6L6 Tubes - good current manufacturer?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by TravisE, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. No457 Snowy

    No457 Snowy Member

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    I've tried the JJ 6L6GC which I like, sounds good to me, and I also like the EH 6L6GC (Electro-Harmonix), I'm pretty sure the EH is really a Sovtek. Both those are my go-to current production 6L6GC tubes. Both of those also seem to be able to take a beating.
     
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  2. gldtp99

    gldtp99 Member

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    There are at least three factories producing the vacuum tubes we commonly use in guitar amps:

    1) Reflektor ---- In Saratov, Russia makes Sovtek, EH, Tung Sol RI, Mullard RI, Genalex RI, Svetlana (and maybe other brands) on the banks of the beautiful Volga River southeast of Moscow.

    2) JJ Electronic---- Makes JJ vacuum tubes, capacitors, and who knows what else in Cadca, Slovakia (in northwest Slovakia near the borders of Poland and the Czech Republic)-- The factory can be easily seen in Google maps on the eastern side of the city on the west bank of the Kysuca River.

    3) China--- Unknown number/locations of factories that produce vacuum tubes sold under the Shuguang (and other) brand names.

    Until a few years ago there was a factory in St. Petersburg, Russia that made the types of vacuum tubes we use and were sold under the Svetlana (original) and Winged =C= brand names. They stopped production several years ago but their very nice EL34's can still be found sometimes.

    Link to Winged =C= EL34's from a vendor in Canada:

    https://www.thetubestore.com/winged-c-sed-el34

    Read the info about factory second tubes in the link. :cool::cool::cool:
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
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  3. Obsessive Tinkerer

    Obsessive Tinkerer Member

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    On Reverb there’s a guy out of Montreal who goes by “The Audio Pimp”. He frequently has NOS RCA for good prices. Might be worth a look.
     
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  4. gtr777

    gtr777 Member

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    I have the EH 5881 wafer bottoms in my SLO right now with great results. I'm also a fan of the TAD 6L6's. They have both tall and short bottle versions,
     
  5. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    Another vote for the TAD 6L6WGC
     
  6. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer New Mods On The Block Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Agree about the TADs. Whoever is making the actual tubes that TAD is labeling - they are doing a good job. Nice sounding 6L6s.
     
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  7. paulydangerous

    paulydangerous Member

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  8. Humble Texan Fan

    Humble Texan Fan Member

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    I love the TADs - both varieties - and the Prefered Series ones. These are STRs so no relabelling here. Which ones depends on what you're looking for tonally.
     
  9. Humble Texan Fan

    Humble Texan Fan Member

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    There's quite a few plants on China that aren't Shuguang, you know, and there's a new plant in The Czech republic as well making this KR brand.
     
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  10. GT100

    GT100 Member

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    GT bought the tooling and leftover GE parts. They were going to produce their own but realized they had tooling that needed major work and that they were over their heads trying to produce tubes.
    So they ended up getting a Chinese factory that’s already making tubes do it with the material (parts) they had.
    So those tubes have some original GE parts ( plate material for example ) and modern Chinese parts as well.

    Lloyd
     
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  11. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    I haven't had any luck with Chinese made power tubes; regardless of brand. They start off sounding good but go microphonic or produce static like overtones in a very short period. Sometimes the overtones will be sympathetic to certain notes.

    I'll stick with the Russian Tung Sol 6L6GC STR and 5881.
     
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  12. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^ Supporting Member

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    TAD, JJ, Tung Sol all make great 6L6 & 5881s.
     
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  13. TravisE

    TravisE Supporting Member

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    Thanks so much for that info. Very interesting. I actually have some of those 6L6GE’s in my stash and didn’t even realize it. Unfortunately, it’s just a pair and I need a quad. I’m going to try them in something else though.
     
  14. robyogi

    robyogi Silver Supporting Member

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    And another.
     
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  15. GT100

    GT100 Member

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    Also to note they were claiming they were USA made.
    Not sure if that changed after they got outed?

    Lloyd
     
  16. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Supporting Member

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    Actually, they had planned on making the tubes in their building in the San Fernando Valley, in fact I have seen a post by someone who was close to the company saying he saw an assembly line set up there to build the GE6L6. I think they made some attempts at producing the tubes there, but ran into problems and gave up, eventually having Shuguang make them. There are a lot of conflicting stories about the development of those tubes, but whatever happened it took some time before they admitted they weren't made in the U.S. when they got into the stores.
    Al
     
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  17. vintagefox

    vintagefox Member

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    I really like Ruby.
     
  18. John 14:6

    John 14:6 Member

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    I know Groove Tubes has their EL34M Mullard copy tubes made just for them and as far as I know it is not available through another manufacturer. It is a GREAT sounding tube. It is all I have been using in recent years other than some JJ's which came stock in my Friedman Small Box.
     
  19. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Supporting Member

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    I discussed that earlier. Is GT still making the Mullard EL34's and 12AX7's now that Fender owns them, or is there just older stock around?. It seems like their catalog has dropped a lot since Fender took over, they used to have about 6 different 12AX7 tubes and many variations for the other tubes, now it seems like they only have a fraction of their old catalog on the website.
    Al
     
  20. John 14:6

    John 14:6 Member

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    They are still available.

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...s-gt-el34m-mullard-power-tubes-medium-quartet
     

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