Tung-Sol 5881

9 Reviews
SKU: TS-5881

Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours.

USD $‎43.95
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 tubes6L6 Tube Types

Additional Information and Downloads

6L6 Tube Review

Tube Matching Information:
Power Tube Matching FAQ
Perfect Pair System

Tung-Sol 5881 Datasheet (PDF)

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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.

Ratings & Reviews

9 reviews

Nailed the tone, but use care not to overvolt these.


These have a great 5881 JAN tone, but they do not stand up as well as a real Tung Sol in some amps. You may fry some grid resistors. Nice bluesy tones. Highs are warm, as are the mids warm-dark. Used in National Model 80, Glenwood, and Supro T Bolt. Also Fender tweed Bassman Tweed Pro, and Tweed Twin. Great in cathode biased amps especially! Not quite as nice as the real deal, but very very close.

Sounds great... in the right application


I put a pair of these in an Epi Blues Custom... man they sounded good... but this amp was too hard on the 5881... need to go 6L6GC next time.



These perform excellently in Tweed amps.  They are also great in a JTM45 and in many Bassman amps. It's a compressed sounding tube with a very quick response, but with the extended range of a 6L6GC.

Really like these tubes


Nice sounding 5881 tubes. Originals have more depth but for a modern tube these are really good. The other night I was playing a gig with my main amp, one I built in 2007. It's cathode biased and has about 400v on the plates. I've had the same pair of these tubes in since I built it and they are still making music. I gig regularly and record with this amp and I'm pretty hard on my equipment. Haven't thought about the glass in my amp for a while which is a good thing, I get to think about the music when my tone is good and my amp works.

Great Value!


These worked very well in my 20 watt Krank Rev Jr. They got rid of the bad stuff and kept the good stuff. Sufficient compressed gain without getting saggy (responsive). No artifacts or weird clipping noise. Smooth runnings :)