R/E/P > Oliver Archut

Do Tesla tubes always suck?

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J.J. Blair:
This wonderful friend bought me a mint condition Selmer Zodiac 50 Mk II as a gift.  It's loaded with brand new Tesla EL34s, and they are microphonic.  I was trying to record some clean solo rhythm guitar, and anytime low strings were played and the right frequency hit, the tubes started singing.  They ring when touched, too.  (They shouldn't do that, right?)

Oliver, I have two questions:

Is there a new brand of EL34 that you recommend more?  I have JJ tubes in my Zodiac Twin 30, and I've been happy with them.  Are they made in the same plant as the Teslas or is it a different manufacturer?

Secondly, the preamp section calls for ECC83s.  I'm finding one of the channels a bit too clean for my liking.  Is there a different tube I could substitute that might give me more gain and make it a bit nastier on that channel?

Ruby Tubes.  I've had great success with those.  Check them out.

Oliver Archut:
Hello J.J.

the old real Tesla tubes were O.K. but was is sold now under Teslovak or JJ formaly Tesla is in my opinion sub standard.

The old RFT or relabled EL34 are pretty good for the price and what they can do, or how long they will last.

Everything in production is from my point of view sub-standard, the ones that you might want to try are the Reflector made EL34 that are sold via Sovtek and EH trademarks.

Best regards,

J.J. Blair:
Thanks, Oli.  Any idea about a sub for the preamp tube that I asked about in my first post to get more break up?

you won't find anything with more gain than the ecc83.. especially since in THAT circuit the gain is almost to the max with 220K resistors and cathode bypass.

the only way to have more gain is to mod it or put an external vacuum tube stage in front of it... or a distortion pedal etc. etc.


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