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EL34's vs 6L6 tubes, whats the difference?

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  • EL34's vs 6L6 tubes, whats the difference?

    I recently had my amp worked on and the amp tech decided to use 6L6 tubes instead of the stock EL34's. I was wondering what the difference between the two was. When I asked him which tubes had more gain he said the 6L6's.

    I would like to know a bit more about the differences to expect between the two tubes to know if I am going in the right direction dialing in this amp.
    Current Gear
    *Jackson USA KE-2 Kelly w/Cemetary paint*Charvel Strat*80's Kramer Striker*Jackson DK2S w/Dimebucker,hotrail*Peavey EXP Signature*Kramer Baretta neck through*G&L Legacy w/EMG S*G&L Legacyw/EMG SA*BC Rich Draco*Epiphone Black Beauty* Mesa Tremoverb 2x12*
    *Peavey JSX 120 watt w/matching cab* Ashdown Fallen Angel 180 Watt all tube amp * Mesa Rect Slant 4x12 cab*Ashdown FA-100 watt Hybrid head*Mesa Slant 2x12 cab*

    IT IS LATER THAN YOU THINK

  • #2
    Long story short...

    el34 Marshally lots of mids little less bottom and less sparkle. Very aggressive and raw.

    6l6 Mesa/Fenderish bunch of bottom and treble. More polished/smooth sounding.

    What amp is it?
    Sixtonoize on Prince-






    Originally Posted by Sixtonoize


    Yup.

    Great songwriter, killer guitarist, and certifiable ******************** black hole (once it gets within his range, none can escape).









    Originally Posted by isvoid


    a 10 is an 8 that swallows

    Comment


    • #3
      6L6 tubes are used for American voicing, EL34's for British.

      Comment


      • #4
        Long story short...

        el34 Marshally lots of mids little less bottom and less sparkle. Very aggressive and raw.

        6l6 Mesa/Fenderish bunch of bottom and treble. More polished/smooth sounding.

        What amp is it?


        Its an Ashdown Fallen Angel 180 watt all tube amp.
        It came stock with JJ EL34's but then it broke down and the tech thinks that the 6l6's are the best way to go. I want to get a lot of crunch out of it but also a good tone. I got it home and it had way too little gain so I am taking it back to him to rebias it. It does sound smoother now but without the high gain it should so perhaps it will sound better when the bias is changed.

        The amp has 2 channels and a boost on the second channel so I would like it to act like it, meaning that channel 1 is clean, channel 2 is dirty and with the gain cranked and the boost on it is crazy gain.
        Current Gear
        *Jackson USA KE-2 Kelly w/Cemetary paint*Charvel Strat*80's Kramer Striker*Jackson DK2S w/Dimebucker,hotrail*Peavey EXP Signature*Kramer Baretta neck through*G&L Legacy w/EMG S*G&L Legacyw/EMG SA*BC Rich Draco*Epiphone Black Beauty* Mesa Tremoverb 2x12*
        *Peavey JSX 120 watt w/matching cab* Ashdown Fallen Angel 180 Watt all tube amp * Mesa Rect Slant 4x12 cab*Ashdown FA-100 watt Hybrid head*Mesa Slant 2x12 cab*

        IT IS LATER THAN YOU THINK

        Comment


        • #5
          The circuit (and output transformer) the tube is sitting in dictates most of the tone, not so much the tube. Put EL34's in a Fender twin reverb and it still sounds Fender/6l6. You can build a circuit with 6L6 tubes that crunches like an EL34 loaded Marshall if you know what you're doing.
          Vox AC30 with 4 EL84's is smooth and creamy. A Crate Vintage Club 50 with
          4 EL84's sounds glassy/tight, very Fender like.

          Every type of output tube does have it's own sound, but the circuit is critical
          how it behaves and how the final tone/performance comes out.
          Never assume how an amp is going to sound based on its tubes.
          If you haven't played it, you do not know.
          Carry on


          Well I was sort of forced to put something in because something fried the original tubes when they were almost new. The amp had a fixed bias stock but that has been changed to an adjustable one. When I just spoke to the amp tech he said that he can change the bias to give me more gain but it will shorter the life of the tubes, so I am going to have him do that.

