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Jet City branded Retro Valves

ledzep618

Member
Messages
4,751
Looks interesting, but also looks expensive and I suspect that they probably don't sound as good as glass in most applications.
 

cardinal

Member
Messages
5,432
Yikes, those are expensive. It'd cost me $350 just to retube my amp with those. I'd be interested in trying them, but they'd have to have a return policy.
 

Paul86

Member
Messages
1,504
Can you replace all of your 12AX7's with them? I mean, even the PI?
Anyone could answer that?
 

Clean Channel

Member
Messages
2,993
I want to order these, but when I go to check out chrome warns me the site might be compromised.

Anyone have any luck buying them online from the Jet City site?
 

Tone Loco

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,349
I want to order these, but when I go to check out chrome warns me the site might be compromised.

Anyone have any luck buying them online from the Jet City site?
I got that at a Marshall forum recently too. Not sure how to even contact them about the problem. And no idea how serious the threat is either.

No help, I know...
 

Tone Loco

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,349
Bump for anybody who's tried these or has any idea what they might be...:bumpbump
 

Clean Channel

Member
Messages
2,993
Bumpin this thread as my set of three Retro Valve 12ax7s arrived (finally) this week!

First off: I don't want to get into a debate over "what's the point of these?". Suffice it to say they make very good sense for my situation, as my amp gets a lot of daily use, and I wanted something that will last as long as possible and that I can rely upon day in and day out. Of course, only time will tell how long they actually last, but I'm hoping it's a very long time. I keep lots of tubes around, and can swap in real tubes in under a minute if need be.

I purchased the 'regular gain' amber ones, as I wasn't looking to adjust the sound or gain structure of my amp.

After removing them from the packaging I did notice that the construction seemed very robust.

I replaced the three new production 12ax7s in my amp and the Retro Valves sound great! They're pretty much indistinguishable to the real tubes they replaced.

Update Feb. 27, 2013
Not long after installing the Retrovalve tubes I decided that, while I think they sound excellent clean, I don't really like the way they sound when overdriven. For what I'm doing right now, I tend to just run my single channel amp clean all the time, so they're working out fine. However, on occasionally I want to overdrive the preamp (usually to test a boost or fuzz pedal out), and it's a little frustrating as I don't get quality of OD I've come to expect from real preamp tubes. Since I like to run them clean, I suppose I would benefit most from the red "higher gain" tubes, as they'd have the most clean headroom.
 
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VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,306
While these "Retro Valves" are likely solid state FET devices internally, it seems silly to me to convert a good old tube amp to solid state when you could likely buy a decent new solid state amp for less. However, tone is subjective...and how you spend your money and whatever works for you is your business, not mine ;). Just sayin'.
 

Terry Hayes

Member
Messages
3,176
I just got some at the NAMM show last week. I haven't had time to try them yet but the Jet City amp that I heard demoed had them inside and I thought the sound was very good.
 

DRS

Member
Messages
12,357
Are they really $90 each? Would be great if they had the tone of a Mullard 12AX7 and would never wear out. Are power tubes next?
 

Terry Hayes

Member
Messages
3,176
I intended to post once I tried these things out and totally forgot. I tried the Red (Hot Gain) and Yellow (Standard Gain) in my Budda Superdrive 18 and thought it sounded quite good. The overdrive tone seemed fat and creamy. The Hot Gain was particularly interesting as it allowed the Budda to sound like a much higher gain amp without having to do mods.

Besides the sound, the fact that the tube won't go microphonic (particular if it gets moved around a lot) is a great feature. For really high gain amps, which seem to make even slightly microphonic tubes unusable, these are ideal.
 

FattMetheny

Active Member
Messages
85
I intended to post once I tried these things out and totally forgot. I tried the Red (Hot Gain) and Yellow (Standard Gain) in my Budda Superdrive 18 and thought it sounded quite good. The overdrive tone seemed fat and creamy. The Hot Gain was particularly interesting as it allowed the Budda to sound like a much higher gain amp without having to do mods.

Besides the sound, the fact that the tube won't go microphonic (particular if it gets moved around a lot) is a great feature. For really high gain amps, which seem to make even slightly microphonic tubes unusable, these are ideal.
Thanks guys!

I've been wondering about these for the longest time.

Clean Channel likes them for clean, but doesn't like them overdriven, via pedal.

Terry likes the OD with these in his Budda (no pedal front end). I think the fact the overdrive is internal to the amp might be key.

I'd like to hear the Dumble clone crowd, Boogie and Marshall folks chime in.

The Russian company AMT makes solid state 12AX7s, 6L6s and EL34s. I have no idea if they are better or worse than the Jet City equiv. If you've seen the price of NOS EL34s lately, the AMT Warmstone might be getting attractive.

http://amtelectronics.com/products/...armstone-12ax7-tubes-solid-state-equivalents/
 

Terry Hayes

Member
Messages
3,176
Thanks guys!

I've been wondering about these for the longest time.

Clean Channel likes them for clean, but doesn't like them overdriven, via pedal.

Terry likes the OD with these in his Budda (no pedal front end). I think the fact the overdrive is internal to the amp might be key.

I'd like to hear the Dumble clone crowd, Boogie and Marshall folks chime in.

The Russian company AMT makes solid state 12AX7s, 6L6s and EL34s. I have no idea if they are better or worse than the Jet City equiv. If you've seen the price of NOS EL34s lately, the AMT Warmstone might be getting attractive.

http://amtelectronics.com/products/...armstone-12ax7-tubes-solid-state-equivalents/
I have a low-gain (Blue) Retrovalve which, together with the standard gain model, I need to try in my Victoria amps. Unfortunately, I just haven't gotten around to it.
 

gldtp99

Member
Messages
4,062
I bought the 3-pack of Blue, Yellow, and Red Retro Valves a couple of yrs ago and have tried them out in many amps of different types.
I can say that they don't suck---- they operated well in every amp, in every position (replacing 12ax7's-- I haven't used them in any 12at7 or other positions).
I have subb'd them for 12ax7's when I'm alone, with the owner of the amp in my shop for service, and with other players (sometimes many players at once) unattached with the amp being tested with the Retro Valves. Many, many times overall---- I'm aware of the effects of psychoacoustics so I couldn't completely trust my own opinion of these devices until it was backed up by trials with many other players, over quite a length of time, and in many different amps.
Never once, so far, did anyone rate any of the Retro Valves as sounding better than a strong, properly functioning 12ax7 type tube.
Many liked the Retro Valves when playing them but as soon as I would replace the Retro Valve with any 12ax7, they could tell the difference: they liked the 12ax7 better.
I've A/B'd the Retro Valves with old production RCA, GE, Sylvania, Blackburn Mullard, RFT, Amperex, EI, Matsushita, Hitachi, etc.
Also new production Sovtek WA-WB-WC, JJ ECC83S, Tung Sol RI, EH, and many different Chinese 12ax7's.
Everybody always immediately liked any 12ax7 that followed any Retro Valve better than the Retro Valve.
Having said that, nobody actually hated the Retro Valves while they were playing them-- they just liked the real 12ax7's better in every case.
Their descriptions of the differences ran along the lines of:

1) Real tubes have more "vibe"
2) the plastic tubes are tight in comparison to the glass ones
3) the solid state ones are good but I'd rather have real tubes in my amp

I haven't wanted to use the Retro Valves in any of my personal amps that I play for myself vs the 12ax7's.
Like I said above: they don't suck----- but nobody is breaking down my shop door to have these devices installed in their amps..................gldtp99
 






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