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 Post subject: EL84's v. EL34 and 6L6's
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:05 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:36 am
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I know the 3 tubes have different characteristics so lets not even get into that side of the discussion. My question is if you are running two similar 20 watt amps, one equipped with 84's and the othe with 34's or 6L6's, if you are not pushing the pwr section can you really tell the difference in tubes since the pre tubes are doing the majority of the work? I play loud enough to "feel" it and no louder than that. So at the volume i play i dont even know if the power tubes would even have a chance to add their "character' into the overall sound.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:32 am 
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Donating Member

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I can tell, you know how? The low end suffers and to me the amp struggles even when turned up loud in class a. I prefer 6l6 tubes for the most part, but sometimes I want that sound of the other two types of tubes when recording. The reason I love Mesa/Boogies amps is that they don't cover up my technique like Marshalls tend to do. My amps seem more touch sensitive when running on full power. It's been that way with every amp I've ever owned, I have aways hated the low sensitivity inputs on early amps, turning the amp up never worked for me. I'll add this, I'm not a background type of player, I'm an out front and in your face type. If you're coming to see me play, I'm shredding, so why would I want to have my sound blend in? I would say 9 times out of ten people tell me to "turn the guitar up" than "you're too f-ing loud."

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:53 am 
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Bottle Rocket

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Hey thanks,

As for the lack of low end, do you think that is something that can be made up with use of a BBE Sonic Maximizer and the Lo Contour knob? What ever i end up getting would be played through a 4x12 cab with V30's


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:20 pm 
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KLando wrote:
My question is if you are running two similar 20 watt amps, one equipped with 84's and the othe with 34's or 6L6's, if you are not pushing the pwr section can you really tell the difference in tubes since the pre tubes are doing the majority of the work?

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I can definitely tell the difference. My ears are more partial to the clean spread of 6L6s than the more mid-heavy EL34s, which never really scratched my itch. I can tell at any volume other than a whisper. But at rehearsal volumes, I can definitely hear the difference. For me it's more about the tone palette, which is related to how hard the preamp tubes are driven The more distortion and compression, the more the tonal difference fades.

Oh, and why did you request "Report this post"?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:56 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

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Hey Dodger916,
Thanks for the input.

That must have been an accident on my part. Didnt realize i had. My bad. No probs here.
Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:46 pm 
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Sonic maximizers are great but that is not what will make the magic happen. I think the "damping factor" of the power section isn't as strong with less power so the speaker gets sloppy rather than tight. The sound is "rounder" and blends in better with a loose speaker. But I prefer an dynamic edgy sound that sparkles and cuts through rather than blending into the other instruments. The best thing about a BBE sonic maximizer is that it seems to take the pillow off the speaker and clarifies the bass by sub dividing the frequencies and delaying them appropriately so they arrive together. I use a BBE with my Studio pre-amp between it and the power amp. It allows me to get a great tone without the GEQ so I can use the GEQ for a lead boost. Some people love the Eric Johnson tone, a BBE would mess that tone up big time.

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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 10:13 am 
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Single Recto
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I have an 4x EL84 Maverick and an 2x EL34 Rivera mounted in a Mesa cab sitting side by side, same speaker, and I dialed in "my sound" and set them to the same apparent volume.

I honestly thought I would not be able to hear the difference, but it was very obvious. It was not subtle at all. JUst as markedman said, it was most apparent in the lows and low mids, and in the spaciousness and open warmth of the sound. The Maverick is a great amp, but it sounded compressed and boxed in, while the Rivera sounded wide open and clear and tight.

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