Russian 6N3C Tubes

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Telecastoff1, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    637
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    A friend gave me a pair of "new" Russian 6N3C Tubes. According to him, these are supposed to be the Russian equivalent to the 6L6GC family of tubes. He bought them online, but was unsure about using them, so he gave them to me.
    I looked online to see what information is out there on these, and have found mixed feelings/messages about these. Anyone out here have or had any experience with these tubes? I refuse to use them until I know more and can be sure they're safe to use in an amp.
     
  2. Jon Snell

    Jon Snell Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    113
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2015
    Location:
    Jurassic Coast. UK.
    The 6n3c is a 6L6GT. The 6n3c-E is a 6L6GC or a near 5881. In my opinion more rugged than the 6L6GC.
    They are superb and perform for longer than the Chinese equivalent.
     

    Attached Files:

    Bendyha likes this.
  3. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    637
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Good to know. Thanks Jon Snell.
     
  4. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    6,550
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Location:
    Beaumont, CA
    I believe the modern Tung Sol 5881's are actually 6n3c-E tubes. I have a number of them and like them a lot, actually. I believe I have a quad in my '58 Twin and am super happpy with them (a quad of vintage Tung Sols is beyond my meager income! LOL). I have compared pairs of them back to back with the vintage Tung Sols I have in my Bassman. I think they compare quite positively!
     
    Telecastoff1 likes this.
  5. Abu Twangy

    Abu Twangy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,102
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Location:
    Philly
    Makes your amp fast--like MiG jet!

    Good thing people like Jon Snell step in.
    What makes those repurposed Russian tubes a challenge is the designation are in the Cyrillic alphabet. Other than the voltage number, some of the Russian tubes have a non-western code.

    Never could find a Russian equivalent of the RCA tube manual. In Engliush
     
  6. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,173
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Location:
    europe
    The regular version without the E is not very rugged, you can easily get it to redplate, depending on the amp. You might be able to substitute them in a 6V6 amp.

    Plate dissipation is 19W. (correction: 20W according to some data sheets, 20.5W according to others)
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
    Telecastoff1 likes this.
  7. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,484
    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    I have a pair of 6N3C-E's but a single 6N3C. The E's will be going in a Silverface Bassman, no idea what to do with the single one.
     
  8. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    7,601
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Location:
    United States
    I run a pair in my silverface Bandmaster Reverb and I like them a lot. They are also very photogenic. I used them for most of my tube amp photography webpage. I intentionally turned up the bias to make them look better for photography. The right one is red plating in most of my pictures and they handled it well.

    [​IMG]
     
    jtcnj, Axis29 and Mike Simpson like this.
  9. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    3,471
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I've tried the 6n3c in a Champ-a-like on steroids. From memory, the plate voltage was ~400V and it worked out to be biased close to 100% More by luck than judgement.
    It sounded like a louder version of a JJ 6V6S in that amp. I couldn't kill it, but it is a very limited sample number. I only had a modern 6L6 ( JJ ) to compare with, and bear in mind this is from memory, the Soviet valve was warmer, perhaps even ( pleasantly ) mushy in places where the JJ was taut. Mids and treble?, the Soviet was softer. Not unpleasant. Treat that with as much value as you paid for it though. That's a single ended amp, not push-pull. Single pre-amp valve, no tone stack. Your results will differ. I prefer the 6p6s/6V6 in that amp.
    I generally like old Soviet era stuff. The 6p6s, 6p14p, 6n6p and 6p1p power valves power an awful lot of my amps, both guitar and living room. The 6n3c is the only one I've tried where I've given the response of 'meh'

    Try 'em. Watch them start up and warm up. If they don't redplate and you like the sound, they're golden.
     
    Axis29 likes this.
  10. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,484
    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    I have a ton of 12V6's and no real transformer for it, just hate buying it and never going to use it. I have a 1100 primary transformer, could be used 2.5k with a 16 ohm speaker. But low voltage operation would only get the same output as a 6V6. Just had an idea. Bought a few compactron tubes that have what effectively is a 6AQ5 for a power tube. I could parallel up the bunch to drive the impedance. But then I will have to buy extra sockets and they are not cheap. That is the problem when you first start learning about stuff and you buy and then take a different direction. Maybe a reverb out of the compactron? Hmmm...
     
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.