Tube experts, I need some clarification.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassboysam, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. I have a Fender Bassman 300 Pro on the way, its about 2 years old with the original 6550 Groove Tubes....and I have never been a fan of GT. I would like to swap them out but I don't think the JJ Kt88s, which I use in my YBA200, would be a good match for this head. I have a feeling it would be too clean and Hi-Fi sounding.

    So I have been researching some 6550/KT88 tubes and here is what I have come up with, I just want to know if I am on the right track.

    1) Overall it seems everyone loves the SED6550C and KT88s, great tone supposed to be similiar to the old GEs. But at the same time they seem to do poorly in high power amps and are prone to microphonics. So maybe not a good choice for the 300 Pro?

    2) Although I really don't like the Sovtek 6550WE, it seems that the Sovtek KT88 is well regarded for tone and reliability and price (is it much diffent sounding than the 6550WE?). At the same time I read the The Sovtek KT88 is the same tube as the Tung Sol 6550, but about $10 cheaper. So there is really no need to even look at the Tung Sol (which is a Sovtek with a diffrent name)

    3) I am also undertanding that the Sovtek Kt88 is also the same tube as the EH6550 which is supposed to be the same tube as the EH KT88.

    In other words the Tung Sol, Sovtek KT88, EH 6550 and EH KT88 are all the same tube with a diffrent name? Pure marketing genius!!!:cool:

    Confused yet? I know I am. I just want a good reliable tube with nice low mids and not harsh or thin sounding when overdriven, aka the Sovtek 6550WE.

    thanks in advance.

    Found this while seaching for more info...Can't be good for the tube industry as a whole

    Russian Megacorporation Targets New York Rock & Roll Businessman
    Source: New Sensor Corporation
    Dec 5, 2005, 05:01

    Threatens Acquisition by Force

    NEW YORK, Dec./PRNewswire/ -- New Sensor Corporation, best known for its Electro-Harmonix line of Rock & Roll music effects, today finds itself in an unlikely battle against SOK, a notorious multi-billion dollar Russian conglomerate with aggressive real estate aspirations.

    The Samara-based SOK has made headlines in Russian newspapers recently for its ambitious acquisitions in the city of Saratov. Headed by Yuri Kachmazov, who reportedly travels with ten or more bodyguards, SOK has already purchased Saratov's largest bridge building company, and is seeking control of its port on the Volga River.

    Through its subsidiary RBE Saratov (Russian Business Estate), SOK is now planning to acquire ExpoPUL, a factory located in Saratov and owned by New Sensor Corporation in New York City. One of the three remaining vacuum tube factories in the world, it produces technologies that are increasingly rare in the digital age and cherished globally by guitarists and audiophiles.

    RBE told ExpoPUL management it would "make big problems" for the company if they refused to sell the building. Shortly thereafter, RBE sent notification to ExpoPUL that its power would be disabled on January 1, 2006, effectively shutting down all production. Despite these threats, New Sensor president Mike Matthews declined to sell.

    Matthews, a past winner of the New York State Small Business Person of the Year award and a fairly eccentric Rock & Roll character, is poised to fight for ExpoPUL and its 900 skilled workers. "We don't give into extortion," he says. "We have no intention of selling the factory and jeopardizing hundreds of jobs while letting these valued technologies become extinct." Matthews is currently appealing to the American Embassy in Moscow, along with several other government officials in both the U.S. and Russia
  2. I don't really care for their tone either, and yes, I would pass on them.

    You're mixed up. The Sovtek KT88 and the new "Tungsol" 6550 are the same tube. The EH 6550 and KT88 are the same as each other, but not the Sovtek KT88/Tungsol 6550. There is nothing wrong with Sovtek 6550WE's either. The ones in my Eden VT300 sound great.

    I'd say that has a LOT more to do with the Traynor than the tubes. Traynors are bright; they're famous for it.

    Don't worry about Mike Matthews; his hard foreign currency carry more weight than a Russian land scheme. He's already won the first battle in court.
  3. Thanks for clearing things up PBG. But can you explain the diffrence between the EH6550/KT88 and the Sovtek KT88/Tungsol 6550? Is either a better quality tube and do they sound similar? And lastly is a good place to buy from?

    thanks again.
  4. The Tungsol/KT88 has the coke bottle glass and can handle a LOT more voltage than a 6550 spec's for. The EH 6550/KT88 has a Genalex KT88 type envelope. I've not used the EH, but I am VERY happy with the tone of the Sovtek/Tungsol in my Trace Elliot amps.

    Don't know. I get most of my stuff from Ned Carlson; he's top notch and understands amps, not just sells tubes.
  5. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Ive used tubedepot before. No problems. I also think the Sovtek 6550we's sounded just as you described above, thin and crappy in the YBA. I dont think I'd blame it on the Traynor, because as you are aware, with the Kt88's it sounds alot better. I am interested in what you decide for the 300 pro. Ive been thinking about getting one, too. Seems we have similar tastes! Rickenbacker, traynor w/kt88, Ampeg cab is my rig! :) Happy, but still thinking about springing for the 300pro. Let us/me know how it sounds with the Ric!
  6. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    I use and recommend them. Chris is a very knowledgable guy IMO and we've talked amps some (hifi, guitar and bass)... but then I don't know much compared to PBG so it may be a relativity thing ;)

    I also value PBG's opinions... and he is a good portion of my choice in the Sovtek KT88 which I'm also VERY happy with tone wise in the year I've used them. As far as reliability, I'll let you know that in another 5 or 6 years. They are still too new to say (no issues yet).

  7. Well I was over at another TBer's (Turlu) place to try his Sunn 300T with my 610. I had my P-bass with me and that sounded really good, very nice rock sound...very Clutch if you are familiar with that band. Turlu has a couple of Rics and tried those out as well. Again perfect for any type of rock music. Lots of clear lows, cutting mids and just enough highs but not harsh. If you get a chance I would definetly recommend you try out the amp. Like I said in another post my tone and Turlu's cannot be more different but we were both able to dial in what we like relatively quicky and that was without diving into the graphic EQ, bright and deep switches or the compressors.

    based on what has been said on these forums and some other reviews i have read on the internet I think I will order a set of the Sovtek KT88s.

    It will be a few weeks until i get the amp and tubes but i will get back to you.
  8. My thoughts exactly!