Low end: EL84 vs EL34

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by gulliver, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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  2. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    The EL34 is twice the wattage of an EL84. Lower frequencies require more power than higher frequencies. Do the math.... ;)
     
  3. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Riff ain't wrong, but power handling is just half of it. 4xEL84 can generate about the same power for the low end as 2xEL34.

    It also depends on how the amp is voiced in the pre-amp, the transformers, and then the type of speakers used.

    Good bottom end on the Mesa Rocket 44, and on the Matchless DC30 and the Peavey Classic 50. All are 4xEL84 amps.

    Kiwi
     
  4. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Right.....you did the math......;)
     
  5. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    I'm talking apples and apples, let's say both are 50 watt amps...

    I've owned 6L6 amps and now use an EL84 amp ... all with good bottom. I tried EL34s in one 6L6 amp for all of one day and switched back because the sound was radically different ... highs were very high and the bottom end was truncated. There's no question the 6L6 has more bottom ... am I wrong? ...and they pump out about the same power.
     
  6. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Both el34's and 6l6's and probably el84/6bq5's have been use in hi-fi amps designed to be reasonably linear, so I would say designing the circuit around the output tube is more important than simply swapping tubes to compare more and less bass, and expecting good results. Of course, in guitar amps, the mismatch may be what YOU want but not what the designer was aiming for.
     
  7. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    I dunno, I've always equated fat tube bottles with fat tone.
     
  8. JamesPeters

    JamesPeters Member

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    If the amp was meant for 6L6s, then you were probably giving the EL34s nearly twice the impedance they were meant to see. That will affect your judgement.
     
  9. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    I've had my amp 4 X El84's right beside a plexi RI. The plexi had a bit more thump on the bottom end, but the 4xel84 amp had better detail and articulation. I figured the plexi RI would of won, go figure.:confused:
     
  10. Luke V

    Luke V Member

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    Being a strat guy, I'll tell you an el34 is definitely fatter. I love el84 amps but lead tones are a little too thin for me. It may be just my touch and style, but that's what I hear.
     
  11. JamesPeters

    JamesPeters Member

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    Keep in mind a lot of amps (especially newer/less expensive amps) with EL84s or 6V6s tend to use smaller output transformers and that limits the headroom, 3D character, and bass. Case in point, a Laney combo a friend owns. It sounds nice and all but for 4xEL84 it sure doesn't have a lot of thump. The OT in it is really small though. I tend to use OTs that are about twice that size in my 2x6V6 amps. As a result my 2x6V6 amps have a lot more bass and more headroom than that Laney is capable of. (Of course 6V6s have a different sound from EL84s but you get the idea.)

    So to really know what the EL84s are capable of, you'd have to hear an amp designed to get the most from them in terms of headroom and bass. The OT is a big factor in this, but not the only one.
     
  12. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    Overall I'm happy with my 4xEL84tone and volume levels for now. I couldn't use a big whoppin' 4xEL34 amp where I play anyways. It's all in what ya' like.:)
     
  13. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    The 6L6 amp voicing has more to do with that than the tube choice.

    Rivera makes many EL34 amps which have tons of bottom, and are widely described as dark sounding. Bogner makes EL34 amps which have no lack of bottom and are also frequently described as dark sounding.

    There's a lot of other stuff in the amp that affects the EQ than just the tubes.
     
  14. Roe

    Roe Member

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    EL84's tend to have poor (deep) bass response. Sounds like a compressed fart, too little headroom and punch.
    I suppose that komet's el84 amp is a exception though!
     
  15. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    You need one of these!!

    [​IMG]

    That'll get yer booty shakin.

    That amp still gets me physically excited, look at those transformers!
     
  16. Roe

    Roe Member

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    3" transformer! that's something. I've actually thought about buying one of those for a half year. need some more money first.
     
  17. Swain

    Swain Member

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    Gotta say, that my Budda Twinmaster 2X10 combo has full, tight bass. It seems to thump more than my friend's Marshall. And the Marshall is running through a 2 X 12 cab.
     
  18. Roccaforte Amps

    Roccaforte Amps Member

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    Its not the tube, its the circuit its sitting in.'
     
  19. Swain

    Swain Member

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    What is it about the Twinmaster, that gives it such a tight, thumping bass? The circuit? The tone stack? I don't know much, on the tech side. (obviously! :D ).
     
  20. dbeeman

    dbeeman Gold Supporting Member

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    and if you don't believe it, play a Rockie - it will thump you
     

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