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EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P (Read 1737 times)
Jeff1
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EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
04/08/22 at 23:17:16
 
Any one have luck with EL84 tubes?  I bought some Tunsgram  from UpScale audio and the sound was muffled and barely audible. I have a Taboo 4 and was trying some tube rolling but perhaps a different manufacturer may be better. Any thoughts?
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JOMAN
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #1 - 04/09/22 at 14:52:43
 
Had the same experience with EL84ís.  The TAD EL84 did work.  Iíve had 6P15P-EVís in my UFO25 and liked them, a lot, now I have the Cryotone EL84ís.

No contest for me - Cryotone EL84 (have a spare set on order).
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Geno
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #2 - 04/09/22 at 17:03:07
 
Joman,

Itís great that you have that high an opinion of the Cryotone EL84. It makes me really anxious to see what their treated 6P15P will sound like. I sure hope that they will choose to make them part of their inventory.

Best,

Geno
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Lon
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #3 - 04/09/22 at 17:50:36
 
Yes, me too, that's what I will wait for.
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Jeff1
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #4 - 04/11/22 at 02:37:03
 
Joman did you get the same volume levels from the cryotone el84 as the 6p15p that comes with the Decware amps?
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JOMAN
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #5 - 04/12/22 at 03:53:59
 
Yes easily the same volume levels.  Iím away from home right now so this is from memory, but the overall impression is that the sound is smoother yet dynamic and detailed, more refined.  Not at all what you would expect from an EL84.

Iím going to post more information after this weekend.
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Macfly4
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #6 - 09/18/23 at 17:50:28
 
Are the Wathen EL84 tubes just straight drop ins? or do they need some kind of adaptor?
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JOMAN
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #7 - 09/18/23 at 18:04:54
 
They're straight drop in, no adapter needed.
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CAJames
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #8 - 09/18/23 at 19:33:36
 
FWIW/FWI here is a post from another thread re: commonly seen UFO power tubes:

Quote:
It is confusing. This is the situation as clearly as I can state it:

The tube that Decware sells is the Russian 6P15P-EV. There is also a -ER version and the just plain 6P15P. There is no western tube equivalent for the 6P15P type. FYI/FWIW the -EV and -ER suffixes designate higher spec, more durable tubes. But electrically they are (essentially) the same.

The UFO amps are also fully compatible with the EL84 tube. There is a Russian version of the EL84, the 6P14P that also comes in various versions. There are many European and American versions of the EL84. The American designation is 6BQ5.

So far so good. Then there is the SV83. This a brand name owned by an American company and is used for 6P15P type tubes. AFAIK they can label any 6P15P type a SV83. Since an SV83 is a 6P15P it is fully compatible with the UFO amps, but you don't really know what kind of 6P15P you are getting.

Finally there is the EL83. It is similar electrically to the 6P15P and EL84/6P14P but has a different pinout so it isn't directly compatible with the UFO amps (but it is adaptable). Presumably because "EL83" looks a lot like "SV83"  the 6P15P/SV83 tubes are also advertised as EL83, but this is 100% wrong. There is no Russian EL83 (that I know of). If it is a Russian tube it is 6P15P/SV83 or perhaps is 6P14P/EL84. There are European made (and perhaps American made or at least relabled) EL83s, that may be advertised as SV83 but this is also 100% wrong. There is no Western SV83/6P15P. The American designation for an EL83 is 6CK6.
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Macfly4
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #9 - 09/18/23 at 20:15:45
 
Thanks! very helpful. I ordered some Wathen EL84s just to see how they sound compared to the stocks.
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Lon
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #10 - 09/18/23 at 20:21:50
 
One update: the SV83 was developed before the Svetlana brand became American. There are vintage ones out there that differ a bit from the 6P15 tubes by other Russian factories, IMO they sound good and are worth checking out. . . they are harder to find this decade than last.
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CAJames
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #11 - 09/18/23 at 21:24:56
 
Quote:
Posted by: Lon      Posted on: Today at 12:21:50

One update: the SV83 was developed before the Svetlana brand became American...


I'm not sure what you are saying? The Russians/Soviets never made a tube called SV83, which would be CB83 in Cyrillic. I shouldn't say never, but I've been looking at Russian tubes for a long time and never seen anything like it, and it is (wildly) inconsistent with the Russian tube name conventions. Do you have a reference for this?

