Mook's Taste Tests for EL84 - Slight Return

Well, since I've done my EL84 taste tests, I've acquired a few more duets. So, I thought I'd provide some comments on these as well. What follows is a "mini" review.

I used the same equipment and settings as the first EL84 Taste Test; please refer to that document for previous set-up and history.

I tested RCA, Tungsram, EI, and Philips EL84s. As a reference before testing these four sets, I went back and re-tested (re-listened) to the Russians and Sylvanias. Instead of providing a "Conclusion", I shall mix my editorial comments with each tube:

RCA: These tubes sounded somewhat like the Philips when played clean, however, they were a bit more brittle. When distorted, these tubes still reminded me of the Philips. Quite frankly, I expected a little more out of these tubes. I'd purchase the Philips over these.

Tungsram: WOW! These are the best I've heard. Very "juicy". Full harmonic content and great string detail. The clean sound was great for strumming with a Strat. Distorted sounds were heavenly with both Strat and LP. These tubes reminded me of a "better" and more professional sounding Philips. These tubes are expensive, so they might best be suited for Studio work.

EI: These tubes crunched up the most out of all the EL84 tube-types (including those in the "original" review). Very "ballsy" with thick distortion. When played clean, they were very respectable. Fairly nice and even with good detail. I would say these tubes provide the best price/performance ratio.

Philips: Very nice and chimey when played clean. Very musical and full harmonic content. These tubes didn't distort as much as other tubes - it was more of a "clean" distortion. Great for Strat blues. I would not hesitate to buy these tubes again.

Thanks to Kevin Miller aka "Mook" for doing the testing and sharing the results with us in alt.guitar.amps .
Last updated: 26 May 1999
Taste Test copyrighted by Kevin Miller aka "Mook" 1999. Incidentals copyright 1999 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.
Miles O'Neal <> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514