TAD EL84s?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by kdp86, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. kdp86

    kdp86 Member

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    Hey guys, I'm obviously new here. I usually hang out at the Harmony Central Amp Forum, but I'm getting a little tired of the 'SHOW US YOUR MILF' threads and the incessant 'bR00talZ!!!1!!!11' talk... sorry if that doesn't make sense, but if you've ever been there, it does. I have an Orange AD30HTC, and am looking for a little more chunk out of it, and I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with the TAD EL84s as opposed to the JJs I have in there now. I originally switched from the EHs that were in there a while ago to the JJs and liked the results, but would like to see if I can get even mor eout of my EL84 as far as chunk and full body. I'm not too concerned with top end snap or swirl, as I play a Les Paul through it exclusively and prefer smooth tones. Thanks in advance for the help, I'm glad to have tried this forum, it seems more for me.
     
  2. klaetos

    klaetos Member

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    Welcome to TGP!

    In my old amp I tried, JJ, TAD STR, New Mullard and another brand I can't remember now. Although the TAD's sounded a bit better, in my experience, they were unreliable. Even when I bought them pre-tested I still had tubes go bad too fast. Kept coming back to JJs.

    Don't forget to put in a good pre-amp tubes as well. I really like the Tungsol 12ax7 reissue.
     
  3. kdp86

    kdp86 Member

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    Thanks for the reply! I was running an all JJ setup, and just recently put in Tung Sol RI 12AX7s and LOVE them. I'm not worried as much about reliability, I'll buy extras, I'm too fanatical about my tone to know there is a better sounding tube out there and not have it (except for NOS, that I can't afford). How did they sound different from the JJ? I would like to maybe add some lows and smooth out the midrange (more vocal or fluid while playing a solo), and as long as the highs aren't accentuated, that would be fine. Do you think the TADs could do that?
     
  4. kdp86

    kdp86 Member

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  5. sleepingtiger

    sleepingtiger Supporting Member

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    Keep an eye out for vintage guitar shows in your area. I've gotten some great deals on tubes from time to time.

    Tony
     
  6. klaetos

    klaetos Member

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    While not being a huge difference in tonal sound (most El84's will sound similiar) I thought the TAD STR did take a little of the harshness out of the highs. In the amp I had them in, a Hughes and Kettner Edition Tube 20, my lead channel had a chip in it that influenced the high gain sound so I was able to get a real good singing lead tone but not sure how much was the tubes. When I played in the clean channel cranked all the way up it was just classic rock break up. Either way you will probably need to increase the gain on your lead channel and roll back the mids a bit.

    The way I played when I wanted a nice deep crunch I had to boost my bass, roll back the mids and crank it. Playing through more speakers on the floor would ad more low end as well, try a 2x12 or 4x12. When you are doing this live get a good OD pedal that has a good tone control then you can scoop the mids on the pedal and boost the amp at the same time.
     
  7. Dave LaP

    Dave LaP Member

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    I had TADS

    My TADS went bad.
     
  8. 78tsubaki

    78tsubaki Member

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    TADs did not last as long. They got brittle and harsh pretty quick.
    JJs seem to be more consistent for a longer period of time.
    That said the TADs sounded fine for a couple of weeks.
     
  9. 59Vampire

    59Vampire Silver Supporting Member

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    in my marshall 18 watt clone i find the jjs harsh and punchy. I prefer nos tesla. just my opinion.
     
  10. Axemeister

    Axemeister Member

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    I just bought some and tried them. I think they are OK. They sounded good and crisp, but I then tried a NOS set of Westinghouse Canada EL84s (Matsushita) and they sounded a bit fuller to my ears. The TADs are now waiting for the next turn.
     
  11. 59Vampire

    59Vampire Silver Supporting Member

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    Im always on the look out for NOS hexplate teslas. Even ones that are used!
     
  12. eyeball987

    eyeball987 Member

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    I asked Doug at Dougstubes.com about the diffs between the JJ's and TAD's and his reply was that the JJ's were "chunkier" and the TAD's were "warmer".

    I think that you already have what you want in the power section.
     
  13. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    I've had reliability issues with brand new Tad tubes. They sound nice, but I wasn't thrilled with the early failures.
     
  14. DøøG

    DøøG Member

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    If you can find some EI EL84s, they will give you more oomph in the lows. Unfortunate they aren't around anymore. Their 12AX7 were great as well, when you found one that wasn't microphonic.
     
  15. darkarbiter7

    darkarbiter7 Member

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    I've tried plenty of different el84's in my peavey classic.
    With all that I tried, I kept going back to JJ's. They're a good match for my particular amp. But, they will probably sound pretty good in any amp which takes them.
     
  16. jcollins

    jcollins Member

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    AFAIK, all TADs are rebranded Shuguang tubes (made in China).

    In my experience, Chinese tube in general tend to be less reliable than those made in Russia or whereever JJ's are made. Some of them sound alright though.
     

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