          The reason I questioned the different tubes is because it is the only change that has been made from stock (JJ El34's) and current (Groove Tube 6l6GE's)
          it did sound pretty smooth but a total lack of gain and crunch, I am hoping the biasing will fix that. He asked me to bring in the amp and my guitar and cab but my cab being an oversized mesa rect oversized cab and having nothing to transport it I cant do that part. Since the amp no longer is fixed bias he can change that so I take it that if he changes the bias it will likely give me the drive and crunch it had even though the tubes are different?
          Current Gear
          *Jackson USA KE-2 Kelly w/Cemetary paint*Charvel Strat*80's Kramer Striker*Jackson DK2S w/Dimebucker,hotrail*Peavey EXP Signature*Kramer Baretta neck through*G&L Legacy w/EMG S*G&L Legacyw/EMG SA*BC Rich Draco*Epiphone Black Beauty* Mesa Tremoverb 2x12*
          *Peavey JSX 120 watt w/matching cab* Ashdown Fallen Angel 180 Watt all tube amp * Mesa Rect Slant 4x12 cab*Ashdown FA-100 watt Hybrid head*Mesa Slant 2x12 cab*

          IT IS LATER THAN YOU THINK

          Comment


          • #6
            Find another tech. Seriously
            DIALED IN RIGHT






            Originally Posted by LoopQuantum


            Needed a new sig. Thanks!



            In case you're wondering, the chick in the douchebags avatar is Kari Sweets.
            See how easy that is, douchebag?







            "Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do!" - Me

            Some links about biasing: what bias is and methods to measure bias
            Good info regarding impedance mismatch (thanks James Peters):http://aga.rru.com/FAQs/technical.html#imp-1

            Comment


            • #7
              I have not had any amps that had 6L6 tubes in them before they have all been EL34's and since this is the only change that was made from stock it made sense to me it might be the reason that it is so different. But I just paid a mint to have this amp repaired including the overpriced groovetubes so the only way I am going to get someone to work on the amp for free is this guy. There is another amp shop in town that is as shady as they get. They charged me for biasing a fixed bias amp and "adding gain" to channel 2 which they could not explain how they said likely a resistor or something. I dont have a lot of good options.

              You must have a lot more money than I do to not try to get the tech I paid to fix it but just take it to another shop and see what happens.

              I asked a question about two types of tubes. Should I not expect that adjusting the bias on the 6l6's will ever give me more crunch? In case this happened to become an issue, which it has not yet, I asked my attorney what would happen if the tech could not make the amp sound like it did before and he said that I would be SOL because the tech did make the amp work and tone is subjective.

              I live near Bill Gates but dont have as much money as his loose change. This is a real world issue and it is easy to pick on the tech but not productive, how about some advice that fits the current situation?
              Current Gear
              *Jackson USA KE-2 Kelly w/Cemetary paint*Charvel Strat*80's Kramer Striker*Jackson DK2S w/Dimebucker,hotrail*Peavey EXP Signature*Kramer Baretta neck through*G&L Legacy w/EMG S*G&L Legacyw/EMG SA*BC Rich Draco*Epiphone Black Beauty* Mesa Tremoverb 2x12*
              *Peavey JSX 120 watt w/matching cab* Ashdown Fallen Angel 180 Watt all tube amp * Mesa Rect Slant 4x12 cab*Ashdown FA-100 watt Hybrid head*Mesa Slant 2x12 cab*

              IT IS LATER THAN YOU THINK

              Comment


              • #8
                I will find out because when I pay for something to be fixed and it doesnt end up working right I go back to that person I already paid to fix it. If I kept taking it to techs I might as well throw it away as it would be cheaper.

                Now I have read contradictory information here, plus I read the bias link and it did say that biasing the tubes would change distortion and gain.

