its been about 3 years since i got my fender blues junior, and of late ive noticed a drop in quality of the sound and have decided im going to upgrade its power tubes.

it currently has the stock groove tubes el84s in but i want to replace it with something better and not the identical replacement. ive heard the names jj, tungsol and ehx being tossed around but i hardly know whats what when it comes to tubes

as for sound preference, id prefer something that didnt break up too early and was a bit low on the treble. no budget shoot away!

PS: ill be ordering off amazon as im in india, links would be cool
I didn't see the India part, so look at the Tung Sols they have a good quality tube.
JJ's sound good, but in my experience, as well as others I know, they don't last all that long
JJ's tend to be a bit darker than most valves, most of the tonal differences will come from swapping out the preamp valves though.

I found that they last as long as any other modern EL84.

Consider swapping the V1 12ax7 with a Jan Phillips 5751, theyre pricey, but theyre NOS so they last a lot longer, and its pretty much what everyone does when they want a little more body and jangle from their clean channel.

The V2 valve will have more impact on the amps distortion sound.

The V3 is the phase inverter valve which will impact the overall tone of the amp. A lot of people opt for 12at7s for the PI since theyre lower gain so they'll offer a bit less noise.

Tung sol tend to be a bit brighter, but theyre well made and well renound.
Last edited by beckyjc at May 14, 2011,
hey becky!

noted down all that you advised, jan philips is available over tube depot who ship to india, so that shouldnt be an issue. bit expensive thats all. isnt it more advisable to switch out the power tubes though? from what ive read preamp tubes need replacing only once in 8-10 years...
If theyre dying yeah. Power valves last around 1-3 years, modern preamp valves will probably last around 3-5. 10 is a bit optimistic. Theyll just have a more noticable impact on tone.

Make sure you get matched power valves for it.
I threw some JJs in my Blues Junior and noticed a much more defined top end 'sparkle' as well as a bit warmer midrange and low end. I was replacing Sovteks that I don't know how long have been in there though, so it may be just new vs old tubes accounting for the difference. (But I doubt it.) JJs are generally considered the modern production EL84, so other than NOS I'd say that's your best bet.

Preamp tubes, as beckyjc said, make a bit more difference. I'd consider going NOS for at least V1 and V3. I've read from a number of places that V2 is a negligible difference so any old 12AX7 is fine for that spot.

Here's a great breakdown of the preamp spots and what tubes will have what impact:

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