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  #1  
Old 11-18-2010, 02:25 PM
Random Hero Random Hero is offline
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6V6 v EL34? What do you hear?

I know it's hard to compare tubes as it's as much down to the circuit but I'm curious as to what you hear, all else being equal...
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:14 AM
Random Hero Random Hero is offline
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Nada, huh?
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:20 AM
solitaire solitaire is offline
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Well on one hand you have a pretty strong pentode in the EL34, known for its prominent midrange and even order harmonics (think 50W and 100W Marshalls) - on the other it's the 6L6s baby brother that's brighter and janglier, a bit like mix between a GE 6L6GC and an EL84 really, and gives up in a weezy and soft yet crunchy fashion (think lower power Fenders).

Then obviously it's a matter of brand and construction methods used how the actual valve will behave in detail - and how the specific amp takes to that sound.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBSEzX2O0nY
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:42 AM
HipKitty HipKitty is offline
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IMHO, the 6V6 offers more of the lower mids and a sweeter top end, that, depending on the manufacture, can be brittle at times. The lows are looser, similar but not as big as a 6L6.

The EL34 has more upper mids and a tighter low end. the high end isn't as brittle as some current production 6V6's, but they can get piercing, also, depending on the manufacture.

While both types compress well, they do so differently. Without getting too technical, just look at the tonal structures of each type and this will give you an idea as to the compression results of each type.

Check these out for a referencing point, but I suggest that you let your own ears decide...

http://thetubestore.com/el34review.html

http://thetubestore.com/6v6review.html
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:53 AM
Random Hero Random Hero is offline
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I know this is a ridiculous question but which is closer to an EL84, tonally? Neither, right?
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:57 AM
pedalcr8z pedalcr8z is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random Hero View Post
I know this is a ridiculous question but which is closer to an EL84, tonally? Neither, right?
EL-34

but be cautious, don't pre-judge what you THINK the amp might sound like as HOW the tube is applied in the circuit DECIDES the sonic character.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:00 AM
voojo voojo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random Hero View Post
I know this is a ridiculous question but which is closer to an EL84, tonally? Neither, right?
I would say that's correct. I don't remember exactly who it was but a fairly prominent amp builder said that the 6V6s is closer tonally to an EL34 than the EL84 is. I believe it, look at the Dr. Z Remedy, which is a Plexi inspired amp that runs two or four 6V6s.

I had a Stephenson 30 Watt head that came with two EL84s and two 6V6s (any octal tube could be put in the 6V6 location.) That was a Marshall/Trainwreck inspired amp for sure. I always thought it sounded thicker and more Marshall like with the 6V6s. (You could switch any combination of tubes on or off.) Mark's (the amp builder) favorite tube recommendation for EVH Marshall type sounds was the 5881. I liked them much better than the EL34s.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:01 AM
voojo voojo is offline
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One other thought, I think that the closest octal tube that I tried in my amp to an EL84 tonally was the JJ KT77, it had a little bit more jangle than the EL34, a little tighter too (which isn't necessarily an EL84 trait.)
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:13 AM
Random Hero Random Hero is offline
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Yeah, I'm looking for more jangle and high end I guess.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:49 AM
Fireball XL5 Fireball XL5 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random Hero View Post
I know it's hard to compare tubes as it's as much down to the circuit but I'm curious as to what you hear, all else being equal...
Depends entirely on the circuit IMO. I used to own a Roccaforte Custom 30 that ran 4 6v6's in the power section and a GZ34 rectifier, and that amp sounded & responded EXTREMELY close to my ss rectified '71 & '73 50 watt NMV JMP Marshall heads running EL34's.
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  #11  
Old 11-19-2010, 08:58 AM
lang.murphy lang.murphy is online now
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I cannot speak to the tonal characteristics like the more experienced guys here can. I can only offer this personal experience: I had a Swart Space Tone Reverb. Loved it! Came with a 6v6. Could take a 6v6, 6L6, or EL34, without re-biasing.

I bought a cheap single EL34 at my local GC. Threw it in the STR. LOVED it! It brought the RAWK! After a couple of months... threw the Brimar 6v6 back in and fired up the amp and it took about 30 seconds before I shut the amp down, pulled the 6v6 and threw the EL34 back in... no brainer for me. As usual... YMMV.
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  #12  
Old 11-19-2010, 09:44 AM
Wayne Alexander Wayne Alexander is online now
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Circuit design can have more influence on sound than the particular output tube. A Vox AC50 does not sound like a Marshall 1987. A Trainwreck Express type design can sound extremely similar to itself with 6v6s versus EL34s in it. Changing the 6L6s to EL34s in a classic Fender doesn't change the sonic character a huge amount.

I'm not saying that there aren't differences in sonic characteristics of output tube varieties, but circuit design can have a gigantic influence on what those output tubes sound like.
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  #13  
Old 11-19-2010, 12:27 PM
Gnarlly Gnarlly is offline
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My two favorite power tube types. I used to own a small single-ended amp, somewhat of a "baby Marshall" (Allen Class Act). The 6V6 and EL34 were the most similar in tone and breakup with that amp (it could take any octal type, like a THD Univalve). The EL34 produced more power (7-10 watts vs. 4 watts for the 6V6), and the bottom end held together better (6V6s can get "mushy" when pushed hard), but they both sounded great.
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  #14  
Old 11-19-2010, 12:37 PM
solitaire solitaire is offline
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For more jangle in an EL34 context I would go with the TS EL34B. It has a bit more of that 6L6 sparkle in it, thanx to the slightly modified impedance. It's more of a true pentode than the KT77, though, which is pretty glassy like a KT66 yet in a high mid focused way.

This asian guy has plenty of clips of the Tung Sol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iI_f2QYeyg
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  #15  
Old 11-19-2010, 01:08 PM
guitarcapo guitarcapo is offline
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Egnater makes an amp called the Rebel 20 that allows you to roll between two 6V6 power tubes to two EL84 tubes. I've tried the amp and honestly can't tell a difference in sound.
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