groove tubes vs. jj tesla amp upgrades?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by watchunglava, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. watchunglava

    watchunglava Senior Member

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    whats up guys and gals? i just got my amp back from repair , turns out it was the ic chip .

    first off i have a '96 or '97 marshall valvestate vs230.

    it has never been touched except for the service that was just performed .

    i had the ic chip replaced with a nte electronics ic chip. nte778a. ( is this an ok chip or ? other suggestions?)

    i want to replace the preamp valve .

    i have been told i should replace it with a 12ax7.

    groove tubes has different varieties of that model # and i have heard others recogmend jj tesla ecc83s.

    my repair man said the valve was fine , but if i can get a nicer tone from my amp just by replaceing something simple im on board .

    so whats up guys what do you think?
     
  2. lexluthier72

    lexluthier72 Senior Member

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    jj's all the way!
     
  3. Lungo

    Lungo Senior Member

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    From what I understand, Groove Tubes are just other brands that have been relabeled.

    JJ's have a very warm and big tone. Sometimes they make an amp sound dark. I've used JJ's in a couple amps and they did wonders. In my Marshall Vintage Modern I don't like them as much though.

    It's worth a shot. They're cheap enough to try numerous tubes in there to see what you like best.
     
  4. watchunglava

    watchunglava Senior Member

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    well right now i pretty much have to keep all my pots except bass turned up full, to get a decent sound.
     
  5. Splattle101

    Splattle101 V.I.P. Member

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    Groove Tubes are not just other brands relabeled. At least not yet, but with Fender in charge anything could happen…but back to the point, Groove Tube do buy nearly all their valves from other manufacturers. I say ‘nearly’ because they make the Groove Tube 6L6GE themselves. At the moment all others are bought from elsewhere.

    Hoever, GT do more than stick their label on. They test them very extensively, and if they don’t meet spec, they get rejected. Quality control in some of the factories is not that flash, and some - even the ones with the best quality control - still get a percentage of rejects. The best manufacturers used to test extensively before shipping, but most of the Eastern European and Chinese manufacturers don’t. Testing is pretty perfunctory: like ‘Does it power up? Yep? It’s good then’ type thing.

    So Groove Tube mainly provide a premium testing service. If you buy a Groove Tube ECC83, it’s a JJ. But it’s a JJ that’s been tested for output, gain, noise, gas and whole lot of other shit. The mark up that you pay on a GT valve is to pay for all the rejects from their testing.

    But they also sell some valves that are special tube requests (or STR) from particular factories, made specifically for GT on machines that GT owns by factories in China or Russia or Slovakia or wherever. So these might come out of the Reflektor factory in Moscow that makes Sovtek, Svetlana and the new Tung Sol valves, but they’re not a standard Sovtek, Svet or Tung Sol product. They’re made on particular machines to GT’s spec.

    So GT does a little bit more than re-label.

    No, I have nothing to do with Groove Tubes, but I hear the story that they just re-label all the time, and it isn’t actually correct.


    For the OP’s question, you could do worse than JJs ECC83. The GT ECC83 is the same but tested as I said above. GT also do a 12AX7M, which is their take on the Mullard ECC83. I think that comes out of Russia, but it’s not a normal Sovtek.

    Another that I like is the new Tung Sol 12AX7. This a New Sensor valve out of the Reflector factory. It’s bloody good. Very warm and musical.

    Another option is the Sovtek 12AX7WC. The new (last 12 months or so) 12AX7WCs are excellent. They have good gain as always, but the output (i.e, the current) is also up to spec for the first time since the good old days, so this is the pick of the new crop in many respects, particularly value.
     
  6. JLH

    JLH Senior Member

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    I agree wit Spattle101, Yes, TungSol 12AX7, I love this tube, and thanks for the GT info, I have heard the same hype about GT's being re labeled, now it makes much more scents.
     
  7. Lungo

    Lungo Senior Member

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    Splattle:

    Thanks for clearing that up. I'd hate to keep repeating bad info about Groove Tubes. It's good to know that they do so much more than stick their label on and resale. Especially since my Voodoo modded Laney is loaded with them. :thumb:
     
  8. Leo

    Leo Senior Member

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    depends if your looking for more distortion go for 12 ax7,...
    i'm more into a vintage tone ,...so i prefer the 'NOS' tung sol 12at7,....(smoother and creamier ,.....as a 12 ax7 has a more distorted tone/sound,.... )
    i also dig very very much the 'NOS' 12at7 amperex bugle boy

    ive heard amazing things about the 'black plate' rca tubes too but never tried them.
     
  9. bfcg

    bfcg Senior Member

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    I am not sure I want a whole lot of distortion coming from my pre-amp tubes.
    most of the applications that I have used Groove tubes in did not compare to JJ's.
    Usually the only thing that sounds good about Groove tubes is thier name.
    You could go a lot worse though. I have seen some really crappy EH's.
     
  10. Splattle101

    Splattle101 V.I.P. Member

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    I don't get this. If you buy a Groove Tubes ECC83, it IS a JJ.

    But if you buy their 12AX7s - I know, similar tube, but not the same - they might be from Reflector, JJ or Shuagang. I suppose it depends what you're comparing.
     

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