The cleanest new Production 6L6s are ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by ROKY, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. ROKY

    ROKY Member

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    By cleanest; of course, I mean highest headroom and dynamic punch.

    I need a matched quad of 'em to replace the TAD 6L6WGCs that came
    in my TopHat Ambassador 100. I borrowed the RCA Blackplates out of my
    Showman head, temporarily and they're nice, but I want something even
    cleaner sounding. I'm running a 12AT7 at the phase inverter

    I'm looking online right now at these for comparison:

    SED 6L6 (these are compared to the large bottle Sylvanias..)
    GT 6L6-CHP( black plates w/ heat sink wings)
    GT 6L6-S(Slovakian made .. higher power,aggressive dynamic tone)

    Also considering the TAD 6L6GC-STR because they're compared to
    the RCA Blackplates .. but I'm wondering if the other tubes I mentioned
    are quite a bit cleaner ?

    Any experiences with these ?
     
  2. schmit

    schmit Member

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    I just had my "new" 1969 Twin Reverb gone over by Chuck Dean of Retro King amps and he said the SED Winged C 6L6s are his choice of the best 6L6 on the market right now.....all of the reviews Ive read concur....so when im ready thats what I'll most likely go with.....KCA Tubes also gives good marks to the new Groove Tube 6L6GE.....apparently made from the original parts and tooling from the last tube factory here in the US
     
  3. photios

    photios Member

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    I just went thru 6 different set of quads for my amp about a month ago and here's what I found:

    Svetlana 6L6GC - I think this tube is similar (maybe even the same as) to the SED. I found this tube to be very middy, w/o a deep extended low end. The highs were raspy and grainy....very nasty and raw. Not a terribly articulate tube either. To my ear, it just didnt sound very good.

    Sovtek 6L6WXT+ - Nice mids with good complexity. The highs are strong and perhaps even a bit peircing/shrilly but can be EQ'd to compensate. The lows and low mids seemed exceedingly strong with this tube. The lows as a result can be too much and can get a bit loose. Adjusting EQ to compensate helps some, but still the hump in the low mids just doesnt sit right with me. This tube seems to have a lot of flex and bounce when you play...kinda fun to play. I found this tube to be articulate in the high mids and highs but smeary and sloppy in the low mids and lows. Harmonic content was good, but not great.

    GT 6L6GE - This tube also has a low mid hump like the Sovtek...but it is an overall better tube to my ear. It has a nice articulate tone throughout and it has decent harmonic content. I found the overall tone a bit warm, round and vintage sounding (which isnt really my thing)...I think in large part becuase of the strong low mids. This tube doesnt seem to open up and bloom like some of the others...stays fairly compact.

    GT 6L6CHP - very good articulation. Doesnt bloom and get that big 6L6 tone...in fact, sounds kinda small (good for low volume guys). I find the tone very even, balanced and flat: solid lows, good mids, sweet highs. There is a slight raspy edge to the notes that makes this tube sound slightly less refined than the other 6L6's (excepting the Svetlana). The harmonic content is great.

    MESA 6L6 440 - I think these are Chinese tubes, but not certain. These are VERY punchy, H-U-G-E sounding tubes. The harmonic content is enormous...really wild but in a cool way. The highs are a bit strong, but can be EQ'd to compensate. The lows are strong too, but not flubby...still not compact either. The mids are articulate and they bloom out nicely with lots of complexity and harmonic content. Very nice tube.

    JJ 6L6 - This is the most refined tube of the bunch...no raspy, ratty edges to the notes at all...everything stays nice and sharp. Very crisp, brisk, fresh, and clean sounding tube. The most articulate tube of the bunch. These tubes are very loud, very big, very expansive sounding with lots of bloom. The harmonic content is good but not great...still this is my favorite tube of the bunch: loud, big, clean, punchy and articulate.
     
  4. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    I guess you didn't try the new Tung Sol 6L6GC STR? This is my favorite new production 6L6. Reminds me of an old GE but with a tighter envelope,tighter bass,scooped mids and nice smooth top end. Cleaner than the JJ but not as loud.
     
  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    >>I guess you didn't try the new Tung Sol 6L6GC STR? This is my favorite new production 6L6. Reminds me of an old GE but with a tighter envelope,tighter bass,scooped mids and nice smooth top end. Cleaner than the JJ but not as loud.<<

    My Two-Rock Custom Reverb Sig v.2 came with these. Nice tube so far.
     
  6. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

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    Hm?!

    I didn't like JJs but I am currently digging some Svetlanas in my Showman . . . go figure.

    I usually go for old GEs though . . . but then again, I haven't tried that much new stuff.
     
  7. AL30

    AL30 Member

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    I just did a swap in both my Fender Bassman's (an AB165 and an AA864). I had JJ's in them - lightly used - and ordered a set of SED's. I really like the JJ's 6L6's and have had good luck with them for a several years but the SED's just seemed to have a little more everything.

    I think both are good sounding tubes but if I had to make a choice I would go with the SED's. They are in my main gigging Bassman now. JJ's are in the backup.

    AL
     
  8. gtr777

    gtr777 Supporting Member

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    I just used the tads in my SLO-100 and they sound great. can't say for the other tubes mentioned.
     
  9. ROKY

    ROKY Member

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    Thanks for the input so far, guys !

    Still mulling it over :huh but I'm obviously going to have to order some to
    try, just like everyone else has . .
     
  10. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    It so funny how we all hear & feel things differently ..
    I took a set of Mesa's out of my Lonestar Classic amp and replaced 'em with the JJ's...
    Found the JJ's to soften the sound & take some of the snap out of it.
    A very nice rounding of the eges .. but when I threw the Mesa's back in,.
    I was very happy to find the snap had come back into play ..
     
  11. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    Did you read each tubes current draw and rebias the JJ's? I believe the Mesa amps are fixed bias an not adjustable. The JJ's may be running much cooler than the original tubes you have now.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  12. slowhandjr

    slowhandjr Member

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    Winged C 6l6's in my 57 twin, very happy so far.
     
  13. JimmyB

    JimmyB Silver Supporting Member

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    Winged C 6L6s.
     
  14. Phishy4

    Phishy4 Member

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    My Accomplice is set up with 6l6's (some old silvertone short bottles) and I just got a set of the "old" Svetlanas 6l6gcs that Allen had sitting around. He said he really likes them, so hopefully I can get a little more headroom to boot.
     
  15. slowhandjr

    slowhandjr Member

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    Just my 2 cents, the OP asked about cleanest headroom. I'm not 100% sure but I believe you can have cleaner or dirtier tubes from the same manufacturer. You don't really have to switch brands, some come with a # that will tell you how clean before breakup. Any one else who can elaborate on this?
     
  16. gixxerrock

    gixxerrock Member

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    Actually some companies will test and grade tubes by gain from the same manufacturers. They do this so power tubes can be matched and replaced without rebiasing, but they also have significantly different headroom characteristics.
     

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