Does Anyone Else Hate JJ Tubes?

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

  1. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

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    I've been using specifically JJ power tubes and have been happy. a year or so ago I re-tubed my Mesa Boogie Rocket 440 with a new set of JJ including 12AX7 pre-amp tubes. The amp from that point on just didn't have the flair it previously had. I tried to live with it but just couldn't. I installed the original Mesa Boogie Tubes that I had removed and it came back to life.

    I determined at that point JJ power tubes are good but their 12AX7's don't cut it. I use EH 12AX7's and they always sound good. Platefire
     
  2. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Tele-Meister

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    Mike is awesome. :)
     
  3. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's

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    Their power valves seem good. The 6V6S may divide opinion, but it can't be denied it's a workhorse for many. Their EL84 seems as good as any and better than some.
    Their 12AX7 works. As do their 12AU and 12AT7 valves. They don't particularly inspire, but they're not bad. Their 5751 is very good.

    They are the Ford Mondeo, the pasta, sauce and meatballs. They do a job, do it well, don't cost a lot and I've yet to have a failure. Failure to ignite passion perhaps, but no electrical failures.

    Can't hate them. Can't enthuse much. They are go-to. They are brown sliced bread. Plain, effective, reliable ( IMHO ). Usually a step up from those fitted to lower end equipment.
     
  4. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    I'll be getting some EL34 JJ tubes in a couple hours. They're what I can find locally in stock. I have no complaints
     
  5. Bendyha

    Bendyha Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I've not seen any mention of the JJ12AY7 in the thread up untill now. Anyone made any A/B tests with these. I've read quite a few reports of the EH12AY7 sounding very thin/edgey or brittle in comparison to the more mellow "classic" NOS versions, and not really delivering the Tweedy ambient...but this is only hear-say.
    Any views here ?
     
  6. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's

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    Their 5751 is a great valve (JJ).
    Their 12AY7?, not so much. I quite like JJ as you can usually depend on them. I tried a JJ 12AY7 and after half an hour, ordered yet another Electro-Harmonix. The EH, I find to be warm, mellow and predictable. Not at all thin. The JJ?, muffled, muddled. It was almost as if it didn't quite work properly. It didn't have the warmth or clarity I'm used to with 12AY7 and seemed 'twitchy' on the gain control. I often sub a 12AY7 for the 12AX7 found in V1 to get better control over the gain range while not really sacrificing anything at the uber-gain end of things. I ended up stuffing the JJ in a starved plate overdrive, where it does a good job.

    I didn't like the JJ. I do like the EH, but one persons opinion matters little. Trying one is the best way to determine if they work in your amp. I'll bet my amps differ from yours and how we hear will be different. They're not objectively bad to me, but they wouldn't be my first choice of new 12AY7.
     
    Chicago Matt and Bendyha like this.
  7. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Another 12AX7 to the graveyard. Wasn't properly annealed and the glass case broke after gently trying to remove the tube, cold. I've NEVER broken a tube removing one before, and I do a lot of tube swaps.
     
  8. cap47

    cap47 Tele-Holic

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    JJs are good for starting up a new build because you don't lose much if you trash any of them. I always remove them once I know the amp is working right and then put something that sounds good in the amp.
     
  9. ocduff

    ocduff TDPRI Member

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    My biggest complaint against JJ 6L6GC is that almost 1/3rd I get are microphonic due to an internal mechanical rattle, or they quickly develop them, thus making the tube unusable.

    That said I think they sound nice. Big, deep, and warm.

    But I think they are cheap because they send every single tube they make out the door, faulty or not. That's heresay perhaps but really you have to buy tubes from a seller that screens them, checks for microphonics, burns then in before matching, and tosses faulty ones to really get to see where they fall in the cost spectrum. Because i don't think JJ is doing that. And the expense falls on the tube reseller or the tube buyer to swallow that cost - which doesn't make them any cheaper and in fact perhaps more expensive in the long run.

    This applies only to the JJ 6L6GC.
     
  10. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    Tone is subjective for sure. I don't hate the JJ, but for current production tubes my ears prefer Tung Sol or EHX, especially EHX in the preamp V1 slot.
     
  11. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    In only a very bright amp do I find JJ's in a preamp usable. Almost without exception to my a set of JJ's make any amp suddenly sound like you threw a blanket over it. Dull lifeless and flat instantly!! Absolutely thing the pre amp tubes re the worst tone wise i have heard!! Power tubes have been ok in the EL 34's and 6L6's i have used but the EL 84 JJ's are unreliable and not great sounding. Not a fan of JJ tubes at all!!!
     
  12. Post-HK

    Post-HK Tele-Meister

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    JJ 12AX7s in the preamp section of my 63 VVRI kept it sounding lame for years, until I got wise. Always wondered why those Tung Sols in my Princeton sounded better... It’s cuz they sound better.

    Tried the JJ 6V6s in my PR as well, took them out almost immediately.
     
  13. ocduff

    ocduff TDPRI Member

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    Yes if you have an overly bright amp like a Deluxe Reverb, the JJ preamp tubes will dial the Treble back equal to about 1 notch on the Treble control.

    So, it's better to think of tubes or capacitors or even strings as ways to shape and flavor the tone.

    Some say orange drop caps are too bright but to me they are bright and clear and robust sounding - just what a darker sounding circuit, like a Brown Vibroverb needs to give it some sparkle.

    Id say JJ preamp tubes are grear for circuits where a warmer and slightly darker tone isn't desired.

    That's not a terrible thing.
     
  14. Tezuka27

    Tezuka27 Tele-Holic

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    I've only had one experience with JJ, and that's when I replaced my cracked EL84 with a matched set of EL844s. At first listen, I didn't care for them, but after the amp warmed up a bit, they sounded fantastic. I was getting a nice, mild distortion with the EL84s with the gain cranked. With the EL844s, I get a stronger, growlier (I know that's not a word) distortion at the same settings. Drop the gain and it cleans up very nicely. I realize there's no comparing power tubes to preamp tubes, but that's all the experience I have.

    jb
     
  15. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now TDPRI Member

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    I just put a full complement of JJs in my Goodsell Champton, and WOW do they work in that amp. I got the short plate 12AX7 and paid the extra 4 bucks for the low noise and it works as advertised. They really give it a creamy overdrive.
     
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