Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by mountain2012, Jan 9, 2011.
Do 6V6's or EL84's sound more like EL34's?
6V6's IMO, but it depends on the circuit.
It also depends on the 6V6's in question.
Brimar in particular, sound much closer to the EL34 sound than ANY other I've tried That includes Sylvania, GE, RCA, Mazda, and JJ (although internally the JJ isn't exactly a true 6V6, but it is a really useful tube due to the higher voltages it handles)
In fact the Brimar sounds a lot less 6V6 like altogether. Quite different from the rest IMO.
EL84's can be quite ragged and bottom heavy unless the circuit is tuned carefully. They also break up REALLY easily.
EL84's have a very soft clip. they really don't sound like anything else. i love them for the cello tones but, i think the 6v6's would be your bag.
Thanks guys. It's good to know about those Brimars. I will give them a shot.
Well heres some info, an EL84 is basically a miniature EL34 with grid 3 internally connected, instead of being on its own pin. It is a true power pentode.
I'd vote for the EL84s, too. Look for clips of the Marshall Studio 15, which uses 6V6 tubes. IMO it just doesn't have the midrange bark that an EL84 or EL34 Marshall has.
Here's a Studio 15 clip from YouTube:
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZyXmksnW3w]YouTube - Marshall Studio 15 Demo (Shure Sm57)[/ame]
not sure about sounding like an el34, but 6v6 is my favourite power tube
But then the Studio 15 is not a particularly good amp even, nor a good example to use.
It's not that I don't like EL84's, but they sound a lot less like a 34 than a brimar 6V6 does. Simple test, pop some yellow jackets with EL84's into a late 70's 50W non-master, and then try it with Brimars. Then try and tell me that the EL84's sound more like 34's.
I assure you, you won't be able to.
It all depends on whether or not you are going to be able to alter the design and compensate accordingly. But even then the 6V6 will still behave more like the 34 tonally. Neither will deliver the same punch though.
Sorry, I just don't hear it that way. I've got two 6V6 amps and one has a Marshall voicing and it still sounds more like a cross between a Fender Deluxe and a Marshall. The Marshall 1974 and the Class 5 both use EL84s and sound a lot more like an EL34 amp to me. But, to each his own. I think a NOS Tung-Sol 5881 sounds more like an EL34 than any 6V6 I've heard.
Marshall voicing? I'm talking about comparing tubes in essential the exact same amplifier. Not different amps. Like I said, try what I suggested above and THEN tell me you hear different.
You're right about the 5881's though, but then they're a lot closer in design.
I agree with you Riveratt! I don’t know how anyone can say a 6V6 sounds more like an EL34 then an EL84 is beyond me. The 6V6 is beam type power tube and EL84 is a true power pentose like an EL34. As far as trying to compare using yellow jackets to compare that useless for two reasons: One the yellow jackets change the class of how the tube operates; Second of all you can’t plug a 6V6 tube into a “late 70’s 5o watt NMV” anyway! The max plate voltage of a 6V6 is 315vdc and you show me any 70’s watt that has a plate voltage that low. You need to look at a tube manual and see not only the physical difference, but the design types also. You’ll see that the Mu differences. Besides anything you plug a 6V6 starts sounding very Fender Deluxe, which is not bad by the way; just not very Marshal like.
Now if you really want to do a fair comparison why don’t we use the recent 1987 15W watt Classic build I did, I have socket adapters that I built so we can test all three tubes. You game?
You can, and I have, and there's one at our rehearsal room set up with Brimars that runs on a regular basis with no problems as yet, and it must have at least 200 hours on it. There's also an 18watter clone (which is mine) there running Tungsram EL84's, and whilst it is distinctly "Marshally", doesn't sound or behave like what I expect from an EL34 equipped amp.
315V? For an old type 6V6 maybe. Perhaps I should state for clarity that I am specifically talking about 6V6GT's. I don't think I even have any old type 6V6's in my stash.
Some of the spec sheet for 6V6GT I saw say 400V, and I've never had any problems with mine. I use to run Mazda's okay in my old 4104 with 465V at the plates too quite often.
Let us remember that there are several different types of 6V6 too, they're not all the same, and changed a lot through the years.
The Brimar in particular is not like other 6V6's, at all.
By all means, get some and try some in your amp Major (Brimars, that is). I'm not just pulling this stuff out the top of my head. But if your amp is running B+ lower than 315V, then they sure as hell won't sound much like an EL34 anyway.
One thing I should've mentioned is that anybody trying the 6V6's in an EL34 equipped amp should check the plate voltage is low enough for the purpose (unless trying JJ's which don't suffer at all), but most importantly, set the impedance selector down one notch (ie 16ohm cab, 8ohm setting on amp) since they don't match with the OT.
That brings me to the question, which brand of 6v6 has the must cutting or loudest mids? New, non old stock tubes that are currently available for purchase, specifically.
I think we're coming at this from different angles. Since the circumstances where you could substitute an EL84 OR a 6V6 for an EL34 are not common, I didn't assume that a direct substitution was what we were after. If I got that wrong, I'm sorry, but I don't see what the problem is with the Studio 15 being a good example. I think they are fine little amps, and almost bought one a couple of years ago. They don't last long when they come up for sale. But if I wanted a smaller combo that had a true Marshall sound, I'd go with a DSL or a 1974.
I wouldn't try to run 6V6s in a 50 watt Marshall on a dare.
Here's a pretty good review of different 6V6s. I don't have any that really have strong mids - it's just not that kind of tube. That's why it works so well in a scooped Fender type circuit.
Mook's Taste Tests for 6V6
Ok here the page out of the GE tube Manual, can you show me the max plate voltage for the 6V6-GT?
Point taken. But tell that to Leo Fender. Last Deluxe Reverb I saw was running well over 400V at the plates. He didn't care, and neither did the tubes apparently, because they hadn't failed in over 3 years.
Interesting what are the Screen voltages? Just to be fair the 6V6-GTA will handle 350vdc on the plate, but that still not close to 400 volts.
great info! thanks
IIRC, the plates were over 420V and the screens a little bit under 420V. Be at least 6 months before I see that one again though.
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