Tungsol EL34B – The Tungsol EL34B vacuum tube is likely to become the #1 choice of currently produced EL34 power tubes. The build construction is great all around and the move to welded plates will likely keep “EL34 rattle” to a minimum over time. The manufacturer claims that this tube has a hint of 6L6 in its tone thanks to manipulating the plate impedance. This is absolutely true, but the effect is most notable when playing clean and to a lesser extent when the tube is driven hard.
At lower volume settings you hear a very pure balanced tone with a bit of the 6L6 sparkle in the higher frequencies while providing a midrange that is a little less prominent than most EL34 tubes. The tubes were very open and airy. The bottom end was percussive in the 2×12 open back combo. When driven into distortion it starts off a bit crunchy like a 6L6 but as you push it, the sound blooms into that singing EL34 tone with great sustain and modest compression. I love these tubes. Over the years I’ve tested many tubes but this is the first time I’ve had to tell myself to stop playing and get on to the next set!
Great tubes in the output stage of my blackstsar club 40 deluxe but find them ia bit sterile but think the reason might be I’m running a tung sol in the preamp section so changed that to a tad see if that will add some ignorance .need to gig it Saturday to find out
Let us know how that goes but I suspect that should do the trick.
What does the B stand for? EL34B.
In this case, absolutely nothing. Considering they never had an EL34 or EL34A previously, I can only imagine the B is a marketing idea, to stand out. It’s electrically like any other EL34 tube.