TUBES: Telefunken EL84 & ECC801


Hello. Who's familiar with sound of vintage 60s military Telefunken E84L (el84) and ECC801S (ecc81) ?

Can you guys recommend me something better than telefunken? I have a set of these Telefunken tubes in my WLM Minueta class-a push-pull and i like it, but this is the only one set of hi-end tubes of highest quality i have. Need to secure myself and buy another as a spare set. Also i'd love to try something better if possible. I listen my WLM in triod mode with Druid MK5 speakers of 101db and love it. I must say when i changed stock tubes (modern JJ & Tungsram) to vintage nos military Telefunked the difference was huge! I believe only with Telefunked i realised what is the tube sound.

I'm considering some other hi-end NOS tubes of that kind from different brands or maybe some top of the line new reissue tubes (i'm still doubt they can compete with Telefunken).

Need help.
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128chakster
Valvos and Teles are as good as I've heard. If you want to go hard the other direction, try Mullards. Be careful shopping for the European tubes and their high prices. Often times, the labels are meaningless and don't match the actual plant that produced them. If you are going to spend the money, learn how to read the codes.
Check out upscaleaudio.com or thetubestore.com or Tubedepot.com for quality tubes. There are many brands such as Mazda,Siemens, Sylvania or even GE that can sound awesome. Have you tried 7189? Sometimes they have a "sweeter" sound and should be a direct replacement.
Keep in mind that some manufacturers make different versions too such as Amperex (globes) vs Amperex Trumpeter/Bugle Boys.
Montytx & Elevick thanks for advice! I bough mine from Tube Museum (New York), i've seen upscale audio youtube channel and noticed they sell on ebay and on their website. No i have not tried 7189 (i'll keep my eye on it).

I've heard about Amperex Bugle Boys but never tried. They problem is (as you said) each brand sells in many variations and if there is a strong contenders to go nose to nose with my vintage Telefunkens (quad of E84L and pair of ECC801S) i'd like to know exact model to try.

BTW any thoughts about russian reissues of Genalex Gold Lion or i should look for good NOS only? My telefunkens weren't cheap and in this price i can't buy many.
Chakster, the answer depends to some degree on the kind of sound you're looking for. If you like what the TFKs are doing, then IMO Montytx is right - the ECC801S and the Valvo 6201 is as good as you can get. Other well regarded tubes - the Sylvania Gold Brand, Mullard, Brimar, Amperex, and others - are all good in their own way but each will give you a slightly different flavor of sound. Some may not be what you're looking for.

If you want a decent crash course on how 12AT7 tubes sound, go to the Tube Asylum on AA and do a search for 12AT7. Look for threads where Bambi B has posted. Between Bambi B and Luminator you should be able to get a good sense of what to expect with each tube.
I did a lot of listening with 6DJ8 variants. The absolute best by a considerable margin were the old Telefunken tubes specially selected by Hewlett/Packard.
Tonyptony, thanks for info
Reading Tube Asylum now.
Ones results will of course will depend on the gear but in my Doshi phono stage the TELE ECC801s rule. Very clean, revealing, transparent and dynamic. Be careful though because NOS sometimes equates to OC (old crap). A lower priced but also very good alternative to the TELE is a Mullard CV4024. Very similar to the TELE but a little more colored and not quite the same frequency extremes.

Have also used Mark and Kevin and have had nothing but excellent service.
Myles ... Military TELEFUNKEN ECC801s matched pair and E84L matched quad from the 60s (nos) - this is what i use in my amp for 3 years and i agree with you description of the sound. Love it!

I only need something else but on the same level of performance , something pretty much involving, maybe different sound. Some modern tubes i have tried were total crap and non involving at all.
What about best American RCA tubes?
RCA 3 Mica S-Rod 12AT7WA or any other suggestions ...

Top Japanese ecc81 and el84 versions ?

I'm gonna try some old Russians soon.
Chakster- Some years back; I was building a driver board for an amp(ST70) and required three 12AT7 family valves. Desiring the most transparent available; I sought the Tele ECC801S and Tube Museum was offering them. This purchase was, and remains, the only time I've been stuck with(very obviously) counterfeited tubes(out of multiple scores of deals). I'd be interested to know whether those that you bought from them have the embossed Telefunken diamond, at the base of the tube(inside the pins). If you still have them, could you take a look?
@rodman99999

Hi, sorry i've missed your request. I have checked my Telefunken ECC801s and yes, on the bottom they have a diamond. My tubes looks exactly like this one.
GEC A2900
Re; Tube sources, just had a terrific experience with Brent Jessee.


www.audiotubes.com
Anyone tested affordable Sylvania Gold Brand 6201 vs rare Telefunken ECC801?