Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 46

Thread: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

  1. #1
    Thunderbirdologist Kommerzbassist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Age
    31
    Posts
    2,333

    Default EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    Hey guys, I did a search on this topic, but I couldn't find any info on the tonal differences of those twp tubes... just that the EL84 break up earlier...

    While we're at it, does anyone know what're the tonal differences between a EL84 DSL 401 & an EL34 DSL 50?

    Thanks
    Last edited by Kommerzbassist; 10-02-2005 at 10:23 AM.

    7ender 7anboy.

  2. #2
    Mojo's Minions jmh151's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    4,985

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    The EL-84's have a very dark, spongy feel compared to EL34's. I had a DSL 401, I found it to be too dark, had no brightness, not at all a Marshall tone. I traded it in for an EL-34 based JCM 800, and that had the classic Marshall tone and crunch. EL34's are very bold

  3. #3
    Mojo's Minions jmh151's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    4,985

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    oh- and teh EL-84 based Marshall sounded closer to a Mesa Boogie Mark I than a true Marshall tone

  4. #4
    Ultimate Tone Member chill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    483

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    IMO the EL84 is a middy and bright tube, while the EL34 is more of a middy and warm tube. EL34 has more headroom and power, which will make it sound bigger and punchier, and will make the EL84 sound more compressed and less bassy by comparison. The EL84's middyness has a distinctive honk to it and is somewhat like the old school Mesa middyness.

    The DSL401 looks like it has no presence control, which will make it sound dark even with an EL84 power section. Edit: and it has several large treble rolloffs in the preamp and a 220K resistor in series between the PI and the power tubes both of which which will roll off some top end, and it's non-NFB which will make it a bit boomy and soft in the low end.

    What's an EL3450?
    Last edited by chill; 10-01-2005 at 01:00 PM.

  5. #5
    DyzaBoyzologist That90'sGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    CT representin'
    Age
    35
    Posts
    12,065

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    EL-84s are more upper mid focused tubes. If you need a killer low end, you should probably want to be looking at 6l6s instead of EL-84s or EL-34s. EL-84s break up much quicker than EL-34s and they have more of a compressed and spongier sort of feel. They are by far my favorite tubes because I like the way they react with the rest of my gear (if you love single coils, Filtertrons and p90s definitely try one through an EL-84 amp). For my practice and club type gigs, the volume is perfect (mine is 30w tube and it's just right to cut through a loud drummer). The cleans and overdrive are perfect for my british rock flavored stuff. It's got the chime and jangle that I love for my band and the ovedrive is rich, thick and it's midrange honk cuts through the other instruments.

    EL-34s are big tubes with a lot of volume and a lot of headroom. If you want these tubes to breakup at lower volumes, run far away (that's what amps like the Triamp told me). These are very open sounding and I've never been really all that crazy about single coils with them (although I'm sure many artists would disagree with that). They are a humbuckers best friend from my experience. If you are playing big gigs and won't always have a PA, I think these would be a wise decision. The lower mids will rock for heavier rock styles as well . These can sound great clean or overdriven (if you have the application to be able to run it loud enough to get natural overdrive).
    Last edited by That90'sGuy; 10-01-2005 at 02:39 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by kevlar3000 View Post
    I learned a long time ago that the only thing that mattered regarding tone was what my ears thought.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zerberus View Post
    Better is often the enemy of good
    Quote Originally Posted by ginormous View Post
    Covers feed the body, originals feed the soul.

  6. #6
    Thunderbirdologist Kommerzbassist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Age
    31
    Posts
    2,333

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    Quote Originally Posted by chill
    What's an EL3450?
    Sorry chief, I meant the DSL 50 head.

    Thanks for all of your info so far.

    7ender 7anboy.

  7. #7
    Super Toneologist greendy123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    33
    Posts
    1,232

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    Basically the el-34's give you the classic marshall tone everyone knows of. The el-84's are a completely different type of tone, not close to the marshall tone.
    Fender MIM Strat 59 trembucker bridge/Super II neck
    Edwards 56' Goldtop 2 x SD P90-1s
    Marshall JCM 900 MKIV 2100 slx
    Marshall JCM 900 1936 Celestion GT-75/Vintage 30 cab,
    Fender Frontman 15g
    Cry Baby
    Boss DS-2
    Boss CE-3
    Danelectro Wasabi

  8. #8
    Fleecy Sweaterologist The Golden Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    upyerasskickinfootballs
    Age
    50
    Posts
    8,547

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    I get pretty confused with posts like these.

