Tubes that everyone should own, or at least hear

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
Site Supporter
Yeah -- the 6V6 is kind of the... I dunno... Mazda 323 of output tubes.
Gets no respect, but it's absolutely competent and it gets the job done with great aplomb.



There've been a couple of PP and SE 6V6 amps here (past & present, come to think of it) & they're perfectly dandy.






... and what is a 6AQ5, Grasshopper, but a 6V6 in a miniature envelope with a 7-pin base?

:smoke
And what is a 6CM6 but a 6V6 in a miniature envelope with a Noval base?

Talking Book AE-3.jpg
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
Site Supporter
Then there are always oddball tubes like the 7355 that Harman Kardon and Bogen liked to use in some of their integrated offerings...
 

RDSChicago

Site Supporter
Site Supporter
What EL34's do you guys recommend for a Marantz 9? Will the new production Tung Sol's be inferior to vintage tubes like Mullard's, etc.? I need 8 of them so price is a consideration. What about the other tubes for the 9's, which are DJ8/ECC88 and 6CG8?
 
I like EL34, but I'm not sure its the best we have. For me, there are two power tubes I really enjoy:

1. el84
2. 845

Obviously they are very different types of tubes, but the implementations I've heard with either of these tubes never seems to disappoint.

An honorable mention is the 300B.
 

Fran604g

Just Call Me Junior
Site Supporter
There are at least a dozen "unknown" tubes I use that are both inexpensive and highly performant. I wouldn't dare mention any of them here.
Considering what we've all seen happen price wise with previously "unknown" tubes, that's probably prudent.
 

Fran604g

Just Call Me Junior
Site Supporter
What EL34's do you guys recommend for a Marantz 9? Will the new production Tung Sol's be inferior to vintage tubes like Mullard's, etc.? I need 8 of them so price is a consideration. What about the other tubes for the 9's, which are DJ8/ECC88 and 6CG8?
I'm not sure if you'd consider 6550 as a choice, but I run Tung-Sol reissues in my TAD-60, which is 2 ch. PP switchable UL/triode output. I get mine from Upscale Audio. These have never let me down, and imho they sound fantastic.
 
2C22 - one half of a 6SN7. Dual top-caps. Lovely sound!
2C22_RCA_049.jpg
I have 8 of these and they do sound good 6 are very microphonic, I prefer the 6J5's to these...
 

Wntrmute2

Not So Mediocre Member
Site Supporter
I have 8 of these and they do sound good 6 are very microphonic, I prefer the 6J5's to these...
Interesting. I am running 2 pairs in two different preamps with no microphonics. I wonder what is the difference? I did have a cap come off and that rendered the tube worthless on one tube.
 

Andyman

Junior Member
Nice to see the 7591 get some love. Of all the tubes I’ve had over the years, and there have been a lot, it’s the only tube I could see going back to again. Preferably in a NOS Valves rebuilt Scott 299C or D.
Yep. I had a pair of Heathkit AA-100s pass through here in the last year or two and found them quite enjoyable to listen too. They may be gone, but I still have a Sylvania console pull from over 10 years ago that uses 7868s, which is a basically a Novar base 9 pin compactron version of the 7591, so they should voice very much the same. One of these days I gotta dig into this amp...

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fiddlefye

Senior Member
Site Supporter
I have to admit, if I need a new set of tubes for my W4-AMs, they'll probably be Gold Lion KT77s...they were quite good in my Dynaco Stereo 70.
The MV-45 runs output tubes hard - how they got that 45 w/ch out of a tube set that more typically produces 30 or so. I've had tubes that simply did not stand up to the treatment. Sovteks would typically last around six months or so and then flame out (sounding grainy the whole time). The Gold Lions have really good staying power in the circuit, are really smooth, yet extended in the bargain. I was really glad to find a modern tube that did the job so well and isn't absurdly expensive.
 
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