EL34

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic. Read 533 times.

mix4fix

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1094
  • Audiophile Minion
EL34
« on: 13 Aug 2019, 06:12 am »
Any opinions/experiences on different EL34's?

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8980
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: EL34
« Reply #1 on: 13 Aug 2019, 10:38 am »
Cheap enough, but very warm sounding.  Prefer uncolored sound.

FullRangeMan

  • Volunteer
  • Posts: 12056
  • All Tweeters look like a target, then shoot them!
    • Never go to a psychiatrist, adopt a straycat or dog. On the street they live only two years average.
Re: EL34
« Reply #2 on: 13 Aug 2019, 11:38 am »
Cheap enough, but very warm sounding.
With EI OPT.
Prefer uncolored sound.
Change the OPT to C core Hi-B

musicdre

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 60
  • diggin' vinyl and tubes.
Re: EL34
« Reply #3 on: 13 Aug 2019, 12:14 pm »
imho EL34s generally provide good pleasing sound - very "tube-y."  there are significant differences: vintage vs new, british vs american, thin bottles vs fat, etc.  the equipment, system, room, music selection and personal taste are such variables, that "shootout" results and rave posts can not be definitive. 

in the spirit of your inquiry - i'll state that ive had good results with vintage american fat bottles and european thin bottles.  and with new kt-77s - if you consider those an EL34.

mix4fix

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1094
  • Audiophile Minion
Re: EL34
« Reply #4 on: 13 Aug 2019, 02:47 pm »

RPM123

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 457
Re: EL34
« Reply #5 on: 13 Aug 2019, 03:38 pm »
I rolled Sophia Electric El34's into a AVA Ultravalve that had stock Electroharmonix 6CA7 tubes and they made an across the board improvement. Currently, I have an EAR 534 that came with EH EL34's and I recently replaced them with cryo'd Genalex KT77's. That change made a significant improvement. (I really wanted to try the Sophia's, but the EAR uses 8 tubes and they would cost more than I was willing to spend.) Generally, EL34's, KT77's and 6CA7's can be interchanged on most amps. The KT77's however seem to be getting the most "buzz" from vendors.

From the Tubes for amps website:

"Current production EL34 tubes are true to the original Mullard pentode design. Likewise, current production 6CA7 are beam forming tetrode like the original Sylvania design. Tube manufacturers also re-issued KT77 in recent years. The internal construction of current production KT77 resembles that of classic KT77.

This makes current production EL34, 6CA7 and KT77 all sound noticeably different. This allows us to try and pick the one that suits our tastes.

Current production EL34 tubes are true to the original Mullard pentode design. Likewise, current production 6CA7 are beam forming tetrode like the original Sylvania design. Tube manufacturers also re-issued KT77 in recent years. The internal construction of current production KT77 resembles that of classic KT77.

This makes current production EL34, 6CA7 and KT77 all sound noticeably different. This allows us to try and pick the one that suits our tastes."

abd1

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 172
    • DailyFrenchie
Re: EL34
« Reply #6 on: 13 Aug 2019, 03:48 pm »
I rolled Sophia Electric El34's into a AVA Ultravalve that had stock Electroharmonix 6CA7 tubes and they made an across the board improvement. Currently, I have an EAR 534 that came with EH EL34's and I recently replaced them with cryo'd Genalex KT77's.

I second your opinion on the Sophia Electric EL-34's and Gold Lion KT77's. I use both (not at the same time) in a Primaluna and they are my favorites by far. Great sounding tubes.

DaveC113

  • Industry Contributor
  • Posts: 4013
  • ZenWaveAudio.com
Re: EL34
« Reply #7 on: 13 Aug 2019, 04:11 pm »
Cheap enough, but very warm sounding.  Prefer uncolored sound.

Wrong, as usual...  :duh:

Some think EL34s are warm sounding but ime it's usually the driver circuit and the fact EL34s amps tend to be less expensive, so they use less than ideal circuits, power supplies and passive parts. The EL34 tube it's self is a pretty neutral amplification device and a good deal for a good tube. There should be more high end EL34 amps around imo.

My EL34 SET amp has gone up against Fi 2A3 monos and was better in all ways, because of the design of my circuit and parts selection.

To the OP, I'd go with Gold Lion KT77, with the reservation that new tubes are not as reliable. If you use a pair I'd buy a quad... but for the price the GL KT77 are excellent and far less cash than rare and expensive NOS tubes and also a lot less than modern high end tubes while having comparable performance.

