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View Full Version : KT77 tubes vs EL34 tubes .... what do you like better?


Dr. Tweedbucket
11-02-2007, 12:26 PM
While =C=, JJ EL34L and New Sensor Mullards sound good, I am kind of warming up to the JJ KT77 tone ! :)

stump
11-02-2007, 12:30 PM
Of the three I prefer the KT77. There's not a current production EL34, including the JJ's, that I'd take over them. Old stuff is another story.

big mike
11-02-2007, 12:33 PM
In my amp, I'm certainly digging the KT77's.

Swampash
11-02-2007, 12:34 PM
The JJ Kt77's, without a doubt....as Dan boul with 65 Amps says, "they're what EL34's want to be when they grow up". :p :rotflmao

I'd love to try a set of the NOS Red Lions, as I've read that they are even better, but at $450+ per matched pair, that's not likely to happen soon. :(

stump
11-02-2007, 12:41 PM
I also find them to be a little picky about their bias. I'm fortunate enough to have a quad of the original Gold Lions, but don't use them regularly in my amp as they're worth more than the rig itself. Four Mullard 12AX7s and four GEC's would be at least $2000 to replace if you can find them. And good luck on being matched. Tone of the God's though.

bigjim
11-02-2007, 01:25 PM
Can I drop these in my Carr Hammerhead without biasing?

big mike
11-02-2007, 02:09 PM
Bias?

Cathode Bias amps RULE. LOL

Although I'm going to try some in my fixed bais amps here shortly.

bigjim
11-02-2007, 02:33 PM
O'Doyle Rules! :rolleyes:

big mike
11-02-2007, 02:38 PM
O'Doyle Rules! :rolleyes:


Love that movie.

shibby
11-02-2007, 03:30 PM
While =C=, JJ EL34L and New Sensor Mullards sound good, I am kind of warming up to the JJ KT77 tone ! :)


I'm using =C= el34s now. can you descibe to me what kt77s sound like compared to this tube?

big mike
11-02-2007, 03:41 PM
I'm using =C= el34s now. can you descibe to me what kt77s sound like compared to this tube?


To my ear, more highs and lows, overall a moe balanced tone, and not as mid heavy as the winged C's can be.

Plexed
11-02-2007, 05:02 PM
I switched up a pair of JJ EL34's for JJ KT77's in my Marshall DSL 50.
As far as I can hear - Bigger bottom end, more shimmer on the high end,
greater note separation, more complex tone, less mids, more of a rounder
sound, although can still can very aggressive! I would say a bit less compressed, more of a refined articulate sound IMHO.

ducmike
11-02-2007, 09:21 PM
I have the JJ E34L's, KT77's and Siemens El34's. In my Dabeck I like the Siemens the best for over all loud tone. Just have that Marshall sound that's in my head. I am usings the KT77's now though, because they do sound better at the low volumes I have to play at church. I guess it's the better or more bottom end they have? I just put the Siemens in when I know I can turn up a little.

crwnedblasphemy
11-03-2007, 04:45 PM
KT-77s are good. i have them in one of my splawns. They are great current production tubes. That being said, I just scored a pair of old Tesla El34 brown base tubes, and they are great as well. have them in my other one. They sound not as thin as the Mullard(new Sensor) that were in there.

Rex Nomad
11-03-2007, 05:01 PM
I tried the JJ KT-77s in a Marshall Super Lead and in a 2203 and did not like them. They sound like a EL34 that's trying to sound like a 6L6 and not doing a very good job of it. The low end is tighter (which is nice). The mids are sharp, almost harsh and the highs are more piercing to my ears. More headroom. Less of the warm smooth early breakup that I'm after. Probably fine for cleaner amps.

mailman
11-03-2007, 05:20 PM
Swapped the Chinese EL-34's out of my THD Flex-50 with KT77's and really prefer the extra bottom end & punch. Bought another pair of 77's to keep on hand. They're an EL34 PLUS!

frankencat
11-12-2007, 12:06 PM
How do they bias up compared to EL34's?

big mike
11-12-2007, 12:14 PM
How do they bias up compared to EL34's?

Not sure I understand. My amp that's fixed I set at 37ma with either.

picnic
11-12-2007, 01:41 PM
I picked up a Koch Twintone here a couple of months ago. The amp can go KT77 or El 34 without rebiasing. It came loaded with KT77's and an extra pair of EL34's, both sets were Koch labeled. I used the KT's for two weeks to get an idea of the amps capabilites. I like the Fendery cleans, somewhere in the middle of DR and TR land. Plenty of bottom, I keep the bass around 9:00. The mids and highs are around 1:00. This amp can get real loud and stay clean too. The drive channel can go from a light DR breakup to a real distorted tone. I'm not into the real gainy side of things and keep the gain around 10:00. Just enough breakup to be different from the clean. I'm very happy with what I heard.

