By Sarah Broughton. Guitar Electric. Published at Saturday, September 01st, 2018 - 00:04:24 AM.
The resistance value of the potentiometer plays an important role in tone; the rule of thumb is to use 250K potentiometers with single coil pickups and 500K potentiometers with Humbucker pickups. Both are commonly found on stock guitars. Guitar pickups can often be "hot", or sound a bit dull. To fix this, swap out the stock 250K pots with premium 500K models. This will allow the pickups to get more high-end sound while brightening up the overall tone.
The first pickup that was created was in fact the single coil pickup. This was a mammoth invention at the time bringing the guitar player to the foreground of modern music. As the guitar became more popular the drawback to the single coil pickup became more evident. While being able to amplify the guitar signal when not being played there was a terrible hum that came from the guitar. The hum was caused by RF signals. The interfering signals could be caused by items such as radio signals, transformers and even fluorescent lights. It was discovered that you can change the phase or signals of the pickups by changing the direction in which the wires were wrapped around the pickup. If the wire was wrapped clockwise you would get a different signal from the pickup if the wire was wrapped counter clockwise, thus giving birth to the double coil pickup or what came to be called the humbucking pickup. The humbucking name was coined because when you put two single coiled pickups together the RF signals would cancel each other out ending the hum problem that plagued the single coil pickup.
If you have a guitar with single coil pickups, you can't go wrong with Jensen style speakers. Single coils have an extended treble response and great clarity; and Jensen's are perfect for capturing that tone. If your guitar has humbuckers and you want a smooth, jazzy clean tone or a speaker that has a big bass sound for heavy metal distortion, then JBL or Electrovoice speakers will make you happy. Any of those American speakers will work well with American power tubes, like 6l6 or 6v6's. If you don't like the sound of American speakers, either because the Jensens are too bright or the JBL's and EV's are too bassy, then Celestion likely has a speaker you'll like. Celestions have the best midrange response; the tone of Britain is less "scooped" (i.e. more even in the treble, bass and midrange) than American style speakers. Not surprisingly, British speakers will pair well with British tubes, like El34's or El84's.
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.
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