Jump to content
Hamer Fan Club Message Center
  • 0
Sign in to follow this  
BadgerDave

Cleanest EL84 tubes?

Question

What brand  matched pair of EL84 tubes would you recommend for a 15 watt 1x12 combo if the goal is maximum clean headroom?  

Groove tubes used to sell sets rated from 1 to 10 with 10 being the "hardest".  I wanted a set of 10s, but I checked recently and post-Fender acquisition they seem to be available in 4-7 ratings with no opportunity to designate what you're going to get if you order.

The pair of Genelex Gold Lions I paid way too much for break up sooner than the set of TAD 3s they replaced.  They sound nice, but very little headroom.

The amp is a Carl Martin Roadie.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

11 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

I tried a set of the Gold Lions. Expensive and one shit the bed way way way too soon. 

‘I will put Mesa branded in my ta15when it is ready. 

‘I use NOS or just old used but test great tubes on all my vintage circuits. They last so much longer.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Maybe get some Sovtek EL84s from Doug's Tubes and ask for the "hard" tubes. Those should be equivalent to GT 7 or above.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Posted (edited)

You can bias your amp a little cooler and gain some headroom. But in my experience the vintage 7189 tubes have a bit more headroom or less breakup than a stock EL84. 

https://www.thetubestore.com/preferred-series-7189-premium-el84

Edited by Dutchman
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Posted (edited)

My favorite online NOS tube source:

Home page:
https://www.audiotubes.com

For 6BQ5/EL84 tubes:
Scroll down far enough and you'll see NOS 6BQ5/EL84, Sylvania tubes for $55 to $80 per matched pair.
http://www.audiotubes.com/6bq5.htm

I got some NOS RCA greyglass 6V6GTs (for my Top Hat Club Deluxe) from this same source back in 1998 for $24/matched pair, which was ridiculously cheap. Things have gone up since then, but it was still at least 1/4 the going rate at the time.

Also, if you want headroom and ruggedness, go for military surplus tubes. Some of them are labeled "JAN" for "joint-Army/Navy".

In 1998 there was also quite a wave of Philips JAN-NOS 12AX7WA (low noise) tubes that hit the market. I picked them up from MojoTone for $15.50/pair and they're great--smooth, rugged, musical, and dynamic. 

Edited by JohnnyB
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Hi there,

I suggest contacting TAD. Not only do they offer tubes with different transconductance  factors ( the factor of amplification),

but you can choose the mA value as well to make sure the tubes are perfect for your amp's design.

I like their 6L6 tubes in my Fender 59 Bassman reissue amp,

but I have not done comparisons to NOS tubes.

 

Have a nice weekend,

Cheers,

Tobias

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
On 6/6/2019 at 7:34 PM, Jakeboy said:

I tried a set of the Gold Lions. Expensive and one shit the bed way way way too soon. 

‘I will put Mesa branded in my ta15when it is ready. 

‘I use NOS or just old used but test great tubes on all my vintage circuits. They last so much longer.

@BadgerDave Mesa Yellow, were the cleanest i've heard. I still have a pair of 6v6's that have 10 minutes on them. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Thanks for the replies.  Lots of great information here! 🎯🙌

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
On 6/11/2019 at 6:44 PM, JohnnyB said:

My favorite online NOS tube source:

Home page:
https://www.audiotubes.com

For 6BQ5/EL84 tubes:
Scroll down far enough and you'll see NOS 6BQ5/EL84, Sylvania tubes for $55 to $80 per matched pair.
http://www.audiotubes.com/6bq5.htm

This. I bought four (4) of them for a Rockola juke amp recap and the Sylvania branded tubes are good or MOR for audio. I think I paid $80 - $90 back in 2010

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, Rockola said:

 

Thanks JohnnyB and Rockola.

Audiotubes is located about 6 miles east of me.  I'll check to see if in-person pickup is available.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BadgerDave said:

Thanks JohnnyB and Rockola.

Audiotubes is located about 6 miles east of me.  I'll check to see if in-person pickup is available.

Back when I bought some tubes from them (around 1997) the shop was known as Brent Jessee Recording. Later on it became audiotubes.com, which seemed more appropriate to the focus of his business. I'm pretty sure it's run by the same guy, because the current inventory and pricing seems to follow the same principles.

Edited by JohnnyB
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Dave ~ I've got a set  of GT 6BQ5s from the early '90s that need an amp. I think they are rebranded American stuff..

Ping me. If you don't like them, send them back in the packaging. If you like them, I'm in for a pair of 6550s or Brit  KT88 equivalent. Or just enjoy. 

Love this website.

S

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...