Anyone here who does NOT like the sound of EL84 amps?

ahab

Member
Messages
1,730
A majority of these lack of low end complaints can be rectified by pairing the amp with the right speaker, shove a G12H30 on there and there'll be all the low end you need. A lot of people associate the sound of the alnico blue speaker as the 'EL84 sound' - but it's just the blue lacking low end.

I love El84s, they feel alive and rich. In the band mix they just.... work. Spooky magic.
I completely agree with your take on the Celestion Blue vs. Celestion G12H30. And you are right, an EL84 amp cranked with a band sounds spectacular.
 

dwk302

Member
Messages
1,971
I don't like EL84s at all. Cleans are too stiff and the tube breakup has a weird sizzle to it. Just awful. The boutique brand EL84 amps have more of these same characteristics.
 

rumbletone

Silver Supporting Member
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6,853
Most of my fav amps use EL84s - but all of my favs for gainy marshall sounds use EL34s.
 

Teledeluxe77

Member
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368
I've had the exact opposite experience. I have a 65 Amps Soho which runs a pair of EL84s and I have a Morgan JHS 38 which runs 6L6s. I may just need to get the Morgan serviced but the Soho is so much more clear. In fact it's so clear that I kinda feel naked when I play through it clean. My Morgan feels kind of flat and doesn't cut through.
 

bbutler123

Member
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2,643
What makes you think it's the EL84s you don't like?

What are you expecting that it's not delivering?

The fact that you "loved, loved, loved" it a couple months ago makes me think you might just be doing a "grass is greener" thing.
Ha, ha. I will certainly admit that I understand the "grass is greener" concept, and I have to be on guard for it 365 days a year. :)

But no, in this case, I'm just realizing that the amp lacks bass. Get a Fender, even as small as a Deluxe Reverb and turn that bass to '0' and play, now turn it to '10'. There is an earthshaker of a difference. Marshall does NOT have that difference. Neither do most amps I've owned.

Why do I think it's the tubes? It may not be of course, but I listen to the EL34s in my Marshall and think that the EL tubes have a clarity and punch that the 6L6 and 6V6s don't have. But the 6L and 6V tubes have big bass in the Fender amps I've had that neither the EL34s or EL 84s have.

I've changed speakers, cabinets. Bought a speaker which supposedly has good bass, (though I think it's a different "good bass" than I'm referencing)- and that's the Heritage G12H 55 Hz. It has SOLID bass, but not BIG, "booming" bass like a Fender or my Bugera V22 did.

EL84s have that beautiful boutiquish tinkle, glassy GREAT sound, but so many of them seem to not have big booming bass. Maybe that's because manufacturers don't think that players want that. But hey, if you don't want it, turn the bass down. But it would be a nice option if ELs will give it. :)
 

bbutler123

Member
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2,643
I've had the exact opposite experience. I have a 65 Amps Soho which runs a pair of EL84s and I have a Morgan JHS 38 which runs 6L6s. I may just need to get the Morgan serviced but the Soho is so much more clear. In fact it's so clear that I kinda feel naked when I play through it clean. My Morgan feels kind of flat and doesn't cut through.
I, the OP agree with that. 6L6s are almost muddy. EL tubes (34s included) seem more distinct. The notes seem more individual. Maybe that because they don't have the muddying bass output. Because certainly a treble note sounds more clear and distinct than a big bass note.
 

bbutler123

Member
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2,643
Like you I had an M12 and liked it or I thought I did.......I sold it and bought a Ghia. Liked that so much I bought a Ghia combo too.
Really!!??

I love the balls of the amp, but my style demands (highly prefers) big bass. I might try a Ghia. I HATE getting rid of the way that my Dr.Z gives it up when you push it. That aspect is absolutely stunning to me. :)
 

Lullabies

Member
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2,054
I have had a few and although the tone was good I could never get a lot of headroom out of any of them. They broke up in a very sloppy loose way which I usually like but with EL84 amps I found the sound just became indistinct mush.

Although the 1970s Traynor YBA-2b I had was pretty wicked. I regret selling that one.
 

mrluv2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
37
I have a two rock Ruby 18 with them and I love it, unbelievable amp. And no Sean you are not getting back until I am in the ground, I put it in the will as requested....:nono
 

Rob s

Member
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1,014
Depends on the application i suppose.
For recording, They are all good.
EL34 6l6 6V6 EL84 etc etc.
Different colors, different circuits.
Instead of eq ing. Change the amp and double the part
Good things happen.
To me, not liking EL84's is like saying you dont like phillips head...
 

Al Rose

Platinum Supporting Member
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2,720
EL84s have that beautiful boutiquish tinkle, glassy GREAT sound, but so many of them seem to not have big booming bass. Maybe that's because manufacturers don't think that players want that. But hey, if you don't want it, turn the bass down. But it would be a nice option if ELs will give it. :)
You know, I've got a Mesa Express 5:25+ which has EL84's, and into my Forte' 3D with an MC90 I've got huge, solid, punchy bass for days.

Al
 

digiTED

rock > talk
Messages
5,286
I've used a good deal of GAS amp swapping to chase sounds that I though were inherent in the type of output tube. Now I think that I can fall in love with any output tube type if it's in a circuit and transformer design that complements it in the way I like (starting to sound like Matthew McConaughey's Oscar speech LOL).

Now I have a 6V6 amp that delivers what I though I needed EL34s for (Remedy) and as much as I thought I wasn't an EL84 guy, I'm really missing my Ghia lately.

One of the main reasons I thought I didn't like EL84s is that I didn't realize I was hearing worn-out tubes. EL84s can get used up easily, esp. in hot cathode bias designs. To my ear, worn out EL84s get thin and harshly bright when they're done.

I think coreybox is really on point here by asking what sonic qualities you're looking for and what you didn't like in your EL84 amps.

Some of the biggest low-end I've heard was from an EL84 amp: the Dr. Z RxES. It's a thumper and can easily rival 6L6 and KT66 amps! Conversely, I've heard EL34 amps that are lighter on low end that my Ghia was. It's about the circuit and the iron first IMO.
 

Sean French

Member
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14,175
I have a two rock Ruby 18 with them and I love it, unbelievable amp. And no Sean you are not getting back until I am in the ground, I put it in the will as requested....:nono
Yep, that amp is amazing. Big fat bottom that also has cutting mids with bite and clarity.
One of the very few amps that I wish I never sold. :(
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,101
All my gigging amps are EL84. Since I dont go for power amp break up I guess I dont notice much difference. Bob
 

shanesiegle

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,752
I guess I don't know how much low end you guys need but my Budda and Jet City JCA22H both kick out plenty. The Jet City didn't until I did the depth mod though. I guess i'm a gigging guitarist and have a bassist so I don't like a ton of low end. I totally get the different feel of big glass and most of my amps over the years have had it (my Sig X does) but in a live setting I don't have more bass coming out of the Sig X than I do the Budda.
 

vbjamin

Member
Messages
1,116
All of my amps are EL-84 based.
I came from Ampeg V4, Fender Concert, Mesa 5/50, Marshall SJ 2204. Don't need the wattage and my tone is intact so guess I like them a lot.
 




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