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Old 29th November 2008, 02:01 PM   #1
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Default pin-compatible EF86 alternative?

Is there any pin-compatible alternative to the EF86? I can think of a few that are not pinned the same, but that isn't any use....
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Old 29th November 2008, 03:35 PM   #2
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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6267, Z729, 8D8, 6F40, M8195, and the following Mil CV-numbers: CV2901, CV4085, CV4086, CV8068, CV8081, CV10098.

I am familiar with the 6267 and the Z729, and can't say I have encountered any of the rest.

The list above originally came from here:
"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." - Thomas Paine
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Old 29th November 2008, 03:53 PM   #3
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hey Kevin,
I'd classify the 6267 and Z729 as EF86's. I am looking after the others... What I'd like to find is something EF184-ish, but that seems a bit remote given the application it was put to.
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Old 29th November 2008, 04:16 PM   #4
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E80F (no relation to EF80...) - though it's even LOWER transconductance... I assume you're looking for MORE...
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Old 29th November 2008, 04:34 PM   #5
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Originally posted by Tom Bavis
E80F (no relation to EF80...) - though it's even LOWER transconductance... I assume you're looking for MORE...
and perhaps more plate dissipation while we're at it.
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Old 29th November 2008, 06:16 PM   #6
coresta is offline coresta  France
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or the 6BR7 , an amazing depined EF86
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Old 29th November 2008, 08:52 PM   #7
Hi_Q is offline Hi_Q  England
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My Mullard maintenance manual also lists the 6F22 as an equivalent.
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Old 29th November 2008, 09:10 PM   #8
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I think you'll find there is no alternative with superior characteristics, i.e. better transconductance, anode dissipation but only versions which are supposed to have better noise and hum performance such as the Mullard M8195 and the Telefunken EF806S. All the CV numbers indicate an EF86 or equivalent. The 6BR7 is the Brimar version of the EF86 and is supposed to be good but has a different pin-out (and the 6BS7 is supposed to be even quieter but has its grid connection on a top-cap). The 6F40 is the same as the EF804 but they both have a different pin-out from the EF86. The 8D8 sounds like a Brimar valve but I can't find any details : I'll bet it's the same as the EF86.
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Old 1st December 2008, 09:38 AM   #9
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Default Some Ef86 matches info

Hi, this is gEorge, or gEo for short

I have built a lot of Vintage gear. I have researched out tube manuals and have

a lot of info in my feeble brain.

Here is a link to a photo-album with some of my work on it.

When i build some monster creation, I like to know what tubes will work so if it

goes into production, I know how many I can
build for customers.

I also have friends with Vintage Neve, Telefunken and other preamps that use

rare tubes. There is a special version made by Telefunken that is the best EF86.

I have three studio owners that will shoot on site anyone with one!

There are a number of versions of this tube that I have had.

One of the "Jokes" on ebay is that there are tubes that are exact matches for

the super-duoer Tele or Mullard tube that sell for Nada because no one will buy

unless it says "tele" etc...

The EF40, is the exact match for the EF86 that all the studio guys want that has

the special plate structure. I have a pile of Bugle Boy EF40s that are NOS and

made in France. I have been using them in preamps as the Teles are so expensive.

These use a 8-pin European socket that is available.

You can find EF40s on ebay for like $4.50

Also in vintage tubes, 6sj7 metal octal, and #77, a 6-pin with a plate cap. I

built a number of vintage preamps with a #39/44, a 5-pin with grid cap, late

1930's pentode, one of the first, and it is a close match to EF86 specs, and

sounds great. The last two big tube preamps I built have a EF40 and a 39/44 tube

in the pre-stage, and by switching the filament power from one tube to the

other, you can change tubes while running, no clicks. The two tubes sound very


I like the older 5-pin tube as smoother, bigger tone.

I have a box from 1951 of 39/44 tubes that is my stock. One studio has a preamp

that has run steady for about seven years, no repairs, sounds great.

Use the EF40s and stop paying for those Teles and Mullards.

Also 5879, a seven pin tube, is a little less gee-mos than a Ef86, but a great

sounding tube and very quiet.

6ak5s also sound great. I have built preamps with these and they perform nice,

smooth and quiet.

Hope that helps.

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Old 2nd December 2008, 01:09 PM   #10
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EF86s aren't _that_ expensive yet - though prices seem to be rising due to the guitar market.

for the budget minded the Soviet version isn't that bad - especially for the price. You can easily pickup quads of them for <$20 (not including shipping)

I've also had good (nay great!) sound from the Japanese EF86s - notably NEC and Hitachi. They pop up on Ebay now and then.

I will also second the use of the EF40. They are durned quiet and the rimlock socket really keeps them in their place.

of course the only EF86 I lust after is the GEC CV4085... yum!
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