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#1
I* have listened to many one here about what is good or bad I have found JJ to be very poorly built and they are not what I'd want in my amp unless tested first
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#2
+1 I too have noticed a steady decline in quality since first using JJ tubes.
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#3
hmm I don't see JJ's as top of the line but I wouldn't say they sound 'bad'. Its hard for tubes to work and sound bad at the same time. I can't really comment on reliability but I haven't had an issue with mine in a year or two of daily use. Whilst on the topic, I hate EHX and their shitty QC these days but their 12ay7's are just awesome, especially for the price.
#4
I've had better luck with Mullard's and Tungsols latley.
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Last edited by RJH11 at Feb 15, 2015,
#5
Don't know what you guys are on about. I still say that they are the best sounding modern tubes, well, since SED died.
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#6
Now that you mention it, I have several JJ 12ax7 tubes and no desire whatsoever to use them in any of my amps. ...Wait, I do have one in my Vox VT30, but that doesn't really count. I don't think they're bad, they're just not as good as other tubes I have.
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#7
Sound wise I have no issues but as of recent I've had some not to great QC issues 2 doa and 3 just going microphonic in weeks time. All different amps so it isn't a amp issue.
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#8
I use a lot of JJ tubes. I've had one DOA with a cracked glass but who knows where that happened. Other than that I've had no real issues.
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#9
I don't know if local dealer got a bad batch or what but the last two months and several trips back and forth have turned me off. Reissued Mullards are mighty nice tubes though.
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#10
i fully retubed my tremoverb with JJ's six months ago and it sounds great

they are in my 1974x clone and and sound great. that was two years ago.

i have them in my splawns, for the last 3 years or so.

i have a couple tung sols and reissued mullards, i have one or two in some amps, but the rest are JJ's.

i did get one DOA, but the box looked smashed. i was kindly rushed a replacement.
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#11
Same here. I've heard that they are inconsistent, and that they are re-labeled tubes from other manufacturers. I think all amp tubes(JJ's, GT's,etc) are. I went through a little tube rolling phase right around Thanksgiving. I tried JJ's in every spot, because everyone loves them for my amp. I just didn't like them anywhere.
#12
JJ are not rebranded. They are made in Slovakia on old Tesla machines. It's an actual tube factory. GT are rebranded, some of which are JJ.
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#13
A lot of people claim they are muddy compared to other tubes. I'm about to do a tube swap from JJ's to Tungsol/Mullard so I can't confirm it myself immediately, but I think I've already heard confirmation from the VK.

My ~local~ tech stopped carrying JJ's because of their "high failure rate" and "bad sound".
#14
They work really well in some amps and not well in others. I've found they tame Marshall amps nicely with all the high end that they have, but I didn't like them as much in my Recto. I pretty much always use them in the power section (except currently, KT JJs are expensive) I'm using Sovtek. I use JJs in the preamp of my Krank and they work nicely.

Quality issue I feel could be traced to the more recent rise in popularity, the last several years JJ has become a staple for many people and I definitely hear more people say they use them both in person and on the Internet. When you are making more tubes I imagine there are many more opportunities for bad ones to get out the door.
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#15
I use Tubedepot JJs in my VH100R, mother****er roars.
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#16
Steve Rothery's amp tech told me some interesting stuff about JJs several years ago when I managed to get backstage at a Marillion gig due to being a friend of the band that were supporting them that night, and asked him for advice about a problem with my amp where something was causing an audible rattling sound in the signal path. He immediately said "You're using JJs aren't you?".

IIRC, He said he thinks they are fine for people who play around with tube amps at home, but as soon as you start transporting them and they get bumped around in the back of the van and then run very hot at gigs things start to work themselves loose and they become microphonic very very quickly and will rarely last more than a few months of regular gigging before failing completely - he also told me he had contacted the company directly about the build quality problems and they told him they don't care because people are still buying them.

I seem to remember posting a thread about this shortly after that gig (september 2011 I think), but it was mostly dismissed. Since then we seem to have a new thread every few months discussing JJs declining quality...
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#17
^interesting. I'm tempted now to go bounce my amp around a bit just to see if I get any issues

It wouldn't be totally surprising, sad because they are kind of like a go to for cheap tubes for many of us.
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#18
I should have said they are built like crap, not sound like crap. But I have had nothing but issues with JJ's since I started using them a year or so ago. Drunk post earlier

But like I said I don't have a problem with them if I buy from a reputable dealer that tests them first. But I wouldn't buy them off the self from a store. Even then I have had issues with the ECC83's going microphonic within 20-30 hour of use in my amps.
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Feb 15, 2015,
#19
i have been hearing about a recent decline but i have not experienced any such thing.

i have been using JJ or Ruby (rebranded JJ) in my amps with great luck. i did have a ruby 6l6 die...but after about 1.5 years of steady playing. thats more than honest for a stock, out of guitar center amp.

i do think tung sols are good. i personally have seen more borken tubes and poor sound out of sovteks then any. stay away from sovtek 12ax7wa tubes. gross. worst tube on the market.

many people say tubes dont effect sound that much....these are so bad they noticably affect gain stricture and tone in a bad way.
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#20
^ I use the Sovtek 12ax7LPS and it is one of my favorite new tubes.

