Tung Sol 12AX7 vs JJ ECC83S preamp tubes

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by dexter74, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. dexter74

    dexter74 New Member

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    What are the main differences between these two brands? Now does each rate as far as having better headroom, smoothness, gain and longevity?
    Want to replace my Egnater Tweaker 15 watt head preamp tubes, and I am "dazed and confused" over everything I have read. Play mostly classic rock but like the tone from players like Beck and EJ, too. Only play at home these days and not at very loud volumes. Opinions and suggestions wanted.

    Cheers.
     
  2. bvoris

    bvoris Well-Known Member

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_nf7d5zgrs"]JJ ECC83S Tube - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqxSwBYcU_U"]Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube - YouTube[/ame]

    Hope that helps.
    I use the JJs and have been pretty satisfied. I have one spare Tung-Sol 12AX7 that I have used off and on in my VS65R and that amp didn't like it much. In Tung-Sols defense, that amp is picky as shit when it comes to tubes.
     
  3. chee16

    chee16 Active Member

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    Why not get one of each and try them both out? Not trying trying to be a smart ass. But I really disliked the Tungsol, bright and punchy, not defined, but that could be my ears. 1 JJ in either v1 or v2 wasn't bad, but 2 get muddy. compromise for me was the jj in v1 and the tungsol in v2, if I had to use those 2. If not then I would not use the Tungsol, but again that is me with my amp and my ears. So I say try them and don't rely on youtube vids :)
     
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  4. johnfv

    johnfv Well-Known Member

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    Funny, I really like the Tung Sol in V1. Nothing against the JJ but it's a little dull for me. I've mentioned recently that the Mullard RI is probably my favorite current production 12AX7 tube. I'm not saying it's like a vintage Mullard but it's a good tube.
     
  5. Rahlstin

    Rahlstin Well-Known Member

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    I tried the tungs in a DSL100 and something was just different to me so I went back to a set of "special" "matched" "select" ...... what ever, just great sounding 7025's with cool paint.... I really think is depends on Player - guitar - amp - cab - speakers.... ask 8 players get 10 answers sort of thing
     
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  6. customjoe

    customjoe Member

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    in my experience the Tung Sol is a more detailed sounding tube. High gain and very articulate compared to the JJ which I agree was a little dull. I have heard a few guys who really like the reissue Mullards describe the TungSol as similar tone to the Mullard but the high gain of a chinese tube but without the boomy bass of the chinese tubes.
     
  7. MonstersOfTheMidway

    MonstersOfTheMidway Well-Known Member

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    I think that the gain is pretty much the same (at least to my ears), but the JJ ecc83s preamp tube seems to cut highs/treble off, yielding a not too bright tone. The JJ ecc83s is still a pretty aggressive preamp tube, and may help a guitar with bright/treble-ish pups, a cab with speakers that accentuate higher frequencies, etc.

    I use the Tung Sol 12ax7 in the V1 position, and the JJ ecc83s in the V2 position. I like the mix of these two preamp tubes. I've experimented with JJ 3cc83s in V1 and V2, which produced a gain quality that was throaty with a bit of a boost in the mids.

    @OP: you're rig will have a big influence on how you hear these two preamp tubes, so don't be surprised if you get some differing results when you mix things up. Good luck.
     
  8. John 14:6

    John 14:6 Well-Known Member

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    JJ's are warmer sounding and a lot of amp builders at least stick them in the V1 first gain stage position, if not in all the preamp spots. Most high end Marshall amps ship with a JJ 12AX7 under the can. Tung Sols have more gain and they are very bright sounding. They can make an already bright amp like a Marshall sound shrill and thin in my experience with them. Some guys love them though. Let your ears be the judge. Preamp tubes are pretty cheap so buy a few and play around with them some.
     
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  9. 50WPLEXI

    50WPLEXI New Member

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    I used Tung Sol 12ax7's in both of my Marshall V1 slots until I could afford great NOS tubes. They did a admiral job, and lasted long. The JJ's just were dull, and lifeless sounding to me.

    Tone is very subjective as you know, and they might work great in some amps. The good thing is that both tubes are inexpensive, so try both.
     