                So aside from not liking this tech, is it possible to get my amp to sound pretty close to stock with the 6L6 tubes or is the only way I will get the gain and crunch back by switching back to EL34's?
                Current Gear
                *Jackson USA KE-2 Kelly w/Cemetary paint*Charvel Strat*80's Kramer Striker*Jackson DK2S w/Dimebucker,hotrail*Peavey EXP Signature*Kramer Baretta neck through*G&L Legacy w/EMG S*G&L Legacyw/EMG SA*BC Rich Draco*Epiphone Black Beauty* Mesa Tremoverb 2x12*
                *Peavey JSX 120 watt w/matching cab* Ashdown Fallen Angel 180 Watt all tube amp * Mesa Rect Slant 4x12 cab*Ashdown FA-100 watt Hybrid head*Mesa Slant 2x12 cab*

                IT IS LATER THAN YOU THINK

                Comment


                • #9
                  Honestly, I don't think the power tubes or bias adjustment have anything to do with your issue. That amp gets it's gain/crunch from the preamp, not the power amp.

                  I also suspect that the tech you consider "shady" may actually be more honest and competent than your current tech based on what you've told us. Sounds like you might be falling prey to a "smooth talker".
                  DIALED IN RIGHT






                  Originally Posted by LoopQuantum


                  Needed a new sig. Thanks!



                  In case you're wondering, the chick in the douchebags avatar is Kari Sweets.
                  See how easy that is, douchebag?







                  "Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do!" - Me

                  Some links about biasing: what bias is and methods to measure bias
                  Good info regarding impedance mismatch (thanks James Peters):http://aga.rru.com/FAQs/technical.html#imp-1

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Not reading foreposts, just adding my buck 50:

                    EL34: mids,overtones, warmth, agression, sweet... overtones, clear, cutting.
                    6L6: fat, juicy, slicing, big bottoms drive me outta my mind but don't shelve in a band mix as well as EL34's, better for cleans yet the Mesa toob o' choice (but mostly for reliability).

                    I love Marshalls, Mesas and Fenders. They all sound great, and this is just one of the awesome tube tonz.
                    Gary Rossington does not want to hear about your overfried gain stages.

                    Current Gear:
                    First Act guitar
                    First Act amp (10W, 4" spkr)
                    10ft. cable
                    Fender strap
                    Some picks
                    Tuning fork
                    Chord book

                    I belong to the Mids-Only Club.

                    Clique here to view some of my real gear.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      a tube is a tube etc. etc.
                      www.mpdacrylics.com

                      www.bazoogle.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        a tube is a tube etc. etc.

                        Gary Rossington does not want to hear about your overfried gain stages.

                        Current Gear:
                        First Act guitar
                        First Act amp (10W, 4" spkr)
                        10ft. cable
                        Fender strap
                        Some picks
                        Tuning fork
                        Chord book

                        I belong to the Mids-Only Club.

                        Clique here to view some of my real gear.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          why you palming me junior?
                          www.mpdacrylics.com

                          www.bazoogle.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            why you palming me junior?


                            'cause ur being noobular wif you're "a tube is a tube" bit.
                            Gary Rossington does not want to hear about your overfried gain stages.

                            Current Gear:
                            First Act guitar
                            First Act amp (10W, 4" spkr)
                            10ft. cable
                            Fender strap
                            Some picks
                            Tuning fork
                            Chord book

                            I belong to the Mids-Only Club.

                            Clique here to view some of my real gear.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Your power amp tubes won't change your tone enough for you to notice much on that amp unless you're diming the amp. In my JMP it matters but most amps that derive their tone from the tonestack in the preamp and the various cascading preamp tubes you're not going to get a huge difference in tone. You'll get a bit of difference in feel and response.

                              Chances are your ****************ty JJ tubes crapped out and the ****************ty groove tubes aren't much better. Your amp tech is a rip-off artist and you're acting like everyone is giving you bad advice (despite the fact that the only guy you believe is evidently the dude ripping you off) so what more do you want us to tell you?

                              Listen to Doug He's like master Yoda when it comes to amps.
                              Originally Posted by Elemenope


                              You get 1 free punch...They can't hit you back..Call the cops..Anything. Who??







                              Originally Posted by RSBro


                              madryan











                              Rack building thread...

                              http://acapella.harmony-central.com/...ies-rig...-Pix

                              Amp Packing Tutorial

                              http://acapella.harmony-central.com/...ial&highlight=

                              Comment



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