6V6 suggestions?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by TheGoodTexan, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    I need to re-tube both of my Alamo amps, Montclair Reverb, 1x12 combos.

    I had been using the EH 6V6, but it's been years since I've bought any... and it appears that it's not the same tube that it once was?? I tried some JJ tubes in it, but they don't sound right in this amp at all. I basically use the amps at 90% volume all the time, and the JJs just don't compress in a good way in this amp.

    What other 6V6s should I be trying? I use these amps almost at full-tilt, and use my guitar volume knob and a Fulltone Fatboost to push them into strong saturation. Greenback in one, and a Eminence Screamin' Eagle in the other.
     
  2. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Used Sylvania or RCA. But they're gonna cost ya.
     
  3. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've only ever used JJ's and Tung Sols, and I like the JJ's. So, that's not much help since you don't like them.
     
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  4. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I’ve had EH in mine for years. You say they’ve changed?
     
  5. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    I would go with pulls or nos tubes for older tube amps. My tech says the Tung Sol 6V6 isn't half bad. I haven't tried them, but have used the EH. As an owner of a dozen 6V6 based amps, I have well in excess of 100 older 6V6 tubes. Some are nos Sylvania, but others are just pulls. I have been feeding my amps this way since the late 80's when Sylvania suspended all tube production. The JJ might as well be a 6L6 or 7591.
     
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  6. Andy B

    Andy B Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Of modern tubes, I'm really liking the TAD 6V6. Using them in 2 amps currentlly. when it comes to biasing them they are a 14W tube.
     
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  7. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

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    Someone recommended I try the Ruby Tubes 6V6s and, well, so far, so good.

    Of course, this is all reeeeaaally subjective.
     
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  8. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Afflicted

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    I have eh 6v6 in my amp. Got a new set from tubedepot a couple months ago, and they seem the same. It's my main gig amp, 428v plates, -32v bias. The eh settle in about 17/19 ma and sound good to me. I don't think they have changed. IMG_20200122_064219027.jpg
     
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  9. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    I tend to like some black plate 6v6 I found at CB sale.
    Pretty durable and good tone.
     
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  10. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    The NOS 6p6s can be a bargain. They compress earlier than the JJ, and sound utterly lovely while doing so. Broadly equivalent to a mid forties Sylvania, which isn't too surprising given the Soviets were handed the design.
    I have yet to kill one. There are recommendations regarding not using them in certain Fender style amps where the plate voltage exceeds the design specs by a country mile, but I've run them in single ended amps at close to 400V and biased very close to 100% without failure.
    I have some mid-forties JAN-Sylvania valves, bought as NOS, and the Reflektor 6p6s' sound every bit as good. Cranked to the hilt, then back the guitar volume down a fraction, and you'll believe angels are singing a siren song.
     
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  11. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sovtek NOS 6n6c tubes, often stamped OTK which is Russian military are great rugged tubes. NOS from the 80s.

    I am using them in my 83 Superchamp and they have quite a nice chime and plenty output. Not far off the original RCA tubes I've pulled and stored.

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com.au/ulk/itm/352669887006

    I've also got a set of the newer Shuguang 6V6GT. Had great luck buying matched pairs of EL34Bs from this vendor. They're a nice solid EL34.

    Tried briefly and sounded OK with no untoward noises or signs of distress. My SC puts 400 volts on the plates.

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com.au/ulk/itm/253585414684

    One of the Aussie Gearhead guys tested 3 sets of the new ones marked 6V6GT and said they were virtually indestructible run at 390+ plate volts.

    https://www.guitargear.net.au/discussion/index.php?topic=41815.0
     
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  12. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Friend of Leo's

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    I use the JJ's when I'm gigging for the exact reason you don't like them, great for live work if you want louder/cleaner. I use NOS Brimar's a lot in my house amps, not too expensive and do what you need, Sylvania/RCA/GE probably do the same.
     
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  13. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Tele-Meister

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    agree with Fearnot!

    +1 for Tung Sol.

    JJ 6v6 is a different animal. I agree with others when they say it leans towards a 6L6 vibe.

    Ruby, Fender owned Groovetubes, and TAD rebrand tubes. Some of the tubes are just rebranded offerings from Russia and China. Others are "special tube request" from Russia and China.
    The suffex str = "special tube request".
    I like the Ruby 6L6gcmstr and el34bstr. I have no experience with Ruby 6v6gtstr.

    From my experience with their 6L6 and EL34, I will roll the dice and try Ruby 6v6gtstr if I see more recommendations on this thread.
     
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  14. twangjeff

    twangjeff Tele-Afflicted

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    Tung Sol
     
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  15. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Keep in mind that Tung-Sol, Sovtek, Mullard, EH are all made in the same place...by the same people.

    A company called New Sensor. Which has purchased the rights to use various brand names. My experience has been that new Mullard and Tung-Sol tubes are pretty much ... well, what I refer to as russian crap.

    They are certainly nothing like the wonderful old world valves that their respective names suggest.
     
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  16. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    With NOS my preference is Tung-Sol. They’re reasonable when bought used. Smooth and thick when driven hard. New GE, Sylvania, and Philips are in the same price range and tend to be a bit brighter and more defined when driven. I haven’t used RCAs, as I question the value of getting that last Nth degree of tone at twice the price of others.

    There are some variations in tone, but any US, UK, EU, Canadian, or Japanese 6V6-GT is going to sound fine in your amp.

    The JJ 6V6S replaces a 6V6-GT, but isn’t a 6V6-GT. Its longer plates produce tone that sits between 6V6 and 6L6. A tough, durable tube with unique characteristics.
     
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  17. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly are you referring to?
     
  18. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    The Tung Sol RIs would do well for you, if you decide to stick with modern make. My preference is to NOS, and there are so many great choices there if you get curious and have a little extra coin. Such as Ken Rad, Brimar, RCA, Sylvania. And original Tung Sol too.
     
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  19. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    OTK just means quality control, QC if you like.

    The ones generally deemed as military have an E at the end somewhere, as in 6П3С-Е or 6П14П-ЕВ. It just means extended life though. Never seen it on the 6V6 types.
     
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  20. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    My relatively uninformed opinion is: the most important thing is that they perform well, without extraneous noise. I’ve done some 6V6 tube-rolling (with a motley assembly of NOS, pulls, new tubes) in my 5F1 and frankly the tonal differences were pretty subtle, whereas the noise floor changed pretty dramatically from one to the other. Give me a quiet Chinese no-brand tube over a noisy NOS RCA all day!

    In this perspective, I think that the retailer is more important than the brand. Reportedly, some test ‘em better than others.
     
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