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View Full Version : Anyone use these tubes?



kiteman
August 5th, 2010, 05:36 PM
http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Groove-Tubes-Gold-Series-GT6L6CHP-Matched-Power-Tubes?sku=219159

It's for my Bogner Alchemist.

FrankenFretter
August 5th, 2010, 06:34 PM
http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Groove-Tubes-Gold-Series-GT6L6CHP-Matched-Power-Tubes?sku=219159

It's for my Bogner Alchemist.

Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong, but Groove Tubes aren't that special. Talk to the guys at EuroTubes (http://www.eurotubes.com/). They're really great guys, and super helpful. You're probably aware of them, but if you haven't done business with them, you should give them a try. I know there are more than a couple folks here who can back me up on that.

mapka
August 5th, 2010, 10:10 PM
Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong, but Groove Tubes aren't that special.

I think that is true. I know at one time they were the tubes to have, but now I remember someone telling me that they saw some Groove Tubes and they were just restickered Soviet Tubes

Here is another good place for tubes http://thetubestore.com/

LeadedEL84
August 6th, 2010, 12:01 AM
Groovetubes are relabled Sovtek tubes. I am not a big fan of Groove tubes or Sovtek tubes in general. However Sovteks are made in the old Reflektor plant that is now New Sensor. The quality of New Sensor tubes has improved greatly over the last decade. While Groovetubes might not be the best choice in most amps for the best sound or most character,they are very dependable. I've never used gold pin tubes but they are supposed to be the top of the line.
Before you guys go writing off Russian tubes realize that they are making some of the best tubes on the current market. New Sensor is making some of the top brands like Svetlana,Tung Sol,Electro Harmonix,Genelex/Gold Lion,and Mullard. New Sensor is an American owned company that took over the Reflektor plant in Saratov Russia.
My current choice in tubes are Tung Sol 12ax7s in the preamp and Electro Harmonix EL84s in the power amp. They are the best all around tubes I have found for sound vs price ratio. Durability factors in too since my 30w combo punishes tubes pretty good through heat and vibration. I don't feel I need to spring for gold pin tubes. I'm getting the sound I want and they seem to last me. These choices suit my situation for what amp I have(Crate USA V-series 3112),my tone tastes,and my budget.
As you know,Kiteman,different amps sometimes prefer different tube configurations. Your Bogner liked the stock tubes better than the others you tried (according to your post a few days ago). What were they? Groove Tubes? If so the gold pin,Groove tubes might be the ticket for you. From my understanding the gold pin tubes are just upgraded versions of the regular design. They are supposed to offer more durability. The gold pins are supposed to resist oxidation better.
I have a friend who has a nice little vintage amp collection. Fenders and Marshalls. He likes to use NOS tubes in those. He keeps s pretty good stock of his favorite NOS tubes on hand. When it comes to his modern Marshall he uses the new Tung Sols in the preamp and Gold Lions in the power section. He swears my them and will not use anything else. I can attest to his good tone with these tubes in his Marshall. He gigs often and pushes his amp. He replaces tubes about once a year in that amp which he plays for about 80% of his gigs.
If it were me I would look at the Gold Lion tubes if I wanted to upgrade to gold pin power tubes. Especially since the price of the gold pin Groovetubes is in the same ballpark as the Gold Lions. But that is me with my EL84 amp. I'm not sure if your Bogner is an EL84 or 6L6 power tube. You really can't know what your Bogner prefers without some testing.
I would have trouble paying that price for the gold pin groove tubes but that is my bias that comes from my experience with my amps. Having never used gold pin tubes I am a little skeptical about the actual benifit vs. price ratio.

Neal
August 6th, 2010, 02:29 AM
My amp tech says to try to avoid them, as he has had problems with then.

kiteman
August 6th, 2010, 04:12 AM
Well, I took a chance, I ordered them. Had some good reviews of them. CHP stands for Chinese High Performance so I knew they're relabeled and I chose the medium grades. There's a similar set that they said to avoid I don't remember which.

I like Sovteks, I never had any problems with them.

