Smoothest el84 tube

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by bluesking55, May 7, 2016.

  1. bluesking55

    bluesking55 Supporting Member

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    Could be wrong but el84's are harshest of most power tubes. What is the smoothest.
    Im getting a v-22 Bugera for home use.. got preamp tubes I can play with
    Also could be wrong, are JJ's el84's harsh.. had many amps and def will open a amp up but..
     
  2. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    New production: TAD
    NOS: Tungsram
     
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  3. bluesking55

    bluesking55 Supporting Member

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  4. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

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    Is the amp cathode or fixed bias? Often EL-84's are biased way hot, which contributes to their perceived harshness.
     
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  5. johnkoz

    johnkoz Supporting Member

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    v22 = cathode...
     
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  6. Malcolm Irving

    Malcolm Irving Member

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    Also, by power tube standards, EL84s are relatively 'high gain'. It only takes about a 15V swing to drive them into clipping. This means that a typical phase inverter can massively overdrive EL84 output tubes.
     
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  7. WillLane

    WillLane Member

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    Interesting. I put a Tungsol 12AT7 in an AC30C2 in V3 and it seems to be reasonably smoother, especially with a clean boost in the effects loop. I also started to keep the preamp gain lower than I had it with a 12AX7 at that time too, so make of that what you will... :p

    Is the V22 "Vox-Voiced?" The description I read on it from MF reads like it is.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
  8. bluesking55

    bluesking55 Supporting Member

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    Is the V22 "Vox-Voiced?" The description I read on it from MF reads like it is.

    iVE HAD 2, 1 SUCKED BUT IDK..SOUNDS GREAT WITH A TELE THO
     
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  9. WillLane

    WillLane Member

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    ...

    :confused
     
  10. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    hmm...I think the amp design has more to do with it. There used to be a guy who called them buzz bottles. I'm not an expert, but the 18 Watt group proved him wrong. The most obvious differences are B+ and iron. Keeping B+ below 340V is probably helpful. There are lots of 400V designs so you get more power. Those are probably better off as clean platforms. hth
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2016
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  11. Avatar Tech

    Avatar Tech Member

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    Sovtek el84's are usually warmer than JJ. Same price.
     
  12. XmasTree

    XmasTree Member

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    i have a V22 and have used JJs the whole time
    I've been through a whole bunch of sets. they work well and sound good.
    i've never considered them harsh. if i did, i wouldn't use them
     
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  13. cap217

    cap217 Supporting Member

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    What position? V3? I didn't realize that a at7 was ok In v3 on a vox amp.
     
  14. WillLane

    WillLane Member

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    Yes, V3. From what I understand, reduced-gain tube counterparts are generally okay in the "normal-gain" inputs. So you can put any 12A*7 in a 12AX7 socket. The amp will react differently but nothing will blow up. Of course this is not a hard and fast rule. And I am not sure about the other way around; putting a 12AX7 in a 12AT7 socket, for example.

    At least my VOX hasn't had any issues yet... :messedup
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
  15. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Which is why trying to decide on anything subjective based on user reviews is virtually pointless.
     
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  16. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    It depends on the situation. There are no generalizations that cover every instance. It's important to realize that there's a lot more different about 2 of these "similar tubes with different gain" than just gain.
     
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  17. cap217

    cap217 Supporting Member

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    Mike,

    What do you recommed for el84 and V1-3 in a wreck or bruno or any ac30 style amp? I am looking for big low end, chime but not harsh, no ugly mids, reliable, and clean headroom.

    Also, how does the sovtek el84m compare to a 7189?
     
  18. pdf64

    pdf64 Member

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    A 100k plate resistor will dissipate 0.5 watt with only 223V across it; and it's poor practice to run such parts close to their limit on a continuous basis anyway.
    So if a eg 12AU7 is swapped into a circuit intended for a 12AX7, it's likely to draw more current and may stress the plate resistor.

    12AT7 are often used for reverb driver applications; the operating conditions there may be onerous for 12AX7 types.
     
  19. cap217

    cap217 Supporting Member

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    This is good technical info for sure. I know that some people put a 12au7 into V1 but I never heard of v3. I guess I am curious about the difference a tube makes in v3 phase inverter because I always looked for a quiet one and left it at that. I never swapped much.

    Does v3 need to be balanced in an ac30?
     
  20. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    A lot of those characteristics are inherent in the design of the amp and tubes will only contribute 10%...which CAN be significant, but won't change the character of the amp.

    TAD or NOS Tungsram EL84s, NOS GE, NOS RCA or NOS Mullard 12AX7s.
     
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