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6V6 vs. 6L6

7/23/2004 4:56 PM
6V6 vs. 6L6
I've got my preamp tubes down and EL84s but can someone elaborate on the following differences (generalized of course and as they relate to the 5E3) between 6V6s & 6L6s:  
* General Tonal Characteristics  
* Smoothness of breakup (does one go from clean to fully distorted faster?)  
* Wattage  
* Physical Size  
* I know 6L6s are more powerful and have more headroom than 6V6s but is the 6L6 significantly louder before it starts to break up?  
* Anything else you think of  
Looking for more of a rock sound than a blues or classic 50s sound.  
7/23/2004 5:09 PM

>>Looking for more of a rock sound than a blues or classic 50s sound.  
But sound levels are also a concern because I do most of my playing w/ neighbors in close proximity (apartment).
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7/23/2004 5:24 PM

in my limited experience, they're fairly similar tonally - much more so than a 6L6 to an El84. Breakup seems to be about the same. Wattage is higher with the 6L6's, though how much more depends on the circuit and OT. Physical size varies, but a 6L6 is maybe a cm or 2 taller than a 6V6. Significantly louder? probably depends which circuit it's in and what you mean by significant. It is louder, can't tell you how much dB louder, but it's noticable. IS that significant? ;-)  
All in all, the 6L6's i have in my 5e3 sound a little beefier/have a little bit more low end than the 6v6's. they give me just a bit more clean headroom, which for me is the perfect amount with the band.  
Im sure others will have much more to say, but this'll help for a bit :)  
7/23/2004 11:38 PM
6V6's will break up easier then 6l6's. The 6L6 will break up later with a bit more growl than a 6v6.  
But there is more to consider if you want to get a good rock sound -- that being the amplifier circuit. The fifties sound can be had from 6v6's by using a 5E3. A rock sound, on the other hand, can also be had from a pair of 6v6's using the Trainwreck Express circuit. The Trainwreck circuit will go from nice and jangly to extremely nasty depending how high you have the volume turned up. The Trainwreck would be a better circuit for Rock than a 5E3 IMHO, if that's what you want, although a properly designed 5E3 with the de-Fart mods applied will rock out quite well also.  
Moral of the story is that tubes do matter, but the circuit matters a little bit more. And if you are considering 6L6's, I'd urge you to consider Tungsol 5881's instead for some real killer tone.  
7/24/2004 4:17 AM
Al Lang

DD, I've been hearing some good things about Tungsol 5881s here. I have a nice old pair I was going to sell, maybe I should try them in my 5E3. Like you say tone is subjective, I like 6L6s in the 5E3 but with the defart mods and upgraded PT and OT. I have an Allen OT, don't know who actually made it for Allen Amplification. Some say that the American Tungsol 5881s run on lower watts disapation then 6L6s. How many watts idle per tube should I run them at? Al
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