1. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    I have recently purchased my first amp that requires these so I have little to no knowledge of them. It says 6ca7s are needed, but from what I understand el34s can be used. If I want to use only el34s are there any mods that I would need to do to the amp to optimize them? Also, are there any general inherent differences in sound chatacteristics between these two tube types?
     
  2. 52ftbuddha

    52ftbuddha Member

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    American and European part numbers. Similar specs but different makers. Different makers and construction types will sound quite different. Big can many worms.
    Rob
     
  3. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    Thanks Rob. I read recently though that there is a slight difference in the wiring of amps that contain the two different tubes. The new EH 6ca7s get excellent reviews, but so do the Winged C el34s. Trying to decide really between these two.
     
  4. UfoPilot

    UfoPilot Member

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    I put the EH6ca7's in my plexi. I liked the openness of the sound better than the =C='s The =C='s were the best sounding of all the EL34's I tried but I just liked the EH6ca7's better. If you want a more compressed sound go with the =C='s for a more 3d sound with more bass go with the EH's :AOK
     
  5. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    Nice! I think I'll probably get both starting with the Winged Cs. Thing is- my amp puts out plenty of bass as it is. Also I think I'm looking for a more genuine el34 sound. Sovtek deserves kudos though for producing a great 6ca7 and I'll show my appreciation by buying some.
     
  6. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

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    IMO, you can't say that one type of tube sounds this way or that. Its largely dependent on the design of the amplifier - and of course the musician's tastes. This isn't an invitation to start a discussion on this. I wish these types of subjective dialogues would be confined to another less technical group.
     
  7. Trout

    Trout Member

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    Though not especially popular for various reasons, I find JJ KT77's to be a great alternative to EL34/6CA7's.

    I have been running them for months in several amps and they just seem so much smoother than most EL34's. Not as much midrange bark/grind and a bit more creamy highs. The bass tends to be a bit tighter but hardly enough to notice at lower volumes.

    I have used EH, and the JJ EL34L's and several old sets of Genelex KT77's and its really a close race.
    Trout
     
  8. Swarty

    Swarty Member

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    just the facts, mam... nothing but the facts... Yeah, yeah... like Zappa said, "Talking about music is like dancing about archetecture".

    Within the confines of one amplifier 2 different tube types are going to display different sonic characteristics, especially when the amp is pushed into and with regards to the onset of clipping. I replaced the Mullard EL34s in my '71 1987 w/ Sylvainia 6CA7s and really liked the change. The onset of clipping came a bit later and the lowend was much stronger. The top was glassy whereas with EL34s the top was a bit ragged. The character of the amp changed from a screaming banshee to an aggressive junkyard dog.
     
  9. Trout

    Trout Member

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    Very Well said.

    I think that it is also exaggerated by component tolerances. Guessing 95% of the amps out there use component values +/- 10% also causes a huge difference from amp to amp. What's good in 1 18W NoName might not sound perfect in a matching 18W NoName.
    I figure If I can hear the difference in a blind taste test, And still pick the same tube, I hit gold.

    I can hear a difference in my amps sound after a sneeze! lol Honest, I think its an inner ear preasure related thing.
    Trout
     
  10. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    Sheesh, relax. What was there- one sentence on that subject, not including yours? BTW, I disagree with your first sentence.
     
  11. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    Sweet. So you made no changes with the wiring, just a straight swap? (Sorry, still haven't gotten that question answered to my satisfaction.) That's two of you now tho- I'm gonna have to give those 6ca7s a go.
     
  12. go7

    go7 Member

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    Try a set of nos Tesla`s [not JJ] el34`s.
     
  13. Fretts

    Fretts Member

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    FWIW, the classic 6CA7 is a hard-vacuum tube, supposed to be America's answer to the EL34, bigger, badder, louder, "harder". I never liked them, they seem to be halfway to a 6550, hard as nails. The classic EL34's were made with a softer vacuum than the American one. Nowadays, it's all so mixed up, who knows?
     
  14. Chrome Dinette

    Chrome Dinette Member

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    I just put JJ KT77's in my amp and my experience is about the same. The top end is much nicer.

    Of course I changed all the preamp tubes for the first time in a while, using a matched triode tube in the p.i. position, so it is hard to say exactly what is responsible for the tone.
     
  15. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    That's my dream tube but a little too much for my pocketbook. :(
     
  16. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    Plus 6CA7s are beam tetrodes to el34s pentode making them act more like a 6L6.
     

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