JJ EL34 vs. E34L vs. El34II first hand info?

Tatzmann

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I was an Electro Harmonix EL34 user and quite
happy with them. Occasionally i used RFT EL34
if they came my way for an acceptable price
and good condition.

Since im not the guy who forks over 180 eurobucks for a quad of EH tubes i have to go
JJ for now.

I have an offer for two quads of EH EL34
for 100 per unused quad, but after that its undoubtably JJ time.

So my question for you guys, does anyone
have experience with them, tested them against
each other and so on.

Im purely interested in info on sounddifference
between those 3 EL34 type tubes by JJ.

Thx guys.
 

fitz288

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I was an Electro Harmonix EL34 user and quite
happy with them. Occasionally i used RFT EL34
if they came my way for an acceptable price
and good condition.

Since im not the guy who forks over 180 eurobucks for a quad of EH tubes i have to go
JJ for now.

I have an offer for two quads of EH EL34
for 100 per unused quad, but after that its undoubtably JJ time.

So my question for you guys, does anyone
have experience with them, tested them against
each other and so on.

Im purely interested in info on sounddifference
between those 3 EL34 type tubes by JJ.

Thx guys.
I put JJ E34L's in my Origin20H.
Not sure if there's any relevant correlation to putting them in your amps.
I have no personal experience to compare with EH.

Quote from JJ website:
"E34L is a more powerful EL34 with more headroom and deeper lows. It is a little more aggressive than the EL34."

I'd agree - much improved (IMO) over the stock Marshall EL34's - which are just rebranded JJ.
There's a few threads here about them if you search.
 

Moony

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I've tried several new bought EL34s a few months ago because I wanted to know which ones to stock up.

Didn't like the EH EL34 at all.
Tung Sol EL34 were ok, nice mids.
My favorites were the JJ EL34II - for me better than the regular JJ EL34 and also the EL34L.

So yes, the JJ EL34II are good and recommended!
 

Tatzmann

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Actually i could make the test myself someday,
only need a quad or double of the EL34II variety.

Have a brandnew quad of the EL34 in an amp
that i bought earlier the year and a pair of E34L
that i bought last month.

The first difference is very clear to me:

After opening the box of the factory fresh
E34L one of them was a little crooked, and
the other one really crooked, looks like the
leaning tower of Pisa.:p
 

RobS

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i have the JJEL34 & E34L that I use in my 800

I tend to prefer the EL34. To me it has a warmer and smoother sound to it which is great for natural amp overdrive and I did notice they have less headroom than the E34L

Also have a few quads of Winged C EL34 and in my 800 the JJ is a better sounding tube to my ears. It seems to have better EQ response from the amp

Dont like JJ pre amp tubes that much BTW apart from the ECC803S

This is just my opinion
 

jeffb

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All three are different.

original JJ EL34 for me is a bit lean on EQ and makes an amp kind of flat and undynamic. They are "OK". I like them better than some other tubes, but they are not on my short list.

EL34II sounds more like an old 70s/80s Eastern Bloc tube- Its richer, more meaty, and lots of detail compared to the EL34. This was great in my DSL for the crunch channel (which is where I lived).

E34L has a restrained top end, a shift in midrange compared to most EL34s (seems like more low mids) and extended low end approaching a 6l6. They sound more "in your face" or focused as the descriptions say. I prefer this in my Origin 20 as it helps fill out the missing "oomph" from the starved El34 20 Watt power section and is a very tight sounding EL34. Not good in my DSL which is already heavy on low end and stiff no matter how you dial it. I'm guessing most "metal" guys would prefer this tube especially for down tuning.

If I had to choose one for everything , I'd go with the EL34II. It's does everything you want, and nothing you don't.
 

Tatzmann

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Thanks Rob and Jeff!

Really appreciate the info, and from what i could
gather from the net so far is that i probably
like the E34L the least of them, kinda in accordance to what you guys are describing.:yesway:

The only problem at the moment is that i can
only get the 34L at the moment, thats why i
asked the question right now because i dont
want to stock up on tubes that i might not
like!

I might just get one quad of the 34L right now
but then wait up until the other 2 types become
available to me again!

Thanks a ton!:thumb:
 

Tatzmann

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Was browsing and saw that i could order
directly from JJ, didnt knew that yet or its
a new service. They even state the availability
per tube, 30 days. The seem to run a very tight
schedule at the moment.
The quad of the 34-ll runs about 95€, EL34 90€.

Little pricey but thats how it goes.

Damn, right before the crash a german shop
was cleaning out quads of EH EL34 for 65€.:wallbash:
 

Moony

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The quad of the 34-ll runs about 95€

72,40 Euros - from a JJ distributor - but currently sold out.
 

Tatzmann

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The quad of the 34-II runs about 95€ at
the JJ Website, were it is available
right now.

Thx
 

Maxbrothman

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I haven't done those exact ones, but I can talk a bit about tube changes in general and some things I learned along the way.

I think the one thing to keep in mind about tubes is how they vary anyway even within the same batch. A box of the same tubes is all going to have its differences within. Guitar techs go through batches to often find a pair that sound that bit better in that amp. It's an analog system basically, not faithful digital reproduction.

Mesa Boogie was able to make sure their amps sound great by combining fixed bias with tube selection from batches that meet their criteria. So when you buy Mesa tubes, you are really paying for someone who has gone through a whole pile of tubes and picked out the ones to get their seal of approval. Does that mean they test every tube? I don't know, but tubes are being tested somehow to make sure they are good enough for their amps.

You will hear differences in tubes by comparison in your amp, but there is no way someone is going to know which PTs of the same type you have in your rig just by hearing it by itself. You can hear differences in PTs of different models though like 6L6 vs EL34 vs 6V6 vs KT88.

I have had mixed results with tube changes. Sometimes there is no noticeable difference, sometimes it is better than the stock tubes, but making it worse seems harder to do unless the amp you got had poor tubes in there in the first place. If you are not happy with your PTs, then change them. However, they usually have to be pretty bad, to begin with, to hear remarkable improvements. That's been my experience to date so far with tubes. My worse experience with amps to date was buying an amp that had obviously ended up in someone's home before me, they switched out the tubes for inferior ones and returned the amp which I then bought and had to pay for a new set of tubes because I only figured out the problem months down the line. That one hurt but lesson learned.

JJs are fine. You aren't buying a donkey if you go with them but at the same time, you get what you get.

Oh, the wonderful world of tubes.

The differences people describe with them are pretty much expectations from them, but if you get that or not is another thing.
 

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