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eric b
Apr 14, 2009 11:06 PM GMT

Excluding NOS American tubes(just too expensive and hard to come by),I was curious to see what people were using these days.I've been having a pretty decent go with "JJ/Tesla" tubes.Pretty decent bang for the buck.

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Comments (16)

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Apr 15, 2009 7:23 AM GMT
John P Replied:

I like JJs, I get them from Eurotubes. The owner, Bob Pletka, is reasonablyknowledgeableabout tubesubstitutionsto voice aguitaramp for harmonica and a is a nice guy and very helpful.

Apr 15, 2009 10:02 AM GMT
Dave D Replied:

Don't you mean valves?

Apr 15, 2009 4:16 PM GMT
Zack P Replied:

Dave, in America we call them both :)

Apr 15, 2009 6:27 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

I still much prefer NOS tubes because they sound better and last much longer, as they were made to military specs, meaning heavy duty everything. I totally avoid any tubes made in China or Russia, with the exception of the Winged-C (which used to be known as Svetlana). The newer stuff has gotten better, no doubt, but they're still as a whole not even close. JJ's are OK, tho.

Apr 15, 2009 7:19 PM GMT
eric b Replied:

Chinese tubes are just plain awfull...among other products made there.American NOS stuff is certainley the tops,but I have a rough time finding stuff on short notice,or that I can afford.Not to mention a rapidly dwindlingsupply.JJ's are a good "happy medium" for Me...and you know what you're getting when you buy them.

It kind of brings up the debate of how long decent tubes will be in production at all(at least outside of China)...Very harsh manufacturing process in terms of polution.

Apr 16, 2009 12:54 AM GMT
Joe L Replied:

+1 on JJ's. The 6V6's are pretty darn good. The preamp tubes aren't bad either.

Apr 16, 2009 7:13 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

The thing I've hated about using Chinese and Russian made power tubes is that unlike the NOS tubes, when it starts to get ready to fail, the bottom end gets mushy and unclear as hell. When I was gigging a minimum of 10 nights per month (sorry, unless you're part of the host band, I don't consider jams a gig at all), With Chinese & Russian tubes, I had to change them on the average of 4-5 times a year, but with the NOS stuff, twice at the most.

I still haven't seen a newer production version of the 5AR4/GZ34 rectifier tube that's even remotely close to a quality of an NOS Mullard, nor have I yet to see a newer production version of a 12AY7/6072 preamp tube that comes remotely close to that of either an NOS 5-star GE or RCA by a country mile.

May 16, 2009 6:26 PM GMT
Maciek D Replied:

Not to much experience with tubes, but lastly I've replaced a 12AX7 Electro-Harmonix (Russian made) preamp tube to ECC83S by JJ. I like the Slovakian better, the tone is more round and dark, with less pierce.

May 17, 2009 7:54 PM GMT
Maciek D Replied:

Hey Joe. I like those JJ more. Electro-Harmonix were brighter and with small speaker (8"). So overall I like JJ tubes better. But yes, there are many things that affect the tone. Replacing one tube made cheap Epi Valve Junior a completly different beast. Unfortunately, I have a solid state rectifier so there is one thing less to experiment with. The power tube is EL84 Sovteks. I'm think about getting a 12AT7 preamp tube (when I'll start club playing) so I could cranck the amp more without the feedback. Do you recommend some brands or models of good 12AT7 tubes for a fair price? Thanks!

May 17, 2009 8:20 PM GMT
John P Replied:

JJ makes a 12AT7. It is called an ECC81. Europeantube designations are as follows:

ECC83S=12AX7 ECC81=12AT7 ECC832=12AD/W7 ECC82=AU7.

I believe ECC803 and E83CC are also European equivalent designations for a 12AX7

I agree thatthe JJ preamp tubes do not sound as harsh as EH or Groove Tubes when used for harp. Btw, on some amps, replacing the phase inverter tube with an ECC832 (12AD/W7) may fatten tone for harp.

May 18, 2009 5:18 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

I still haven't seen a new production 12AY7/6072 tube worth a damn compared to an NOS RCA or GE yet.

May 22, 2009 7:58 PM GMT
Maciek D Replied:

Thanks for the answers about those tubes! Now I know what to look for!

May 22, 2009 11:59 PM GMT
HARPMAN Replied:

Hi, TUNG-SOL(6V6GT) is in my HARPGEAR2.

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