EL34 vs EL34L

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EL34 vs EL34L

Postby dr504 on Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:21 pm

I know this debate can be found online, just thought I would add my experience.

My current band is a hard rock power trio, rock/prog/blues/metal/punk/noise. I like natural tone so my guitar is direct and loud, preamp volume near 10, master around 3. Use and A/B box to switch/combine inputs, but that is the only pedal I use. My DR504 is an incredible amp for all of this.

My DR504 has had GT-EL34-LS (5 rating) power tubes in it since before I purchased it way back in 2001. I decided it is probably time to seek new power tubes, especially as I blew a HT fuse recently.

After almost buying JJ EL34L matched pair from Amazon, I wanted to shop local for my new tubes. My local shop is run by the guy who built Dr. Z amps for many years, he recommended the Mullard EL34, and they only sell Mullard EL34. I went with a matched pair of Mullards, and wow, what a difference. This amp sounds so much more like a classic crunch, extremely clear and a beautiful warm distortion. Only problem, it lacks bottom end now, and I do not get some of the nice "chunky" out of the power cords.

I put my GT EL34LS back in the amp, and while the low end and chunky is back, but that beautiful clarity is missing from open chords. So, I am about to buy the JJ EL34L as well, and hope they give me more of what I am looking for. I read somewhere that the GT-EL34-LS is just a JJ EL34L re-branded by GT, not sure about the validity of that statement though. A blend of the two (GT/Mullard) would be incredible. If I was in a standard blues band, the Mullards would be my choice by a landslide.

From what I understand, the standard EL34 is a 25W tube, the EL34L is a 30W tube. This means more gain, right? If so, this may also contribute to why I feel the Mullards have just a tad less gain, contributing to my tone issue.

Thoughts?
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Re: EL34 vs EL34L

Postby OldSchoolDave on Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:35 pm

dr504 wrote:... he recommended the Mullard EL34, and they only sell Mullard EL34. I went with a matched pair of Mullards, and wow, what a difference.


So, the first thing to note is that today's Mullards ain't the Mullards of old. Start saving your pennies so you can one day experience what those original tubes can do to your Hiwatt.

dr504 wrote:From what I understand, the standard EL34 is a 25W tube, the EL34L is a 30W tube. This means more gain, right?


According to AES, they're both 25 watt tubes, but the E34L provides more headroom. That might not be what your seeking.

The good news is, a pair of modern EL34's of any flavor won't cost an arm or a leg, so why not try a few out for yourself? I've not yet tried these, but their description is interesting: https://www.tubesandmore.com/products/T-EL34B-TAD

If you try a pair, let us know your observations.

Dave
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Re: EL34 vs EL34L

Postby dr504 on Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:35 pm

Thanks for the tip on the EL34B, had not heard of those, a few quick searches and people seem to rave about them though. Given the price I think you are right- I will buy a set of each and see what happens. I'll be sure to update!
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Re: EL34 vs EL34L

Postby Unit_1 on Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:41 am

The TAD EL34B is what I've been using in my dr504 clone I made, and what Callahan (edited: callaway, not callahan - doh) says is about as good glass as you can get new production. Oddly enough, he did a bunch of tests, and I just got lucky, lol....

I have very little overdrive from my clone, maybe 'cus I used paper in oil capacitors, so I just get massive head room

But they roar like Jimi at woodstock in my plexi build which uses mustard caps. I really mean it too, man that thing roars

I still have three of the original five dr504's I made, and am considering replacing the preamp board with an all mustard cap board just to see if that's where the overdrive is hiding. :whistling:
Last edited by Unit_1 on Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: EL34 vs EL34L

Postby Callaway_1 on Sat Dec 12, 2015 1:30 pm

Callahan ?

:laff:

They say he has built more "real" HIWATTs than anyone still alive.

Yes, after trying almost every EL34 made today, we settled on the TAD EL34B for use in HI-TONE amps.

