6L6 or EL34?? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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6L6 or EL34??

Hi!!

GAS is there and I'm thinking about buying a new head... the ENGL SE670!! yes! the ultimate head for me But I'm hesitating netween the 6L6 and the EL34 versions

I'm currently playing on a H&K Trilogy head with EL34... I like its sound but I want something more aggressive...

What is the big difference between these two category of tubes? I've always played EL34 amps, but I'm a bit sick of this "marshall" british tone...

Are power tube making a huge difference or is it more a matter of preamp tubes? still I don't think the ENGL will sound very marshallesque
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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Re: 6L6 or EL34??

EL34s generally have a more aggressive midrange. 6L6 are a little less aggressive, but they don't have that Marshall style cut and punch like you say. A lot of people like 6L6s for clean tones and/or the modern metal sounds (Dual Recs, etc).

It's really all personal taste. If I had the option, I'd have one of each type of amp
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 12:34 PM
 
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Re: 6L6 or EL34??

6L6 is a better, more reliable tube. Go with 6L6. They don't sound that much different from EL34's unless you really crank the heck out of the clean channel.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 12:47 PM
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Re: 6L6 or EL34??

I'd say try them both, side by side on the cabinet that you'll be using on stage or at home.

I know it would be hard to find a shop that has both versions, but you're going to spend about €3000. So they should let you.

I got mine when there was only the 6L6 version. But if I ever needed a new one I'd request the guitarstore to order both versions so I could compare them. If not I'd go somewhere else.

Whether you go with the 6L6 or EL34 is probably personal preference. It's a great amp.

Colin
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: 6L6 or EL34??

Wow you have one!

How do you like it??

The problem is that I will probably order it in another country as it's almost 600 more in Switzerland than in let say Germany

However I'm going to the Frankfurt musik messe in 3 weeks so I'll have the opportunity to thy bothe versions there... and a lot more stuff not good for GAS!!
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 02:09 PM
 
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Re: 6L6 or EL34??

Quote:
Originally Posted by microdmitry View Post
6L6 is a better, more reliable tube. Go with 6L6. They don't sound that much different from EL34's unless you really crank the heck out of the clean channel.
It's not "better", it's just different..

I've never once had a problem with EL34s, and thousands of people use EL34 amps each day, so reliability isn't really a factor. But 6L6s have a definite sound, different than EL34s. It's all personal preference, as said above.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 02:29 PM
 
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Re: 6L6 or EL34??

I'd go for the EL34 and replace the tubes with some Electro Harmonix 6CA7. They retain the British flavor, but with more clarity. They're the mil-spec version of the EL34.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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Re: 6L6 or EL34??

I will probably never touch another 6L6 tube in my life, their clear to me but so sterile it could disinfect a country filled with SARs.

EL34s and EL84s have that certain bite that can not be obtained by "perfection" its their flaws that make them sound so amazing and "flawless" to my ears.

My two cents, for how I play.

EDIT: I use primarily NOS tubes from East-Germany.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 03:50 PM
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Re: 6L6 or EL34??

Very Simple:

6L6 = Fender combo sound

EL34 = Marshall stack sound

-jemaholic
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: 6L6 or EL34??

Yes but I've heard sveral times that 6L6 are more "modern" sounding... especially with a crunch / disto sound...
what do you think?

Fender ok, but all "metal" amps have 6L6... Mesa, Engl, Krank...
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 01:04 AM
 
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Re: 6L6 or EL34??

Quote:
Originally Posted by casper777 View Post
Yes but I've heard sveral times that 6L6 are more "modern" sounding... especially with a crunch / disto sound...
what do you think?

Fender ok, but all "metal" amps have 6L6... Mesa, Engl, Krank...
what????

engl has multiple amps that use el34 as well as mesa has bias select so you just can pop in el 34s. krank i am not sure with, seems i am not a big fan on their products.

metal once again depends what you mean, american (6l6) voiced or british (el34/84). but im pretty sure none of those companies make just 6l6 amplification.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 01:51 AM
 
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Re: 6L6 or EL34??

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Originally Posted by waylay00 View Post
It's not "better", it's just different..

I've never once had a problem with EL34s, and thousands of people use EL34 amps each day, so reliability isn't really a factor. But 6L6s have a definite sound, different than EL34s. It's all personal preference, as said above.
It is better. It's more mechanically robust, and has harder vacuum (that's why 6L6's rarely glow blue and EL34's do it all the time). Marshall started using EL34's because it was made locally and therefore it was much cheaper. 6L6 is more tolerant to mechanical shock and requires half the heater current. And no, they don't have a "sound", particularly in a high gain amp where 95% of distortion comes from the preamp. There _is_ a difference to be sure, but it's so slight in high gain amps that most people won't notice it. What you're hearing is the output tranny and the speaker.

Now if you use a clean channel, and/or if your amp is single ended and/or if tubes are operated outside of their spec'd range - that's another story. In that case you will easily hear the difference.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 01:56 AM
 
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Re: 6L6 or EL34??

I just picked up a Carvin chrome face TS100 and thats EL-34 powered stock, Peavey Classic 50/50's are stock EL-84's I think...Both can and have been used for Metal..
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 07:37 AM
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Re: 6L6 or EL34??

Quote:
Originally Posted by casper777 View Post
Wow you have one!

How do you like it??

The problem is that I will probably order it in another country as it's almost 600 more in Switzerland than in let say Germany

However I'm going to the Frankfurt musik messe in 3 weeks so I'll have the opportunity to thy bothe versions there... and a lot more stuff not good for GAS!!
It really is a great amp. Before I bought this I was into rack stuff. Not the boutique stuff though. Best I had was a old Marshall tube pre, quite nice. And a Mesa 20/20, great amp.

But the ENGL is a BEAST, never thought about trading it for something else. Have owned it for two years now and it's gonna stay.

The midi control is also a very nice thing on amplifiers like these.

Colin
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-29-2008, 01:00 AM
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Re: 6L6 or EL34??

it doesnt whatsoever matter what tube persay u you

ive heard plenty of el34, and el84 type amps sound just like 6l6 6550 5881 style amps

its all in the circuitry

but notably el34 mudd out, wich is desired for chording and some breakup, but for true handling its the 6l6 wich does not mudd out infact is has a sharper sawtooth type wave, when a el34 is a boxier rounded edge wave

6l6 responds faster

so for faster licks and more defined notes and punchier amp responce for speakers its all about 6l6

for more strung out notes and teh voilin like sustain when you play for instance, its a el34 type....

its all msuic to your ears

but on the other hand a 6l6 can soundlike a el34 is u are using a great preamp, but a el34 wont every sound like a 6l6
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amp distortion , clean tone , electro harmonix , high gain amp , mesa mark , mesa mark iii , paul gilbert , peavey classic , power amp , preamp tube

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