Ultimate kick ass N.O.S 6L6 are what ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Rock Fella, Oct 11, 2005.


  1. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    if you are telling me that NOS tubes can reach 5000-7500 playing hours unlike my trusty JJ tubes, then I gotta check this out further.

    My 5150mk1 head uses 4 x 6L6 toobs in the power section, the JJ 6L6 tubes give the head a seismic bottom end without any flab whatsoever, Im unsure as to their expected life.

    So what are the cracking NOS 6L6 tubes that will give extended lifespan, be reliable and be suitable for use in an extremely high gain amp head .

    Im curious.............enlighten me please guys:cool:

    jimmy
     
  2. jetlag

    jetlag Member

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    First off, you're not going to find many NOS quads of 6L6's any more. About the only thing you'll find are Philips JAN 6L6GCs (tough to find nowadays), Philips JAN 6L6WGB's (probably won't hold up in your amp - they are really 5881's), and Philips JAN 7581A's. The latter are what I'd recommend. They have the most output and low end of the US 6L6GC family tubes and are very long lasting. The bass player in my band used my BF showman head for about 4 years. Playing 60 to 100 gigs per year on it. It is loaded with Philips 7581A's and still go strong. To me it's a pretty good testament because I feel that bass works tubes over harder than guitar - it demands more from the amp. While I like the tone of the Philips 6L6GC's better, they don't last nearly as long as the 7581A's.
     
  3. poutserman

    poutserman Member

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    RCA black plates.Game over.
     
  4. Reeek

    Reeek Member

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    Honestly, it sounds like you may want to stay with what you have.

    Maybe Blue Strat has a better handle on some choices of vintage tubes in a 5150.

    I personally rank the best vintage 6L6GCs more for their sweetness and smooth breakup under natural tube overdrive. In super high gain applications, like many other members have said before, it may be a perceived waste of money on good vintage tubes to be cranking them on 11 through a 5150 or with a pedal all the time.

    For me, the best times I have with good vintage tubes in my amps is either pure clean or that point where natural tube grind is squeaking through for a nice blues or classic rock tone but I'm not ominpotent either. There are many preferences out there.

    All that said, I got some JAN Phillips 7581A's from KCA that make my 69 Twin Amp sound incredible clean, tube overdriven and totally huge with my pedal kicked in and for a decent
     
  5. SQUAREHEAD

    SQUAREHEAD Supporting Member

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    I like the Sylvania 6L6 STR415's the best!

    Keith:)
     
  6. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    a worry was would nos be "heard" in very high gain application ?
     
  7. Riscchip

    Riscchip Member

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    NOS tubes certainly last longer...and it sounds like durability is your main concern. I have a pair of Sylvania 6L6GCs that were original equipment in my '65 Supro and they still work fine.

    I'd avoid super expensive units like blackplates because a lot of the cost of those tubes has to do with their sonic benefits, which I'm thinking you're not going to hear in a 5150. My brother has tried a few different NOS GCs in his 5150 combo (not exactly the same thing, I'll concede) and we couldn't hear a damn bit of difference. Messing with preamp tubes, particularly the first, had a notable impact, however.

    So...I'd say try for some army / navy tubes like the Philips mentioned above, or Sylvanias alternately. Sound great, durable, not horribly expensive.
     
  8. Erik

    Erik Member

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    I'd say start there, too...especially in a high gain amp like the 5150.
     
  9. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    the preamp tube(s) most critical for gain on a 5150mk1 head are which ? say you have the back cover removed, is it left side or right side as you are facing those five 12ax7`s ?
     
  10. Reeek

    Reeek Member

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    Peavey's website should have the schematic available for download for free.

    It varies from amp to amp, MFG to MFG on which side of the chassis to start counting.

    "Typlically", the PI is closest to the PT then the V# start fropm there but that is a big generalization too. The PI won't have a noticable sonic improvement usually. Not like the input preamps will.

    And which tube will have the most impact depends on how many channels you have and which channel you play on most of the time. Generally speaking though, V1 often has a lot of impact but again, you need to give more info and get the schematic. If the tube gain stages are stacked, it could be more than one tube to replace too.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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  12. gringo699c

    gringo699c Guest

    Here is my take.
    Just bought a peavey vtm and it had the original made in the usa 6l6 tubes which I believe are sylvania made. Great tubes for hi gain. Stay nice and clear.
    I also have a pair of ge 6l6 tubes I got out of a conn organ from the salvation army. These tubes break up quicker than the sylvania tubes and have a balanced sound. not too much low or hi end.
    I just bouhgt a pair of groove tubes silver series 6l6 tubes that are made in china and they sell only as singles so they were not matched. These sound just about as good as either of the nos made in the usa tubes I have if not better! I love these tubes and now have these in my amp.
    My point.. dont waste your money on overpriced nos tubes
    Chris:dude
     
  13. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    in my opinion, no.
     
  14. Rick0

    Rick0 Member

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  15. Erik

    Erik Member

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    Jimmy,

    Typically, the V1 is closest to the input jack...but double check with Peavey on the 5150. Not sure about the 5150's...but my Road King seemed to like a 12at7 in the PI...and the JJ was my favorite. The 9th generation Chinese 12ax7's worked really well in the rest. My buddy's 5150 seems pretty "in your face"...I bet the new JJ ECC803's would sound great...and you wouldn't be breaking the bank if you decided to scrap them and go the NOS route. I never thought the NOS preamp tubes made a huge difference in my Mesa...but they absolutely make a difference in my Marshall.

    There's a fella on here that goes by JerryP who is an expert on 5150's. (He also posts a lot on Harmony Central). He would be the goto guy to get an expert opinion on all questions regarding the 5150.
     
  16. Argonaut4

    Argonaut4 Member

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    IMO, I wouldn't spend the money on RCA's or GE's for the 5150.

    I have both vintage and modern high-gain amps with NOS tubes and have done a lot of experimenting. Here's what I'd do in your situation:

    JAN/Philips 7581A's: They have tons of headroom. Perfect for a modern high-gain amp relying on preamp gain.

    Brimar: In V1 (if you can afford it, in V2 & V3)

    9th gen Chinese: In remaining


    .02
     
  17. SQUAREHEAD

    SQUAREHEAD Supporting Member

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    I know, Rick!!
    I bought a matched quad for $70.00 from Peavey in 1990 and should have bought 10 quads!!! Soon after that they stopped selling them and put them exclusively in the 5150 head they were releasing...
    Hind sight's always 20/20!!
    :(

    Keith
     
  18. Roccaforte Amps

    Roccaforte Amps Member

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    RCA6L6GC black plates, the ultimate 6L6 tube.
    What EVH used in his 5150's.
     

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