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Old 04-29-2014, 08:39 PM   #1
gibson52198
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Best tubes?

Hey guys,

What's the best company or place to buy EL-34's and 6550 tubes? Quality before cost! I've seen Svetlana and Groove tube and EHX and I have no idea which to go with. Thanks!
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:42 PM   #2
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None of the above. What amp and what are you trying to achieve?
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:45 PM   #3
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Do not, under any circumstances, buy Groove Tubes. It's a Guitar Center owned company that literally just relabels Tung-Sol, Electro-Harmonix and Sovtek tubes and marks them up 50%. Honestly, depends on what you want, but JJs are the go to 'round these parts. Good quality and not a buttload of money. Honestly, spending more than like $50 on a duet of power tubes is kind of pointless.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:51 PM   #4
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Groove Tubes also rebrand JJ's. You just gotta know how to read their codes.

Without the answer to my question, I'd say JJ EL34L but I don't want to commit to that recommendation until I have more info.

Also, when did GC buy GT?
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Cathbard
Groove Tubes also rebrand JJ's. You just gotta know how to read their codes.

Without the answer to my question, I'd say JJ EL34L but I don't want to commit to that recommendation until I have more info.

Also, when did GC buy GT?


One of the guys at me local GC said that. I guess he meant Fender?
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStig1214
Do not, under any circumstances, buy Groove Tubes. It's a Guitar Center owned company that literally just relabels Tung-Sol, Electro-Harmonix and Sovtek tubes and marks them up 50%. Honestly, depends on what you want, but JJs are the go to 'round these parts. Good quality and not a buttload of money. Honestly, spending more than like $50 on a duet of power tubes is kind of pointless.

Marks them up 50% huh? I bought 2 GT 6L6GC's, 2 12ax7's (one chinese, one russian) and a 5AR4 for almost 100 bucks after lots of researching for a decent deal. That seemed like a good deal to me after having found other companies that were basically charging similar prices (this was through ebay @ buy it now prices).

Plus, what's so bad about Sovtek and EHX tubes for you to say 'do not under any circumstances' buy GT because of said companies? Especially since you don't even know what amp TS has?
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TheStig1214
One of the guys at me local GC said that. I guess he meant Fender?

Protip- Don't believe everything a GC employee says. Most of the time, you can throw a rock in any direction and hit someone that's more knowledgeable.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:21 PM   #8
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I don't like Sovtek power tubes a lot either, they have no body. EHX are basically the same tube from the same factory. With SED gone, JJ are the only way to go.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dimarzio45
Marks them up 50% huh? I bought 2 GT 6L6GC's, 2 12ax7's (one chinese, one russian) and a 5AR4 for almost 100 bucks after lots of researching for a decent deal. That seemed like a good deal to me after having found other companies that were basically charging similar prices (this was through ebay @ buy it now prices).

Plus, what's so bad about Sovtek and EHX tubes for you to say 'do not under any circumstances' buy GT because of said companies? Especially since you don't even know what amp TS has?


Never said they were bad tubes, just seems pointless to pay full price for what is essentially a craps shoot on tubes. Might as well cut out the middle man and buy something you're sure of.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:26 PM   #10
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I can agree with that. I'd rather cut out the middle man too and just support the main company.

Also Stig, I'm not trying to harass you.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStig1214
Never said they were bad tubes, just seems pointless to pay full price for what is essentially a craps shoot on tubes. Might as well cut out the middle man and buy something you're sure of.


This. GT aren't necessarily bad tubes, they're just generally overpriced for what they are.

Also, I'm fairly certain they aren't owned by GC. GC just pushes them onto patrons more than other companies.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dimarzio45
I can agree with that. I'd rather cut out the middle man too and just support the main company.

Also Stig, I'm not trying to harass you.


'sall good brah

I knew it sounded weird that GC would own Groove Tubes, considering they don't invest in anything they can't make more than 60% profit margin on lol.

Seriously, OP, JJs.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:34 PM   #13
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I don't like the way New Sensor bought all those old tube brand names and try to pass their crap off as the real thing. People hear old guys like myself talking about Mullards being great tubes and go out and buy a modern Mullard thinking that's what we were talking about and all they get is crap that's nothing like the real thing.
I really hate that sort of misleading bs. Even if their tubes were good I don't want them. Dodgey ****s. Don't piss on my head and tell me it's raining or I'll punch you in the throat.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStig1214
'sall good brah

I knew it sounded weird that GC would own Groove Tubes, considering they don't invest in anything they can't make more than 60% profit margin on lol.

Seriously, OP, JJs.


Shit, I apologize, I bought 2 new Sovtek 6L6GC's, not GT's (Not sure what I paid for them). The amp still doesn't work right after that and a year or so has passed since then so I forgot lol.

Normally, IF I have good funds, my go-to companies are new-old-stock RCA's, Sylvania and Lafayette tubes. However, I still don't have a shit ton of experience with tubes as far as tonal differences.

Edit- I've also used Channel Master preamp tubes

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Old 04-29-2014, 09:54 PM   #15
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NOS power tubes have gotten too expensive in recent years. Even with their greater longevity, they aren't really viable economically any more. I'll still buy NOS preamp tubes at times but I've given up on NOS power tubes. I just run JJ power tubes in all my amps now.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:00 PM   #16
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Yeah, I've been seeing some pretty ridiculous prices on NOS tubes (especially power tubes) which has caused me to look in other directions.

Next time I buy new tubes Cath, I'm gonna pick your brain for some good insight seeing that you have much more experience than I do
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:07 PM   #17
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Check out TCtubes for NOS preamp tubes. Great assortment at pretty fair prices, well, relatively speaking.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:17 PM   #18
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Ahh okay. Will do, I've heard about them but never tried 'em. I'll be buying a new Carvin Legacy III (Steve Vai head) which has 3 EL34's (might be EL84's...I forgot) which has amazing Fender style cleans and is also interchangable with 6L6's. I was thinking it would be nice to know what company to check out in case I wanted to make a change a little further down the road. I'll take a look at them. Thanks, Cath.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:26 PM   #19
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They run EL34's. I'm quite impressed by JJ EL34L's. That's what I'd use in it. Monstrous bottom end.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:32 PM   #20
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Oh okay. I'm not sure if it comes with a Carvin brand or not. What are some notable differences between 6L6's and EL34's?
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