The 6P15P type tubes have been around for a long time, long before Svetlana became American in 2001, and made by different factories with different construction details. And presumably a tube labeled SV83 could have been made by any of them but (AFAIK) SV83 tubes have always been relabeled 6P15P types. The build month and year and a factory code are on the 6P15P tube (year in Arabic numbers, month in Roman), and you can find tubes that were made back in the 70s, maybe even the 60s if you look. But they are certainly harder to find now then before the war, to saying nothing of 10 years ago.


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Lon
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #12 - 09/18/23 at 21:54:38
 
Yes, SV83 is a 6P15P but they seem to be one factory's version and labeled by Svetlana with an SV83 nomenclature. Ask Steve. His Revision A to the original Zen amp was from EL84 to the Russian Svetlana SV83. Long before Svetlana was a name bought by an American company. It's true. There is info out there on the web. Apparently most were made at the Xpo-pul factory.

Although they may be technically just a 6P15 given a different name, they sound significantly different to me than the other 6P15P that I have bought since Steve stopped using them, which were likely from other factories. I actually think they sound pretty darned good. I have about ten pairs still.

I myself don't prefer any EL84--they don't sound as good to me in these amps; I've never tried the Cryotone because I'm not a fan of their tubes I've tried. I don't believe EL84 can utilize the CCE mod which makes a positive difference in my systems.
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JOMAN
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #13 - 09/18/23 at 21:58:34
 
I think that what Lon may be referring to is that there was a 6P15P type that was labelled Svetlana with a small Svetlana logo.  It was not the EV military grade 6P15P.  Subsequently "Svetlana" name was acquired and the SV83 labeled tube now had a larger logo and was not from the same factory as the SV83 with the smaller logo.   It's been some time and I could have the logo sizes reversed but the point is that the earlier 6P15P/SV83 non EV was a better sounding tube.

I tried both in my UFO2 and ended up searching for the SV83 with the earlier logo and preferred it to the 6P15PEV in the UFO2.  Those were very hard to fine back then and eventually they disappeared.  That all changed when I got the UFO25 and then I preferred the 6P15PEV until I tried the CryoTone EL84.  At that point I sold all the 6P15P types that I had.

So there was an earlier version 6P15P with a particular size SV83 logo.  I don't know which factory made it.
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Lon
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #14 - 09/18/23 at 22:15:12
 
I am fuzzy too but thought the big logo was the earlier version.
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CAJames
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #15 - 09/18/23 at 22:18:12
 
Quote:
Posted by: Lon      Posted on: Today at 13:54:38

Yes, SV83 is a 6P15P but...His Revision A to the original Zen amp was from EL84 to the Russian Svetlana SV83. Long before Svetlana was a name bought by an American company.


OK, I get that. Objection retracted. The name SV83 was used long before Svetlana was bought.
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Gilf
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #16 - 09/18/23 at 23:09:53
 
I agree with Lon here, I much prefer the 6p15p to EL84 in my UFO. I have found across many brands that the 6p15p is more neutral across the spectrum and better balanced. The 84 tends to have a small low end bump that can be appealing on some tracks but very unnatural and inflated on others. Unlike Lon, I eventually settled on the Cryotone tubes though, I just find them for lack of a better term to be more vivid.
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JOMAN
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #17 - 09/18/23 at 23:15:50
 
OK, so this was bugging me bit, here's the link to the early version 6P15P/SV83 types:
https://www.tubesforamps.com/products/el84-6bq5-sv83/svetlana-sv83-matched-pair
I got these from TFA unit they ran out, it was the smaller logo.
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JOMAN
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #18 - 09/18/23 at 23:47:17
 
Regarding the bump in the bass with the Cryotone El84's.  I'm reluctant to post this as it could be misinterpreted and/or misunderstood, but here it is...

When I first installed the Cryotone EL84WC I noticed that "bump".  At the time I had my ZR2 and the Omega Vintage 8's.  I found that there was smearing of the low end.  So I tried adjusting the level that the ZR2 was set at and I kept getting down to unity before I liked what I was hearing at the bass level.

Next I set the ZR2 at my typical setting and started to by pass the the setting.  Three people were listening and all preferred the ZR2 bypassed.  They noted that there was a little less weight but the bass was now more resolving and tuneful.

Then came the Chord Qutest and the M Scaler.  Now all the weight was back and the bass was just as impactful as with the ZR2 if not more so, but far more resolving, transients are far more evident and the bass is very tuneful.

