Does Anyone Else Hate JJ Tubes?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by patriotplayer90, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    574
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I just installed a matched quad of double-mica JJ-6L6's in one of my SFTR. Properly biased, it sounds great. I've gigged with it several times since with no issues or problems whatsoever. The amp sounds great, as usual...not lacking anything. Nice tubes!
     
    RedRock likes this.
  2. SngleCoil

    SngleCoil Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    564
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    They definitely are 6V6 in name only...and that is not always a bad thing. Take an amp like the Egnater Tweaker 15, if you use the "AC"or "Brit" voicing of that amp, the JJ 6V6s work very well.
     
  3. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    9,418
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Lawndale CA
    Now that's a LOT different from how your initial post was worded! And...(caveat - I'm not a huge JJ fan)...still only covers one model. More questions - when and were all three from the same vendor....and new? Also - "three" tubes? In the same amp? What amp - and what was the final disposition, i.e. what was wrong with the tubes?
     
  4. RajDonYasser

    RajDonYasser TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    87
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Location:
    Right here
    They were all 6v6 tubes, purchased new, and from two different shops. Two different Fender amps and the tubes made the same rattling noise in both amps. Definitely the tubes cause I've never had this issue with any other brand, even cheap EHX tubes sound better.
     
  5. SngleCoil

    SngleCoil Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    564
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Very recently I had sets of matched el84s (quads, no less) from 2 different amps lose one tube within the first 20 hours...frustrating. I also had a set of JJ 6v6s that would intermittently drop output. I thought that was just bad luck. I replaced with Tung-sols and they have been going strong for 3 years. Now with the recent trouble I've had with the JJ el84s, I'm really losing confidence in that brand.
     
  6. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    9,418
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Lawndale CA
    Well, I guess I'd chalk it up to bad luck. I install several pairs every month or two and haven't hd one "rattling" issue.
     
    RedRock likes this.
  7. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Tele-Meister

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    338
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2018
    Location:
    St. Louis


    As usual the truth is somewhere in between. I have an AC10C1 which I immediately loaded with a full set of JJs and I love this amp. My '61 Fender ( Brown) Deluxe I very much prefer NOS Blackplates and various NOS 12AX7s. I am and have always really been a bass player. I have 3 SVTs. My SVT II non pro sounds absolutely glorious with Winged SED and old Sylvania preamp tubes. My CL is thrilling me most with some NOS Svetlana ( from the St. Petersburg factory) 6550Bs. I have a couple strategically placed NOS12AX7s in there and a couple JJs.

    Maybe current and modern production amps do better with current production tubes.
     
  8. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    9,418
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Lawndale CA
    No, it makes no difference. "New" tubes aren't made in any way that suits "new amps".
     
  9. strat1

    strat1 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    31
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2003
    I don't know if I would say hate them, but I find their standard EC83's some what bland in the preamp positions. I think their 6V6's are a little tubby sounding with little definition. Their EL84's I like better but have other choices as well that I like better. That being said, I find their tubes to be very durable and long lasting and a good value. however my preference leans to Tung Sol RI's for the 12AX7 and 6V6's and Mullards for the EL84's.
     
  10. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,944
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis TN
    I have used JJ preamp and power tubes in several amps, never had any issues with any of them. As someone else mentioned, I've had more trouble with older production tubes than new tubes like JJ and EH , go figure ....
     
    RedRock likes this.
  11. heltershelton

    heltershelton Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,647
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2016
    Location:
    not houston
    i have all jj's in my ac30 and it sounds awesome.
     
    RedRock likes this.
  12. GorgeousTones

    GorgeousTones Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    108
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    First let me say you're no wrong. In fact, the + 50yrs experienced, most highly sought after studio recording ace is no more right than a kid out buying his very first electric guitar.. As far as these kinds of discussions are concerned. Everyone has heard and been hit over the head with "tone is subjective dude.." statements, so I'll just leave it at that.

    All that being the case, I was actually a bit surprised by your assessment of the JJ's. In my own (as well as the generally most folks) characterization is JJ 12ax7's are certainly one of the least bright current production tubes on the market. In fact many people accustomed to sovtek/tungsol/mullards etc stock in nearly all reissue Fenders complain about JJ's being "muffled" and lacking treble. Which I why I surprised to see that you found them harshly bright.

