Please Help Me Choose Some 6L6s for a 1960 Fender Super

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Please Help Me Choose Some 6L6s for a 1960 Fender Super

Postby knavel on Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:45 pm

I have a 1960 Fender Super. I'm not at all technical. My brother advised me to get a matched set of 6L6s for the amp as it has mismatched replacments.

I've read old RCA's are good, but I can't trust myself to select good from bad ones, so I thought I'd try modern.

I've read Svetlana Winged Cs are pretty good but the info is dated. Plus, it seems like there are different producers using the same name, so I could easily get burned with the junkier ones.

Knowing what amp I have can someone kindly just point me to what's good these days and a link to where I can buy those exact tubes at a shop in the UK/USA or ebay?

Thanks!
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Re: Please Help Me Choose Some 6L6s for a 1960 Fender Super

Postby OldSchoolDave on Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:18 pm

IMHO, tube matching in guitar amps can be overrated. A bit of mismatch can yield a fuller, more 3D kinda sound. Besides, most providers match their output tubes at lower voltages than the tubes will see in actual usage. At operational voltages, the "matching" tubes can perform quite differently. Guess what I'm saying is, I wouldn't pay a huge premium, unless my amp proved to be particularly sensitive.

Yes, vintage RCA or GE 6L6's are optimal. But, it's easy to be taken advantage of - even if one knows what to look for. That's why locating a trustworthy dealer of vintage tubes should be the first step (unless you're picking off bargains from auction sites and can take the risk).

Don't know about the =C= 6L6's, but there have been some reliability issues with recent productions of their EL34's. I'd wait until the reviews got more consistent before buying them.

I've not been a huge fan of Russian-made tubes, but did purchase a '69 SFSR that had Sovtek 5881's in it. Have to admit, they sound pretty good. I haven't done any A/B testing to compare with other makes, though.

In the U.S.A., Antique Electronic Supply ( http://www.tubesandmore.com ) is a good source for new tubes. No personal experience with any dealer in the UK...

Dave
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Re: Please Help Me Choose Some 6L6s for a 1960 Fender Super

Postby pdf64 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:04 pm

Is this a tweed 5F4 or a brownface 6G4/A?
How do you know that your existing 6L6 are mismatched? Has a tech checked it over?
If you're not technical then then get someone competent to confirm that it's elctrically safe/properly grounded at least - it's a 52 yo electrical item.
An amp will need setting up (bias adjusted) to the tubes that are in it; don't fit power tubes yourself.
If you're in the USA, consider a line voltage 'browner', as the line voltage supply has risen from about 110V to 120 - 125V since it was designed.
Pete.
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Re: Please Help Me Choose Some 6L6s for a 1960 Fender Super

Postby knavel on Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:51 am

Thanks for the reference to the Antique Musical Supply place. That's what I was looking for.

I've heard before that the whole matched tubes thing is overrated. I can see that for the same reason that the "true bypass" fashion doesn't really connect to me: It seems all the music that I ever liked was made when no one cared at all about matched tubes and bypass; they just wrote songs and recorded them. I put about 25% of sound into guitars and amps and 75% into the studio gear, so the latter is what I focus on.

Pete, the Super is a 6G4. The amp is not electrically safe and it only has a two prong cord. I have found that the step down transfermers in Europe (where I live) tend not to ground correctly anyway so it's trial and error to get the polarity right--as it was for the entire history of amps till the 90s or whenever doing 3 prong came along.

My brother has a tube bias checker and he'll sort out that next time he comes through town.

Thanks all.
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