Best 6L6's for harmonic richness, tone, depth? JJ, Ruby, SED , TAD, EH or ??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Groberts, May 13, 2012.

  1. Groberts

    Groberts Silver Supporting Member

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    I just got a Louis Electric Buster amp that runs a pair of 6L6's rated around 27W's. Not sure if the amp is biased cold to keep the wattage down or not. Regardless, it has a 5AR4 rectifier. I am wondering what are the best new / current issue 6L6 brands? I have a lot more experience with 6V6 tubes and have some preferences in that regard.

    The amp comes with a pair of JJ's or Ruby's. I like JJ's, but haven't ever loved them. They usually sound slightly hard and strident in the upper mids to me. But maybe 6L6's are different?

    How would you rank the following:

    JJ
    EH
    SED Winged "C"
    Tung Sol Reissues 6L6STR
    Ruby
    TAD

    I deliberately left Sovtek out since I usually find them the most harsh.

    I did a search, but there is SOOOO much information out there. Decided to try a new post. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  2. harpinon

    harpinon Gold Supporting Member

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    TAD over here. I did find that I had to set the bias a TAD hotter to get them to sing.
     
  3. ked

    ked Member

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    TAD 6l6 wgc tubes are my favorites. The Winged =C= are also very nice tubes but over priced IMHO. I've also read good things about the Tungsol tubes.

    Ken
     
  4. mxvin

    mxvin Member

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    winged Cs may be over priced to some but I have had the best luck with them in several old Fenders for the tone dynamics I was looking for. Also I have used Tung Sol reissues 5881 in place of 6l6GCs in a black face Super Reverb and Pro Reverb.
    They sound really nice and smooth with a bit of an earlier breakup. Good stuff.
     
  5. Groberts

    Groberts Silver Supporting Member

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    Forgot about trying 5881's. That's a great idea too. I have Tung Sol 5881's in my '59 Bassman LTD. They sounded better in that amp than SED Winged C 6L6's.
     
  6. A440

    A440 Member

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    I like the Winged C's and Tung-Sols.
     
  7. jlagrassa

    jlagrassa Supporting Member

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    I havent tried a lot of brands of 6L6 but do have 2 of the brnds you listed, I have some JJ 6L6GC and a pair of Winged C. Out of the 2 i prefer the JJ tubes the just sound better to my ears!
     
  8. Groberts

    Groberts Silver Supporting Member

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    Surprisingly to me, I've liked the JJ's better than the SED Winged C 6L6's as well. Might prefer Tung Sol's over JJ's, but it's kinda close.
     
  9. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    I put the cheapest Sovtek tubes in the Dumble and it sounds fine.If one of them glows red when I put it in I trash it and try another.
     
  10. ked

    ked Member

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    If you're looking at 5881 tubes, the Tungsol is an excellent choice they sound very good but they broke up sooner in the amps I tried them in. You should also be aware they are rated at around 400 vdc on the plates.

    Ken
     
  11. Structo

    Structo Member

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    Be sure which 6L6 the Louis takes.

    The 6L6GC which is the more modern one is higher wattage (30w) and can take a higher plate voltage.
    The original 6L6 is a 19 watt tube.
     
  12. Groberts

    Groberts Silver Supporting Member

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    The Louis takes JJ's or Ruby's. He advertises the Louis Electric Buster comes with Ruby's. But I've also seen JJ's in them.
     
  13. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Supporting Member

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    ive tried JJ's, the tung sol's, and the winged C's. didnt care for the winged C's at all, and the jj's and TS's are in different amps but i like both of them a lot. ie always used jj's in my carr rambler, they seem stouter than other 6l6's ive tried in that amp.
     
  14. mjt335

    mjt335 Supporting Member

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    I've been using TAD's for a while and have liked them, but I'm getting ready to try my first set of TungSol's. I'll let you know how I like them when I get them going.
     
  15. jboyjams

    jboyjams Supporting Member

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    I recently got an LTD and really like it.
    After some experimentation, I have a couple Tung-Sol reissue 12ax7's in the preamp.
    I did some research on 6L6 and also interested in your OP.
    What changes did you find in the LTD when changing from the GT (Sovtec) 6L6 to the Tung-Sol 5881?
     
  16. Groberts

    Groberts Silver Supporting Member

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    The Tung Sol 5881's sound more three dimensional, and the amp breaks up a little earlier which is what I wanted. Its very loud to begin with. I wanted to get into some natural breakup at reasonable volumes. The Tung Sol 5881's sound dramatically better to my ears than than GT (Sovtek) 6L6's. (in THAT amp) Rebias is required to optimize it since it is fixed bias.
     
  17. jboyjams

    jboyjams Supporting Member

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    Thanks - sounds like we're in the same boat.

    I'll have to give those a try (might have to adjust the trimpot by ear though..;))
     
  18. gmann

    gmann Member

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    Are you talkin' NOS here?
     
  19. Groberts

    Groberts Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm talkin any 6L6GC's. NOS as well as best current issue 6L6's that can be had without breaking the bank.

    So yeah, What NOS 6L6GC's do you like?
     
  20. Stratofreak

    Stratofreak Member

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    @Groberts

    I've got the same Hot Rod Deluxe w/the C12N. What are you running in the power section of yours? Mine has GT 5881's in white and I'm looking to try a 6L6 of some sort. I'm leaning toward the TAD 6L6GC-STR.
     

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