I put in the EL's and played them for a week. They didn't have the sound depth or balls on the clean or drive channel the KT's did. Sounded good, but the KT's just sounded better in every way. KT's are back in and I'm digging this amp.

cheesey
11-12-2007, 02:50 PM
i got some free jj kt 77 to try in my shiva, anyone else done this with good results?

fyrwyr
11-12-2007, 04:00 PM
They sound nice in the Ark Proto-type head sitting in my office, not a massive difference from the GT E34L's I had in there, but cool none the less.

mailman
11-12-2007, 04:20 PM
Swapped out stock Chinese EL34's in my THD Flexi with JJ KT77's and really like 'em! More punch; a bit tighter. I bought a 2nd pair to keep on hand.:AOK

JimmyR
11-12-2007, 07:16 PM
I just finished rebuilding a 2204-ish amp I'd built a year or so ago and gotten bored with. So I'm playing it with JJ EL34s, =C= EL34s and then I get some more JJ KT77s - wow, what a difference! Now it sounds how I wanted. Thick, chewy and fat. Lots of good low-end. Great crunchy tops. To me they just sound like a really good EL34.

So far I've tried JJ KT77s in Marshall style amps and Bad Cat amps and the only amp I didn't like them in was my Train Wreck clone.

Roccaforte Amps
11-12-2007, 07:17 PM
Make mine EL34 please.

Hacksaw
11-12-2007, 08:37 PM
El34's for me.

I tried the KT77's, Just a little brittle to me in comparison to the EL34's.

kmanick
12-13-2007, 08:01 PM
I've got KT-77's in my JSX head and I really like them.
when I want a more Marshally tone I put the EL34's back in.
I think they both sound great , but the KT-77's have a much smoother
"less harsh" midrange thant the El34's do (in the JSX anyway)
so for playing the 7 string stuff (that I'm so into lately) the KT-77s
sound better.

wbfree
12-13-2007, 08:54 PM
Fwiw from one not as experienced a musician as you all. I have a Stephenson LJ5 single ender 5 watts. I can run any tube I want in the power section except EL84's but could with a yellow jacket. I have tried a good JJ KT 77 I got from Eurotubes, and I believe Bob Pletka had something to do with it's production, and an GTEL34 aka 6CA7 (Groove Tubes). There was something about the EL34 that I liked better, this may sound strange but my fingers liked it better, as well as my ears. I am going to go to the Portland Amp Fest and am bringing both tubes along with a 6L6 and three good 6V6 and let the experts tell me what they think, for me right now-subject to change lol-it is the EL34.
My humble 2 cents
Thx
B:cool:

Dr. Tweedbucket
12-13-2007, 08:54 PM
I tried the JJ KT-77s in a Marshall Super Lead and in a 2203 and did not like them. They sound like a EL34 that's trying to sound like a 6L6 and not doing a very good job of it. The low end is tighter (which is nice). The mids are sharp, almost harsh and the highs are more piercing to my ears. More headroom. Less of the warm smooth early breakup that I'm after. Probably fine for cleaner amps.



You kind of have to burn them in for several hours and they take on a new tone ...... at least mine did!

AmplifiedParts
09-08-2010, 05:11 PM
The KT77 are a good option if you want a bigger bottle than the normal EL34. People started looking at the KT77 a lot more once the EI "big bottle" 6CA7 became no longer available. So the KT77 is usually recommended for people who want a slightly bigger bottle tube than EL34. I have had a lot of good feedback on the KT77 since it came out, but personally I prefer the JJ E34L.

Deathmonkey
09-08-2010, 08:52 PM
Depends on the amp, I guess. I had KT77s in a Peters CDC and a Framus Cobra, and was happier when swapped to Winged C EL34s. And I love KT88s. So I dunno. Something about the mids bugged me.

celestion101
09-08-2010, 11:02 PM
My Royal Albert has KT77's and I love them. Dan at 65 said that they (somewhat) remind him of high quality NOS EL34's.

C-4
09-09-2010, 04:54 AM
I switched up a pair of JJ EL34's for JJ KT77's in my Marshall DSL 50.
As far as I can hear - Bigger bottom end, more shimmer on the high end,
greater note separation, more complex tone, less mids, more of a rounder
sound, although can still can very aggressive! I would say a bit less compressed, more of a refined articulate sound IMHO.

KT77's are the stuff tubes are made of.
JJ's are good if you have a higher plate voltage.

Rod
08-31-2011, 01:06 PM
What do you guys bias your KT77's to?

big mike
08-31-2011, 01:36 PM
Depends on the voltage on the plates of the amp.
I treat them like EL34's. so in my Marshally amps around 32ma (with 450V)

midnightlaundry
01-09-2012, 07:41 AM
Any more insight(s) on the KT77 compared to the EL34L?

How would a pair roll in a Trainwreck build?

big mike
01-09-2012, 07:49 AM
Too clean in a wreck build IMO
so are the e34l for that matter
Wrecks need Siemens Nos as far as I'm Concerned but the new sensor mullards are decent in there.

midnightlaundry
01-09-2012, 07:53 AM
I don't have the scratch for Siemens, so those off' the table.

