Best New Production Tubes???? 12ax7, el84, el34

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Best New Production Tubes???? 12ax7, el84, el34

Postby Jayarthur on Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:17 am

I'm looking for some new tubes for my amps. What are the best new production tubes around? What are their characteristics? I need some 12ax7, el84 and el34 tubes.

Just new production, no NOS.
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Postby ¤klÿn¡§§¤ on Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:54 am

That is a large can or works you just opened...

It depends on so many things... not to mention certain amps prefer certain tubes.

I had a HIWATT 200 that liked the old (early version) Svetlana EL34's.

My 50 watters do not like JJ's....

There have been good thing said about the Shuguang tubes, but it gets so confusing because one batch seems to get great reviews and then the next batch will be terrible... there doesnt seem to be any consitancy which doesnt make it any easier.

Tonally speaking i can vouche for the very first Svetlana EL34's that came out. They sounded pretty good to my ears, but i'm not sure how you would go about finding any.
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Postby Arclight on Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:37 am

What ARE your amps? Old amps or we talking new production stuff? :?:
Emery Sound Superbaby,Carr Hammerhead,Carr Mercury,Kendrick 118,'69 Marshall 1987, Reeves Custom Lead 60 head.Metro JTM45(self built), Gibson Les Pauls: 07 R8 w/ Throbak PG-102LTd,07 R8 w/J.M. Rolph's "Ed A. Wind" 03 R7 w/BB's. Hoarder of fine NOS tone bottles. Slave to the Mule.

30+years and still trying......to ROCK
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Postby Jayarthur on Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:47 am

they are newer production orange and vox.
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Postby gypsy moth on Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:45 am

reviews at www.watfordvalves.com

different people like different tubes - those reviews are pretty good at pointing out the differences.
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Postby worldoftone on Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:26 pm

Tonally speaking i can vouche for the very first Svetlana EL34's that came out. They sounded pretty good to my ears, but i'm not sure how you would go about finding any.


Yeah, I remember those. they did sound pretty good.

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Postby pckpat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:47 pm

i've still got a pair of older svet 34's in my hiwatt combo.they sound good enough,that i leave my nos in the boxes.
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Postby gypsy moth on Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:35 pm

the current Winged C's are the old Svets. I like em.
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Postby ozsubrosa on Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:08 pm

My Marshall had the Mullards taken out and replaced with Svets (what are now Winged C). I straight away noticed the difference; the sound was more "boring" for want of a better term. HST, Mullard EL34s are just about the best going so the Svets wouldn't stand up to comparison. There's nothing particularly wrong with them and they last absolutely forever. Tube Tramp is getting good results with the latest generation of Shuguang Golden Dragon. Search this forum and you might find a Tubegetter thread comparing them with the (considerably more expensive) Groove Tube EL34M.

Of all the current ECC83/12AX7s, I actually don't mind the Liszhou-made Chinese. They are branded as PM and also as Golden Dragon. They're a little bit harsh in the treble when pushed but otherwise pretty acceptable. The Pup recommends the JJ. Try one of each in V1 and see which you prefer; you can always use the less-favoured brand in a non-critical socket. The Ei sounds great but they have a terrible reputation these days for going microphonic. I'm not sure that any dealer can afford to guarantee them against microphonics because of the high risk.

I can't help you with EL84s because all my amps fry current production. My friend's amp has been reset to run Sovteks and I'm not keen on them.

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Postby gypsy moth on Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:38 pm

I replaced the mullards and mull relabels/early clones in one of my amps with the C's - and was quite pleased with the improvement. later switching to C 6550's was better still.
it comes down to how much of a mid-range focus you want.
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Postby TubeGetter on Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:48 am

The best new production tubes are the ones that like to sit on the sidelines watch NOS tubes do their thing. :) OK, sorry.
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Postby Jayarthur on Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:45 am

ok, I see I won't get a good answer here.
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Postby gypsy moth on Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:41 am

that's why I suggested reading the reviews at www.watfordvalves.com

everybody here has their own personal preferences, the watford stuff at least explains the differences they hear, or why they prefer one over another..
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Postby TubeGetter on Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:09 am

Jayarthur wrote:ok, I see I won't get a good answer here.


Do some searches on the site here. This topic gets discussed all the time. People are a little reluctant to write long detailed answers to the same questions. That's why it's good to search. I hope the search function is working. :?
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Postby ¤klÿn¡§§¤ on Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:36 am

Jayarthur wrote:ok, I see I won't get a good answer here.


Well to be honest, you have to be more specific with your question.

Asking "what is the best current production tube" is like asking "what is the best tire for a car?

What car?

What model of that car?

How are you going to drive the car??
etc... etc...

Verstandst? :wink:

"The best" is a very subjective topic, therefore, the more information you give us, the more specific we can be in our answers.
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