6v6 amp suggestions

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by woody, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. woody

    woody Well-Known Member

    Location:
    charleston, sc
    i'm pretty happy with my audio electronic supply superamp signature running some pope 6v6's but wish i had a little more power. these tubes are a little light on the extreme frequencies compared to the kt88's i've run but do have a very beguiling, vintage sound.

    so, anyone have any recommendations beyond an mc 240? i'm pretty sure an mc 240 would be a step up from what i have right now, especially if i buy a refurbished unit. but what else should i be looking at that runs 6v6's or their ilk in the output section and can be had for under three grand?

    thanks for any input, ww
     
  2. woody

    woody Well-Known Member

    Location:
    charleston, sc
    no love for the 6v6's?
     
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Mastering Your Host

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    It's great in Fender Vibrolux Tweed amps but not so good in audio. Just too wimpy for a push pull deal. Try an amp that uses 6L6GC's or something like that.
     
  4. audio

    audio New Member

    Location:
    guyana

    The 6V6 is my current favorite output tube.
     
  5. audio

    audio New Member

    Location:
    guyana
    Do you feel the same about EL84s? Just curious...


    The 6V6 is about the same power as a 6BQ5. The 6BQ5(EL84) is sweeter with more sparkle on top. The 6V6 generally has deeper bass and is more velvety and a little darker. Both are superb tubes for audio, IMO. 6L6 are my favorite out of the large pentodes. That's a good recommendation from Steve.
     
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Mastering Your Host

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    The EL84 at least has a sound. Think any Class A guitar amp like a Vox. The 6V6 is just (for me) not complex and interesting enough when driven hard to interest me. Just a flavor that's not my cuppa tea. I'd rather hear a different more yummy 8 watt tube like a 300B or a more linear 20 watter with a magic midrange like a 6L6GC..
     
  7. kt66brooklyn

    kt66brooklyn Active Member

    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    As my nome de plume suggests, I'm a big fan of the British variant of the 6L6 tube type: the KT66. The 6l6's in push pull mode, driven by triode tubes (variations on the "Williamson" circuit) makes for an audio slice of heaven, at least to my ears.

    The 6V6 certainly has it's place though. I heard a 6V6 Magnavox amp driving a coaxial 15" Jensen speaker in a system from the early 50's. It had a warm sound with lots of midrange detail.
     
  8. audio

    audio New Member

    Location:
    guyana

    I'd love to hear your system. British gear/tubes are delightful.

    And yes, one of my recent lessons is not to underestimate the 6V6 console amps...though I'm sure it's the same old thing; some are crap and some are GOD.
     
  9. kt66brooklyn

    kt66brooklyn Active Member

    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    Unfortunately, because of a recent move, most of my British gear is packed up in storage. I am now slumming it with a Scott 222C and speakers my dad made in the 80's.

    Consoles can be lots of fun. I have seen a few with some very good components in them, like Jensen speakers, GE variable reluctance cartridges, and halfway decent iron. Pity that most of them are now landfill.
     
  10. woody

    woody Well-Known Member

    Location:
    charleston, sc
    thanks for the replies, i've been out of town.

    so any stereo amps that you would particularly recommend that use a 6l6 or kt66?
     
  11. XMIAudioTech

    XMIAudioTech New Member

    Location:
    Petaluma, CA
    McIntosh MC240.

    -Aaron
     
  12. woody

    woody Well-Known Member

    Location:
    charleston, sc
    could someone please comment some more on what you feel are the differences between the 6v6 and 6L6 sound in general?
     
  13. audio

    audio New Member

    Location:
    guyana

    Not recommended...one of the poorer sounding vintage power amps I've ever owned. I understand there are better McIntosh 6L6 amps out there...I'm sure the experts can comment on which models to look for.
     
  14. woody

    woody Well-Known Member

    Location:
    charleston, sc
    that's interesting 'cause i've read pretty good reviews online but at least one that was negative. what didn't you like about it as i currently have it under consideration for purchase?
     
  15. audio

    audio New Member

    Location:
    guyana
    Hard and boxy sound....wompy bass....overly complex circuit....lack of transparency...ham-handed tonality....unsophisticated sound....poor value...etc.

    You can do MUCH better for the money.
     
  16. woody

    woody Well-Known Member

    Location:
    charleston, sc
    those were some of my concerns coming from the aes amp i have now which is zero neg feedback and a far more simple design.
     
  17. audio

    audio New Member

    Location:
    guyana
    I just looked at your profile. Honestly, I think you would hate the McIntosh 240. It sounds as though you like your current amplifier. Why not try some other speakers instead? I'm afraid there really aren't many powerful vintage pieces that convey the sort of sound your gear suggests you're into, and you have excellent taste by the way. You might look into the Fisher 50H mono amplifiers. A friend of mine who builds SET amps and who's ears I generally trust is quite taken with them lately. But again, I'd say to attack the speakers. I haven't heard your amp, but I'm guessing it sounds pretty lovely.
     