  10. johnfv

    johnfv Well-Known Member

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    +1 Tung Sol was never bright or harsh for me, and I play mostly bright guitars. To my ear they have a lot of mids (which I like) and good gain. Clearly we are deep into the subjective territory so as others have said, try a few and trust your ears.
     
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  11. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Tungsol is brighter, JJ is darker. Depends on the amp which to go with. My DSL is bright so the JJ worked better than Tungsol in my case, but I did buy them both to try out I suggest you do the same they are cheap enough.
     
  12. zenfly

    zenfly Well-Known Member

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    Ditto.. rolling tubes is fun if your geeky enough like many of us to hear and notice the difference.. Real nut cases like me roll $$$ stuff from the 50s and 60s that are in a different class altogether.. For a NOS deal I don't think you can beat having a RFT 21ax7.. I have one in V1 of one of my JTM45 with a nos GE V2 and really like the Marshall attitude it added.. Before it was really kind of 59 bassman-ish to me.. The other thing is the RFT will likely last for as long as you own that amp.. I just checked ebay and they're $20-30 .. That's a great deal my tube rolling friends ..

    edit: I don't sell tubes.. ebay note:buy only w/guaranty tested & return policy and that seller is 100%
     
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  13. johnfv

    johnfv Well-Known Member

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    I don't know that I've tried any 12AX7 that was darker than the JJ, so from that perspective any tube you compare will be "brighter". I'm not knocking the JJ, particularly if you are trying to tame a bright amp. For most applications I prefer a little more punch. Of course YMMV...
     
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  14. diesect20022000

    diesect20022000 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    sonically the tung sol's higher gain than the standard JJ and it's brighter. it also doesn't take high PV's as well as the JJ and isn't as rugged but tonaly they're superior imo as they have much more top end and brighter mids. they take a few hours of constant use to burn in before they don't sound and feel stiff but once they burn in they're great tonaly.


    of course it depends on the amp you're running as well. Marshalls can sometimes eat them in the gain position of the preamp.
     
  15. johnfv

    johnfv Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious. Does anyone have a tube they consider to have a darker tone than the JJ? RFT is one I have not tried, might need to give that a go...
     
  16. MartyStrat54

    MartyStrat54 Well-Known Member

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    An RFT is slightly darker than a JJ.

    I also want to add that most of the guys here use and comment on just a few of the brands available. There are some other very good 12AX7's available and all of them are Chinese. The Chinese are getting very good at making tubes and I feel within the next two years they will be dominating the market.

    Some of the "obscure" 12AX7's are:

    Preferred Series 7025 ($24 each)
    Any TAD, but mainly the 7025S ($25 each)
    Ruby (Shuguang) 12AX7AC5 HG+ or 12AX7AC7 HG+ ($17.70 each)
    Northern Electric 12AX7 (most expensive $58 each)

    Most of these tubes are more expensive than the Tung-Sol's, Mullard RI's and JJ's, but you get what you pay for. The Ruby Shuguang's are the best bang for the buck. (Slightly cheaper than the Mullard RI.)
     
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  17. Michael RT

    Michael RT Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I've always been a sucker for a JJ in V1 of my vintage Marshall's, more creamy sounding over the Tung Sol's bright top-end and mids.
     
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  18. Adrian R

    Adrian R Well-Known Member

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    I agree man..the GEs, RFTs..etc... BLOW AWAY all of the CP tubes...both of my DSLs are loaded completely with vintage preamp tubes..probably never have to replace them either. The difference in feel and tone is very obvious...it just makes your Marshall sound more like the Marshalls you remember hearing as a kid...
     
  19. customjoe

    customjoe Member

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    I eventually settled on TungSol in my V1 with Ruby (Shuguang) 12AX7AC5 HG+ in V2. Good contrast but the TungSol gives that rich detail. I play a Bogner and JJ is just too dark for it. JJs sure are good tubes though
     
  20. diesect20022000

    diesect20022000 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Yeah bogner's are way too dark as it is imo. great tone but i'm constantly working the presence or adding an eq to get the presence. well some of them anyway. The ecstacy's pretty bitchin' all around but my alchemist though I can get lush cleans and plexi like tone on the lead it's super dark.
     

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