#1
I had an amp that had some issues. I determined it could be the tubes. Ordered new tubes from bob at eurotubes. turns out the amp had something else wrong with it not related to tubes. I end up buying a new amp. I pay my shipping to send the tubes back, we agree i'll just pay more and he can send me tubes for the new amp afterall whats the harm it's only gonna make the amp sound better because everyone swears stock tubes are crap. So the Bob the Yoda of all things tubes gives me a recommendation. I don't want to spend a fortune but i get 2 power tubes and 3 pre aps for 90$

All i have to say is the legend that is Eurotubes and JJ tubes is definitely a little overhyped especially here on UG where i found out about them in the first place, maybe if i bought 200$ worth of the best JJ stuff for my brand new 300 dollar amp ( that includes tubes that sound just fine) i might stumble upon a something that marginally improves the tone. People need to stop singing the praises of this company around here,

Anyways here is what i emailed him Btw if anyone wants to buy some gently used JJ tubes email me


......................................................................................................................................

I got around to switching out the tubes on the egnater tweaker. Figured why wait any longer. I have gone back and forth with the stock set and the JJ set my clear distinct impression is the set of JJ tubes you recommended are not a good match at all for the egnater tweaker at all. To the point of not even being an apples and oranges matter of taste either. But it flat out sounds worse than the stock egnater tubes.

the stock tubes are as follows two 6v6 Ruby power tubes labeled tstr pc28 , two electro harmonics 12ax7eh pre amp tubes labeled 0812 and one other one labeled 0904.

the basic replacement set up from JJ is
matched pair of the JJ 6V6’s, two standard ECC83S’s and one balanced ECC83S

I left the settings on the amp the same to get an accurate comparsion. The JJ tubes on first listen did have a little more sustain on the thinner strings, a little more of a biting, searing lead tone. That was the first thing i noticed. I played with suspicion for 20 minutes or so trying to remember exactly how the amp sounded before with a little growing sinking feeling in my stomach that i may have just downgraded my amp.

So then I spend another 20 minutes retubing the amp back to the stock tubes. And got the old sound back. Here is the problem after comparing them both thoroughy .

The JJ set sounds clearly Thinner, the bass output and consequently the warmth and strength of the tone is compromised quite a bit. Perhaps by about 25% or so at least. The stock tubes have sort of a vintage natural full sound to them in the tweaker. It is not the "cleanest" sounding amp when the gain is up high. But it has a richness to it that sounds good. Overall the amp sounds less powerfull with the JJ set.

Now for voiding my warranty on my amp and spending 90$ on what are in your professional opinion the best brand of tubes in the entire world this is a bit a let down and a learning experience for myself. I don't get it. Perhaps your higher end tubes such as the gold pins would have a more powerful sound but the mystique is definitely gone that JJ tubes are gonna blow away the cheap relabled chinese tubes that you allude that almost every amp manufacturer uses as stock. There may be some good JJ combinations for this amp. But i wonder if you really did an A to B comparsion of the basic tweaker retube that you recommended because i cannot imagine anyone liking that sound over the stock chosen tube combination that Bruce puts in the the egnater tweaker amp.

That's my two cents. Not doing it to be mean. It's just that tubing an amp is a leap of faith for a consumer so your advice matters. I am sure you have had great feedback on other matching of tubes an amps so you should be open to hearing feedback of all kinds. This particular setup to me seems like it is an unnatural fit for this amp. The stock tubes may be a lesser brand. But they seem like they were meant to be in that amp.

Regards,
Nick West
#2
Quote by changeling93305
I had an amp that had some issues. I determined it could be the tubes. Ordered new tubes from bob at eurotubes. turns out the amp had something else wrong with it not related to tubes. I end up buying a new amp. I pay my shipping to send the tubes back, we agree i'll just pay more and he can send me tubes for the new amp afterall whats the harm it's only gonna make the amp sound better because everyone swears stock tubes are crap. So the Bob the Yoda of all things tubes gives me a recommendation. I don't want to spend a fortune but i get 2 power tubes and 3 pre aps for 90$

All i have to say is the legend that is Eurotubes and JJ tubes is definitely a little overhyped especially here on UG where i found out about them in the first place, maybe if i bought 200$ worth of the best JJ stuff for my brand new 300 dollar amp ( that includes tubes that sound just fine) i might stumble upon a something that marginally improves the tone. People need to stop singing the praises of this company around here,

Anyways here is what i emailed him Btw if anyone wants to buy some gently used JJ tubes email me


......................................................................................................................................

