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  • Phantasmagoria
    replied
    Originally posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    Even among the NOS EL84's, there are different-sounding ones, right? Which are the most open, least mid-focused ones? I've struggled to find EL84's that don't have as much stuffy lower mids, TBH. I like TAD EL84-STR's for that reason, but I wouldn't mind finding something that sounds along those lines, just better.

    I honestly like EL84's that are the least EL84-like.
    6P14P-EV's are probably going to be your thing then. Way more headroom w/open mids/plenty of bass & treble/harder edged (without being harsh) etc....you will be hard pressed to get them to break up at all. I prefer the regular 6P14P's (without the EV suffix) as those are more like regular EL84's & the overtones are killer..

    I have a bunch of EL84 amps and love the way they sound. Most of mine have either JJ's, regular 6P14P's or NOS RFT's (dark and low-middy like JJ's...but even thicker/warmer/better sounding...)
    Last edited by Phantasmagoria; 08-08-2020, 08:07 PM.

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  • FuseG4
    replied
    Originally posted by JMP/HBE View Post
    You can snag NOS EL-84's reasonably priced off ebay and you're not going to find a better sounding EL-84.
    I've occasionally been burned by microphonic el84s on eBay and made a decision to stop rolling the dice

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  • JMP/HBE
    replied
    Originally posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    Even among the NOS EL84's, there are different-sounding ones, right? Which are the most open, least mid-focused ones? I've struggled to find EL84's that don't have as much stuffy lower mids, TBH. I like TAD EL84-STR's for that reason, but I wouldn't mind finding something that sounds along those lines, just better.

    I honestly like EL84's that are the least EL84-like.


    You would be talking about the inherent characteristic of the EL-84 tube as a whole. Its not the worlds best tube for guitar amps. Not a fan of that tube. Rock amps in my 45 yrs experience sound the best with EL-34 British & 6L6 American. And of those there are tons of CP tubes that sound terrible.

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  • Rex_Rocker
    replied
    Originally posted by JMP/HBE View Post
    You can snag NOS EL-84's reasonably priced off ebay and you're not going to find a better sounding EL-84.
    Even among the NOS EL84's, there are different-sounding ones, right? Which are the most open, least mid-focused ones? I've struggled to find EL84's that don't have as much stuffy lower mids, TBH. I like TAD EL84-STR's for that reason, but I wouldn't mind finding something that sounds along those lines, just better.

    I honestly like EL84's that are the least EL84-like.
    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 08-08-2020, 09:14 AM.

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  • Rex_Rocker
    replied
    Originally posted by Ascension View Post

    Rex do you have a current source for the TAD STR tubes? To me they sound more like a 6V6 that most EL 84's and last a good while but I can't find them anymore are they out of production? Ran the Mullards last time in my Boogie they sound great but don't last long.
    I bought a couple of sets some months ago off a local shop. They had to order them for me, but I don't know where they got them from. I don't know if they are out of production, but I heard the Shuguang factory they are made in burnt down. I'll see if I can find the info.

    *EDIT* they say so here: https://shop.magicparts.com/

    https://audiokarma.org/forums/index....closed.896506/https://audiokarma.org/forums/index....closed.896506/

    I honestly hope they are able to pick up production sometime soon. I don't want the tubes that I like to become hard-to-find.

    BTW, these TAD STR's are the same tube as the Ruby EL84C.


    Oh, and have you tried the TAD STR blackplates? I'm curious about those. I dig EHX ant Tung Sol EL84's better than Sovtek EL84's, and they seem to be sort of along those lines of the same design, just with a different plate coating. I wonder if the TAD blackplates are even more open-sounding than the standard greyplates. I don't find the greyplates all that 6V6-like, personally, since I don't find their bottom-end is bigger than EHX, Sovtek, JJ, etc., but I do find they have a lot less clutter in the low mids and some nice airiness to the top-end.
    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 08-08-2020, 09:29 AM.

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  • JMP/HBE
    replied
    You can snag NOS EL-84's reasonably priced off ebay and you're not going to find a better sounding EL-84.

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  • Rex_Rocker
    replied
    I don't think JJ tubes are all bad. Haven't had any reliability issues with their preamp tubes. I have never had a preamp tube of theirs fail at all. Hell, ECC83S's have always had the least microphony compared to any other 12AX7 I've tried. That being said, they are definitely not my favorite when it comes to tone. Not as high-gain as everyone says they are either, IME. Their ECC803S's are pretty nice-sounding, though.

    But their power tubes have had the most failure rate out of any others I've tried. In fact, I've never had any power tube fail that wasn't a JJ. Their E34L's blew a grid resistor in my old Peavey. I've had two EL84's of theirs from different sets fail in my EVH. Their EL844's were fine, but they didn't really sound all that great. Their 6L6's have been alright, but I don't like their tone either.

