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Best Modern 6L6? Like an RCA 6L6 black plate :-)

Joost Assink

Member
Messages
1,157
I think the tubes in my used Carr 2006 Mercury might need replacing. I have an EJ strat and use Vovox 10 foot cable, going straight into the amp. Both are known for great clarity and brightness, yet it sounds a bit muddy and the bass lacks definition.

So I thought maybe a valve replacement might work. It currently runs on an EL34, but according to the guys at Carr, the 6L6 will improve clean sounds.

So, I am wondering, who makes the best 6L6 (RCA Black Plate) today? Best reliability, low microphonics and noise etc?

Or should I just get a NOS 6L6 RCA Black Plate somewhere? Where should I go for that then?

well thanks!
 

Drifting

Member
Messages
1,050
For modern production 6L6 tubes, everyone seems to like the JJ's.

There is one guy I know who swears by the EHX 6L6's as well, but you probably can't go wrong with JJ's. You could always try both, they'd be less than actual RCA's put together.
 

Joost Assink

Member
Messages
1,157
Thanks. And do you think getting an actual NOS RCA 6L6 black plate is a noticable improvement over the best current 6L6s? Money issues aside?
 
Last edited:

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,202
Thanks. And do you think getting an actual NOS RCA 6L6 black plate is a noticable improvement over the best current 6L6s? Money issues aside?
Many people do but there's no consensus on ANYTHING concerning tone.

Best bet for new production are SEDs. Also consider NOS Sylvania STR 6L6GCs which are EXCELLENT but a lot less expensive than RCAs.
 

Joost Assink

Member
Messages
1,157
Thanks for the suggestions! Sounds like the SED 6L6GC is a great option. I hadn't heard of that yet. I thought the JJ 6L6GC was pretty much the tube to get. I liked the low noise and microphonics of the JJ

the question remains if (since I only need one for the Mercury) the RCA Blackplate might be an interesting alternative
 

Tramp

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,201
Thanks. And do you think getting an actual NOS RCA 6L6 black plate is a noticable improvement over the best current 6L6s? Money issues aside?
I've tried a number of current 6L6's in my Merc and keep going back to one of the 3 blackplates I bought when I picked up this amp. They're pricey, yes, but far less so since you don't need to find but one (so no matching required).
 

Joost Assink

Member
Messages
1,157
I've tried a number of current 6L6's in my Merc and keep going back to one of the 3 blackplates I bought when I picked up this amp. They're pricey, yes, but far less so since you don't need to find but one (so no matching required).
Hi Pstarr!
Thanks for the feedback! How are you liking the switch from the EL34 to the 6L6 in your Merc?

I'll be getting the RCA then
 

jumpnblues

Member
Messages
5,438
Many people do but there's no consensus on ANYTHING concerning tone.

Best bet for new production are SEDs. Also consider NOS Sylvania STR 6L6GCs which are EXCELLENT but a lot less expensive than RCAs.

Mike,

How do the modern production Tung Sol 6L6s and 5881s sound? Do they have much longevity? Thanks.

Tom
 

baron55

Member
Messages
366
+++1 on the SED Winged C 6L6GC also a great one to try are the TAD 6L6STR black plates and the TAD 6L6WGC Black plates.
 

Tramp

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,201
Hi Pstarr!
Thanks for the feedback! How are you liking the switch from the EL34 to the 6L6 in your Merc?

I'll be getting the RCA then
Mine came with a KT-66, which was harder and glassier than I like. I've tried an EL34 in the Merc, but really gravitate toward the 6L6/5881 side of things for the clean tones, so pulled it almost immediately. Tried a JAN Philips 6L6WGB but missed the harmonic content of the blackplates. I really like the Tung Sol 5881 reissues in my other amp, but haven't yet tried these in the Merc. My guess is that my 3 blackplates will tide me over to the end of my playing days, since I use the Merc for practice at home. Good stuff!
 

Joost Assink

Member
Messages
1,157
Great to see there is quite a consensus on the SED Winged C 6L6s

If I can't get a good RCA Blackplate, for a reasonable price, I'll definitely try these!
 




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