Vacuum Tubes for Audio, Music and Radio from BOI AudioWorks

EL34 Guide

About EL34, 6CA7 and KT77

Mulalrd EL34 Re-Issue from BOI AudioWorks EL34 is an output pentode originally developed by Dutch Philips back in mid 1950's. 6CA7 is the American desgination for EL34.

European EL34's were often re-marked and sold in US as 6CA7, but GE and Sylvania eventually designed and produced their own "Fat Boy" 6CA7 tubes that sound considerably different than EL34.

Quick Note: You can see price comparison by clicking on Quick Lookup box in our EL34 category.

EL34 We stock

We stock wide selection of EL34 tubes from Mullard, TungSol, SED, JJ, Svetlana, Electro-Harmonix and Shuguang/ValveArt.

SED EL34-WC Vacuum Tube from BOI AudioWorks

  • Workhorse - Electro-Harmonix EL34EH and Chinese EL34B are often installed as the original tubes by amp manufacturers. They provide solid performance, and if you are looking to re-tube worn out original tubes, these are good tubes at great prices.
  • The Standards - Mullard EL34, Svetlana EL34-SV and JJ E34L are the de-facto upgrade tubes for both guitar and audio applications. They feature velvet smooth mids in audio applications. In guitar amps, they have the familiar EL34 mid punch. When pushed, they transition into break up and sing that beautiful EL34 tone. These tubes are great for upgrading the stock EL34 in your amp. Which one to pick is a subjective matter, but as a reference, we really like Mullard EL34 in our Marshall.
  • Guitar Amp Favorite - Tung-Sol EL34B has become the favorite for many guitar players. In addition to pleasant mids, it has good amounts of low end along with pleasant sparkle up top. It sounds bigger and fuller, yet airy. A sheer joy to play with.
  • High End - We have many customers who are loyal fans of SED EL34-WC. In guitar amps, you get good clean headroom with firm tight bass. Break up is nice and smooth. And don't forget, our SED EL34-WC go through burn-in and testing at no extra charge.

    For those who seek more open top end chime, Genalex Gold Lion KT77 is also worth a look.

KT77 - A Surprisingly Good Alternative

KT77 is EL34 compatible beam power tube. KT77 was originally designed by M.O.V to target audio applcation. Today, we have two KT77 reproduction tubes.

JJ KT77 Vacuum Tube from BOI AudioWorks

  • JJ KT77 provides good bottom extension, punchy dynamics and pleasant sizzle. Sound imaging is also quite good.

    To date, we have received more positive feedbacks from our customers about this tube than any other tubes we carry.

  • Genalex Gold Lion KT77 is built to the highest quality standards. The micas are punched clean, plate boxes are pressed accurately, and solder finish on the pins are gorgeous. Glass bottle stands straight and height is uniform.

    In an audio applcation, Gold Lion KT77 retains the luscious EL34 mids while adding the lows, the highs and the dynamics reminiscent of 6550. It's the best of both worlds in this sense, and manages both classic and contemporary materials very well.

    In a guitar amp, Gold Lion KT77 provides good solid bottom end. It sounds well balanced, and noticeably better than other EL34's with less volume.

6CA7 - True to American NOS

Electro-Harmonix 6CA7EH Tubes from BOI AudioWorks Original 6CA7 was a direct drop-in for EL34 but with different internals that gave it characters that are closer to 6L6 or 6550. Current production 6CA7 tubes closely follows the original fat bottle American 6CA7 construction and tone.

In audio amps, 6CA7 offers good amount more punch and sizzle than EL34 counterparts. This makes it suitable for contemporary source. In guitar amps 6CA7 provides good amount of headroom, and offers full fat tone when pushed.

by TubeTech
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