Anybody bought modern kt-66s?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by LesFender, May 18, 2006.


  1. LesFender

    LesFender Member

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    Sorry if this is the wrong forum..I have done a search in the tech as well as this forum and can't find anything or,more likely,I'm not searching correctly.Anyway,I just got a Marshall JTM 45 offset and would like to re-tube it.I've got some NOS GZs and 12ax7s but,of course,only one GEC KT-66.Has anybody used any of the new ones?I don't know much about power tubes of today other than to stay away from Chinese power valves.I welcome all opinions.Thanks,Jack
     
  2. Matt H

    Matt H Guest

    another vote for the chinese/valve arts/sino/whatever label KT66's...

    that being said- aren't there now some tung-sol kt66's? what's the word on those? (i.e. "how much different are they REALLY from the other russian kt66's?")
     
  3. LesFender

    LesFender Member

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    Thanks guys.Any other opinions?
     
  4. PaulM

    PaulM Member

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    I'll echo the post on Valve Arts being great sounding tubes. FWIW, I have used GEC and just about every other make of tube. Some have called me a certified tube snob. Although they are clearly the best "bang for your buck," even without regard to price, they are great sounding tubes by any measure. I haven't used the "new" Tung Sol KT66's because the "tube snob" in me believes that buying the old trademark and re-labelling doesn't change a thing...
     
  5. SuperReverb2

    SuperReverb2 Member

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    I've tried (used) the original GEC (Genelex) KT66's, the Groove Tube KT66's (HP) and the Valve Arts (Shuguang) KT66's. While I would still consider the original GEC's the so called "Holy Grail" of KT66's (absolute STUNNING mid clarity) I ended up keeping two matched pairs of the Valve Arts KT66's. Eerily close to the originals at a 1/10th of the cost. GREAT sounding tubes!

    :)
     
  6. 8lbs8k

    8lbs8k Member

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    I've tried many pairs of GEC's (grey and clear glass), as well as the Valve Arts. I have to say that while the Valve Arts were okay when the amp (a Germino Classic 45 JTM45 clone) was clean-to-semi-dirty, once it was wide open they sounded just terrible. Very, very fizzy. The attack would compress to the point where it sounded like something was seriously wrong. Tried several diffent bias settings from cold to hot. Kind of sounded like a really horrible fuzz pedal was on all the time.

    Also, I've had the same pair of 50s GEC PULLS in my Germino Rock Grinder for 2 years now. Not NOS, pulls -- i.e. I have no idea how many hours those tubes saw before they got to me. Those tubes have suffered maybe 1000 hours of hard use (i.e. channels jumpered with both volumes on 10) and I've noticed no change in tone or bias. Yes, they cost a fortune, but they sound better than any tube I've ever heard and they last and last and last.

    I suppose I shouldn't promote them so hard, since there are just not that many around any more and I want them all for myself, but I really think they're worth it.
     
  7. LesFender

    LesFender Member

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    How much are those pulls?I've been playing Gibsons through the JTM 45 and like you said it sounds like a really squashed bad fuzz.I put a strat through and the lower signal in sounded pretty damn tasty.Unfortunately I am in a very Gibson phase of my life.Tell me more about the UOS(used old stock).Thanks,Jack
     
  8. mignano

    mignano Member

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    I run KT66's in my Bumbox Cielo (wide open most of the time), they're my favorite tube.

    I haven't tried the Chinese type or original GEC's for that matter, but I've used the Saratovs, Sovteks, and Tung Sols. My favorites are the Tung Sols because of their complexity and clarity. Very sweet highs and bass, but kind of stiff mids. The Saratovs would be my second favorite, with a much nicer midrange, but not as clear or hi fi sounding. Least favorite would be the Sovteks, as they are very mushy and undefined.

    Even though I've heard many people dislike them, I'll venture to say that the Tung Sols are the best new production KT66's

    KT66s rock :RoCkIn
     
  9. CAFeathers

    CAFeathers Member

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    I have a matched set of Valve Arts KT66's, I had them in my JTM45 for about an hour. $30.00 shipped if you are interested.
     
  10. Matt H

    Matt H Guest

    CWY, the sovtek kt66's aren't kt66's, just rebottled 6l6WXT's if memory serves.
     
  11. mignano

    mignano Member

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    interesting. i've heard people saying that the Tung Sols are rehoused 6l6's too, but even still, I prefer the Sovtek KT66's to most current production 6l6's (JJ and EH) that I've run in this amp, they sound WAY different. (I even compared the Sovteks to a set of NOS Phillips 6l6wgb's that I use in my Bassman, and I was amazed that the Sovteks were considerably better sounding in terms of harmonics, if not clarity... and they were just way BIGGER sounding... thick)

    Of course, I don't have the money for original GECs, so my standard of comparison isn't very good when it comes to KT66s. but for my purposes i still think even the Sovtek KT66's are better sounding than any 6l6's, new or NOS, that I've tried.

    are they re-housed 6l6's? i don't think anyone knows for sure, but they sure sound different to me
     
  12. 8lbs8k

    8lbs8k Member

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    LesFender -

    I may not have been clear in my post. I'm not actually selling any tubes. I was just raving about how the GEC stuff is so good that I would in fact drop $$ on used power tubes. Call me crazy. (Would you buy used light bulbs?) I bought that pair of pulls for about $160 from Doug's Tubes (great guy) about 2 years ago.

    Of course, the more the reservoir dries up the fewer "pulls" will be available. Also, Doug came pretty highly recommended. I might hesitate to throw $200 at an eBay dealer for the used stuff.

    Another word on pulls: stuff taken from stereos is a much safer bet than stuff taken from guitar amps. Most people aren't driving their British Quad's to the point of total saturation!!

    Western Electric allegedly plans to release a new production American-made KT66 soon. I read a really strong review of their KT88 on the plexipalace board. I emailed them inquiring about when their '66 would be available and they pointed me to www.gothamaudio.com, which is "under construction." This could be very cool. Or not.

    As for NOS stuff, I know the point has been made a kazillion times, but if it lasts ten years (and it might--the o.g. kt66s are generally rated for 8000-10000 hours of hard use) and costs $500, was it actually more expensive than something that lasts one year and costs $50? Then you figure in the massively-improved tone....

    Best,

    Josh
     
  13. Mixotonic

    Mixotonic Member

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  14. mignano

    mignano Member

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    The Groove Tubes KT66's are actually hand-picked Saratovs... considerably better in tone than the Sovteks, and they look a lot different too. I've confirmed that the GT's are the same as the Saratovs because well... I just mistakenly bought separate sets of Saratovs and GT's, thinking they were different but they look and sound identical haha. :eek:

    yup, looks like they are discontinued! good thing i've got two sets then! funny how things work out sometimes lol
     
  15. PaulM

    PaulM Member

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    I have had a very different experience with the VA tubes in a variety of amps. None of them fizzed out with the VA tubes. At the price, very much worth trying for anyone who is looking for a KT66.
     
  16. lastwinj

    lastwinj Member

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    i got a new pair of GT silver series KT66, made by sovtek. $20..... sound VERY nice, but i was using them in a cathode biased amp.

    germ
     
  17. mignano

    mignano Member

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    ahh, so I guess GT was relabelling some of the Sovteks too... let me guess: short and fat with a chrome baseplate? yup, those would be the Sovteks :D
     
  18. Mixotonic

    Mixotonic Member

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