Lance Cochrane EL-84

Lance Cochrane is the guru of the scratch tube amp building world. The master. The One. And now I know why. The amp below is one of Lance’s creations; and EL-84 push pull amp built on a Thomas organ amp chassis, with the Thomas output transformers and Lance’s circuit.

The amp is a fantastic performer. I can see why Lance’s amps hardly ever come up on the used market. Putting out 12 or so watts per channel, the amp drives everything I have thrown at it with ease, and in total silence. The only time I have heard even tube rush from this amp was when driving 106 db/wm Lowther DX4. And the amp sounded phenomenal on the Lowthers! Tons of space and image everywhere.

This is a basic looking, industrial-beautiful amp, but it sounds like a million bucks. Its one I cannot ever see myself parting with because it is just so “right”. Plug and play and forget about technicalities…just listen to the music.

Telefunken EL-84 seem to be the best performers of the EL-84 family.

One of the nice things about Lance’s circuit is that any of the 12AU/AX/At7 tubes (and their richly varied equivalents) can be used in the driver slot. Here I have a Mullard 12AU7 and a pair of Conn labeled Sylvania 12AU7s. Another great tube here was the Telefunken smooth plate 12AX7. A bit more drive than the Mullard, but the Mullard seems smoother.

Basic parts, nothing too fancy. It really makes me wonder about all of those boutique parts so popular nowadays. Some of the amps out there have coupling caps that cost more than this whole amp as pictured.