I got around to switching out the tubes on the egnater tweaker. Figured why wait any longer. I have gone back and forth with the stock set and the JJ set my clear distinct impression is the set of JJ tubes you recommended are not a good match at all for the egnater tweaker at all. To the point of not even being an apples and oranges matter of taste either. But it flat out sounds worse than the stock egnater tubes.

the stock tubes are as follows two 6v6 Ruby power tubes labeled tstr pc28 , two electro harmonics 12ax7eh pre amp tubes labeled 0812 and one other one labeled 0904.

the basic replacement set up from JJ is
matched pair of the JJ 6V6’s, two standard ECC83S’s and one balanced ECC83S

I left the settings on the amp the same to get an accurate comparsion. The JJ tubes on first listen did have a little more sustain on the thinner strings, a little more of a biting, searing lead tone. That was the first thing i noticed. I played with suspicion for 20 minutes or so trying to remember exactly how the amp sounded before with a little growing sinking feeling in my stomach that i may have just downgraded my amp.

So then I spend another 20 minutes retubing the amp back to the stock tubes. And got the old sound back. Here is the problem after comparing them both thoroughy .

The JJ set sounds clearly Thinner, the bass output and consequently the warmth and strength of the tone is compromised quite a bit. Perhaps by about 25% or so at least. The stock tubes have sort of a vintage natural full sound to them in the tweaker. It is not the "cleanest" sounding amp when the gain is up high. But it has a richness to it that sounds good. Overall the amp sounds less powerfull with the JJ set.

Now for voiding my warranty on my amp and spending 90$ on what are in your professional opinion the best brand of tubes in the entire world this is a bit a let down and a learning experience for myself. I don't get it. Perhaps your higher end tubes such as the gold pins would have a more powerful sound but the mystique is definitely gone that JJ tubes are gonna blow away the cheap relabled chinese tubes that you allude that almost every amp manufacturer uses as stock. There may be some good JJ combinations for this amp. But i wonder if you really did an A to B comparsion of the basic tweaker retube that you recommended because i cannot imagine anyone liking that sound over the stock chosen tube combination that Bruce puts in the the egnater tweaker amp.

That's my two cents. Not doing it to be mean. It's just that tubing an amp is a leap of faith for a consumer so your advice matters. I am sure you have had great feedback on other matching of tubes an amps so you should be open to hearing feedback of all kinds. This particular setup to me seems like it is an unnatural fit for this amp. The stock tubes may be a lesser brand. But they seem like they were meant to be in that amp.

Regards,
Nick West



i am not addressing the top half of your post, but regarding the JJ's in the tweaker not sounding as good or whatever. different tubes for different amps. JJ's kill in the splawns.

i think the problem you have is that you weren't really expecting that there was any thought put into the tubes that were going into the amp.

some companies just throw in whatever, and dont care, but not all companies.

i have no knowledge of Egnater's manufacturing, but i have a feeling that the original tubes that were put into your tweaker were put there for a reason. that could have easily been something that they spent a lot of time in testing in development to get it to its maximum potential.
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alright "king of the guitar forum"


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Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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#3
trashed yea that is probably right. I fixed what was'nt broken. Hopefully i will have better luck when i switch out my bridge pickup next month.
#4
I have had nothing but success with JJ's. There have been some rumours about decreasing quality of their EL84's but I am yet to experience it myself.
As for their 6V6's I have done back to back tests against a NOS Brimar (which are about the best tubes ever made) in my 5F1 Champ clone and the JJ performed remarkably well.
Now as for leaving the EQ the same to get a fair comparison - that's stupid. JJ's have more midrange, of course you are going to have to EQ it. You can't expect to just leave your EQ in the same position.
How have you voided your warranty?

