EL34 Tubes – FAQ & Buyer’s Guide!

Choosing the best EL34 tubes provide a good balance for the style of music. Whether you’re a rocker or into rhythm and blues, get a set of tubes that will kick your amp up a notch and give it the absolute best sound. For some, that means more bass, while others want more treble. The most essential part is to get a sound that fits the existing amp and boosts audio quality.

Best Choice
Mullard Reissue EL34 Power Vacuum Tube, Matched Pair
Mullard Reissue EL34 Power Vacuum Tube, Matched Pair
Best EL34 Tube
These tubes are affordable while still creating a smooth sound. They offer the perfect amount of headroom and work great for most hi-fi amps. They also provide carbonized screens with gold-plated grids to supply higher quality.
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I’ve reviewed several worthy EL34 tubes1 to find the best in caliber and sound. Below are the top six products. Each one proffers a distinct tone and may work differently with your current amp setup. They all guarantee top quality and a terrific jam session.

List of Top-Rated EL34 Tubes 

ImageProduct 
for hifi
Mullard Reissue EL34 Power Vacuum Tube, Matched Pair review
Mullard Reissue EL34 Power Vacuum Tube, Matched Pair
  • Carbonized screens
  • Gold-plated grids
  • Affordable
  • Matched set

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for marshall
JJ Electronics Amplifier Tube review
JJ Electronics Amplifier Tube
  • Octal power tube
  • High grid voltage rating
  • Max plate watts of 25W
  • Quality beginner option

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for guitar amp
Genalex Gold Lion KT77, Matched Pair review
Genalex Gold Lion KT77, Matched Pair
  • Tight bass
  • Good sound at all levels
  • Matched current and transconductance

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for audio
Tungsol Reissue EL34 Power Vacuum Tube, Matched Quad review
Tungsol Reissue EL34 Power Vacuum Tube, Matched Quad
  • High impedance design
  • High touch responsiveness
  • Matched quad

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for metal
Svetlana EL34, Matched Pair<br />
 review
Svetlana EL34, Matched Pair
  • Matched current and transconductance
  • Ideal for rock, blues, and metal
  • Smoother high-end sound

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Best EL34 Tube
Electro-Harmonix EL34 Quartet<br />
 review
Electro-Harmonix EL34 Quartet
  • Matched quad
  • High-quality sound
  • Cascading overdrive

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Review of the Best EL34 Tubes

When it comes to EL34 tubes, We’ll examine the top 6 products. Each of these provides a similar experience and ensures durability.

1. Mullard Reissue EL34 Power Vacuum Tube, Matched Pair – Best Tube for HIFI

Features

  • Carbonized screens
  • Gold-plated grids
  • Affordable

Specifications

  • Matched pair
  • Hi-Fi amplifiers
  • Smooth overdrive

This matched pair of EL34 tubes is made in Russia and designed with carbonized screens and gold-plated grids. They are economical, yet produce high-quality. These Mullard EL34 tubes are simple to install and deliver stunning sound, a harmonic overdrive, and early breakup.

As a matched pair, these tubes afford cooperative sound and they work with hi-fi amplifiers to provide smooth tone and low headroom. You’ll also get a relatively throaty sound1.

Is this a matched pair?

You get a pair of tubes with this system to create a better sound.

Do these have an early distortion?

The distortion comes in around noon on the knobs for both volume and gains to ensure a diverse performance.

What kind of sound do you get with these tubes?

The sound is clear and warm rather than the tinny sound from other tubes.

Who is this for?

Someone who wants high quality and low levels of distortion.

Why I like it?

Affordable and basic for musicians who want to get started with a jam session.

2. JJ Electronics Amplifier Tube – Best EL34 Tube for Marshall

Features

  • Available single, matched pair or matched quad
  • More headroom than standard
  • Novice option

Specifications

  • Octal power tube
  • High grid voltage rating
  • Max plate watts of 25W

These JJ Electronics amplifier tubes are incredibly versatile for assorted amps with an excellent reputation for their merit. You can buy them individually, matched pairs, or quads.

The octal power design means good sound with a little more headroom, leading to a later breakup. You’ll also have a max plate watts level of 25W for optimal power and a high grid voltage rating. All this ensures the amp will produce a full sound and won’t blow a fuse in the process.

Are the tubes already burned in when you order them?

No, you’ll need to take care of that process yourself.

What kind of amps do these fit? 

Any amp that utilizes EL34 tubes, which makes them more adaptable.

How are these tubes matched?

They are matched for the current draw as well as figures of merit determined by the manufacturer.

Who this is for?

Someone who wants a budget option that still offers high quality.

Why I like it?

They’re perfect for amateurs who want a good sound.

3. Genalex Gold Lion KT77, Matched Pair – Best EL34 Tube for Guitar AMP

Features

  • Tight bass
  • Superior clarity at every level
  • Matched current and transconductance

Specifications

  • Matched pair
  • High-quality sound
  • Full with balanced frequencies

The Genelax Gold Lion amp tubes offer a good sound with brilliant highs and balanced mid-tones providing clarity at every level and tight bass. The sound dynamics make it perfect for those looking to play tougher. They have a better audio range and deliver an increase in volume.

You’ll get a pair that’s matched for current and transconductance As an upgrade to other amp tubes, these do not overheat, making them more convenient for extended play sessions. They also smooth out with minimal breaking in.

What kind of sound will I get with these?

These tubes will give you a dynamic bass and some fine mids and highs creating a balanced and superb aspect.

How are these tubes matched?

They are matched based on plate current as well as transconductance to get a better pair.

How many tubes do I get in a set?