I ended selling the ZR2 because with the changes it was no longer needed.  Prior to the changes and additions I was running Omega S3HOXRS.  Incredibly fast and resolving but with these speakers I needed the ZR2.

My subjective conclusion was that some systems will need the ZR2 and I still feel that it is an excellent component.  However at some point with some systems it may add too much.  In that case the Cryotone 6P15PEV may be a better mach.

This experience is what lead me to go the direction I am going in now which includes a larger OB speaker with two 15" drivers.  I now have the room for those.

To be clear, I am not saying that the ZR2 is not a good component.  I am saying that it is all system and room dependent and of coarse were all going to have different "tastes" in what we want to hear.

Just in case you're not sure about how I feel about Decware components and what I am saying, in part the new direction will likely include two UFO25's and possibly a ZBit.
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Lon
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #19 - 09/18/23 at 23:54:47
 
Here's Steve's original "warning" from a Zen amp manual:

OUTPUT TUBE WARNING
The SE84ZS is designed to use either EL84
output tubes or SV83 output tubes. No adjustments are needed when switching from one to
the other. Of the type SV83 tubes carrying the
Svetlana name there is one batch known to be
questionable and ARE NOT RECOMMENDED for
use in this amplifier.
The tube on the left is an acceptable SV83
output tube for use in this amplifier. The tube
on the right with the smaller logo is NOT acceptable for use in this amplifier.


Page 4:

https://www.decware.com/ZSmanual.pdf



Smaller logo:

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Gilf
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #20 - 09/19/23 at 00:44:45
 
Good find Lon, thanks for sharing. I have several of the first in my collection, why I keep them around I donít know. I havenít seen the second.
What is your dislike for Cryotone? Reading older posts you tried the 5670? I generally donít like that tube either but I did use a quarter of WE 396a in my primary amp before discovering Cryotone tubes.
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Lon
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #21 - 09/19/23 at 01:02:28
 
I tried 6SN7 and didn't think they were at all better than NOS I had much cheaper. And I have the 6P15P and they sounded a little better than others but at 4 times the price not worth it really. I'm glad others have better luck.
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Gilf
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #22 - 09/19/23 at 01:20:04
 
My mistake. I donít know why I thought it was the 5670. In all my years of tubes Iíve never used the 6sn7. I do have a soft spot for old tubes. Time will tell the longevity of the Cryotones and the added value. It seems the latest popularity of tubes has driven up prices where quality NOS rivals the cost of the Cryotones, which are easier to acquire. As with everything there is a good amount of personal preference based on compounded interactions of music types gear and room qualities.
Itís really great that we all can find happiness through our own experiences.
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CAJames
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #23 - 09/19/23 at 02:17:15
 
Quote:
Posted by: Gilf      Posted on: Today at 17:20:04

...I do have a soft spot for old tubes...


I do too. Although it is at as much a case of actively disliking current production, and even a lot of "late cycle" NOS like Philips ECG. My (limited) experience with modern tubes is so bad, both in terms of sonics and reliability, that I just won't buy them. Except for 300B tubes, I bought both Chinese and Japanese, because NOS isn't realistic.

Quote:
...It seems the latest popularity of tubes has driven up prices where quality NOS rivals the cost of the Cryotones, which are easier to acquire...


It seems like a lot of NOS, at least "heritage" NOS is considerably more expensive than Cryotone. I'm pretty lucky in that I've been into tubes for a long time and am it bit of a hoarder collector. So I had a lot of tubes going into the pandemic and was lucky to find and stock up on some relatively undiscovered types when prices of e.g. 6SN7s, E88CCs and GZ34s were going through the roof. So I have enough tubes for this life and most of the next, but I feel for people who are just now getting into tube audio.
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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
Woo WA22 -> Space-tech 300B , 2x UFO25s on order
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Senn HD-650
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Sean
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #24 - 09/20/23 at 00:42:39
 
I use SV83ís and like them. Iím not looking forward to the day they need replaced.

I didnít see it mentioned, using El84ís negates the hazen grid or Christmas Comes Early (CCE) mod, doesnít it?
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JOMAN
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Re: EL84 as s substitute for the 6P15P
Reply #25 - 09/20/23 at 01:28:45
 
Yes it does.  That's not the only thing to take into consideration though.  As my system evolved I don't miss it in fact I much prefer the sq now.
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