Anybody that cares about their tone tries all sorts of combinations of tubes. You can't expect a valve that sounds great in one amp to work best in another. Preamp tubes are cheap, get a collection going. I have a collection of lots of NOS and ANOS tubes and several modern valves. The name of the game is mix and match.
However I am surprised by what you are saying. I suspect a bit of operator error. Spend some time dialing in the amp before you reach a conclusion, don't just leave it with the same settings and expect success.
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#5
i thought the EH 12ax7 sounded good in V1 of my tweaker, some no name chinese tube sounded best in V2, and a sovtech was fine in V3.

it doesn't take 20 minutes to retube a tweaker, unless you go to lunch in the middle of it.

and i never heard jjs were the best tubes in the world.
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#6
SED 6V6's are the only 6V6 I'd say were superior to a JJ 6V6 and even then it's a close call. JJ 6V6's are an awesome tube, You can sub them in for a 6L6 in a Fender and they will work, usually without even rebiasing them. They can take crazy high plate voltages for such a small valve.
This is the first time I've ever heard anybody not be happy with a JJ 6V6. As I said, they hold their own against British NOS tubes and that's saying something.
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#7
yea i mean i could go back and forth tommorrow and try them again. But you know when something sounds that distinctly different and you clearly feel one is worse then the other it is hard to dial it in to make it better.

The guy gave me like 4 options of JJ sets i took the inexepensive one. Perhaps that is the problem. The gold plated tubes which he quoted as the best JJ had to offer might have been better.

I'll take your advice in keeping a stable of them though.

The warranty is voided anytime you change tubes. They had some sorta label on them a sticker that tore when the little screw on frame that holds the tube in place came off. So it is clear that the chasis has been opened. I don't foresee any problems. I am just grinding an axe because this tube setup came from a very esteemed amp/tube guru and i had hoped for much better.
#8
gregs1020 i ate a sandwich between the pre amp and power amp install . And yes if you research as far and wide as you can you will come back with the consensus that most people if they had to pick one brand or recommend one brand... they will tell you that JJ is the best. Thats why i checked them out.
#9
One of them may be dodgey. Try each JJ in V1 in turn and take note of the sound. One of them may sound bad compared to the others.
Like I said there have been some complaints about JJ quality control in recent days. It seems to be centred around their EL84's but some have said that they have received some bad 12AX7's too. It could be just one bad tube.
I've never heard of swapping tubes voiding a warranty. That's ridiculous, tubes are a consumerable item.
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#10
I don't know about "most people", but when I hear people who know what they're talking about say things about tubes they never say JJ's are the best. Unless they are talking about EL84s. I often hear they are the best modern EL84s.

Not to say JJs are not good, they definitely are.
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


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#11
They want an authorized tech to change the tubes. If push came to shove it might not matter. But they warn in the owners manual not to open the amp up for any reason else warranty is void.
#12
Have you noticed BBPro hasn't posted?

I noticed because THERE'S NO COLOUR!
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#13
In order of quality these days I'd say it goes SED, JJ, the new Shuguangs, then the New Sensor ones and of those probably Gold Lion, TungSol, Mullard, with Sovtek running in last place. This is discounting the rumours of JJ QC slipping lately.
Give it a few years and it will probably be a shootout between SED and Shuguang. Like most Chinese things these days they are getting better and better as we watch.
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#14
Quote by InanezGuitars44
I don't know about "most people", but when I hear people who know what they're talking about say things about tubes they never say JJ's are the best. Unless they are talking about EL84s. I often hear they are the best modern EL84s.

Not to say JJs are not good, they definitely are.


i agree that JJ's aren't the best. they have treated me better than any other comparable tube.

however, i really think JJ's are the best thing for some amps and aren't for other amps. a lot of the "popular amps," today they seem to do good in, then people think they are the solution to everything and dont buy anything else.

quick example: 5150/6505+etc's are great with JJ's. those are probably the most common decent tube amps on here.

my splawns love JJ's.

my old ampeg doesn't like JJ's.

