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6L6's vs EL34's in a custom BF Fender type amp; need informed opinions!

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  • 6L6's vs EL34's in a custom BF Fender type amp; need informed opinions!

    Ok, so I'm getting a custom amp built and I have a couple of choices to make regarding what tubes I want to run. The amp is two channels with a boost on the second channel. The clean channel is based on a Fender Deluxe Reverb clean but with more mids while drive channel is smoother and richer than Fender with EQ at end of chain ... like a BF circuit boosted with a Tube Screamer but with full frequency boost, not just mid hump.

    Now the amp would come standard with 6L6's but I also have the option of getting EL34's. It will be a 30 watt combo pushing Celestion G12H-30's which are quite warm and thick whilst retaining tight focus and note clarity when pushed.

    The dilemma is that I want the Fender clean sound on the clean channel but have become very used to the EL34 crunch in the gain aspects of my playing. So the question is, will the 6L6's in the gain channel running at 30 watts with those speakers give me the type of drive sound I want or should I compromise and just run EL34's and change the character of the clean channel a bit making it less Fendery and just look after the drive channel?

    What are peoples tonal opinions of 6L6's in a 30 watt configuration?
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Member HCFXSCOC</b></div>

  • #2
    Only YOU can answer this. No one else has your ears, brain, or knows your sonic preferences.

    If it were me, I'd ask the designer to be sure that the amp would bias for either 6L6GCs or EL34s, possibly with a bias switch. If you're going through the trouble and expense of having a custom amp built, it may as well be versatile.
    <div class="signaturecontainer">Mike Kropotkin<br />
    KCA NOS Tubes &amp; Amp Repair<br />
    <a href="http://www.kcanostubes.com" target="_blank">www.kcanostubes.com</a><br />
    <br />
    <br />
    World's largest selection of guitar amp tubes!</div>

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KCA NOS Tubes
      Only YOU can answer this. No one else has your ears, brain, or knows your sonic preferences.

      If it were me, I'd ask the designer to be sure that the amp would bias for either 6L6GCs or EL34s, possibly with a bias switch. If you're going through the trouble and expense of having a custom amp built, it may as well be versatile.


      Yes, I understand that but I am looking for opinions based on subjective views which is why I have asked. It's obvious that the final decision falls with me, I am specifically asking for the opinions of others as food for thought. I will most likely ask for a bias switch anyway.

      What I am really asking is what are 6L6's like in a 30 watt config driving G12H-30's? Thats what I really want to know. I know what 6L6's sound like in a Fender Twin but I am curious to know what the character is like in a 30 watt config.

      Amybody else?
      <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Member HCFXSCOC</b></div>

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      • #4
        Bump ...
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Member HCFXSCOC</b></div>

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        • #5
          I find it strange I can't get any opinions on an amp forum?
          <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Member HCFXSCOC</b></div>

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TIKIROCKER
            I find it strange I can't get any opinions on an amp forum?


            Bump
            <div class="signaturecontainer">Mike Kropotkin<br />
            KCA NOS Tubes &amp; Amp Repair<br />
            <a href="http://www.kcanostubes.com" target="_blank">www.kcanostubes.com</a><br />
            <br />
            <br />
            World's largest selection of guitar amp tubes!</div>

            Comment


            • #7
              I think he ended up getting a silverface bandmaster reverb...

              40 watts , tube rectified 6L6GCs

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              • #8
                For one thing Deluxe's didn't have 6L6's but 6V6's, but I'm sure you knew that. You have a bigger choice of 6L6 type tubes to choose from, 5881-KT-66 to 6L6GC and more companies to buy from, although there are only a few manufactures of these tubes anymore, both 6L6 and EL34's are mostly imports, some are crap. If you get lucky and find a stash of NOS 6L6's your better off with 6L6's they seem to be better built and last longer than NOS EL34's if you can find them at all. All the new tubes I've tried don't compair with NOS tubes of either type, but NOS can be expensive. Both are good tubes and the clean is better on 6L6's if thats more important then get them. My self I feel that a clean amp gives better tone, than a overdiven amp. With all the OD pedals out there today you can get just about any OD tone/sound you want and still run the amp clean, thats what I do, I think you get better fidelity and more choices. Remember this in general the harder you push the amp the shorter the life of the tubes. Like was suggested you could put in a bias switch for both and even use 6550"s if you wanted to.

                Good luck enjoy your new amp.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RoboPimp
                  I think he ended up getting a silverface bandmaster reverb...

                  40 watts , tube rectified 6L6GCs


                  Those are good amps but I would rather have a SF 100 watt Showman Reverb, SS rectified.

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