How Similar are 6V6 and 6L6 Tubes Tonally?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by funkywrench, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. funkywrench

    funkywrench Member

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    Please forgive my ignorance, but I'd like to know how similar 6V6 and 6L6 tubes are tonally? I'm more interested in a clean tones comparison but a generalisation will do!

    The reason I ask is because I like the cleans I get from using 6L6 power tubes in my current amp (Laney VC-50) however I much prefer either EL34s or EL84s (via a tube converter) for dirty and distorted sounds. The forthcoming Egnater Rebel has me hugely interested with the 6V6 and EL84 power section and I'm wondering what I can expect from 6V6 tubes in general.
     
  2. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Take it with a grain of salt, I'm no expert, but 6V6 tend to go into OD (losing that headroom) that you would get with 6L6's. My Deluxe Reverb II has a wonderful sound, but it isn't like that crystal clean sound.

    I wonder though, if an amp takes 6V6's can one rebias and put in 6L6's ?
     
  3. joeysmac

    joeysmac Member

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    I just put a pair of KT66s in my Fargen Mini-Plex (which will take 6L6s, 6V6s, 5881s, and EL34s as well) and they sound great and give you tons of head room. The bass response is really tight and the harmonics are very clear and tasty...they are worth it if they will work for you.
     
  4. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Member

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    I wonder though, if an amp takes 6V6's can one rebias and put in 6L6's ?[/quote]

    It depends. If the amp is designed for either tube, then no problem.

    If it's not there are several problems that could happen.

    I have a Tone King Meteor amp that has external adjustments for the bias of each tube (2- 6V6's). I can put 6L6's in the amp but I can't get it to bias correctly.

    I have talked to Mark at Tone King and he informed me that he could make a small change inside to correct this, but I haven't got off my butt to take it back to him. :Spank
     
  5. singular

    singular Member

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    the new TopHat Super Deluxes are, according to their site"biased to handle 6L6's, EL34's and 6V6's without adjustment."

    maybe something like that would interest you? pretty expensive though so depends on what your price range is.
     
  6. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    Generally speaking, you cannot substitute 6L6s in a 6V6 amp unless the amp was specifically designed for it.

    Otherwise, you risk blowing your output transformer and probably will blow your power transformer as a PT designed for 6V6s will not put out enough filament current to run 6L6s. It will overheat and eventually melt down.

    So be sure your amp is designed to run either before you do it.
     
  7. Tallhorses

    Tallhorses Member

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    The Headstrong Prima was designed for this as well. Very cool option. Did not know the new Super Deluxes could handle 6V6's as well.

    6l6 - fat cleans, more headroom, rounder natural overdrive
    6v6 - chimey cleans, breakup faster, harder overdrive
     
  8. funkywrench

    funkywrench Member

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    So would the 6V6 cleans be chimey in the sense that EL84 cleans are chimey?

    I doubt that the Egnater Rebel will be able to take 6L6 tubes but I may email them to find out...unless one of them is lurking here and could answer my question?:worried:)
     
  9. funkywrench

    funkywrench Member

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    I understand the whole "all other factors being equal" thing, I guess I'm just looking for general descriptions.

    I also associate the 6L6 overdrive with being a little rounded and the cleans have a similar fat, rounded feel to me. So would you in your opinion say that 6V6s have a round clean as well as rounded overdrive?
     
  10. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    6V6's have more in common with EL34's sound wise but with less power.
     
  11. rhinocaster

    rhinocaster Supporting Member

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    Just to cloud thing a little bit more. Here's my take:

    6V6=Round, warm right out of the blocks and a clogged (But not nasally) and harmonically rich midrange. Average to low end authority.

    6L6=Slightly glassy and tight until you get to higher volumes. Open midrange and the biggest, roundest clean tone at volume. Tons of low end authority.
     
  12. openbar

    openbar Silver Supporting Member

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    Does anybody know if this is true of all Super Deluxes, or just the newest ones?
     
  13. singular

    singular Member

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    im pretty sure its just the newer ones,but i could be wrong.
     
  14. joek86

    joek86 Supporting Member

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    You guys with 6V6 amps, is this the amp that you would select to play Classic Hard Rock? Foriegner, Boston, Zep, Rush, AC/DC, Cooper, DEf L etc? Or would you suggest something else?


    Joe
     
  15. funkywrench

    funkywrench Member

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    I think our definitions of round are pretty similar, and that's the sort of cleans I'm going for. I find that the EL84 or EL34 cleans are too bright and not smooth enough compared to the 6L6 cleans. On the distortion side however, I far prefer either EL84 or EL34 sounds, as I prefer more focus than the 6L6s offer.


    That's why I'm hoping if I can get similar sounding cleans from 6V6 tubes that the Egnater Rebel (with its 6V6, EL84 switchable power section) will be perfect for my uses.
     

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