#1
Hey everyone,

I dropped my 5150 combo off with a local tech that has a great reputation and also hand builds custom amps and pickups. The amp tends to sound great once in a while and meh the rest of the time. The first thing he asked was if I had JJs which I do. All of them are relatively new and frankly I don't play it that much - I find myself practicing via the computer more and more.

I purchased my JJs from Eurotubes so they should have been tested prior to shipment.

He told me that over the last 2 years or so his experience has been that JJ quality control fell off a cliff and he ended his dealer relationship with them because of this.

He mostly stocks Tube Amp Doctor (TAD) tubes which I hadn't heard of before. I'm in the US but the orange box from the UK website seem to match what he had in stock.

So, have you guys seen/heard/had a similar experience with JJs?

Any experience with Tube Amp Doctor tubes?

Thanks for the feedback.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#2
Yes, I've heard that from quite a few people about JJs. Seems like they couldn't keep up with demand and just started shipping whatever they had instead of making sure the product was decent.

TAD are good, depends on which tube but most of them are a slightly different spec Sino tube.
#3
I have had some good JJ's but I have also gotten a few bad tubes. One ecc83 pulled apart when I removed it from my amp
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Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
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MXR Smart Gate
#4
I had one pre tube fail last year after only 3 months but the other 15 or so are going strong. Maybe a bad run.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

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#5
My stuff from Bob at Eurotubes has always been spot on. Makes me nervous to hear people say that tube quality might be going downhill.

Honestly, I think we may have to expect something like that as the number of plants actually PRODUCING the silly things have dwindled rapidly. Mostly what we're seeing now is a few plants producing tubes for a whole lot of brand names. Mullard, Tung-Sol, etc., mean nothing these days, when the competing brand names' tubes come from the same plant.

I'll pay Bob a bit extra to test the stupid things before sending them out; I don't care who gets the rejects <G>. I know what kind of testing gear he has. Not sure at all about the rest of these folks.

Perhaps more importantly, I've got enough stock packed away for all the tube amps I'm likely to play over the next long while. This may be part of the reason I've moved so heavily into modelers?
#6
I retubed my Laney with all JJs. Only issue I had was with bad contact in the socket was causing crackling and gain loss, but again not the tubes themselves. Tubes are great I think almost 8 months out now playing regularly. I buy from Tubedepot.
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Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#7
I use a lot of JJ's. The only failure I've had was the glass on a 6CA7. It was replaced immediately without issue.
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#8
I remember hearing bad about their EL84s a year or two ago. I wouldn't be surprised as they certainly have become more popular, everyone I talk to in person or on the Internet uses them (unless they rock NOS). I haven't had problems personally but that doesn't mean anything really. Sad, I really like the way they sound, hopefully this is just Internet hearsay and nothing more.
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#9
All I run in my EL84 amps are JJ. Never had an issue with them.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
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Boss GT-100


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#10
Thanks for the replies. I'm a pretty open thinker trying to see both sides. I'm thinking that it may be a case of the dealer not wanting to put up the vendor any longer. I'd be curious to see how many bad tubes get weeded out by the other dealers like Eurotubes. Frankly I purchased from Eurotubes because of their in house testing and I like to see the Sharpie notes on the tube boxes :-)

I'm talking with a small dealer compared to a Eurotubes or one of the other large presence web dealers. Having to eat a high failure rate of a batch would more significantly affect the small guys.

We'll see what the diagnosis of my 5150 turns out to be.

On another note these TAD tubes seem be thoroughly quality tested rebrands of other tubes and some of the higher end ones may be made specifically for TAD. I was really curious to get some feedback on them.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#11
TAD tubes are made to certain spec's in the Shuguang factory in china. I have personally never used them but people that have always have positive reviews.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#13
I've had a few DOA JJs, but thankfully I ordered them from TubeDepot and they replaced them with free shipping immediately. I think this has only happened twice in four years. Some of the 12AX7s are 4 years old and going strong...and they're all JJs. I like to keep V1 and the PI fresh though, so I periodically buy new ones and experiment with different models.

Overall, I've been very pleased with JJs and the couple that were bad were replaced immediately.
#14
i threw a quad of JJ EL84's into the Dual Terror and they sound great. also a pair in the 1974x two years ago and they are still are sound great. that gets heavy abuse volume and gigs.

i didn't check the last ten 12AX7's shit. hopefully they are all good. i got the from tube depot. hopefully they don't have a problem.

______

i think a little spook comes along with just about anything for a while. some are definite, but i think that one of us posted something like this, and out of the hundred people who read this see that, a few more people who had problems say they did, and it isn't worth the energy to post their own topic over a dead tube. YMMV
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#15
I've had more trouble with the tad high grade ecc83, the standad tad ecc83 works without issues. I prefer the sound of jj's though. Have received two mi rophonic jjs from eurotubes before. Tungsol RI have also given me issues, they all went humming after a week of use in the v1 spot. Mullard RI has been great so far. The sovtek stuff neds to be resized, the diameter of the glass is bigger than the Chinese & JJs or nos for that matter. I'm strkctly speaking of preamp tubes so far. For power section i've been using jj el34s only, dig those a lot & had goodluck with those lasting long for me so far
#16
I've never had an issue with JJ reliability but have had a couple that just didn't sound great. I would still recommend them over most modern production tubes
#18
I put a full set of JJ's in my 6505+ last August and Ive had no issues. Got em from Doug's Tubes. I think he tests them before shipping.
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#20
Depends on which amp tech you talk to. One guy around here loves JJ's and says Tung-sol tubes are janky. One guy loves Tung-sol and hates JJs.

Honestly you can't go wrong with really any of them as long as you buy them from a reputable dealer that tests each tube for proper matching (in a ballpark, of course) and gives you a guarantee. Every brand has good and bad tubes. It's a matter of taste and brand elitism.
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