the ultimate guide to tube-rolling: EL34

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EL34 / 6CA7 / KT77

This power pentode tube with an international octal base was introduced in 1949 by Philips. It is now manufactured by JJ Electronic, Shuguang, Svetlana, and Reflektor. All Upscale Audio power tubes are Platinum screened and tested. They are first burned in, and tested while hot at real-world-voltages. Pricing is per tube, but includes matching in any quantity you need.

Electro-Harmonix EL34

Electro-Harmonix EL34
$19.95

Kevin loves this tube. It has more energy than a Svetlana, so if you need a little more clarity and pop on top, this is the tube for you. 


Customer Reviews

Customers write in about a "spark of life"--a balanced sparkle and energy on top. "Powerful, linear, very detailed" says noted audio expert Bob Levi, and many customers refer to a real sense of live-ness and naturalness.

Electro-Harmonix 6CA7

Electro-Harmonix 6CA7
$22.95

Sonically similar to the EL34, but in a shorter, fat bottle design, so this is a good choice when you have a tight space for tubes in your component. Has clarity, and pop on top. 


Customer Reviews

Since it's similar, refer to the notes on the Electro-Harmonix EL34. Additionally, customers of this tube mention its dead-quietness, and a full, powerful signal.

Mullard EL34

Mullard EL34
$24.95

A modern re-creation of the classic Mullard, with great warmth, plenty of detail and a good amount of top-end extension.


Customer Reviews

Tight bass, sweet midrange that "gently reaches the highs". One customer reports that it's tighter than the PrimaLuna EL34 and reaches higher, but isn't quite as warm and lush. A customer with a bright system loves that he still has detail and bite, without harshness. There are many praises for the tube's balance and good soundstaging. 

Tung-Sol EL34B

Tung-Sol EL34B
$28.95

Nice warmth, plenty of detail, great bass. A worthy re-issue.


Customer Reviews

Open, smooth, great top end with no harshness. Lots of praise for the bass--extended and tight.

PrimaLuna EL34

PrimaLuna EL34
$29.95

The Shuguang-made tube that comes stock on PrimaLuna. Warm with a wonderful midrange presence, and ease on the top and bottom. Very dependable. 

Gold Lion KT77 / EL34

Gold Lion KT77 / EL34
$49.95

A re-creation of the legendary Genelex KT77. Extremely durable with great mids, smooth, airy highs, incredible bass, and a lot of 3D presence. Note, reports are that this tube takes longer to break in than other tubes, so give them time (at least 100 hours) for that bass to really open up. 


Customer Reviews

"Alive" sounding. Lots of clarity, especially in the midrange. Good balance of warmth and detail--on the neutral side (for an EL34).  One long-time tube-rolling customer is happy to have these over NOS tubes.