Post by Mark (Basement Enthusiast) on Jul 23, 2015 17:50:46 GMT -7
First of all, welcome Ted!
If you read some threads over in the Amplifier Accessories > Tubes category of this forum, you'll see lots of people saying "only buy your tubes from a trusted vendor," followed by lots of positive feedback about places: TubeDepot, theTubeStore, Doug's Tubes, KCA NOS Tubes, etc. That's Rule #1.
Aside from that, generally the Electro-Harmonix EL84EH, JJ EL84 (aka. Ruby EL84CZ @ Doug's Tubes), and TAD EL84-STR are highly-regarded "new production" EL84 tubes. Can't go wrong with one of those from a trusted vendor. OR... you can go "NOS" which are older but arguably better tubes; those are a good option too, but they can get pricier and it's a more nebulous & confusing tube market if you aren't really familiar with the options.
I like & use the new production E-H's myself--from a trusted vendor, of course...
Own or have owned: M12, Carmen Ghia, Rx JS, MAZ 18 Jr NR, Monza, Z-28, Route 66, Therapy, DB4, Remedy, Prescription, EZG-50, SRZ-65 LE, & Delta 88 Z-Drive | Brake Lite SA & Air Brake
Thanks, Mark. If I'm in a hurry (or lazy), I'll order tubes from MF. I've gotten a few duds, but they've always taken them back and immediately (before the bad ones have been returned) ship out replacements.
I also get tubes from Mike @ KNOS, and Antique Electronics, which is nearby.
I've been using JJs in my Cub II (which I sold to acquire the RxES), NOS Russian in my custom & my Epi Valve Jr.
The Z is a different animal, so I'm wondering what experienced users are burning in theirs. EH are on my list.
I have a pair of TheTube Store 7189s in my Rx Jr (these are essentially the same tubes that Doc ships with the Z-Wreck). However, they are a little pricey compared to other modern tubes. I would also echo the recommendation for the EH or JJ tubes if you wanted to keep the price down. I believe I have seen Doc recommend the EH tubes as a good EL84 replacement in the past.
Post by davmpartridge on Jul 24, 2015 4:23:45 GMT -7
I put a matched set of 4 JJ EL84 in my Rx ES when I got it. I have been happy with them. They have some great chime. Prior to that there were some Mesa tubes that supposedly had low hours on them. The new JJ power tubes made the amp come alive.
You might also notice some differences when swapping out the EF86 tube. Currently I have the original Dario Miniwatt in that position and prefer it over the new Tesla I tried.
It is a great amp. I tend to run most controls between 9 and 12 o'clock. Overdose for a grittier sound that makes a Tele growl when you dig into it.
Dr. Z Prescription ES Head 1x12 Convertible 4x10 2x10 Shorty
Post by anacephalic on Jul 26, 2015 12:39:56 GMT -7
i've got jj for everyday use but i have a set old stock phillips miniwatts that are magic..2 sets actuall, the magic set is well matched. the other set has matching issues and doesn't perform near as well.
Post by teleplayer59 on Aug 2, 2015 3:06:36 GMT -7
I have been using JJs for years in a variety of EL84-based amps, including my RxES 1x12 combo. I have always liked JJ's "balls" when it comes to EL84 sound. I've also used Ei (years ago), EH, etc. For some reason, I always make my way back to JJ, as I dig their "stout" sound.
And, IMHO, if you want to maximize chime in an EL84-based amp, I LOVE older Ei ECC83 - I have about a dozen of them that are great (little to no microphonics). I also have a variety of EF86s I use for both my RxES and Stang Ray.