Recommend the best overall current production EL84

johnspeck

Member
Messages
1,264
I've seen some of the older threads, but I'd like to get some current info from folks with real-world experience... I usually get my tubes from Mike at KCA, so maybe he'll chime in, but I posted here to get some other viewpoints as well.

Looking for the best overall current-production EL-84. I'm playing a cathode biased AC30 variant, run at full volume. No harsh treble/white noise when overdriven HARD, tight bottom end, good reliability...Possible?

If not, what are the best bang-for-buck NOS choices that'll get me the performance I'm looking for? I can't afford $400+ for 1 quad currently, and ideally I need at least two sets for the next few months of touring.


Thanks in advance!
 

VinceM

Member
Messages
699
You might want to post this on the amp forum (if you didn't already) - Mike usually hangs out there. It seems like that's where most of the tube-talk is at TGP.
 

Dave

Member
Messages
3,550
In past threads on this subject everyone seems to like the JJs best, followed by the TADs. I tend to agree.
 

DavidH

Member
Messages
2,369
JJs honestly sound fine in the amps i've tried them in.I stopped bothering with NOS for EL84s.Likewise with 6v6s.
 

Teahead

Member
Messages
1,375
JJ EL84s sound fine and dandy, but they went downhill quickly in my cranked AC30. I was soon dealing with rattles and a general loss of performance after maybe two dozen hours of use.

Slighly Used NOS Sylvania Black & Grey Plates are $110 for a matched quad from www.tejastubes.com and they sound as good as anything I've ever used in my AC30 and I have splashed out on $400 quads before. Just bought a pair for my 18w plexi but my first quad is still going strong in my Vox and they've seen several months of hard cranking. Great value tubes.
 

onetubetone

Member
Messages
177
Yeah, I got a quad of GE's from some of their last production runs in the early 80s. Those definitely beat out the JJs in volume and have a more articulate tone when cranked. However, the JJs do have a nice fat sound which rounds out EL84 amps.
 

godotzilla

Member
Messages
869
Their quality control is for total crap, but I found the Ei's to have the best chime and classic Vox vibe. Lord Valve used to sift through his batches and hand-pick the best for sale, but I recall him complaining about the increasing failure rate of this brand.

I was fortunate enough to happen upon a good stash of NOS Tesla EL84s, so I haven't even considered new production tubes for the last 3 years (and it's been pretty blissful, I might add)
 
Messages
2,703
I've tried current production JJ's, EI, Electro Harmonix, Groove Tubes...out of the brands I've tried I keep coming back to JJ's for reliability as well as the sound. I also really liked the EI's for bright and chimey, but as someone else stated I've had some problems with them.
 




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