I've been doing a bit of tone searching with my Laney Lionheart recently, trying out different current production EL84's, and I thought I'd just post my thoughts. (Disclaimer: this test was all done subjectively, obviously with a small sample size of tubes, and all done in a single amp, so as always, YMMV.) A little about the setup I'm running: All tubes were tested in my Laney Lionheart L20H head and matching 2x12 cab. The head is a British vintage voiced parallel single ended class A amp (4xEL84), and the cab is a closed back 2x12 with Celestion Heritige G12H-30's. I have a NOS Mullard in V1 and NOS Brimar in V2 and V3. I use Klotz AC110 cables throughout. Guitars used were a Fender Strat with BareKnuckle Irish Tours and a Fender Tele with Bareknuckle Blackguard '55 Stagger pickups. The tubes: TAD EL84-STR: These are the tubes that come stock with the amp. TAD offer a range of EL84s, mostly rebranded sovtek and JJ tubes, but the STR's are a bit different. They're shorter and a little thicker than most EL84's. Sounds wise I felt they sounded really unlike what you'd expect from an EL84. They have lots of bass and mids, and less sparkle in the treble than most EL84s, quite a punchy sound that really hits you. Clean they're clear and defined, but like I said, a little lacking in treble sparkle. Overdriven they have an unusual raspy quality that's quite like a 6v6 in many ways, but sounds really musical. The tube sounds great at lower volumes, but is let down by how it sounds when at gig volumes. No matter what I tried I felt I was getting lost in the mix in a band setting. Value for Money: 7/10 Cleans: 6.5/10 Overdriven: 7.5/10 JJ EL84: Widely recommended by many makers of EL84 amps, this tube has a good reputation for having a lot of everything a good EL84 should. Sounds: lots of chime, really nice treble, but still with clear mids and enough bass (slightly less than the TAD, but plenty). This tube gets great clean sounds and cuts through in a band setting really well. The overdriven sounds are good too, punchy enough, but they keep that nice EL84 chime, but things can get a little mushy on the neck pickup. Another plus point for them is they're cheaper than either of the other two tubes I tested (JJ's cost about £38 for a quad, compared to £48 for a quad of TADs and £80 for the Gold Lions) My main gripe with them is that they didn't last as long in the amp as the TADs before starting to sound noticibly dull. Value for Money: 8/10 Cleans: 8/10 Overdriven 6.5/10 Genalex Gold Lion RI: These are made in Russia by electro-harmonix, but they're very different from EH tubes. They have black plates and heavier construction than EH tubes. I'd read that they were meant to sound great (several were calling it easily the best current production EL84, and some were saying it sounded better than a lot of NOS tubes), so I thought I'd give them a go. I was reluctant to fork out £80 for a quad of current production tubes, but I figured they might be worth it if they really did sound so good. Sound: balanced and full. They have the EL84 chime there, but it's all just a bit more refined and balanced than the JJ. It's difficult to describe, but there was just a little extra detail to chords and a little more responsiveness to the amp using these than there was using the other tubes. Overdriven they were clearer than either of the other two tubes, but sounded really lively and solid at the same time. I've yet to decide if these tubes are worth the money, I'll have to see how long they last before going dull, but they definitely sound better than the other two tubes. Value for money: 5/10 Cleans: 9/10 Overdriven: 8.5/10 Anyones experience with these or other EL84's, and feedback, would be appreciated.