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Thread: What are the cleanest and loudest EL84's?

  1. #21
    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the cleanest and loudest EL84's?

    ive never heard a el84 that sounded 6v6 like or vise versa, they have fairly distinct tonal characteristics

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Rex_Rocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the cleanest and loudest EL84's?

    I find it kinda weird that the differences are pretty subtle when going between different EL84's in my EVH, yet on my Krank, there was a MASSIVE difference between power tubes. The Krank does take 6V6's, 5881's, and 6L6's, though. The Krank is cathode biased too. This EVH has an adjustable fixed bias.
    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 06-20-2019 at 07:25 PM.

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    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the cleanest and loudest EL84's?

    Cathode bias changes the sound of the tubes because they aren’t operating at their ideal setting.
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    Mojo's Minions Edgecrusher's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the cleanest and loudest EL84's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    I find it kinda weird that the differences are pretty subtle when going between different EL84's in my EVH, yet on my Krank, there was a MASSIVE difference between power tubes. The Krank does take 6V6's, 5881's, and 6L6's, though. The Krank is cathode biased too. This EVH has an adjustable fixed bias.
    It makes sense actually, in the fixed bias you are only hearing the change of 1 tube to another. In the cathode bias the amp will in a sense adjust itself to the tubes, so you are hearing the difference in tubes plus the difference in voltage draws in the circuit.
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    Mojo's Minions Edgecrusher's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the cleanest and loudest EL84's?

    Quote Originally Posted by beaubrummels View Post
    Cathode bias changes the sound of the tubes because they aren’t operating at their ideal setting.
    Fixed bias isnt necessarily ideal either, I dunno maybe ideal is a bad word choice. Cathode bias is less efficient. But depending on your application that might be ideal.

    The difference in sound is even in just how the biasing systems differ. In a cathode bias system as the signal increases and the tube draws more power, the resistor that is used on the cathode will increase the negative voltage and actually change the bias moment to moment.

    In contrast in a fixed system there is no resistor, there is a separate circuit to provide the negative voltage this voltage doesnt change moment to moment.

    This is where the big differences in sound and feel come from.
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    you better than any girlfriend, because it screams louder, it's easier to pick up, and it shuts up when you take your plug out." -Rip Glitter

  6. #26
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Rex_Rocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the cleanest and loudest EL84's?

    Interesting read on cathode vs. fixed biased. Thanks for the replies, dudes!

    I guess my next step was going to be the Sovtek EL84M, but I kinda feel a bit discouraged by the fact that there's a very minimal difference between the three types of EL84's I've tried so far. I am happy with how the TAD sounds, though, so I guess this experimentation hasn't been worthless.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    ive never heard a el84 that sounded 6v6 like or vise versa, they have fairly distinct tonal characteristics
    Yeah, I was just referring to The Tube Store's review of the TAD EL84. They mention it sounds like a 6V6. It doesn't, like, at all, lol.
    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 06-21-2019 at 05:33 AM.

  7. #27
    Mojo's Minions misterwhizzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the cleanest and loudest EL84's?

    I have heard much more difference when adjusting bias on EL84s than changing brands. I ended up using JJs because they were reliable.

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    Default Re: What are the cleanest and loudest EL84's?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterwhizzy View Post
    I have heard much more difference when adjusting bias on EL84s than changing brands. I ended up using JJs because they were reliable.
    Reliable is different than "sounds good".
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  9. #29
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Rex_Rocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the cleanest and loudest EL84's?

    I was recording a test using all three pairs of EL84's I had, and the JJ's blew up, lol. One of them red plated horribly and started going up and down in volume and crackling loudly. TBH, JJ's didn't sound bad, but they were my least favorite of the three I have at hand. They were kinda like their ECC83's: kinda held-back upper mids, emphatic lower mids, and not much extension in the very low end. Not going to be buying JJ's, that's for sure, but that's just me.

    Anyone have any opinions on the Gold Lion EL84's, or maybe Sovtek EL84M's or Tung Sols?
    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 06-22-2019 at 06:12 PM.

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