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Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by DrPepper, Nov 13, 2018.
Which ones? PRRI, stock.
I like the JJ's.
You'll get various responses re NOS vs. new production, but IMO...
NOS or used US-made or European (Belgian, Dutch, English, French, German)-made are far more likely to last and maintain their characteristics than most Chinese or Russian made. You don't have to buy the higher-end, more expensive tubes to get great tone. There are differences between brands and internal construction, but any of the above will deliver the goods for a long time. It seems like everybody and his dog is selling tubes, so it's hard to know which ones actually know what they're doing. Here are two reliable sources based on my numerous positive experiences with them:
Offers fairly detailed descriptions of specific tubes and tube types. Take your time and go through the 6V6 listings. You can get matched pairs for $50.
KCA NOS Tubes
I believe this guy is a member, here and/or on Strat-Talk. Generally NOS, but also good source for used, tested tubes. I have a set of his ANOS (used), old Tung-Sol 6V6GTAs running right now in an SCX2 which has an output section 98% identical to a Princeton. Good pricing.
I think the exception is JJ tubes, which are new production, and endorsed by our valued colleague @schmee . These are generally reliable and long-lasting, but buy them from a vendor who tests, sorts, and guarantees them. IMO despite their stated specs their sonic qualities are often different from US or Euro tubes. Re your PRRI, the JJ 6V6S tubes have longer plates than the US and Euro 6V6GT spec and, to my ear, deliver tone that's in between 6V6 and 6L6 tones. IMO they sound very good and are worth a try if you've got a few bucks to play with. Many folks like them.
I'm personally a huge fan of Sylvania silver tops with the green writing.
Nicely matched pairs aren't usually much more than new stuff, They will hold up much longer and sound great !
Just my personal opinion
It's a personal choice, there is no "best". How the chosen pair is eventually biased will probably make more difference than the name on the glass envelope.
If it was a stock PRRI, did you try rebiasing it before now, and tried out the differences between cool, warm and hot bias?
What are the standard set in there, Chinese, Russian new production?
The 6V6 has been around for over 80 years, and has been produced in the millions by dozens of companies across the world........they will all work, some better than others.
Best bet if money is not an issue, is buy a set of Westinghouse or Sylvania 6V6GTA from the 70's...maybe the pinnical of development of the tube,
and buy and try out some a set of 1940's or 50's, the golden age of 6V6GT, RCA, GE, Hytron, Kenrad or.....
But DO TRY a pair of current production JJ's, they may not be your thing, but if they are, you will love them...and they are great value for money.
I have over a dozen different pairs to roll with, mostly old production but some new. In my main amp, Super Champ, are JJ's.
Personally, I'm trying to work my way through a few of the more obscure European and Russian versions of the 6V6 at the moment.
Sort of like Beer, there are literally over 100 different sorts to choose from at my local shop, and although there are many I would not touch (cheap mass produced factory stuff), I usually grab an occasional exotic when i'm ther getting a crate of my standard (ROTHAUS - Tannen Zäpfle).
I like Sylvania smoked glass 6V6GTY's in the Princeton Reverb's circuit.
I've got a pair of 6V6 tubes in my Princeton Reverb.
They sound great.
Sylvanias are awesome, sound kinda like little 6L6s. JJs don't really sound like a classic 6V6 to me. Tung Sol reissues are about as good as grey-plate RCAs. Don't know that they will last as long tho. Tung Sols are good enough that I don't worry about NOS anymore.
I just found a pair of Sylvania 6V6 GT black bottles and an RCA 5U4 GT rectifier in the back of a hammond organ destined for the dump I havent tested them yet, still to do. Too bad I could not save the Hammond
i use mesa boogie, don't know who makes them for them and haven't bought any in awhile because i bought six pair last time i needed then but they seem to last forever
Totally forgot to go get a free Hammond last weekend, had things happening. Should call the guy but the darn thing includes a newer solid state Hammond and a Leslie or two that are too new to have any value. So I'd have to drive my pickup two hundred miles round trip to get a load of worthless heavy crap and a few used tubes.
i use to use JJ and Mullard.
the new production tung sols are pretty good. wont kill your wallet.
I personally don’t like the JJ 6V6 too agressive sounding to me and not very true 6V6 sounding. As for old I like RCA and new EH 6V6GT (electro harmonix)
I like new production Tung Sol's better than anything else.
I like the JJ's in my vintage amps. But many types can handle the RI voltage . The PR can get dirty fast and the JJ's help out just a bit with that while still retaining the smooth 6V6 sound.
To me, it’s worth the few extra dollars to get NOS USA tubes. They sound great, and last almost forever. I’ve had a set in my BFDR for 40 years; they just tested strong. I’ve used that amp a lot over the years.
New production Tung Sols.
Bendix 5992 if you never want to buy 6v6 tubes again. That's an exaggeration of course but these tubes were literally built for war and last and last
I like those had um in a 67 BFDR about a year before I read online they can't take the voltage, so I put some NOS RCAs in it. Run the Tung Sols in one of my 6v6 Reverberockets now and really like them. Probably should pop a pair in the other one too, the old US 6v6s I stuck in it didn't really sound any better.