EL34 Tube Review (updated May 2, 2019)
Current production EL34 tube information.
I've been experimenting for years working to find the right mix of good sounding and reliable EL34 tubes to stock here at the shop. My top choice had been the Winged C but as of late 2013, the tube is no longer in production.
We've been seeing a lot a variability in the quality in EL34 tubes over the last year or two. Some factories will turn out some good batches of tubes for a while, then quality will go down. Every time this happens, we re-evaluate all the available choices. As of this time, we are getting the most consistent quality from the Reflector factory in Russia. Their brands include Sovtek, Mullard, Electro-Harmonix, Tung-Sol and others. The best value in EL-34 tubes from this factory is the Electro-Harmonix so that is our current choice. Initial quality is quite good and it's good sounding tube. It's important not to bias this tube too hot or the lifespan will be shortened significantly. We also stock the EL34BHT from China which is designed for amps with extremely high plate voltage.