Tony Pasko Talks Tubes @ Gear411

A recent question brought up about tubes on Gear411 at Rock House caught my attention. Both intresting and informative it asked:

I keep hearing about the tonal differences between 6L6 tubes (brittle) and EL34(warm and fuzzy) and i am having difficulty knowing the difference please give me some guidance as what tube you would recommend using for a classic rock 80's metal (Georg Lynch, Warren DiMaritini) type sound. and please cite some classic listening examples of a 6L6 tube sound i.e. band song,album and an EL34 type sound i.e. band,song, album.

This is a common misconception of what power tubes do. 6L6s aren't necessarily bright or brittle by nature, or EL34s being warmer than 6L6s. What you are hearing is what kind of amps they are associated with. Fenders use 6L6s because they don't distort as much at high volumes, where Marshall uses EL34s because they distort at high volumes, but none of the bass or treble you are hearing is coming from the power tubes directly.

So what your asking is a bit tricky, but let me give you some examples:

George Lynch in Dokken used Marshall Plexis that has EL34s so did Warren Di Martini in Ratt. That is the classic Marshall sound. EL34s distort faster and run hotter, but they also burn out faster and are more acceptable to the elements. They are a little picky, but the tone they provide is awesome.

6L6s on the other hand can give you great rock tones, George used Peavey Triple XXX amps for the Lynch Mob stuff and Warren uses a Deizel amp now with Ratt and they all use 6L6s in the power section, and all of Eddie Van Halen's 5150s run 6L6s.

The reason is that 6L6s last longer, they are a sturdier tube. These guys play hundreds of shows a year and they need equipment that works good night after night. 6L6s provide that security. Their isn't that much tonal difference in that type of live situation.

But for what your trying to achieve? Nothing is going to sound better than an amp with EL34s in the power section.

For more gear information, questions and answers you can check it out at http://www.rockhousemethod.com/gear411advice/gear411.aspx

No comments: