What are the most rugged and still good sounding 6L6's?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by 900, Jan 21, 2008.


  1. 900

    900 Member

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    Yesterday, one of the power tubes in my amp went south, arching pretty badly, loud bangs etc. To play it safe I will replace both. The tubes were Mesa GLC 6L6 STR 430's, they were in the amp since about 11 months with no heavy use.
    I would like to replace them with something more rugged and that does last longer.

    For which brand/type/model should I be looking for? I don't want to use GT, Sovtek, Svetlana or JJ's if possible, as I didn't have good experiences with them recently.
     
  2. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Well youve just about ruled out all but Chinese and NOS tubes! Ask Mike at KCA what he recommends.

    http://kcanostubes.com/content/estore_list.asp?category=2&catname=12AX7%2F12AX7A%2FECC83%2F7025%2FCV4004

    FWIW- The Sovtek 5881WXT is probably the most rugged 6L6 tube Ive used. Never seen one fail. Probably why they come as original equipment in so many amps. They can take a beating both electrically and physically. Unfortunately most seem to think they sound like crap too. Bob
     
  3. twangbanger

    twangbanger Supporting Member

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    =C= SED's or is that to Svetlana for ya!
     
  4. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    You're not left with much besides NOS.

    GE, Sylvania or RCA.

    The JAN Philips 6L6WGBs are also a possibility and a SCREAMING good deal in NOS. Less than 2X the price of new production 6L6s with an average lifespan of 5X as long.

    What kind of amp are you using them in?
     
  5. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Yep,everybody seems to like them.I should try a pair in my supersonic. Bob
     
  6. The Pup

    The Pup Supporting Member

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    I have a two sets of JJ 6L6GC tubes with over 4,000 hours on them (circa 1996).
     
  7. JubileeMan 2555

    JubileeMan 2555 Member

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    Longest lasting 6l6 type tubes I use are NOS 7581a tubes.

    I had spent from March to september playing my super reverb CRANKED every weekend gig after gig. After the 6months where up, I figured I'd swap the tubes out figuring I beat them to hell...

    ... changed the tubes out, and couldn't notice a SINGLE bit of difference.

    I think the reason why is that the 7581a tube has a higher plate dissipation then regular 6l6 tubes (35watts vs. 30watts) and I think this means that you can bias them hot and beat on them more, and it doesn't wear them out.
     
  8. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Great tubes, but I suspect that it's more a NOS thing than a power dissipation thing.:BEER
     
  9. kurtsstuff

    kurtsstuff Member

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    Find yourself some of these...Sylvania STR387's.....

    [​IMG]
     
  10. JubileeMan 2555

    JubileeMan 2555 Member

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    HA! I've been searching for a pair of those for a while. They are extinct! :)

     
  11. supergenius365

    supergenius365 Silver Supporting Member

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    Mine are definitely tough. I find the 7581A a little "harder" to play. Not sure how else to describe it. Almost like the tubes need to be pushed harder or there is a lid on the sound. Not a bad thing. Just different than a 6L6.
     
  12. kurtsstuff

    kurtsstuff Member

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    LOL!! yes they are......I currently don't have an amp to use these in but even if I did....would I???? lol!! By the way.....these are NOS and match up pretty darn close....I also have a set of Sylvania 6CA7's that are in the same condition and match up to the nuts!!!
     
  13. geetarman

    geetarman Member

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    I bought a quartet of military spec NOS JAN Philips 6l6's from Mike at KCA years ago that were absolute beasts and had great tone.
     
  14. 900

    900 Member

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    OK, some of the tubes I've had issues were EL34 and not 6L6. The amp is a Boogie Mark I.

    Anyway, got a set of TAD 6L6GWC-STR (see below). Dealer had them in stock and told me they're good quality. We'll see.....

    Also, while surfing around I found some links that might be intresting. Seems the exact same tubes are sold under different brands/names/labeling

    http://www.tube-town.net/info/doc/tt-tubemap.pdf
    http://www.tube-town.de/info/doc/herstellerbezeichnungen.html
    .

    [​IMG]
     

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