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Best new current production EL34 being made now

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Post Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:23 am
johnreardon Orange Expert

Posts: 634
Location: United Kingdom
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Simon Wicks</i>
<br /><blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by johnreardon</i>
<br /><blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Simon Wicks</i>
<br />I've said it many times <b>but cryo treating tubes is a waste of time.</b> The heat/cool cycles the tubes undergo during normal use will anneal any kind of supposed benefits from the cryo treatment process. I also tend not to believe the hype over a change in tone .
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Simon

So you disagree with Guitarist mags opinion that cyro treated valves are an improvement on standard valves then? They believed there was a definite improvement and gave the review products nearly 5 stars. Are they wrong?

Are the people in the Aurospace industry who also cyro treat many electronic bits for space missions wrong?

I can understand the views of Guitarist are just their own opinion, but I would think the Aerospace Industry base their views on more than just opinion.

As with all of the equipment we use, the best judges are our own ears.
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I disagree with the Guitarist review yes. As for the aerospace industry, <b>i beieve they stopped using valves in the late 50's early 60's. </b>

Think of it like this:

All matter is made up of atoms. In metals, they pack together in a lattice like arrangemant in a crystalline manner. All matter above absolute zero vibrates and is subject to diffusive flux - that is, the atoms can move around within the metal for instance. Now then, cryo treatment is supposed to fix the atoms and realign them...i dont quite buy that myself. You do cryo temper metals such as stainless steel but ...
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:D I didn't mean they used valves, however, they still cyro treat some electronic components. They must do it for some reason.

I agree with JXG that they, and things like mains cables, perhaps sound different.

All I would say, is that it doesn't really matter. As with a lot of things, sometimes it's all in the head, however, if it makes a player happier, then perhaps they end up playing better. Who knows?

Post Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:33 pm
Simon Wicks Orange Master

Posts: 2208
Location: United Kingdom
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by JXG</i>
<br />Are they? I know they can be substituted for EL34s without rewiring the socket- I thought 6L6 use pin 1, but (most) EL34 don't... I could be wrong of course, wouldn't be the first time... ;)
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6l6s and 5881s are tetrodes in the true sense of the word. They have four active elements: cathode, anode, control grid and screen grid. They also have an internally set of beam forming plates hooked to the cathode. This has the effect of creating a like charge to the cathode focusing the electron beam passing throught the screen grid. The KT66 and KT77 work exactly the same. EL34s replace the beam forming plates with a suppressor grid, which is why they are pentodes.

They are of course interchangeable in most amp dsigns. Typically, those that use EL34s tie the suppressor grid to the cathde rendering it fairly tetrode like anyway so the pin out is therefore exactly the same. I believe Traynor used a different method though thus usingt he LE34 to its fullest potential int he guitar amp.

Post Thu Jul 05, 2007 4:12 pm
JXG Orange Master

Posts: 1087
Location: United Kingdom
Thanks Simon, always good to fill a little knowledge gap!
John

Post Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:34 pm
Simon Wicks Orange Master

Posts: 2208
Location: United Kingdom
No sweat! I nicked that from Kevin O'Connor! ;)

Post Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:55 pm
bgarrett_uk Orange Master

Posts: 3485
Location: Planet of his Own
Cryogenic treatment of metals is a standard process in many industries not just electronic but is intended to change some material structure properties e.g. after hardening steels, particularly to reduce brittleness.
EL34's are pentodes cathode, anode and three grids.
http://www.jj-electronic.sk//pdf/E34L.pdf

KT77's are beam pentodes
http://www.jj-electronic.sk//pdf/KT77.pdf

As Simon says one of the grids in the KT77 & 6L6s is internally connected to the cathode (have a look at the PDF datasheet).
This article - http://www.r-type.org/static/grid14.htm - gives some background on the origin of the beam tetrode - developed to get around the Mullard pentode patent.


Pins EL34 KT77 6L6
1 g3
2 heater heater heater
3 anode anode anode
4 g2 g2 g2
5 g1 g1 g1
6
7 heater heater heater
8 cathode cathode cathode


On the original question
I don't currently have any amps using EL34's.
I have been using EH 6V6's and EL84's and have been very impressed with reliabilty - I buy from a reliable source www.watfordvalves.com(my gigging amp RV50 has done 120 shows plus rehearsals - about 700 to 800hrs in total on EH 6V6's). I have recently used JJ's but have reverted back to EH's now.

It is also worth reading watford valves' report on EL34's which is about 18 months old now.. http://www.watfordvalves.com/cgi-bin/do ... ort_46.pdf

Cheers
Brian

Post Thu Jul 05, 2007 10:51 pm
corky newman Orange Master

Posts: 3447
Location: USA
Was very bored at the shop a few months back..we had a few cool EL34 heads, like a 77 marshall's..into a 4-12 vin 30 cab.
we had a NOS set of mullards, and new sets of EH, JJ, Tung sol, sed, even some no mames..
when we changed them from set to set..the only thing I noticed was the volume & the bass responce...and thats about it...even with the NOS mullards..

