Tung Sol 6L6G & Elekit TU-879S
Since I completed my Elekit TU-879S a few months ago, I have been having a lot of fun rolling tubes through it. So far, I've had a chance to compare the Tung Sol 6550, SED KT88, Victor's favorite RCA 807, the stock EH 6L6GC and now the Tung Sol 6L6G
Though nominally a 6L6G, this tube actually has a plate dissipation rating of 30W, equivalent to a 6L6GC. The bottle is quite large with a cool shape that reminds you of big power triodes like the 2A3. I've heard people say that the greater bottle volume is beneficial, but to me it sounds very similar to the stock EH 6L6GC, which is a good thing. Of all the different tubes I've rolled through the TU-879, I like the stock tubes the best, but of course it's very much a matter of personal preference.
Here are my off the cuff impressions of the various tubes in the TU-879S so far. I'll use the stock tubes as a reference for my comments:
Electro Harmonix 6L6GC (stock tube): Warm, rich sound, perhaps a little soft on top. Strong bass and beautiful midrange.
Tung Sol 6550: A bit leaner with more upper frequency detail. Less bass, but perhaps better controlled than the 6L6GC. Midrange seems harder and less euphonic. A little less output than the stock tubes.
RCA 807 (Victor's favorite): This tube's strength seems to be in the high frequencies, although midrange is also beautiful - closer to the 6L6. Bass is a little weaker than the stock tubes. In the TU-879, the 807s seem to take longer to warm up and when they do, power output seems to increase noticeably.
SED KT88: These sound very close to the 6550s, but seem to have more of a "shimmer" than the 6550.
Tung Sol 6L6G: To my ears, these sound very similar to the stock tubes. Powerful, warm, strong bass but with somewhat less detail than the 807s and KT88/6550 tubes. These tubes combine the great sound of the stock EH 6L6GC tubes with the great vintage looks of the large bottle.
I have also changed the driver tube from the the original that appears to be a Shuguang to the Tung Sol 12AX7, which is one of my favorites. The Tung Sol seems to have a richer character than the stock 12AX7 where as the stock tube seems to have more upper end detail.
For now, I have settled on the Tung Sol 12AX7 and Tung Sol 6L6G. You've got to admit, the big Tung Sol 6L6Gs look cool with the plates so high up in the bottle.
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