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Thread: Choosing an amp in reverse - from the power tubes

  1. #1
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    Choosing an amp in reverse - from the power tubes

    I've had this super sweet set of NOS USA Tung Sol 6L6WGBs that are burning a hole in my pocket. They are pretty sentimental to me since they came from a 1950s-era audio amp...get this...that belonged to my mom! She's been gone for several years now and I've wanted to find a special place for these tubes; maybe a vintage amp of some sort. But the thought crossed my mind that maybe if I found the right PRS amp - an original Dallas, perhaps - Doug could mod it around these tubes? The 6L6WGBs are lower voltage variants of the 6L6 family and are not drop-in replacements for the common 6L6GCs we know and love.

    So my question is, what do you guys recommend? Vintage Fender blah-blah (fill in with your suggestions) or should I find the right surrogate to ship to Doug & Company to do something unique? No ideas will be ignored (unless they involve grinding up these tubes and sprinkle them in the finish of the amp shell...ain't doin' that!).

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie View Post
    I've had this super sweet set of NOS USA Tung Sol 6L6WGBs that are burning a hole in my pocket. They are pretty sentimental to me since they came from a 1950s-era audio amp...get this...that belonged to my mom! She's been gone for several years now and I've wanted to find a special place for these tubes; maybe a vintage amp of some sort. But the thought crossed my mind that maybe if I found the right PRS amp - an original Dallas, perhaps - Doug could mod it around these tubes? The 6L6WGBs are lower voltage variants of the 6L6 family and are not drop-in replacements for the common 6L6GCs we know and love.

    So my question is, what do you guys recommend? Vintage Fender blah-blah (fill in with your suggestions) or should I find the right surrogate to ship to Doug & Company to do something unique? No ideas will be ignored (unless they involve grinding up these tubes and sprinkle them in the finish of the amp shell...ain't doin' that!).
    I had 6L6 WGBs in a Two-Rock that could also take 6L6s. I don't know if the TR was set up specially at the factory to use them or not, since it came to me new with them. That you'd have to check with PRS about. I believe the only thing needed is biasing, but I could be very wrong about that!

    What I can say is that WGBs break up a little sooner than 6L6s, and sound a little bit closer to EL34s; they're beautiful sounding tubes if you have good ones that work. There isn't a ton of headroom, but few tubes break up on that transition from clean quite so sweetly.

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    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    I had 6L6 WGBs in a Two-Rock...I believe the only thing needed is biasing, but I could be very wrong about that!
    Yeah, I'm not sure either. The voltage tolerance difference seems big to me, and I won't have a second chance if I plug them into a circuit designed for 6L6GCs. It sounds like a call to PRS might be a worthy investment.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie View Post
    Yeah, I'm not sure either. The voltage tolerance difference seems big to me, and I won't have a second chance if I plug them into a circuit designed for 6L6GCs. It sounds like a call to PRS might be a worthy investment.
    I think it would need to be modded. I may have been wrong with my first answer. Just thinking back.

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    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    Next time you are in Colorado, stop by and we can plug into the BiValve. I bet they would sound fantastic.

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    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    I think it would need to be modded. I may have been wrong with my first answer. Just thinking back.
    That's the beauty of brainstorming...no wrong answers. I appreciate the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Egads View Post
    Next time you are in Colorado, stop by and we can plug into the BiValve. I bet they would sound fantastic.
    I haven't looked at THD's products in a long time. Great suggestion and appreciate the offer.

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    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    I'm no tube expert, but from what I've read, the older era 6L6WGB's are very similar in spec to 5881's. You could see if Doug and crew could mod a 2 Channel H to use the tubes. It might not be that difficult - the SE30 uses 5881's, and is based on the 2 Channel design, so they might be able to drop the correct transformers into an H and do the other necessary mods easily.

    Of course, you could see about giving them a shot in the SE30 too, if for no other reason than to get an idea of what it might sound like. I know the SE amps aren't hot on some people's list though. Which is unfortunate, but that's a story for a different thread...

    Anyways, hope you find something you like!
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE 30 Head/Cab

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    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy474x View Post
    I'm no tube expert, but from what I've read, the older era 6L6WGB's are very similar in spec to 5881's. You could see if Doug and crew could mod a 2 Channel H to use the tubes. It might not be that difficult - the SE30 uses 5881's, and is based on the 2 Channel design, so they might be able to drop the correct transformers into an H and do the other necessary mods easily.

    Of course, you could see about giving them a shot in the SE30 too, if for no other reason than to get an idea of what it might sound like. I know the SE amps aren't hot on some people's list though. Which is unfortunate, but that's a story for a different thread...

    Anyways, hope you find something you like!
    You're right, I didn't give the SE30 the proper mind-share. Not on purpose, mind you, but that's why I asked for help. Great suggestion!

    Looks like I need to make a call out to Stevensville and expand the brainstorming.

  9. #9
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Looking forward to seeing what happens! I'm sure they will come up with something great...
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE 30 Head/Cab

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