Replqacement EL-84's in my Marshall 2061X

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by nolenuttt, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. nolenuttt

    nolenuttt Gold Supporting Member

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    Your recommendations? Price really not a problem, but most bang-for-the-buck is always appreciated-Max grind is also a plus-Thanks!!:JAM
     
  2. BozoTone

    BozoTone Member

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    For me, bang for the buck is going to have to be NOS Tesla's, or maybe Mike at KCA will have some Amperex's whick I think would be killer in that amp. If you want new prod., try EH.....
    BZT
     
  3. SLG

    SLG Member

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    The best sounding EL84's for the money are the NOS Polam/Telam. These are getting more difficult to find, but for $50 a pair they would be my first choice. Second choice would be the NOS Tesla (not JJ). Third choice would be the latest JJ EL84. My fourth choice would be some NOS Russian. The most important point would be to buy your tubes from a reputable seller who thoroughly tests the tubes and stands behind them if there are any problems.

    There are lots of used Mullards, Telefunkens, Amperex Bugle Boys, etc. floating around used, but I hesitate to recommend them. You have about a 50-50 chance the tubes will be as advertised (correct manufacturer, proper match, plenty of life). I stopped buying used tubes unless I know the seller. IMO it's not worth the hassle of getting substandard tubes, and installing them in your amp.
     
  4. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Phillips at $50 are hard to beat.
     
  5. Liquid Sunshine

    Liquid Sunshine Member

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    I have to tell you I had a matched pair of Polam EL84 and they sounded much better than the JJ's. But these NOS Philips USA ECG EL84's (yellow boxes) are very rich sounding and overdrive great and I like them better. Mike at KCA has Tesla's at a great price. I have Philips Miniwatt and Mullard EL84's coming in 4 - 5 days. There is a matched set pair of NOS Mullard EL84 on ebay for $88 right now. Plus there is another ebayer I get them from that has Philips for $48 a single who can match them.
     
  6. pepperco

    pepperco Member

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    I'll be danged if I'm going to spend 100 dollars on a set
    of NOS power tubes for a HOT running amp that is by
    all accounts a tube eater.

    I clearly do not subscribe to the cork sniffer mentality
    when it comes to power tubes. To me it would be like
    an alchoholic who insisted on drinking Dom Perignon
    only. When a bottle of Jack Daniels will do the same
    job better and cheaper.

    My goal is to find a serviceable set of PRODUCTION
    power tubes, that are cheap and readily available.
    In 18 monthes with the 2061x I have been torturing
    new JJ tubes. The factory set (JJ) lasted about 6 monthes.
    Since then I have bought 4 sets of JJ's. Which have
    been......Okay, servicable. One of the new JJ's did
    fry after about 20 minutes though. Poof, toasted.
     
  7. BozoTone

    BozoTone Member

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    pepperco, several reasons why I don't feel there is much cork sniffery in recommending NOS or good, old glass. He states money isn't really a problem and didn't reccomend any big dollar tubes. The older production bulbs, by in large, tend to outlive new production helping to offset cost...1 set vs 2-3. TONE. I have yet to hear any new 84's that have the charater of the older brats. I do like the EH's best of the new stuff and recomended them...:D...
    BZT
     
  8. pepperco

    pepperco Member

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    I would love to try some cool old Mullards in mine.
    But for many reasons, othere than tone and price
    I have decided to look at newer tubes.
    Among the reasons,

    1-Availability
    2-Consistency

    Lets say I find the perfect set of EL 84's that cost 80 bucks.
    There is no garuntee they will last longer than current production
    tubes. Only the chance or probability they will last longer. I would
    feel much worse about toasting a pair of expensive tubes than
    a set of cheapies. Also, if they do last, what are my chances
    of finding ANOTHER set like that in say 6 monthes.

    Apparently there is a shortage of great old NOS tubes.
    Lucky there is not a shortage of people trying to sell them.:YinYang

    I need to know I can reach in my back pocket and pull out
    a pair of EL 84's that will perform at a level I am familiar with.
    Tonally, consistant. Even if I have to sacrifice a little tone,
    or longevity. So when I do toast a pair, I have another set
    ready to roll. Right now I have a pair of JJ's that I have
    burned in "known good" with a lot of life left in them.
    I pulled them from my amp and have tucked back inside the
    head case for a quick change.

    The 2061x runs so hot, I don't even bother screwing the back
    panel on, when I'm running the amp I pull the panel off, it also
    makes it more convienant to swap out my crappy tubes.
    Good thing they are cheap !!:)
     
  9. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    If you play the 2061X at full volume (where it sounds best) a lot, you're going to eat through power tubes. I'd avoid NOS for that reason alone - you'll go broke :)

    I put modern JJs in mine, sounded great.

    --chiba
     
  10. raz

    raz Member

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    Yes. But I'd recommend trying a set of NOS Phillips 7189's anyway, just for fun. It's a really, really nice sound.
     
  11. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    I had Phillips in my Top Hat CR and bought a pair of Mullards, in that amp and to my ears (and Greg's HeeBGB) it was very close. The Mullards stayed clearer longer into distortion without any fizz and they just felt better to me, seemed to have a little more depth. If I hadn't gotten a sweet deal on the Mullards I'd be happy with the Phillips for a long time. The Mullards are also THE quietest EL-84 I have ever had in that amp, I friggin hate tube rattle in combos.
     
  12. HeeBGB

    HeeBGB Member

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    They were GE's not Phillips...OK there DB! :D
     
  13. HeeBGB

    HeeBGB Member

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    Nolen- Your best bet is the GE's. They sound great and stand up to the heat. I can get them for about $100 a quad unmatched in original GE boxes. They are very good quality for the money!
    I have a set in my 18 watt clone with no problems for two years and they are still going strong! I can also get the Mullards unmatched in original military boxes. They are about $300 a quad and are drying up fast!
     
  14. joek86

    joek86 Supporting Member

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    What are you using for preamp tubes?

    Joe
     
  15. nolenuttt

    nolenuttt Gold Supporting Member

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    Joe-I've got the stock preamp tubes as from the factory-If you've got ideas for replacing these, I'd be very interested-:dude :RoCkIn
     
  16. nolenuttt

    nolenuttt Gold Supporting Member

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    What about Ei gold pins? I see a couple of matched sets on EvilBay?
     
  17. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    I know I have a Mullard in V1 and an RFT in the PI, not sure on V2, might be a tele smoothe plate.
     
  18. joek86

    joek86 Supporting Member

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    I have a Mullard CV4004 in V1, an EI in V2 and a Tung Sol in the 3rd slot
    I also JJ ECC803S in V1

    I have been using EH power, JJ and have some Tesla's on the way!

    I also have some Ei Gold pins, but they seem a little too bright and Jangley.

    Joe
     

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