Now when we messed with preamp tubes, oh my god, they were radical in the sonic changes...

After that I really dont worry about power amp tubes, as long as they are strong matched and fresh...

Post Thu Jul 05, 2007 10:55 pm
corky newman Orange Master

Posts: 3447
Location: USA
And YES we did bias each set..
We even tried some KT66's, that made a drastic change in the tone..
and we did a marshall with 5881's and then went to 6550's..I really loved the 6550's...

Post Fri Jul 06, 2007 12:02 am
professor plum Orange Master

Posts: 3803
Location: USA
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by corky newman</i>
<br />Was very bored at the shop a few months back..we had a few cool EL34 heads, like a 77 marshall's..into a 4-12 vin 30 cab.
we had a NOS set of mullards, and new sets of EH, JJ, Tung sol, sed, even some no mames..
when we changed them from set to set..the only thing I noticed was the volume & the bass responce...and thats about it...even with the NOS mullards..

Now when we messed with preamp tubes, oh my god, they were radical in the sonic changes...

After that I really dont worry about power amp tubes, as long as they are strong matched and fresh...
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thats very interesting to know...
valve.(((J0HN)))Resident village idiot
and some tech helper type said, "Gee, Mr Atkins, that guitar sure sounds fabulous!" Chet put the guitar on it's stand and said, "Well, how does it sound now?"

Post Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:36 am
Simon Wicks Orange Master

Posts: 2208
Location: United Kingdom
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by corky newman</i>
<br />Was very bored at the shop a few months back..we had a few cool EL34 heads, like a 77 marshall's..into a 4-12 vin 30 cab.
we had a NOS set of mullards, and new sets of EH, JJ, Tung sol, sed, even some no mames..
when we changed them from set to set..the only thing I noticed was the volume & the bass responce...and thats about it...even with the NOS mullards..

Now when we messed with preamp tubes, oh my god, they were radical in the sonic changes...

After that I really dont worry about power amp tubes, as long as they are strong matched and fresh...
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I tend to agree with that in the case of master volume amps. However, try mules in a non master volume amp and you're in sonic nirvana! I have an old 70's Laney LC50 combo. Its basically a Marshall 1987 running into two pre-rola celestion greenback G12H-30s. It has Brimar labelled Mullard xf2 el34s and brimar ecc83s in the pre-amp. When you drive the amp hard, you're getting power amp distortion, especially at full tilt. The tone is far sweeter than with modern EL34s. The tone is more projected and 3d and the drive is almost "alive". I can almost perfectly nail Eric Clapton's Cream tones on that amp. Its Marvelous.

MV amps tend to rely a lot on pre-amp distortion hence why you notice the change of pre-amp tubes alot more. Also, the MV in conjuction with the amp's coupling caps tend to filter the signal sucking valuable tone from your amp. You therefore notice the little nuances good NOS tubes can impart.

Post Fri Jul 06, 2007 12:04 pm
Bink Orange Master

Posts: 2473
Location: Texas, USA
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Simon Wicks</i>
<br /><b>I've said it many times but cryo treating tubes is a waste of time.</b> The heat/cool cycles the tubes undergo during normal use will anneal any kind of supposed benefits from the cryo treatment process. I also tend not to believe the hype over a change in tone anyway. There is too much internal inconsistency in a brand of tubes today to determine whether or not you definitely get a tonal change. Just remember Watford valves would sell anything if they said "Well, we cryo treated these tubes but i'll be buggered if i can tell the difference" ;)
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To my ears, there is a difference. I have only bought a few sets so my comparison is limited and biased by my ears but hey ho! [:p]
I found that for power valves, there was little notable difference (I believe Corky commented this too), but with the pre-amp valves I could hear a difference. I found there was much less difference on the TT than on my AD15 however.

To my ears the cryo versions had a little more bass response, a smoother midrange, that wasn't quite so peaky, and a slightly less brittle top end although still retaining brightness and sparkle.
I have compared only Harma valves (Ecc83 STRs and 7025s) both cryo and non-cryo versions.

As for the original question, I'm afraid I don't play any EL34 amps so apologise for the hijack comments!
Chris
PRS CU22
Present: TT, PPC 112 (Heritage G12M)
Past: AD15
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Post Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:36 pm
Simon Wicks Orange Master

Posts: 2208
Location: United Kingdom
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Bink</i>
<br /><blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Simon Wicks</i>
<br /><b>I've said it many times but cryo treating tubes is a waste of time.</b> The heat/cool cycles the tubes undergo during normal use will anneal any kind of supposed benefits from the cryo treatment process. I also tend not to believe the hype over a change in tone anyway. There is too much internal inconsistency in a brand of tubes today to determine whether or not you definitely get a tonal change. Just remember Watford valves would sell anything if they said "Well, we cryo treated these tubes but i'll be buggered if i can tell the difference" ;)
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I have only bought a few sets so my comparison is limited and biased by my ears but hey ho! [:p]
I found that for power valves, there was little notable difference (I believe Corky commented this too), but with the pre-amp valves I could hear a difference. I found there was much less difference on the TT than on my AD15 however.

