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Old 19th March 2004, 01:48 AM   #1
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Default Tube Recommendation

I've read these forums and did some searching on the web, but now more confused than ever...

I use the Golden Dragon EL34 tubes (purchased a few years ago) in my Van Alstine mod'ed Dynaco Stereo 70. The sound was absolutley gorgeous! But one of the tubes died, so now I want to buy a matched quad set. My father owns a pair of 120wpc VAC Monoblocks (which VAC soley used Golden Dragon), and again, the VAC's sounded awesome. He too needs a complete re-tube.

Reading about failure rates, black markets and company take-overs, I have no idea of what tube brands to buy!

In keeping a similar sound to the Golden Dragon tubes, what brands should I be looking at? With sound being very important, I'm also looking for reliability and longevity.

Also, are Golden Dragon tubes still available in the US (links appreciated)? What tube brands would you recommend that would sound close to the Golden Dragons without going so far over-budget?

Please, any help???
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Old 19th March 2004, 02:06 AM   #2
arnoldc is offline arnoldc  Philippines
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i don't have any experience with golden dragon, but i've been using Svetlana EL34 and Electro-Hamonix EL34 on my Anthem Amp 1. i prefer the Svet.
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Old 19th March 2004, 08:06 AM   #3
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Default EL34 tubes

Hi FrankRoss

I've been using EI's E34L in my homebrew push-pull EL34 amp for about 8 months now. They're supposed to give 15% more output than a EL34. From what I can tell by ear they do seem to be more sensitive. I do know they require less bias voltage than a standard EL34. I have them running 38mA each (440V = 16.72 watts dissipation).
They sound a little on the bright side compared to a Sovtek, I like them and the seem to be reliable so far. IMHO they would be perfect for your mod'ed Dyna. They come in blue or clear glass. They're both the same except for the cost. I got the blue ones just for the looks.

Wayne
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Old 19th March 2004, 10:17 AM   #4
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Hi,

Quote:
I've been using EI's E34L in my homebrew push-pull EL34 amp for about 8 months now.
To the best of my knowledge, EI never made any E34Ls. Tesla did and JJ continues to do so.

Maybe some Chinese manufacturer labeled theirs E34L as well, dunno.

The TESLAs (NOS) are the best EL34s I've seen over the past 20 years and sounded excellent.

BTW, the EIs are tetrodes like the US 6CA7 and they also manufacture the fat bulb 6CA7.
I don't know how good these are but I'd expect them to last longer than any Chinese EL34.

Both the Svets and Sovteks should be fine as should the JJs but to my ears, nothing beats a NOS US 6CA7 as far as EL34 equivalents go.

Cheers,
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Old 19th March 2004, 11:08 AM   #5
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Default E34L

ooops

You're right again Frank! JJ Tesla!
I need another cup of coffee! I should know what **mn tubes I have in my amp! I was talking to my brother about EI 12AX7's and 12AT7's.

Sorry about that everybody
Wayne
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Old 19th March 2004, 12:00 PM   #6
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>>nothing beats a NOS US 6CA7 as far as EL34 equivalents go

Are you saying that I can drop the 6CA7's in as a direct replacement to the EL34 - with NO modifications to the amp?

I still would like my original questions answered, as far as what tubes are very similar in sound to the Golden Dragon, and can Golden Dragon be had in the US? Also, what about the black market, re-labels, buy-outs, etc.

I'm a novice about these things, and would like a formal education, if you would be so kind...
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Old 19th March 2004, 12:10 PM   #7
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Hi,

Quote:
Are you saying that I can drop the 6CA7's in as a direct replacement to the EL34 - with NO modifications to the amp?
Sure can.

Quote:
I still would like my original questions answered, as far as what tubes are very similar in sound to the Golden Dragon, and can Golden Dragon be had in the US? Also, what about the black market, re-labels, buy-outs, etc.
Golden Dragon is nothing more than a brandname used to market the Chinese made Shuguang tubes.

In the U.S. the now defunct Svetlana Electronic Devices were distributing them. PM Components are said to be negotiating to take over the remnants of SED and market their Golden Dragon brand through that channel through under their own management.
At least that's what rumour has...

In the mean time you can still buy Golden Dragon tubes in the US from Evatco and at Vacuumtubes dor com amongst others.

Keep your eyes open as you'll even find USSR tubes branded Golden Dragon...They're really doing the best they can to make the market as transparent as can be....

Cheers,
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Old 19th March 2004, 01:26 PM   #8
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So what are the differences between the EL34 and 6CA7? What makes them interchangeable?

More importantly, what SOUND differences are there between the two?

I'm trying to understand!
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Old 19th March 2004, 01:53 PM   #9
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Hi,

Quote:
So what are the differences between the EL34 and 6CA7? What makes them interchangeable?
The EL34 (European code) is a penthode, the 6CA7 (US code) a tetrode other than that they are electrically interchangeable.

As for sound, what can I say?
I just happen to like the 6CA7 better in the bass department, more authority if you like.

Nowadays, I'd stick with the EL34s or Yugo 6CA7s as whatever is left of the original US manufactured 6CA7s is either too pricey or just downright flaky.
Not something I'd be throwing money at as a beginning tube user anyway.

Cheers,
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Old 19th March 2004, 08:54 PM   #10
stormy is offline stormy  United Kingdom
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Hi

Well I am shure to get flamed for this but, Mullard is the best.
u can pick up tested NOS matched el34's every week on ebay
usualy prices go to about 70 a pair but are well worth it
thay last longer and sound lovely compaired to most other
manufacturers

Tip: do a bit reaserch and you will be surprised that some other
branded valves were actualy manufactured by Mullard GB
so if you are smarter than the next person about this you could
pick up Mullards cheaper.

matching batch codes is probly a better way to determine matching as most people that test valves on testers are
going to damage the valve matching them unless thay realy know
how to use a valve tester(if indeed it is a proper valve tester
where u can adjust the voltages etc on diffrent electrodes
and not just one of the type testers that give u the OK valve is
working type tester, like some of the mullard and avo testers.


stormy
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