1. Phil Divine

    Phil Divine Member

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    Fist off, let me ask, where the hell does this post even belong?? Seems like half the forums have a similar post. I guess I'll go here, upping my odds of getting expert advice?

    I have spent the better part of a week searching this site and the rest of the web for reviews of EL34 comparable tubes, and I am close to making a decsion, but I could use some help.

    My amp is a 70s Traynor Mark3 head, around 100 or so watts with 4 original mullard 6ca7s in it. They sound awesome, but I am taking them out, as I am going to start gigging a lot.

    I have replaced them with Svetlana's for about 5 minutes and realized that there is no comparison. Now I realize, there's no comparison with any of them to the Mullards, but these Svets are not for me. The bass completely dissapeared (is this an EL34 thing?). The Svets are very vocal in the mids, which is nice, but they have a hardness to them that I don't like. Also, they are a little brittle on top.

    After reading tons of info, I think I'm down to a few choices

    SED Winged Cs. Industry Standard sounds like, reliable, and sound good. I have no experience with tubes from the Svetlana factory. Some reviews call them warm with lots of bass and mids and highs. Some reviews make them sound colder and scooped.

    EH6CA7 - Supposed to be close to the old Mullards in overall voice. I have played a few EH tubes over the years, and hated every one of them. I've never played this one, but all others sounded hard, cold and fizzy. Maybe this is their winner?

    Siemens NOS - Not too outrageously priced and warm? I've no experience with these.

    JJKT77s - Balanced sounding. Can't find much else. I have used JJs Tubes over the years, and while they are tough, nicely voiced, they can be a little cold or hard, in my experience.

    These are the brands, types that are readily available to me. Any advice?

    If you need a reference for tone:

    Think Pearl Jam meets Pink Floyd meets QOTSA meets Soundgarden. Darker is definately my thing. I am not looking for the American glassy bright top end thing.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. jads57

    jads57 Supporting Member

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    I`m using a Heritage Colonial Head w/ 2x12 Avatar open back cab. After experimenting w/ Mullard reissues( to harsh!), and Electro Harmonix 6550`s(to strerile!) JJ KT 77`s ( not bad!) I`ve gone w/ the Tubes it came with TAD EL-34`s ( just right!)
     
  3. stump

    stump Member

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    It's tough going from Old Great Tubes to new o.k. tubes and took me a while to adjust. I've used the JJ KT77 and E34L, Winged C and and RFT(Siemens) in my Marshall and find the Winged C to be best overall. The KT77 and E34L sounded great but I seem to have reliability issues with them in this particular amp. The RFT sounded closer to my Mullards than the C's but not enough to justify the additional cost. If you can find any of the American 6CA7's (Philips ECG, RCA, GE, Sylvania)at a good price they are definitely a nice tube too, kind of a cross between EL34 and 6L6.
     
  4. Phil Divine

    Phil Divine Member

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    Thanks for the quick feedback. stump, with respect to the Siemens vs Winged C vs KT77 comparison, would you say that the Siemens were better than the KT77s for tone as well? Can you describe the difference in terms of lows, mids, highs?

    Do you find that the American 6CA7s compare to the Mullards?

    What type of Marshall are you playing?

    Sorry for all the questions, but you have direct exposure to the tubes I am looking at.
     
  5. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    I like the EH 6CA7s, especially for the $$$. To my ear they're a lot smoother and than most EL34s I've tried and lack the upper mid "bark" that's an EL34 trademark. The GTs sound good too but are a lot more expensive than the EH and not worth it to me.
     
  6. Phil Divine

    Phil Divine Member

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    When you say they are smoother than the EL34s you've tried, can you name them? Is this compared to SED Winged Cs or Siemens?
    THanks
     
  7. ChickenLover

    ChickenLover Member

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    This.

    I used Winged C (back when they were 'Svetlana') and also tried EH EL34s, older EH EL43s (different than the newer ones...and awful) and Sovtek EL34G. So the Winged C is really the only 'decent' EL34 I've compared it to. I also have JJ KT77 in another amp and they're just OK...and I have had some microphonics issues with them but it's my only quad. I have EH 6CA7s in every EL34 amp I own (except the KT77 amp and if I had another pair I'd probably put them in it too)...but comparing favorably to real Mullards is gonna be a tall order.
     
  8. Phil Divine

    Phil Divine Member

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    Thanks ChickenLover. It sounds like everyone agrees. New version of that really EL34 thing - Winged C. EH6CA7s are better.

    Noting beats the real thing.

    I am wondering now if I should just get the EH6CA7 and load up the pres with NOS. I guess that will be another thread. I'll also be replacing some very weak mullards there too.

    Where's the Scumback of tubes???!!!
     
  9. solitaire

    solitaire Senior Member

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    New Sensor are slowly getting there. It's not just aquiring classic brands on their agenda

    I for one would strongly advice anyone to at least try cryo-treated valves. To my experience there is a distinc improvement of tone compared with non-cryos. [Hopefully this time I won't have to debate this fact with those of no experience of valves that have recieved this treatment]
     
  10. Phil Divine

    Phil Divine Member

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    Are they doing Cryo 6CA7s? Where would you find these?
     

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