By Anastasia Mace. Guitar Electric. Published at Friday, August 31st, 2018 - 14:02:01 PM.
Another intriguing development is in the area of computer-guitar interface. This has been long time coming, and if you consider the explosion in the popularity of digital recording with Pro Tools and similar software, it's surprising it took as long as it did. Far and away, the leader in this field is Line 6's Variax model. Now, I will be the first person to admit that I know just enough about computer technology to be dangerous, but I'll try to tell you what I know from what I've read and from friends and acquaintances who have played the Variax. I should also state that I am in no way affiliated with Line 6 or any of their subsidiaries or partners.
The "Svetlana" brand name is now owned by Sovtek. In fact, Sovtek makes a copy of the SED "Winged C" 6l6 which is sold as the Svetlana 6l6. The SED and the Sovtek Svetlana are not the same tube (the getters are different), and they don't have exactly the same tone (the Svetlana is not quite as bright). But the two tubes are very similar, and the Svetlana costs almost half as much.
The only true small bottle 5881 currently in production is the Tung Sol 5881 reissue that is also made by Sovtek. Like the Sovtek 5881WXT, the Tung Sol has lower output than most 6l6's. But when it comes to tone, there is no comparison. The tone of the Tung Sol is head and shoulders above the 5881WXT. The problem is, unlike the Sovtek, the Tung Sol apparently cannot handle the high voltage of most modern tube amps. As a result, most people looking to upgrade the standard Sovtek 5881WXT will do better with a 6l6 tall bottle or one of the new clear tops. In addition to the Tung Sol, Sovtek also has a premium tall bottle 6l6 called the Sovtek 5881WXT+ (not the 5881WXT, the 588WXT"+", which is a very different animal) and the Electro-Harmonix 6l6EH (near as I can tell, the WXT+ and the 6l6EH are the same). Both the 5881WXT+ and the 6l6EH have longer plates, more volume and a much nicer tone - with more harmonic complexity - than the Sovtek 5881WXT.
All of these tubes have long, thin plates that are separated, so you can see the space between them just like the original Mullard ECC83's. To my ear, these vintage style tubes tend to have a fairly flat eq, which I associate with a more European sound, as opposed the Tung Sol's, which accentuate the highs and lows more and have more of an American tone. The problem with these long plate tubes is they tend not to do well in high gain amps and combo amps, if they are not very well made. The only one I have found to be reliable in a guitar amp is the Mullard 12ax7 reissue. It costs a little more, but if you want a premium tube that has more of a European tone, that's the one I'd recommend.
Any content, trademark’s, or other material that might be found on the Pajama Music website that is not Pajama Music’s property remains the copyright of its respective owner/s. In no way does Pajama Music claim ownership or responsibility for such items, and you should seek legal consent for any use of such materials from its owner.
© Copyright 2018 Pajama Music. All Rights Reserved.