EL 34 tubes - what's best?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by AndreasG, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. AndreasG

    AndreasG Member

    Messages:
    1,306
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    I tried JJ Teslas and found them good sounding in my 73 Marshall. Are there better ones out there? Svetlanas, Ruby, Sovteks, EH's...not considering NOS?
     
  2. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,947
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    New Joisey
    Last time I talked to Greg Leevy he reccomended Siemens, they are NOS but they are stoopid cheap.
    The only problem with them is that they may not handle the plate voltage that a 73 SL can dish out.

    That would be a good deal if it works but I think the plate voltage on metal panel Marshals is really high. I have one, you'd think I'd have it memorized by now.

    If and when I re-tube mine I will probably get the Mullards. For the amount of time I use this amp they will last me a lifetime. My 73' 100W SL is damn near the loudest thing on god's green earth.
     
  3. LaXu

    LaXu Member

    Messages:
    2,517
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Location:
    Finland
    Out of the ones I've tried I've liked Svetlanas the most. Not Sovtek/Svetlana, but the "winged C" Svetlana. I think they go by SED in USA?
     
  4. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,023
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    What Laxu said. They go by Svetlana Electron Devices, St Petersburg Russia. "winged C" is all you really have to remember.
     
  5. AndreasG

    AndreasG Member

    Messages:
    1,306
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    "winged C".....someone states they sound more "hi-fi" with less breakup.... looking for classic Marshall sound. My Marshall is a 50-watter, used with a Hotplate and Strats, Firebirds, hardly any pedal (just an OD or Treble Booster sometimes..)
     
  6. LaXu

    LaXu Member

    Messages:
    2,517
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Location:
    Finland
    The Marshall DSL50 I had actually came with Svetlanas. I don't think they're "hi-fi" really, they have a nice warm and smooth character to me and seem to work very well in a Marshall.
     
  7. Swarty

    Swarty Member

    Messages:
    1,143
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    I like JJ E34Ls. I keep trying others; EH, Winged C, Svetlana, etc... but keep going back. They just sound more robust, especially in the top end.
     
  8. Igneous

    Igneous Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,878
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Mass.
    Ill say it again...new sensor mullards are pretty cool.--Cheers-Ig
     
  9. IPlayHamers

    IPlayHamers Member

    Messages:
    1,223
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    Colesville, MD
    +1 My 72 Marshall 50 watt loves the JJ E34Ls. I haven't found a EL34 that can compete with them and this includes vintage NOS tubes.

    There is none better IMHO.

    IPH
     
  10. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

    Messages:
    4,356
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I just got some Winged C Svets and both matched quads are microphonic and buxzzing like hell. Me no likey. I sent one set back and got a replacement and they still do it.
     
  11. iainmc

    iainmc Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    834
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle
    another +1 on the JJ's - i just changed tubes in my matchless clubman from svetlanas to JJ's & it made a noticable diffrence on some stuff we've been recording.

    /i
    p.s. also they are what fred uses in /13s (i have an rsa23) & he is usually pretty right aobut this sort of stuff...
     
  12. Roccaforte Amps

    Roccaforte Amps Member

    Messages:
    6,120
    Joined:
    May 23, 2002
    If you take a JJ EL34 and a Mullard XF2,
    you'll see how the insides look identical,
    same machining.
    That said, I think the JJ is the best sounding
    current production, but the Wing C svet
    is more reliable.
    Why I switched to the C. They sound good
    too, but the JJ is a step better tonally.
    NOS? Mullard EL34's can't be beat,
    I'm stocked for life!
     
  13. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    Messages:
    13,432
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Antipodes To All That is Sacred and Pure
    In my Allen Class Act, I prefer Svets, Chinese el34b, and winged Cs, in that order. The Chinese tube is bright in a good way, which is important since my Allen is a little on the dark side of the tonal spectrum. The Svet is very rich in harmonics, I like it very much.
     
  14. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,023
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    Interesting. No tube brand/type is immune from problems, but I haven't had this experience with over 1000 sold.
     
  15. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,147
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    5868 ft above sea level
    I'd never say that a particular tube is "best" but my favorite EL34 is a 6CA7 :)

    ...the EH version to be precise.

    But my tastes don't necessarily align with yours. They often don't with most folks around here. :)
     
  16. hipfan

    hipfan Member

    Messages:
    2,302
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2002
    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    Interesting. Doug, are you talking about JJ's regular EL34, or the bigger "E34L" that they sell. From my recollection of their construction and your comments, I would assume the former but I thought I'd ask. Thanks!
     
  17. Roccaforte Amps

    Roccaforte Amps Member

    Messages:
    6,120
    Joined:
    May 23, 2002




    Both are the same construction,
    the E34L is just a higher rated version.
    Both sound great.
     
  18. Probos

    Probos Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,182
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    I don't find the SED winged-C's to be hi-fi at all. They're very solid in the midrange with a nice bite on top. Great sounding tube.
     
  19. Igneous

    Igneous Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,878
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Mass.
    Still...I wonder why nobody talks about the new sensor el's. They are a pretty comparable tube along the likes of winged c and svet. but just with a little more.

    I just bought me two more just thinking of em.

    cheers-Ig
     
  20. jcs

    jcs Member

    Messages:
    7,338
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2002
    Location:
    on a hill
    in my 71 marshall 50 my favs;

    rft/siemens el34- rich harmonics, soft searing top end great tube if you are under 480 volts or so..

    mullard el34- i have metal base-xf1-xf2-xf3 all are monster perfectly balanced and superb clarity,these will reveal more guitar and finger nuances..what you put in is what you get out..

    sylvania and ge 6ca7-outstanding punch clarity and a bit more of a 6550 tone but still monster punchy tone,no wonder eddie van halen loved these tubes so much in his 67 plexi 100...

    early tesla el34- an outstanding mullard copy and worthy of the best amps...

    my every day tubes are rft/siemens el34 :dude
     

Share This Page