Wing C EL34s a big deal?

cardinal

Well-known member
Thanks again all.

This is a '79 Marshall 2204. The amps have notoriously low plate voltage, so should not be hard on tubes.

I'll open up the back again to see if they are the fancy ones and if so, probably will just toss in a cheaper set since I oddly have a lot of EL34s around here but this (new) amp is the only one that can use them.
 

Racerxrated

Well-known member
Thanks again all.

This is a '79 Marshall 2204. The amps have notoriously low plate voltage, so should not be hard on tubes.

I'll open up the back again to see if they are the fancy ones and if so, probably will just toss in a cheaper set since I oddly have a lot of EL34s around here but this (new) amp is the only one that can use them.
There are sellers that are trying to pass off ‘vintage NOS Winged Cs’ but after looking at the tube construction, they are the newer crappy versions. Those ‘flying saucer’ getters are key. Some are taking pics but imo purposely avoid the getter portion.
Just a heads up.
 

braintheory

Well-known member
Do they sound good in that amp? If so, why pull them? There pricey to obtain as NOS these days if that's what you're wondering. Special...totally subjective and amp dependent. I bought a NOS quad for a Wizard and yanked them and sold them after a week in that amp. Weren't bad by any stretch, but not worth anywhere near the cost for me. Went back to the stock JJE34L and liked those more than the =C= in that particular amp.

Edit: I am referring to the original St. Petersburg factory =C= not the new ones.
In my MTL I had the same experience. Liked it’s stock JJ E34L’s better than my Winged C’s and other vintage tubes I tried in it. That amp just seems to be designed to work well with those JJ 34L’s. I think Tom said the only tubes he actually preferred to that in their were the discontinued GT E34L’s. I can see that. They sound like a better version of the JJ ones in other amps I tried them in

Strangely I find that amp to be one of my less responsive to tube swaps of the 27 amps I have currently. I would’ve guessed the opposite since it’s such an open and articulate amp, but these things are hard to predict
 

cardinal

Well-known member
There are sellers that are trying to pass off ‘vintage NOS Winged Cs’ but after looking at the tube construction, they are the newer crappy versions. Those ‘flying saucer’ getters are key. Some are taking pics but imo purposely avoid the getter portion.
Just a heads up.
This seller didn't mention the tubes at all. I had to pull the amp apart to check the guys etc and noticed the tubes had the Wing C logo and knew that people were asking ridiculous prices for them recently, but didn't realize there were two types.
 

MetalHeadMike

Well-known member
In my MTL I had the same experience. Liked it’s stock JJ E34L’s better than my Winged C’s and other vintage tubes I tried in it. That amp just seems to be designed to work well with those JJ 34L’s. I think Tom said the only tubes he actually preferred to that in their were the discontinued GT E34L’s. I can see that. They sound like a better version of the JJ ones in other amps I tried them in

Strangely I find that amp to be one of my less responsive to tube swaps of the 27 amps I have currently. I would’ve guessed the opposite since it’s such an open and articulate amp, but these things are hard to predict

Similar to my experience then. I have said before that I did found the =C= in the MCII to be...creamier, or less sharp/direct, for lack of a better description. But as all things tubes with me, it's just such subtle differences so far in my swapping experience.

To be honest though, I've come to realize that tone changes almost daily to my ears. Don't understand it, maybe atmospheric conditions alter frequencies. I can have an amp set just the way I like it one day and the next day have to make significant adjustments in treble, mids, etc to make my ears happy again. This is with everything else in the chain 100% as I left it the day before. All that to say hearing subtle differences between tube swaps for me is a difficult thing. Too many variables even when there supposedly are no variables...Hahahaha!

There's only been one amp out of 55 or so I've noticed a significant difference when swapping and that was the JJ Jr. Came with Chinese ax7s and I swapped for JJ, tungsol, TAD, and a few others and everything other than the stock Chinese preamp tubes in v1 made the amp sound like it had a blanket over the speakers...completely killed treble and muddied it up.
 

braintheory

Well-known member
Similar to my experience then. I have said before that I did found the =C= in the MCII to be...creamier, or less sharp/direct, for lack of a better description. But as all things tubes with me, it's just such subtle differences so far in my swapping experience.

To be honest though, I've come to realize that tone changes almost daily to my ears. Don't understand it, maybe atmospheric conditions alter frequencies. I can have an amp set just the way I like it one day and the next day have to make significant adjustments in treble, mids, etc to make my ears happy again. This is with everything else in the chain 100% as I left it the day before. All that to say hearing subtle differences between tube swaps for me is a difficult thing. Too many variables even when there supposedly are no variables...Hahahaha!

