#1
okay i have relentlessly been looking thru various articles and threads on UG and i have to find something that comes different tube types. like some kinda of chart that compares different tube types NOT BRANDS. there is plenty for preamp tubes saying 12ax7 are the ones with the most gain of course but what about the power tubes?? there are comparisons between 6L6 and EL34 being that 6L6 is rounder, deeper and break up later than an El34 which is warmer and crunchier.

so my main concern is with EL84 and 6V6 and how they compare to each other and maybe if we can to EL34 and 6L6 and just for kicks, to the big boys, the KT's and 6550's. has anyone seen such a comparison without involving brands?
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#3
why does everyone do that. that thread talks about brands when i specifically said i didnt want that. not to mention ive read thru that thread multiple times. if you can point out a specific post in those hundreds of posts, than your input would be appreciated.
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#4
You could call Doug from Dougstubes.com..... he'll call you back and answer questions for you. Have you looked at eurotubes.com, thetubestore.com.....ect
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#5
i have looked at those sites but i havent thought of doug. i emailed him before. its just that this kind of comparsion seems kind of useful to people and no one has made a simple chart for it. im not electing myself for that either since im poor
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#6
6L6 - American voiced. Clear and "glassy" or "airy"
6V6 - American voiced, less so that 6L6, made to sound good at low volumes
EL34 - British voiced, agressive(ish) crunchy Marshall type sound
EL84 - British voiced, bright, chimey Vox type sound
KT's - Never used them honestly, generally described as more "buttery" and "warm" than other equivalent tubes.
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#7
that was gorgeous, exactly what i was looking for but i dont know, seems lacky something....maybe just not enough detail for me. i dont know good enough though. more opinions would be nice tho. and preferably tone lingo and not "marshally" "fendery", more like glassy and airy like on the 6L6 description. here ill do one for the one everyone should know as an example.

6L6 - tight, crisp, clean, late break up, bigger frequency range than EL34 (rounder), louder, better for metal, buttery leads
EL34 - earlier break up, warm and creamy, crunchy mids but less low end and looser but not by much, better for maiden tones, british rock, open chord type stuff and articulate leads

etc... something a bit more like that. i think im just being nit picky no offense robino. that was good tho.
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#8
glad i could help
i have a guitarworld gear guide with great descriptions of a bunch of tube types
ill post it for you if i get the chance.
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#9
6L6 - round & warm sounding, more headroom than EL34's, chimey bell like highs, neutral mids, deep lows.
EL34 - Sharper sounding, with less headroom than 6L6's. Bright crisp highs, aggressive abundant mids, neutral tight lows.
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#10
hey that would be perfect if you could do that robino.

o hey does any one know what even order harmonics are? i heard someone talking about it and i have no idea what they meant. what about when ppl refer to mids as being complex?
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#11
hey guys i found it! the place to find out about tube types and their charecteristics. sure it isnt a chart like i wanted, which would be ideal, but i feel most, if not all, of the information is right here on this site. i have only just begun reading but it was a lucky find.

http://www.watfordvalves.com/reports.asp
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#12
not wanting to throw a spanner in the works but how much of your tube tone descriptions are actually down to the power tubes and not the speakers etc. speakers have the greatest (in my opinion) affect on the sound of an amp.

you'll only get 6L6's in american voiced amps - they almost always use american speakers like jensens
AND
you only get EL34's in british voiced amps and they mostly use british voiced speakers.
SO
how much of a 6L6 amp's "chimey bell like highs, neutral mids, deep lows" sound be put down to the power tubes? i mean its not like you are likely to put 6L6's in an EL34 amp. im sure its possible but not something i hear happening much.

different amps also have different preamps and tone stacks which have a pretty major effect too. i mean there are modelling amps out there like vox that dont even use a power tube but manage to get a little of both types of sound described here and the only thing changing there that i can see is the preamp circuitry.

what I think can be put down to the power tubes is the headroom, readiness of break up and frequency response. i really dont think the shape of the tubes are going to make all that much difference.

thats just my thoughts. if im wrong please educate me
#13
Quote by Robino_Ibanez
6L6 - American voiced. Clear and "glassy" or "airy"
6V6 - American voiced, less so that 6L6, made to sound good at low volumes
EL34 - British voiced, agressive(ish) crunchy Marshall type sound
EL84 - British voiced, bright, chimey Vox type sound
KT's - Never used them honestly, generally described as more "buttery" and "warm" than other equivalent tubes.

