a "tech" whose "tune-up" is just new cheap glass and replacing all the caps on the board, instead of going through the amp finding any problems and leaving original parts that are OK. DO make sure to replace all the electrolytic caps in the power supply with all new Sprague Atoms, even if the original power caps have already been replaced (when?)...because nice original tubes only sound right with clean DC power on the plates.

And where does that DC power come from? Ah yes, the rectifier...
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Re: Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby keithb7 on Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:33 am

As requested, here are a few pics of my 1962 Vibrolux after I completed the conversion back to tube rectifier. I had to pull the installed incorrect power transformer. I installed a new Classictone.

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Re: Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby keithb7 on Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:34 am

Here is my work after the mods were reversed.

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Re: Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby keithb7 on Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:36 am

Lastly here it is with one of my favourite guitars. A Mexican Strat that I stripped and re-finished. I installed a Wilkinson Bridge, Fender Custom Shop Pickups, all new pots, switches. Tusq nut and my preferred color scheme.
Was a $150 guitar. LOL. Now it rivals my American Strats.


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Re: Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby Gasstationman on Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:16 pm

Nice pics.
Extra ++ for the domino caps.
What rectifiertube did you end up with?
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Re: Moral Support: NOS GZ34 For My 1962 Vibrolux?

Postby keithb7 on Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:45 am

Well I ordered two on line from the Tube Depot. 1 was a Chinese 5AR4, the other was a JJ GZ34.
Soon after they arrived I found a good used USA made Sylvania in my stash of tubes. I had no idea it was there. So I put that in and have not
even tried the two new ones I ordered. LOL. The amp sounds great.
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