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Spidervalve 112 MK1 Tube Replacement
by Logieberra on 2012-12-19 10:00:37.5460

about to replace the dead tubes on my spidervalve and I'm goanna buy a set of matched 6L6 5881 tubes and 2 12ax7 tubes and was wondering does the spidervalve need to be rebiased with new tubes and is there a certain brand I should look at?

thanks alot

Re: Spidervalve 112 MK1 Tube Replacement
by Rowbi on 2012-12-20 09:11:56.8340

when replacing power tubes you MUST always rebias.

I've discussed with a line 6 technician previously and because Bogner tube amps are already hot rodded (that's why they sound great) it's not a good idea to use any tubes other than the specific ones Line 6 recommend.  It's not the same as just the slight differences between makes of the same model of tube, but 5881 ans 6L6 tubes have so many different types that actually have different electrical properties, that it's not a good idea to use anything but 5881WXT types.  As I understand it they are the same as a stock 5881 but with a bigger base.  So you should be able to use a 5881 if you mod the tube retainers on the amp, but anything else with different number or letters (like a 6L6GC) will work, but could do damage to the amp.

This isn't true of all 5881/6L6 compatible tube amps, but some have wider tollerances for accepting of differnt tubes safely.  Spider Valves aparently do not.

For this reason I always stuck with Sovtek 5881WXT power tubes, and then I just tried different preamp tubes to change the tone of the amp slightly... oh and I fitted an SVPre too for kicks :-)


Re: Spidervalve 112 MK1 Tube Replacement
by Logieberra on 2012-12-20 09:20:06.9780

Thanks a lot. I will look for those 5881wxt ones you mentioned but the 12ax7 tubes don't matter what brand/type?

Re: Spidervalve 112 MK1 Tube Replacement
by mtnman82 on 2012-12-22 19:39:35.1100

Yep, always need to check the bias on the SV's when popping in new power tubes. No need to check bias if you're replacing dead 12ax7's. The Bogner amps are hot rodded in the sense that the plate voltages are pretty high for 5881 tubes (~450vdc on mine, some have measured higher). The spec's on the Sovtek 5881's are closer to 6L6 than 5881. If you want to use 5881's, I'd stick with the the Sovtek 5881wxt's. Any 6L6 should work just fine. The 12ax7's are all basically the same. I've used and liked the Tung-Sol or Mullard re-issues for 12ax7's. I've been trying and am also happy with the chinese 12ax7b's recently - I believe these are what currently ship in Mesa amps. For the power amp tubes, I've been happy with the Sovtek 5881wxt's, the Sovtek 6L6wxt+'s, and the Electro Harmonix 6L6's (currently running the Sovtek 6L6's in my MkI and the EH 6L6's in my MkII).

Edit: For posterity's sake I wanted to correct a mistake I made in this post.  I posted the incorrect tube type above.  The Sovtek 5881's I'm referring to are the 5881/6L6wgc - NOT the 5881wxt.  I apologize profusely if I messed anyone up with this.  I corrected as soon as I realized my mistake...  The Line6 Spider Valves are shipped with the 5881/6L6wgc, NOT the 5881wxt.

Re: Spidervalve 112 MK1 Tube Replacement
by mtnman82 on 2013-01-13 16:50:22.1660

Wanted to update my post.  Sovtek makes two different types of 5881's - 5881wxt & 5881/6L6wgc.  The 5881/6L6wgc's are what come stock in the Spider Valves.  The 5881/6L6 Sovtek's are spec'd to take the 450v plate voltage in our amps.  I'm not sure the 5881wxt's can.  I have the MkI at my regular practice studio and am consistently happy with the tone, even pleasantly surprised at times. That one has the Sovtek 6L6wxt+'s in it.

I've been regularly using the MkII with the EH 6L6's and have to say I haven't been especially impressed. I used it again last night with a 20 piece big band I regularly play with and was not too pleased with the clean tone. The past ~year I've been using it with the EH's I was thinking my unhappiness with the tone was because it was a MkII (vs the MkI's), but now I'm thinking part of it might be the tubes. I use a 335 type axe with the big band (vintage Yamaha SA2000 - from the era when Yamaha was making them better than Gibson) so I don't expect a Fender type 'chime', but the tone is not as 'juicy' as it should be or has been. I'm thinking the EH's are a darker sounding tube and am going to switch out to the Sovtek 6L6wxt+'s. Don't get me wrong, the tone has been acceptable, but I know it can sound better. Also to put things into perspective, I'm a real picky SOB and most would be just fine with stuff that will bug me.

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