Current production 6L6GC

BlackOut8910

New member
So what's the best available options right now. The amp I bought used has winged C tubes, but they aren't made any more. Anything close to that made today?
 

fusedbrain

Well-known member
What amp?
Not sure any CP 6L6's are going to sound exactly like the winged C tubes.
The TubeStore Preferred series 6L6 are nice.
The TAD 6L6GC-STR are a copy of the old Sylvania's and sound good.
Sovtek wafer-based 5881's are great tubes as well, in the right amp.
 

Nigel

Active member
Russian pre-Gorbachev 6P3S-E, which were the basis of the Sovtek copy (black print) and original 5881 rebrand (silver print).

JJ 6L6GC are great, Shuguang like Mesa and Peavey use are great for new production.
 

harddriver

Well-known member
I've always heard the ole reliable Sovtek wafer-based 5881 are built very well and are quite reasonable. Most people describe the 5881 has most of the postive attributes of a 6L6 but just a tad warmer. I guess that's why they work so well in the Soldano SLO.

I've used SED 6l6's in the past and thought they were nice, and I also picked up a quad of TAD6L6 and the construction was extremely nice,heavy duty and was pretty close to the NOS Sylvania, I never got around to installing them but they looked great.
 

gman1951

Member
What amp?
Not sure any CP 6L6's are going to sound exactly like the winged C tubes.
The TubeStore Preferred series 6L6 are nice.
The TAD 6L6GC-STR are a copy of the old Sylvania's and sound good.
Sovtek wafer-based 5881's are great tubes as well, in the right amp.
This. I've been buying their Preferred power tube series for years and have always been very happy with their CS and products.
 

glpg80

Well-known member
Big fan of those TAD 6L6WGC-STR tubes myself. Hefty low end with a nice sparkle to the highs. Excellent sounding tube!!!
That was always my problem with sovtek 5881s. They never had the glassy top end detail of the 6L6GC varieties. I’ve always loaded 6L6GCs in my 5150 for that reason after changing them out blindly once. It was a noticeable difference.
 

sotosprince

Well-known member
What amp?
Not sure any CP 6L6's are going to sound exactly like the winged C tubes.
The TubeStore Preferred series 6L6 are nice.
The TAD 6L6GC-STR are a copy of the old Sylvania's and sound good.
Sovtek wafer-based 5881's are great tubes as well, in the right amp.
ditto!
 

Nigel

Active member
That was always my problem with sovtek 5881s. They never had the glassy top end detail of the 6L6GC varieties. I’ve always loaded 6L6GCs in my 5150 for that reason after changing them out blindly once. It was a noticeable difference.

They sound more like an EL34, according to Bruce Zinky.
 

harddriver

Well-known member
KT88's are also described as a more linear sounding big bottle that had some midrange EL34 characteristics unlike 6550's. I imagine it is why Marshall used the KT88's in the Marshall Majors which were made for Richie Blackmore where he needed more stage volume apparently.

It's not brought up alot but Jimmy Page had most of his Marshall amps converted over to KT88's according to sources.
 

Nigel

Active member
KT88's are also described as a more linear sounding big bottle that had some midrange EL34 characteristics unlike 6550's. I imagine it is why Marshall used the KT88's in the Marshall Majors which were made for Richie Blackmore where he needed more stage volume apparently.

It's not brought up alot but Jimmy Page had most of his Marshall amps converted over to KT88's according to sources.
My dad has a white Major with 6550’s laying around. Should probably convert it and have Dave or someone mod it.
 

harddriver

Well-known member
I highly recommend the RT mod that RT michael does. The mod sound fantastic if you like higher gain plexi, I did it to my 72 SL. I have a layout diagram for it if you want.
 

harddriver

Well-known member
If you want to try the KT88's they should swap in with no issues just bias them up. I like 6550's personally. Marshall usually installed 150K bias splitter resistors instead of the 220K to compensate for the current draw and the fear that the KT88''s/6550 would go into runaway bias.

I remember the Majors tended to have some issues with either the Power or output transformers and the power section was wired in some ultralinear fashion which was why they sounded a little different.
 
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