However there is no right or wrong, just go with the tone you like best.
Old School Dave has lots of good knowledge/advice.
HI-TONE, when only the best Dave Reeves HIWATT amplifiers and speaker cabs will do.
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Re: EL34 vs EL34L

Postby Unit_1 on Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:22 pm

Callaway_1 wrote:Callahan ?

:laff:



ANOTHER senior moment Callaway!!!! :old:
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Re: EL34 vs EL34L

Postby nepas on Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:15 am

hello have you tried these valves instead (6CA7-EH) .. (link below)
i had a marshall amp in the past which sucked with every EL34 i tried (no bass from any of them..not the valves fault but instead, a poor amp design)... but luckily the 6CA7-EH transformed it into something good, big sounding, plenty of bass...

https://www.watfordvalves.com/product_detail.asp?id=838

ps. some reading about the 6CA7-EH regarding hiwatt amps:
http://www.thetubestore.com/EL34-6CA7-KT77-Tube-Reviews
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Re: EL34 vs EL34L

Postby Unit_1 on Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:04 am

wow, those EH look great -- probably the best looking tubes I've ever seen (I'm a sucker for gold paint, lol) - I just added a matched pair to my shopping cart at CE Dist

and then again, you can always go the NOS route and get mullards

only $400 a quad

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Matched-Quad-Mu ... SwT4lWR-HT

Oh yeah, the picture
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Asimov:Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today — but the core of science fiction, its essence, the concept around which it revolves, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.
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Re: EL34 vs EL34L

Postby Unit_1 on Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:10 am

And here's a horse of a different color, psvane

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and something I've never seen, guaranteed *for a year* - but kinda pricey, the lowest price I found was $114 a pair

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1PC-Classic-Gra ... SwPcVV08Vs

After Psvane-T has been launched out successfully for two years, the Psvane-T Mark Ⅱ finally comes out.

Due to use of the new materials, design style and manufacturing process, the performance has been significantly improved based on maintaining the original characteristics of Psvane tube.

Descriptions:

1. By virtue of its smart design of power turbo, the electron current density within the vacuum tube reaches up to the maximum value so that the energy, dynamic performance and saturation of voice can be greatly improved.
2. Due to the use of Teflon as its base material, the Psvane Mark Ⅱbecomes more stable and durable.
3. The method of aluminum base oxidization is used for coloring to make sure it will never change color or discolor.
4. It adopts the completely new gold plated base pin so that the contact performance at the connection part can be much better, thus the loss of small-signal can be reduced to the minimum level.
5. The use of carbon crystal technology has greatly improved the stability of electrical property under the condition of working or even ultimate limit within the vacuum tube.

Features:

6CA7-TII The high-performance audio output V diode anode limit dissipation power of 25W, single-tube audio amplifier can amplify A1 output power greater than 10W, the double-barreled AB1 class amplifier output power greater than 35W. 6CA7-TII can replace EL34 directly.

All tubes will be factory matched and tested in original package before shipping. We offer one year guaranty. It will be insured when shipped.
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The ability to play/make music is a gift that not everyone gets. Those of us who have it should use it.

Asimov:Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today — but the core of science fiction, its essence, the concept around which it revolves, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.
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Re: EL34 vs EL34L

Postby dr504 on Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:21 pm

nepas wrote:hello have you tried these valves instead (6CA7-EH) .. (link below)
i had a marshall amp in the past which sucked with every EL34 i tried (no bass from any of them..not the valves fault but instead, a poor amp design)... but luckily the 6CA7-EH transformed it into something good, big sounding, plenty of bass...

https://www.watfordvalves.com/product_detail.asp?id=838

ps. some reading about the 6CA7-EH regarding hiwatt amps:
http://www.thetubestore.com/EL34-6CA7-KT77-Tube-Reviews


Those 6CA7-EG sound intriguing, wishing I had posted this discussion before I purchased the Mullards.
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