Who makes the best new EL34 tubes as of 2012

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by Þµƒƒ_ñ_$†µƒƒ•÷^v´¯), May 20, 2012.

  1. Þµƒƒ_ñ_$†µƒƒ•÷^v´¯)

    Þµƒƒ_ñ_$†µƒƒ•÷^v´¯) New Member

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    I'm gonna have to order some new power tubes for my TSL 100 watt head.It has Groove tube GTEL34-m in it now and one of them is bad.I can't afford a matched quad set of NOS:-(.I've been looking at another matched set of GTEL34-m,JJs and mullards.Does the same factory make all of these now and just relabel them?Also I've read that there are some fakes on e-bay is there any dealer I should avoid?Thanks in advance for any info and opinions :slash:
     
  2. Adrian R

    Adrian R Well-Known Member

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    One of the best tubes out there right now, especially for the money is the JJ E34Ls.. (not EL34)..I love the way they sound..and their pretty durable too...once their broken in and stable. The SED winged C tubes have the best reputation for build quality and dependability..but their pricey..like $80.00 for a matched pair. JJ and SED are the only mfgs. making their own tubes.
     
  3. Þµƒƒ_ñ_$†µƒƒ•÷^v´¯)

    Þµƒƒ_ñ_$†µƒƒ•÷^v´¯) New Member

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    Thanks Adrian R. I have looked at the JJ E34Ls.Correct me if I wrong cause I may be,I've been doing alot of reading up on tubes and may get my #s crossed up.But don't you have to run the E34Ls harder to get them to break up?I tend to play at low to medium volumes not usually over 5 sometimes as low as 2.5 to 3 on the mater volume.So will I still get some good distortion from that tube at those volumes?I know JJs bought Tesla's old machines but are they built in Russia or china now?
     
  4. Adrian R

    Adrian R Well-Known Member

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    The E34Ls have do have more headroom..and are slightly heavier in the bass frequencies...so yea *maybe*...but this depends on hot or not you bias them. I forgot to mention the JJ KT-77..that is another really good sounding tube. (EL-34 variant) JJs are made in Russia..
     
  5. RussBert

    RussBert Active Member

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    SED/Winged =C= are my favorite

    For the record, JJ tubes are built in Slovakia
     
  6. RussBert

    RussBert Active Member

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    When you run the master low, you don't get power tube distortion, regardless of the tube you choose or the bias setting
     
  7. SmokeyDopey

    SmokeyDopey Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Welcome. Interesting user :cool2:
     
  8. rokcabilly

    rokcabilly Active Member

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    I second this! The E34L's made my amp a monster! :headbanger:
     
  9. bolt22

    bolt22 New Member

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    Power tubes are not designed for distortion!

    My fav's are also the Winged C's and Svetlana; however according to the way you play you'd probably love Ruby EL34. Similar to the Groove Tubes, smooth, creamy, punchy - super nice and not too pricey.

    Check out Musician Friend, Tube Depot, Tube Store - great selections.
     
  10. Dmann

    Dmann Well-Known Member

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    I bought a quad set of Ruby's from Doug's Tubes, for my 1978 MKII master Model 2203 and compared to Groove Tubes E34L's which I had prior, the Ruby's sound huge and full and really pump the balls to the walls while the GT's which I though sounded awesome before really lacked the "boom" I am getting from the Ruby's.

    These are great Tubes, and after contacting Doug @ dougs tubes, telling him about my amp, my setup and the type of music I play he recommended these to me. I have not been happier in a tube purchase in 20 years.
     
  11. rokcabilly

    rokcabilly Active Member

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    I got my Ruby(JJ) E34L's from Doug too!
     
