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Differences between 6L6s and EL-84s


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Rich creamy tone with good mid-range and treble response.

Some call it "vintage" tone.

Short answer - flat and bright.



More bass and mid with glass-like clean tones,

with a lot of clean head-room before they break up.

Short answer - scooped mids.


I had a little adapter a while back allowed 6L6 to EL84 swapping in the same amp.

That's how I got to tell, because if you compare them in different amps (like a Fender

with 6L6 to a VOX running EL84) the difference is as much down to the amp design.....


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If you would like to sort of hear the difference yourself I think a close comparison would be for you to play thru one of the new Egnator amps. It's not exactly the same, but close.


Their Rebel has: two 6V6 and two EL84

Renegade: two 6L6 and two EL34


So they wouldn't be an exact comparison, but they would get you in the ball park of sound.

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DAS44 - just so as you know whence my answer came:


I started out back in the seventies with 100W Marshalls, but got confused by a

Fender Twin-Reverb back then - it sounded so good but different too.....

Then for a while in the eighties I really got into the EL84 sound of the AC30 for a long time,

every time I played one I loved it. In the nineties I had a Fender Champ for a while and

played through several Boogies running 6L6 push-pull, which kind of "led" me to the

Fender Bandmaster of a friend, but shortly before I was going to buy it I picked up my

Bassman (which I ran with Tung-Sol 5881's). So then I got kinda side-tracked back to

my really early days and Marshalls with EL34 and now I am using a 70's Traynor combo,

Marshall EL34's in a Fender Twin-Reverb and as good as tube-amps get. So my attempt to

compare the tone differences between 6L6 and EL84 is biased by my own preferences,

but based on personal experience.

Especially since I did once actually swap between them in the same combo

using a pair of Yellow-Jacket converters in a Champ 12 red-knob.


The Ding Ding Ding stuff just confuses me..... waaay over my head. I just play guitar.


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Alright therm.... you never dissapoint


now which one might (in any of your opinions) work best for undistorted blues and texas blues?


An amp running 6L6's but the texas blues sound you need to turn up the volume until the power tubes (6L6's) start to break up. That mark depends on the amp, but probably somewhere around the 6 mark on the volume knob.


You can do this with the EL84's but the classic blues & texas blues especially are the 6l6.


And yes also to what Therm said

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Wow - that was one confusing article, and the author seemed confused too!

I am always suspicious of any claims that one thing alone dictates tone.

For starters - my fingers can pull tone ranges out of a guitar just by

the way I play - before I start using the volume and tone knobs.


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