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Groove Tubes Brings Back the GT6L6GE Power Tube

Apr 29, 2002

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Groove Tubes announces the long awaited USA made reissue of the GT6L6GE, a faithful reproduction of the famous General Electric 6L6 "clear top" power tube. The new Groove Tubes offering has a 90% USA made content, and is largely produced with the original GE machines located at their San Fernando, California factory.

Historical Background:

The original GE 6L6 was perhaps the music world's most beloved power tube. It was used by scores of USA manufacturers during the Golden Era of US made tube amplifiers. Both the legendary McIntosh Hi Fi amps and Fender guitar amps commonly used this tube from the early 1950's through to the mid 1970's productions. This was likely the tube used by Jimi Hendrix while recording thru the Fender Twin Reverb amp he commonly used in studio, as well as the tube used in Carl Perkins' Fender amps while recording for Elvis. General Electric discontinued production of receiving tubes in the late 1980's, and sold their entire remaining production line to Richardson Electronics of Illinois.

The new USA tube adventure:

In 1998, Groove Tubes purchased from Richardson the original critical materials and machines GE used to produce both the GE6L6 and GE6CA7 (aka:EL34), along with the original production processing formulas. In other words, Groove Tubes was able to acquire the the recipe, the original ingredients, and the kitchen too! The adventure had begun. Next, several original GE vendors were enlisted to faithfully reproduce many of the internal components. For example, the company who made the original mica insulators has provided the identical part, on new tooling from original GE drawings. Also, the special plate designs are made on the same vintage 4 slide machines and are identical to the original parts, using the original GE plate material that is no longer in production. GT was able to purchased enough original GE plate material for many years of production. This special multi layered alloy formula appears a soft dull gray after heat processing and give this tube it's soft, warm tone...as well as contributing to it's superior power performance. While currently, some of the processing is located "off site" and will continue there until all processing clearances can be arranged for the San Fernando factory, eventually plans are to do all processing under the GT roof.

However, the internal content is now more than 90% USA origin (Incidentally, this content ratio is similar to to the original content of the GE tube as GE also used off site processing). It has been almost 4 years of hard work and significant financial investment in tooling and setup to be able to release the final product, but the wait was worth it.

Technical Details:

The GT6L6GE tube is a beam tetrode, although it is also commonly referred to as a Beam pentode. It has a maximum anode dissipation of 25 watts when used in a common Class A/B circuit design. It is highly recommended for replacement for all 6L6/KT66 /5881 type audio amplifiers for superior fidelity and improved power output performance, especially in musical instrument amps but as well for High Fidelity reproduction amplifiers.

This tube is being made in limited production runs in order to control quality and to achieve the original high performance specifications. Therefore, it may be some time before production "ramps up" to allow for general distribution into the worldwide tube market. Meanwhile, is currently only available from authorized Groove Tubes dealers located in the USA and 34 foreign countries in performance tested and matched Duets @ $90 and Quartets @ $180 (Singles, Sextets and Octets available upon request).

For more information, visit their web site at www.groovetubes.com.
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