There's only been one amp out of 55 or so I've noticed a significant difference when swapping and that was the JJ Jr. Came with Chinese ax7s and I swapped for JJ, tungsol, TAD, and a few others and everything other than the stock Chinese preamp tubes in v1 made the amp sound like it had a blanket over the speakers...completely killed treble and muddied it up.
There are things creamier about them I agree, but it translated differently depending on the amp. In some I would say they more aggressive and punchy than those JJ E34L’s while also creamier still, but Wizards seem to just not be the right amp for non-E34L’s IME

With most of my amps the pre tubes are pretty subtle, but when I find the right ones that click in the amp it’s an important difference for me and some amps here and there like my ‘89 SLO can have pretty noticeable difference with them imo
 

Racerxrated

Well-known member
Similar to my experience then. I have said before that I did found the =C= in the MCII to be...creamier, or less sharp/direct, for lack of a better description. But as all things tubes with me, it's just such subtle differences so far in my swapping experience.

To be honest though, I've come to realize that tone changes almost daily to my ears. Don't understand it, maybe atmospheric conditions alter frequencies. I can have an amp set just the way I like it one day and the next day have to make significant adjustments in treble, mids, etc to make my ears happy again. This is with everything else in the chain 100% as I left it the day before. All that to say hearing subtle differences between tube swaps for me is a difficult thing. Too many variables even when there supposedly are no variables...Hahahaha!

There's only been one amp out of 55 or so I've noticed a significant difference when swapping and that was the JJ Jr. Came with Chinese ax7s and I swapped for JJ, tungsol, TAD, and a few others and everything other than the stock Chinese preamp tubes in v1 made the amp sound like it had a blanket over the speakers...completely killed treble and muddied it up.
I gotta say, I have the same experiences from time to time and I have no clue why rigs sound amazing one day and a little less amazing the next..I’ve checked my wall voltage and it’s pretty consistent. I have thought humidity and speakers might be a reason. My old SRG C+ had a day that as great as it sounded, it was on another level.
Hard to figure out.
 

psychodave

Well-known member
Similar to my experience then. I have said before that I did found the =C= in the MCII to be...creamier, or less sharp/direct, for lack of a better description. But as all things tubes with me, it's just such subtle differences so far in my swapping experience.

To be honest though, I've come to realize that tone changes almost daily to my ears. Don't understand it, maybe atmospheric conditions alter frequencies. I can have an amp set just the way I like it one day and the next day have to make significant adjustments in treble, mids, etc to make my ears happy again. This is with everything else in the chain 100% as I left it the day before. All that to say hearing subtle differences between tube swaps for me is a difficult thing. Too many variables even when there supposedly are no variables...Hahahaha!

There's only been one amp out of 55 or so I've noticed a significant difference when swapping and that was the JJ Jr. Came with Chinese ax7s and I swapped for JJ, tungsol, TAD, and a few others and everything other than the stock Chinese preamp tubes in v1 made the amp sound like it had a blanket over the speakers...completely killed treble and muddied it up.
Voltage swings can have a LOT to do with tonal changes or the amp just not feeling like it did yesterday. This is why I use a Brown Box. My house swings from 117 to 126 volts.

Keep in mind humidity changes also affect a lot. The guitar neck might have moved a little causing intonation change, speakers might hold a little more moisture and just not produce the same sound.

One thing people often over look is clean cables and or jacks. Metal on metal causes dirt / soot and may not allow for quality connections. I like to clean my jacks and cables often.
 

MetalHeadMike

Well-known member
Voltage swings can have a LOT to do with tonal changes or the amp just not feeling like it did yesterday. This is why I use a Brown Box. My house swings from 117 to 126 volts.

Keep in mind humidity changes also affect a lot. The guitar neck might have moved a little causing intonation change, speakers might hold a little more moisture and just not produce the same sound.

One thing people often over look is clean cables and or jacks. Metal on metal causes dirt / soot and may not allow for quality connections. I like to clean my jacks and cables often.

I wondered about the voltage swings, especially in my current rental with really old wiring and known swings. I've been running a Furman AR15 so took the voltage thing out of the equation and still get the inconsistencies in tone.

Humidity---I think the issues lies more with this and barometric pressure honestly....and how much I've had to drink.

The guitar neck is definitely a big part too. Temps here just went from 20 below a few weeks ago to the teens, and now 48 degrees all week. I swapped strings and gauge and my guitar's tone and intonation went to complete shit. Took me a few days to get it dialed back in and it's finally a week later settling out. Shit of the deal is I'm not happy with these strings and the gauge I just switched to and will need to change again.

Other thing for me is every time I put new strings on, it sounds like dogshit to my ears until they settle in for a few weeks. Not talking about the issue I described above due to climate shifts + new strings +new gauge, but say in a stable climate I change strings, same gauge, same brand...sounds like shit until they break in. That's why I only typically change strings once or twice a year. MUCH prefer the tone of old crusty strings...LOL! Shit, I've gone as long as two years on the same strings and they sounded great until the last few months.
 

