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Unread 01-23-2012, 07:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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JJs vs Groove Tubes

so i need to change out my preamp tubes (12ax7) and this is my first tube amp and first tube change. i was thinking stock JJs or some Groove Tubes (mainly because theyre pretty cheap)

how do the 2 compare to 1 another. anything i need to know

thanks
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Unread 01-23-2012, 07:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

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Originally Posted by nauc View Post
so i need to change out my preamp tubes (12ax7) and this is my first tube amp and first tube change. i was thinking stock JJs or some Groove Tubes (mainly because theyre pretty cheap)

how do the 2 compare to 1 another. anything i need to know

thanks
In my experience JJ are a bit more bright and the overdrive is more defined.

I have about 6 tubes of each brand and i alway keep liking the JJ better over the GT's
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Unread 01-23-2012, 07:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

It will depend on the amp.. But, imo overall you are going to have more luck, tone wise, with JJ. The groove tubes are usually just relabeled sovteks or chinese..Some are actually JJ's too..
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Unread 01-23-2012, 08:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

Grove tubes are nothing more the re brand of current manufacture tubes that are made over seas and they are marked up in price.
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Unread 01-23-2012, 08:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

I use JJs in my Fender hotrod deville, Marshall silver jubilee and marshall JCM 800. Wouldnt trade them for GTs. Ive heard rumors of reliability issues but I have never experienced them. Also Eurotubes does a check on all the tubes to make sure theyre legit.
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Unread 01-23-2012, 08:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

sounds like im sticking with my JJs

thanks
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Unread 01-23-2012, 08:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

sounds like im sticking with my JJs

thanks
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Unread 01-23-2012, 10:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

JJ is a manufacturer. They actually make the valves.

Groove Tube is a re-seller. They buy in bulk from manufacturers, test the product and, if they meet spec, label and sell them as Groove Tubes. GT is not the only re-seller out there. Ruby is another. TAD from Germany is another. There's another well known mob in the UK, Harma, and there's Watford, etc, etc.

Some of the tests the re-sellers do can include: peformance, lifetime, burn-in for reliability, microphonics, noise, etc, etc. Not all re-sellers test for the same things. Some also sell valves that are made exclusively for them by particular manufacturers. These are not just rebranded valves, they're actually custom order valves that you can't buy from anybody else. Some examples include the 6L6WGC-STR from TAD or the 12AX7M from Groove Tube.

Some manufacturers do some testing before sale. None of the current manufacturers do pre-sale testing on the scale that used to be done in the olden days. They can't afford to because the market's not big enough to support that sort of approach. This means current manufacture valves have a high % of duds that would've been weeded out by the pre-sale testing in the olden days. This means that if you buy a new Sovtek or JJ or Shuguang or whatever, you have a higher probability of early failure due to defect than in the good old days.

Re-sellers get around this problem for you by pre-testing. They weed out (most of) the duds. Some re-sellers test better than others, but the mark up you are paying is for a testing service. Caveat emptor.

If you buy a Groove Tube ECC83 / 7025, what you are buying is a tested JJ ECC83. It IS a JJ, so if you can get a Groove Tube cheaper than a JJ, the GT is better value because it's tested.
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Unread 01-24-2012, 05:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

Lest my post above be misunderstood, I should point out that not all Groove Tube 12AX7s are tested and re-labeled JJs. Only the Groove Tube ECC83s / 7025 is a JJ. Their other 12AX7 valves are Russian or Chinese, usually with either an 'R' or a 'C' suffix in their Groove Tube designation (i.e., 12AX7R = a Russian valve, probably a Sovtek).
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Unread 01-24-2012, 07:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

Good post Splat. If I could add a couple of things.
I think the 12AX7M has been discontinued??? But I have seen it being sold on other sites as a "rare" tube now for as much as $40.

Also, didn't GT actually manufacture the 6L6GE here in the US for a while? That tube was made on NOS materials not used when the original GE6L6 was being made. So it's essentially an old tube made in modern times. I believe they also used the old tooling as well. I think they have also been discontinued, but you can still get them from a couple of dealers.
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Unread 01-24-2012, 07:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

I recently got a set of JJs for my Triple Rectifier.

