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changing tubes for Manley and Tube-Tech
Old 30th April 2010
Gear Nut
delay's Avatar

changing tubes for Manley and Tube-Tech


i recall reading here that someone had recommendation for tubes for Manley Vari-Mu?
i'd need to replace tubes for that unit as well as Massive Passive. mine are about 7 years old and i'm getting slight distortion that is becoming more audible.

does anyone know what tubes i should go for, possibly even upgrading the sound from standard tubes the units come with? and where to get them?

furthermore, if it was possible to upgrade the sound with new tubes while i'm it, anyone have tips for Tube-Tech SMC-2B or Manly Slam?

Old 30th April 2010
Lives for gear

i went for Manley's re-tube kit off of their tubesrule website
for my massive passive.
Old 1st May 2010
Deleted #8726

You can do research about the tubes with either equivalents or a re-tube kit from the manufacturer.

For similiar tubes use THIS site I got as a tip from a friendly person. There you can search for equivalents or just be fascinated how good that site is. For tube lovers, like me.

Good luck and be careful buying online if you choose to differ from the re-tube kit.

Old 2nd May 2010
Gear Maniac
OhioGreg's Avatar

Vari-Mu: bear in mind that these tubes NEED to be selected!
Unless you really know how to do that, I would stick to the original re-tubing kit.
Old 3rd May 2010
Originally Posted by OhioGreg View Post
Vari-Mu: bear in mind that these tubes NEED to be selected!
Unless you really know how to do that, I would stick to the original re-tubing kit.
+1 - off the Manley's site $210: - The Manley Labs webstore!

I've had good luck with Electro Harmonic tubes for the Tube Tech SMC 2B
Old 3rd May 2010
Lives for gear

keep in mind

BOth Manley and TubeTech will need to be recalibrated after they are re-tubed.

The manley is easy, if you have some good measurement equipment. The tube tech is more difficult to calibrate properly, but I have done it without having to send it to an official tube tech shop.
Old 10th May 2010
Here for the gear
cavestar's Avatar
re: changing tubes for Manley and Tube-Tech

I have experimented with, and replaced the tubes in both my Vari-MU and MP. Almost anything made by RCA in the 1950s was great. Ebay is a wonderful source for NOS tubes. I used some mid '50s RCA 5670 black plate triple-mica for the Vari-MU. The 7044 might be replaced with a Tungsol 5687 or Sylvania Gold Brand GB-5687, if you can find them.

The 5751 is the gain stage and has the biggest influence on the sound in both the Vari-MU and the MP. I like the RCA 5751 black plate triple-mica.

As far as I know, Manley themselves bought a huge lot of some of the best NOS 6414 tubes one can find for the MP, so it's best to just get those from Manley. Fairly obscure tube, actually.

I always steer away from new production tubes. They don't hold a candle to the sound of their grandfathers... Get some cotton gloves and avoid getting oil from your fingers on the tubes. Extreme heat and lethal voltage are present in these units, so always unplug and allow plenty of cool down time between swaps.
Old 14th March 2016
i just ordered a Retube kit from tubes rules for my massive passive, just wanted to know if that's my best option? Where do you guys get your tubes from?
Old 15th March 2016
Lives for gear

Only 7 years? I was under the impression from my Tech Tubes were supposed to last up to twenty years etc unless they've gassed up or Microphoney has entered the scenario?
Interesting! I know people change tubes often on gear, I have when ever a new units fallin into my hands even when my Tech has told me nope.....their fine! He's even got a machine that tests them with 10 sockets and stuff, looks like a kids school case Lol..!
Old 22nd March 2016
I just got my tubes in today! I have a little problem w gain though, I had 6414 tubes b4 and I got sent 12bh7 instead
Then my other tubes were the sovtec 5751 and got replaced by tungsol 5751.
My gain is drastically less but I have much more top end. I feel that my mp opened up on top and the bass got tighter. Is the loss of gain normal? I have the earlier MP btw
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