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Winged C SED 6L6GC v. Tung-Sol 5881

Drifting

Member
Messages
1,050
Hey everybody,

I'm buying some new tubes for my Bassman styled head, and am down to these two types of tubes.

I don't have the money for both at the moment, so I can only go with one.

From what I've read, the Winged C is closer to Blackplate styled tube, and the 5881 is darker, as 5881's are, and is more compressed.

Anyone have any experience with these two tubes? Doubt I could go wrong with either, just asking for people's opinions on them.
 

sickboy79

Member
Messages
13,110
No experience with the new RI Tung Sol stuff - but the Winged C/SED 6L6GC is, IMO, the best new production 6L6GC - period. Go with those (I've got them in my 65 BF Bassman head) - AMAZING tone and great reliability. Sounds very close to a GE.
 

Drifting

Member
Messages
1,050
No experience with the new RI Tung Sol stuff - but the Winged C/SED 6L6GC is, IMO, the best new production 6L6GC - period. Go with those (I've got them in my 65 BF Bassman head) - AMAZING tone and great reliability. Sounds very close to a GE.
Cool, how does it break up? I've read it can get nice, classic, fender glassy cleans, but part of my love for the bassman is how it breaks up as well.
 

Axe-maniac

Member
Messages
771
No experience with the new RI Tung Sol stuff - but the Winged C/SED 6L6GC is, IMO, the best new production 6L6GC - period. Go with those (I've got them in my 65 BF Bassman head) - AMAZING tone and great reliability. Sounds very close to a GE.
Same with me. never tired the Tung Sol but the Winged C's sound amazing in my Bassman LTD.
 

Dollar

Member
Messages
138
I have both and they are both very good. Your original post describes the differences between them pretty well. I think the choice between the two depends on what you want out of the amp. For big bold cleans I'd go with the SED's and for less headroom and more smooth / compressed breakup, I'd lean towards the 5881.

That's my take on them.
 

Drifting

Member
Messages
1,050
I have both and they are both very good. Your original post describes the differences between them pretty well. I think the choice between the two depends on what you want out of the amp. For big bold cleans I'd go with the SED's and for less headroom and more smooth / compressed breakup, I'd lean towards the 5881.

That's my take on them.
Ok, thanks for confirming, I'm gonna go with the Winged C's, my amp is already breaking up earlier w/ cpmpression because of speaker choice.


I will get the Tung-Sol's eventually though...

Thanks for your opinions guys :AOK
 

GenoBluzGtr

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,287
I have used both as well. I agree with the comments so far.

I use the Winged C's in my Blackface Amps. It's got that mojo for the scooped, deep, shimmery cleans.
But for my Tweed Bassman, nothing beats the TS 5881s. That is the tube if you want realistic tweed tone. I use the 5881s and a 5U4 rectifier and that combination in a Bassman gives up the tweed grind (tight, grinding, gutsy-yet-smooth) that these amps are famous for. Don't get me wrong, it does cleans very well at a nice volume, but the transition to OD is excellent with guitar volume and pick attack.

If I use the Winged C's, I need pedals, since it doesn't break up enough or transition smoothly enough for me, but with the TS's no pedals are necessary for sweet blues overdrive AND nice cleans.
 

Drifting

Member
Messages
1,050
I have used both as well. I agree with the comments so far.

I use the Winged C's in my Blackface Amps. It's got that mojo for the scooped, deep, shimmery cleans.
But for my Tweed Bassman, nothing beats the TS 5881s. That is the tube if you want realistic tweed tone. I use the 5881s and a 5U4 rectifier and that combination in a Bassman gives up the tweed grind (tight, grinding, gutsy-yet-smooth) that these amps are famous for. Don't get me wrong, it does cleans very well at a nice volume, but the transition to OD is excellent with guitar volume and pick attack.

