View Full Version : Info on old 6L6GC's

07-13-2013, 03:28 PM
I spied an old Heathkit stereo amplifier today. I noticed that it had some Raytheon 6L6GC tubes in it along with at least one (probably 2) Mullard ECC83. My question is this the 6L6GC tubes have that octagon shape that says 6L6 in it on the glass, does that mean they are really RCA's? They had side getters.

I think I can get it for $125 all in but the guy doesn't have any idea if the tubes are good or if the amp even works. The tubes look good to my eye and the amp appears to be in decent shape physically. I didn't want to get to interested in it yet though. I'm in for a little adventure so I might scoop it up. Is it worth it?

Edit: Looks like it is a Heathkit A9C amp.

Blue Strat
07-13-2013, 03:57 PM
1) You can't tell anything about the condition of tubes by looking at them unless the glass is obviously broken or the getters have turned white
2) Other manufacturers used octagons. RCA's do have side, rather than top, getters.

The jury is out.

The Dirty Tube
07-13-2013, 07:51 PM
Blue Strat is generally correct, but there are plenty of clues that can narrow the margins.

Raytheon imported a lot of Japanese tubes and they sport the octagon logo.

If I were a betting man, which I am, I'd bet they are Japanese. Of course, my guess is a total shot in the dark, but by the time 6L6GC's came onto the scene, many companies abandoned the ubiquitous octagon logo, had their own individual style logo, and Raytheon was doing a lot of re-labeling.

Can't speculate on tube wear or brand without some photos.

07-13-2013, 08:49 PM
They say Made in the U.S.A. on them anyway. I think I might take a closer look and see if I can get it for less. I don't know if it'd be something worth tinkering with even if the tubes aren't that great.

The Dirty Tube
07-13-2013, 09:12 PM
"Made In USA" may mean nothing with Raytheon tubes. They did a lot of importing and put "Made In USA" on tons of them. Why? Maybe reputation, who knows. Aside from seeing many, I personally have Japanese 5U4GB and 6BQ5 tubes with Raytheon's "Made In USA" label.

Like I said, the octagon logo was dropped by many manufacturers by the 6L6GC era. RCA is the most prolific octagon user and a very prolific 6L6GC manufacturer, so it is certainly very possible that the tubes you're looking at are RCA. I'm merely adding some conjecture because Raytheon did a lot of importing and their "Made In USA" label was highly suspect by the 1960's, a time when 6L6GC's were at peak production.