Best EF86?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Jimmydeez, Jan 31, 2008.


  1. Jimmydeez

    Jimmydeez Supporting Member

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    I am looking for a replacement EF86 to put in my new Bad Cat Lil'15.

    The Lil'15 uses the EF86 for the gain channel. I really don't know much about these tubes and would appreciate any opinions or experience you guys have with them.

    I would love to find a new production tube that I like but I will go with something NOS if I have to.
     
  2. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a few ef86's and I really think best depends on what you want to hear. I have a Matchless Clubman and a friend of mine has the Hc-30. We tried a NOS GEC ef86 in his amp and it sounded worse then the Winged "C" tubes you can buy now. The Winged "C" seemed smoother throughout the whole frequency band where the GEC seemed to add more highs and lows.

    In my Clubman I have a tried a Mullard (real one) and 2 GE's one of the GE's sounds just about lik ethe Mullard the other seems weaker and lacks sparkle.

    I'd suggest just sticking with the Winged "C" tubes and maybe buy a NOS tube when you feel like experimenting a bit.
     
  3. mcdyas

    mcdyas Supporting Member

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    i am not saying it is the best because i have not tried them all, but try a JJ EF806
     
  4. Stormin

    Stormin Supporting Member

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    Jim,

    I was really happy with the JJ EF806 in my Matchless Phoenix when I had it. I think they're like $20 from Eurotubes.

    Neil
     
  5. Jimmydeez

    Jimmydeez Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys.... Has anyone used the Dario Miniwatt in BadCat/Matchless amp?

    I have heard great things about them.
     
  6. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    I settled on a Dario Miniwatt in my Matchless Clubman. Amazing EF86. I had an Amperex labeld EF86 (I can't verify if it was an actual Amperex or relabeled - either way is was NOS) in there before and the Dario Miniwatt just made the tone bigger, fatter, with a bit more oommph. Highly recommended.

    In my Matchless HC-30, I've got a NOS GEC EF86. It sounds amazing. I haven't tried that tube in the Clubman but, if you can find one - highly recommended as well.

    Mullard is another great choice. Go to KCA's website. He's got lot's of offerings. And, NOS EF86s are very reasonably priced.
     
  7. FJTurner

    FJTurner Member

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    +1 on the Dario Miniwatt. Got one in the EF86 channel of my Ceriatone 18W amp. Sounds better than the EH EF86 that was in there. Check out Mark at KOS NOS Tubes. He sells these and is a member here.
     
  8. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Ooops, a couple of "spelling errors" but it's the thought that counts.

    Thanks for the plug. ;)
     
  9. Jimmydeez

    Jimmydeez Supporting Member

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    Mike,

    I have read the review of the Dario on your site. Right now I have the a winged C EF86 in the Lil'15. What changes in tone could I expect from the Dario?
     
  10. jazzguitar

    jazzguitar Supporting Member

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    I've been using a Dario Miniwatt in my BadCat Black Cat for about a year and love it. Great tubes.
     
  11. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Member

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    I have had excellent luck with NOS solid-plate Telefunkens. I have bought them on ebay from a tube seller in Germany. It has been a year or so but he always had them 4 for $80 or so which was a good deal. They not only sound great but they last longer than the mesh plate versions I have tried.
     
  12. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    I like the Dario miniwatt, Telefunkens and Mullards in my Matchless.

    KCA had some of the sold plate Mullards. Highly recommended and that is my tube of choice in the amp right now, with the Dario being second.
     
  13. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Not sure, I've never tried the Winged C (which is the same as all of the Russian EF86s with various labels) but have sold a lot of Darios to replace microphonic Winged C's (BTW, "SED" is the real name, "Winged C" is what the SED logo looks like).
     
  14. Jimmydeez

    Jimmydeez Supporting Member

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    Thanks Mike.
     
  15. Jimmydeez

    Jimmydeez Supporting Member

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    I just ordered the Dario. I'll give it a whirl in the Bad Cat.

    Thanks for all the opinions guys.
     
  16. drpicklo

    drpicklo Supporting Member

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    I would like to bump this thread.

    I've tried the NOS Winged Cs from the 70's and 80's which have been excellent; not microphonic and very musical. The NOS Teslas have also been very nice and found them for a reasonable price.

    Compared to the new JJs I would pick either of these ef86's.
     
  17. tele_jas

    tele_jas Member

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    The Dario Minn-watt has been my favorite. I've only tried about 3 or 4 others, but the Dario has always sounded the best and been the least microphonic.
     
  18. Gretsch&Vox

    Gretsch&Vox Member

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    I've read great things about the JJ EF806. If it is anything like the JJ ECC803S (my favorite 12AX7 [I like better than NOS]), then you have a winner. I think Dr. Z. Amplifiers used them in their EF86 circuit amps.
     
  19. la noise

    la noise Supporting Member

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    I saw those NOS Winged C's. Some overseas sellers have them for
    cheap on ebay. Reviews on them are not very favourable, though. :huh
     
  20. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    NOS Tesla EF806S has been working well for 100s of my customers.
     

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