KT88's vs 6l6

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by FILTHnFEAR, May 19, 2020.

  1. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR Dread it, run from it....

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    So I'm pretty sure the tubes in my Invective are going out. At band volume the sound fluctuates in and out, but not at lower bedroom volume. Sounds like a tube issue, yes?

    The Invective manual says it will run KT88's so I think after hearing the hype for these tubes for years I'm going to try some. What difference should I expect in a 5150 type amp between 88"s and 6l6's? More punch? A difference in the midst?

    What brand? I've used JJ's the last few years, but I wouldn't mind trying another brand. And what should I put in the V1(clean tone tube slot yes?) to add a little more high end sparkle?

    Thanks all!
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Generally, KT88s are clearer and punchier with more...pretty much everything. They're higher headroom. Really great for either being absolutely stupid loud or when you want most of your gain coming from the preamp. At least that's been the case when I've put them in Marshall style amps.
     
  3. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR Dread it, run from it....

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    Clearer and punchier is exactly what I want.

    Isn't it Tung Sol 12ax7's people talk about putting in the V1 slot for cleans?
     
  4. Thaeon

    Thaeon Cosmic Question Asker

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    They're the Kinkless Tetrode variant of 6550s. They make more power. They have higher headroom like mentioned above. I don't know that they're what I'd call tighter. But I would say that if your preamp is set for a tight sound, they will deliver it relatively uncolored. Cool tube. I've thought about putting some in my Herbert.
     
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  5. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Max nailed it on the KT88's :yesway:

    As for the V1, a lot of people like the Tung Sol for heavier styles since it's relatively bright, but also generally high gain. I know a handful of people, including myself and KaliM, like the JJ 5751 for V1 in the 5150 family of amps because they're lower gain and cut a bit of extreme low end for more focus. Cleaner cleans and better articulation on high gain :D
     
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  6. Legion

    Legion is a bloody army.

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    Max nailed it.
    I have never owned an actual KT88 amp: but on my Yamaha I can change the poweramp simulation for various kinds of tubes. The 6L6 emulation sounds like what you expect. The KT88 by comparison sound tighter, brighter, has a mid peak that is positioned higher on the frequency axis than an EL34, and fucking unbelievably clear with a much more "immediate" feeling response.
     
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  7. Diocide

    Diocide SS.org Regular

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    IMO KT88's are like the big brother of tubes. They're stupid loud with tons of low end.

    Not sure how they'll work with such a high gain sound, but it's definitely worth a shot.
     
  8. boltzthrower

    boltzthrower SS.org Regular

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    Bit of controversy in this thread regarding the KT88 low end. I agree with those stating KT88's have more lows. The low frequencies extend further down than 6l6's, should you not decide to dial out the lows with eq. Pretty easy to step over the bass player if you're not careful.

    The different brands sound quite different from each other, like JJ's, for example, have a deep low mid growl and are warmer than, say, Sovteks which are tighter and have a more flat eq to my ear.
     
  9. oneblackened

    oneblackened Tube Amp Dork

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    Yeah I'd agree with this. They're just "more". Less compression, though - some find it kind of "dry".
     
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  10. loganflynn294

    loganflynn294 I don't feel good

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    I'm curious to hear from someone that's actually tried KT88's in an Invective. I agree to a certain point about the basic sonic differences between different tube types, but in my never ending tube swapping I've come to realize that different amps respond differently to changing the power tube type. I've had some amps really open up with big bottles and others actually lose some low end. I gotta admit though, the thought of an Invective with KT88's really peaks my interest...
     
  11. broj15

    broj15 SS.org Regular

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    Kt88's are the best. Just recently got a new head that uses them (ngd incoming) and it was like the missing puzzle piece. Low end is absolutely huge without getting muddy and the feel is very "stiff" and immediate, and your pick attack still comes through, even when you pile on the gain.
     
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  12. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR Dread it, run from it....

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    @TheWarAgainstTime as far as a 5751 is there any reason to go for balanced, balanced/matched, or standard?

    Also, I'm looking at Eurotube for replacements, gonna check out Dougs Tubes, too. Any other place I should look for a quad of KT88's that might be cheaper than the $172 at Euro?
     
  13. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I've never bothered with matching/balanced options on mine. To my knowledge, those options really only make a difference with the phase inverter spot. I do go for the low noise option, though. I get all my tubes from tubedepot.com :yesway:
     
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  14. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis WWSD?

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    There's a Eurotubes set that's 2 KT88s on the outside and two 6L6s on the inside. From what I hear they're pretty good.
     
  15. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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  16. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR Dread it, run from it....

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    Thanks guys.

    Can't wait to hear this bad boy with 88's.
     
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  17. MAJ Meadows SF

    MAJ Meadows SF on a tone quest

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    FWIW I have a Driftwood Mini-Nightmare loaded with a pair of KT88s. It sounds stupendous and runs At about 60 watts. The standard 6L6 models are 45w or 50w. They sound great, but I fell in love with KT88s from the OG Savage 120 and Randall Satan. It is super loud, but extremely clear and punchy (not boomy) with massive low end. Having a dedicated presence and resonance make a big difference in reigning in the frequencies while mixing in pedals. But high gain or low gain you can’t beat the huge open clarity, glassy cleans, and massive low end. I think you’re gonna enjoy them in your amp!
     
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  18. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val SS.org Regular

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    When I bought my Satan, the original owner had switched it over to all 6L6s.
    It still sounded good, but I thought it had some “sag” to it that it shouldn’t have.
    I bought a pair of KT88s to bring it back to stock.
    Yowza.
    That gave it back the “thud” I was expecting.
     
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  19. BrutalRob

    BrutalRob SS.org Regular

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    my driftwood purple nightmare has a pair of 6L6 and a pair of KT88 (both JJ). I also got a nice little mod to run them separately so i was able to compare them. The KT88 are bigger, more low end, very clean but kinda dark sounding. The 6L6 sound kinda nasty, aggressive. on their own, i don´t like the KT88 but both tubes combined is awesome.
    And about the tung sol 12ax7: get them. they will add nice high end sparkle. Compared to JJ 12ax7 it´s like taking a blanket of your cab.

    Anyone ever compared KT77 and 6550 to KT88 and 6L6? Recently i am very curious about these
     
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