Thoughts on Vintage 6L6 tube amp topology

EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 17,087
edited May 5 in Electronics
I'm trying to learn about the 6l6 amp topology. Long story, but there was at one point a electronics company with my same last name (but no direct affiliation I'm aware of).

Since I was made aware of this, I've been waiting for something to come up from them to buy just to have in my collection.

I pair of FUNCTIONAL monoblock amps came up that are 6L6 Mono integrated tube amps. They have been checked out, but likely still will need recap prior to use, and I've got a local tech that can look at them at some point in the future, so I'm ok with that as long as its priced appropriately.

Is there anything special I need to be aware of, such as rarity of that type of amp, which makes tubes pricey and drives up the cost etc...

I've been waiting about 3 years at this point for ANYTHING to come up, so I'm itching to bite, just want take the pulse of some of our tube experts like @mhardy6647
"....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)

Comments

  • invalidinvalid Posts: 38
    6l6 tubes aren't too expensive, they have a sweet sound.p
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 8,794
    I have 1950’s Heath W5M monoblocks that were completely rebuilt with new parts to Heath specs, that utilize 6L6GC, and they sound awesome. Holy grail tubes aren’t cheap but They aren’t too expensive and all good tubes are more than they were. I use a quad for both amps so The holy grails add up but you can get cheaper tubes I choose not to however as I want to maximize their potential. The W5M’s have Peerless output transformers which are considered some of the best iron ever made and I think good iron is very important to the sound also. I am a fan of 6L6. You mentioned the monos you are considering are integrated and I’m not sure how you intend to utilize them
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 17,087
    I’m not sure how I intend to use them yet either lol.

    They aren’t the most powerful things at 15-20 watts each and I don’t really have a system for them right now.

    It’s mainly the name on the faceplate I’m after and the company’s items don't come up much if at all.
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 25,403
    edited May 7
    Nothin' wrong with the venerable 6L6 "beam power tube" for hifi (even though its fame is inextricably intertwined with gee-tar amps)! The EL34 and the "kinkless tetrodes" most likely would have never existed were it not for the 6L6 and RCA's patent for the beam power tube.

    Read all about the 6L6 (which debuted in 1936 and AFAIK has been in continuous production ever since) at
    https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-All-Audio/Archive-Audio-Magazines-Other/Archive-Vacuum-Tube-Valley/Vacuum-Tube-Valley-04.pdf

    You might be surprised what you can do with those 20 watts B)

    PM me -- if you wish -- and I might (???) be able to help with more info on the specific amplifier(s) that piqued your interest.

    Alternatively, go to the "audio" section at americanradiohistory and search for it yourself.
    https://www.americanradiohistory.com/hd2/IDX-Audio/search.cgi

    Man-o-man, I wouldn't pass 'em up if the price were anywhere right -- especially if they shared my surname ;)

    EDIT: Oh -- in terms of sourcing 6L6s... they were used in numerous non-hifi applications, too, notably as voltage regulators in HV power supplies. One can still find ancient (and very good) Lambda HV power supplies at ham radio fleamarkets & whatnot that are cheaper than the value of the tubes in them. :) Now, admittedly, those regulator tubes are typicaly rode hard and put away wet (as some would say), but the 6L6 is one tough m-o-fo, too! Remember, rock guitarists... ;)

    Heck, there's a monstrous ol' Lambda supply here someplace -- I literally don't remember exactly where (in the basement somewhere -- not sure the upper floors of the house are sturdy enough to support it).

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 25,403
    48829368853_cfe6b077fe_b.jpgDSC_6928 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    :p

    I came oh-so-close to buying these, but I literally couldn't suss them out.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 25,403
    edited May 7
    Oh -- a useful piece of advice after all the fluff above :)

    The amplifiers are (should be) a good investment as long as the transformers (power and output) are all good. Everything else about them should be easy and relatively inexpensive to mitigate if and when restoration or repairs are required. That's the nice thing about vacuum tube technology. It is simple and durable (in an economic as well as a practical sense)!

    Yeah, I am not biased at all --- but try to find parts (e.g., ICs) for a 6 or 7 year old Sony or Pioneer something-or-other ;)
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 17,087
    Thanks @mhardy6647 ! I got my read on with all those links. If you have any more, I'm game for em.
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 16,339
    Yeeep kewl stuff.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 25,403
    edited May 8
    VTV was an amazing little resource -- part of as well as catalyst to the rediscovery of single-ended, direct heated triode amplifiers for hifi in the 1990s.

    Well, that and Joe Roberts' Sound Practices. Joe makes those available on a CD-ROM for the cost of duplication, BTW (and a fine investment they are).

    And the late Harvey "Dr. Gizmo" Rosenberg's wacky web site. I think the site's still up, but it's nothing like it was in its prime :(

    B)

  • tonyp063tonyp063 Posts: 772
    Just be aware folks.
    Doc Hardy can send you down some very fascinating rabbit holes.

    Into a maze of twisty passages........
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 17,087
    tonyp063 wrote: »
    Just be aware folks.
    Doc Hardy can send you down some very fascinating rabbit holes.

    Into a maze of twisty passages........

    I was already almost out the other side already soooooooo
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • tonyp063tonyp063 Posts: 772
    You made it past the Grue?
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 17,087
    tonyp063 wrote: »
    You made it past the Grue?

    Who Russ? He’s my buddy
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
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