Has any one put NOS EL84's in their amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Bloomfield fan, Feb 5, 2008.


  1. Bloomfield fan

    Bloomfield fan Silver Supporting Member

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    This really goes more to newer amps. If so which brand, why and what did you think compared to the stock tubes.
     
  2. candh

    candh Member

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    NOS Tesla Roznov's in a couple of my 18 watters. Nice smooth but crunchy tones when pushed without getting harsh like a few newer brands of tubes I've tried. That said, pre's selection is far more important IMHO.
     
  3. Dave

    Dave Member

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    I got some NOS GE's after using JJ's for a long time. They're smoother than the JJ's, in the high end and the way they distort. I like them, but the JJ's weren't bad either. I'm just hoping they outlast the JJ's, which they should. If they last 2 or 3 years then they'll be worth what I paid for them.

    As candh said, I noticed a bigger difference with pre amp tubes. I'm really digging the Brimar 12AX7's.
     
  4. Bloomfield fan

    Bloomfield fan Silver Supporting Member

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    What amp do you have the Brimar in? I have been looking at that tube for weeks from KCA. I have used JJ EL4's and now have a pair of TAD's I am trying, but wonder if a pair of GE or Philips would help. It is essentially the same price for a good NOS pre amp tube or a pair of NOS EL84's.
     
  5. frank62

    frank62 Member

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    NOS Teslas in a Blues Junior. Much better than stock but not much different than the JJs. I suspect they will last longer. The JJ EL84 is a very nice current production tube at a great price point. A friend let me try a matched set of Mullards and I have to say nothing else comes close. The very best but of course at a price.
     
  6. Fireball XL5

    Fireball XL5 Supporting Member

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    I bought some NOS Tesla EL84's for my Bad Cat. They sounded good, but I preferred the tone and response of the stock JJ's in that amp.
     
  7. frank62

    frank62 Member

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    ^That's just it. Different amps like different tubes. For the money the JJ is tough to beat.
     
  8. Dave

    Dave Member

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    I have them in 4 of my amps right now; Suhr Badger, Clark Kanee Reverb, Clark Beaufort, BF Bassman. They make every amp I put them in sound better. Keep in mind my only other experience with NOS 12AX7's would be with Mullards, which are nice too, but usually more pricey. I'm far from an expert.

    Well, a good NOS 12AX7 should last a hell of a lot longer than a NOS EL84, so factor that into the bang for the buck equation. ;)
     
  9. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    I put some old stock 6BQ5's in my Crate palomino V32. I had to clip one of the pins as 1+2 were tied together unlike newer EL84's.Nobody was able to ID them here but they really added some nice fatness to the cranked sound. Bob
     
  10. FloridaSam

    FloridaSam Member

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    I bought about 10 old EL84 tubes off of Ebay about 7 years ago. They were Mullards, Telefunkens and Amperex Bugle Boys. I have used these in a bunch of amps. None have failed. I was able to find a pair that match well for my 2xEL84 amps, but recently have been using them in Class A single tube amps (Epiphone Valve Junior). I used a few in a Kalamazoo Model 2 also.

    Nothing sounds as good to me as a Mullard EL84. They just sing. Compared to a Sovtek there is no comparison.

    I love the Telefunkens in my Tube Hi-Fi. But for guitar amps the Amperex and Mullards add so much sparkle and depth to the sound I am spoiled forever. Luckily the EL84 are still available at somewhat palpable prices compared to their bigger EL34 cousins.
     
  11. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    I forgot to add that it may be important when using old EL84/6BQ5's to be aware that they may not be compatible with certain newer amps. Cant remember more than the newer EL84's dont tie pins 1 and 2 together. Bob
     
  12. Dave

    Dave Member

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    Would it be immediately apparent if they weren't compatible? What would happen?
     
  13. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    I have a TopHat Supreme 16 which sounded fantastic out of the gate with current Electro Harmonix EL 84's, EZ 81 rectifier. The pre for the EQ channel used 3 EH 12ax7's. The Tube that got me started with the swap-tronix was the EF 86 for the AC15 channel one.

    The EF 86 tube is notoriously microphonic and started acting up while I was still on my honeymoon with the Amp. it took untill this month for me to figure this all out. TopHat sent me a new current Winged C and another EH.

    AT the same time I retubed with matched NOS Mullard EL 84 and ANOS 12ax7 in V1 & V2. The Amp was at another level runing hotter with more sparkle and brighter then its already stellar sound. But The Winged C EF 86 was still stable, it didn't last long. So I put in a Dario Mini Watt

    The EF 86 has slowly deteriorated over 1 weeks and sounded poor right away now i've got an NOS RFT (Tesla)EF 86 and a 50's NOS Mullard long plate EF 86 both tested for best microphonics out of the gate in the mail.

    I'm also looking at trying some halo rings to stabilize the tube.

    I think the NOS Mullard EL 84's made a considerable immediate audible improvement and the ANOS Mullard 12ax7 tubes made the biggest tone changes. I ordered two more of those as well, they are a great value.

    Through all of this Mike K has been very helpful and patient working with me to get it right. He is very consistent in his customer service and quality control.

    As an aside today I took apart five prewar am and shortwave radio's looking for tubes. I pluged these old art deco monsters in and they fired right up. After being boxed away 30 plus years. Now I have to figure out whats worth more the radio's or the tubes.

    Best
    Groovey Records
     
  14. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I've put Mullards in a lot of amps: Traynor Guitarmate, AC30, Trace Velocette and almost all of them have sounded much better: smoother, sweeter and happier on breakup. The exception is my Gibson GA79RVT, which is relentlessly clean and sounds best with American NOS tubes.
     
  15. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    My favorite NOS EL84's are the RCA's.
     
  16. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    I've had great luck with NOS EL84's. I wish I could say the same about EL34's.

    Teslas are fantastic and Mullards are even better. I've got some CV2975's stashed away along with some lovely Shield Logo Mullards. I'm thinking I'll buy one more set to last me until I can no longer feed myself.

    EL84's rule!!!
     
  17. skrzyp

    skrzyp Supporting Member

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    NOS Teslas (from KCA and TubeMonger) in my Matchless Spitfire and Orange AD15. A definite improvement on the JJ's in my opinion.
     
  18. dorianadams

    dorianadams Member

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    I have had good luck with Jan Phillips in matchless amps. Only $90.00 a quad or so.
     
  19. zekmoe

    zekmoe Member

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    I put NOS Mullards and Briamars in my DC-30. Brutally expensive. Worth it? Still deciding. Amp sounds great, but I don't play it any more than my DR Z or Reinhardt, which combined cost less than the matchless + tubes.
     
  20. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    No sound or possibly a pretty loud hum. It's also possible to fry whatever component the amp manufacturer (INCORRECTLY) connected to pin 1 as a convenience if you leave the amp on long enough.
     

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