  12. Þµƒƒ_ñ_$†µƒƒ•÷^v´¯)

    Þµƒƒ_ñ_$†µƒƒ•÷^v´¯) New Member

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    Awesome getting alot of different opinions here that's interesting.RussBert I have a set of winged Cs in my DSL 50 watt head and they sound great!Untill tonight I wasn't even aware of SED I knew about Svetlanta, and after some research I see they are now SED.So thanks Adrian R , RussBert on the heads up.RussBert I know that running your master at low volumes doesn't get to the sweet spot and that's why I was concerned about getting the JJ E34Ls cause you do need to run them harder to get them to break up.I usually use my DSL 50 watt head and it sounds great at low volumes.When I had my other TSL 100 watt head I used the VPR button to switch it to a 25 watt amp and it sounded great at low volumes too.I just got this TSL a week ago and one of the NEW groove tubes GTEL34-m tubes is bad:-( SmokeyDopey Thanks for the welcome!Bolt22,Dmann I use a 12ax7 ruby in my DSL in 3 and 4 and in 1 and 2 i use sovtek 12ax7wr but I have never tryed a ruby power tube though would love to hear one.I'm new here and haven't figured out how to quote someone in a message or underline anything so everybody bear with me give me a min. and I'll catch up.I've been reading post from this site for a long time and finally decided to join.Glad i have wish I would have sooner.
     
  13. Þµƒƒ_ñ_$†µƒƒ•÷^v´¯)

    Þµƒƒ_ñ_$†µƒƒ•÷^v´¯) New Member

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  14. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I still think the Groove Tubes EL34M's are your best choice as posted earlier. They are inexpensive, sound great, and I know for a fact that they have excellent warranty service for their tubes. The EL34M is made in China by Shuguang but is built to Groove Tubes' specs, which are pretty damn close to a Mullard xF2.

    Don't be afraid of any tubes just because someone says they had one that went bad. A lot of those claims are due to user error. You HAVE to bias your amp when you install new tubes. If you bias them up correctly, and they like to be biased cold, you shouldn't have a problem with them. If you throw them in and crank the amp wide open without biasing, you'll be lucky if a tube is all you fry. I've used them a lot and the only problem I had was with the flimsy box they come packaged in. The last pair I got, one tube was broken from bumping into the other one.

    I like the =C='s too, but they've gotten expensive lately. I've tried the E34L two different times and wasn't that impressed. If you're going to put a MetalZone pedal or something in front of it, the E34L's would probably be fine. They are pretty tight, but for classic rock Marshall-style I think there are much better options. I've heard better reviews of the JJ KT77's which are drop-in replacements for EL34's. A lot of guys like the Electro Harmonix 6CA7's which are interchangeable with an EL34 too.
     
  15. javier pintos

    javier pintos Active Member

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    QUOTE=RussBert;635920]SED/Winged =C= are my favorite

    ++1
     
  16. hbach

    hbach Well-Known Member

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    I beg to differ on power tube distortion! Lots of classic amps get their drive from the power section. That is what defines a Plexi or a JTM45 and a reason some guitarist prefer smaller amps driven hard. Now on the TSL, a modern amp, the power section is probably designed to stay cleaner and you get your drive from the preamp.
     
  17. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I could hear the power tubes really kick in on my DSL50 when the master volume was at least up to four. I used to play it on the green channel clean with the master up around 4 or 5 (when nobody else was home) and it had a great early AC/DC and early Def Leppard tone.
     
  18. Þµƒƒ_ñ_$†µƒƒ•÷^v´¯)

    Þµƒƒ_ñ_$†µƒƒ•÷^v´¯) New Member

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    ok guys I found a match quad set of NOS Svetlana EL34 winged Cs for $143.50 .That seems like a good deal for some NOS tubes?What do you think compared to a matched quad of JJs EL34 for $61.35, a matched quad of JJ E34L for $57.00, a match quad ofGroove Tube GTEL34-M for 72.95 or a matched quad of the reissue Mullard EL34 XF2 for $82.75?
     
  19. RussBert

    RussBert Active Member

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    You can buy Winged C tubes brand new, don't pay more for "NOS" because they're the same as the one's made yesterday :)
     
  20. diesect20022000

    diesect20022000 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I like JJ's. I use the KT-77's when i have the cash but otherwise E34L's all the way. the EL34 they have is quite nice too and i have those in my Framus Dragon right now and have no interest in swapping them.

    depending on the amp the preamp tubes may be of more importance anyway but for tone to money ration it's JJ imo. RUBY EL34-M's are nice when they work for super cheap tubes but i only get those through a dealer that will exchange bad tubes. you can get a quad for $45 at times lol.
     

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