    Their 6V6 sound nice. They are most open-sounding 6V6's out there. They're definitely not traditional-sounding 6V6's. I did have one blow up on me, though.

    I am not a snob when it comes to tubes. I just don't usually recommend JJ power tubes. I don't have any 6V6 amps right now, but I do dig their 6V6's.
    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 08-08-2020, 08:08 AM.

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  • Ascension
    replied
    Originally posted by JMP/HBE View Post
    Dull/stuffy/blunt adequately describes every JJ product ive ever tried along with arching/sparking & popping. Crap-o-la. Yet some people still rave about them, go figure. But some people rave about vaping and Heroin so ....
    Feel the same way about JJ's for the most part but they do have thier place as they can really tame and warm up a overly bright amp . I still hate a full set of JJ's in most amps but in the right slot in the right amp they can work well in the Pre. The PRS amps were designed to run them and in those amps and they really sound good in V1. the JJ's I have are older tested and graded though.

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  • Ascension
    replied
    Originally posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    Yes, regardless of what tubes you put in it, you need to rebias it accordingly if the amp has an adjustable fixed bias.

    There are many TAD relabeled tubes, but IME, TAD EL84-STR's are the clearest, least stuffy, most open-sounding EL84's I've tried. My EVH can easily get too low-middy, especially with the stock JJ's, but even with the brighter Sovteks or EHX's. Only the TAD's have made it sound manageable without too much stuffiness. So if you still think your amp is dull with those, I really wouldn't know what else to recommend.
    Rex do you have a current source for the TAD STR tubes? To me they sound more like a 6V6 that most EL 84's and last a good while but I can't find them anymore are they out of production? Ran the Mullards last time in my Boogie they sound great but don't last long.

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  • Erlend_G
    replied
    Yeah, ideally I'd want some tubes with alot of ... sparkle, chime, liveliness to them. Some "edge". Brash or not; I think the amplifier can be on the "dull" side of things anyway...

    happy for any tips coming in! .

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  • Erlend_G
    replied
    Originally posted by FuseG4 View Post
    The amp is cathode bias so no need to worry about power tube bias. The ht40 mkii is adjustable fixed bias but the 20 mk II is cathode bias
    thanks man!

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  • FuseG4
    replied
    Originally posted by JMP/HBE View Post
    Dull/stuffy/blunt adequately describes every JJ product ive ever tried along with arching/sparking & popping. Crap-o-la. Yet some people still rave about them, go figure. But some people rave about vaping and Heroin so ....
    You know I'm starting to feel the same way about JJ tubes

    ​​​​​​They can be dependable and some people love the sounds but I think the ecc83s is pretty stifled sounding, the 6v6 has a deeper darker voice with more headroom and that's almost never what I want from a 2 6v6 fender amp. But! I can see many people wanting that.
    And I've used the el84 a few times and they are reliable it seems but little nasal. Bright and crunchy when really going which is some people's bag but... This last time I bought el84s I tried mullard new production and they have less mids but a really pleasant warmth. Hard to describe as always but they are very musical and seem well balanced.

    Used to be able to get Japanese el84s for cheap but the internet found out and scooped them up. I might try those Russian 6p14p-ev sometime. They seem popular right now but is it all marketing?


    I haven't tried the frame grid JJ e88cc/12ax7, am interested in seeing if it is better than the ecc83s. To be honest I've never tried the long plate one either the 803cc or whatever but that's because sovtek lps has been good to me the few times I've sought out long plates

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  • FuseG4
    replied
    The amp is cathode bias so no need to worry about power tube bias. The ht40 mkii is adjustable fixed bias but the 20 mk II is cathode bias

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  • JMP/HBE
    replied
    Originally posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    They're not great. They're marginally quieter. Kinda. Sorta. But the first thing to notice with them is the tone difference. They're "smaller-sounding", meaning less highs and lows and more squishy mids.

    You do need to bias them accordingly. Colder for sure compared to actual EL84's.

    If you dig regular JJ EL84's, you might be fine. I don't, personally. They've got lots going on in the low mids with kinda laid-back upper mids, which makes them kinda dull, stuffy, and blunt compared to other EL84's IME. Not particularly bright or deep either. These follow the same footprint, but even moreso, IME.
    Dull/stuffy/blunt adequately describes every JJ product ive ever tried along with arching/sparking & popping. Crap-o-la. Yet some people still rave about them, go figure. But some people rave about vaping and Heroin so ....
    Last edited by JMP/HBE; 08-08-2020, 01:46 AM.

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  • Erlend_G
    replied
    Originally posted by AlexR View Post
    You'll have 'bias issues' with whatever you buy. As in you will have to rebias with new tubes anyhow.
    Okay.

    I don't know if my amp has adjustable bias;
    or if I'll have to buy tubes, that "fit" the amp. :o

    Tried to contact Blackstar, but I couldn't find an email adress. Just a huge bunch of "FAQ's". :/

    Thanks for the replies.

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