6l6-6v6 vs el34-el84

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by bugman, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. bugman

    bugman Member

    Messages:
    615
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    n.phoenix,az
    can you explain the differance between the amps that use these tubes,i know marshall uses el84s and fender uses 6l6,and all the boutique stuff uses eather,whats the main break down on the sounds,im new at this and this is a great source of info you guys are useuly right on with helping answers
     
  2. Frankee

    Frankee Wartime Consigliere

    Messages:
    25,496
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Location:
    Santo Poco
    American Sound (Fender) 6L6, 6V6.
    British Sound (Marshall) EL34, (Vox) EL84.
     
  3. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,506
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    near Philly
    6L6 and EL34 are ~25 watt tubes

    6V6 and EL84 are ~10 watt tubes

    So 2x6L6 and 2xEL34 amps are going to produce more power than 2x6V6 and 2xEL84 amps. Amplifing low frequencies requires more power than amplifying high frequencies, so typically the higher powered amps have more low end.
     
  4. bugman

    bugman Member

    Messages:
    615
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    n.phoenix,az
    more info needed, will the 34 and 84 produce more gain then the 6l6 and 6v6 and the lower watt tubes break up faster?
     
  5. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,506
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    near Philly
    higher wattage tubes have more "clean headroom" meaning they will be louder when they begin to saturate compared to lower wattage tubes.
     
  6. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

    Messages:
    7,026
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007

    Interesting I had a Marshall Studio 15 which used 6V6 tubes, always thought they were EL-84 tubes till after I had sold it.

    Anyway, 6L6 is an american 30 watt tube, so you can multiply the number of tubes and get the power, two tubes 60 watts, four tubes 120 watts, the manufactures number is just a number, they usually post something that is easy for them to get or will sell the amp, how loud the amp is really depends more on the speaker not the power, but that does not impress.

    6V6 tubes are my favorites, really sweet tone IMO, they are american 15 watt tubes, and depending on the amp can be used instead of 6L6s, my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe has JJs 6V6 tubes, my Mesa Mark IV has 6v6 tubes as well. Had them in my Marshall studio 15 as well. The Fender reissue Deluxe Reverb and the princton reverb and studio, played a Princton studio yesterday, really gassing for that amp, its $800 at GC.

    The EL-34 is a european tube, its a 30 watt tube, Marshalls 50 and 100 watt amps use them typically, get earlier distortion with them, and overdriven they sound great, most Master Volume amps wont do this, really need an attenuator to get the power tube distortion, or play the amp live at a gig, great gig amps, my Peavy Vintage has four of them, 120 watts, but is not a great amp.

    The EL-84s are european tubes 15 watts each, I have them in my Marshall DSL401 and love that amp, The Fender Blues Jr uses them as well, and the Peavy Classic 30 and 50s. They have a nice tone overdriven, and the smaller amps are easy to overdrive.

    The thing with tube amps is they all sound different and will do very things, for bed room or occassional jams a 15 to 40 watt amp is great, for gigs 50 to 100 watts is good. Some amps have variable power, my Mark IV will go from 30 watts to 85 watts.

    Also a lot of manufactures will use the power to sell the amps, a 120 watt Peavy is not going to be as loud as a 100 watt Marshall, and the Marshall will hold up better when gigged than the Peavy will.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2008
  7. farlowhigh

    farlowhigh Member

    Messages:
    1,185
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia
    I will just add that sometimes the equation of tubes to power is a bit more murky. I have a 2 6L6 Top Hat Vanderbilt 33 and it gets about 33 watts...no idea why it doesn't get more than that and I am not complaining 33 watts is more than enough for what I need. I can also run the same amp with 2 6v6s and get about 20 watts according to the builder. Also, the Swart Atomic Spacetone gets about 20 watts with 2 6v6s...I am not an expert by any means but in my experience, a single 6v6 tends to deliver somewhere between 5 and 10 watts while 2 6v6s seem to give about 20 watts (Deluxe Reverb gives about 22 watts, I think, and it is 2 6v6s).
    Sometimes 2 6v6s can give less than that. My Richter 5E3 Tweed Deluxe uses two 6v6s and only yields 12 watts, which is plenty for me...

    15-18 watt British style amps often have 2 EL84s such as the Dr Z Maz Jr, Suhr Badger, Vox AC15...

    What I don't understand is why my Dr Z Maz Jr sounds so much louder than my Swart Atomic Space Tone...the Dr Z is rated at 18 watts but is significantly louder than the AST or any other 20 watter I have heard...very noticeably louder than a Bruno Cowtipper. Clearly speaker efficiency and cabinet differences can contribute quite a bit but it seems that wattage is only an approximation...I am sure the other poster is right that manufacturers want to keep it simple for marketing purposes...

    a different speaker can really make a difference in perceived loudness. I replaced the Jensen Neo in my Richter with a Weber 12A125 and it is now noticeably less loud which is good for my situation...I also like the sound better and so maybe put up with louder sounds when I like them more!
     
