There are also Tung-Sols and EHs currently made in that price range. In other amps, I prefer them to the Winged Cs and I vastly prefer the expensive older Mullards and Amperex ones; but since getting my Route 66, I haven’t bothered to do any tube rolling.
Post by texan2step on Sept 16, 2018 4:15:35 GMT -7
I know I'm a bit delayed in responding, but I really like the Electrical Harmonic EF86 for current production tubes. I've had really good success, from a durability standpoint, and they sound really nice. I also really like the Winged C EF86, but I have had one go microphonic on me in the past.
Having said that, I have also loved every NOS Tesla tube I've tried (but I've not tried their EF86), and they are all still in the amps I bought them for after years of use. I will certainly try these when I but my next EF86.
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Post by jhen86 (jordan) on Dec 4, 2018 14:22:57 GMT -7
I'm way late here but wanted to share some recent observation I had regarding the EF86 response in my amps. I've had great experience with the Winged C and RFT (both from thetubestore.com) and have used the the Tesla ef86 as well.
In the last year, I acquired used M12 and RXJR heads. Love them both. I've found the M12 to be very clean and with much more fullness in the midrange. On the opposite end of things, the RXJR is very mid scooped and quite aggressive. After a while the "politeness" of the M12 starting bugging me, so I tried the 5AR4 rec tube. It was better, but still felt lacking compared to the wild RXJR. Was really looking for something that sat right between the two amps.
This whole time I had been running the Winged C in the M12 and the RFT in the RXJR.
So...Just last weekend I decided to try swapping the EF86's in the amps after reading some other forum observations. WOW! I did not realize what a drastic change it would make in the tone.
I realized that so much of the mid fullness and clean headroom I was experiencing with the M12 was from the Winged C. Some guys call it a low gain EF86. I find that misleading. It is definitely not providing dirt, but it quite high gain in the truest sense. A ton of clean power, just not dirt/breakup. With the RFT in, the M12 has a much more open midrange, and is notably dirtier. The sort of stuffiness in the mids and the firmness on the top end was gone. Very cool! Much more Stangray like to me. I'd say the RFT and the 5AR4 are musts if you are wanting that vibe.
With the RXJR, the Winged C bought some tameness to the party. While I didn't particularly love that, it was still a great tone. What I found most surprising though was how full the mids were now on this amp that many find wanting in that area. With the RFT the mid control on the RX seemed to have very little response. With the winged C in, boy, that mid control is SOOO responsive now. It's like the tube is finally providing some bandwidth to do something with. Very cool.
All that to say, the amps are even more alike now with the EF86 swap. Not sure I will keep it that way, but is a nice change of pace.
Takeaways for me...
Winged C = very full mids, lots of clean headroom, a tad stiffer. RFT = more open mid range, not as loud but more dirt, very cool. Tesla = More like the RFT, but found it to be just a slightly darker, cleaner, and overall less exciting to the ear. Would go with the RFT personally for those tones.
Many years ago, one of the experts that spent a lot of time here warned me about QC at winged C for their EF86s for tolerance and variation. I’m really happy with the one in my 66, but the one was blanket city in my Cub III. I didn’t like the one in my HC30 clone, either.
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