Racerxrated

Well-known member
I’m with you on strings…I can always tell when they start to “dull” and lose something. Maybe twice a year I’ll change them. Playing 30-50 minutes most days, takes a long time to wear them out
 

MetalHeadMike

Well-known member
I’m with you on strings…I can always tell when they start to “dull” and lose something. Maybe twice a year I’ll change them. Playing 30-50 minutes most days, takes a long time to wear them out

I thought I was phucking nuts Tom, well I am, but came to realize I truly hate the tone of a new set of strings. Most people will probably laugh their ass off, but I like the tone better when they're greasy, grimy, growing fur on em. It's like even when intonation is adjusted right, the intonation still sounds off to me until the strings settle in.

Disclaimer: It's likely the fact I haven't had a drink in almost two weeks now that what I've just said sounds like complete rubbish.
 

Racerxrated

Well-known member
I remember back in the 90s, gigging a ton and loved the worn strings I had. My singer (who played some rhythm guitar) grabbed my main guitar and played it…disgusted by my ancient strings and decided to change them for me. We were hotel/motel-ing it on the road and I was off buying food or something. Not happy when I came back and saw what he did…
 

MetalHeadMike

Well-known member
I remember back in the 90s, gigging a ton and loved the worn strings I had. My singer (who played some rhythm guitar) grabbed my main guitar and played it…disgusted by my ancient strings and decided to change them for me. We were hotel/motel-ing it on the road and I was off buying food or something. Not happy when I came back and saw what he did…
I'd a shoved a heavily salted xtra large and bumpy pickle up his/her ass while they were sleeping for that stunt.
 
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John4021

Well-known member
I'd a shoved a heavily salted xtra large and bumpy pickle up his/her ass while they were sleeping for that stunt.
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braintheory

Well-known member
To be fair, I’ve only tried Svetlanas from that mid 90’s period in a variety of Mesa and Wizard amps. Stopped using them well before the Svetlana name changed hands and the Winged C renaming aspect came into being. Never tried a newer Svetlana or Winged C anything. I stand by my comments as they apply to mid 90s Svetlanas only. If you noted a difference in getter construction I can’t imagine there NOT being a difference in tone as well.
I've not tried those versions, but I will say even with the actual Winged C's I've had I didn't find them to shine that well in my 2016 Wizard MTL or Mesa/Boogie Bad Lander. The amps they've really sounded like the clear winners to me in of what I've tried so far have been in my Naylor and Rev 1 Uberschall. Amazing in those 2. Not great in my '67 Marshall Tremolo 50, Alessandro Hound Dog or Reason SM50
 

PDC

Well-known member
Lots and lots of ‘opinions’ on tubes: all of them 100% ‘correct’ and all of them 100% ‘opinions.’

Different amps respond differently to different glass. A set of tubes that elevates Amp ‘A’ to other-worldly status may literally just ‘get the job done’ with Amp ‘B’ and vice versa.

A small but mighty contingent on this forum absolutely HATES JJ tubes. But I have had tremendous results from JJ EL34-II variants from Eurotubes. Matched Quads settle in within 2 mA of each other even after extended playing. The JJ EL34-II gives me full, tight low-end - big, round mids - and smooth ‘glassy’ highs - where other tubes have sounded flubby, boxy and shrill.

I have tried every variant of 6CA7 in my heads and have always gone back to a traditional EL 34 - and gravitated toward the JJ EL34-II variant in each of my amps. I still have one amp (my Abrahamian Rockstah) that definitely sounds firmer on the bottom end and overall ‘better’ with JJ E34-L (GT EL34-S) than the JJ EL34-II. Go figure… I have seen several video clips and pics of original Mark Abrahamian heads with JJE34-L tubes installed, which are reported to provide tighter, firmer low-end than traditional EL34s.

I also have a stash of Tesla Brown Base Dual Halo Getter EL34’s that sound incredible in any amp that I’ve tried them in. But if the JJ EL34-II gets me 90 x % of the way there, that’s what I leave in for day-to-day riffing.
 

Greazygeo

Well-known member
I liked the old Mullard el34’s...when they dried up tried the Siemens and hated them. They just sound like mush. The old Tesla were too hard sounding. The Wing C came out and they were pretty nice. Should have bought a bunch of them to stash.
The new Svetlana I have to use in some of my amps. They are one of the few that can handle the high screen voltage. Sure don’t sound much like the old ones, but they are ok. I won’t pay a bunch of $$ for the nos either.
Any more I just buy whatever, none of them last very long anyway.
 

napalmdeath

Well-known member
I've only really found them to sound exceptional in Marshalls. I've never found them anything to write home about in any other amps, really. And that was when they came stock in the JVM, and they worked well in the older DSL's, and a 2205 I had.. I went through several experiments with the JVM, especially - JJ E34L's, JJ 6CA7, EH 6CA7's, and JJ KT77's. The stock SED's sounded best, with the KT77's a close second. The 2205 sounded REALLY good. BUT, it wasn't so far beyond better that I'd consider them a must have.
 
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