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  1. #1

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    Thumbs up Electro Harmonix EL34EH

    I got a quad of the EL34EH back in May or June. In between I used a quad of SED and the American Svets but since then until now, the EH have been making music in my Dyna about 80% of the time. I use them daily, so they've had a long break in period.

    In the past few weeks I began to notice a change in the overall sound. These guys sound damn good now. Before, the top and upper mid was a little aggressive compared to SED but I was able to ignore it because it's an excellent sounding tube. Now after the lengthy break in period, these tubes just keep getting better. High frequency is still extended but it's much, much smoother and warmer now. Mids is also much sweeter and bass seems a little warmer. I love it. The only way to describe the differece is that at first they sound more ss but very tubey after break in.

    So if any of you ST-70 owners or EL34 based amp owners are using them, keep breaking those bad boys in. You'll love the result. If you buy them, give them plenty of time to run and be blown away.

    I know I'm not suppose to be buying new toys yet but I got a raise at work, I quit smoking(saving $ there), so I deserve something new. I just ordered a quad of Chinese Shuguang EL34B. If I get the package before the parents, I'm safe:D. I know that there's been a lot of negative comments on Chinese tubes but after doing a lot of research at the asylum, I came across several posts where the owners are really diggin them so I thought I should give them a try. I'll report back on their sound quality when I receive them.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  2. #2

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    Rock on Maurice!
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  3. #3
    Old Polk
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    "some people call me Maurice,
    some call me the gangster of tubes..." :D

    Thanks for the review. Congrats on quitting smoking - I need to as well.
    Last edited by BlueMDPicker; 11-04-2004 at 07:25 AM.
    Be-Bop-A-Lula, Baby What I Say

  4. #4

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    I had the SED in my Dynaco for at least a few months. About a month ago I swapped in the EH and thought they were very good and kept listening and enjoying. I recently switched back to the SED and don't care for the presentation as much as I do the EH's. Tonight, the EH's are going back in. They're both good though. :)

    Congrats again on the quiting. The longer you don't smoke, the longer you can say you're a non-smoker. :D So, was that the master plan? To quit the bad habits to feed the good habit (audio)? Either way you look at it, it's win win for your health and your ears. Keep it up.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the great review. They are on my X-mas and eff you I worked the overtime lists.

    I don't know of anybody that has tried so many different EL-34 tubes in their ST-70. When you get a chance could you please post a separate thread about your findings?
    Make it Funky! :)

  6. #6

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    F1,
    We all rock the 2ch forum:D.

    BlueMD,
    I used to be a midnight toker:D. Been clean for over 5 weeks now.

    Derick,
    Yeah, I like them both too. The SED is very sweet when you're in the mood for their sound. The EH have a more fun and livelier presentation. How many hours have you put on the EH?

    LOL:D Not the master plan but now that I think about it, I can buy a lot of tubes from the money I save:). Not saving much right now because I have to buy nicorette but still saving a small amount each week:).

    Gidrah,
    What output tubes are you using right now? I think you'll enjoy the EH. If you want a really warm sound, you can try SED (~C~). Lucky bastard! You get to try them out on the VOT!

    I'll post a seperate thread on my findings. I'm planning to do an EH vs Shuguang thread. So far I've got about 1hr 40mins on the new Shuguangs and I'm very impressed with them. I'm going to wait until I get at least 50hrs on the new tubes before posting but so far I'm really enjoying them. The bass is the strongest I've heard in an EL34 tube and man do they sound powerful! According to their website (www.shuguangtubes.com), the EL34-B delivers 10-20% more power than a regular EL34.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  7. #7

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    Originally posted by organ

    We all rock the 2ch forum:D.

    Oh yeah bro, oh yeah!!!
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  8. #8

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    I'm not sure how many hours I've on the EH. They were in for quite a while and I put them back in Thursday.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.

  9. #9

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    Originally posted by organ

    Gidrah,
    What output tubes are you using right now? I think you'll enjoy the EH. If you want a really warm sound, you can try SED (~C~). Lucky bastard! You get to try them out on the VOT!
    Maurice
    I'm running mostly Brittish GEs and can't say for certain on the 4th. These are the tubes that were in it when I got it and would like to have the piece of mind a quad of new tubes would give me.
    I have the Altecs driven by a SS McIntosh integrated. This pairing sounds really good and probably won't be broken up anytime soon. I'll use the ST-70 on some yet to be built speakers in another room.
    Make it Funky! :)

  10. #10

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    Thumbs up EH EL34's

    Organ, I bought a matched quad of EH EL34's from triode electronics for something like $45 acouple years ago to run in my 35wpc Eico HF-87. They sounded sterile and cold at first, really took a while to break them in. Probabally at least 40 minimum. After they broke in they sounded great. Good bass for EL34's, really lush but detailed midrange and very nice top end extension with just the "right" tinkle. Later I put these in a heathkit AA-40 which is 40wpc and they sound great in that amp as well. A buddy of mine is still using that amp and reports the EH's sound the same as when I put them in.

