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Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by golfnut, Oct 18, 2018.
Who is talking about Sovteks?
Dunno, but the Sovtek 5881 is a pretty good sounding tube, especially considering they're only $15 each. I had a quad in my Twin for a while, and yeah, no complaints.
I prefer the Tung Sol 6L6GC STR in most Fender amps. I also like their (Tung Sol) 5881's.
The Sovtek 6L6WXT+ is not a 5881, but is a true 6L6, as is the Electro Harmonix.
I've only used the Electro-Harmonix in amps better suited to 5881, so I do not have enough experience to say it is the best. Have not used the Sovtek 6L6WXT+ at all, or any others.
Am I in some kind of weird parallel universe where I am the only one not talking about Sovtek tubes?
They can be used in the same situations as 6L6, so why wouldn't they be considered? If someone mentioned EL84s, yeah it'd be weird.
Right, but I am not saying they can't. All I said is I like the current production TungSol 6L6GC STR and I have some old US made 5881 6L6WGB. Then people started quoting me about Sovteks. It's weird.
You can blame me, people were talking about 5881's and I just wanted those who didn't know have the info that the Sovtek one is not a true 5881. That's all.
I don't like a blame game. I was just weirded out.
I am all about old US made tubes. I just found out that my handful of blackplate 7025 are worth a little bit. I guess I will keep buying old equipment and yanking out the tubes.
I bought a batch of Tung Sol and Sylvania branded Tung Sol 5881's a few years ago from a seller in Washington state. Some of the boxes had Boeing stickers on them with 1962 dates. All the tubes have a red and green mylar dot on them from, I believe, Boeing's testing procedures.
5881 by slider313 posted Oct 28, 2018 at 1:28 PM
There are variants of the 6P3S. The suffix matters. You want to get the 6P3S-E variant, which will stand up to higher plate voltages. I've seen them run for years in amps drawing almost 500 volts on the plates (but I'm not recommending that you use them that way) where I've seen the normal 6P3S fail at 400.
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine bought one of my America-made Fender Hot Rod Deluxes from me. To get the tone and sweep he wanted, I stuck and EH 12AY7 in V1, a JJ ECC83S in V2 and a JAN Philips 12AT7 in V3. For power tubes, I stuck an NOS pair of 6P3S-E biased at almost exactly the factory recommended setting. He loves it. It still is running like a champ.
But it's getting to be nonsense, because Sovtek makes 2 5881 types (differing in the base) and one pure 6L6, and people will mix the two types in their mind because internet. The 5881s sometimes may also say 5881 and 6L6 on them, which confuses the heck of some people.
If they are from the last several years, they are rebranded JJs. Prior to that, they are probably Sovteks.
My Boogie SOB has Sovtek 5881WXTs.
The guy who refurbed the amp before I bought it 6 years ago said they were the sweetest sounding for this amp. (He's been involved with Mesa over 30 years, is a personal mate of Randall and Mike B. I trust his choices.)
After 6 years with lots of hard road use, they're still perfect. I think they'll last as well as 50s/60s tubes.
They are a bit less powerful than 6L6s, so theoretically I can run the amp harder for a given volume. (That will probably start a few arguments!)
I've never for a second believed the SOB puts out only 60W. It has to be the loudest half size amp I've ever seen. Just insane volume. Easily pummels plenty of amps that are rated at 100W. I don't think you're really sacrificing much if it comes down a few watts.
I had the orignal Mesa Sylvanias in mine for probably 20 years. I eventually swapped them out for a set of GT 6L6GC-CHP black plates, which are a really nice tube. It looks like the current ones are made in China, but I thought I remembered mine being Russian. Whatever they are, they're pretty good.
Nope, made by Shuguang, those are the ones that GT said were ripped off by another tube company. Supposed to be a proprietary tube only for GT, based on RCA blackplates, but Shuguang went back on the agreement and provided them off the line to another company behind GT's back. Never went to litigation, as GT then sold to Fender.
short bottle TAD's are pretty good