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OLDER DECWARE GEAR SUPPORT >> SE84CS, SE84ZS >> EL 84's
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Message started by KMokc on 11/18/12 at 03:35:05

Title: EL 84's
Post by KMokc on 11/18/12 at 03:35:05

I have now tried a pair of RCA Grey plates and Mullard EL84's both have suffered from have very little volume and so muffled the music sounds terrible. †I have also tried a pair of Valve Art EL84's and they don't have this problem. With that said the Valve Art's don't hold a candle to the stock Russian tubes.

Does anyone have any ideas why these tubes sound this way? Bad ????????

Thanks,
Kevin :( :-[

Title: Re: EL 84's
Post by Lon on 11/18/12 at 12:46:45

Kevin, have you any idea what values these tubes have, have you tested them?  Low output and a muffled sound would lead me to think that those tubes are past their prime and worn out.

Title: Re: EL 84's
Post by Rivieraranch on 11/18/12 at 13:25:20

The Zen will light up an EL84 but the amp won't sound good at all. I suspect nothing is wrong with the tubes; you are hearing exactly what I heard when I popped EL84's into mine. Get them the hell out of there and use only good SV83 or 6P15P-EV tubes and you will be fine.

Title: Re: EL 84's
Post by KMokc on 11/18/12 at 15:32:24

Hi Lon,
Supposedly check out good on a Knight KG 600B tester. I would have to agree about being bad. Question is can a tube check out good and sound bad? I would have to say yes? My only other test is the Valve Art EL 84's and they play however they just don't have any magic. Don't get we wrong they sound clean but that is it - BORING.

Kevin :o :-?

PS Best so far is a Philips 5R4GYS (from Upscale Audio) Stock SV83's and a Ediswan CV2492/6922 Cryo (from Upscale Audio). This setup really makes the JM Labs Micron Karats sing just not quite loud enough for anything other than nearfield.

Title: Re: EL 84's
Post by Lon on 11/18/12 at 15:55:46

Hey, sure they could just be bad sounding tubes. And there's truth to what Jim says above, although I think EL84s can still sound good in the amps. When I bought my first Decware amp (#27, before any A, B or C revisions) it was designed around the EL84 and EL84s sounded very good in them. I sent it back a bit later for the first revision, A, which was to implement 6N1P and SV83 tubes, and the EL84s didn't sound as good as SV83s in the amp then. The same was true with the Select I later bought. EL84s sounded more old school and quite polite. Good for some source material.

Have you tried 5U4G rectifiers? The EL84s liked the juice from those in my amps. Woke them up and they smelled the coffee.

Title: Re: EL 84's
Post by KMokc on 11/18/12 at 16:48:20

H Lon,
Thanks for the input. I took out the 5R4GYS and put in the stock 5U4G tube. That obtained some more volume however they (both RCA & Mullard) EL84's sound is so muffled its terrible.

Thanks,
Kevin :-[

Title: Re: EL 84's
Post by Rivieraranch on 11/18/12 at 17:23:23

Save the EL84's for when you get a TABOO.

Title: Re: EL 84's
Post by Lon on 11/18/12 at 17:30:55

Alright. Well that tube type just doesn't sound good in your amp. Let the world now know! :)

Title: Re: EL 84's
Post by Rob on 01/16/13 at 01:11:43

I  FAR prefer  SV83/6N15Ps  TO EL84S....  for  most  things.

I  like the EL84s paired  the  higher-gain 6N2Ps   for  some  classical  music  though.

Title: Re: EL 84's
Post by meraklya on 04/06/13 at 13:55:29

I purchased a pair of premium NOS Tungsram EL84's, from a reputable tube store. The tubes were tested and matched prior to shipping.

I had the same results with them as the OP: very low volume and muffled sound (and this ain't subtle!!!)

Question is, the original post is from November 2012. Do the designers read these forums at all? If so, why is the amplifier still claimed to be fully "EL84 compatible"?

The only reason why I decided to purchase this particular Decware amplifier (rather than a more powerful one such as "Rachel") is so that I could have "EL84 sound" I fell in love with when I had my Miniwatt N3.

Excuse me for not being a fanboy, but I'll have to say this is just a huge omission on Decware's part.

Title: Re: EL 84's
Post by Lon on 04/06/13 at 15:08:07

Interesting. In my Rev. A SE84 and my Select EL84s did NOT sound as good as SV83 tubes, but didn't sound awful. Have you tried any other EL84 tubes in the machine besides the Tung-Sol?  I have not used Tung-Sol EL84s in the past, but I've never been too impressed with the Tung-Sol sound in other tube types. . . .

I don't think the claim to be totally compatible with EL84 is wrong, but the machines I had shine with the SV83 tube and are optimized for that.

Title: Re: EL 84's
Post by Pale Rider on 04/06/13 at 16:03:47


Quote:
Question is, the original post is from November 2012. Do the designers read these forums at all? If so, why is the amplifier still claimed to be fully "EL84 compatible"?
<SNIP>
Excuse me for not being a fanboy, but I'll have to say this is just a huge omission on Decware's part.

I dunno. The fact that a couple of NOS tubes don't sound great doesn't strike me as any sort of glaring omission. And while the amp is obviously designed to work with the EL84, I did not see anything on the website that says "will sound great with every EL84 tube made." In fact, the website and Steve are quite plain that this amp will sound its bestóby a wide marginówith the SV83, and he explains why.

Don't get me wrong, I understand your frustration. But just for fun, I threw a couple of JJ EL84 tubes in my ZS, and they worked just fine. Didn't sound great, but they weren't muffled and underpowered. They glowed and produced decent, if constrained sound, with a narrow perspective on the soundstage and somewhat hardened vocals and guitar, but nothing like the SV83 (granted, no break-in time, but obviously "working").

FWIW, I use my ZS as a center channel amp for a single ERR speaker. I played AIX BluRay discs of Rita Coolidge and Moonlight Acoustica for this little check. Signal tube was a National, rectifier is the Phillips of which Upscale is making such a fuss.

Title: Re: EL 84's
Post by meraklya on 04/23/13 at 15:34:51

OK, here's the deal. The SE84ZS is NOT compatible with any European EL84 tubes due to slightly different internals.

I installed a set of Preferred Series EL84 from The Tube Store (originally premium long life Russian military tubes), and was blown away. The warmth, the lush sound... the sound slowed down a bit compared to SV83 but I hear more details and the instruments have wonderful tonality and just sound more real to my ears...

Title: Re: EL 84's
Post by Rivieraranch on 04/23/13 at 21:10:36

These are 6P14P-EV tubes, which closely correspond to the 7189.  

Title: Re: EL 84's
Post by meraklya on 04/23/13 at 22:13:57

So you're saying they're not EL84?

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