I have also found that tubedepot sells ANOS USA made 12ax7's for $19 each.
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#21
Just wondering, are their any particular tube types (from JJ) that you guys have had issues with?
Having thought more about it, of the 20 odd JJ tubes I've bought in the last couple of years (6L6's, E34L's, 12AX7's, 5751) the only one I've had the slightest issue with was a 5751, and the issue was that it just didn't sound too flash. But this could just be my opinion of that particular tube type; not an inherent issue with JJ. When it comes to the contagion of internet mis-information, tubes are a common victim..
#22
Just wondering about all the guys with DOA tubes. Does the place you buy them from not test them first or something? Most of the places I've found in the UK (except main retailers) test them and give you the results.
#23
The tubes that came in my VH100R hadn't been turned on in a while (apparently) and when I brought it home they sparked and made a whole bunch of noise then died. They didn't look terribly old either. The ones that didn't die tested strong on a buddy's tube tester. They were some no name chinese tubes. Looked like these:

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#24
Quote by 7thString
Just wondering, are their any particular tube types (from JJ) that you guys have had issues with?
Having thought more about it, of the 20 odd JJ tubes I've bought in the last couple of years (6L6's, E34L's, 12AX7's, 5751) the only one I've had the slightest issue with was a 5751, and the issue was that it just didn't sound too flash. But this could just be my opinion of that particular tube type; not an inherent issue with JJ. When it comes to the contagion of internet mis-information, tubes are a common victim..

I have had most issues with their ecc83's. I had one actually pulled apart when I tried to remove it, it was like the glass had no been fused properly.

the weirdest part was it worked when it was in the amp

^ tubes don't go bad from sitting unused
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Feb 15, 2015,
#25
I started a similar thread a couple of weeks ago. I got my 5150 back from the tech and all checked out but some of the JJs. This tech hates JJs so I'm not 100% certain that's really the case but I took the amp in because the Lead Channel just didn't sound good. One of the 12ax7s was nearly dead and they were all a few months old and basically seldom used. This is a bit concerning. The JJs were from a reputable online dealer.

I'm at the point now of not wanting to dump the $ for yet more JJ preamp tubes.

What brand of tubes would you guys suggest to try next? Mullards? Tung Sol?
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#26
Uraltone, the webshop we Finnish usually order our tubes from, also warns that the JJ tubes have more quality control issues than other tubes they carry. And on same sentence they advertise their tube burn in/testing service so you can take it with grain of salt if you wish. I just see it as odd that they would flat out say something like this about certain tube brand in their website.

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#27
Quote by metalmingee
I started a similar thread a couple of weeks ago. I got my 5150 back from the tech and all checked out but some of the JJs. This tech hates JJs so I'm not 100% certain that's really the case but I took the amp in because the Lead Channel just didn't sound good. One of the 12ax7s was nearly dead and they were all a few months old and basically seldom used. This is a bit concerning. The JJs were from a reputable online dealer.

I'm at the point now of not wanting to dump the $ for yet more JJ preamp tubes.

What brand of tubes would you guys suggest to try next? Mullards? Tung Sol?

Sovtek 12ax7LPS (the LPS part is critical)
The new Mullard 12ax7 is actually pretty nice in a Marshall
Tung Sol are alright also
I have been hearing good things about TAD tubes and I think I'm going to order some to try out next time.

But you can get USA made 12ax7's for $19.95 each and they are fully tested
www.tubedepot.com/products/us-made-12ax7-preowned
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#28
Quote by dementiacaptain
They work really well in some amps and not well in others.


That's what I've found (in terms of tone).

I'm not exactly taxing them to find out about how reliable they are.

Quote by Blompcube
Steve Rothery's amp tech told me some interesting stuff about JJs several years ago when I managed to get backstage at a Marillion gig due to being a friend of the band that were supporting them that night, and asked him for advice about a problem with my amp where something was causing an audible rattling sound in the signal path. He immediately said "You're using JJs aren't you?".