ZMAN
August 6th, 2010, 07:38 AM
I am pretty sure they are OEM in Fender amps from Mehico, so they will probably be of average quality. Although I own several Fender amps and so far I have replaced 1 tube in 5 years. I think it was bad from the start, and it was replaced on warranty with a Ruby 12AX7.

Radioboy950
August 6th, 2010, 09:19 AM
For what it's worth, Kite...and knowing you enjoy swapping tubes...don't overlook the JJ 6L6GC and the SED's Winged "C" 6L6GC. Both of these sounded great in my combo.

The JJs were more durable and seemed to really withstand the beating of such a small enclosure. They never rattled.

I preferred the sonic character of the =C= a little more, but they could rattle.

Both sounded better with a warmer bias (around 70% plate dissipation), as most tubes do, IMHO.

Tubes rule!

Enjoy

kiteman
August 9th, 2010, 12:26 PM
By the way the original set were EH (V1), EH (V2), Ruby HG (V3), Chinese (V4) and Chinese (V5). Now I have Tung-Sol, Tung-Sol, EH, EH and EH. Sounded better this way in both channels.

Also the tubes I ordered are gold series, not gold pins. They'll be here tomorrow.

Bloozcat
August 9th, 2010, 02:02 PM
For what it's worth, Kite...and knowing you enjoy swapping tubes...don't overlook the JJ 6L6GC and the SED's Winged "C" 6L6GC. Both of these sounded great in my combo.

The JJs were more durable and seemed to really withstand the beating of such a small enclosure. They never rattled.

I preferred the sonic character of the =C= a little more, but they could rattle.

Both sounded better with a warmer bias (around 70% plate dissipation), as most tubes do, IMHO.

Tubes rule!

Enjoy

And for those who've used the Svetlana 6L6GC's in the past and liked them, know that the SED Winged "C" tubes were formerly marketed as Svetlana until Mike Mathews took over the Reflektor Saratov plant and acquired the rights to the name "Svetlana". He now markets Reflektor/Saratov Svetlanas...which aren't bad tubes at all. But, the SED Winged "C"'s are still better 6L6GC's IMHO.

Some of the Shuguang tubes are pretty good as well. The 9th generation 12AX7's are good in high gain amps like Mesa's. I have several of them and have found that they're not as good in more vintage sounding amps. Their KT66's are good too, but not as good as the Gold Lions.

All in all, the New Sensor tubes coming out of the Reflektor plant in Saratov are very good. Certainly quite a leap from the old Sovtek and the like.

I'm still waiting for someone to come out with a truly good EL84, though. Something that harkens back to the tone of the Tungsrams, Telefunkens, RCA's, or Mullard "B" (Blackburns). Fortunately, I have a good stash of the Polam/Telam's, Tesla Rosnovs (NOT JJ's), and even a couple of quads of the Russian mil. 7189's (6P14P-EB(EV)) that were made in the Reflektor plant.

I expect that Mike Mathews will eventually come up with something.

kiteman
August 9th, 2010, 07:58 PM
Seems quite a few names come from that plant and both Tung-Sol and Mullard new productions turned out to be pretty good stuff. The Mullards sounded good in my Blackheart and the Tung-Sols improved V1 and V2 in my Alchemist.

Yea I like swapping tubes and play for a while then I'll know what stays. The Blackheart did had the Tung-Sols along with Sovtek MGs which was the best set for it. Now the Tung-Sols are in the Bogner.

I'll check out the other tubes and who knows, next month I'll get a set.

kiteman
August 10th, 2010, 07:11 PM
Well, got the tubes and they sound sweet. More open and spacious, makes me think of Fender Deluxe Reverb. That's the clean channel and on the dirt channel it sounds like a chainsaw rather than being fuzzy. I did the a/b with the (stock) Rubys and they sound dark compared to the GTs. I think it was a good buy and a fellow on another forum says it could be TAD 6L6 GC blackplates relabeled by GT.

I didn't bias the tubes and I think they're biased cold anyway. Gotta find a tech to bias them for me.

kiteman
August 11th, 2010, 06:40 PM
Ok, I biased them. It was pretty easy, pulled the chassis and located the output board and there it is, two trimpots and a 3 pin test plug. They were marked on the board so I didn't have to guess. They're set at 34.5 and now it sounds like it has more body.

