I am frequently asked what are the best 6L6,6V6,12AX7 etc. The following tubes seem to be the most consistent with the understanding that you just can't plug and play power tubes, unless the amp is cathode biased. Even then the amp should be gone over to make certain the tubes will run within their prescribed parameters.

Biasing has been pretty much beat to death but I will add my 2 cents worth. Crossover distortion and a good tech will work in about 70% of the cases. If the amp has been modified or even if it's stock it is always a good idea to check the plate current on each tube to make sure you are within the plate dissipation wattage of that tube. One half the plate dissipation at idle is a safe setting. Installing cathode resistors to measure the total current seems much simpler than the shunt method, safer too.

NOS tubes. If you cannot get good quality current production tubes then use NOS. Buy from a good supplier!

These tubes work for me. If you have a different opinion,thats fine too.
6L6--the winged C or SED 6L6GC is a very well built tube and sound great in just about any amp I have installed them in.


The TAD 6L6GC is also a very good sounding tube but I think the winged C is better built.
6V6--6V6EH or 6V6 Tung So l[current production]. The Tung Sol is the best.
EL34--winged C again and the reissue Mullard is very good.
12AX7--12AX7-S/ECC83 from JJ is the first choice, Sino 12AX7A second choice.
12AT7--12AT7/ECC81 is good.
GZ34/5AR4--I like the JJ 5AR4/GZ34

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