New Kt66s For My '65...with A Great Story.

coldengray

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As some of you may know, I build the occasional JTM45 replica using as many NOS parts as possible. Thanks to this hobby/passion of mine I was able to purchase a '65 block logo head a few months ago. It came with a set of clear glass, double halo getter GEC KT66s in there that tested nearly new and sounded great, and I was pretty happy with that setup.

So for the past month I have been communicating with a new customer about an extremely accurate build using a custom chassis and almost all NOS or vintage parts. We've spent a lot of time deciding on what parts to use, aesthetics, sourcing some stuff we need, etc. We have become pretty good friends, emailing several times a day and talking on the phone, and I've given him the same advice and guidance I share with all my customers...a LOT of it learned from you guys in this forum. He and I both share the same passion for JTM45s and it's been fun getting to know him.

Well, this fellow (who will remain anonymous) happens to have one of the best NOS tube collections I have ever seen, including at least 6 boxes of early 60s xf2 EL34s still in the Mullard boxes, totally untouched. But what REALLY blew me away was his KT66 collection...he has vintage Gold Lions still in the plastic and nearly perfect boxes. He also has several sets of totally NOS dark glass GECs that were military surplus, but have perfect GEC logos on them. I couldn't believe how beautiful they looked and that they were truly NOS - clean boxes, clean pins, just as untouched as they get. Then something unbelievable happened - he offered me a pair as a GIFT, to thank me for all my help thus far!! I couldn't believe it, stuff like this never happens to me!! I quickly thought of several ways I could somewhat repay his generosity in the build I am doing for him, though certainly not to the same extent. And today was the day - four NOS GEC tubes arrived, two for me and two for his build. I wanted to share these beauties with the forum as this is one of the best gear days I've ever had!










 

coldengray

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Thanks Tom and Mickey. The generosity of this fellow did not stop at the tubes, he also hooked me up with some excellent vintage Bumblebee caps for my Les Paul AND gave me a large red NOS RS 560pf silver mica cap with long legs. He is extremely generous and we are cut from the same cloth - both obsessed with building the perfect JTM45. I need to find a way to pay this forward to someone else.
 

coldengray

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These power tubes give me a cleaner sound at 5 on the volume but break up wonderfully when pushed. With 425v B+ I tried various bias levels (within safe norms) and settled on right at 40mA.
Such a generous act by someone I only recently met...but you can tell when two people are cut from the same cloth and we are definitely on the same level when it comes to JTM45s.
 

Metroman

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Nothing like a JTM45 with real KT66s. While some of the modern KT66s sound... OK, IMHO they don't really sound anything like a real KT66. More like a 6L6.

A guy that built my LP Burst copy, ( Chris Inglesi/Vintage Relic ) was also nice to me. He didn't know me from squat.
I didn't/don't have a PayPal account, and there was a LTD ED Metro GMP45 for sale, for what I considered Cheap. It had 20 hours on it, NOS GECs, but current production preamp/rectifier tubes.

They got Super Noisy after 1 month, and were unusable past 4.

The amp was for sale for $2500, and I asked Chris if he would buy the amp, and then I would send him the $$$, and also give him $100 for his trouble. He did, and had the amp sent straight to me vs waiting to see if I was going to pay him.

Hes currently putting a Fiesta Red finish on a 1 piece ultra light weight Musikraft Strat body, and gave me a 15% discount. Hes given the best customer service Ive experienced, and has sent so many photos of the stripping of a finish gone bad from someone else, grain filling ect, , I almost told him its cool, and that he doesnt have to send so many photos, but they are appreciated. I just dont want him to think he has to bend that far over for me, as the LP he built was really about as good as it gets. I already know hes going to do a good job. He supplied NOS 50s BBs for my LP build. .015 x .022. Its got all the old 50 wood ect, and plays perfectly, and is in tune, up and down the neck. I cant ask for more really.

Very few amps are nicer sounding, or versatile than a JTM45. Especially in head version. Maybe a JTM45/100.

I eventually replaced all the tubes, and have the Metro GECs as backups. They are Clear Glass.

Ive got some NOS coated glass x 1956 M-O/GEC as my main PTs. Sound the same. Thank goodness.

I put 2 x Mullard 10M Master Series Gold Pins in V1 x V2 x NOS 57 Mullard mC1 ECC83 in PI, and an NOS 61 Mullard Fat Base in Rectifier

I got the KT66s from Tube World.... ( I wish I had your friend )
And the Pre/Rectifier from Brent Jessie www.audiotubes.com

I also had him test them further ($15 for 2 tests per tube )

A Tektronix Curve Tracer is used to test for Every Parameter the tube has, and does it under Full Voltage ( $5 )

The next test is done with a Single Ended Class A Amplifier that they use to test tubes for Critical Applications, like Microphones, and he also has an Oscope, so he can also see funny business that you may not hear. ( $10 )

I also just had Mather build a 1966 copy of an Oversized TVB Cabinet, with EC Collins Pinstripe Cloth, and loaded it with 4 x 1972 Celestion G12Ms. Its the best sounding cabinet Ive ever heard/owned.

Heres a little more Tube Pron.

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coldengray

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Believe it or not my first JTM45 was a Metro kit build I bought on TGP. Had Mustards but was otherwise stock Metro kit stuff and I got it for $1000. The kid said the tubes were all modern "except I think the rectifier is older". The date codes were (and still are) visible on it, so I did some research. Low and behold he had sent me a '59 Mullard GZ34! Needless to say, I held on to that rectifier and it's in my '65 right now. I just tested it yesterday on my newest acquisition, a vintage Jenkins 115 tube tester. The rectifier STILL tests nearly new after all these years.
 

soundboy57

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That is just an awesome story. My 64 replica you built sounds rightious with NOS Mullards and the newer Gold Lion KT66 in it.
Maybe it's that secret sauce in the output transformer :)
Doesn't hurt to have an original 64 4x12 under it either :)
But I digress....I need to latch on to some NOS GEC at some point. That build deserves it.

I am damn happy for you...I know how much you love those old amps. I can only imagine how that 65
head sounds with old greenbacks. I would be thrilled to have a gold block logo some day.
Heck, in the meantime, I might just either make one, or buy a Marshall reissue, just to put a block logo on it
and drink a beer and look at it, LOL.

Problem is, I am one of those obsessives that needs a matching cab with my heads...so I may wait until
I stumble upon a 65-66 cabinet in any condition at all.

Keep us posted on any new "gifts" from random strangers....:)
 

Metroman

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I just had Mather build a Marshall Oversize TVB cab, with EC Collins cloth, and loaded it will 4 x 1972 Celestion G12Ms. 25w/75/Hz, for my Metro GMP45 Head. I got the speakers from a member here, about 3 years ago, and never put them into a cabinet, until Monday.

This is my best ever sounding rig, by far. Id love to have another, and run them daisy chained. I was thinking about getting a Metro GMP45/100 kit with Mustards ect, but in reality, the GMP45 is loud enough, and I wouldn't need a stack, or 4 x KT66s, to keep the GMP45/100 in check with 25 watt speakers.

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