Speaker choice must be a factor. I don't have any small voice coil types, so maybe the extended highend might suit my tastes.

big mike
01-09-2012, 07:55 AM
The new sensor Mullards are pretty close to Siemens actually.
I also REALLY like JJ 6v6 in my express. Those sound Damn good.

BluesHarp
01-09-2012, 07:58 AM
Tried winged c's and mullard el34's and ended up w lion kt77's in my Germino Club 40. They do have a sound in between el34's and 6l6's.. richer low end, more 3d, and what seems to be more headroom than el34's.

midnightlaundry
01-09-2012, 08:10 AM
Tried winged c's and mullard el34's and ended up w lion kt77's in my Germino Club 40. They do have a sound in between el34's and 6l6's.. richer low end, more 3d, and what seems to be more headroom than el34's.


This is what I'm looking for. But I don't know how the Wreck will sound until I build the thing! 'Waiting for UPS...

That said, I'm running 6L6's and EL34L's in my Boogie, and like the articulate highend, with the more prominent mid response.

funkywrench
01-10-2012, 12:40 AM
Most of the descriptions so far sound similar to that of a 6CA7 when compared to an EL-34.

Has anyone compared a 6CA7 (EH in particular) to a KT-77? They both seem to be "big bottle" versions of an EL-34.

Which brand of KT-77 are most of you using too?

Rod
01-10-2012, 09:16 AM
I'm using the JJ version from Big Mike's recommendations. He was right.. They are amazing sounding and built very well

LowWatt
01-10-2012, 09:41 AM
Hmm...I'm running a Traynor YBA-3 for bass. 4xEL34 for 130 watts into a 2x15 cabinet. Clarity and power are all that I'm after. It needs a retube and biasing before we start playing live again. Would I be better off trying KT-77s?

ROKY
01-10-2012, 10:10 AM
LowWatt -

Maybe consider 6550s in your YBA-3 .

LowWatt
01-10-2012, 10:45 AM
LowWatt -

Maybe consider 6550s in your YBA-3 .

Wouldn't that take more than a rebiasing though?

big mike
01-10-2012, 10:47 AM
Might need a resistor or two or three changed.

ROKY
01-10-2012, 11:34 AM
Wouldn't that take more than a rebiasing though?

Bias resistor change .. not a big deal .

BTW - I have 2 '68 YBA-3's .

LowWatt
01-10-2012, 12:51 PM
Bias resistor change .. not a big deal .

BTW - I have 2 '68 YBA-3's .

Good to know. Mine's a late 60s as well. Sorry to derail, but how would you describe the change?

jcarpenter
01-10-2012, 01:18 PM
JJ 6C A7 is a nice tube. I took a shot since price is low.

wizard333
01-10-2012, 01:24 PM
34s, 77s sound too "high fi" to me.

lang.murphy
01-10-2012, 08:51 PM
I can't say I like one tube type better than the other. I have an Emery Sound Superbaby, which is great at disclosing how different tubes contribute to tone... a very "transparent" amp. I mean, I know Curt's circuit is part of the tone that comes out of the thing but it's a very simple circuit compared to most other amps.

The tubes I have right now:

EL34: Siemens, Mullard RI, GT Silver, EI
KT77: Gold Lion

I think the GL KT77 is the "creamiest" of the bunch. But that Siemens sure does sound nice too. The Mullard is pretty good, the GT is a back up right now (paid $7 for it new at GC) and haven't even tried the EI, which came in an amp I recently received.

If I throw them in my Fargen, they make less of a difference in the final tone that comes out of the amp... but it's a Hiwatt circuit... not as simple as the Superbaby.

diagrammatiks
01-10-2012, 09:38 PM
the new kt77's are great.

the new el34s don't sound a thing like my mullard xf2s.

the kt77s sound closer then the new el34s.

ROKY
01-11-2012, 01:01 PM
Good to know. Mine's a late 60s as well. Sorry to derail, but how would you describe the change?

I still have 34s in both of mine .. I don't use 'em for bass .

I reco'd the 6550s because I thought you would want a broader
sound and the added clarity for bass guitar.

pima1234
08-03-2012, 08:40 PM
Vote for the KT77s (JJ or Gold Lion)

Fat bottle 6CA7s too! (my current favorite power tube along with 7868s)

Tommy_G
08-03-2012, 11:19 PM
Disregarding the power rating difference, and only thinking about tonality both clean and on edge of breakup: How do KT77's compare to a Tungsol RI 6v6? JJ 6v6?

jazjamr
08-04-2012, 11:07 AM
JJ KT77s in my Music Man 2x12 65 much better than EL 34s. Biased up fine. Installed them before the JJ 6CA7s were released. Amp came new with Sylvania 6CA7s.