  18. XMIAudioTech

    XMIAudioTech New Member

    Location:
    Petaluma, CA
    You seem to have a disagreement for anything I like don't you?

    The MC240 is a great 6L6 stereo amp. A pair of MC30's is even better, but costs more usually.

    -Aaron
     
  19. audio

    audio New Member

    Location:
    guyana
    Maybe, but then again I don't know everything that you like. If you want to, send me a PM list of your favorite gear and I'll make comments on it and we can get to the bottom of this. Otherwise, it seems like you and I just have different tastes...that's all. It's nothing personal.
     
  20. LDGator

    LDGator New Member

    Location:
    Central Illinois
    Even though I have vintage Fenders guitars amps that run on 6V6 output tubes, I have changed my HiFi tastes to the EL84 / 6BQ5.
    To answer your question, another very well thought off and less costly than the McIntosh would be the HH Scott 99 (A) integrated mono amps. It uses 6V6 output tubes. The 'A' is in parenthesis since it only distinguishes it from subsequent models such as the 99B which uses the more powerful, less musical 6L6 output tubes. The 'A' will not be found in on the amp faceplate or rear panel. As in any of the vintage gear should be given a thoroughly going over to check and replace any components that are out of tolerance or potential electrical hazards.
     
  21. woody

    woody Well-Known Member

    Location:
    charleston, sc
    i'll check around on the fisher and scott models, thanks.

    my speakers may very well be the downfall in my system for the room it's in.
     
  22. audio

    audio New Member

    Location:
    guyana

    No Fisher or Scott is likely to satisfy you. In general:

    Scott=bright, tizzy, and synthetic
    Fisher=dark, one dimensional smear of a sound, upper midrange harshness, synthetic

    There are exceptions...for the higher powered, ss rectified stuff the Fisher KX-200 is nice if you can find a good example that hasn't been hacked and ruined by a repairman. The original Scott 299(A) is the least horrifying of the family. Other than that, the really old Fisher stuff from the '50s can be nice. But there are much better places to go in the vintage integrated world. I suggest that you might try an Eico HF-81.

    I've owned nearly the entire family of Fisher and Scott, both power amps and integrateds, and in the final analysis they're nothing special and pretty much a waste of time.

    As I said before, trying some other speakers might be a good idea as well.
     
  23. woody

    woody Well-Known Member

    Location:
    charleston, sc
    I had some time this weekend and experimented with some tube swapping, specifically between my Pope 6v6 GT tubes and some Svetlana KT88 tubes. I agree that the 6v6s aren't the be all, end all in stereo applications. They have wooly bass that's not too deep, decreased attack, and as a result, lack some in pace. However, in my set up and smallish room they are a good solution. The KT88s with their improved high end response accentuate the bass sucking nature of the room, despite having tighter and slightly more extended bass response. The KT88s did sound great with well recorded and mastered material but unfortunately that's a small percentage of my collection. I'm gonna try out some 6L6 tubes later this year and see how they perform.

    On another note the KT88s produced so much more heat and drew 16% more power from my p500 power plant that they caused it to overheat and shutdown on one of our hotter days down here.
     
  24. RonInCRIA

    RonInCRIA New Member

    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    The 6V6 is a smaller tube designed for car and table radios and while it does a good job in guitar amps where overdrive is valued, there is no good reason to have used it in a hi-fi amp and basically no one did. Well, one early two piece Mc monoblock did. It's not desireable for sound.

    What the 6V6 does nicely is act as a driver for larger power tubes such as in the Altec 1570B and others as well as for 600 ohm distribution amps used in broadcast and studio equipment.

    The 6L6 on the other hand is really the prototype for most all later audio types and is imo the the best all around tube to design and build around today in the 6L6GC or 5881 variants.

    The Stereo 70 can be easily set up to use the 6L6 if the stock transformer isn't used with a solid state rectifier. That's what ARC did with their early products that were modified Stereo 70s or built from ST70 parts.

    I also have to say that IMO the MC-40 and 240 are overall the best sounding Mc amps, the 40 mono moreso than the 240, if the amp is in good shape. The power supply caps and many resistors that dissipate any power must be summarily replaced, as these are "JFK/MM Era" boxes at their youngest! And a total refurb is usually best for listening. The 30 and 60 are not as good in my opinion, although the 60 has a certain appeal, and the 75/275 is really at its best only when driven fairly hard. It has marginal low level dynamics in my opinion, which is not universal.

    In my opinion, what really would improve ANY McIntosh tube amp is the use of a beefier power supply.
     
  25. RonInCRIA

    RonInCRIA New Member

    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    So someone who gutted piles of them for the output transformers shouldn't feel like a cultural vandal? ;-)
     

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