If I use the Winged C's, I need pedals, since it doesn't break up enough or transition smoothly enough for me, but with the TS's no pedals are necessary for sweet blues overdrive AND nice cleans.
Ahhh, I wish I could buy both :jo

At this point I might flip a coin...:dunno
 

espinete

Member
Messages
389
i like much more tung sol 5881 tubes than winged c 6l6gc ones.
maybe it depends of the amp(mine is a 1966 super reverb)but for me these 5881's have bolt sounding with presence,they cut through the mix,no dark.similar headroom both to my ears but tung-sol 5881's have a bigger sound,more dinamics and much more sweetness than the winged c 6l6gc.
i put inside old production ones,don't now difference with current production tung sol 5881's
 

slider313

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,245
I prefer the new Tung Sol 6L6GC STR over the SED Winged C. If any new production tube sounds close to an old GE, IMO, this is the one. I have Winged C's and Groove Tube 6L6 GE, among others, and the Tung Sols sound more balanced to me. I also think the new TS 5881 sounds VERY close to the original and am using them in my '64 Vibrolux Reverb. So now you have a third choice.
 

espinete

Member
Messages
389
could you try tung sol 6L6GC STR and tung sol 5881 in the same amp?could you please tell me if they both have that similar big and bold sound?
 

slider313

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,245
could you try tung sol 6L6GC STR and tung sol 5881 in the same amp?could you please tell me if they both have that similar big and bold sound?
The Tung Sol 6L6GC has more headroom, more scooped mids, is brighter and doesn't compress like the 5881. They both sound great and both are well balanced; but, in my Vibrolux Reverb, the 5881's give the amp some needed midrange punch.
 

sidehatch

Member
Messages
1,207
I have the winged C's and they sounds close to an RCA 6l6's. very good buy.

I dont know about the tung sol 5881's.

I can also highly recommend the GT 6l6 GE made in the US from original tooling.

Those are great sounding tubes too!
 
Messages
1,230
These are my two favorite new production 6L6s. I use the 5881 in my SF Twin and the =C= in my MusicMan. 5881 growls and gives up a little dirt sooner, =C= sounds HUGE. Ironically, I went to Groove Tubes in my drip edge Bassman, they clean up the muddy lower midrange in ways the tonestack can't, and they never seem to need biasing, which is good, because in '68, there was a hum control but no real bais pot.
 

HandOfTheHost

Member
Messages
523
Get TAD 6L6WGC small bottles, they got lightning bolts on 'em! Seriously though, I've had a pair in my SF Bassman for almost four years and I've got no complaints.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,095
The differences have been well explained. It depends how you want your bassman to sound. Stock, they're DAMN loud before they breakup, hence my preference for the 5881s. By the time 6L6s were breaking up the cab was rattling and the speakers were crying uncle!
 

Guitar Dave T

Member
Messages
10,699
I have both and they are both very good. Your original post describes the differences between them pretty well. I think the choice between the two depends on what you want out of the amp. For big bold cleans I'd go with the SED's and for less headroom and more smooth / compressed breakup, I'd lean towards the 5881.

That's my take on them.
I agree 100% on this assesment. Personally, I prefer the Winged-C's for blackface and silverface circuit Fenders. For Tweeds and brown Fenders, either Tung Sol 5881 or JJ 6L6's seem to bring out the best in what those amps are designed for. For the "modern" Blues Deluxe and Hot Rod Deluxe, the JJ's rule.
 

Guitar Dave T

Member
Messages
10,699
Also, you might want to replace the 12AT7 phase inverter with a 12AX7 if you want more dynamic response from that head, if it's designed to take 12AT7's like the original.
 

Drifting

Member
Messages
1,050
Surprised this thread is still alive, I ended up going with Tung-Sol 6l6GC-STR's because of my amp's plate voltage, it is too high to run the true 5881's.

The tubes sound fantastic though, a very warm clean sound, and I like the way they compress too.
 

Lucidology

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,097
I have used both as well. I agree with the comments so far.

I use the Winged C's in my Blackface Amps. It's got that mojo for the scooped, deep, shimmery cleans.

If I use the Winged C's, I need pedals, since it doesn't break up ...
Most Excellent ...
I have a quad of Matched Winged C's in the mail for my Mark V ...
You said the words I wanted to hear ... thanks
 




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