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Qs for those using 6L6's - or experience - Bruce

5/1/2003 2:36 PM
Dean Owens
Qs for those using 6L6's - or experience - Bruce
so i want to build a 5E3. i've been thinking about this for a while. i want to make sure that what i build is what i want.  
at first i dismissed the idea of bruces PT because i want everything to be to the original specs (as much as possible). but i started thinking the other day "how much does it matter if the PT is to original specs, as long as the voltage is right?" so i thought it might be kind of a nice option (putting the diode on a switch to bring the voltage up (6L6's) or down (6V6's) for more options. this led me to other questions.  
1 - how much is the sound of the amp changed by using 6L6's - does it still sound the same, just louder?  
2 - how much louder is a TD with 6L6's in it. is it even worth worrying about.  
3 - (this has to do with the OT) i assume that the reason for 6L6's is for more headroom and overall volume. to accomplish this i would think that you would need a bigger OT than the original 5E3 called for. i thought that one of the factors in tube amps and their overdrive was the saturation of the OT. can you still get the same saturation and signature sound with 6V6's using a bigger OT for the 6L6's?  
anyone who can answer these questions for me will be a great help to me. thanks.
5/2/2003 2:33 AM

to me, the sound of the amp isn't a lot different with 6L6's, maybe a little louder, BUT ... the feel of the amp is noticeably stiffer - I went back to the 6V's - just more responsive, so it wasn't worth the trade-off. BTW, I have Mojo trannies.
5/2/2003 3:03 AM
Rich P.
I like the sound with the 6L6s. It is louder, cleaner and cuts through a little better. If I am recording and volume doesn't mater, I would try both ways to see which sounds better, but live, I like the 6L6s because they cut through.  
I am using Bruce's standard kit and can chose between a tube recto or SS (which is without the zener).  
5/2/2003 4:19 AM

do you notice any difference in FEEL, like I do?
5/2/2003 1:19 PM

I had the same question....Bruce suggested that I just order the parts for the 6L6 upgrade when I purchase the kit. (It's hopefully on the way now)  
Anyway, for a few bucks more, you can decide for yourself.  
5/3/2003 3:44 AM
Rich P.
Yes, I feel a difference, but I like the 6L6s better. They way it is set up now, I feel I can choose between three similar but slightly different amps.  
5/3/2003 6:43 AM

I'm with Curly on this one. I much prefer the 6V6 setup. I'd call it a fatter and rounder sound with rumble to it. "Stiff" is a good way to describe the 6L6 sound to me - not nearly as musical and singing. Not a bad sound at all just one I didn't use.

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