Best EL84 tubes for Crate classic series?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by nomadh, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. nomadh

    nomadh Member

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    I have a vietnam V30 and am looking for my next set of power tubes. I'm being extra proactive because these amps are known for running hot and having some voltages past spec in the power section. Mine came with sovteks with the cool blue light in them.
    As far a replacements I could stick with OEM but wheres the fun in that. Sovteks are generally considered a tough tube I believe. People tend to like JJs but there seems to be mixed reviews on if they stand up well to these amps abuse. I remember someone mentioning they liked Mullard RI. I have a set I may try but they are a bit expensive specially if they burn out after a month so I was hoping to hear more first. I also have a set of NOS rca or ge. One the one hand the old designs may be most robust but they may be getting delicate in their old age and are even more expensive. Aiken amps seems to think the EH may have the edge over the JJ in robustness but the JJ has a slight edge in tone by his ear. http://www.aikenamps.com/ Here is his conclusion:

    Conclusions Both the listening tests and the measured data indicate the two tubes are remarkably similar in performance and tone, given the differences in construction and appearance. The JJ/Tesla tubes put out a bit more power into the same load impedance, and in my opinion, have a slightly better tone. However, the increase in screen dissipation of the EH tubes makes them a nice choice for amplifiers that tend to go through tubes more often. The EH would be highly recommended for amplifiers that run the tubes (especially the screens) at high voltages.

    How about the sov el84M? Is that the same tube as the current 7189 available. How about the russian 6p14p? What other tubes may be a good bet for the right combination of tone and reliability, specially in these punishing amps.
     
  2. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    My V32 seems to eat just about any tube Ive tried eventually.Its biased hot like many EL84 cathode biased amps. The JJ's sound better than the Sovtek M's. The Sovtek M is the most durable EL84 Ive found but even it bit it after a few months. Im sticking with the JJ's next retube. Bob
     
  3. rockstarjay

    rockstarjay Member

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    The EL-84M is based of the RCA 7189, it is tighter and cleaner (M standing for MilSpec NOT Mullard). The regular Sovtek is based off the Mullard EL-84 and is warmer and smoother (the traditional El-84 sound), but will die a bit more quickly. The Electro-Harmonix is the brand name, 'retail box' packaging for the regular sovtek el-84.

    Since the EL-84m costs about $50 a quad, and the regular EL-84 costs about $30 a quad, I would get the cheaper ones and change the more frequently.
     
  4. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    I still like the sound of the JJ 84 but I have two quads of sovtek 84m's that are over 12 years old I think and they still sound good with no microphonics.
     
  5. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Yep,they definately last longer for sure.I use them in my Classic 50/50 power amp since it takes 8 of them! In the V32 it doesnt seem to matter since it runs the tubes so hot. I redplated a JJ,Sovtek EL84M and unfortunately an RCA in the last 2 years of 2 day a week use. Aside from the RCA's which provided a tone a touch above the rest the JJ's sounded the best. Bob
     
  6. nomadh

    nomadh Member

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    Bob, do you run a fan on your tubes? I am and so far so good but I've only owned it a few months.
    Any opinions on the 6p14p tubes you see around? I suspect its the russian name of the sov el84 or el84m. Anyone know which one or is it something else?
    Is the el84M really as robust as the old 7189?
     
  7. 59Vampire

    59Vampire Silver Supporting Member

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    I have some Saratov manufactured 7189s which may or may not be the same as the sovtek el84m they are pretty hardy. So are the el84ms. JJs last a long time in my 18watter which will spit out a bad tube quickly. Try original teslas or mullards. you can find them
     
  8. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Ive seen these and been curious about them.

    http://www.tubemonger.com/1980s_Reflector_Russian_MIL_6P14P_EB_EV_EL84M_p/329.htm

    Ive heard that these older ones made in the 80's were quite nice sounding. Havent tried them. Im told that no tubes made today are as robust as NOS stuff. Bob
     

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