This set is a matched pair. You’ll need two of these to complete the set.

Who is this for?

Someone who wants high quality and a great matched pair based on more than just current.

Why I like it?

You get an awesome sound from the bottom all the way up for a wonderful experience.

4. Tungsol Reissue EL34 Power Vacuum Tube, Matched Quad – Best Tube for Audio

Features

  • Unique clipping sound
  • Available high, medium and low
  • High-quality tone

Specifications

  • High impedance design
  • High touch responsiveness
  • Matched quad

The Tungsol Reissue tubes are sold in sets of four providing a more balanced tone as all the tubes in the amp work together. Made in Russia, they offer a fine sound and exceptional clarity. They have some forgiveness on the high end and a bold sound throughout.

This is a high impedance accessory with high touch responsiveness along with reliable tubes designed to last longer than the standard options. The moderate price makes them convenient for most musicians.

Do these tubes come in hard, medium, and soft ratings?

You can request different level ratings. Select the type of sound that you’re looking for.

Are the quad matched sets a full set?

You’ll get a single set to be used together for optimum sound.

What kind of amps will these tubes work with?

They work with a wide range of amps. You can utilize these tubes if your amp uses EL34 tubes.

Who is this for?

Someone who wants high touch responsiveness to get the best quality audio from their system.

Why I like it?

Offers a clipping aspect that makes the sound unique.

5. Svetlana EL34, Matched Pair – Best Tube for Metal

Features

  • Matched current and transconductance
  • Ideal for rock, blues, and metal
  • Smoother high-end sound

Specifications

  • Affordable
  • Matched pair
  • Thick glass

The Svetlana tubes match with paired current and transconductance. They also have a soft high end and a balanced mid-range- ideal for those who play rock, blues, or metal. They work well with a range of sounds and provide a warm, full tone.

Made in Russia, these tubes feature a thick glass to make them more durable. They also install without a fuss and work for an extended period. They offer an excellent crunch without much boom at the bottom end.

Are these well-balanced across all levels?

These tubes give the best at the high level and are decent at the mid-level. The bottom is not where they excel.

What type of music are these best for?

For individuals who want to get wild with blues, rock, or metal. They work in other styles of music, but this is where they shine.

Will these improve the bottom end of my amp?

These will enhance the bottom end for the amp, but they will not offer the full boom other options supply.

Who is this for?

Someone who wants to rock out with their guitar and make the most of the mix.

Why I like it?

Focuses on the high and mid-range without concern for the bottom that is unnecessary for this type of music.

6. Electro-Harmonix EL34 Quartet – Best Sounding Tube

Features

  • Matched quad
  • High-quality sound
  • Cascading overdrive

Specifications

  • Allows preamps to stay low
  • Balanced tone
  • Rich and smooth sound

The Electro-Harmonix EL34 tubes are ideal for any amp; vintage or modern. They offer terrific sound without the cost. They also improve the performance of any type of amp.

You’ll get a deep bass with a tight sound along with a defined mid-range. The high ranges still offer excellent power and boldness with detail and extension throughout. This provides outstanding balance across all the levels and ensures a better all-around experience.

Are these bright sounding?

 More so than some similar tubes.

What kind of tone will I get?

A crunchy, bright tone that defines each level of any style of music.

Are these a good value for the money?

They are a super value for the money with the type of sound and the balance and tone.

Who is this for?

Someone with vintage equipment or those wishing to get a smooth sound.

Why I like it?

The softness and richness of the sound without the edgy vibe.

Best EL34 Tubes Buyer’s Guide

EL34 Tube Datasheet2

EL34 Datasheet

EL34 Datasheet

How Long Do EL34 Tubes Last?

If the amp is used sporadically, you may get up to five years of life out of EL34 tubes. A few years is common for anyone who tends to use their amp at least once a week. Keep in mind that some amp tubes have a shorter lifespan;- it depends on the quality of the tubes.

Kt77 vs. EL34

For the best amp tube for mids, take a look at the EL34. These amp tubes deliver the best in mids and the upper ranges of the mids. Designed in England, they offer a smooth sound and plenty of note separation as well. Not only that, but you’ll get a complex harmonic. This will impress no matter what style of music you play. It also offers the velvety sound commonly heard in opera and classical music. The KT77 is focused on the bottom end. This means high-end harmonics and a dark sound. You’ll also have a lot of drive to it and an open aspect. All of this creates on-demand heaviness and a full-sizzle tone for contemporary sound and any volume.

Difference Between EL34 and EL84

The EL34 has a bold sound that’s focused on mid ranges. Whether you want the low, mid, or high mid, this is where the EL34 shines. It proffers a smooth and complex sound, as well as that velvety texture for classical music. Note separation makes it easy to play any style and you make a considerable impression. The EL84 has a gloomy tone. The tendency is to be less bassy and more compressed to strengthen the upper ranges. It has a faster breakup and high volume, no matter what other instruments play alongside. It has incredible overdrive and plenty of chime and thickness. You’ll get a rich sound to the overdrive and the loud honking.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for the best EL34 amp tubes, make sure you have something that plays in the correct range. That might be a deep bass, a bright high, or even a solid mid. Either way, find a suitable balance to the tone and sound you desire with high-quality amp tubes.

  1. http://jontalle.web.engr.illinois.edu/uploads/403/AudioVacuumTubes.16.pdf
  2. https://www.jj-electronic.com/images/stories/product/power_tubes/pdf/el34_e34l.pdf

About the author

John Tschop

John Tschop

I am a music fan who is fond of different instruments and genres. The member of Klinger-McFry Band. We launched StereoShore to discuss proven tips, tutorials, and insights.

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