the 18 watt i built loves JJ's.
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Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#15
Cool. I will check some of those out for research sake. Yea for awhile this will probably be my last foray into tube buying. If i score an old amp that clearly has aged tubes then i would swap them. But the rumors of the stock tubes in entry and mid level amps being dismal is a bit overblown. In perspective for 330$ the egnater amp with the stock tubes sounds pretty good. The seymour duncan JB bridge pickup that is stock in my guitar now thats another story and a former thread of it's own. that thing is gonna go soon.
#16
The one thing I've never heard a JJ ECC83S criticised for is lack of bass and mids. I really do suspect that you have a dodgey one amongst them. Do what I said; try one valve at a time in V1. I predict that you have a dud.
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#17
JJs are crap. Go NOS if you want a real difference. /thread
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#18
Yeah, my gigging amp has NOS everywhere. The JJ's sound bloody good in the 18W Marshalls though.
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#20
In ye olde days the tubes were made by highly skilled tradesmen that cut their teeth in the heyday of valve technology. Those guys are long since retired. When there is a big pool of skilled tradesmen in a field the overall quality of work increases and the cream that rises to the top is truly great.
Also there are environmental/safety issues. Quite a few of the critical chemicals that made the old valves what they were are no longer available. A lot of it just too damn dangerous to have floating around a factory or even to mine. We know what that crap does to a person now.
JJ is in fact the old machinery from Tesla moved down the road. However, they don't have the old Tesla techs anymore. They were all retired off by Tesla pretty much. So, as JJ can't buy the materials that Tesla used even if they dragged some old guys out of retirement and built them perfectly they can never be like an old Tesla valve. They simply can't get the raw materials anymore.

TL/DR version
Tradesmen retired, materials unavailable. What hope have you got?


You should see some of the shit they were churning out in the day. Frame grids from the 50's are works of art. The accuracy of the windings is phenomenal. We won't see the likes of that ever again. We're lucky somebody's making them at all. Something like 96% of tubes end up in guitar amps. We really aren't that big of a market.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Dec 21, 2011,
#21
Quote by changeling93305
thanks mmolteratx , it begs the question why can't they just make em like they used to.


Basically what Cath said. It's not a very large market like it used to be so instead of large companies making stuff for the military sending surplus to the civilian market, it's a bunch of guys in Russia, China and Eastern Europe making stuff as cheap as possible as fast as they can. Add to that environmental and safety restrictions and lack of skilled labor and you have mediocre modern production tubes. They're way better than the production stuff in the 90s but still don't hold a candle to old stock tubes.

Though there is a company making tubes by hand, the old fashioned way in Europe. The brand is EAT, Euro Audio Team. They're crazy expensive due to labor costs and materials used though. Like, a grand and a half for a quad of KT88s or a little over a grand for a pair of 300Bs. And the ECC803s (high grade 12AX7 equivalent) goes for $200. Word is that they're very close in performance and quality to old stock Telefunkens but since I can get real Telefunkens for less than half that price right now, I've never bothered to test it myself.

Supposedly the JJ 12AX7 is a lot like the Telefunken smooth plate 12AX7 but I've got both on hand and have no idea where that rumor came from...
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#22
^Probably came from Bob, he pretty much ditches every other current production tube on his site, except the chinese ones & SED stuff.
#23
The original comparison test that Nick did was rather unfair though JMO.
When you do an entire re-tube (i.e. the pre & power section together), you are supposed to re-EQ the amp. You left the EQ settings to your favourite positions for the tubes that were in there before & tried to compare the new ones to that setting. What you should have done was set all the EQ & Gain controls "Flat" before the tube change & then tried to notice a difference between the old & new ones.

The rumors of the JJ quality maybe sorta true about the ECC83s. I got 6 of them from Eurotubes recently & two were microphonic out of the box. One of the two was way too microphonic to have passed the quality check they do with their tester. Oh well atleast the 6CA7s I got from them are doing fine & sounding better than the EL34's I had in there before. I'll wait & see how long this quad lasts, before ordering a backup set.
PS: the new ECC83S did sound better than the ones I already had so, tone wise there doesn't seem to be any decline for me yet
#24
The quality decline is unfortunate. Tubes is certainly not the only industry/genre we are seeing that in. Yea the it's good to know there is better stuff out there even if it is cost prohibitive. I wonder how long the NOS will last till they are gone .
#26
Quote by changeling93305
gregs1020 i ate a sandwich between the pre amp and power amp install . And yes if you research as far and wide as you can you will come back with the consensus that most people if they had to pick one brand or recommend one brand... they will tell you that JJ is the best. Thats why i checked them out.

