I Need EF86 Tube Help

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by ducmike, Oct 20, 2005.


  1. ducmike

    ducmike Silver Supporting Member

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    I have tried 2 Dario's, 2 Amperex's and the stock Svet in my RT66, and all are microphonic when tapped. Is it possible that something with the amp would make them seem microphonic? I thought the first Dario I got was not microphonic at first, but after trying the 2nd Dario last night, I wonder if I might have had the volume down or the attenuator on when I tapped the first time. I have tried several different tubes in the PI also, but it effects nothing. The PI seems microphonic, until I pull the V1, and then it is dead quiet when tapped. Is it just normal for EF86 tube to be slightly microphonic, and I should not worry about it?

    I have thought about a new amp, but all the other amps hat I want are EF86 pre-amps also ( Z28, 6545, and Clubman). Plus I love the tone of the RT66.

    BTW, the Dario's sound much better and warmer than the other tubes. And Mike at KCA has been very helpful and sent the 2nd Dario for me to try. I just want to get some EF86 opinions before I bother him again.
     
  2. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    IIRC they tend to be a bit microphonic. Are you having problems with squealing or are you just worried about healthy tubes?
     
  3. ducmike

    ducmike Silver Supporting Member

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    I think now it's just worried about healthy tubes. It seems like the ef86 is picking up rattles with in the amp, like the power tube retainers.
     
  4. markdurham

    markdurham Member

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    If it only happens when you tap it, I wouldn't worry about it at all. You don't tap on it when you play, do you? All preamp tubes, in the input gain spot, are microphonic when they are tapped, IME.
    If it gets microphonic when you play the amp then you got a real problem. It seems all EF86's go microphonic sooner or later from being vibrated over time. Don't set your head on the speaker cab, be careful when transporting the amp, and don't let anyone tap on your tubes. That could cause the elements of the tube to become loose, and cause the tube to go microphonic.

    The EF86, as you have already found out, just sound great in a guitar amp. They do have microphonic problems, so they will require more care. And you will have to find one that works in your amp. This is a hassle if you are moving the amp around a lot, and may not be worth the trouble. My Rt 66 doesn't have any shock mounting on the EF86 tube socket and the EF86 in it was fine until I let a friend ship it across the country to do a studio gig. It must have been dropped along the way because the EF86 was damaged internally. They are way more sensitive to vibration than the 12a*7 tubes. For a working player that can be a pain.
    markd
     
  5. ducmike

    ducmike Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the info, Mark.

    I just got a new cab, A Mojo 2061cx clone, and loaded it with Scumback 12M's, and you can actually see the head move around when it is cranked up. I noticed it because I normally set a few picks on the head, and they were just falling all over the place.This has never happened with my other cab, but the new one sounds great. I guess I need to put the head on the floor, it just looks right sitting on the cab.
     
  6. In some old Italian Geloso amps they did use some excellent non-vibrating-noval-sockets but I sill haven't found a modern replacement type.
    Regarding non-microphonic EF86s; try Ruby or TAD (www.TubeAmpDoctor.com).

    Hope this helps,

    Chris
     
  7. ducmike

    ducmike Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Chris.

    Who makes the TAD EF86?
     
  8. Killa-B

    Killa-B Member

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    I can't make a stronger statement than this: buy some cheap used Telefunken EF86 tubes from ebay. You can get 4 test-as-new teles for about 60-75 bucks.

    I used to have a DC30, and I bought maybe 25 Tele EF86 tubes, and none of them were ever microphonic. The tone is so much smoother than the Mullard or Amperex tubes too.

    I've got one that is like new that I'll send you for $15 shipped. I guarantee you'll like this tube, and if you don't I'll buy it back.
     
  9. ducmike

    ducmike Silver Supporting Member

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  10. Hi

    The TAD ones must be made by Svetlana or Reflector.
    Way less microphonic then several European NOS ones...

    keep on rockin'!
     
  11. Killa-B

    Killa-B Member

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    Try all three of these tubes...see what happens for you. Here's my prediction, and I have not tested any of these tubes. The SED/Svetlana/Sovtek tube will sound ok, but not great.

    The Tungsram will surprise you. I bought 8 from "zeitman-tubes" or something like that along with some other ECC83s and while most were very good, they did slip some very microphonic tubes in there as well. Seven out of ten were really killer tubes. Seek these, they are a bargain.

    The Tungsram EF-86 is a crunchy, raw, and high gain tube. If you compare them to the mesh plate mullard/amprex/GE EF-86, you'll likely see that the Tung kicks their azz and has a unique and wonderful high end bite. That's my take....

    The Telefunken EF-86 is a masterpiece. It has plenty of gain, but it sounds soo much more smooth and dynamic with so much lower noise floor. This tube will last forever, and the one I'm sending tests at 100%. I hope you like.

    For your 15, this is what Killa gives you.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. tlester

    tlester Member

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    Where should I buy EF86's from. I seems that not everyone sells them.

    -Tom
     
  13. ducmike

    ducmike Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks Killa. Wow, a 3 for 1 deal.:dude I'll let you know how I like them.

    .
    KCA NOS is great place to get any tube. I can't say enough about Mike's customer service. Though Killa seems to have a pretty good stash of these he might part with.
     
  14. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    We've got a large selection of GOOD ones.
     
  15. tlester

    tlester Member

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    OK Mike.... Riddle me this.... I just won on eBay a beatiful BadCat Black Cat 30R head and matching 2x12" cab. Over all, it sounds really good. However... I think it has potential to sound a bit better. According to the previous owner, the tubes are at least a year old. I haven't cracked it open to see what's in which sockets.

    On the channel with the Ef86, when the master volume is engaged and ata low level and the channel is cranked, it has this strange thin ness to it. I'm not talking about typical master volume at low volume thinness. I'm talking abou a weird kind of sound like it's caving in on it's self. Starts off with what you'd expect, then as it sustains gets a sound amlost like if you were to hold out a cord and rest a metal slide tube on the strings to mute them (best description I can come up with).

    The 12ax7 side sounds a bit better, but I've been using it for clean, not dirty.

    Could that be the sign of tubes going bad?

    Thansk,
    Thomas

    PS. Mike... I'm going to send you an e-mail... maybe you can help recommend some tubes for this amp.
     
  16. tlester

    tlester Member

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    The one on the left in the picture above is the SED/Sovtek, right? That's what I currently have for my EF86....

    -Tom
     
  17. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Without the benefit of hearing what's happening, it's pretty hard to say what's going on. As with most amp issues, a little trial and error is usually the best plan of action even for experts.
     
  18. ducmike

    ducmike Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes, the one on the left is the Sovtec. I already have one of those, but I'll let ya'll know what I think of the others after I try them. So far the Dario is my favorite.
     
  19. ducmike

    ducmike Silver Supporting Member

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    I took the amp to a jam on Sunday. It didn't exibit any noise or problems at all. I didn't even notice the ghost notes I hear when I'm by myself. In fact, Buddy Whittington plugged into it and cranked it all the way up for about 5 songs, and no problems at all. Man that amp sounded great with him playing it.
     
  20. Killa-B

    Killa-B Member

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    Did you get your tubes yet? Just wanted to make sure.
     

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