Going 6V6 in a 6L6 Holland Little/Li'l Jimi rated @ 50 watts

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by bluescosmology, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. bluescosmology

    bluescosmology TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2018
    Location:
    Portland Maine
    I'm trying to tame a 50 watt 2x10 Holland Little Jimi. It came set up with 6L6 tubes (Winged C's) and I'm thinking about moving to a set of vintage 6V6s (RCAs or Tung-Sols) to quiet it down a little. I know people with 35-watt versions of this amp have made this transition to 6V6 with a re-bias--the transformers Mike Holland used are up to it--but I don't know how having a 50-watt version changes, or might change, the equation. I'd like to use this in tandem with a 22-watt Bruno Cowtipper during gigs. I generally bi-amp with a stereo Leslie-style pedal.

    Silverface, this might be a question for you, as I know you're familiar with these and something of an enthusiast. If you have any input that would be terrific.
     
  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    33,396
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    Low efficiency speakers or an attenuator would perhaps be more effective at maintaining the Sonics of the amp while reducing volume. If one were going to make that tube change, the voltages would be of interest. JJ 6V6s might be a better choice if the voltages are very high.
     
  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,349
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    I probably shouldn't wade in, as I'm in the camp that says get an amp you actually like and that works for you without mods.

    That said, the difference between 50w and 30 is pretty negligible.

    As @Wally said, two inefficient speakers will make a much more noticeable difference.
     
    Paul G. likes this.
  4. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    956
    Joined:
    May 28, 2016
    Location:
    Between Clever and Stupid
    Funny. Though the address bears no connection to the name of the amp, I first played a Holland amp at a little guitar store on Holland Road in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Interestingly, the gentleman who built the amps, Mike Holland, lived in Virginia Beach at the time.

    Bob
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    17,754
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Do you have an amp tech or are you an amp tech?
    If so it might help to measure the B+ voltage and determine if your chosen 6v6 tubes are up to it?
    I'd guess that the 50w version of the little jimi has higher power section voltages along with a bigger OT?
    Users might do fine running 6v6 in the 30w version but maybe choosing the 50w and then reducing it to 20w is less desirable?
    Or is the 30w little jimmy cathode biased but otherwise the same PT and voltages as the 50w which is fixed bias to get those extra watts?

    I might try just putting some more primitive vintage 6L6 tubes in there, might soften up the tone enough depending on what you have in there now. A pair of Tung Sol 5881/ 6L6WGB might get you where you want to go, if the voltages are compatible.

    I have a Holland Tweed something or other and it's too bad the company is gone.
    Not sure if it's a Bassman or one of the Twin circuits, has a 2x12 cab and four octal sockets but only two wired for power tubes.
    The extra two sockets have no solder residue, never wired up for any function.
    It was seemingly built and then the PT changed, seems like Holland wasn't tied to model spec consistency.
     
  6. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,753
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    Location:
    Beirut, Lebanon
    All you gonna "gain" in volume reduction is a measly 3dbs & that's it (barely noticeable)

    Moreover the impedance the amp will want to see will be doubled.

    Not worth it. Not to mention potential damage to 6V6 tubes seeing a huge plate voltage irrespective of the bias

    a good small attenuator would be perfect to knock about 6 dbs without much coloring (this effectively means taking your amp down to 12 watts)
     
    Paul G. likes this.
  7. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    3,333
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    ^ This.

    Attenuators can open up whole new sounds for you too. Play the amp wide open?, no problem. Crank the amp, then clamp the attenuator down. It isn't quite the same as running the amp flat out as there's less compression from the coils and cones, plus Fletcher-Munson effects come in ( easy to deal with via EQ ), but once you get used to an attenuator, you'll wonder what you did without it.
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,797
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    It could work. Don't use vintage 6V6's though, use JJ's as they will hold up to the voltages. (of course you need to find out what the voltage in that amp is to be sure) You should change the output transformer for 6V6's, but you could just try a speaker with double the impedance and see how it sounds..... depending on how far off the OT primary winding is... You need to be able to bias the amp. You may want to change the NFB resistor. All in all a Tech should do it.
     
  9. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,753
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    Location:
    Beirut, Lebanon
    Yup - I like to knock off around 6dbs - and in any case not more than 9dbs max - where I find the tone & amp response remains in the camp of the un-attenuated amp.

    Even with a clean (big) Fender bf/sf amp; you feel the amp "in the zone" & responding way better. No; it's not as good as a cranked amp; since you lose the speakers spank (this is important) but still very good
     
  10. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,729
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    I have a 12 Watt, 15 Watt, 18 Watt, 38 Watt and 50 Watt amplifier. Played through the same speaker cabinet, there is little or no difference in volume among the 5. Just sayin'.

    If you're looking for some grunge at lower volume an attenuator or boost pedal goosing the front end will be more practical and manageable.
     
    homesick345 likes this.
  11. bluescosmology

    bluescosmology TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2018
    Location:
    Portland Maine
     
  12. bluescosmology

    bluescosmology TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2018
    Location:
    Portland Maine
    Model spec consistency wasn't Holland's first priority, that's for certain. But that's part of the appeal to me. Each example is a little different from its brethren. Some produce astonishing cleans, and marvelously gnarly overdrive when turned up. Although I have a 20-watt Lobo that's clean all the way up...I have to try to do something about that. Just a little snarl...only a little grit...

    Anyway, thank you for the reply. You're touching on a point/question that I was sort of getting at...vaguely...in the original post--the OT must be bigger, so wouldn't it have to work harder with 6V6s? My suspicion is that it would. Other suggestions--attenuator, inefficient speaker--make more sense.

    Thank you to everyone who took the time to reply.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  13. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    459
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Location:
    Cascadia
    Well....
    If your plate voltage won't get in the way...

    That said, the JJ 6V6S is capable of handling 450 volts triode and 500 volts pentode...

    I tried them in a Super Reverb (~45 watts) and while I didn't notice any degradation of tonality, I didn't experience the reduction of volume -v- treshold that I hoped for.

    ETA: and...those tubes lifespan was decidedly abbreviated.
     
    Wally likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.