Vital SE6L6

Here is an unusual little single ended 6L6 amplifier from builder Vitaly Vasheka, who sells his creations on eBay as they are completed under the moniker vasheka462012. I’ve been watching Vitaly’s amplifiers go for a while now, each a unique and ambitious project, and I finally snapped up this little SE 6L6 earlier this year. I’ve gone into my love for the 6L6 tube on these pages before, so suffice it to say it's a great tube and Vitaly’s amplifier does it justice.

Driven by a pair of 12AU7 with a 12AX7 buffer, the amp can run a variety of the 6L6 family of tubes with authority. I like Russian 6P3S tubes best on this one, but the 807 on adapters is very sweet as well. Switchable between triode and pentode, I liked both settings and appreciate the fact that this feature kind of gives you two amplifiers in one. The triode sound is “warmer” but the pentode sound has more “bark” and a bit more perceived volume. There is also a feedback control knob on the back of the amplifier that allows the user to dial the amplifier in depending on the speakers used. A nice touch and one I’ve not seen on many amps before.

One thing this amp has is a ton of drive. Although the built-in volume control is slightly crude, and the annoying purple light behind it has some slight flicker, you don't need to turn it much to get loud on my Zenith baffles. This amp can play loud! It has good depth to its sound, even at low volumes, and a nice solid stage that extends well beyond the speakers. All in all, this is a great little SE amp that offers a lot of possibilities to vary the sound to the user’s taste.