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BEST 6V6 TUBE- NEED YOUR OPINION

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by John_B, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. John_B

    John_B Tele-Meister

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    I have access to different 6v6 tubes and wondering which would be the best of these for clean tone in a 5 watt tube guitar amp. I want to prevent the amp from going into breakup as far as I can when turned up loud.

    I hope this is a fair question for you tube experts. The two 5 watt amps I would use would either be a Bugera V5 or a Monoprice 5 watt and the speaker is a 8" Eminence. Pre amp tube questions will come later.

    If need be, I will also opt for hi end tubes.

    The tubes are=
    RCA 6C6 c
    GE 6V6 gta
    Delco 6v6 gt
    Motorola 6V6 gt
    Heinz Kauffman 6V6 g7

    All of you have so much experience in rolling tubes, I really would like to know what you think!
     
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  2. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    I have JJ 6V6 tubes in my SF Champ and Epi Valve Jr
    They sound like 6L6s.
    That's either a feature or a bug. You decide.
     
  3. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Are those all NOS 6V6's ?

    Just asking as I've been online researching similar 6V6 tube reviews to try, for my new 5 watt 10" Supro Blues King 10 ( one 6V6 one 12AX7- that's it!)

    But the tubes I am reading about (and a few I have tried) are new/current manufacture, and NONE are the ones you have listed.
     
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  4. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd stick with JJ, the new Shuguang 6V6GT or the NOS Cryllic Sovtek black glass 80s tubes off eBay.

    I have a pair in my 83 Superchamp - they live well at less than 400 plate volts.

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/254830522896
     
  5. John_B

    John_B Tele-Meister

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    OK, I get it, so far. I have read opinions that JJ extends the headroom and they shorten the headroom. I don't know what to think. These tubes I have access too are from a tube suitcase kit from 10 years ago.

    Yes, they are new old stock and I have multiples of them.
     
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  6. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Got it,
    I would just say ( since we are talking one power tube, right) to try a few and follow your ears.

    Of the tubes I read about ( all current), the JJ 6V6's and the EHX ( rebrand Sovteks), seemed to get high marks for cleaner volume and reliability) - but all ( TAD, Tung-Sol, Mullard got favorable reviews)

    * just an FYI:
    my amp (new) came with Ruby tubes, but I switched to a JJ 6V6 and a Tung-Sol 12AX7,
    mainly because those are the tubes used by my amp tech friend when I owned a '68 Deluxe Reverb- I told him I wanted ' Loud and Clean!' And it was.
    Hell of an amp, but had to sell in 2016

    I just figured these tubes were good in the DR, they should be good in the new little guy.
     
  7. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ok - happy days. Try them all, they're probably a good. Just keep an eye out (ear out) for loud hums, crackles or arcing. With old untested tubes there's always a chance vacuum has gone or there's a short inside.

    images (1).jpeg

    Keep an eye out for this, tube on the left. Sometimes a tube can have too high a current draw

    I would not use any metal tubes you come across. They are not capable of high voltages found in guitar amps. They are of interest to vintage radio and hifi buffs so don't throw them out.

    Noone would have tried most of those tubes before. You're almost better to sell them in dribs and drabs as NOS untested in their boxes. They're worth a not insignificant amount.
     
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  8. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Afflicted

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    Personally, I like vintage RCA. The Delco and Motorola tube are likely rebranded.
     
  9. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've not had good luck with old tubes and new amps. The only older 6V6 I liked was an RCA. Unfortunately I sold it and later found out the noise problem I had was from bad tube sockets.
    Since then I've settled on Tung Sol as being reliable enough, as the JJ was a bit too bright or too harsh in some way, and the EHX just seemed average to my ears.
     
  10. deus56

    deus56 Tele-Meister

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    Since I think you only need one power tube, you may be
    able to find a good deal on a Bendix 5992.
    It is one clear and powerful sounding mofo.
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. powerwagonjohn

    powerwagonjohn Tele-Meister

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    Funny you should mention it, I was just testing out a matched pair of US Army 1943 Signal Corps RCA VT 107A 6V6 GT in my Allen Classic 57. Lots of smooth warm break up. I should buy another pair for spares but these should last me through retainment. Thanks for your service guys.
    Thanks John
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
  12. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    The Bugera V5 will need a socket adaptor to fit a 6V6. The Infinium circuit may or may not be able to cope with the change from the EL84 in there usually. If the V5 in pre-Infinium, you'll need the adaptor and you'll need to change the cathode resistor.
    If you want clean-ish from the power stage, the JJ 6V6S is good. The Monoprice is a Laney Cub, which is a Champ-a-like. Let your ears decide. Not all valves were created equal. Two valves from the same manufacturer, but rebadged for different end suppliers may well have different characteristics in terms of running 'hotter' or 'cooler' in use.
    You'll get as much change, if not a lot more, from switching the 12AX7 for a 5751 or 12AY7. Use your ears as your guide.

    ps. The Soviet 6P6S is a joy in single ended amps. It's a tie in my ears with my JAN VT107A examples, which is no surprise when you find out where they got the design from :)
     
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  13. allesz

    allesz Tele-Holic

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    I too suggest JJ6V6, if you whant max clean headroom.

    About vintage tubes, I have a couple of old sylvanias that sounds great to me (I use them in a cathode biased push pull combo btw), but they tend to get dirty earlier than JJs, and so I also think to get more power with the JJs. The overdriven sound is fantastic with the old tubes (and the cleans too), but using the amp at rehearsals, I need all the clean volume I can get.
     
  14. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    RCA then GE
    and then the rest.
     
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  15. northernguitar

    northernguitar Tele-Holic

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    Try them all!
     
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  16. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    These.
     
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  17. lathoto

    lathoto Tele-Meister

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    JJ all the way. Check out Eurotubes for options.
     
  18. hepular

    hepular Tele-Holic

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    otoh, i have an nos sovtek black glass tube that red-plated immediately after installation in my 84 super champ, which i know is under 400v, ymmv

    currently have nos GEs installed have used rcas both sound pretty yummy, although to my non-specialist ears, the GEs sound a bit more transparent, the RCAs have a little more body (that's 2 in push/pull so not a direct relevance).

    bought both sets (GEs are early 60s, RCAs later 60s) for around $15-20 a tube, which doesn't quite match up to unwitting estate sale score, but comparable to new . ..
     
  19. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Always possible to get individual tubes to redplate. The pair in mine were matched by the vendor and they've been good two years of practice and gigs. I measured them for current draw and swapped sockets - half a ma apart.

    I know of people with Deluxe Reverbs have had issues with these.

    Mine are stamped OTK which allegedly means vetted for military use but I've been told they're standard crylic character tubes.
     
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  20. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    I’ve had good luck with JJ tubes and honestly don’t hear any difference in power tube brands. The change in tone is much more pronounced in changing the V1 preamp tube.
     
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