What are the best new production el34's?

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Postby Arclight on Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:52 am

TG,that's 75 dollars a PAIR for the 80's RFT's. The earlier RFT's have the shorter bases-is that correct?
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Postby wheelman on Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:11 am

TubeGetter wrote:
wheelman wrote:
Sebastiano wrote:
wheelman wrote:So if I go with a NOS RFT el34 ( 70's sword on the sides ) that would be a safe bet for a good reliable tone? I'm willing to spend the extra dough if the tubes will last alot longer. Seeing how I don't bias my amp and I will have to pay someone to do this they would actually pay for themselves in the long run. My last pair of Sveltana's lasted years they still arne't bad but they are getting a bit muddy. Not real bad but i'm noticing it alot more lately at first it was a nice warm tone now it's borderline mud vs. warmth.


Strange that Svetlanas sound muddy...
Maybe are a bit old
The best new production EL34 are Svetlana Winged C also knew as SED EL34.Tight lows,beautiful mids and strong trebles,not fuzzy as EH or new sensor mullard reissue (what a ugly tube....)
Also chinese EL34B or TAD EL34BSTR are very good,less bright than SED but with more bass response.Very reliable,newer generation china tubes are wonderful.
Also the JJ E34L sounds good but some of them have few detail in sound and the bass response is not very tight.Not very reliable,and prone to microphonics and rattles...

Also I have some RFT from 80's labeled National made in East germany,sounds good,warm mids and extra tight bass but compared to a Mullard or to a 70-80's Tesla is very bright and with less bass response.Vintage sounding....


Yeah I had these tubes at least four years, and who knows how old they were before I purshased them. They came in my amp so figure they probally had a good run, and they sounded great. They still got this warmth I hate to part with. Maybe it's my preamps that need retube that would be a trip to have the pre's go out before the output tubes. I could run these tubes longer no problem actually it's not a bad mud ( yet) it's borderline like I said. Hard to describe. The amp came with JJ83s's and I replaced one all the way to the right ( looking into the back of the amp) with a international C ( service master) I believe and that's harsh compared to the JJ. Not as thick or rich.

Anyone know if the RFT tube from the early 80's ( or early 70's blackbase swords on the sides) are better than the "older factory" Sveltana's ( Devices Inc.)?


There hasn't been a better tube (early 80's & earlier RFT) made since the late 80's. Yes, earlier RFT's are better than the early 90's Tesla and any JJ EL34.

FYI, $75/tube for a later 80's NOS RFT is a totally bad deal, even for dealer prices. I have been selling the early NOS versions for about $39/tube.


How early? 70's? $78 a pair? I run a 50 watter.
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Postby TubeGetter on Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:40 am

Arclight wrote:TG,that's 75 dollars a PAIR for the 80's RFT's. The earlier RFT's have the shorter bases-is that correct?


Oh, woops! :) Yeah, that's fine for those.

The short/thin base tubes are from the late 50's to mid-late 60's. I'm trying to narrow down exactly when the change happened, and I should have that figured out by the time I get my RFT EL34 page up.

Here's a police line-up of some RFT's that were recently arrested. From the left are a 1960, 1965, 1971, etc. era tube. The 5th and 6th tube are what most of the 70's and early 80s' era RFT print looked like. The last tube is a late 80's with a National label.

I need to do a new line-up because I have some great late 50's examples, as well as some others, now.

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Postby ¤klÿn¡§§¤ on Sat Jan 05, 2008 7:42 am

Its not uncommon to find RFT/"Siemens" EL34;s for about $25/ea in NOS condition, even on ebay.

Its too bad they dont like my HIWATTS or i'd have a truck load of them by now.

There just seems to be quite an abundance of these tubes still available out there under various brand names.

At $25 a pop i have a hard time figuring out why anybody would by ANY new prod. tube over them.
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Postby TubeGetter on Sat Jan 05, 2008 7:54 am

Sanborn sells the late 80's for a good price on Ebay and guarantee's them like a dealer. He's one of the few bright spots on Ebay. You can sometimes find RFT's even cheaer than $25 on Ebay if you watch carefully for a while, but the usual risks apply......not really matched, not tested correctly (plate current takes off when higher voltages put on them--redplating), no guarantee. RFT's aren't the most durable tube, and if they're not handled with reasonable care, they can be damaged. A polar opposite would be Syl. 6CA7's.....those things are tanks.
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Postby wheelman on Sat Jan 05, 2008 8:05 am

¤klÿn¡§§¤ wrote:Its not uncommon to find RFT/"Siemens" EL34;s for about $25/ea in NOS condition, even on ebay.

Its too bad they dont like my HIWATTS or i'd have a truck load of them by now.

There just seems to be quite an abundance of these tubes still available out there under various brand names.

At $25 a pop i have a hard time figuring out why anybody would by ANY new prod. tube over them.


Kyniss what do you use for your Hiwatts?
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