This pretty much.

I'm not sure on KT's either. I think KT66's were the original tubes in the JTM45's. So I'm assuming they're somewhat similar to EL34's. I think there are other's that are a bit more modern sounding? Maybe?
Of course there are other tubes but those are the most common.
#14
Quote by mcrfobtai
This pretty much.

I'm not sure on KT's either. I think KT66's were the original tubes in the JTM45's. So I'm assuming they're somewhat similar to EL34's. I think there are other's that are a bit more modern sounding? Maybe?
Of course there are other tubes but those are the most common.

KT66 = 6l6
#15
Quote by clear and blue
not wanting to throw a spanner in the works but how much of your tube tone descriptions are actually down to the power tubes and not the speakers etc. speakers have the greatest (in my opinion) affect on the sound of an amp.

you'll only get 6L6's in american voiced amps - they almost always use american speakers like jensens
AND
you only get EL34's in british voiced amps and they mostly use british voiced speakers.
SO
how much of a 6L6 amp's "chimey bell like highs, neutral mids, deep lows" sound be put down to the power tubes? i mean its not like you are likely to put 6L6's in an EL34 amp. im sure its possible but not something i hear happening much.

different amps also have different preamps and tone stacks which have a pretty major effect too. i mean there are modelling amps out there like vox that dont even use a power tube but manage to get a little of both types of sound described here and the only thing changing there that i can see is the preamp circuitry.

what I think can be put down to the power tubes is the headroom, readiness of break up and frequency response. i really dont think the shape of the tubes are going to make all that much difference.

thats just my thoughts. if im wrong please educate me


Most amps can run multiple tube types. My "British" amp can run 6l6s, el34s, kt66s, kt77s, kt88s with the appropriate mods (just in changing a few resistors). They all have different characteristics.

Also...

KT_ _ = kinkless tetrode version of..

66=5881 (6L6)
77=el34
88=6550
Last edited by al112987 at Dec 19, 2008,
#16
It looks like most everything has been answered here, but I can answer any more questions you've got?
To answer the question of testing different tubes with the same amp, I used a THD univalve for most of the power tube comparisons on the tubes thread. It can take nearly any octal power tube, so it's a great testbed for this sort of thing.
#17
unless different tubes are used in the same amp, then any comparison will be meaningless. the rest of the amp, imo, has far more to do with the voicing. even if i were to put el34s in my HRD somehow, it would still sound like a HRD.
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#18
Quote by clear and blue
not wanting to throw a spanner in the works but how much of your tube tone descriptions are actually down to the power tubes and not the speakers etc. speakers have the greatest (in my opinion) affect on the sound of an amp.

you'll only get 6L6's in american voiced amps - they almost always use american speakers like jensens
AND
you only get EL34's in british voiced amps and they mostly use british voiced speakers.
SO
how much of a 6L6 amp's "chimey bell like highs, neutral mids, deep lows" sound be put down to the power tubes? i mean its not like you are likely to put 6L6's in an EL34 amp. im sure its possible but not something i hear happening much.

different amps also have different preamps and tone stacks which have a pretty major effect too. i mean there are modelling amps out there like vox that dont even use a power tube but manage to get a little of both types of sound described here and the only thing changing there that i can see is the preamp circuitry.

what I think can be put down to the power tubes is the headroom, readiness of break up and frequency response. i really dont think the shape of the tubes are going to make all that much difference.

