View Full Version : TAD 6L6GC-STR relabeled JJ's?

10-18-2005, 05:07 PM

I am looking at re-tubing my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. Was reading some reviews of TAD 6L6GC-STR's with a Princton (HRD has very similar power amp). From looking at pictures, they look very similar to JJ's.

I know that TAD makes their wide short bottle 6L6WGC, but they are known for being a re-labeler like many other brands.

Are the TAD 6L6GC-STR's relabeled/hand picked JJ's?

10-18-2005, 05:24 PM
Here are some pictures to compare with:




10-18-2005, 05:27 PM
Hmm... well now that I do see them side by side... I would say the bottle is different shaped.

I guess they aren't the same.... but wow.. they sure do look similar inside :)

10-18-2005, 05:34 PM
Those pics also seem to show a different side of each tube.

10-18-2005, 05:36 PM
now compare the TAD to this one:



10-18-2005, 09:25 PM
Those TADs are made in the Shaguang factory in China. Also, the TAD 6L6GC and 6L6wgc have Black Plates. The JJ's don't, nor does that Ruby.

10-19-2005, 08:38 AM
i have had 2 out of 4 bad pairs of tads lately. Don't know whats up with them. The JJ's I have gotten from CE have been even more un predictable. I may move over to ruby since they offer a significantly better warranty than anyone else.

10-19-2005, 08:48 AM
FWIW here's what I have dug up from various websites and message boards concerning TAD tubes. The "STR" TAD's while being of chinese manufacture are built to specifications supplied by the German parent company. From what I can tell these are not rebrands. They are TAD designs outsourced to china because they have the tooling and cheap labor. The final QC and matching are done in Germany. There are many analogous business models here. Sam Adams is made according to its proprietary recipe at many of the the same breweries that Budweiser is brewed. A Ford is not a Hyundai even if many of its parts are manufactured in Korea. What I'm getting at here is that although Russian tubes are good and getting better they are not the only game in town. The Chinese tubes are also getting better and some savvy entrepreneurs are taking advantage of their specialised tooling for hire. Rode has been doing this with chinese knockoff Neumann U-87 microphone capsules for years. At first, like other companies they would just order 1000 capsules and sift thru them to find the ones that were good. Currently Rode is outsourcing proprietary capsules to their chinese partners and making some really good and really affordable mics as a result. The bottom line is that we have a few really good choices is current production tubes and the competition will only make the products better.

10-19-2005, 10:15 AM
Ahh I didn't notice the different color of the plates. I always have a hard time from pictures.

Anyway I am not saying anything bad about the Chinese production of tubes. In fact a lot of the latest Chinese designed and Chinese manufactured tubes are quite good.

I was more interested in saving money and learning something. I figure why pay extra for the brand-name from matching when you can get just as good if not better service from other places. For example, Groove Tubes, why pay that high price when you can get way better support and save money by going through dougstubes, eurotubes, thetubestore, lord valve, etc.

The same goes for Mesa, ENGL, Fender, etc. They just rebrand their tubes and you pay for them, especially at local music stores. But once you learn that they are re-branded XYZ, then you can save a significant chunk of change just getting the original XYZ brand.

Plus knowing this also helps in discussions of tubes and when you read reviews of tubes, you get a better picture of how good certain tubes really are. For instance a GT 5581 is no different than a Sovtek 5881.... GT5881 $50 MSRP, Sovtek 5881 $25.

10-19-2005, 10:52 AM
I'd buy from Ruby just because they have always served me tubes that last. Obviously they have good quality control. I really like their chinese 6L6gc-str tube.
I believe GT also has good quality control but they are more expensive.
Only if I was to buy NOS tubes, I'd purchase from a smaller vendor.
By the way, JJ tubes are actually manufactured in the Czech Republic.
6L6gc-str TAD tubes are designed in Germany but manufactured in China.
I don't see much similarity in those designs.

Anyone know what's up with the EI factory. Weren't they supposed to start making a 6L6gc tube??

10-19-2005, 11:23 AM
Originally posted by sdgvintage
i have had 2 out of 4 bad pairs of tads lately. Don't know whats up with them. The JJ's I have gotten from CE have been even more un predictable. I may move over to ruby since they offer a significantly better warranty than anyone else.

I have not noticed the unpredictability in the JJ's (I also buy through CE). But I did notice that they do not produce as much output power before clipping as say a SED (Winged C).


10-19-2005, 04:50 PM
I've had two sets of the Big Bottle TADs...got them right here in Germany from the parent company and actually paid quite a bit more for them here than I would have in the US...

in both cases I had filiment rattle inside of a week and sent the tubes back...it took 3 weeks for me to get my replacement tubes back and in both cases only one tube was exchanged...

with that kind of customer service I won't be using TADs again....


Chris - CMWamps
10-20-2005, 11:15 AM
Different tubes; the TAD 6L6Gc is pretty clear/clean, their 6L6Wgc is thicker/warmer, the JJs seem clean but (very) warm to my ears.
Afaik both TAD 6L6 types are from China.

Andreas Hecke (the owner of TAD) did invent the Ruby way of testing and matching, after being the European Ruby agent for some time he did start using his own company-label.

Both companies do test and match the tubes very, very well.

Hope this helps!

(Hope I'm not too biased as T*D-dealer, ha ha)