Tag Archives: groove tubes

Groove Tubes 6L6GE “Made in U.S.A” Tube

“Made in U.S.A….” For much of what was produced in this country in the past, that term really indicated more than just a manufacturing location. It also indicated pride and true quality of products that were head and shoulders above the rest. In the world of musical instruments, “Made in U.S.A.” today still means the mark of the best quality, but still most expensive instruments made. This wasn’t always the case for many products from the mid-to-late ’70s as quality took a real slide while foreign-run companies made our products look like jokes. But, that said, it is nice to see that today, the quality of products that are made in the U.S. has again dramatically improved. In many aspects of production – for example, the boutique amplifier, guitar, and effects builders based in the U.S., it seems that the sense of pride and workmanship has returned in full form. I can’t think of a better time to have such a great selection of new gear from so many great companies. Yes, there will still be some who say older is “always” better, but I don’t buy that. There are some fantastic guitars, amps, and effects being produced, with strict attention to the details and you’ve got a heck of a lot more choice these days then you did back in the ’50s and ’60s.
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Vacuum Tube Basics

While digital modeling has caught the attention of many players today, tubes and tube amps are far from dead. And even with the new digital modeling technology, which indeed is designed to try and emulate the sounds of world-famous tube amps from the past and present, there seems to be a resurgence in the number of tube amp options that are out there. One of the strengths of a good tube amp is its ability to respond to the dynamics of a guitar player’s picking attack when a tube is being overdriven. In addition, no solid-state or digitally modeled amplifier sounds as good as a tube amp when played over a loud band. In fact, it is at loud volumes where tube amps really come alive, while solid state and digitally modeled amps will often become thin and have harsher high-frequency emphasized tones.

Since tube amps and tubes themselves are certainly here to stay, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about vacuum tube basics. This article’s purpose is simple: to discuss what tubes do, describe the different tube types and how they each sound. Afterward, we’ll discuss briefly about what to look for when shopping for tubes and getting them installed.
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