    My own opinion FWIW; current production preamp tubes shouldn't be going into the V1 position of your amp if you're as serious about tone as you seem to be. It certainly depends on your particular amp & style, But I HIGHLY recommend you go with NOS or ANOS in your V1 spot!! You may browse the net and right away see the price tag on a NOS Telefunken 1957 12ax7 and say "WHAT.. F*#% that!!" But you CAN find reasonable 12ax7s & especially 5751's and other 12a_7's that sound 100x better and will last forever! And

    *Just the one tube for V1 where it matters. Everywhere else use the the new stuff. Brand, Selection process, gain factor it is really all about the same quality regardless.. I tend to use whatever's cheapest or on the shelf at GC if I'm in a pinch. Usually that means JJ and I can say from experience they're durable and quiet. Again FWIW...
     
    hrstrat57 likes this.
  13. GorgeousTones

    GorgeousTones Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    108
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    Oh.. I almost forgot check out www.kcanostubes.com for old valves. Most reasonable prices and probably the last honest tube guy. Super trustworthy rep in the gear/musician community. Really knows tone too
     
    Floyd Eye likes this.
  14. Les H

    Les H Tele-Holic

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    523
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2018
    Location:
    Kansas
    As far as el84 tubes go I haven't found found any I like better than the JJs as far as consistency and being readily available. I do have a preference for the Ruby rebranded ones though.

    With the satisfaction I felt from their EL84s I bought their 6L6 tubes for my twin and was less than impressed with those, better than the stock groove tubes yes but they didn't really add anything very noticeable except a slightly tighter low end but ever so slightly.

    Their preamp tubes were becoming all the rage many moons ago and they were ok but when the Tung Sol 12ax7 reissue hit the JJs fell by the wayside but were still better than most Sovteks I felt. They are fairly stout tubes and work fine for a long time in a lot of preamp slots that don't necessarily contribute to the overall tone.
     
  15. Stiv

    Stiv TDPRI Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    24
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2018
    Location:
    East Lansing, MI
    I have a pair of JJ 6V6S in a 5E3 home brew run 4-8 hours a week since 2007, and the amp is quiet and it sounds full and clear. They were the only power tubes run in it since I built it so I don’t know how other tubes would sound.

    Who knows, maybe my amp will sound so good with a pair of RCAs it’ll shoot glorious rainbow-colored beams of unicorn roadapples from the grill when I hit a note! Then maybe I’ll say the JJs suck. And more carefully examine the mushrooms that nice waiter put on my salad...
     
  16. Paulie Walnuts

    Paulie Walnuts Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    125
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2017
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    JJ tubes ruined my life. I know I would have gotten that record deal if my tone wasn't so harsh from them at the audition
     
    antennahead, Jerry J and corliss1 like this.
  17. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,618
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    JJ EL84s are very reliable in my experience (in a Mesa Rocket 44). The 12ax7s though not my top pick are decent too but I have had a few fail prematurely on me (even one from Eurotubes which had been through a testing regime [which they did replace]). But having said that I have found lots of modern 12ax7s to be dodgy.
     
  18. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Posts:
    1,806
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    It depends on the amp and the application.

    I use JJ GZ34 in all my amps. I use JJ 6V6s in all my 6V6 amps and JJ 12AX7 in some positions of some amps. I use a variety of 12AX7 tubes - Mulllard, Tung-Sol, Electro-Harmonix, in different positions of different amps.

    One 5881 amp has three JJ ECC83s and a GZ34 and sounds great. Another 6L6GC amp has only one JJ preamp tube (CF) and a JJ rectifier. Another amp has a JJ ECC83s and ECC803G and GZ34, and an EH 12AT7.

    For other types, 12AT7, 12AU7, 12DW7, I also use what I find works best, JAN or EH usually.
     
  19. bob barcus

    bob barcus Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    164
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    I had some 6L6gc and the base was loose I think it is a hit and miss..I have collected a bunch of NOS preamp tubes and power tubes I do use Tung Sol in the Fender and Shugaune6CA7 in the Marshall.To save the NOS power tubes...New amps I think are made to use new tubes..But if your amps are over 40 a least use a NOS in V-1
     
  20. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,453
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Lansing, MI
    I don't think either the amp or the tube knows how old it is :D
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.