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There are some important things to know about the reissue Tungsol 5881 tube before you decide to use it. The Tungsol 5881 is a 23 watt tube and is rated for a maximum plate voltage of 400Vdc. The many amplifiers that have higher plate voltage but use a tube rectifier can use the Tungsol 5881 tubes without issue. A prime example is the '59 Bassman LTD. However it is also critical to rebias the amp heeding the 5881's 23W rating. This will provide a vintage tone and less clean headroom. Leaving the bias set to a 6L6GC setting and/or using the Tungsol 5881 in a high voltage amp with a solid-state rectifier, will likely cause problems and are not covered by warranty. For these cases consider the Tung-sol 6L6GC-STR tubes instead. They are rated for 30 watts and 500V so they will hold up better. Their tone is quite similar to the 5881 too.
If you are not sure what is appropriate for you, contact us.
From our review of this tube: "The Tung-Sol 5881 tube may be the best option available for guitar toting tone freaks. The magic is definitely not in the name. The new Tungsol 5881 tube has it all going on. The pair I evaluated has been seeing steady gigging use for about 8 weeks. In this case, about 20 hours a week in a 1964 Fender Bassman running flat-out. One tube has drifted about 1ma, but that's after 150+ hours of full power usage. The tone is everything you would expect from NOS for about 1/3 of the price. These are full spectrum bottles that deliver everything from the classic, deep, "piano-like" lows to crystal clean highs. They are very tolerant with regards to biasing; allowing anything from 50% - 70% of rated plate dissipation to be dialed in at idle while still producing great tone. The construction differs slightly from the NOS in my possession but they are very close. Microphonics has not been an issue at all; no ringing, pops, ticks or squeals - unless you create them with a guitar. The overdriven tone is thick but articulate and just gets fatter the harder they are driven. Dime your amp and then use your guitar's volume and tone controls to dial in just about anything you want."
View the original Tungsol 5881 tube data sheet.
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.
Note: 25 Watt tubes (and similar) such as 6L6, 6L6GB, and 5881 are rated for plate voltage up to 400 volts.
30 Watt tubes such as 6L6GC, 6L6WXT+, and 6L6WGC are rated for plate voltage up to 500 volts.
The KT66 tube type is a 25 Watt tube rated for plate voltage up to 500 volts.
Check your amplifier's owner manual to find out what your amp requires or ask us.
Other Tung-Sol tubes 6L6 Tube Types
Additional Information and Downloads
6L6 Tube Review
Tube Matching Information:
Power Tube Matching FAQ
Perfect Pair System
Tung-Sol 5881 Datasheet (PDF)
Download Adobe Acrobat PDF reader
Warranty Information and Return Policy Warranty Period: 3 months
All our tubes are guaranteed for 3 months from the date of purchase. (Any exceptions will be noted on that tube's Warranty tab)
If you receive a tube that does not perform to the manufacturer's specifications, please do the following:
- contact us to get a return authorization
- return it via regular mail within 90 days from when we shipped it, and we will provide an exchange or refund of the full purchase price of the tube.
Returns not related to warranty or defect will be considered at our discretion, and are subject to a 15% restocking fee.
We can not accept returns that don't have an authorization, are past 3 month, or are returned improperly.
These guidelines may be updated without notice.
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Sounds great... in the right application
Nailed the tone, but use care not to overvolt these.