EL34 tube sound is closest to...?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Webfoot, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. Webfoot

    Webfoot Supporting Member

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    What does a EL34 sound like?

    I know what 6L6, 6V6 and EL84 sound like?

    Can a EL34 amp run 6L6s?
     
  2. D.Cooper

    D.Cooper Member

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    High powered with very present mids. That's how I describe it anyway. YMMV.
     
  3. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Support Group Gold Supporting Member

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    Mostly like the amp it works in. ;)

    - T
     
  4. big mike

    big mike Marshall Voiced Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah baby.

    I'm currently got some NOS Tesla's on the verge of redplating in my T Bolt but it sounds GLORIOUS!!!
     
  5. D.Cooper

    D.Cooper Member

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    This is true as well, but I think he means assuming the amp circuit is the same what change in sound would happen going to EL34s.

    For the record I think the type of circuits and speakers are the most important things to judge an amp by with power tube type being 3rd.
     
  6. big mike

    big mike Marshall Voiced Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay so you know what a 6L6 sounds like.

    So, imagine a bit less highs, a bit less lows and a more present midrange. Very creamy and smooth tube with some nice top end to it.

    It's as great tube...but I think my favorite tube EVAR!! Is a 6V6.
     
  7. Schroedinger

    Schroedinger Supporting Member

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    In most octal based amps, you can use either 6L6 or EL34. You will need to re-bias.
     
  8. teletroy

    teletroy Supporting Member

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    I think the el34 pulls a little more heater current than the 6l6, like 1/2 an amp, but like Aaron said most 6l6 amps should be fine. I've run them in few and they gots the balls
     
  9. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Support Group Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, yes... but really, you've nailed it with this:

    For instance, I've got a parallel single-ended amp (Victoria Regal II) that takes EL34, and the range of sound variations due to power tube swaps is smaller than the magnitude of unique sound character of the amp, relative to other amps - if you follow my meaning. In other words, the amp still sounds like itself if using 6V6, KT-66, EL34, 6L6G, 5932, 5881, 6550, etc. The circuit limits the range of sound changes due to power tube swaps. And yes, I agree about the speaker - perhaps second in line to the circuit.

    One can imagine what an EL34 amp sounds like, and attribute the sound of the amp to the power tubes, but that is not a very accurate exercise. Then there are variations in EL34 tube manufacturers and eras, and those are wide-rangin.

    So, what can one say that will be satisfactory? Sorry Webfoot, but I recommend playing EL34-powered amps (and others) so you can find out more about those specific amps, and discover your amp preferences.

    - Thom
     
  10. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    EL34's seem to have more "ring" to them in clean amps, which turns into more upper mid "zing" when overdriven. Think Brian May, Tommy Bolan or Ritchie Blackmoore.

    Or, have you ever played an Orange amp in a band setting? To me, this amp really defines EL34 tubes.

    Side note, my EL34 equipped, 50 watt Marshall 1987 head was one of the most musical sounding Marshalls I've ever experienced, and worked better with Tube Screamer type overdrive pedals than ANY other Marshall I've played through.
     
  11. small axe

    small axe Supporting Member

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    a marshall
     
  12. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Support Group Gold Supporting Member

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  13. big mike

    big mike Marshall Voiced Moderator Staff Member

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    Exactly Thom.

    Brian is really pure EL84 tones. Talk about an underrated guitarist IMO. From playing AND stellar tone aspect.
     
  14. Webfoot

    Webfoot Supporting Member

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    I was looking for a 40 watt head and the Pearl Port City with 6L6s sounds really nice but way spendy. So I have found that Traynor has an Iron Horse head also 40 watts but with EL34s but have no idea what it sounds like. Was wondering if they sound alike but am thinking 6L6s used clean will sound Fendery and EL34s used dirty will sound Marshally.
     
  15. Rex Nomad

    Rex Nomad Member

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    EL34 is a 6L6 after a few beers.

    A little less serious, a bit of swagger, a tad exaggerated, not as focused, but with just the right attitude for rocking. And if you push it... it's ready for a fight.
     
  16. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Support Group Gold Supporting Member

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    There ya go! :drink
     
  17. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    /This
     

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