EL34's or 6L6's

Clickjack

Member
Messages
358
I'm thinking I'm going to pick up a Bogner Ectasy 20th Anniversary later this year. You can get them with either EL34's or 6L6's. I don't understand the difference. All I've ever had is 6L6's...
 

ronmail65

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,361
I have never played this particular amp before, but I have played many amps over the years. My general perception... On a continuum of smooth to harsh, I'd put EL34s closer to harsh and 6L6s closer to smooth. I'm not trying to say EL34s are harsh -- let's just say they're a little more aggressive and chimey, while 6L6s are a little smoother and rounded.

In an amp that is designed to accomodate 1 tube versus another, I'd imagine the differences to be more stark versus amps that are designed to accomodate both.
 

INX

Member
Messages
432
I'd put EL34s closer to harsh and 6L6s closer to smooth. I'm not trying to say EL34s are harsh -- let's just say they're a little more aggressive and chimey, while 6L6s are a little smoother and rounded.
This is the opposite of what I have experienced.
 

burner

Member
Messages
3,319
This is the opposite of what I have experienced.
Of course we also have to consider whether or not you've played through correctly biased amps to form your opinion.
I'm not saying you haven't but you know...when people give opinions on things like this sometimes we wonder if they have even heard what 'good' is. ;)

I've never played that particular bogner, but I personally I like EL34s in everything.....even my Fenders.
I guess I'm just used to the way they break up and the edge they have when they compress.
 

Smokin

Active Member
Messages
82
I've never played that particular bogner, but I personally I like EL34s in everything.....even my Fenders.
I guess I'm just used to the way they break up and the edge they have when they compress.
:waveI like 34's in everything, too. From the people I've talked to that sent their 6L6, 20th XTC's in for the conversion - they prefer the 34's in there. Killer amp for sure. IMO, 34's are perfect in Bogners, as they add some high mid bite to balance out the low-mid nature of the circuit.
 

INX

Member
Messages
432
My Zinky amp was designed around Sovtek 5881's. They suck.

So, I put JJ 6L6's in it. They sound better (more open/less bright) biased HOT (75% of 30 watts or more).

I put E34L's in, and they sounded better (less harsh upper mids) biased HOT (75% of 30 watts or more).
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,151
Of course we also have to consider whether or not you've played through correctly biased amps to form your opinion.
I'm not saying you haven't but you know...when people give opinions on things like this sometimes we wonder if they have even heard what 'good' is. ;)

I've never played that particular bogner, but I personally I like EL34s in everything.....even my Fenders.
I guess I'm just used to the way they break up and the edge they have when they compress.

This is true, but what's also true is that there is ABSOLUTELY no consensus on what sounds good. If there were, there would be nothing to discuss on this forum because there would only be one type of amp, speaker, guitar, pickup, etc.
 

5881

Member
Messages
1,100
I have never played this particular amp before, but I have played many amps over the years. My general perception... On a continuum of smooth to harsh, I'd put EL34s closer to harsh and 6L6s closer to smooth. I'm not trying to say EL34s are harsh -- let's just say they're a little more aggressive and chimey, while 6L6s are a little smoother and rounded.

In an amp that is designed to accomodate 1 tube versus another, I'd imagine the differences to be more stark versus amps that are designed to accomodate both.
I would agree. I owned a Bogner Shiva with EL34's, and now have one with 6L6's and that is certainly true with the Shivas. An huge oversimplification would be 6L6's = Fender. EL34's = Marshall.
 

WoodyTone com

Member
Messages
693
This is the opposite of what I have experienced.
Me too, though it does depend on what amps the tubes are in, how they're biased and other things I won't attempt to talk above my level about! Bottom line is that your ears are everything.
 

Primakurtz

Member
Messages
2,311
My Zinky amp was designed around Sovtek 5881's. They suck.
Interestingly, my Zinky one-off amp sports 5881's (as do Soldanos), and it is the best sounding amp I've ever heard. I think power tube type matters less than the circuit they are in.

That said... has anyone else observed that while EL34's are at their best when they are really running wide-open, 6L6's seem to still sound pretty good when turned down? This may be based on a limited sample.
 

RolloTomassi

Member
Messages
799
I like both, but tend to lean towards 6l6. I actually prefer 6l6 tube distortion through Greenbacks as opposed to the traditional EL34 through Greenback.
 

reddgeetarzan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,713
I generally prefer EL34's, especially for lead tone- I prefer 6L6's for clean tone- but in this amp I don't think you can go wrong with either- I actually have my 6L6 equipped XTC 20th for sale (personal reasons- I would never even THINK of selling it if I didn't have to!!!) in the emporiums- its killing me to think about even selling it!!!

You cannot go wrong with 6L6's in this particular setup- you won't miss having EL34's on the dirty side of this amp- I cannot imagine it sounding any better- there is a reason that the "standard" 20th XTC comes equipped with 6L6's, but go with your gut feeling- either way, you're gonna be a happy camper- these are WONDERFUL amplifiers! One of the most versatile instruments I've ever come across in all my years of playing.
 

Rev2S

Member
Messages
1,596
I am thinking about picking up a Shiva with 6L6s in it. On the Bogner site, the amps with 6L6s sounded better to me.

I had a Bad Cat with EL34s and it sounded harsh to me. Same with a Marshall I bought. That has lead me away from EL34s. Maybe the tubes were crapping out, who knows...
 

tymish

Member
Messages
237
I have one of the first run Shiva's with EL-34's I bought back in '99. Thing is when I bought it I thought I got the 6L6 version. The salesman either mixed up or gave the me wrong amp. What's funny is that I didn't know until 2 years later when it was time to replace the tubes.

Great amp, a little hard on the clean side and way too much power for most club gigs. Which is why i think the 6L6 version might be the better choice with a bit less power.Otherwise it's been rock solid other than the cooling fan started to rattle at some point.

I wish it was tube rectified. In fact an ultimate amp in my mind would be the Shiva preamp stages with an el84 power section switchable from 18 to 36 watts.

Which is why I'm using a Reinhardt 18 for most gigs now. I'll take the Shiva for an outdoor gig on a big stage.
 




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