IIRC, He said he thinks they are fine for people who play around with tube amps at home, but as soon as you start transporting them and they get bumped around in the back of the van and then run very hot at gigs things start to work themselves loose and they become microphonic very very quickly and will rarely last more than a few months of regular gigging before failing completely - he also told me he had contacted the company directly about the build quality problems and they told him they don't care because people are still buying them.

I seem to remember posting a thread about this shortly after that gig (september 2011 I think), but it was mostly dismissed. Since then we seem to have a new thread every few months discussing JJs declining quality...


that's very interesting.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
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Et tu, br00tz?
#29
I've never had a problem with a JJ either tonally or quality wise.

(I don't gig)

I have JJ pre and power tubes in all of my amps (along with some JAN, Mullard, GT, Fender branded something something 6L6s) and I think they sound great.

The only tube I've really had quality issues with are EHX and Tung Sols are too bright for me but I have pretty bright amps.
#30
i had a tungsol preamp tube which i suspected was microphonic out of the box. I didn't put too much effort into determining for sure though since I had another one I could use anyway.

But I think that's the only "bad" tube I've had out of the box. though admittedly I generally only change tubes when i have to.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#31
My Tung Sol 12AX7 was fine - I think generally they are well made.

The several EHX preamp tubes I've tried were just terrible.

I have never tried any JJ power tubes.

There have been some threads recently on JJ quality so I'm just going to keep my eyes open regarding it.
#32
Quote by metalmingee
I started a similar thread a couple of weeks ago. I got my 5150 back from the tech and all checked out but some of the JJs. This tech hates JJs so I'm not 100% certain that's really the case but I took the amp in because the Lead Channel just didn't sound good. One of the 12ax7s was nearly dead and they were all a few months old and basically seldom used. This is a bit concerning. The JJs were from a reputable online dealer.

I'm at the point now of not wanting to dump the $ for yet more JJ preamp tubes.

What brand of tubes would you guys suggest to try next? Mullards? Tung Sol?
Yes. Mullards, Tung Sol, Tube Amp Doctor.
#33
12ax7's JJ are the ones I've also had issues with recently and my dealer carries all sorts of different brands and these are the first shipment of JJ tubes he's had serious issues with. We tested the ones that were DOA and they were just toast. The microphonic ones yes I do move my amps from practice place to home but I wait plenty long allowing cooling etc before transport.
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#34
The 12AX7LPS is the only tube to come out of the New Sensor factory that I'd consider using. The others are way too toppy. It may be different on a really dark sounding amp but otherwise, if I don't use NOS tubes, I use JJ's.
And btw, I gig a lot and have never had these issues with JJ's that you guys talk about. Since SED closed, JJ are all I use (well, apart from the tubes from my "NOS" collection.) I had one JJ 6CA7 arrive with a faulty glass which was replaced without issue but otherwise, I've been very happy with JJ's.

May I introduce you to TCtubes.com. They have some great bargains on NOS and ANOS tubes. An American, British, Japanese or Western European tube will slay any modern tube. Power tubes are a bit pricey but some real bargains can be had in preamp tubes still. Take a look.
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#36
Well, a Telefunken is always gonna be expensive.
They have a damn fine range. Lots of cheap American preamp tubes all the way up to super expensive European ones. Something for everybody.
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#37
Yeah a mullard ecc83 tests good and only $32
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#38
And a real, British Mullard is miles ahead of the New Sensor reissues. Like so far ahead that it's ridiculous that they even write Mullard on those Russian smegheads. I've got an old Indian Mullard in V1 of my RM20 and it's as sweet as ****. Even the Indian ones are better than the Rusky shit. Aussie Mullards are very nice too. Got one of those in my Champ.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Feb 15, 2015,
#39
Seems like it depends who you talk to.

Here in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, one big amp tech loves JJ's. Says Tung-Sol are shit. The other big amp tech loves Tung-Sol's, says JJ's are shit. I think they both companies have their shit tubes. Tubes just aren't made like they used to be.

I bought a "matched" set of Groove tubes from GC once. Three of them ran around 35-40mA, one was running at 75mA.

Lesson learned, only buy from shops that test the tubes themselves before selling them. You're bound to be able to get a lemon from any brand.
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#40
Quote by Will Lane
A lot of people claim they are muddy compared to other tubes. I'm about to do a tube swap from JJ's to Tungsol/Mullard so I can't confirm it myself immediately, but I think I've already heard confirmation from the VK.

My ~local~ tech stopped carrying JJ's because of their "high failure rate" and "bad sound".


I buy the JJ's from Eurotubes. No issues, ever.
I order them "tested" (whether they actually are, who knows?).

At this point, I've got enough stock packed away that I'm unlikely to *need* to order tubes any time in the next few years.

TungSol and Mullard are just brand names owned by New Sensor (along with Sovtek, etc.); standard Russian tubes.
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