The best sounding EL84

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crgfrench
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The best sounding EL84

Post by crgfrench »

What is the best brand of EL84 for an 18W or 36W build?
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Bieworm
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Re: The best sounding EL84

Post by Bieworm »

I know the standard answer is NOS mullard...

BUT

As an 18 watt freshman I have no real particular sound in my head so my expectations are a white canvas...

From what I know the EL84 are pushed all the time, so that calls for very sturdy tubes. So I didn't take and chances and went for NOS mil spec russian tubes. 6P14P
I think they sound awesome and they are really cheap
https://www.tube-town.net/ttstore/russi ... 4-nos.html
They're not matched, but don't need to be because they are built with narrow spread on the specs.
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Re: The best sounding EL84

Post by JMPGuitars »

I like new production Mullard and Tung Sol, but slightly prefer the Mullard.

I am curious to try the new production Tung Sol 7189 tubes. They're supposedly made to the vintage spec, but I want to know how they really compare to a standard EL84.
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Re: The best sounding EL84

Post by zaphod_phil »

While EL84s are power pentodes, 7189s are actually beam tetrodes, which means they have a somewhat higher damping factor. I'm sure a lot of folks would be interested to find out what your results are with these RI 7189s.
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Re: The best sounding EL84

Post by JMPGuitars »

zaphod_phil wrote:
Sat 05/30/20 12:26 pm
While EL84s are power pentodes, 7189s are actually beam tetrodes, which means they have a somewhat higher damping factor. I'm sure a lot of folks would be interested to find out what your results are with these RI 7189s.
Me too. ;)

I'm deciding for my next build whether my Tremolo TMB will have 7189s or 6V6s.
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Re: The best sounding EL84

Post by Bieworm »

JMPGuitars wrote:
Sat 05/30/20 12:50 pm
zaphod_phil wrote:
Sat 05/30/20 12:26 pm
While EL84s are power pentodes, 7189s are actually beam tetrodes, which means they have a somewhat higher damping factor. I'm sure a lot of folks would be interested to find out what your results are with these RI 7189s.
Me too. ;)

I'm deciding for my next build whether my Tremolo TMB will have 7189s or 6V6s.
The 6P14P russians in my TMB tremolo are supposed to be exactly like the 7189s, or not? Mine should handle plate voltages up to 500V. And really dirt cheap!!! https://www.tube-town.net/ttstore/russi ... 4-nos.html
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Re: The best sounding EL84

Post by zaphod_phil »

Who said that and what is their definition of "exactly like"? Sounds a bit like marketing speak to me 8O
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Re: The best sounding EL84

Post by Bieworm »

zaphod_phil wrote:
Sat 05/30/20 5:26 pm
Who said that and what is their definition of "exactly like"? Sounds a bit like marketing speak to me 8O
You're probably right...
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Re: The best sounding EL84

Post by crgfrench »

JMPGuitars wrote:
Sat 05/30/20 9:16 am
I like new production Mullard and Tung Sol, but slightly prefer the Mullard.
Thanks Josh, I thought there'd be a deluge of opinions ...but at least a couple of folks chimed in. I like the new production Mullards generally and I'm using their GZ34 and CV4004s for this 36W, so I think I'll get a quad of the Mullard EL84s and keep it all in the family.
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Re: The best sounding EL84

Post by Daviedawg »

It is something which is not easy to answer. I have several spare pairs of EL84s none of which I will put in the Scout as a long term solution. These are JJs, unbranded Chinese, Sovteks and odd singles from passing repairs etc. My 18 watt has had a pair of Zaerix EL84s for something like 8 years of almost daily use. Solid and reliable as well as sounding sweet. Stand up for the NOS argument.

I am in a quandary as to what to get for the Watkins. For now a pair of Sovteks will go in. But they were in the 18 watt for the first year or so. and did not stay. So I am just as interested in opinions as anyone. Mainly the question is - is it worth spending the denghi or just run what you brung, as it were. The Watkins was a non-runner bargain so spending a fortune on valves makes no sense. Test and trials ahead I expect.

Dd
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