Tube Shootout: Shuguang EL34B vs. Mullard xf2 EL34

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Tube Shootout: Shuguang EL34B vs. Mullard xf2 EL34

Postby TubeGetter on Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:26 am

It's about time we had another tube shootout!! :D

I've been meaning to see how well the Shuguang EL34B's hold up to the NOS xf2's. Later, I also want to do the Shuguang vs. the GT EL34M....that'll be next.

So the test will consist of a quad of NOS Mullards that have the exact same testing values as the Shuguang quad so they can be compared and changed out easier. I'm going to test them in a 68 100w Plexi Super Lead, a 100w 72 Super Lead, and a Mojave 50w Scorpion through two 69 Marshall 4x12's with Pre-Rola 30's.

I'll post the review soon! :)
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Postby OldSchoolDave on Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:33 am

It'd also be interesting to hear how they compare in a Hiwatt. Specifically, if they can handle the sometimes higher plate voltage.

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Postby EasyRider on Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:43 am

I would be interested to hear what your ears tell you. I tried that experiment and I ended up liking the Shuguang EL34-B a great deal. Really a lot. I compared to the xf2 Mullard and I thought the Mullard was a little cleaner sounding, but to me, they both played great and just had a bit of a different sound. I was plenty happy with the Shuguang for my purposes. It's the only new power tube I've liked, but I like it a lot. Pre tubes? Nothing new for me. I'll stick with the oldies. Those are VERY different from new production.
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Postby Sparky6string on Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:57 am

Wow, are they really that great? I was going to get some Winged Cs and some EH6ca7s since I can't locate NOS Teslas for a reasonable price but maybe I'll try these.
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Postby Guitar-Sam-II on Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:46 pm

I like my Shuaguangs :D
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Postby gypsy moth on Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:59 pm

then there is the relabelling/marketing to dig through - are these "tubestore" shuguangs @ $22/matched pair, and are they also "tubedepot" sino B's at $25, or a groovetube whichever at whatever, and a TAD too?
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Postby mmorse on Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:27 pm

It will be interesting TG to see how they fair. I have experience with all three of the contestants in my 2204 and 2550. All are very nice tubes IMO. Here's how I rank them:
1. XF2s
2. GT 34Ms
3. Shuguang 34Bs

If you like a cleaner (more headroom), more modern sound than classic rock tone, then the 34Bs take second and the GTs are third. Real XF2s still take the top spot. At least that's what my ears tell me in a MV Marshall. Of course, YMMV.
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Postby Noel on Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:00 am

I used a pair of Shuguang Big Bots for approx 2 months a couple of years ago. I really loved the way they sounded. Kinda half way between an El34 and a 6550 or something. The problem I had was they started ringing after around 6 weeks. Ah, well, I only paid something like $30 for them, IIRC.
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Postby Guitar-Sam-II on Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:18 am

[quote="Noel"]I used a pair of Shuguang Big Bots for approx 2 months a couple of years ago. I really loved the way they sounded. Kinda half way between an El34 and a 6550 or something. The problem I had was they started ringing after around 6 weeks. Ah, well, I only paid something like $30 for them, IIRC.[/quote]
Mine have been OK for almost a year and I run the amp hard. :?
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How bout some Matsu's

Postby Axe Grinder on Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:11 pm

mmorse wrote:It will be interesting TG to see how they fair. I have experience with all three of the contestants in my 2204 and 2550. All are very nice tubes IMO. Here's how I rank them:
1. XF2s
2. GT 34Ms
3. Shuguang 34Bs

If you like a cleaner (more headroom), more modern sound than classic rock tone, then the 34Bs take second and the GTs are third. Real XF2s still take the top spot. At least that's what my ears tell me in a MV Marshall. Of course, YMMV.
I've got both of those amps :wink:
I'd like to see the old Matsushita's in the test mix..
I think the Sino guys bought the Matsu equipment..
Definately a sleeper tube with little Hype..well VTV has kinda slammed them in the past, then again...you know how that is.
Last edited by Axe Grinder on Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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These look pretty Dead

Postby Axe Grinder on Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:23 pm

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Postby TubeGetter on Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:59 pm

OMG, I just read that auction description. Talk about misinformation. :lol:

"YES ITS TRUE WHEN MULLARD QUIT MAKING EL34 THEY SOLD THEIR TOOLING TO HITACHI OF JAPAN WHO MADE EXCELLENT SOUNDING/PERFORMING EL34"

No, Philips contracted some tooling to Matsushita while Mullard was still making tubes. These are Matsushita's, not Hitachi.

"WHICH WERE EXACT COPIES OF THE MULLARD EXCEPT FOR SOME SMALL DIFFERENCES."

Exact copies but still have differences? LOL. The tubes look similar, but there's big differences how they were made, and thus why they sound so different.

"YOU ARE BIDDING ON A VERY HARD TO FIND HIGH TESTING QUAD OF HITACHI EL34."

Yes, Hitachi are very rare....but these aren't Hitachi.

"IF YOU ARE TRYING VARIOUS EL34 TYPES THIS 1970S VINTAGE 6CA7 POWER PENTODES ARE KNOWN FOR EXCELLENT SOUND AND ARE A MUST HAVE FOR THE COLLECTOR! IN FACT AFTER MULLARD STOPPED MAKING EL34 THEY SOLD MANY JAPANESE MADE EL34 WITH THEIR BRAND NAME!!!!!!!"

Has anyone ever seen any Matsu labeled as Mullard? I don't think I ever have. I know a lot of people accidentally call them Mullards on Ebay because they look similar, but have there ever been Mullard logo's on them? I can't think of seeing any. If they did, they certainly didn't relabel many.....you just don't see them around.


I just got finished researching all the Japanese 12AX7's ever made with pics thanks to a tube guru in Japan's help. I still need to do the EL34 and EL84's, and I'll get the skinny on all the those soon so we can put the speculation to rest.
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Postby Sparky6string on Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:43 pm

I have a pair of Japanese el84s if you want them free for your research. They're not being used.
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Postby TubeGetter on Wed Sep 27, 2006 3:42 am

What kind are they Sparky? Thanks for the offer. I have some Matsushita EL84's which were fairly common like the EL34's. I don't know much about which Japanese companies made EL84's. My friend in Japan will be very helpful I'm sure.
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Postby Sparky6string on Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:43 am

TubeGetter wrote:What kind are they Sparky? Thanks for the offer. I have some Matsushita EL84's which were fairly common like the EL34's. I don't know much about which Japanese companies made EL84's. My friend in Japan will be very helpful I'm sure.


I want to say they're CEI, at least that's what I recall being silk screened on them. I tried them in a single el84 amp I have but they had extremely low output and they've just been sitting around ever since. Anyway, you're welcome to them. I also have a Japanese 12ax7 that I wouldn't mind having identified. Maybe I can post some pics of that one, along with a few other tubes that I can't ID.
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