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Thread: Tung Sol 6V6 (New Sensor) high failure rate recently

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    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Tung Sol 6V6 (New Sensor) high failure rate recently

    Over the last few months, we've been experiencing a high rate of failure in new production New Sensor's Tung Sol brand 6V6s. The first occurrence happened in a batch we bought a few months ago, and wanted to casually monitor the situation to see if it was a trend in production, or just a bad batch. (We've been consistently having very good success with their Tung Sol brand 6L6s, with very good matching tolerances and low failure rates).
    But after the last order, the rate of bad tubes we've been experiencing seems to exceed what can be explained away as coincidence. So, I think we are going to switch to JJ's. I wish we had kept a log to have a good measure of failure percentage vs other tubes/brands, and will probably do that going forward.
    But I did want to bring this up as a caution, as well as see if anyone else has had this experience recently?

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Recently? No... When New Sensor released their ElectroHarmonix branded 6V6's, around 20 years ago, they were touted as being dead nuts copies of the venerable RCA's. Well, they didn't exactly impress me as equivalent to RCA, though they did their best to make the tubes appear that way. But, they weren't awful so I carried them. For a while. Came a time I noticed a lot of early breakdowns, and about that time JJ got their pin diameter problem sorted out, and JJ 6V6 became my stocked item. Also, around the same time, New Sensor released their "TungSol" brand. Examining TS vs EH, they appeared identical, except that the plate rides a little higher in the TS variety, closer to the top of the bulb. Didn't do any interior exams though. So, if there are any actual build differences, I am unaware of them. I took New Sensor's game to be, "we'll put a prestige label on some of the tubes we're making, pretend they're better somehow, because they bear the name of a trusted USA manufacturer, and charge a higher price." Can't say I've been positively impressed by any of the tubes from Russia bearing the TS logo, including the 6V6. But then again, I might be biased (?!?) because they generally arrive in amps needing repair. One time a customer brought in a freshly bought quad of TS EL34's for his reissue Marshall Lead 100. Naturally, one was bad right out of the box. So he swapped 'em for EH's. Same story! Harrumph! And phooey besides! I installed a set of JJ and away he went, serenading his neighbors at top volume from then on. That's my story & I'm stickin' to it.

    Same goes for so called "reissue" Mullards.

    I'd say you had a lucky streak with Russian T-S labeled 6V6's. Party's over! Let's hope JJ keeps their quality control up. Because everything made in China just went up 25%, good bad and indifferent.

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    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    I’m starting to see the wisdom in encouraging customers to get whatever set of replacement tubes they prefer, and telling them we’ll take of the rest.

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulFetish View Post
    I’m starting to see the wisdom in encouraging customers to get whatever set of replacement tubes they prefer, and telling them we’ll take of the rest.
    When they bring in tubes that fail fast, then what? "B.b.b.bbbbut I read on the interwebs, these brand x tubes are the best! Plus, I paid $20 for shipping besides. Wah wah, you just gotta make 'em work! You're a genius! Evvabody says so!"

    Better stock up on JJ's. For customers that balk at them, let 'em bring in their own and let 'em suffer the consequences.

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    I got a pair of those EH 6V6s for my 79 Champ. First one blew a screen in about 5 minutes on 10. I still have the other tube & haven't ordered another EH tube yet. I refuse to get the TS & other "magic happy super brand" Sovteks on principle. I'll stick with my plain old cheap-as-dirt & tough-as-nails Sovtek 12AX7s & 5881WXTs, thank you.

    Besides, any conpany making a "Tung Sol EL34 REISSUE" sounds suspect to me. Yeah, I'ma go buy that new Fender AC30 Reissue, too.

    Justin

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    "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
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    Supporting Member tubeswell's Avatar
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    I got a few pairs of RI TS6V6s sitting in my stash unused from about 10 years ago. They're spare ones I ordered when they first cam out. But when I went to try them in an amp that ran about 380 or 390 on the plates, I noticed problems, so I've never bothered using them since (and the unused ones I got at the time are still unused). I use JJ6V6S - never had any problems with them.

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