I actually got the whole set, but I was experimenting and found a couple of GTs I had gotten a couple of years ago. I put the GT into the V1 slot and think it sounds better to my ears than the JJs, now as explained above it may in fact be a JJ.

But the JJ set I got from Eurotubes sounds really good, I dont think you can go wrong with them. Good prices, and they did follow up when I had a couple of questions on tubes.

Good Luck
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Unread 01-24-2012, 08:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

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Originally Posted by nauc View Post
sounds like im sticking with my JJs

thanks
Nauc, I bought my Classic 30 a little more than a year ago and it came stock with JJs. They do a wonderful job and I've found no reason to change them out.
I rotate this amp along with a 64 BF DR and a 68 Drip Edge SR, depending on the venue, and have no complaints at all from the Classic 30. Its a little "hoss" with those tubes and an extern 1x12 cab hanging off it.



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Unread 01-24-2012, 05:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

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Originally Posted by rocknhorse1 View Post
...Also, didn't GT actually manufacture the 6L6GE here in the US for a while? That tube was made on NOS materials not used when the original GE6L6 was being made. So it's essentially an old tube made in modern times. I believe they also used the old tooling as well. I think they have also been discontinued, but you can still get them from a couple of dealers.
They did indeed. I have a pair of these and they're good.

I understand that they moved some of the manufacture of that valve to China. So it's still made on the old General Electric machines and using their old stocks, but done in China. I don't know how much of the process went to China, and how much stayed in the US. GT themselves still claim this valve has a high US-made content.

I didn't know about the Groove Tube 6L6GE being discontinued, though.
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Unread 01-24-2012, 05:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

FWIW, my TCW, for the most part I've never used any other tube than Electro-Harmonix and have had nothing but great tones and reliability out of them
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Unread 01-24-2012, 05:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

I've had some issues with eh in terms of sounding too bright in my amps specifically the JCM 800. I had them in my hot rod but I me they have no hold on jjs.
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Unread 01-24-2012, 06:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Talking Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

Quote:
Originally Posted by tazzboy View Post
Grove tubes are nothing more the re brand of current manufacture tubes that are made over seas and they are marked up in price.
ALL tubes are rebranded russian or chinese stuff. No US made tubes since the early 70s.
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Unread 01-24-2012, 06:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

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Originally Posted by AngryHatter View Post
ALL tubes are rebranded russian or chinese stuff. No US made tubes since the early 70s.
Well, yes. But they're not all rebranded. Some actually have the manufacturer name (i.e. Shuguang).
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Unread 01-24-2012, 07:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: JJs vs Groove Tubes

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Originally Posted by AngryHatter View Post
ALL tubes are rebranded russian or chinese stuff. No US made tubes since the early 70s.
USA
Richardson Electronics, LaFox, IL
Makes a 300B, 845 and 50 sold under the Cetron brand for high-end audio, as well as a KT88 sold under the National brand. Richardson has large quantities of tooling obtained from old American tube factories when they shut down. Also makes some larger transmitting and high-voltage types. Richardson markets many tubes, obtained from other factories worldwide, under their own brandnames; such as Cetron, National and Amperex.

Westrex Corporation, Kansas City, MO
Makes the reissued Western Electric 300B for high-end audio. Claims to be developing a KT88, WE308, WE274A and other old WE types for future manufacture. Corporate and sales offices are located in Atlanta and Chattanooga. Also has sales office in UK. Tube manufacturing facility was relocated from Kansas City to Huntsville, AL. This firm is independent of AT&T Corporation and has licensed the brandnames from AT&T.

MU, Oceanside, CA
Small contract factory, makes occasional runs of unusual glass and metal-ceramic tubes for military use. Still makes some of the old "Bendix Red Bank" tubes, such as the 6094 and 6384, in occasional lots.

Triton Services ETD, Gaithersburg, MD
Makes some Eimac and Litton glass power types, using equipment from the original manufacturers. Recently discontinued some glass types, such as 4-65A, 4-125A, 250TH, 304TH/TL, etc. (these types are now only available from China).
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