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So I am getting a Carvin X100B probably sometime next week. It is used so I want to change the tubes. I am a tube noob since this will be my first tubed amplifier. I want to get some recommendations for EL34 tubes. I was looking at these:

Electro Harmonix EL34
Groove Tubes Gold GT-EL34
Sovtek El34

Any other tube recommendations are welcome too!

Also, what would you recommend for the X100B, High, Medium, or Low (Hard, Medium and Soft for Electro Harmonix) powered tubes?
 

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I don't think you can lump all Groove Tubes together, this is a (partial) list of what they sell/used to sell:

  • GT-EL34LS - Made in Slovakia
    GT-EL34C - Made in China, cheap
    GT-EL34R - Made in Russia, similar to EH-EL34 (rebadged)
    GT-EL34R2 - Made in the other Russian factory, similar to Svetlana EL-34 (rebadged)
    GT-EL34M - Made in China, cheap copies of the Mullard XF2
    GT-6CA7GE - Made in ?, some US parts

they also do a KT77 that will fit most EL34 amps.
AFAIK they do not make any tubes, although their 6CA7 is manufactured by third parties to their specs.

Electro Harmonix sells/brands multiple types as well (true EL34 and KT77)
But this is even more complicated as Sovtek, Electro Harmonix, Winged =C= and Svetlana are all trademarks/brands owned by New Sensor.

They sell Russian made Sovteks and Svetlanas as Electro Harmonics.
They also sell the same tubes as Svetlana, Mullard reissues and Winged =C=.
Winged =C= is used in the USA where the Svetlana trade name is not owned by Svetlana/New Sensor, but they are the same tubes.
You pay for the logo/brand on them. There is no magic.
 

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My amp takes 6L6's so I can't really comment on EL34's, but I personally love Tube Amp Doctor (TAD) 6L6 (and 12AX7) tubes. Definitely check their EL34's out ;)
Thanks
Regards
Jon
 

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My amp takes 6L6's so I can't really comment on EL34's, but I personally love Tube Amp Doctor (TAD) 6L6 (and 12AX7) tubes. Definitely check their EL34's out
TAD, like GT, do not make any tubes.
They rebrand Chinese stuff as well as Svetlanas.

I just bought a pair of their EL34s and one immediately failed :(
But they are going to replace my pair. :)
 

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JJ's are great. Solid all-around performance (tone and reliability).
Mullard's are nice - but a bit hit/miss w/the quality. I haven't had any issues, but a reliable tube guru to the stars has waived them off.
Winged "C" are great - have loved every one of their power tubes. Solid.

KT77s are another option - less breakup/more headroom. If you want a bit "more" from the amp before powertube sat, these may be a great option.

Lots of pretty cool tubes out there - great time to be a guitarist into tube amps!!

I will add, your V1 (first tube - furthest from the transformer and power tubes) and PI (position varies by amp) tubes will do more for changing the tone/feel of the amp than the power tubes. And, they're a lot cheaper/easier to swap.
 
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