what kind of sandwich? did you use any horseradish?

because if it didn't, then i have 2 good reasons to come through this screen and bitch slap the living hell out of you.

jjs are good production 6v6s, i'm not arguing that. but i think your OP is a bit mellowdramaticca.

if you are going to change power tubes in a tweaker, why on earth would you put 6v6s in it?

put EL34s in there and call it a day. even the crap EH 34s i put in mine sounded damn good.

also, the preamp tubes were the big problem with the tweaker, not the power tubes.

lose the sovtechs and put some decent 12ax7s in v2 and v3 and put a 5751 in V1.

then come back and tell me i'm wrong.

gah...
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#27
Quote by changeling93305
But the rumors of the stock tubes in entry and mid level amps being dismal is a bit overblown. In perspective for 330$ the egnater amp with the stock tubes sounds pretty good.

There is a big difference between amplifier manufacturers. Egnater probably knows exactly what sounds good in their amps. Other big namers like Peavey put lower stock rebranded ones in and JJs usually improve the amps tone.
#28
At least play for more than 20 minutes. We just had a decent thread on breaking in tubes. I'd give it 5 hours of play at least before deciding the tubes aren't any good.

I agree with Greg on the power tubes, though. JJ 6v6s are decent but the tweaker loves 34s.
#29
I retubed my Fender HRDx with JJs and couldn't be happier. I replaced the stock 6L6 GTs with 6V6s. It's not even the same amp now. The amp sounds so much warmer than it did before. The harshness that gives the HRDx such a bad reputation is gone. The JJs darkened up the sound some, which is exactly what I was looking for.

Maybe JJs are just not the right tube for that amp.
#30
JJs kick ass in my Peavey, and their customer supt at eurotubes is fantastic, fwiw. Also, I have it on authority that Bruce is a JJ fan, at least in certain amps. Hope you find the solution you're looking for. It can be disappointing when things don't work as planned.
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#31
Roc8995 i was considering asking that, if tubes have a break in period to warm up. Thats makes a huge difference in new speakers.
#32
agroban i don't beleive that JJ's are a bad brand. I think Bob just wanted me to buy anything rather than nothing and really needed to admit that his basic setup was not superior to the stock. There are so many different tube types and also tubes can be graded for difference voicings. That's were the stock tubes did well. They were picked with more care than that basic JJ retube. You can talk about highs and mid's and eq's all day long. When something sounds thinner and less powerfull there is no compromise or excuse that will make it better period. Powerfull sound and thin sounds are not are a matters of tone taste.
#33
A JJ ECC83S wouldn't be describes as thin compared to any other modern tube - far from it. If anything the opposite is true. The biggest criticism they receive is that they have too much bass and midrange.
Did you try testing each JJ tube in V1 like I told you to? I really do think that you probably have a dud.
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#34
My experience was like of when you go into guitar center and the employees there have nothing bad to say about any of their stuff. Squire strat... " o yea it sounds great, great value"... . Crate solid state 100 watt amp for 299.99 for your bed room "very good choice, crate make great amps" . I mean jeez this guy was so opiniated he should have told me this set is the cheapest but is not much of an upgrade and to buy something different.
#35
Quote by changeling93305
agroban i don't beleive that JJ's are a bad brand. I think Bob just wanted me to buy anything rather than nothing and really needed to admit that his basic setup was not superior to the stock. There are so many different tube types and also tubes can be graded for difference voicings. That's were the stock tubes did well. They were picked with more care than that basic JJ retube. You can talk about highs and mid's and eq's all day long. When something sounds thinner and less powerfull there is no compromise or excuse that will make it better period. Powerfull sound and thin sounds are not are a matters of tone taste.
I'm sorry but clearly you just wanted something to be wrong with them. Especially if you absolutely needed to use the original settings on a completely different set of tubes. That is just the stupidest thing I have ever heard.