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wrenchone 16th April 2009 06:09 AM

6L6GC Options and Flavors
I'm thinking of buying some more 6L6GCs for experimentation purposes. Right now I have Svetlana (old or new?) with the gold stylized "S" logo on the glass and the cheap "unbreakable" Chinese tubes from AES. Are there some other decent ones around that won't break the bank (or my amp)? I expect them to run at least at 400V on the plate without becoming a light bulb... Basically, I'm looking for durability and good sonics (who isn't?).

Rod Coleman 16th April 2009 06:50 AM

The Electro Harmonix has a tough reputation in guitar amps, which usually put 450..480V or more on the screens, as well as anodes. Reliability record is good from what I can tell.

The Russian 6P3S-E, which has been made for ever and is sold today as Sovtek 5881 variants is also very tough, and should last for ages at 400V. sound may be a little less refined, but they're good value.

wrenchone 16th April 2009 07:44 AM

I've heard mixed things about the 6P3S-E. I've got some of the guys with the stylized tube logo and the diamond-shaped military stamp, with coin bases.

Geek 16th April 2009 08:21 AM

JJ are the ones used by a local heavy metal band... they survive any abuse they've tossed them :)


DaveMcLain 16th April 2009 12:59 PM

There are a lot of 6L6's out on the market right now that are good. Try a set of the Valve Art KT66's which are nice or some of those new production Tung Sol 6L6GC/STR's. I've used both of those in guitar amps recently with great results. Beauty is in the ear of the beholder and with a tube as common as the 6L6GC it's worth it to experiment and try many different things to find what you like best.

wrenchone 17th April 2009 03:19 AM

The tubes will be used in a hi-fi amp, not in a guitar context. I'm interested in 6L6GCs or similar that sound nice, don't self-destruct, and can take 400+ volts on the plate. I have some of the super 6BG6GAs that would fill the bill, but I'm looking for something without a plate cap this time around. Targeted application is partial feedback SE pentode amps and maybe something triode-connected.

First up is something based in a cursory fashion on the RH807 partial feedback amp using Edcor GXSE iron. I'd like to squeeze all the watts I can get out of an amp with the guts (including output transformers) in a 6" cube, tubes on top. I've built such an amp using 1625s configured in ultralinear mode (check my "Shrine" thread), but I want to go for some more watts this time.

w5jag 17th April 2009 03:44 AM

I've ran the short bottle Tung Sol 6L6GC/STR well over 500 volts in triode without issue.

The Tung Sol 6L6G and SED 6L6GC have no problems at 400+ volts in triode.

The 6P3S (not-E) I have tend to runaway at voltages I consider modest (365 volts).

I have some JJ's, but haven't tried them yet.

I think the SED sounds best.


edit: Now that I think about, the Groove Tubes 6L6GC remake of the GE tube also works fine at 400+ volts and sounds very good.

Wavebourn 17th April 2009 03:53 AM

Make vertical fins on the rear side of your 6" box, and use some tube-mosfet darlington.


Originally posted by w5jag

The 6P3S (not-E) I have tend to runaway at voltages I consider modest (365 volts).

How old they are?
It may be gas, so lower 1'st grid resistance is needed.

w5jag 17th April 2009 04:02 AM

I think they have '85 date codes, and agree it is gas causing the runaway.

Mine are fine, however, at 200-225 volts, and sound pretty good even at that low voltage.

A good set would probably sound very good.


wrenchone 17th April 2009 04:12 AM

My 6P3S-Es look to be maybe '72 date code. Around the logo and the diamond-shaped mil stamp I have X1 on one side, and 72 on the other.

As far as pairing sand with some tubes, I was thinking of a more lopsided lineup with one of the hotter video output pentodes and some P-channel mosfets, using some 1.6k One Electron transformers I have lying about.

The things I'm thinking of for right now will feature sand in minor supporting roles only...

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