EF-86 in a combo, is it a bad idea?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by OrangeAD30TC, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. OrangeAD30TC

    OrangeAD30TC The venerable H.W.

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    I am patiently waiting for my Hayseed 30 from rob. I spoke with him about the amp about a couple weeks ago. Originally I was going to go with a head and cab but I have switched to the Combo idea. I am wondering if I should change back because I have heard about EF-86 tubes going microphonic in combos. Does anyone have any experience or opinions is it worth going with the head and combo.
     
  2. fizbin

    fizbin Member

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    I'm not going to verify other than I've heard it can be problematic.

    I can say that I prefer heads because:
    1. Less vibration on all the components including tubes
    2. I can switch out speaker combinations/cabs more easily
    3. Combos can be damn heavy and awkward, which to me completely offsets the convenience of the all-in-one package concept of a combo
     
  3. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    There's an awful lot of combos out there with EF86's in them, so I think it's fine. I have heard that they rattle quite a bit, so most people put tube dampers on them, and some (65 Amps) come completely encased in a rubber cover for that reason.

    I have heard the new production EF86s... ALL of them... can't hold a candle to NOS & NOS are far more durable & less prone to microphonics.
     
  4. e-z

    e-z Member

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    I've had one in my DC-30 for eleven years with no problem.
     
  5. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    EF-86 in a combo, is it a bad idea?

    Worst idea ever. Tubes, which don't like to be vibrated, were never meant to be located within 12 inches of something that will make them vibrate.

    X100 for EF86s which are EXTREMELY sensitive to vibration.
     
  6. mprvise

    mprvise Member

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    I can't seem to keep them in my JJ-30. Just ordered a few NOS from Blue Strat in hopes they will last a little longer. It's a shame, because the JJ is such a great sounding amp when it's working right.
     
  7. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    And yet there are combo Bad Cats, Matchless, Vox, 65 Amps, etc... with EF86s in them...everywhere.

    (not disagreeing with you, just pointing out the apparent popularity of the "EF86 combo"). I haven't read too many complaints from owners...?
     
  8. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    I hear the complaints all the time.:AOK
     
  9. cugel

    cugel Member

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    never had a problem in my 18watt, lucky i guess
     
  10. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Very bad idea. The reason Vox originally had to redesign the AC30 after one year in production, and that was when the very best EF86s in history were readily available new.
     
  11. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    Love my London Combo, but finding a good EF86 is a bitch if you play loud...
     
  12. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    EF86s are only part of the problem, it's also the design of the amp;)
     
  13. farlowhigh

    farlowhigh Member

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    I don't have lots of experience with EF86s but I did have the Vox AC15HW combo for a while and I did find the EF86 to be noisy. I eventually sold the amp partly because of it. The NOS Dario I bought from Mike at KCA helped but I can see that the EF86 can be problematic in a combo. I now have an EF86 in my Top Hat Vanderbilt 33 head and it has not been a problem. I did get a little rattle and noise with a new production EF86 but once I switched to the Dario NOS tube, it has behaved perfectly well for the last year or so.

    fwiw I mostly buy amp heads now in part because of the better insulation against tube rattle and the greater flexibility with speaker and cab pairings...

    I haven't had any problems with rattle with some of my tube combos that don't have the EF86. The Cowtipper has been fine as has been the Maz Jr and the Savage Macht 6.

    Eric
     
  14. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    I had a Dr Z Z28 combo once that was KILLER. Except I was changing EF86s out every few months due to severe rattle and/or microphonics. I tried expensive NOS ones and new stock ones. Man... that tube is the reason for great dynamics, but it just couldn't stand up to alot of playing time.
     
  15. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    For the Tophat Supreme 16 Head I must of gone through 25 different EF 86's from current to NOS. Mullard long plates where great 2 out of two times right on the edge. the other fave I have is a Telefunken and a Phillips. The Tesla's were a great bang for the buck untill I bought a handfull from Mike and he raised the price.:D:puh:BITCH:FM:moon

    I like my EF86's right on the edge of being microphonic but I dont like cocktail glass rattle. I found O ring dampers take something away from them so I use a Audiofool damper thet works great for around 14 bucks

    http://herbiesaudiolab.home.att.net/

    I'd go with the head:jo

    ENJoY ThE MuSiC
    GrooVey RecOrds
     
  16. imonabuss

    imonabuss Supporting Member

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    I have a Maz18 Dr. Z 2x10 combo with a LOT of time on it, never had an issue.
     
  17. OrangeAD30TC

    OrangeAD30TC The venerable H.W.

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    Looks like I might go with the head just for safety reasons.
     
  18. fizbin

    fizbin Member

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    Yup, a head and a 2x12. More modular. More safe. No less portable really. Looks purty. Everyone wins. Yay. :dude
     

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