Best Current EL34's?

Talk about tubes and their effect on your tone

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Adambomb
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Best Current EL34's?

Post by Adambomb » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:56 am

So I'm looking for the best current EL34's. Im sure everybody is gonna say Winged C's!!! But If I can find a close substitute I will. I have have SEC =C= 6L6's before and they were the best compared to all others. Second in the 6L6 department was JJ's. But now I have found that EL34's in my Mark V has REALLY opened my amp up and sounds more crunchy and not as ear piercing chimey. The EL34's did hurt the clean channel a bit, but the MKV's cleans are so nice that I'll take a little hit on Ch1 if it makes Ch2 and 3 way better.

Right now I got a quad of old old Electro Harmonix EL34's in there and it sounds pretty dang good, but I can tell the tubes are on their way out. So im looking for some good EL34's for the MKV.

I'm not wanting ANY more high end out of this amp. I want just an all around smooth, punchy, dynamic tone with plenty of mids and lows with sweet highs.

So you guys think the JJ EL34's have just as much low end as the SED's? Or any other suggestions would be appreciated. Got a TunSol 12ax7 in V1 High Gain JJ in V2 and High Gain Penta Labs in V3 for preamp tubes. Was thinking about experimenting with all the tubes really.

But ONE thing is for sure.... I do like 6L6's... But in the MARK V EL34's are the way to go with my tone. All the modes are much more usable.

What EL34's you guys running in any of your Mesa amps?

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Triaxstasy
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Re: Best Current EL34's?

Post by Triaxstasy » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:39 am

I just put an integrated Octet of TungSol 6L6GC-STRs and TungSol EL34Bs in my 2:90.... The TungSol EL34B is AWESOME.
Unlike other EL34s this one has a hint towards 6L6 tonal character....
Nice EL34 comparison/review from TheTubeStore: http://thetubestore.com/el34review.html

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Re: Best Current EL34's?

Post by Adambomb » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:03 pm

Triaxstasy wrote:I just put an integrated Octet of TungSol 6L6GC-STRs and TungSol EL34Bs in my 2:90.... The TungSol EL34B is AWESOME.
Unlike other EL34s this one has a hint towards 6L6 tonal character....
Nice EL34 comparison/review from TheTubeStore: http://thetubestore.com/el34review.html
Hey I never though about the new TungSol EL34s. What bias range did you get your EL34's? 33ma? And what amp are you using? These are going in a MKV.

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Re: Best Current EL34's?

Post by Triaxstasy » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:40 pm

I use mine in the outer (ClassA) slots of a 2:90, together with TungSol 6L6GC-STRs...I had them picked and matched at http://www.tube-town.de , a real good German shop and the owner/tech knows his stuff...I just told him to pick and match them for use in a Mesa 2:90.
Haven´t put a bias probe and meter on it yet.... 8)

Either TubeDepot, TheTubeStore or Doug in the US are surely able to provide the same service....

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Re: Best Current EL34's?

Post by swbo101 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:42 pm

Yes I'm going to say SED =C=, but also Mesa's STR-450. They are pricy, but I've used them and I thought they sounded the best.
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Re: Best Current EL34's?

Post by pardelius » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:40 am

I re-tubed my Marshall's (JCM 800 & 900) a few months ago with TAD EL34B's and was amazed how alive and punching the bottom end became...like triaxstasy said: an EL34 leaning towards a 6L6.

Love 'em!!

http://www.tubeampdoctor.com/product_in ... anguage=en


Still waiting for the tubes in my 9005 power-amp to wear out. I'm thinking about putting JJ 6CA7's in it, hoping they'll sound like 6L6's with a bit of EL34 midrange.

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Re: Best Current EL34's?

Post by Jackie » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:45 pm

=C='s are the ballz, I heard EHs are good also.
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Re: Best Current EL34's?

Post by crane » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:51 pm

I think EH EL34 could be the best sound/price perfomance ! But =C= rocks !
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Re: Best Current EL34's?

Post by R_ADKINS80 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:02 pm

I'm going with EH EL34. Best EL34 I have played to date, and I've played most of them.
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Re: Best Current EL34's?

Post by rocksalt7 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:11 am

I've been running TungSol EL34B's in my Ace for quite a while, and I'm sold on them. They sound much less grainy than the JJ's...just didn't like the sound I got with them. Popped the TS's back in and I'm happy again!!
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Re: Best Current EL34's?

Post by Adambomb » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:23 am

Yesterday I did a comparison on some EH EL34's vs Mesa 447 EL34's. The EH's had a little more attack but sounded bland compared to the Mesa 447's (standard Mesa EL34's). The Mesa's had more life, better bass, and a punchier mid range. The EH's still sounded good, but between them two EL34's, I'd go Mesa's all the way.

Now I'm sure the SED EL34's sound the best, but on a regular budget EL34, I'm sticking with Mesa 447 EL34's.

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Re: Best Current EL34's?

Post by R_ADKINS80 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:01 pm

Adambomb wrote:Yesterday I did a comparison on some EH EL34's vs Mesa 447 EL34's. The EH's had a little more attack but sounded bland compared to the Mesa 447's (standard Mesa EL34's). The Mesa's had more life, better bass, and a punchier mid range. The EH's still sounded good, but between them two EL34's, I'd go Mesa's all the way.

Now I'm sure the SED EL34's sound the best, but on a regular budget EL34, I'm sticking with Mesa 447 EL34's.
I had just the exact opposite experience with my EH EL34 and Mesa 447's.

On a side note, the only SED tube I find worth the extra cash IF you can find them are their silver box plate 12AX7's. Those things are mind blowing. As for their power tubes, I fail to see the attraction, especially for the price they command.
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Re: Best Current EL34's?

Post by Adambomb » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:35 pm

R_ADKINS80 wrote:
Adambomb wrote:Yesterday I did a comparison on some EH EL34's vs Mesa 447 EL34's. The EH's had a little more attack but sounded bland compared to the Mesa 447's (standard Mesa EL34's). The Mesa's had more life, better bass, and a punchier mid range. The EH's still sounded good, but between them two EL34's, I'd go Mesa's all the way.

Now I'm sure the SED EL34's sound the best, but on a regular budget EL34, I'm sticking with Mesa 447 EL34's.
I had just the exact opposite experience with my EH EL34 and Mesa 447's.

On a side note, the only SED tube I find worth the extra cash IF you can find them are their silver box plate 12AX7's. Those things are mind blowing. As for their power tubes, I fail to see the attraction, especially for the price they command.
I tried about every 6L6 years back in my Recto and the SED's made it sound way more 3D alive and very nice bass and top end.

As far as the EL34's.. Not sure but I recorded a fast recording of both the EH and Mesa 447's and that's what my ears heard. The EH's were biased a hair hotter at 33ma per tube, mighta been that. But I still like EH EL34s.

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Re: Best Current EL34's?

Post by Chester » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:00 am

I use =C='s usually, but am about to order some GT EL34M's which have a lovely mid and recessed trebble for my MKV

I agree it does not need more ice pick topend!
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Re: Best Current EL34's?

Post by fjs1962 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:44 pm

I've been told the Mesa 447 is a tested, rebranded Sovtek EL34EH. So if you have EHs that sound different from 447s there's probably a difference in current draw between the two pairs, or one pair is more worn than the other.

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