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Svetlana 6L6GC vs. GT6L6GE

justonwo

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,819
Ever since I purchased my Rivera Quiana in 2000, I've been running the same pair of Svetlana (St. Petersburg version) 6L6s and absolutely loved the tone. A couple of months ago, one of them shorted and I decided to replace them with GT6L6GEs. Working with a few different bias settings from cold to hot, I just haven't fallen in love with these tubes like I expected to (based on all the positive reviews). Compared to the Svetlanas, I found the tone significantly muffled and deadened, the kind of tone you would expect from old, dead tubes. Also, I don't achieve the subtle compression that I got, and really enjoyed, from my Svetlanas, even when biased at 70%.

Perhaps the GTs are not a good match for my Quiana, but I've decided to put another pair of SEDs (winged C) in my amp in hopes of achieving my old tone. Has anyone else had experience comparing these two brands of 6L6 tubes, not necessarily in a Rivera? What were your opinions?
 

justonwo

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,819
Along the same lines, I also experimented with some GT12AX7Ms in the Quiana, but only in combination with the GT6L6. These are advertised as high gain tubes and I think they deliver in that respect. A little too well, in fact. In my Rivera, they really pushed the preamp distortion into muddy territory, and I found them generally darker and lacking in harmonics. I wonder if perhaps this had something to do with these tubes being paired with the 6L6s. I'm anxious to see what happens when I install the SEDs.
 

Terry Hayes

Member
Messages
3,168
I have heard that the 12AX7M is a dark-sounding tube all on its own when used in a Rivera. I have one but I haven't tried it yet in either my Quiana or Knucklehead Reverb.

Terry
 

Seńor Verde

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
245
I agree with what you say about the Svet (SED) vs. GT/GE. My fav. new 6L6 is the short bottle TAD with the SED coming in second. I have tried just about every new 6L6 out there. SED's sound very nice and are a good price to boot.
 

justonwo

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,819
So I finally got a chance to swap the GT6L6s for SED 6L6s. The tone I had before is now finally back: the sustain returned, the harmonics are back, the slight compression in my attack, the rich bottom end, all there. All the great things I loved about my Rivera's tone and all apparently because of the SED 6L6. The amp is now lively and responsive, just as it was before the Groove Tubes, and at a third of the price! In my Rivera, the SED tube is clearly the winner in all respects. Having used the GTs for a few weeks, I can't say they displayed any characteristics I found pleasing. They sounded quite dead and unresponsive. That being said, I enjoy a slightly overdriven to grinding tone much more than a crystal clean tone, so that might color my opinion.
.
 

traynor_garnet

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,029
What happened when your tube went down? Did your amp stop working? Any smoke?

I ask because I am using the same 6L6s and my amp stopped working this week. I am wondering if it was one of the tubes since I have read a few internet posts about these particular tubes shorting.

How does one know if a tube has shorted?

Steve
 

DanR

Member
Messages
3,675
Originally posted by Swarty
I've always preferred Russian tubes to Chinese too.
Swarty,

As you are an amp tech, which current production 6L6's do you recommend from a reliability standpoint?


DanR
 

justonwo

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,819
Originally posted by steve cole
What happened when your tube went down? Did your amp stop working? Any smoke?

I ask because I am using the same 6L6s and my amp stopped working this week. I am wondering if it was one of the tubes since I have read a few internet posts about these particular tubes shorting.

How does one know if a tube has shorted?

Steve
There was a bright blue flash coming from the power tube and then a lot of noise.
 

GuitarNorton

Member
Messages
1,905
I don't know about Groove Tubes 6L6's, have no experience with them, but to me their 12AX7M's have no frigg'in gain at all is why they sound dark. Lifeless and dead is how they sound in my amps. The premium price I payed for them makes me feel like I got bent over :rolleyes:
 

Swarty

Member
Messages
1,131
Originally posted by DanR
Swarty,

As you are an amp tech, which current production 6L6's do you recommend from a reliability standpoint?


DanR
Yes. JJs and Sovtec 5881 types (which include EH, 6L6WXT, several GT and Ruby varieties) get the highest marks for reliability.
 






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