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Old 10th January 2007, 09:37 PM   #1
Bengali is offline Bengali  United States
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Default EL34 Sound

Hi,

I know this is a subjective matter. I'm not trying to start up anything. I would like to hear about your experience with the sound of EL34 tubes.

I got a Primaluna Amp. I listened for awhile with the stock KT88 tubes. I then tried new E.H. EL34 tubes. I'm hearing a more compressed sound, less seperation of instruments, the bass seems less controlled(louder, if I had a bass control, I would definately turn the bass down). I cannot say it's more musical.

Are the EL34's geared more toward certain type of instruments?
Vocals seems okay but not as dramatic as the KT88's. The KT88's produce a better sound overall, better defined and more depth, just my ears.

I'm getting a set of 6L6GC's to see how they sound. Just exploring different tubes right now.

Are KT66's worth a try as well?

Thanks for any feedback.
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Old 10th January 2007, 09:53 PM   #2
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Their sound depend on plate voltage, G2 voltage, current, load impedance. For the same tone you need to vary listed parameters and a voltage that drives them, so if you put a tube into a gear designed for another tube the sound will be different.
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Old 10th January 2007, 09:56 PM   #3
Bengali is offline Bengali  United States
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thx. the primaluna has adaptive bias so it can change the bias depending on the tubes used. I'm starting to wonder if it's optimized for KT88's tubes only. other tubes works but does not sound as good.
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Old 10th January 2007, 10:30 PM   #4
SY is offline SY  United States
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You also have to consider the plate load and drive requirements. It's doubtful that one circuit can be optimal for all those tubes so trying to draw general conclusions is dangerous.
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Old 10th January 2007, 11:04 PM   #5
arnoldc is offline arnoldc  Philippines
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Which PrimaLuna do you have? I baby sat an EL34 version and they sound good. I think you're taking the adaptive bias feature too much. It would automatically bias the power tube on the fly, thereby doing away with a screwdriver and a hawk's eye on the bias LEDs, but using different power tubes I believe is a totally different story.
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Old 11th January 2007, 05:21 PM   #6
Bengali is offline Bengali  United States
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I have the Pro5 which uses the KT88's. Yes, I now realize the auto bias is really just to keep you from having to manually tweak it. Even though you can use other tubes, it only sounds best with KT88's.
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