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    Any other good-sounding alternatives to the GL KT88 tubes

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    JunkyJan

    Posts: 100
    Join date: 2008-12-08
    Location: BC, Canada

    Any other good-sounding alternatives to the GL KT88 tubes

    Post by JunkyJan on Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:54 pm

    Good day gents

    I got myself completely distracted with Fly Fishing & the techniques etc thereof at the end of last winter, and have spent the past summer mostly outdoors. I am planning to replace the Gold Lion KT88 tubes on my pair of Mark IIIs as it has seen at least 2,000 or 3,000 hours of service the past year or so (I work from home and my amps are pretty much running day and night).

    I probably should not complain about the longevity of the GL KT88 tubes as I am getting reasonable service (other than one tube that became "noisy" after 2 weeks) however I have a few friends in the music industry, 2 of which are pro guitar players and who have, shall I say, "not high praises at all for the GL KT88 tubes in regards to their life span (and lack thereof) in an average guitar amp". So, I am getting more & more worried about tubes burning up every morning when I switch it on...

    Do anyone know if there is anything out there nowadays that sounds as good/better than the Gold Lions but is more affordable than NOS GE Gold Lions, or the modern EAT KT88 "Diamond" tubes?

    -- JJ

    JunkyJan

    Posts: 100
    Join date: 2008-12-08
    Location: BC, Canada

    OK, let me put it this way: If you were getting new tubes, what would u get?

    Post by JunkyJan on Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:39 pm

    Hi guys

    I'm hoping to get some response, as want to order ASAP... So, let me put it this way: If you were getting new tubes, what would u get? I am currently looking at SED (Black Sable) tubes @ about $300 for a quad... Do anyone have experience with these?

    The alternative may be to just buy 4 new GL KT88 tubes again, at least I will have 3 old ones as backup. I had a fleeting dream of getting NOS original GE Gold Lions, but cheapest ones are about $400 EACH.

    Also, I have a small 6L6GC- based amplifier that has been running for about 3 years in my son's room, he hardly ever switch it off (listens to Jazz and Industrial Rock mostly). The tubes on it are JJ tubes, seems to me that the JJ tubes have a really good / long lifespan - anyone have experience with the JJ KT88 tubes?

    -- JN

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts: 1956
    Join date: 2008-11-26
    Location: Massachusetts

    Re: Any other good-sounding alternatives to the GL KT88 tubes

    Post by Bob Latino on Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:49 pm

    Since your Mark III's are relatively new, you could consider the Tung-Sol KT120 output tubes. They draw a little bit more current than a KT88 but I think that your amps would handle the extra current in stride. The KT120 output tubes are built to handle more current than your Mark III's can provide. As such, they should last longer than any KT88 tube in your amps.

    Bob

    JunkyJan

    Posts: 100
    Join date: 2008-12-08
    Location: BC, Canada

    Ahhh... KT120!

    Post by JunkyJan on Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:03 pm

    Hi Bob

    Thank you for your suggestion! I looked at the specs at http://www.tubedepot.com/ts-kt120.html and these tubes look like just what I need - I am thinking that with proper care these tubes will probably last for years and years.

    I guess that the added height compared to the average KT88 will prevent my Mark III cages from fitting anymore, however a set will be actually less expensive than the GL KT88 option - I think it is a "go"!

    Again, very much Appreciated!
    -- JJ

    jhoak

    Posts: 45
    Join date: 2009-10-16
    Age: 56
    Location: Central Florida

    Re: Any other good-sounding alternatives to the GL KT88 tubes

    Post by jhoak on Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:53 pm

    I've been very happy with my KT120s and would strongly recommend them to anyone. The only caveat is being sure that the power supply can feed them without issues. I think Mr. Latino has addressed that in your case.

    My main reason for going to KT120s over KT88s was tube life. Yes... I'm cheap. My thought was that if I only have to spend $200 every couple of years as opposed to $150 every 6 months I'm WAY ahead $$ wise.

    As a completely unexpected bonus I prefer what I'm hearing with the KT120s over the KT88s.

    Tube Nube

    Posts: 328
    Join date: 2008-12-06
    Age: 51
    Location: Calgary, AB

    Re: Any other good-sounding alternatives to the GL KT88 tubes

    Post by Tube Nube on Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:13 pm

    Jan, check the tubestore dot com before ordering from the Depot -- often cheaper prices, and Canadian, so no duty / brokerage fees on delivery.
    Edit...

    I just checked -- same price. so you only save the 25% brokerage ripoff.
    I've used both companies and was more than satisfied with the service of both.

    thevic24

    Posts: 29
    Join date: 2010-01-31

    Re: Any other good-sounding alternatives to the GL KT88 tubes

    Post by thevic24 on Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:11 pm

    Hey,

    I am really happy with the quad of EH 6550's that I have been using in my ST120.
    They have been in there for well over a year(16 months to be exact) with 0 issues (with the exception of a rectifier problem that killed one)

    I have a tad over 1500 hours on the current set and love the results.

    Iam currently powering a pair of Mirage M3's with the ST120 and let me say...

    IMHO, the sound is scary good!

      Current date/time is Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:07 am