JJ 6L6GC vs. Philips 6L6WGB comparision

Having experimented with swapping out both JJ 6L6GC and Philips 6L6WGB's, let me
share my experiences.  First the Philips is a less powerful tube, it's
dissipation rating is 23 watts, the JJ 6L6GC is 30 watts.  The Philips will
break up a little quicker and have a slightlier midrangier tone.  The JJ's tend
to be cleaner sounding and have a wider frequency response, more punchier bottom
end.  As far as durability, the JJ's are every bit as durable if not more so
than the Philips.  6L6WGB tubes are less tolerant of high plate voltages than
the 6L6GC's.  I had a pair of Philips 6L6WGB's in my SF Super Reverb which has
very high plate voltages and they lasted only about 6 months before they started
to sound real crappy and losing power.  The JJ's have been in there for a year
and a half and they still work great.  I wouldn't use 6L6WGB tubes in an amp
that runs over 450 volts on the plates, 6L6GC's can handle well over 500 volts.
If you have lower plate voltages on your amp the 6L6WGB's are fine and will
last.  I have a pair in my BF Vibrolux Reverb (which puts around 415 volts on
the plates) they sound and work great.  I've heard people recommending that
people use the WGB's in amps such as the RI Bassman and Super Reverbs, they'll
work but not last, especially if you're also running high effiency rectifier
such as a solid state or 5AR4-GZ34 tube rectifier which will cause your amp to
run at higher voltages.  If you want to use Philips 6L6WGBs in a RI Bassman or
Super, you should also use a less efficient rectifier such as a 5R4 or 5U4 to
lower the plate voltages...and make sure you get the power tubes biased
correctly.  I should note that the famous Tung Sol 5881's are pretty similar to
the Philips 6L6WGB's in that they're not tolerant of high plate voltages, I know
people use them in RI Bassmans hoping to get the sound of the vintage Bassmans,
but I wouldn't risk it, not with NOS Tung Sols going for $150 a pair...gotta
remember the reissue Bassmans run at much higher voltages than the originals.

Don D.

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