    With standard amp design, an EL-84 will handle around 20w a pair, where an EL-34 will handle around 50w a pair. So a comparison of the tubes isn't really fair from that standpoint. You can say, an AC-15 uses a pair of EL-84s and sounds really cool. Or you can say a Gibson Falcon runs 2 6V6s and sounds really cool. They're around the same output, but they're entirely different amps with entirely different designs with entirely different tubes in the output section.

    However, if you want to compare a Marshall 2204 with 6550s compared to EL-34s- that's a bit of a more valid comparison- the amp came both ways.
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*
    Quote Originally Posted by Slash2987
    Oh c'mon man, quit being such a liberal and actually accept someone disagrees with you.
    Quote Originally Posted by PVFan
    I'm a good sex man.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    I am just jug the merlot.

  9. #9
    Thunderbirdologist Kommerzbassist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Age
    31
    Posts
    2,333

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    Hmm ok... from what I've heard here, I can't just cut down my expenses and buy the smal DSL 401... I'll have to get a Head & Box... thanks

    7ender 7anboy.

  10. #10
    Mojo's Minions CapoFirstFret's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hattiesburg, MS
    Age
    38
    Posts
    3,664

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    I'll describe each tube type in one word...people can correct me if I'm wrong

    EL84 = Scrappy
    EL34 = Brutish
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakob Dylan
    It's a little gross to put yourself in every song. I mean, how interesting do people really think you are?
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Paris Hilton's psychiatrist... Now that's gotta be an easy job. Kinda like being an auto mechanic in an Amish community.

  11. #11
    Toneologist V!N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Meppel, the Netherlands
    Posts
    679

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    .. if only some 18 Watt owner would climb in
    I've been driving all night, my hands wet on the wheel.

  12. #12
    Tone Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Coopersburg, PA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    So will Custom Custom/Alnico II Pro sound like a hot mess through a el84 powered amp? Thinking of getting a Peavey Classic 50.

  13. #13
    Alnico 6/8 Chickenwings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Blue Mountains, Australia
    Posts
    10,188

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    Quote Originally Posted by PearlyHellhound View Post
    So will Custom Custom/Alnico II Pro sound like a hot mess through a el84 powered amp? Thinking of getting a Peavey Classic 50.
    either of those will sound pretty cool thru a classic 50. Alnico II pickups tend to have less bottom end than alnico 5 etc so they tend to sound best in the same frequency band that an amp like a classic fifty does well. The a2s will also roll off the tops a bit so the amp will not sound too glassy. Either pup would be a great match with that amp for warm, mid/upper mid tones. A contrast would be a regukar custom pickup with all its scoopy grunt would not be best suited to that amp, cos the amp wont do justice to all that bottom end and heavy output.

  14. #14
    Alnico 6/8 Chickenwings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Blue Mountains, Australia
    Posts
    10,188

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    el 84 - small bottle, low wattage, easy breakup, bright, chimey. 1 pair =15-20watts
    el 34 - big bottle, more headroom, more bass, more thick mid voicing, warm. 1 pair=40-60watts
    Last edited by Chickenwings; 04-26-2011 at 09:38 PM.

  15. #15
    Super Toneologist ken361's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    detroit rock city
    Age
    55
    Posts
    1,386

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    Quote Originally Posted by gibson175 View Post
    el 84 - small bottle, low wattage, easy breakup, bright, chimey. 1 pair =15-20watts
    el 34 - big bottle, more headroom, more bass, more thick mid voicing, warm. 1 pair=40-60watts
    +1
    tone slut
    Marshall DSL 40C
    Fender EVH Striped Series
    Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
    Fender Squier Tele Affinity
    Mogami cables

  16. #16
    Just Ultimate Slacker
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    2,636

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    Quote Originally Posted by greendy123 View Post
    The el-84's are a completely different type of tone, not close to the marshall tone.
    Tell that to my jet city. It will laugh at you and then slap you in the face.

    Quote Originally Posted by PearlyHellhound View Post
    So will Custom Custom/Alnico II Pro sound like a hot mess through a el84 powered amp? Thinking of getting a Peavey Classic 50.
    I LOVE the sound of my CC and 59A2 through my EL84 powered jet city.

    And for bass, my 1x12 combo has plenty, if cranked it will rattle everything within 20 ft

    So yeah, I had read that an EL84 amp wasnt going to give me the sound I wanted (Marshall voiced) but the jet city proved the internet wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeS View Post
    a "career" of playing sold-out bedroom shows to the posters on my wall.
    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    whats becoming of this generation
    We want to listen to music while we mow the lawn.

  17. #17
    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Santiago, Chile
    Age
    34
    Posts
    8,082

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    So a EL84 amp could actually cut it for slightly heavier, more modern tones with the appropiate dirt/boost pedals in front? Or not?