Now I have to wait for my sis to leave sometimes so I can put the amp to test. :dance

EDIT: by the way it was at 21, cold as hell. Others said theirs was 26.

Radioboy950
August 11th, 2010, 07:41 PM
They're set at 34.5 and now it sounds like it has more body.

Yeah...that's the ticket. They sound much better, don't they?
Cold bias may extend tube life, but it really robs you of better tone.

kiteman
August 12th, 2010, 07:08 AM
Yea, they did sound better. Still waiting for a chance to open it up. :D

sunvalleylaw
August 12th, 2010, 08:24 AM
I have sovtek Groove Tubes in my Peavey C-30, and they seem to be fine. I have thought about getting one of the C-30 tube upgrade kits from Eurotubes, but have not made it a priority as the amph works fine now.

marnold
August 12th, 2010, 09:10 AM
FWIW on Jet City's website, they sell a version of the JCA20H head that they call the Comet that (besides a new baffle) has Sovtek 12AX7s and matching JJ EL84s. The site says that they chose Sovteks for "high-gain, low-noise, and long life."

I wouldn't mind taming the noise a bit on my amp at volume but a) it's not a huge deal and b) between my fluorescent light, my CRT, and the fridge/freezer in the next room, my office is a noise factory. Someday I'll get JJs from Eurotubes, but we will see . . .

tunghaichuan
August 12th, 2010, 10:01 AM
FWIW on Jet City's website, they sell a version of the JCA20H head that they call the Comet that (besides a new baffle) has Sovtek 12AX7s and matching JJ EL84s. The site says that they chose Sovteks for "high-gain, low-noise, and long life."

That should be taken with a grain of salt. The EL84 by design is a high gain tube and power tubes in general tend not to be microphonic like preamp tubes. If they are using the Sovtek EL84M, that is the Russian mil-spec version of their EL84.

kiteman
August 12th, 2010, 10:34 AM
That should be taken with a grain of salt. The EL84 by design is a high gain tube and power tubes in general tend not to be microphonic like preamp tubes. If they are using the Sovtek EL84M, that is the Russian mil-spec version of their EL84.

I have two Sovtek EL84Ms which was in my Blackheart when I had Tung-Sols in it too. My idea was to make the amp as transparent as it can be for the pedals and that seemed to work.

marnold
August 12th, 2010, 10:46 AM
That should be taken with a grain of salt. The EL84 by design is a high gain tube and power tubes in general tend not to be microphonic like preamp tubes. If they are using the Sovtek EL84M, that is the Russian mil-spec version of their EL84.
Yeah, I always take tube recommendations with a grain of salt, but it is the preamp tubes that are Sovteks. The EL84s are JJs.

tunghaichuan
August 12th, 2010, 11:42 AM
Yeah, I always take tube recommendations with a grain of salt, but it is the preamp tubes that are Sovteks. The EL84s are JJs.

D'oh! Looks like my reading comprehension skills need some work. :thwap

kiteman
August 12th, 2010, 07:35 PM
Well, I just jammed for a while. The difference is night and day. I only played as loud as my drum machine on the Fender Rumble 25 bass amp. All my patches that I use just sounded *****in' on the gold channel. My guitar sounded different and I gotta try my other guitars. :)

In stock the amp was biased cold as others say. It sounded good as it is surprisingly. Now it's like 3D. I think I can bias it a little cooler.

kiteman
September 1st, 2010, 06:56 PM
Well, I haven't played with the amp much but last time I played I noticed some warbling in the sound, I was blaming the ceiling fan til I played in a different room. After some researches I found that warbling came from the output tubes running too hot. I backed them off to 26 ma and the warbling stopped. At least I didn't red plate.

What's funny is that after researches most says 35-40 ma is the ideal setting and some say they got it from the Line6 techs. I have my doubts and saw the reason why my amp was set at 21 ma. Some says theirs was at 23-26 so I think I'm in the safe range. Of course if I did the formula I'll know what mine should be set at.