This morning, before anyone else was awake in my house, I swapped out the JJ KT88 tube in my Frenzel Super Champ Sportster for a Svetlana EL34 tube. Quality wise, I’m sure there are some differences. And the EL34 is used…but so was the KT88 since I bought the amp used. However, I trust the source of the KT88 and only appreciate the source of the EL34 (since they were giving me a deal on a tube I could experiment with on the cheap).
The EL34 warmed right up and glowed like it is supposed to, but because of the sleeping status of everyone else in the house I had to plug in my headphones. I got sound. It sounded like it should. I flipped between the F and M pre-amps. They both had different characteristics, but I couldn’t quite hear them. I turned everything up louder. I could tell there were differences and there were nuances in there, but I couldn’t quite make them out or describe them.
I’m sure someone else may have had no problem. I’ll just wait till I can plug in and play loud. That will be the true test of whether my ears can actually hear good or bad tone versus just sound.
After that, I want to go back and forth between the EL34 and KT88 to see if I can hear the differences. Any tips out there, dear readers, on how to A/B two different tubes on a single output power tube champ clone?
Of course, after all that I want to do the same thing with a 6L6 tube. Then I’ll need tips on a three way shoot out!