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  • Best EL34's for a nice thick clean tone

    Need a pair of EL34's for my rivera...not willing to spend more than $100 for the pair and I really don't want to spend that much. What are your suggestions? I'm leaning towards a winged C design and I'd like as much headroom as possible. I don't want the bass to be flubby and I want the high end to sing. I play mostly hard/classic rock, not a lot of metal. I'm not too worried about distortion tones...and yes, I will ask TGP too.
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  • #2
    I use SED =C= in my Marshalls. They're my favorite on the market.



    FWIW I've never been too keen on clean EL-34 amps to be honest.
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    <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Jesse G</strong>
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    • #3
      Kt77s.. That fits the bill of what you ask, and they are drop in alternative to the el34s
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      • #4
        You spelled 6L6's wrong...
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        • #5






          Quote Originally Posted by richardcouch
          View Post

          You spelled 6L6's wrong...




          This
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          <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Jesse G</strong>
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          • #6
            yeah yeah yeah, I know the classic cleans mostly come from 6L6's.....but riveras and bogners do quite well with cleans from EL34s, on top of that, $100 limit will not buy me a 6L6 amp that has a better clean channel than my Rivera.



            so the KT77's will drop right into my amp with no modifications needed?
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            • #7
              Yeah kt77s and 6ca7 as well. Which is supposed to be the middle ground of a 6l6 and el34. For my amp the kt77s were a huge improvement.. It actually was the difference between me merely liking my amp to non stop playing on it.. Here is a page showing most tube alternatives to the el34. http://www.tubedepot.com/el346ca7.html
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              <br />
              emg 81 or 85. $50. I'm keeping one, so whichever one sells first..<br />
              <br />
              -Ibanez Ts9- like new $60<br />
              <br />
              -Modded ProCo Rat (pm for info) $70<br />
              <br />
              pm for pics<br />
              </font></font><br />
              <br />
              Good transactions with- too many.</div>

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              • #8
                It sounds like the JJ 6CA7 should be on your list to look at... I also really like the Ruby EL34BSTR tubes as well



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                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by Kardula
                  View Post

                  Need a pair of EL34's for my rivera...not willing to spend more than $100 for the pair and I really don't want to spend that much. What are your suggestions? I'm leaning towards a winged C design and I'd like as much headroom as possible. I don't want the bass to be flubby and I want the high end to sing. I play mostly hard/classic rock, not a lot of metal. I'm not too worried about distortion tones...and yes, I will ask TGP too.




                  I replaced the 34's in my Rivera Chubster with 6CA7's. I think that is the tone you're looking for. It made the amp very warm JJ's

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                  • #10
                    I would second the Winged Cs, awesome sounding tubes. I like 6CA7s too, had a pair in my V50 and actually made it sound quite nice. The winged Cs were much, much better though.
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                    • #11
                      If you're using anything Marshall'esq, go for winged Cs.



                      That said, I found that the EH tubes did really well in an Engl Invader 100.
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                      • #12






                        Quote Originally Posted by ENdtime
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                        Kt77s.. That fits the bill of what you ask, and they are drop in alternative to the el34s




                        I'd a agree with this -- KT77's are a nice alternative to EL34's. I run them in my Tremoverb,..my favorite for that amp.



                        That said -- the clean tones from an amp are hugely dependent on the circuit -- and Rivera's are known for their amazing cleans. I honestly don't think a specific tube will make that much difference.
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                        <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>themadscientist</strong>
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                        <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Oblivion DC</strong>
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                        • #13
                          JJs always sounded fantastic in my old Rivera. But I have Svetlanas in my Gibson and they sound incredible.
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                          • #14
                            After trying almost every tube out there over the last 15 years , I can confidently say that I notice very little difference between different variants of power tubes. Maybe just a little bit , but never enough to say " wow , that power tube sounds way better than the other"
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                            • #15






                              Quote Originally Posted by Norton666
                              View Post

                              After trying almost every tube out there over the last 15 years , I can confidently say that I notice very little difference between different variants of power tubes. Maybe just a little bit , but never enough to say " wow , that power tube sounds way better than the other"




                              Totally disagree. You have a xxx, right? If you can't hear and feel a difference between different tubes in that amp with it loaded then I guess you are missing out on the little things.. it's definitely noticeable in that amp.. The low end depth between them all being the most noticeable initially and the mid range grit of the el34s compared to the 6l6 literally jumps out at me when I switched between them. I'd say it's akin to a pickup swap. Sure, some pickup swaps are felt more than heard, but certain pickups like a PAF and an X2N is noticeable on all levels.. I have had different tubes produce that effect



                              For me the kt77s compared to el34s I had (which btw, I feel even different brands among el34s can be quite different. To me it's the most varied power tube) was a pretty big change. It smoothed the mids and highs and added more chunk. Lost a little crunch but not much.. And The clean tone was much warmer. the kt77s when clean actually have a touch more presence to my ears, but it's actually a good thing as it brings that"sparkle" and depth that usually bodes well for clean
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                              <br />
                              <br />
                              <br />
                              -Dimarzio Paf 7-$45 or trade for a Duncan custom 7<br />
                              <br />
                              -Mick Thomson Blackouts set- $110 or $100 for just pickups, no pots/harnesses<br />
                              <br />
                              emg 81 or 85. $50. I'm keeping one, so whichever one sells first..<br />
                              <br />
                              -Ibanez Ts9- like new $60<br />
                              <br />
                              -Modded ProCo Rat (pm for info) $70<br />
                              <br />
                              pm for pics<br />
                              </font></font><br />
                              <br />
                              Good transactions with- too many.</div>

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