EL34 vs 6v6 tubes

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by DSL74, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. DSL74

    DSL74 Member

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    What is the main sound difference between these two types of power tubes?
     
  2. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

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    The EL34 is a true power pentode with very high plate voltage.
    The 6V6 is a smaller version of the 6L6 tetrode.

    Generalizing about tone without knowing the circuit is a little risky.
     
  3. David Garner

    David Garner Member

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    Curious whether you mean EL-84s or 6L6s. EL-34s and 6L6s are bigger bottles. EL-84s and 6V6s are smaller and lower power.
     
  4. Miracle Man

    Miracle Man Member

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    I've used both in my 2204 (all JJs). The 6v6s are in it at the moment, and the biggest difference to my ears is the low end. The 6v6 just doesn't have the thump and the low notes are less defined, slightly fuzzy even at low (but equal) volumes. Other than that, it's a great substitute, but I wouldn't run 6v6s in a non master volume amps, where the low end can get really saturated. On the other hand, the Germino Masonette clips sound pretty good, but I've never played one myself. I'd say if you like to crank the gain or master, EL34s sound better, but for mid gain jangly rock at moderate volumes, the 6v6 is a great substitute.

    Take this with a grain of salt, as I've only tried both types of tubes in my 2204. They might behave differently in other amps.
     
  5. buzzp

    buzzp Member

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    big bottles = more better
     
  6. Miracle Man

    Miracle Man Member

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    I agree. Even at bedroom volume, I prefer a 100W amp to anything else. Unless it doesn't have a master volume. That's a different story...
     
  7. buzzp

    buzzp Member

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    Well my vibrolux is not as loud as your 100w amp, but I prefer that at '2' as opposed to a PR or DR at '4'
     
  8. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    It is very difficult to have a meaningful discussion on this question because most differences thought to be associate with the power tubes come more from the circuits than the actual tubes. I have an amp that can use both (Victoria Regal II), and, power differences aside, I can hear more variation going between makes of EL34 or makes of 6V6 than I can hear between some 6V6-EL34 comparisons.

    So maybe a more fruitful discussion would be to focus on what your sonic goals are. What amp(s) are you considering? And what would you like to improve (or eliminate)?

    Often it would be more to the point to speak of fixed-bias vs. cathode-bias, single-ended vs. push-pull, or types of phase inverters, or even speaker changes - rather than power tube types.

    - Thom
     

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