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EL84 for Taboo: Soft, Medium, or Hard -- which? (Read 3152 times)
MarkBlair
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EL84 for Taboo: Soft, Medium, or Hard -- which?
07/04/12 at 17:11:48
 
Anybody know whether soft, medium, or hard EL 84's are recommended for the Taboo?  My guess would be hard, assuming hard means it takes more input before they distort...
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Rivieraranch
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Re: EL84 for Taboo: Soft, Medium, or Hard -- which?
Reply #1 - 07/04/12 at 18:17:36
 
The TABOO is not like a guitar amp. With a CD or LP source it will not distort, even at full volume. It has something to do with needing a 3 volt signal to reach full power. I imagine that if you put a preamp in front of it and keep feeding it gain eventually it would go into distortion; but at that point it would be louder than you would be comfortable with.
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MarkBlair
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Re: EL84 for Taboo: Soft, Medium, or Hard -- which?
Reply #2 - 07/04/12 at 18:39:55
 
Just to be clear: even EL84's advertised as "soft" would be fine to use in the Taboo in your opinion?

Also, as an aside, my Taboo manual says:

Input Voltage     2.0 volts for full output

And I'm asking because MusiciansFriend.com has a pair of Sovtek EL84 Matched Power Tubes Soft on sale for $16.99...
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« Last Edit: 07/04/12 at 18:54:34 by MarkBlair »  
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Rivieraranch
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Re: EL84 for Taboo: Soft, Medium, or Hard -- which?
Reply #3 - 07/04/12 at 19:02:38
 
The TABOO product page states:

Input voltage              2.3 volts for full output

I should have wrote that the amp likes 3 watt input.

I used mine with a 2.5 volt CD player and it was loud enough, but when I connected the amp to a CSP2 it really changed the whole presentation. It was much more weighty and dynamic.

The ZEN requires only 2 watts for full power. While the new SE34I.3 requires 2.5 volts for full output. I find that the SE34I.3, like the TABOO greatly benefits from the CSP2+.  
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« Last Edit: 07/04/12 at 19:03:15 by Rivieraranch »  

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ZYGI
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Re: EL84 for Taboo: Soft, Medium, or Hard -- which?
Reply #4 - 07/04/12 at 19:03:59
 
Mark,

As far as I know, if it has the white plate, the Taboo has the CCE mod which is negated with the use of an EL84 tube. Doesn't hurt anything to try the EL84 however.

THis is from the More Info page on the web site....not sure if this has changed but I doubt it did...

The Taboo has intentionally low input sensitivity so it likes a source with a high output (3 to 4 volts) or a good preamp such as our CSP2 to really flush out it's full potential.

I have no idea as to soft, medium or hard really means unless its how hard they distort, which for some the harder the distortion in a guitar amp is favorable.

Like RR said, you wouldn't even get to the distortion point with a 2-Volt input.

Zygi
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Rivieraranch
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Re: EL84 for Taboo: Soft, Medium, or Hard -- which?
Reply #5 - 07/04/12 at 19:08:20
 
I tried a pair of 6P14P-EV tubes and they are very lively, somewhat  forward, nicely musical. The SOVTEKS you describe are related to these somewhat.

However, the Sylvania black plates were better in tone, more musical.

Your input will have a lot of influence as well. A good 12AX7 will work well when not using a preamp. when using a preamp a 12AU7 or 12AT7 will tame the gain or make it more manageable. This is similar to (as I understand it) how you work a guitar amplifier circuit.
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MarkBlair
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Re: EL84 for Taboo: Soft, Medium, or Hard -- which?
Reply #6 - 07/04/12 at 19:09:45
 
Thanks Rivieraranch and ZYGI -- I'll try the soft tubes which are on sale and see how they work.  And I'm still not sure whether I prefer the EL84's or the SV83s.  I re-purchased the prototype Taboo which was auctioned off by Steve around 18 months ago, and it's supposed to have the Hazen-Grid mod, but I need to do more listening to see whether I prefer the EL84s or the SV83s...
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Rivieraranch
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Re: EL84 for Taboo: Soft, Medium, or Hard -- which?
Reply #7 - 07/04/12 at 19:54:06
 
You are going to have a lot of trouble deciding which tube to use. They are both great. I found myself repeatedly going back to the SV83 to reap the benefits of the grid mod.
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MarkBlair
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Re: EL84 for Taboo: Soft, Medium, or Hard -- which?
Reply #8 - 07/04/12 at 20:45:57
 
My problem with A/B tests is that any significant time lag makes it difficult to really know which is better.  If there was an almost instantaneous way to compare the two different tubes (which there isn't!), I'd feel more confident with my comparative judgements.  But I'll probably do some more comparisons anyway.  And thanks RR for all of your thoughts on this.
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Lon
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Re: EL84 for Taboo: Soft, Medium, or Hard -- which
Reply #9 - 07/04/12 at 20:47:30
 
In my Rev. A amp, #27, I always preferred the SV83, and this was long before the Hazen Grid Mod. Just liked the speed and the clarity.
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MarkBlair
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Re: EL84 for Taboo: Soft, Medium, or Hard -- which?
Reply #10 - 07/04/12 at 21:44:25
 
And since speed and clarity are my primary concerns, I suspect I may end up going that way, too.  Thankis!
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