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Most RELIABLE power tubes?? (6550s)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Smooth_bass88, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    Hey Guys, just wondering if someone can comment on the reliability of the various brands of power tubes. Specifically, 6550s as found in the Ampeg SVT 2-PRO. I've used several brands (EHX, Sovtek, Tung-Sol) and have had mixed results. The problem is usually bad tubes, or tubes seemingly going bad after a short period, which usually results in the amp shutting down on a gig. Thanks.
  2. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    My favorite 6550 is the NOS GE6550A. Well, you asked. Expensive but they offer a long service life.

    No matter what brand of tubes you buy, what helps when buying tubes is to deal with a reseller who burns in the tubes, puts them through a rigorous testing procedure, and offers a warranty. It costs a little more but worth it. This is a good place to deal with.
  3. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Ones installed in a well maintained amp that is looked after, has its bias checked often and isn't moved about whilst still hot.

    Tubesync helps the bias thing: http://www.tubesync.co.uk/

    There is the Bugera copy of that too, Infinium.

    That stuff makes much more difference that the writing on the glass.
  4. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    Good info thus far. Any other thoughts out there from players??
  5. jmpiwonka


    Jun 11, 2002
    got some tung sol reissue tubes from tctubes, the place beans on toast linked...power tubes are still fine after 2.5 yrs.
    Smooth_bass88 likes this.
  6. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    bumpin' this ... any more info appreciated!
  7. I've been using JJ's for years (albeit KT88's) for power and preamp valves. Only time I've had a dud was a set I bought second hand, I knew it'd be a gamble.
  8. cripula


    Dec 20, 2006
    I had good luck with Winged C 6550s in one of my SVTs... unfortunately they've more than doubled in price since I last bought them, I don't think they make them any more :(
    They lasted about 10 years in extremely heavy, hard usage. They sounded great - no complaints.

    I believe my other SVT has a recent set of reissue Tung Sols. Cant report on longevity yet, but so far so good and they sound good.