Low headroom EL34 replacements

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HarlowTheFish
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Low headroom EL34 replacements

Postby HarlowTheFish » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:09 am

Hey folks!
So I'm looking to pick up a Bad Cat Cougar 50 (probably combo), which has EL-34s, but I was looking to put something with lower headroom in there if possible. I'm looking for more breakup, a little more compression, and a little less output to get the power amp working. Any ideas?

Cynical
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Re: Low headroom EL34 replacements

Postby Cynical » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:38 am

EL34s are the lowest headroom big-bottle tube (rule of thumb: skinnier tube = less headroom). Sounds like you want to find a 6v6 amp.

EDIT: Or, if you really want that amp, variacs are a possibility.

DWG
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Re: Low headroom EL34 replacements

Postby DWG » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:01 pm

Hi Harlow,

I think you might consider an amp with EL84's, the little bro's of the EL34's. For what it's worth, I have the Egnater Rebel Mark II in my amp arsenal. It has both a pair of EL84's and a pair of 6V6's. The amp has a blend knob that allows you to run either pair standalone or blend them. I run with a blend that is about 60% 6V6 and 40% EL84.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... -tube-head

Best of luck in your sonic search! :D

DWG

HarlowTheFish
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Re: Low headroom EL34 replacements

Postby HarlowTheFish » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:11 pm

Cynical wrote:EL34s are the lowest headroom big-bottle tube (rule of thumb: skinnier tube = less headroom). Sounds like you want to find a 6v6 amp.

EDIT: Or, if you really want that amp, variacs are a possibility.


Yeah, I'm really looking for 34s. No particular brand/variant that'll distort faster? WRT Variacs, I'd consider picking up one of the Jet City attenuators.

DWG wrote:Hi Harlow,

I think you might consider an amp with EL84's, the little bro's of the EL34's. For what it's worth, I have the Egnater Rebel Mark II in my amp arsenal. It has both a pair of EL84's and a pair of 6V6's. The amp has a blend knob that allows you to run either pair standalone or blend them. I run with a blend that is about 60% 6V6 and 40% EL84.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... -tube-head

Best of luck in your sonic search! :D

DWG


My main amp is actually 4xEL84, a H&K Grandmeister Deluxe 40. I dig it EL84s, but I'm looking for something a little different sonically. I've owned a Legacy 3 with EL34s in the past, and I think that's the kind of character that would work for me.
How'd you like the Egnater? I've played the Tweaker, but never had a chance to try the Rebel.

Cynical
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Re: Low headroom EL34 replacements

Postby Cynical » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:12 am

I'd choose a different brand of attenuator than the Jet City, either a Freyette or a Torpedo. My friend had the Jet City one, and it burned out in a few weeks.

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Re: Low headroom EL34 replacements

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:57 am

An attenuator/load box would work, or use an autotransformer.

Or use both.

The autotrans will sag the volts going to the amp, so it will get more compressed, dirtier, and quieter. I've used this on several amps before (Vintage16 and JCM800 clone to name two in short notice), and it helped cut a couple dB. Enter in the load box (I use a Bad Cat Unleash) and it loads the amp while also reamplifying (can take a small amp and make it louder), plus has effects loop and silent recording option.

Combine the two, and you get pretty much whatever volume/response you'd want from the amp. It works well. So far nothing has blown up.

As for EL34s...I actually like the E34L JJ tubes. They work well enough, and also have not blown up on me; sounding better than Sovteks that I've also used before.
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