To my ears the cryo versions had a little more bass response, a smoother midrange, that wasn't quite so peaky, and a slightly less brittle top end although still retaining brightness and sparkle.
I have compared only Harma valves (Ecc83 STRs and 7025s) both cryo and non-cryo versions.

As for the original question, I'm afraid I don't play any EL34 amps so apologise for the hijack comments!
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">
Trouble is, how long does it stay like that? All the laws of physic should say that after a few heat/cool cycles, the benefits of the treatment disapear. Also, since Harma valves are made up of mixtures of different brands, internal inconsistencies can account for what you hear. Its my opinion that its more physcological than anything else. I also do not belive there is tonal benfits from different power cables. They are not in the audio-circuit so cant affect tone.

Post Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:04 pm
johnreardon Orange Expert

Posts: 634
Location: United Kingdom
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Simon Wicks</i>
<br /><blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Bink</i>
<br /><blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Simon Wicks</i>
<br /><b>I've said it many times but cryo treating tubes is a waste of time.</b> The heat/cool cycles the tubes undergo during normal use will anneal any kind of supposed benefits from the cryo treatment process. I also tend not to believe the hype over a change in tone anyway. There is too much internal inconsistency in a brand of tubes today to determine whether or not you definitely get a tonal change. Just remember Watford valves would sell anything if they said "Well, we cryo treated these tubes but i'll be buggered if i can tell the difference" ;)
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">
I have only bought a few sets so my comparison is limited and biased by my ears but hey ho! [:p]
I found that for power valves, there was little notable difference (I believe Corky commented this too), but with the pre-amp valves I could hear a difference. I found there was much less difference on the TT than on my AD15 however.

To my ears the cryo versions had a little more bass response, a smoother midrange, that wasn't quite so peaky, and a slightly less brittle top end although still retaining brightness and sparkle.
I have compared only Harma valves (Ecc83 STRs and 7025s) both cryo and non-cryo versions.

As for the original question, I'm afraid I don't play any EL34 amps so apologise for the hijack comments!
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">
Trouble is, how long does it stay like that? All the laws of physic should say that after a few heat/cool cycles, the benefits of the treatment disapear. Also, since Harma valves are made up of mixtures of different brands, internal inconsistencies can account for what you hear. Its my opinion that its more physcological than anything else. <b>I also do not belive there is tonal benfits from different power cables. They are not in the audio-circuit so cant affect tone.</b>
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Simon, numerous hifi buffs will definitely disagree with you on this one. :D A lot power cables given with components are cheap and don't do justice to the thing being used. Good quality power cables can mask out interference from other electrical components on your system, such as fridges. Electrical circuits in places we play are not that good anyway, and anything that masks out noise from beer pumps is bound to be an improvement.

Even if it is all in the mind, if it works for the individual, then does it really matter?

Post Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:06 pm
Bink Orange Master

Posts: 2473
Location: Texas, USA
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Simon Wicks</i>
Trouble is, how long does it stay like that? All the laws of physic should say that after a few heat/cool cycles, the benefits of the treatment disapear. Also, since Harma valves are made up of mixtures of different brands, internal inconsistencies can account for what you hear. Its my opinion that its more physcological than anything else. I also do not belive there is tonal benfits from different power cables. They are not in the audio-circuit so cant affect tone.
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I was of the understanding that such cryogenic treatment was only partly reversible, even if the metal was returned to its molten state due to the fundamental changes the metal undergoes, and that this is unlikely to happen at the temperature that the valve sees.

All valves will undergo some changes as you state due to the cyclic heat cycle but I would be very surprised if it was very significant.

I agree that Harma re-brand and hence I may be hearing different brands but then even for the same make and type of valve you will get variance in tonal output.
Chris
PRS CU22
Present: TT, PPC 112 (Heritage G12M)
Past: AD15
Image Image

Post Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:09 pm
neonrust Duke of Orange

Posts: 5264
Location: Rochester NY
<font size="4">This thread hurts my brain!!!!!</font id="size4">:|
((((((((((((((((((((((((Andy))))))))))))))))))))

Post Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:13 pm
Bink Orange Master

Posts: 2473
Location: Texas, USA
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by neonrust</i>
<br /><font size="4">This thread hurts my brain!!!!!</font id="size4">:|
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Yeah, you're right! :oops:
Chris
PRS CU22
Present: TT, PPC 112 (Heritage G12M)
Past: AD15
Image Image

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