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JJ Tubes for Mesa/Boogie Bass 400?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by chaosMK, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    At the rate that I am using my Bass 400, I may have to retube before long. It also doesnt help that these are the same original tubes that have been in there since 1982. I rehearse almost every day for 1-3 hours. It might not be a bad idea to have replacements on hand since this is my only amp currently.

    I have heard good things about JJ's tubes. Anyone have experience using these with Mesa stuff? Should I consider some type of hybrid re-tube with different stuff for the 4 preamp tubes vs power tubes. I am not interested in bass distortion, so this isnt a factor for me.

    These days I am playing in a progressive-alternative rock band. We go from almost jazzy/lighter stuff to the occasional heavy grind.
  2. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I use JJs in my 400+. They give tons of clean headroom and sound great! I think I still have the stock ones in my pre though. JJs will blow away the stock Mesa tubes.
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I have JJ's in my 400+...both pre and power stages. They really do sound a lot better than stock Mesa tubes. Better low end clarity and definition and balanced useable highs...not to mention the amp seems to get a bit more clean headroom.
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I think that JJ's ECC83S is one of the best modern 12AX7 types (though I would love to hear their new long-plate ECC803). I have used these in many preamp. I have also used JJ's 6L6GC's in my Mesa Boogie Strategy 400, and I like their sound a lot. I am currently having external bias adjustments added to my Bass 400, and at the same time, I'm going to load it up with six JJ KT-88's. I've heard nothing but good things about them, and I will certainly report back when she is all done. From my experience, JJ tubes are a solid bet.

  5. Unless you're having problems, there's no reason to think there's anything wrong with your tubes. For NOS stuff, 23 years is no big deal, even under heavy use. If you want backups, there are lot of good ones out there, Does your 400 have 6550's or 6L6GC's?

    They are good.

    Overpriced and underperforming: their preamp tubes are JJ; the power tubes are Sovtek.
  6. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    No, you have JJs in the pre too! :D

    JJs rock. I highly recommend them and Bob Pletka is really easy to deal with
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    How long have they been re-branding JJ's for the pre tubes?

    My 400+ is a 1997, and when I changed out the tubes, from the actual Mesa tube codes, mine appeared to have a mix of chinese and russian tubes.

    If they are JJ's, then are they as good as the JJ branded tubes?
  8. It's only been in the last 4-5 years that they've gone the JJ/Sovtek route. Before that, it was mostly Chinese junk.
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Cool. You were making me worried that the precieved difference in tone from the pre-tubes that I switched out was maybe psychosomatic.
  10. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    I still have the original tubes in my Sunn Sorado from 1968 and they glow brighter than most tubes I have seen (5150's, STV-CL's, assorted Mesa)

    I won't retube until one goes all the way dead
  11. Hounddog

    Hounddog Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2004
    Southern, Illinois
    Sadowsky Featured Artist
    I put JJ Tubes in the Pre and Power section of my 400+ about a month ago( they were about 15 years old). They are awesome. Bob is great to work with. I was shocked at the difference after the retube.