  8. auratnik

    auratnik Supporting Member

    Messages:
    872
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2006
    Location:
    EU
    My Fender DRRI (22W) is so much louder than H&K Statesman Dual EL84 (20W) that I had before.
     
  9. skhan007

    skhan007 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,587
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    NoVA
    I've been told by a couple of amp builders that one should not confuse wattage with decibels. You can have one amp that is rated as 15 watts put out decibels equivalent to an amp rated at 30 watts. Case and point- my Divided by 13 JRT 9/15 was as loud, IMHO, as a JTM-45.

    Thus, wattage = volts x current. Decibel = logarithmic magnitude of volume.

    Any of you physics grads or master amp builders, please chime in. This is how it was explained to me.
     
  10. cochese

    cochese Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,961
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Most people speak in generalities about tubes based on previous designs. In truth you can take a simple circuit and substitute one tube type for another and come to certain tonal conclusions. The THD Univalve is a great amp for this. However a good designer can make a 6V6 often associated with the Fender Blackface Deluxe and make it sound like a Vox using EL84's. My Top Hot Club Deluxe being an example. Or Rivera was very good at taking EL34's often associated with the Marshall sound and getting great Fender tones that were usually associated with 6L6 amps. Soldano used 5881's for his modded Marshall SLO amps.

    You would really be much better off just trying a number of different amps rather than trying to decide on a tube type. Also unless you are playing at fairly loud volumes that will enable you to get the power tubes to beak up the preamp section will probably have a bigger influence on your tone.
     
  11. adamzappa

    adamzappa Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    Paris France
    Sorry austinrocks. EL84s will never in our lifetimes put out 15 watts each, ever. A pair of EL84s in a push pull power amp put out a maximum of 17 watts. (2 tubes). 1 EL84 alone puts out 5 watts.
     
  12. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,506
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    near Philly
    Yup, and yup.

    Also, the method of bias, fixed vs cathode bias, affects the breakup chacrateristics of the power tubes (one reason I dig the Tone King Meteor: BF Fender inspired tonality but with cathode biased output section for smoother breakup).
     
  13. Fast Bebop

    Fast Bebop Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Sure the speaker has something to do with loudness, but the Maz is just a loud motherf***er. When I bought the MaZ 18 NR head, I was playing on a Vox Night Train 15 (15w, head+cab). Broke, I still didn't buy an appropriate cab for the Maz, so I'm playing on the Vox cab. Despite the fact that I run it on 16 ohm (I have 2008 Maz with only 4&8 ohms out), and the average quality of the cab and speaker (Celestion Greenback Vox special somethin), it's like twice the power of the Vox. I'm actually a little disappointed that it is so loud :) I wish I could make it scream more often !
    Guess it's 18w of pure cleanness, otherwise it feels like a 30w one :)
     
  14. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,186
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    River City / Star City
    Where did you come up with that??

    The Mesa 5:25 is a perfect example.......2xEL84's and it switches between 5 or 30 watts.
     
  15. fritferret

    fritferret Member

    Messages:
    2,965
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    wow...had to go waaaaayyyy back to bring this one back to life.
     
  16. Al Rose

    Al Rose Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,228
    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    Actually it's only 25 watts, not 30 (I have one), BUT the output can be measured at different distortion levels. A pair of EL84's can measure anywhere from 15 watts to 25 watts, the lower having 1% THD, and the upper having 5% THD. So 2 EL84's only being able to put out 17 watts max ever is not correct. My old Studio 22+ measured 19 watts at 5% THD on the scope with a pure resistive load. My Express 5:25+ seems to be a bit louder.

    Al
     
  17. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,186
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    River City / Star City
    I had one too, and this is what was on the back panel of mine. The switch says 5 or 30 watts.

    https://www.alpha-music.com/ProductCart/pc/catalog/1E25BB12_3XL.jpg

    Is yours different? Even if it is 25 watts, it is only 2 EL84's, and that's a lot more than 5 watts a piece. Not trying to argue, just having fun splitting another hair.....I have recently tried to get some "experts" on other forums to tell me approx how much wattage each type of power tube will put out, but nobody will commit to any ballpark figures.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  18. Al Rose

    Al Rose Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,228
    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    Nope, mine has the switches on the front for 5 watts, 15 watts, or 25 watts. This is from Mesa's website:http://www.mesaboogie.com/Product_Info/product_info_new/index.html

    The reason no one will commit to the output of the tube is because you have to specify what the distortion level will be at the output measurement. It has always been my understanding that an EL84 tube can put out between 7 and 15 watts, depending on the bias of the tube.

    Al

    Al
     
  19. Lost_Cause

    Lost_Cause Member

    Messages:
    2,027
    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Location:
    Ill Annoy
    My understanding is that a push pull circuit (which is what most pairs of tubes would be in) is more efficient that a class A circuit with a single tube. That is why two tubes can put out more in push pull than twice the single tube wattage rating.
     
  20. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,186
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    River City / Star City
    Because you have the Express PLUS......

    I had the original Express.
     

Share This Page