thats just my thoughts. if im wrong please educate me



thats a very valid idea and it does bring up a lot of factors but i was talking more on a scientific type of level where there is a control and the only factor changing is the power tubes. ie amp A uses a 6l6 type and then a el34 type without changing any settings and noting the differences. such test HAVE been done and thats what we know the different characteristics of these tubes. i was looking for such comparisons on the other tube types and most particularly the 6v6 and el84 types. and of the best comparison for those would probably be the egnator rebel which simply has them both inside and there is a knob to switch between the two and actually blend them. i did such a comparison when i went to the store and saw one. granted its not as valid a comparison as say using many tubes and constant swapping and strenuous research of tube consistency (same characteristics experienced with each tube) but it comes close enough for me. im no audiophile but i do require at least some general gist of what i should expect with different tubes. now the 6v6 and el84 tube types exhibit the same characteristic differences as 6l6 to el34 i have found, which makes sense but you just gotta make sure you know. my preferences that i thought i had for tubes and tone have completely changed since i started this research going from british sounds and lots of gain and a tight low end to prefering less gain for its dynamic response and a more 3D type of low end prefering more american sounds. a complete preference over haul if you will.

i also would have corrected a few things some of you have said but it looks like someone came in before me

and i do believe most of my questions were answered now. also chea_man that is true and i was simply wonder what tubes would have certain characteristics so i can lean towards amps that use those mainly etc. i'm in a search for a low wattage amp with a high gain sound and to be honest the egnater rebel i tried was nearly there. it's a rather cool amp and had plenty of tones for me to mess around with, i dont need many anyways.
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#19
there is an old mesa amp, i think its called the blue angel. great little amp. it a lower wattage amp and has both el84 and 6v6 that can be used separately, or combined. you should track down one of those.


on a side note, i watched a video of Joe bonomassa showing off his rig. He showed an amp he has that is a Dumble ODS clone, but it had EL34s in. it still sounded just like a dumble. (dumbles use 6L6s)
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#20
hmm i suppose i could look into that blue angel. i'd prefer just one tube type tho lol. thats enough for me. dont wanna run up retube costs when i only use one power tube type of the two. would it be possible to take out the power tubes i dont need and would it still run fine? or would they just simply never die if i never use that power tube section?

and i suppose that means there isnt much hope for turning a british amp into a little more american sounding by swapping out the power tubes and speakers for american types?
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#21
o hey no one answered me what even order harmonics are or what complex mids are exactly
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#22
Quote by giternator
hmm i suppose i could look into that blue angel. i'd prefer just one tube type tho lol. thats enough for me. dont wanna run up retube costs when i only use one power tube type of the two. would it be possible to take out the power tubes i dont need and would it still run fine? or would they just simply never die if i never use that power tube section?

and i suppose that means there isnt much hope for turning a british amp into a little more american sounding by swapping out the power tubes and speakers for american types?


You don't have to mix tubes together. Most people don't. They run a power stage of one type of tube.

You can try to make a British amp more American voiced and vice versa. It's not really that difficult and you can pull it off fairly well. The point is that don't expect a Fender twin to sound like a Marshall stack just because you're using Celestions and el34s.

Even harmonics are harmonics that are even multiples of a fundamental frequency.

Complexity is just a way to describe a sound, it's very much like when people say a tone is "3-dimensional." It's not a technical term or anything.
#24
Quote by clear and blue
Comparing 6v6, 6L6 and EL34 on a champ

found this on youtube, it may give you an idea. couldnt get anything comparing the all of the main 4 you were looking for though



aw sweet man, thats perfect. it cant be all im looking for of course but thats a great help thanks a lot. im not really insterested too much in the kt's or 6550 or other high output tubes cuz im looking into getting a very low wattage amp as you may have read lol, so that wouldnt really help much but this is plenty of comparison to be honest. if it had all four it would be the ultimate video for such a question as mine. thanks for the heads up on it tho, hadn't thought about hitting youtube up for that.
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#25
heh im finding a lot of comparison vids for power types now on youtube. i cant believe i didnt look there =/. ah well thanks for that man i think i can get all i need from there. there is even a vid saying how to get the best from your, different power tubes etc w/e. havent looked at it but from that vid you sent me the el34 has a crunchier sound and probably more mids, cant really tell with youtube i suppose but it seems that way, the 6l6 doesnt really have less mids per say but it had a deeper sound and crunched less and cleaned up more with pick up attack and the 6v6 seemed weaker probably b/c its lower power and it crunched less but sweeter and less harsh. more controllable and clearer. not sure if my descriptions are good enough but it seems to be holding up with the general consensus. perhaps thats why its general consensus eh? altho that general consensus has been wrong so thats my reason for doing all this heh.
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