This is going to be a long story of scattered thoughts, so I suggest you take a seat in your favorite chair and take a cup of coffee or something. Or do something else. A friend here on the forum had mentioned the 1940-50’s Marconi-Westinghouse 6V6G “Coke Bottle” tubes several times and had made me think about them and occasionally search for them for a year or two. After the latest talk about them here a few weeks ago I then finally found a good-looking pair, allegedly NOS, in original packages, and decided to give them a try. I know you can’t be 100% sure of what you get when you buy old tubes like these, but my very own philosophy says that you can’t ever achieve anything if you haven’t got the guts to try. All I can lose is some money, right? This may well be one of the last opportunities for me to try something like this, so I said to myself: Go for it! I found this very pair from ebay, within Europe, tested with a tube tester, with matching currents, NOS, never used, in original packages – or that’s what it said, anyway. I got them yesterday and tried them very briefly after work and before our weekly sauna turn (a very Finnish phenomenon) and here are my very first thoughts about them. The print in the carton boxes says Oct. 1, 44. Nineteen fourty four, that is. Some dirt on the cartons, some oldish odour. I’ve never seen one of these before, but I’ve seen other 1940s stuff, old books and such in the past and these boxes may well be original, not fake. I am a sceptic by nature and don’t take things for granted – but have trust in people in the same time. I don’t go fooling people, only petty people do that. If somebody should fool me, then it’s going to be their shame, not mine… So much for philosophy, let’s get down to business. In the following pictures you’ll see the tubes and their boxes, with a unique cradle for the tube. The tubes had some dust on them and it shows in these pictures. I wiped them with a clean cloth before use and they look super clean with no evident signs of use. When I got the tubes out of their boxes I thought that they are not so big after all – that’s what I had heard before – until I put them side by side with a pair of 6V6GTs. Then I saw the difference, these really are BIG BOTTLES. The tube bases were a bit loose, they don’t sway yet, but they move a little if you twist them, and there is some rattle if you shake them. Otherwise they looked like new. All this says to me that these are the real things and may well be NOS NIB, too. I put them in my Tweed Deluxe amp to find out that even the tube bases were much larger in diameter and thus a bit hard to put in place into the clamps that I have there. I then hooked the amp, put it on and the first chord from the guitar – wow – what a sound! A bit over-warmish perhaps, but incredibly powerful, thick, a HUGE soundstage. So much oomph from the amp that I had never heard before. And you can hear every note so clearly, they really stand out now - which is not so good with my poor playing skills. So much more bass frequencies that it might even be overkill with Dynasonic pickups (I've got TVJ's in my G6118T). The amp got much louder, but not tiring (on hifi terms: "not fatiguing to your ears"). Someone said here on the forum not so long ago that a good tube amp “fills the room”. This one really does that and especially with these tubes. The soundstage is H U G E, as I said already. The minus side on all that is that me living in a block of flats can’t play too loud without making the neighbours crazy, so it’s not very easy to use the amp right now and I’ll have to find all new settings for the volume controls on both the amp and guitar to be able to drive the amp nicely, at lowish volume levels. But that should be a pleasant chore, shouldn’t it? I had thought that I should measure the operating voltages and calculate the currents of these tubes before real use, but I don’t know. They sound right, they warm up right, so maybe I won’t after all. We’ll see… Summary: It really doesn’t matter if these tubes should last a week or ten years, this is going to be an experience worth all the bucks. If someone should get interested in these tubes, at your own risk, particularly if you live in Europe, then PM me and I’ll give you the ebay seller's information. He seems to have two of these still in stock. Happy hunting! ------------- Pictures 1-3. The 1940’s carton boxes. The stickers on the top say "tested to give even 36mA operating currents". Picture 4. The tube cradle. Pictures 5-6. Coke Bottles on the table. Picture 7. The difference between 6V6G “Coke bottles” and the more common 6V6GT type. Pictures 8-9. Tubes in their sockets, note the slight tube clamp issue with the bigger tube base. I had to bend the clamps really wide to get the tubes in place.