    Let's say I buy a Lionheart. Couple of EL84 tubes on it of course.
    By itself I'm sure it will deliver all sorts of vintage rock sounds at manageable volumes and that's great.

    But let's say I also need heavier sounds too. Not Dual Rec or Ubershall heavy, more like JCM900, Soldano, 90's Hard Rock kind of heavy. A heavy british sound.
    So I'd have some pedals to provide that ugly preamp tightness and make it roar.

    Would it sound ridiculous with a pedal in front, or boosted? Should it give a convincing low mids / low end push or it will fall short?
    Or should I scrap the idea and just get the Blackstar HT-20, which is 20 watts but with EL34?
    I imagine a pedal wouldn't be mandatory to make it sound heavy. And that's an awesome thought.

    I like the Lionheart on paper, but I'm afraid it won't do all the sounds I want in a convincing manner.

    And I'm afraid I'll have to go deaf to get what I want out of a EL34 amp, too.
    Last edited by Diego; 04-27-2011 at 07:01 AM.
    Epiphone LP Standard PlusTop Pro
    Ibanez SZ320 / A2P neck + Custom bridge
    Ibanez RG270 / Screamin' Demon bridge

    Egnater Tweaker 15 Head / Laney Cub 8 / 2x12 - Celestion V30+K100
    Line 6 M13 and plenty of stompboxes I rarely use!

  18. #18
    Super Toneologist ken361's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    detroit rock city
    Age
    55
    Posts
    1,386

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    take a amp over pedals any day, pedals thin it out some. Not the same as the real thing from what I experienced
    tone slut
    Marshall DSL 40C
    Fender EVH Striped Series
    Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
    Fender Squier Tele Affinity
    Mogami cables

  19. #19
    Alnico 6/8 Chickenwings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Blue Mountains, Australia
    Posts
    10,188

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    Diego if you wany heavy you need wattage. Theres no substitiue. Heres why:
    For us players, watts do not equal volume. For example you can get 100db at 1m with 1w.
    Watts are a god indicator of headroom - and by headroom i mean bass. Bass frequencies require more wattage to reproduce because the speaker needs to move further. As a result the amp needs more power to push it. With insufficient wattage, you simply cannot produce enough power to reproduce enough bass. El84s, when used in pairs or fours can produce 20w or even up to 50w. 5 watts is simply not enough.
    Now even tho you hear about all the heavy players talking about tight bass, they are still using big wattage amps like 100w marshalls or big mesas. Sure they tighten things up with a tube screamer to knock off some lower end, but there is still plenty there. And the amps (and speakers ) can reproduce it with ease. Thats how you get tight - by not maxxing out the power tubes. Those super heavy modern tones you hear on the radio are mostly preamp crunch with the power tubes just running warm, not totally saturated.
    So - will a lionheart do it? No.
    Will a blackstar 20w -well its no JCM marshall or dual rectifier - but yes its a great little amp that will give you some pretty great (heavier) tones.
    Despite what all the ppl who play guitar in their bedroom believe - you still need wattage to get bottom end in a band setting.
    Out of the two amps you mentioned, then the blackstar is better. But if you gonna play it in a band, then maybe look around for a 50w jcm900 cos they are still pretty cheap - and you can run the power section at 25watts if you want. It will get fatter with more volume, but you will be able to get some killer heavy tones at low volume too - especially if you like your pedals. EL84s juts do not offer what an el34 can do. Yes they can sound great and yes they can do some great crunch sounds - but they physically cannot reproduce the same frequencies the same way. Most 900s came with celestion g12t75s, which is a more bottom heavy speaker, They do not have a lot of top end so they dont icepick your ears - they just seem to get fatter and ballsier as you turn them up.
    Dont fall into the trap of thinking low wattage = manageable volume. Its not that simple. And youll find a lot of ppl turning up their little amps because they cant hear or feel the bass.
    The main determinant of percieved volume is speaker efficiency and spl combined with the resonant peak of the speaker because some frequencies are detected by our ears better than others. No you wont go deaf with a 50w amp necessarily, you can go deaf with a 1watt amp! Its all about frequency response and reproduction.
    Last edited by Chickenwings; 04-27-2011 at 05:10 PM.

  20. #20
    Mojo's Minions misterwhizzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Age
    39
    Posts
    7,898

    Default Re: EL84 v.s. El34 - TONAL differences

    I don't really get the obsession with bass in the guitar world. Isn't that what bassists and drummers are for? I run my bass typically on about 3, maybe 3.5, and it fills out the sound a little bit. Beyond that, it just starts to muddy up a bit.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •