JJ tubes...what's not to like?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by cliffenstein, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. jlinde

    jlinde Member

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    I don't find the jjs to be dark at all. Dont really understand where that comes from....I believe that most new production tubes to be simply too bright....making jjs seem dark and dull..I think they sound great in an overly bright DSL or similar sounding amp.
     
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  2. kwicked

    kwicked Supporting Member

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    I like them because i don't really like them, but they are the one tube brand (pre not power so much) i can actually hear a consistent difference in, and that makes them a good tool for addressing certain issues like taming an overly bright amp as jlinde mentions above. They can also sound very nice in a drive channel spot if you are looking for a thicker OD sound. Probably worth mentioning that both of the amp techs i know use them as their default replacements. They don't care about TGP tone nuances, they care about a repair staying repaired.
     
  3. Seth L

    Seth L Member

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    They do work, but that's really about the only good thing you can say about them. :)
     
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  4. Sirloin

    Sirloin Supporting Member

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    I have reissue Mullard long plate preamp tubes in my Germino with JJEL34Ls for power and JJ pre and JJ EL34L power in my Ceriatone 2204. No issues at all with them. Solid tubes that work and sound good.

    98% of the people posting in this thread probably couldn't pass a double blind test on what tubes are in their amp anyway.
     
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  5. kwicked

    kwicked Supporting Member

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    Totally agree, although it may actually be a bit higher %.
     
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  6. Seth L

    Seth L Member

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    I think you're both wrong. JJ preamps are ok, but dull. Almost any other preamp tube brings out overtones you won't hear with JJ's. As a matter of fact, maybe it's you guys who can't tell the difference. :)
     
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  7. dazco

    dazco Member

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    I have tried thier 12AX7/ECC83, the EL34's, 6L6, and 6V6. I have compared all of those to other brands, MANY. None were IMO as good as most other. The EL34's are especially mediocre. Nothing i have used aren't quite a bit better. The 12AX7's are dull and lifeless to a degree. Not horribly so but enough that there are lots of better sounding tubes, some much better. The 6L6 i can't comment on too much not being much of a 6L6 amp guy. But when i used them they seemed ok, just not obviously real good. Just not enough experience with 6L6 to be sure.

    On the other hand i love thier 6V6. mainly because it's a tube that can handle a lot of current and voltage so you never have to worry about them. Especially good if you build amps from scratch where you aren't following any particular circuit and may be using transformers that might kill normal 6V6's. And they sound good if not killer. But again, like 6L6 i have little experience with 6V6 too. But they sound fine to me, no obvious dullness or anything. But overall i feel JJ's generally hover around the below average area and in general are rather dull sounding, especially the 12AX7/ECC83 which to me are the worse current production tubes i've found. Their 803s version of that tune is better than the 83s tho. It's not great but an improvement IMO. I'd still not use those however. There are just better sounding tubes out there IMO. And yes, tone is subjective but i'm basing this post on what i think are tonal details that are not great as a general co9ncensus among players. For example, a lack of harmonic content/dullness i think the vast majority of players would find not good. And i have tried most of them in several different amps, the EL34's and 12AX7/ECC in many different amps.
     
  8. Sirloin

    Sirloin Supporting Member

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    I don't find the ones I have to be dull at all.
     
  9. Seth L

    Seth L Member

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    Then you should keep using them. Apparently, a lot of people find them dull, though.
     
  10. Sirloin

    Sirloin Supporting Member

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    Most guys around here are old and have lost something in the high frequencies. I find a lot of boutique amps to be quite bright which makes sense if you think about their target customer.
     
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  11. Seth L

    Seth L Member

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    So anyone who thinks they're dull has hearing loss? Yeah, ok. :rolleyes:
     
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  12. kooper156

    kooper156 Member

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    I'm going to call bs on that one. I'm young and find JJs a poor choice for V1 every time.
     
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  13. DeaconBlues

    DeaconBlues Member

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    I've never had a problem with JJ's, whether pre or power tubes. I only buy them from Eurotubes, though.

    I don't find them particularly dark or dull.
     
  14. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    Interesting thing happened yesterday.
    I got a wild hair, playing my melody maker with p90s. Put it through the normal channel of my SFDR, cranked it to 10 (I have a PS, so not too loud), played some slide with a little compression. Sounded really really good.
    I just checked the tube in V1 - JJ 83s. I put it in there because I do not like the sound of V1 pulled, how it affects reverb side. Stuck this in there because I didn't like it in the normal channel.
    The rest of the amp is NOS RCA and Mullard, except for the reverb driver is a Phillips and a TS RI in the reverb recovery.
    So ... I actually liked the JJ in there. I will probably try some other stuff, just for fun, but it was pretty ok.
    I hated these tubes in V1 on this and my BF pro reverb.

    I got some JJ 6l6s for the pro a while back. I had wing-C in there and had a little accident, knocked the key thing off one of the tubes. Tube works but thought, ok, I will grab some JJs. they were pretty good, but I glued the tube key back on and put the winged C back in, and I do like them better. Not a huge dif, but the wing C sounded a little better to me.
     
  15. Rick330man

    Rick330man Member

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    I've purchased all of my JJs - ECC83S, ECC803, ECC81, ECC82, 6V6,6L6 and EL84s - from Eurotubes. In terms of durability, I have no complaints at all. One EL84 died inside of a Crate VC50 head that pushed it at around 400 volts - well beyond design spec. I had one 6L6GC fail in a Pignose G40. The shortest lifespan by far goes to a pair of 6V6s. They barely lasted 6 months. Everything else has proven plenty durable - with some of my JJs being over 15 years old.
     
  16. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    Replaced my new jj with a Mullard OS AX7 in v1. The Mullard is microphonic as heck but still beats the jj handily for sound. Not even remotely close. Same thing with an OS RCA greyplate. Wow moment immediately. Best thing about jjs is they're rarely microphonic, according to my amp builder who uses them in v1. But I have been recently turned on to the fact that tubes have a sound too, lol. Dangerous idea for the wallet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
  17. Dashface

    Dashface Member

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    I am okay with their power tubes... Not a fan of their preamp tubes.

    Add me to the list, I guess :)
     
  18. Janus Alfador

    Janus Alfador Member

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    In my Strategy 500 power amp, I have one side populated with JJ 6l6s and 6550s, and the other side with Groove Tube 6L6s and 6550s. The JJ side sounds very tight, granular, when overdriven, and a bit sterile. I much prefer the Groove Tube side, which I find warmer, more colourful, and not so tight, which I like. I can see that some people would like the JJs, though. The JJs clearly aren't bad, but they're pretty distinct in sound, compared to the Groove Tube side of my power amp, and they don't have the softer, wider, rounder sound of the GTs, that I'm really, really liking.

    Thing is, now I have 9 JJ 6L6s and 5 JJ 6550s, when I think I'd prefer a different brand of tube... maybe Rubys. I might sell half of the JJs on Craigslist to fund another type of tube for one side of my power amp.
     
  19. davebc

    davebc Member

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    My experience as well, nothing going on with their 12ax7's, dull, muddy and low gain..power tubes very good, love their 6CA7's and their KT77's, their 6L6's sound very good in my Kspot, not a fan of their EL34's, flat dull dark. Their E34L's sound fantastic in my Bloke
     
  20. jlinde

    jlinde Member

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    The difference between their kt77, el34s and e34l's is SO subtle...I doubt most people can tell the difference. I'm running jjel34s in my Marshall jvm410c and they are anything but dull and flat. Definitely not dark. They sound great to me...but then again, that amp sounds great no matter what tubes are in it....Maybe u had a weak pair or didn't bias them properly.
     

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