Good Morning

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!


2 thoughts on “Good Morning

  1. If you could make some sort of recording of each tube, then splice it together, that would probably be the best way to hear the differences. Otherwise your only option is to spend a lot of time with each tube to get a feel for them, and then compare them more subjectively on how it feels to you.

    Personally I think I’d like the KT-88, but that’s mostly because all of the amps I’ve ever played through are EL34 based. I’d love to have something with a different feel!

    • I’ve thought about both of those options. I’ll probably do something of both. I’ll first just try playing through them, then record something back to back.
      Then do it all over again with a 6L6 in the mix!
      The only real reason for waiting to record something back to back is because things are just a bit busy right now.
      Thanks for the comment!

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