Topic: Tubes question

For my electrically-minded friends:

I need new 6L6s due to a freak accident that occurred while loading out for rehearsal. Groove Tubes have several ratings for their 6L6s...low, medium, and high. They state that the low rating is dynamic and breaks up earliest, which is best for blues solos and such, the middle rated are, well, in the middle, and the high rated ones stay clean at higher outputs and are best for bass amps and jazz guitar.

I use a lot of distortion but I don't want my amp to clip unless I hit the little button by my for that criteria I'm expecting to purchase the high rated tubes. Is that correct?

Also what's with this rating system? I figured a tube was a tube was a tube. (Unless it's one of those vintage Sovtek fellas.)

Re: Tubes question

I think you figure right!  If you want total control over your distortion, then a pedal is the ticket..... in which case you don't want your tube creating the effect in unwanted places.

As for the rating, I'm guessing that they are using the current threshold where the plates get fully saturated and "natural" break up of the signal happens.

"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

Re: Tubes question

Hi BGD ...

I haven't had to replace tubes in my amp yet, which has the stock Peavey 12AX7's in the preamp stage, and 6L6's in the power stage. I was talking to a guy at the local music store where I do most of my business, and he said he likes the Electro-Harmonix tubes best for clean sound (he's a jazz guitarist). They have a line with gold-tipped pins, and apparently that makes for a cleaner signal transfer. And he also said if I wanted more crunch, that the 6L6's could be swapped with EL84's. But like you, I want to be able to control the distortion, and not have the tubes do it on their own.

Always something to learn!