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Battle of the 6L6's !

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by jnewmark, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. jnewmark

    jnewmark Supporting Member

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    Tube guys ( or gals ) who have 6l6's for your power tubes, what brand are you using and why ? Recently got a Music man HD150 head which uses 4 6L6GS tubes and was wondering what brand will get me the best clean tone with the most headroom. I've been told that the phillips 7581A is the #$% for this high plate voltage head, but, man, are they expensive and hard to find a quad matched set. So give me some alternatives and why !
  2. spacebassed

    spacebassed

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    as far as new production tubes go, its hard to beat SED "winged-C" 6L6GC's - or are you looking exclusively for American NOS tubes?
  3. Primakurtz

    Primakurtz Registered Nihilist Supporting Member

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    Call Lord Valve at NBS Electronics in Denver. He'll tell you the straight poop.
  4. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    Yes to "winged C"s, but include in your options KT66's
  5. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    John K Custom Basses
    alos keep in mind that the large bottle philips 6L6GC's are basically the same as 7581A's.
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'll tell you one I will never use again, and that's JJ's. I've had two pairs of JJ 6L6's, and the first set developed a crackle after 4 months, and the second set is new and one is already microphonic.
  7. hdracer

    hdracer Supporting Member

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    TAD's have worked good for me.
    Winged C's are good but for my money I'll take TAD's
  8. mpdd

    mpdd Supporting Member

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    ruby tubes, came with the amp, sound great
  9. spacebassed

    spacebassed

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    Ruby Tubes are just cheap Chinese tubes that have been rebranded.
  10. JB_Upright

    JB_Upright

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    I've had consistent, good results with the JJ 6L6. I have a set in an Ampeg B-15N, and a Mesa 400+, which has 12 of them.
  11. James Judson

    James Judson

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    Google "Eurotubes". Then call and talk to Bob. He's quick to tel you "I'm no tech" but he knows more about tubes than any three techs I've ever met. After your conversation he'll sell you a matched set and if you can make it to his place he'll install them and set the bias for you.
  12. spacebassed

    spacebassed

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    + 1 for Eurotubes - superior customer service.
  13. rodl2005

    rodl2005

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    & only JJ tubes afaik. Fine if u want JJ's, but there are others .....
  14. MAMMOTHvolume

    MAMMOTHvolume

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    I wouldn't recommend kt66's in high plate voltage scenarios.

    Some proper 6ca7s would be nice though :)
  15. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast

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    How much do you want to spend? My preference is, whenever possible, go with NOS.

    This place has a nice quartet of GE's for $252. They do an excellent job of matching the tubes and do it at the operating voltage of your amp.
  16. Bassmec

    Bassmec

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    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    The original tube designed by Mullard was the EL37, it's still the best 6l6
    In my book.
    As they used to say "Don't be a dullard, fit a Mullard".:hyper:
    Cost you though these days.:bassist:
  17. countrybass007

    countrybass007

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    Always bought mine from Mesa Boogie as matched sets. 35 years with not one problem.
  18. iiipopes

    iiipopes

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  19. nashvillebill

    nashvillebill

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    It's hard to go wrong with the Sovtek tubes, maybe not the most glamorous of tubes but they have always worked well for me. I've also got a pair of new EH 6L6's and they sound great too.

    I was not impressed with JJ's, they rattled too much.

    Overall, I guess I've been unimpressed with any of the Chinese tubes. And I'm pretty sure spacebassed is correct, Ruby tubes are relabelled Chinese tubes.

    Similarly, Groove Tubes as well as Tube Amp Doctors also do not make their own tubes, they relabel tubes made by other manufacturers.

    For a regular gigging amp, I'm not sure if I'd pay for NOS tubes. The prices are too high, and some of the current production sound just as good to my ears for a lot less money.
  20. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    one thing to keep in mind, here, is that the MM runs very high plate voltage.
    This needs to be accounted for in your tube selection.

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