Looking at upgrading tubes, not sure what to buy?

All about tube choices for the JVM series. See workbench for biasing and tube problems you may have.

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Jshannon3
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Looking at upgrading tubes, not sure what to buy?

Post by Jshannon3 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:25 pm

Has anyone done business with thetubestore.com? I'm looking at their ultimate tube upgrade for my JVM410H. I get matched EL34 power tubes(4)SED EL34 WINGED C and 5 matched and balanced pre-amp tubes GE-12AX7 JAN GE 12AX7 WA. Well its their ultimate package and it runs $689.55, Is it worth it to drop all that money to get those special tubes, or can I get a better deal somewhere else? I know tubes aren't cheap, I'm comparing prices all over the internet, I see a lot of tube sets for $150-$250, are these cheap ones, I want the best upgrade for my amp, need some advice??
Jim Shannon
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Greg_L
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Re: Looking at upgrading tubes, not sure what to buy?

Post by Greg_L » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:08 pm

Jshannon3 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:25 pm
Is it worth it to drop all that money to get those special tubes,
Hell no!!!!!!

This tube madness is insane. You know what the best tubes are? Tubes that work. That's what you need. Just good quality tubes. There's no magical fucking tone hidden in overpriced tubes.

You could take that same 700 damn dollars and do something useful with it. Speaker upgrades, pickups upgrades, pedal upgrades....you know, stuff that actually matters. Hell, buy another guitar. 700 bucks get you a lot of things more significant than tubes.
Last edited by Greg_L on Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mohi
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Re: Looking at upgrading tubes, not sure what to buy?

Post by mohi » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:56 pm

I second that. I made an small investment on tubes to get some quality stuff, a while ago, and that is enough .... overpriced stuff = snake oil.
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Greg_L
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Re: Looking at upgrading tubes, not sure what to buy?

Post by Greg_L » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:53 pm

There are so many things that are way more important than tubes.

Yes, tubes are important, but only insofar as they must work properly.

For the same money that you'd spend on "holy grail" tubes, you can literally buy five great pedals, a whole set of speakers, several different pickups, a new guitar, a new head, or tons of other things that are way WAY more impactful than tubes.

I will forever fight the good fight against this fucking "premium tube" nonsense.
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DalyCro
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Re: Looking at upgrading tubes, not sure what to buy?

Post by DalyCro » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:20 pm

I sign everything guys above wrote. Just forget about that insanely retarded offer.
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Jshannon3
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Re: Looking at upgrading tubes, not sure what to buy?

Post by Jshannon3 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:34 am

Cool thanks guys, that's what I needed to hear, buy tubes that work, don't fall for the crazy, overly priced tubes. Any recommendations????? I've heard groove tubes are reasonably priced tubes.
Jim Shannon
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Greg_L
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Re: Looking at upgrading tubes, not sure what to buy?

Post by Greg_L » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:22 am

Jshannon3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:34 am
Cool thanks guys, that's what I needed to hear, buy tubes that work, don't fall for the crazy, overly priced tubes. Any recommendations????? I've heard groove tubes are reasonably priced tubes.
The internet is pretty divided on JJ tubes, but fuck them. I use JJs in everything, and I abuse all of my amps, real hard. They do double duty in the studio and live and they get pushed a lot.

JJs are plentiful and affordable, and for me at least, have been totally trouble free for years.

I've also had great success with regular production EH and Tung Sols. You can get any of these tubes anywhere.
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aberry9475
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Re: Looking at upgrading tubes, not sure what to buy?

Post by aberry9475 » Thu May 16, 2019 1:07 am

I've had experience with all of those tubes, including the GE and JAN GE 12ax7's if you're talking true NOS. In my experience, the SED =C= is not really all it's cracked up to be for the price. I think, for a modern production tube, they have a good sound, but it was nothing that outright blew me away, and certainly not for the money. I'm just not sure what the hype (and price) is really about. They are, supposedly, more on the rugged side in terms of construction and can withstand some abuse, but I haven't really put in the hours to confirm that.

As far as the GE and JAN GE 12ax7's go, I'd go the extra mile to verify that they are true NOS. I bought 5 NOS preamp tubes from a reputable "recording" vendor a few years back. Guess what? Not NOS, even though I was explicitly told they were. They were ANOS, kind of rhymes with anus if you read it like a word, which is fitting because they were shit. After a couple hundred hours of use, 3 of them died. I've never had a current production preamp tube go down like that, and certainly not 3 out of 5 of them from the same purchase. Don't make the mistake of buying a "NOS" Telefunken for $80. You won't get a true NOS Tele for $80, only a tests as NOS one with probably thousands of hours of use on it already. It's quite like light bulbs. Sure it TESTS like it works 100%, but the day that thing decides to quit after so many hours of heating up and cooling down, it shuts down completely and then it goes in the trash. I'm sure others have had better experiences, but I will only buy true NOS/NIB stuff these days, sparingly and from reputable vendors, and it does cost $$

Anyways, the NOS GE's and JAN GE's are fine tubes. They're certainly not at the top of the wishlist and there are better options imo, but they are solid and surpass pretty much anything made today in terms of quality.

What I run in my JVM is an EH EL-34 quad biased to 75mV a side and a variety of current production preamp tubes. Not sure what's in there now, but it's got a JJ, an EH, a Tung Sol, and whatever else I can't remember. I think it sounds great. I really like the EH EL34; it is supposedly a clone of the RFT EL34, and I can definitely hear the similarities between them and the old RFT's I have. I can't hate on the JJ's though because I've never had one fail on me, but I've heard Friedman quit using them a couple years back and went to EH because they got a few too many bad ones from JJ. Before I started working on my own equipment, my amp tech was an avid hater of JJ's for reasons I'm not sure why (failures?). I refer to him as JJ-Lover when I visit the old shop just to fuck with him, because I know he hates them so much.

Just my .02..

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