By Aurelia Beaty. Guitar Electric. Published at Friday, August 31st, 2018 - 04:37:39 AM.
But if what you want is the closest thing to the original RCA 6l6 clear top, there are a number of other 6l6 tubes you may also want to give a listen to. Groove Tubes makes a clear top GT 6l6GE, Sovtek has a clear top Tung Sol 6l6GC STR and Tube Amp Doctor also sells a clear top Chinese made TAD 6l6WGC STR. These are long plate, high output tubes, but they come in medium size bottles; and they have the clear top, side getter construction of the original RCA and GE 6l6's. The TAD and Tung Sol versions have the "black plates" the RCA tubes had; and the Groove Tubes version is mostly American made. But the tube with the best tone is definitely the TAD 6l6WGC STR. The TAD is a nice, warm tube with a sweet, silky high end. To me, it is the perfect choice for a vintage series Fender amp, like the Super Reverb.
The middle position was something I really had to consider. It was going to be used only with the neck or bridge pickup, and never by itself. I chose a true single coil, the Seymour Duncan Five-Two. This uses Alnico II magnets for the treble strings, for a warmer tone, and the brighter Alnico V magnets for the bass strings. The bridge humbucker I chose was the ‘59Custom Hybrid. It is a little more powerful than most PAF-type pickups, and comes with 4-conductor wire which means the pickup can be split. This would be important because of the switching scheme used. Please check out Orpheo’s great article about splitting humbuckers.
The tone capacitor also plays an important role in the response of the tone knob. There are several different types of capacitors commonly used for electric guitars. Both the material used in the cap and its capacitance value will affect the tone and response of the control. The most commonly found capacitor values are .047uf and .022uf, for single coils and Humbuckers, respectively. The larger the capacitance value, the more treble will bleed off and the darker the tone control will be. The lower .022uf value tends to be great for blues and rock as there are many subtle shades available as the tone control is swept. The .047uf is great for jazz, achieving darker tones as well as being great for taming bright single coils.
Electronics play a large part in the overall tone of an electric guitar and, as such, are the most commonly upgraded parts on the instrument. Pickups, potentiometers (pots), and tone capacitors (caps) can make a large difference in both tone and noise. If the guitar has mini potentiometers, upgrading for full size premium pots can lead to improved usability and audio quality. This will allow quicker and easier settings for a smoother taper of the volume and tone to achieve the desired sound – a reward worthy of the change.
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