Tube Amps / Music Electronics
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|3/1/1998 6:57 PM|
||Weber's Review of EL34's|
Can anyone comment on the article that Gerald Weber published in Vintage Guitar on EL 34 tubes.
I am interested in hearing first hand opinions on the new Sovtek and the Svetlanta EL 34's.
My experience with the first generation Sovtek and the Tesla was not very good. I thought they sounded like a thin 5881. Since then (about 3 years ago) I have used the 5881.
I was going to try the Svet's but now I'm having second thoughts.
My amp is a modified blackface bassman.
|3/2/1998 8:08 AM|
All depends what sound you're after. I'm really pleased with Svetlana EL34's in my modified Marhall 50 Mk2 Bass head. I've had the two input's gain stages cascaded and use it for lead guitar. The Svetlanas have been 100% reliable, and give a warm and bluesy sound. If you want cutting top then use American made valves - Sylvanias are great if you can get them. I've heard some reports of reliability problems with the Sovtek valves, but don't believe anything 'til I've tried it.
|3/2/1998 11:09 AM|
I can comment on several different EL34s simply because I've used them all in different amps. I am not in agreement with Mr. Weber, as here are my hard, real world observations:
For reference purposes, I used my Mullards as a point of reference. These EL34s are well balanced, and give a great clean and distorted tone, with good power and reliability.
Sovtek EL34G+ - A good, inexpensive EL34 for old Marshalls with no master volume. Why? Simply because these tubes distort nicely at lower volume levels, which is probably what you want out your Marshall anyway. Just don't try to put a lot of B+ on it (i.e. 550+). Unless you have a 60's amp, you probably don't need to worry about this. Even frequency reponse. A very good, underrated tube for distortion textures.
Sovtek EL34WXT - A gassy sounding EL34. It doesn't sound much like a Mullard to me. Not a bad sound, but a little looser, and not quite as much power as some others. Has a more airy, 'bluesy' texture to it.
Svetlana EL34 - A solid sounding, big, clean tube with good punch. Good reliability. Better for clean sounding amps.
Tesla E34L - Tesla's high grade EL34 (i.e. between the EL34 and E34LS). Big, clean, solid sounding tube, and my favorite for big, clean sounding amps such as Vox AC50, AC100, etc. Very good power and reliability.
In my book, these are your real world choices. Notice that I did not include others such as the Chinese or lower grade tubes. If you have an EL34 powered amp, choose from these according to my guidelines, and you should find yourself quite pleased.
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