One lesson I refused to learn til recently

Bob Zaod

Rock Star
I have owned 5 EL84 powered guitar amplifiers through my life and the Mesa Boogie DC-3 head was the last one...I swear. I got a great trade for it. A DSL40c and a Friedman BE-OD straight up.

Even when not driven hard I find them spongey and lacking low end. I have had people say stuff to me like "you just havent found the right one" or "You are imagining that it doesn't have any good thump and is spongey feeling". Even just using them as tube power amps was disappointing. I wanted to love the Mesa, even convinced myself it was a great amp at one point but I was lying to myself.

It took 5 amps for me to really learn to hate EL-84 amps. It's just not for me I guess. It's not the lack of power either because I have enjoyed a few 6v6 amps that weren't very powerful. It's the tone and the lack of oomph. I got such a great deal on the Mesa though I had to jump on it. Luckily it brought me something I can actually use eventually in the DSL40c which will be getting put into a head shell soon..

I think if I had to choose only one power tube type it'd be 6L6's followed closely by EL34's. Anyone who says the power tube doesn't factor into your tone if you aren't driving them into breakup is wrong. I certainly hear it and feel it at even lower volumes.
I liked the IRT Studio. Beyond that; not a power tube I ever chase for in any amp I buy. Not my thing.

I havent had a chance to try out any of the Ironheart series amps. I wish I would have jumped back when places were blowing them out and now the used prices are up for those.
I liked the IRT Studio. Beyond that; not a power tube I ever chase for in any amp I buy. Not my thing.

I did have an AOR 30 head which was a 6v6 amp and it was pretty good. I don't get the high prices for them though. At the time of release they were a budget amp with more plastic in them than Elon Musk's wallet.
Yes, big bottles is where it's at, even when playing quietly!

I only bought my first 6L6 amp this year and now I know that these are the power tubes for me.
I think if you're already hooked on big glass, then no EL84 or even 6v6 amp is gonna float yer boat. Definitely not a high gain player, but I imagine thats even more the case for you guys that are.

I feel like there's a time and place for everything, and while I probably won't gig an EL84 amp again, I like having one or two in the pile for playing at home.
I have felt this way at times also. Then I play the Matchelss HC30 and know it's in the amp design not the tubes.
The Ceriatone e Son of Yeti I had used 6v6 tubes and I loved the way that sounded. Changed my mind about anything that's not "big glass and big metal". Still haven't heard an el84 loaded amp that I live for anything other than the voxy thing.