    For what it's worth, my brother built a Magnavox clone tube amp using 6BQ5/EL84's and originally was running JJ's which he liked very much. I mentioned the EH's so he bought a quad and really didn't like them. Well for kicks he reinstalled the EH EL84's last week and was watching a movie. He said about halfway through the feature the bass kept increasing, almost like someone was turning the bass up. The volume got a bit louder as well. He now likes the Electro Harmonix tubes better than the JJ's, lol.......

    Zane
    Main System
    Pre - Homebrew 12au7 tube preamp
    Amp - Eico HF-87 with EHEL34's
    Source - Modded Toshiba 3950
    Interconnects - DIY Belden
    Speakers - Polk SDA-1C

    Basement System
    Pre - McIntosh C-28
    Amp - McIntosh MC2100
    Source - Modded Toshiba 3960
    Tape - Pioneer RT-707
    Turntable - Thorens TD150MKII with Denon DL-160
    Speakers - Pioneer HPM-100

  11. #11

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    Zane,
    Thanks for sharing your experience. That's exactly what I heard with the EH as well. At fist, it didn't sound warm, a little sterile and sometimes aggressive. I wonder if the sound will continue to improve even though I've had 100's of hours on them.

    What your brother experienced was very cool. That's what I notied about tubes. They don't exactly break-in slowly. After a certain amount of time they change quite rapidly. I also hear the same thing as your brother everytime I turn on the amp. The sound just keeps getting better for the 1st 30 minutes as the amp and tubes heat up.



    Update on the Shuguangs. Well, I won't be using them again for about a week while I wait for a replacement. The plate on one tube started to glow after about 10hrs of use. This is not rare and I've heard about it around the net especially with current production tubes.

    I've contacted tubestore.com and they're sending me a replacement tube. Really sucks that I have to wait to hear them again. I was enjoying them a lot. They really were THAT good. Completely different animal than the EH or any of the other current prduction EL34 I've tried.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  12. #12
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    Hello Organ,
    I agree completely, I'm using the EH 12AX7 in my pre-amp and 6550 in the cj and they sound excellent. A nice balance between warm and detailed. I bought ten of the 12AX7 and graded them on my tube tester and picked the ones with the best measurements for the phono stage. Very nice tubes.
    Ken

  13. #13
    Old Polk
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    I bought a pair of EH 6922 gold pins for my tubed CDP and enjoy the same results Ken noted with his 12AX7's. I'm going to grab a quad of them and give them a try in my Anthem Pre 2L as well.

    Thanks for the tip "gansta' of tubes"!
    Be-Bop-A-Lula, Baby What I Say

  14. #14

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    Ken,
    Glad to hear you're enjoying your EH tubes. I had their 12AU7 in my ASL pre at one time and really enjoyed the sound. It's so nice to see current production tubes getting better. I think EH and SED is up there for producing some of the best tubes today. I need to give JJ more listening sessions. I hear they're very good as well. One thing I noticed with the new tubes from EH and SED is that their sound signature remains the same even on different types of tubes. You always hear EH as being detailed and smooth. You also hear SED being very good on bass and have a very warm sound. I heard the same thing on both their 12AX7 and EL34. Very cool.

    BlueMD,
    Thanks for the heads up on the EH 6922. I'm going to try them out on a tube pre. If you want to have some fun, you can try Sovtek. EH and Sovtek are made in the same factory. A lot of people say they sound similar but most thik EH is better. Let us know how your Anthem pre sounds with the new EH.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  15. #15
    Old Polk
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    Originally posted by organ
    Thanks for the heads up on the EH 6922. I'm going to try them out on a tube pre. If you want to have some fun, you can try Sovtek. EH and Sovtek are made in the same factory. A lot of people say they sound similar but most thik EH is better. Let us know how your Anthem pre sounds with the new EH.
    Maurice,

    The Anthem and my EE tubed CDP both came stock with Sovtek 6922's. I rolled them into my Counterpoint SA-100 hybrid power amp and they're a nice alternative to the Chinese 6DJ8's I'd been running. I'll let you know how the Anthem behaves with the EH's.

    Mike
    Be-Bop-A-Lula, Baby What I Say

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