Bendix 5992 vs. RCA 6V6GT blackplates??

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by tedjac, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. tedjac

    tedjac Guest

    Has anyone used the Bendix 5992 in place of the 6V6? Any comments on sound quality or power differences or anything worth noting. I know that the RCAs are really popular... do the 5992 stand up to them??

    Thanks for any repsonses...
  2. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Aug 2, 2002
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    As a dealer who has carried both of these items at various times, I can tell you that both have very strong followings.

    As with anything tonal, there is absolutely no concensus on what sounds "best", so you'll have to make your own decision.
  3. baald

    baald Member

    Dec 15, 2004
    west side of the east bay
    can't comment on the topic at hand, but the bendix tubes i've seen will make a tube lover cream just looking at them. i have a pair of 6900's (5687 family) that have been waiting for me to build a circuit around them.
    these things really were built to withstand space flight, nuclear war, gravitational singularity, etc. i'll have to take a pic sometime if you don't know what i mean...
  4. Reeek

    Reeek Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Reno, NV
    It just so happens that I have. I have swapped up to 10 various 6V6 types around in the same day in the same amp with the same guitar and without touching the EQ. I have a Bendix 5992 in perfect working condition.

    As Mike said the fan following is strong with several tubes including the 5992 if one can find one or two (if lucky)

    At the end of my tube tasting (with the Hi Mu btw), the 5992, sonically, was ranked in the top 4 tubes with it's own brand of flavor. However, the other three tubes were not better or worse but had thier own brand of flavor. All ten tubes I played with were nice sounding for what that is worth but within that group of four top picks versus the other 6, the difference was profound. Mostly in the dynamics and such. The 4 best would "sing" as they say. The sustain was almost perpetual. The tone plus the dynamics just flowed from the amp with these four tubes. Some were brighter, some were more middy while some were a tad darker but all four kicked butt. In the end, here was my top choice:
    1. Brimar
    2. RCA BP, 1950's
    3. Mullard (branded at least)
    4. Bendix 5992

    The preamp tube is a 1960's Mullard and was the benchmark preamp tubes. It's still there.

    I have a Mullard 6201 in the 12AT7 socket. Keeping the Brimar of which I have 4 spares ;)

    That Brimar really does smoke and the beauty is that they are still available but the world is honing in on that secret fast.

    NOTE: I have duplicate tubes of all the top four tubes except the 5992 and I swapped out the same tube brand from the same era with the other three and although there were sublte variances in the tone between like tubes, the qualities were consistent. I suspect the slight variances are due to the obvious reasons we all know and discuss and why all tubes vary to a degree.
  5. Damon

    Damon Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    In my taste-tests awhile back, the Bendix was very clean when it was clean (if you know what I mean), and the overdrive had a detailed grain to it, without "collapsing" (compressing) as much as most 6V6 types.

    The RCA blackplate (fully smoked grey glass, wartime VT-107A) was more of a dripping honey / liquid sunshine kinda clean, and the overdrive was creamier, smoother, and frothier.


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