Best NOS EL84s?

phyrexia

Member
Messages
507
Hi everybody. The longer I play this new AC15CC1X I got the closer I get to keeping it. What are some good NOS EL84s to try? Are there any new ones that are worthwhile?

I'm looking at KCA, Mullard duet for $200!! Are they $100 better than, say, the GEs, or other american tubes?
 

TheGuildedAge

Member
Messages
13,075
I had NOS Philips Miniwatts, but am now using JJ from Eurotubes. Just didn't heare nough of a difference.
 

Teahead

Member
Messages
1,375
I've tried Brimars, Philips, Teslas, Tungsram, Sylvania and probably a few others that my AC30 has toasted into oblivion over the years. The Brimars were very nice indeed, such a great warm clean tone, but unfortunately they were also the most expensive and as such I couldn't justify the marginal difference in tone. Tesla, not JJ, are great sounding valves and really make the most of the Vox chime.

TejasTubes have matched pairs of NOS Sylvania for $55, I have tried a quad of these in my AC30 and a pair in my Cornell Plexi. They are as good as any other NOS valve I've heard in my amps and have outlasted many, considering that they are excellent value indeed.
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,152
Are they $100 better than, say, the GEs, or other american tubes?
Depends on the person. To some people the last 10% of tone is worth almost any amount.

The fact that you're asking the question would lead me to recommend the GE's. ;)
 

mkg

Member
Messages
1,795
Teahead, I checked out the Tejastubes site, those Sylvanias are listed as slightly used, not NOS...that's not to say they're not good tubes nor is it meant as any kind of knock on Tejastubes, just to say we should compare apples to apples, so to speak.
I just recently got a matched pair of NOS GE 6BQ5/EL84s from Mike at KCA for my Goodsell Super 17. They're a definite improvement over the EHs that come stock with the amp.
Eventually I'd like to try RCAs and Sylvanias, maybe even Mullards and/or Amperex if I hit the lottery...
 

slider313

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,208
Best is subjective as to what amp the tubes are being used in and to what the player wants to hear. That said, I'm digging RCA 7189's in my Goodsell Super 17. JJ EL84's sound good in this amp also. The new Mullard EL84 sounded dull, boxey and overall flat.
 

go7

Member
Messages
2,499
NOS Tesla Rosznov, Maybe the last reasonable deal in nos tubes.Also their E83CC [12ax7] is a wonderful tube. If you can`t hear the difference no sweat the JJ EL 84 sounds nice you just won`t get the mileage. Enjoy!
 

Teahead

Member
Messages
1,375
Teahead, I checked out the Tejastubes site, those Sylvanias are listed as slightly used, not NOS...that's not to say they're not good tubes nor is it meant as any kind of knock on Tejastubes, just to say we should compare apples to apples, so to speak.
...
My apologies, that makes them not quite as great a deal I suppose, but nonetheless mine have lasted well and continue to sound excellent. In fact I ordered more last night.

Whilst we're, kind of, on the topic. Used valves, or "pulls" were exactly how I started to dabble in out of production EL84s. Terry Kilgore hipped me to all kinds of great stuff that came in generic boxes and looked rather worn, but would improve the sound of my amp and outlast the GTs and JJs I was using.

After sampling these I was better informed when choosing to spend on actual NOS, rather than just taking a shot in the dark or garnering opinion. Sorry if this is a tangent, it just seemed relevant following my mistake in the previous post. :eek:
 

mkg

Member
Messages
1,795
My apologies, that makes them not quite as great a deal I suppose, but nonetheless mine have lasted well and continue to sound excellent. In fact I ordered more last night.

Whilst we're, kind of, on the topic. Used valves, or "pulls" were exactly how I started to dabble in out of production EL84s. Terry Kilgore hipped me to all kinds of great stuff that came in generic boxes and looked rather worn, but would improve the sound of my amp and outlast the GTs and JJs I was using.

After sampling these I was better informed when choosing to spend on actual NOS, rather than just taking a shot in the dark or garnering opinion. Sorry if this is a tangent, it just seemed relevant following my mistake in the previous post. :eek:
I hear you loud and clear, I've done much the same thing...experimented with pulls and used stuff wherever and whenever I could find it just to learn likes and dislikes.
I'm interested to hear more about the Sylvanias...have you used greyplates and blackplates, and if so, do you have a preference?

:BEER
 

Teahead

Member
Messages
1,375
The quad I have is made up of greyplates and they arrived looking brand new, the "light use" had left no visible evidence at all. I was sufficiently impressed with them to take a chance on a pair of Sylvania BP 12AX7s, which sound great in my AC30 but unfortunately proved too microphonic for V1 of the Cornell Plexi.
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,152
Thanks for reminding me to start digging into my lightly used EL84s. I've got quite a pile including Mullards.
 

sickboy79

Member
Messages
13,004
I"ve got NOS JAN Philips in my Matchless HC-30 head, and NOS Tesla in my Budda. Both get a bug thumbs up over other new production EL84s I've used (although, I do like JJs). I can't really compare the two against each other because I haven't tried both sets in the same amp. But, both are reasonably priced and very toneful.
 




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