Are you looking to replace your GZ34 rectifier tube? Look no further!
Rectifier valves, like the GZ34, are used in a large number of vintage and reissue guitar amplifiers.
We sell a superb example of the GZ34 (5AR4) rectifier made by JJ Electronics. JJ is one of only five valve manufacturers in the World. This version has a thick glass envelope and extremely robust electrodes. So this makes it the perfect workhorse for those guitar amplifiers which use tube rectification.
Examples of guitar amplifiers that use the GZ34 (5AR4) rectifier tube are the Fender 66 Custom Deluxe and the Fender Pro Reverb but there are many others. In fact, it’s become quite chic to add a rectifier tube to a new guitar amplifier design. Guitarists just love that ‘retro’ feel!
What’s the difference between the GZ34 and the 5AR4.
That’s simple. There is none! They are just different numbering systems for exactly the same valves. Note: the GZ34 can also substitute for the 5U4GB and 5Y3S rectifier valves as well.
So why Use a Valve Rectifier such as the GZ34?
That’s a good question. These are big, hot bottles that can be replaced by a few pence worth of silicon rectifier. The latter will do a BETTER job than the GZ34 rectifier valve. Is that true?
So why do amplifier designers still use valves in the rectifier section? Well, the first thing to realise is that the rectifier valve is NOT in the signal chain. It’s there simply to change AC to DC, a process known as rectification.
The reason rectifier valves are still used is interesting. They are actually not that great at doing the job they are intended to do! That is, change AC to DC. If the amplifier is loaded, by say a heavy power chord from your trusty LesPaul, the DC will ‘sag’. This is because the rectifier simply can’t keep up. In contrast, a diode rectifier will barely sag. (sagging means the DC voltage drops before recovering.) But here’s the thing. Guitarists have come to like this effect, hence the huge demand for valve rectification.
And of course, back in the day, there were no decent solid-state rectifiers. So the GZ34 and similar types were the only game in town. There are still tens of thousands of vintage and re-issue amplifiers out there that use rectifier tubes.
So now you know!
If you have any questions drop us an email and one of the team will get straight back to you.