Other Amps

meaningless tube hype ?


About the Fender Bassbreaker 007 ... "but it uses the decidedly British EL84 to induce the famous mid-focused flavor from across the pond." .. ahh whatever

EL84 was just the Euro designation for the 6BQ5... used in plenty of US amps, Gibsons and others... so this jive about how it's British means nothing. It's just an output tube ( good one) used in hi-fi amps, guitar amps. Seems like just marketing hype. EL 34 (6CA7) not seen in many us amps tho .. at least ones I know about.


Since when have marketing execs been known for their honesty and accuracy?


Yep, all hype. It’s all about the circuit. Russian EL84’s are cheap, plentiful and pretty reliable. Why else would Fender, Gibson, Gretsch and everyone else be designing their classics 6V6 circuits around the EL84?


Tubes are a century old technology, and have been on the way out for 50 years or so. It’s mostly us guitar playing tube purists and audiophiles that even want to use tubes anymore. Most US companies stopped making them long ago, so, we’re only left with imports. Thankfully, some of them are well made.


has nothing to do with name/model designation...but has everything to do with the factory that was making them...nothin tops a vintage uk made mullard el-84...they lasted for decades!..try that with any modern el-84!

also vox ran 4 mullard el-84's in the ac-30...that thing ran/runs hot!!!

story is when brian may of queen and vox ac-30 aficionado realized nos tubes were getting hard to find he bought up every mullard he (his tech team) could find!!

they made great rectifiers as well!



Pretty much what I thought... 6BQ5s in AC-30 circuit made a great sound but also did in plenty of non Brit circuits.


What? According to the Shamwow guy, it's the Germans that make the good stuff.


Pretty much what I thought... 6BQ5s in AC-30 circuit made a great sound but also did in plenty of non Brit circuits.

– DCBirdMan

...and about half of all Hammond power/reverb amps. And though Mullard may have the biggest reputation, I have a pretty nice stash of vintage RCA, Sylvania, Telefunken and Amperex 6BQ5’s that are the bomb.


I don't know that it's totally meaningless. It's just shorthand for what you can expect to hear. When somebody says an amp has EL84s for a British sound, they're telling you that it's Voxy without coming out and saying it.


The tube was designed to be a high gain power tube which would eliminate the need for a preamp stage in radios making them cheaper. That’s it.

I think I could successfully demonstrate that an EL84 equipped Fender 6G9 Tremolux sounds nothing like a Vox.

Likewise, I can build a Marshall Plexi-sounding amp using 6V6 power tubes.


Most tube information on the internet is wrong.


6L6/6V6=American EL84=British Don't you read the internet?


I think I could successfully demonstrate that an EL84 equipped Fender 6G9 Tremolux sounds nothing like a Vox.

No doubt. All I'm saying is that when somebody says "Brit-flavored EL84 tone" they're claiming (whether true or not) that their product sounds like a Vox. Which is to say the statement has a meaning, i.e., it isn't meaningless. I'm engaging in pedantry here.


serious old balls frowning going on here...
Afire has answered correctly IMO. When we see "british el84" it clearly denotes the saturated chimey Vox sound. If its not on the internet no one gives a sh$t either :)


My stereo guitar amp I built with 7189/El84 power tubes is 2 fender deluxe circuits in one chassis. It sounds like a Fender amp not a Vox or a British amp. In my experience as well, the Fender sound comes primarily from the circuit. The Vox sound likely comes from their distinct circuitry not from their power tube choice.

I think the terminology used, (regarding El84/6BQ5 and Vox 'chimey' sound, and the countless other unusual descriptors ) regardless of what it is intending to impart, perpetuates the bad info and thus is ultimately very misleading.

The internet is rife with really bad self-perpetuated non-scientifically supported tube, guitar, and amp information. This can be a touchy subject, as like many belief systems, people can get very upset when it it is questioned.


there's very good reason why el84s are equated with vox...for about 25 years they were the only amp company using them!!!...ac-15's, and ac-30's...even thomas vox pacemakers...no other company was using them...wasn't till early 90's that mesa came out with studio 22 amp that used them...then finally fender got on board with the blues jrs...and peavey with their 4 el84 thru 15" amp !!

and now they are everyones fave..and every company has el84 amps

but from 65 to 90 if you wanted an el84 tube amp, it was virtually all vox!!

and sure vox werent the first..the ac30 is based on a gibson amp...in fact vox techs recreated an error in the circuit that was on the gibson schematic


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