For best combo of reliability, price and performance look for NOS winged-C EL34s.

Tyson

Re: EL34
« Reply #8 on: 13 Aug 2019, 04:24 pm »
I agree with Dave - the EL34 is quite a good sounding tube.  And most of the time you have the ability to dial in the sound depending on which one you use.  In my own stash of tubes I like the Amperex (Mullard) with double D getters.  Not cheap though.  Of the new production, I actually don't like the KT77, it's too dry sounding for me.  Believe me, I've tried and tried to like it but I just don't.  On the other hand, I do really like the new production Mullards.  They aren't as good as the vintage Mullards, but then again, what is?

As a dark horse candidate, I'd recommend a good new production KT66 from Gold Lion.  Those are mighty fine sounding tubes.  And they are drop-in replacements for an EL34.

Tom Bombadil

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 93
Re: EL34
« Reply #9 on: 13 Aug 2019, 06:16 pm »
I know what you mean about the KT77.  I happen to like the new production Gold Lion KT77 tubes but they are anything but warm sounding.   Good detail across the bandwidth, very clean sounding tube.  At least in my two amps.  I can understanding one considering them to be "dry."  In my amp which uses only EL34-type tubes, they sound very different from some of my vintage EL34/6CA7 tubes. 

I actually like the GL KT77 better than my 1960s Sylvania "fat boy" 6CA7s and Siemens vintage EL34s.   I consider it to be a top shelf EL34 type.
« Last Edit: 13 Aug 2019, 11:08 pm by Tom Bombadil »

SlushPuppy

Re: EL34
« Reply #10 on: 13 Aug 2019, 10:04 pm »
I did a recent comparison between two sets of EL34's (Stock PrimaLuna and new issue Mullards), Gold Lion KT-77's, and Tung-Sol KT-150's, and the KT-77's beat out all the others in my PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium HP Integrated. They are very detailed without being bright or dry sounding. Nice weight in the upper bass that makes stand up bass sound incredibly real! I sold the KT-150's and Mullards and am keeping the KT-77's for the long haul. They did take a long time to break in and get to my happy place. Listening to "Small Town" by Bill Frisell on Qobuz right now (96/24) and it sounds magical! I have no desire to upgrade a damn thing.

System: Intel NUC - PrimaLuna EVO 100 tube DAC - PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium HP Integrated - GoldenEar Triton One.R's


Cheers! and Happy Listening!

Slush

FullRangeMan

  • Volunteer
  • Posts: 12056
  • All Tweeters look like a target, then shoot them!
    • Never go to a psychiatrist, adopt a straycat or dog. On the street they live only two years average.
Re: EL34
« Reply #11 on: 14 Aug 2019, 03:35 am »
I agree with Dave - the EL34 is quite a good sounding tube.  And most of the time you have the ability to dial in the sound depending on which one you use.  In my own stash of tubes I like the Amperex (Mullard) with double D getters.  Not cheap though.  Of the new production, I actually don't like the KT77, it's too dry sounding for me.  Believe me, I've tried and tried to like it but I just don't.  On the other hand, I do really like the new production Mullards.  They aren't as good as the vintage Mullards, but then again, what is?

As a dark horse candidate, I'd recommend a good new production KT66 from Gold Lion.  Those are mighty fine sounding tubes.  And they are drop-in replacements for an EL34.
+1
EL34 is versatile tube it can work as real Triode due the independent grid/screen.
In other thread on tubes a AC member informed KT77 sounded as Transistor in his amp which is not bad, just a different flavor available to the audiophiles.

KT66 is a very linear tube and dont overdrive in guitar amps, its all about hi-fi sound.

Tom Bombadil

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 93
Re: EL34
« Reply #12 on: 14 Aug 2019, 05:51 am »
+1
EL34 is versatile tube it can work as real Triode due the independent grid/screen.
In other thread on tubes a AC member informed KT77 sounded as Transistor in his amp which is not bad, just a different flavor available to the audiophiles.

KT66 is a very linear tube and dont overdrive in guitar amps, its all about hi-fi sound.

I've read 2 or 3 others who felt that KT77s sounded like solid state.  I don't think that is true at all.   I have both JJ and GL KT77 tubes and use them in two different tube amps.  One single-ended and the other a PP in triode operation.   They sound very good in both, just not overly warm.   My speakers excel at imaging and throwing up a huge soundstage.  The KT77s do this very well.  Deep bass is not as deep or as well defined as a good SS amp, but it is tighter than any other EL34/6CA7 I've tried.

mix4fix

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1094
  • Audiophile Minion

Tyson

Re: EL34
« Reply #14 on: 14 Aug 2019, 06:31 am »
https://www.tubesandmore.com/search/node/el34?cats%5B0%5D=1&sort=price_low_to_high

https://www.vivatubes.com/search.php?search_query=el34&section=product

Any recommendations?

EH's are good, JJs are better, new production Tung Sols are better than the JJs and the new production Mullards are better than the Tung Sols and the Svetlana Winged C are the best of the lot.  IME.

FullRangeMan

  • Volunteer
  • Posts: 12056
  • All Tweeters look like a target, then shoot them!
    • Never go to a psychiatrist, adopt a straycat or dog. On the street they live only two years average.
Re: EL34
« Reply #15 on: 14 Aug 2019, 07:19 am »
I'm talking about the differences in the brands.

https://www.tubesandmore.com/search/node/el34?cats%5B0%5D=1&sort=price_low_to_high
This shop inform some EL34 characteristics and sound quality on the guitar amp pov.
Vacuum Tube - EL34B, Valve Art
SKU:    T-EL34B-VA   Item ID:    004851   Starting at: $13.15
Octal power tube (Max Plate Watts = 25W) EL34B(with shadow grid) is a high performance improved version of pentode EL34A to solve the problem of overheated No. 2 Grid. Maximum anode dissipation is 25W and output power of single tube is over 10W in A1 amplification mode. When used in AB1 mode, two tubes can output over 35W. It can substitute 6CA7.
==  == = = =  =
Vacuum Tube - E34L, JJ Electronics
SKU:  T-E34L-JJ   Item ID: 004827   Starting at: $13.95
The JJ Electronic E34L adds more power to a standard EL34 due to its higher grid voltage rating. This increase gives the tube more headroom and a tighter response on the low end. The wide frequency response of this tube offers excellent harmonics that work in a variety of genres ranging from the cleanest cleans to rich and aggressive breakup.
== === = = =  = =
 EL34, JJ Electronics
SKU:  T-EL34-JJ   Item ID: 004841   Starting at: $13.95
The JJ Electronic EL34 is another classic from JJ. This tube features a rugged construction leading to an incredibly reliable EL34 with astonishing tone. Overall the sound is nicely balanced with tight lows, a rich and dynamic mid range and clear highs. The JJ EL34 is a great replacement for guitar amplifiers and stereo amps as well.
=== =   === = = =
EL34 II, JJ Electronics, Pentode
SKU:  T-EL34II-JJ   Item ID: 039636  Starting at: $16.00
The JJ Electronic EL34 II is a different construction of the classic EL34 tube that offers a different tonal palette than the original. This tube has a more compact plate structure than standard EL34. The JJ EL34 II has an increased low to low-mid end with plenty of headroom to spare. This tube has a thick and tight bass response. The mids are balanced and harmonically rich with pleasantly smooth highs. The JJ EL34 II is stronger than the original but not harsh sounding in any way. When overdriven, this tube has a warm and dynamic distortion that rivals many vintage tubes.
===  = =  = =  ===
Vacuum Tube - 6CA7, JJ Electronics
SKU: T-6CA7-JJ  Item ID: 004661  Starting at: $16.45
The JJ Electronic 6CA7 is a true to form reproduction of a classic tube that will work in most EL34 amps. The 6CA7 is often considered the American cousin to the British EL34. Sonically, this tube is closer to a 6L6 than an EL34 but without the sometimes harsh high end of the 6L6. The JJ 6CA7 offers warm highs with punchy articulate mids and tight lows. Wielding even more power than a KT77, this tube is a great choice for people looking for a change in their EL34 amp’s tone or want to push their levels that much further.
= == = = = ====   =
EL34  Electro-Harmonix
SKU: T-EL34-EH   Item ID:    004840   Starting at: $17.95
Most common power pentode found in British amplifiers such as Marshall, Hiwatt, Laney, and Sound City. The EL34EH defines the classic British rock sound of the 1960s and 1970s.
== ==== = = = ==  =
E34L  JJ Electronics, Blue Glass
SKU:  T-E34L-BL-JJ  Item ID:  004828  Starting at: $18.95
The JJ Electronic E34L adds more power to a standard EL34 due to its higher grid voltage rating. This increase gives the tube more headroom and a tighter response on the low end. The wide frequency response of this tube offers excellent harmonics that work in a variety of genres ranging from the cleanest cleans to rich and aggressive breakup (guitar).
==   = = = =   ====
Vacuum Tube - 6CA7, Electro-Harmonix  Big Bottle
SKU:  T-6CA7-EH   Item ID: 004660
