kt66's in Mesa boogie buster bass 200 head?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Deedubs, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Deedubs


    Mar 5, 2012
    Anyone try these in their buster? Do they even fit? How did they compare to normal 6L6's?
  2. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    I've never tried 'em, though people seem to like them as an alternative in some guitar amps.

    If you want to change the sound, I'd try the preamp tubes.

    What's wrong with your Buster anyway? Everyone knows they sound dope.
  3. Deedubs


    Mar 5, 2012
    Nothings wrong with my dope buster;)

    I'm just looking into different tubes for the knowledge, and maybe for future consideration.
  4. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Never tried it personally but I've wondered about it too for a long time. I'm just too cheap to go through with it- I haven't retubed in years.
  5. JP123


    Jun 22, 2009
    Hey Deedubs,

    I haven't put them in a Buster but have done a little research in putting KT66's in my MESA D-180.

    The Tungsol KT66 draws the same current as a 6L6 so the should go straight in without putting stress on the transformer... I would also recommend getting your tech to do a bias mod, very easy to do.

    You could try another brand of KT66 with a higher current draw but a couple of things;
    1. Check the valve/tube bottle before you do anything and see if there is enough space between the sockets so the tubes can remain cool.
    2. Monitor the amp for a while to see if the output transformer doesn't become unstable.
    3. Does the Buster have a fan??
    I'd install one of those if going down this track.
    4. Do the bias mod

    Your tech should be able to guide you before you blow your coin on the tubes.
    I'm certainly not an expert,, just my thoughts btw.
    So far Tungsol or Genelex Gold Lion KT66's are looking good ;)

    If all this looks too funky, you could whack some winged C 6L6's in.... and do the bias mod :)
  6. Deedubs


    Mar 5, 2012
    Thanks man! I'm more curious than anything. I read here in a few spots that I could let the tube retailer (such as eurotube) know that I'm buying tubes for a fixed bias Mesa buster head, and they would ship me tubes that are in mesa's fixed bias range. I'm not sure about this with kt66's though, but I'm sure that I could be done just a easy as any other tube they check for fixed Mesa bias specs. I was mainly curious about them fitting, with enough room between them. I may get a bias mod done in the future, but for now I'm kinda digging the plug and play convenience. I guess if I go too far down the "tube" rabbit hole I will prob get the mod done for further tone experimentation.
  7. JP123


    Jun 22, 2009
    Nice, Tungsols would be the go for the plug n play thang I guess.

    Good luck and enjoy the trip!
  8. It is hard to think of spending an additional $200 for KT-66's when the Buster is already a tone monster.
    I am absolutely blown away by this amp every time I play it. I don't think I would do a single thing to change it.
  9. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    The Buster is the one tube amp that I never considered swapping tubes in. It's in a class of it's own.
  10. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Bayou City
    also remember that the buster does not have a bias for the power tubes. The bias is pre-set to be used with mesa tubes. Mesa specs there tubes to be within a certin range that will work in mesa amps.

    Could be risky. I would consult a tech before i blew a bunch of money on tubes that might burn up really fast, or before i damaged my amp!
  11. Deedubs


    Mar 5, 2012
    I was just curious if anyone had, and what their thoughts were.....I probably could have stated the question better:ninja:
    I hear ya;) I'm kinda sick:bag:
    The tube retailers state that they test the tubes, and would give me tubes that are within Mesa's bias range. I thought that I couldn't possibly be the only one who has at least considered putting 66's in my buster:D
  12. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    I would bother until the bias in the amp has been sorted out. Also of note is that amps where you have to set the bias are 'fixed bias', the adjustment is what fixes it there, as opposed to cathode bias where it reaches its own equilibrium. Not being adjustable is just an amp not made properly for use.
  13. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Inactive

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    Bias mod is as simple as soldering in a resistor that reduces the current. Not simple for me, but simple for a tech that has the schematic and the knowledge!
  14. Just curious, have you actually done an objective comparison of KT66's versus 6L6's?

    I mean, take two identical amps--so identical that you cannot hear the difference in them when doing a double-blind listening test. Then put KT66's in one and leave the other stock. Repeat the double-blind experiment and see if you can detect a difference, and if so which one repeatedly sounds "better".

    I guess I'm just dubious of claims that changing to KT66's can produce a "better tone". There's far too much hype on the Internet regarding tubes, components, wires, etc. Mainly brought to you by the vendors that love to sell these overpriced products and perpetuated by the gullible masses....
  15. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    If the identical amp is made for 6L6, then 6L6 will sound better, if its made for KT66, they will sound better. If the amp designer is completely indifferent to correct function then its a crapshoot.
  16. Deedubs


    Mar 5, 2012
    I believe that the work fixed means that "it dosnt move", or rather, "in a fixed position. Heres an article that I find interesting straight form mr. Smith.

  17. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    I would hope the output tranny's primary impedance was optimized for 6L6's, and if so, going to another tube may have negative impacts to the tone, frequency response, and/or power. The whole non-adjustable fixed bias design is just plain silly - at a minimum, there should be adjustments for each side, and ideally individual adjustments for each tube.
  18. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    It means it is fixed by a resistor. That resistor should be variable so you can fix it in the right place. That article is interesting in the sense of how much someone can right without presenting any useful correct information. Here is useful info on the subject of fixed bias amps: http://www.amp-fix.com/biasing.htm
  19. Deedubs


    Mar 5, 2012
    Thanks. I will read it.
  20. Deedubs


    Mar 5, 2012
    I didn't Intend for this threat to be a bias debate really, but rather a to find out if any buster owners have tried this, and what were there thoughts.