Hi everybody, I came across a Hytron NOS EF86 tube, and I’d like to know any opinions on it if you’ve ever tried them. I’m planning to use it in my KT45, as I bought the head used and I really don’t know how many hours are on the tubes. Is it worth replacing the EF86 which comes in the amp? As far as I’ve used the amp, I’ve noticed no rattling or noise from the tube, and I know they tend to get noisy and that Doc always uses tip-top tubes when using EFs. Any opinions? Thanks in advance. Tons of tone!!!
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Post by aguynamedben (Ben) on Feb 10, 2020 0:12:43 GMT -7
I'm curious about this too. I have a Matchless Nighthawk (EF86 + EL84s) and bought it specifically for the EF86 sound. It's a 1x12 combo, so according to the EF86 FUD its EF86 may be even more susceptible to problems. Given all the worries about EF86, combo amps, and EF86s going microphonic, how will I know it's time to replace them? What does it sound like?
FWIW I believe in this Tone Talk episode Dr Z talks about the Electro-Harmonix EF86 being a really good modern production EF86.
If your EF86 is working good, and the amp is sounding good and your not having any issues with squeals or other severe microphonics, id recommend keep on Rockin. Always nice to have a spare, but no need to introduce something that may not be as good as what you already got.
My stock Winged C EF86 is still working fine in my Z28 head after 10 years. The Tube Store had them on sale last year so I bought 2 as “safety stock” so I could keep the amp sounding like Doc intended. I saw no need to tube roll with crazy expensive NOS (yeah, Dario Miniwatt, I’m looking at you). Replaced the power tubes last year with new JJ’s per Doc’s prescription and checked the bias, and that amp still just kills.
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