List Price: $25.25  Starting at: $19.95
Electro-Harmonix 6CA7 Vacuum Tube Big bottle beam-tetrode version of EL34. Perfect EL34 replacement for Musicman amplifiers.
= ==   = = = = ====
Vacuum Tube - KT77, JJ Electronics
SKU:  T-KT77-JJ  Item ID: 004874  Starting at: $19.95
IThe JJ Electronic KT77 is a reproduction of the original tubes that captures the sound that made the KT77 famous. In their typical fashion, JJ has built this tube in a solid construction that is robust and highly reliable. This tube has more headroom than a typical EL34. The low end is fat and defines with detailed and responsive mids and smooth highs. This is an excellent tube for adding more power to the sound of an EL34 amp.
==   =  = = = ====
EL34B  TAD  Tube Amp Doctor
SKU:  T-EL34B-TAD-X  Item ID: 004849  Starting at: $21.25
Octal power tube (Max Plate Watts = 25W)
Sensational new high-gain EL34 tube with a very dynamic tone. An authentic remake of the British Mullard EL34. The clear and harmonic open top end allows for great clean tone and at the same time the TAD EL34B-STR offers incredibly powerful mids and equally powerful bass. The golden control grid and especially large cooling grids guarantee maximum stability and reliability. Consequently, this EL34 provides a maximum of gain and dynamic response.
=   ==  =  = = ====
EL34B, Tung-Sol Reissue
SKU: T-EL34B-TUNG  Item ID: 004850  Starting at: $24.70
Higher impedance design with increased touch responsiveness and a unique clipping characteristic with a hint of the 6L6 sound. Made in Saratov, Russia.
===   =   = = = =  =
EL34  Groove Tubes   Matched Pair
SKU:  T-EL34M-MP-GT  Item ID: 004852  Price: $47.00
Octal power tube (Max Plate Watts = 25W) The GT EL34 is based on the original Mullard® EL34 of the '60s - the stock tube in all early Marshall® and Hiwatt® amps. Mullard produced it for about 15 years, and this is a faithful reproduction of the classic XF2 dual-getter version. It has a big, fat and well-defined tone and really “wakes up" reissue amps to perform like the originals. As close as you can get to vintage Marshall® power tube heaven.
==== = = =   = =
E34L  Groove Tubes  Matched Pair
SKU:  T-E34L-S-MP-GT  Item ID: 004829  Price: $55.00
Octal power tube (Max Plate Watts = 25W) EXCLUSIVE GT design. The heat wings attached to the plate give this version of the original EL34 15 - 20 percent more power. Interchanges in any EL34 application and stays tight and robust all the way up to full power. Highly dynamic, big low end and runs cooler for longer life. Amazing headroom, killer tone and all of the great features and characteristics of the EL34 design.
==  = ==    === = ==
Vacuum Tube - 6CA7 / EL34, Mullard, Pentode
SKU:  T-6CA7_EL34-M  Item ID:  007479  Price: $179.90
The 6CA7 is a power pentode of the glass octal type. This tube is suitable for all applications which require peak powers of up to 11 watts from a single tube or up to 100 watts from two tubes in the normal push-pull arrangement. It is equally suitable for domestic amplifiers and public address equipment.
=== ===   =  ==
EL34  Mullard Reissue
SKU:   T-EL34-MUL  Item ID:  004843  Starting at: $23.25
Copy of the XF2 Mullard EL34 of the 60s. The perfect power tube for the Dynaco ST-70 or vintage Marshall amplifiers. the best current production EL34 available Made in Saratov, Russia.

jsm71

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 194
Re: EL34
« Reply #16 on: 14 Aug 2019, 05:19 pm »
My EL34 based amp actually shipped with current Gold Lion KT77s.  I liked the clarity and punch of these, but was hoping for the super mid range that EL34s are perhaps known for.

I had some Electro-Harmonic EL34s in the box so I tried them.  The mid range was great, but I lost the high end clarity of the KT77s.

On a gamble based on a friends advice I purchased (high cost) a quad of NOS Mullard EL34 XF2s.  Worth the cost, but for me at least gives the best of both worlds.  You do need to experiment to find what you like.  An earlier post stated that picking a good match for input tubes also greatly affect the final sound.  I can't agree more.  I spent more time rolling these after locking down the Mullards.