JCM800 4010 - EL34's or 6550's ??

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by CQJR007, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. CQJR007

    CQJR007 Member

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    Which do you prefer and why ??
    Thanks guys..
     
  2. plexilespaul

    plexilespaul Well-Known Member

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    EL34 has more of a midrange that goes hand in hand with a jcm 800 tone.
     
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  3. CQJR007

    CQJR007 Member

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    What is the difference with the 6550's ??
    Thanks Plexilespaul
     
  4. Musicmaniac

    Musicmaniac Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what i prefer since I've never tried the 6550's. But I will say EL34's sound like what I grew up listening to in my 4010.
     
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  5. Solid State

    Solid State Well-Known Member

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    6550s have a more balanced sound and are tight across the board. They don't have the EL34 compression until way up on the master volume.
     
  6. CQJR007

    CQJR007 Member

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    Ok, so if i want early breakup i should stay with the EL34's ??
     
  7. plexilespaul

    plexilespaul Well-Known Member

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    yep
     
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  8. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    They are different tube designs. 6550 is a beam tetrode and an EL34 is a pentode, totally different build.
     
  9. CoyotesGator

    CoyotesGator Well-Known Member

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    A healthy 4010 should have platy of mids with a G12-65.

    6550’s in mine originally. KT88’s for the last 5 or so years.

    I’m somewhat of an anomaly as I use the low input and master up for crunch 90% of the time and use an open back 2X12 with CV clones in parallel with the G12-65.

    Or E34L.
     
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  10. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    I was told last week by my tech that real great sounding 6550's are long gone and the nos ones you see for sale are rejects from the 90's .

    So forget about it like the Mafia says!!
     
  11. Brett336

    Brett336 Member

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    I have two 4010 combos. I converted one to EL-34. Both have vintage G12-65 speakers in them. The EL-34 amp seems to have a more musical power tube break up when you push them hard enough to get the power tubes to break up. But it is insanely loud at that point - unusable for me these days.

    My 6550 combo actually gets turned on more often because I think the 6550 tubes in the small combo actually make it sound bigger than it is. Much fuller in the bottom end than the EL-34 amp and the cleans are much better.

    I would say that neither is better or worse, just both different in good ways. I have vintage GE 6550 tubes - so that probably sways my opinion of the 6550 amp. I generally don't like the way that a 6550 breaks up but the original GE tubes don't sound bad to me.
     
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  12. Trapland

    Trapland Punk, classic, funk, jazz and everything else.

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    I’ve had a few 4010s. One wth EL34s, one 6550s one started as 6550s and I converted to el34.

    If I was going to play at lower levels and use pedals for gain, I’d stay with 6550s. If I was going to crank up into powertube distortion, the EL34s are king...smoother warmer sweeter distortion. The 6550 distortion is grainier and rather solid state sounding to my ears.


    El34 all the way for me.
     
  13. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member

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    If someone likes the EL34 sound then why not try the KT77 or even KT88 types?

    6550 are going to coinside with the 7581 and 6L6GC types.
     
  14. OU812

    OU812 Active Member

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    I have a 4010 with 6550s and have owned one with 34s. Unless you get the power tubes cooking there really is no difference in my opinion. Zakk’s Marshall sounds pretty good to me.
     
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  15. thunderstruck507

    thunderstruck507 Well-Known Member

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    What brands of KT88 do you like and why?
     
  16. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100% with you!
     
  17. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member

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    I have a 4010 with 6550s. All my other amps are EL34s except the Astoria. I was gonna convert this amp over to EL34s but after playing it for sometime now, no way, it sounds amazing sounds big like @Brett336 comments above. I am using Tung-Sol 6550s and they sound the best out of EH, JJs and Sovtek IMO!
     
  18. CQJR007

    CQJR007 Member

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    Decided to stay with the 34's, just came back from the tech, sounds amazing..
    Mine is a vertical input model, you guys often use the High input on this amp, i was told way back to use it sparingly, is that so ??
    Thanks again :jam:
     
  19. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Use it as much as you want.
     
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