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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Retubing Sonny Jr. 410
Retubing Sonny Jr. 410
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283 posts
Jun 06, 2022
5:40 PM
I've had my Sonny Jr. 410 for a long time and I reckon it's due for some service. It's been cutting out on rare occasion. and then comes back.

I'm open to suggestions for tubes

It currently has a Electro Harmonix 5U4GB rectifier, Tung Sol 6l6WGB, EH 12AU7, EH 12AU7, and a JJ ECC83s.

6l6WGB are the same as 5881s I believe? I like the compression I've gotten from 5881s in the past so point me in that direction.

I know tubes are pretty expensive and hard to find these days so all this might be moot and I just get what I can get.
403 posts
Jun 07, 2022
10:35 AM
A source (KCA).

Edit: I have an old email from Sonny saying that, with the new speaker and back panel, the tubes don't matter all that much, though he did say stay away from Chinese and that NOS is often more trouble than it's worth (me: perhaps unless you purchase from a source that tests them well).
The "ANOS" from KCA might be a possibility -- I have never had an issue with tubes from them, though often pricey.

Edit2: Oops, look like all the ANOS 5881 are out of stock; NOS, couple in stock, looks like $165 for a matched pair.

Edit3: copied from the tubestore.com TS 5881 page:
"The Tung-Sol name and trademark have been acquired by the New Sensor Corporation. This new production Tungsol tube is manufactured at their Xpo-Pul factory (also known as Reflektor) in Saratov, Russia. New Sensor is an American corporation and since taking ownership of this factory has been steadily improving the quality of current production tubes."

Also good to know that 5881 will need a rebias.

Last Edited by TetonJohn on Jun 07, 2022 11:48 AM
404 posts
Jun 08, 2022
8:23 AM
I have an RCA 5U4GB in mine; some say it's the "gold standard." FWIW, this site says the EH is an exact duplicate - and SJ sent the EH with the amp; so probably a good choice.
120 posts
Jun 08, 2022
9:44 AM
Weber Copper Cap in either 5AR4 or 5U4.
MY preference for rectifier is 5AR4.
Difficult to tell any difference, but you may want to use a spring type retainer as they are a bit heavier than glass.

Tung-Sol 6L6GC-STR
Groove Tube 6l6-GE

Tung-Sol preamp tubes are fine.

I don't use JJ tubes, as I've had two tube failures with JJ. One was preamp one was power tube, they were both brand new.
291 posts
Jun 09, 2022
2:06 AM
I guess it depends on what you think needs replacing. I usually go to Brent Jessee recording supply - audiotubes dot com. Great, informative website and a lot of NOS variety. I think NOS tubes are worth it. My experience with Russian & Chinese tubes and domestic junk dealers didn’t ever make my amps sound better.

The 5881’s sound warmer/sweeter than 6L6’s to me. And you can get matched pairs of NOS Tung-Sol’s for $50-$150 a pair.

Again NOS tubes - typically mixing 12AU7, 12AT7, and 12AY7 - available for $20 up to as much as you can spend. And when I was told I needed a 5AR4 rectifier tube I came upon a 5R4 for free, checked and found out it would do just fine. And it has. I think you can find good tubes without breaking the bank.

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