Burned in Power Tubes?
Old 22nd August 2011
  #1
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Burned in Power Tubes?

I was ready to buy a matched quad of JJ 6L6GC power tubes when I noticed a lot of dealers selling burned in JJ's for 5 dollars more. Seems like a good deal but I figured I'd email JJ to see what they thought about it. They said they already burn them in at the factory so there's no need to pay extra. I emailed some dealers to ask what their burn in is process but never received any replies. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Last edited by clemford; 22nd August 2011 at 11:37 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 23rd August 2011
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clemford View Post
I was ready to buy a matched quad of JJ 6L6GC power tubes when I noticed a lot of dealers selling burned in JJ's for 5 dollars more. Seems like a good deal but I figured I'd email JJ to see what they thought about it. They said they already burn them in at the factory so there's no need to pay extra. I emailed some dealers to ask what their burn in is process but never received any replies. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
i wouldnt pay for it
let em cook yourself for free.
only thing factory really finds out is if the filaments are going to fail real early. maybe check that the specs are within tolerance.

how much burn in do you think they do?
warehouses full of thousands of tubes just warming the place?
Old 23rd August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldeanalogueguy View Post
how much burn in do you think they do?
warehouses full of thousands of tubes just warming the place?
That's very common to see, actually. Tubes are always burned-in in my experience............

Today it's more important than ever, as the quality of the cathode coating can be highly variable, causing emission to drop in the first few hours of use.


DC
Old 23rd August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
That's very common to see, actually. Tubes are always burned-in in my experience............

Today it's more important than ever, as the quality of the cathode coating can be highly variable, causing emission to drop in the first few hours of use.


DC
Do you know how many hours the average manufacturer burns them in and do you see any advantage to buying the extra burned in ones from dealers?
Old 23rd August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clemford View Post
Do you know how many hours the average manufacturer burns them in and do you see any advantage to buying the extra burned in ones from dealers?
I would say a day or two, and this would weed-out a large percentage of the bum tubes.


DC
Old 23rd August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
I would say a day or two, and this would weed-out a large percentage of the bum tubes.


DC
Thanks DC
Old 23rd August 2011
  #7
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Lately JJ's tubes have been pretty unreliable. I've got burned (pun intended) a couple of times when a single power tube went out on a amp that was just retubed, biased and tested throughly. I now buy all my JJ power tubes "burned in". It doesn't guarantee that it won't happen but it seems to help.

In fact I have also been seeing their preamp tubes being very inconsistent lately. I found that AnalogTubes tube shop, guitar and audio tube sets kits. burns all of their tubes in for 24 hours. So I've started to get my JJ's from them.

The extra money you pay to have someone weed out the bad ones more than pays for itself in the long run for me.
-Tony
Old 23rd August 2011
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Most tube manufactures burn in for 12-24 hours. They are looking for fast filament failure or gas leaks.

In todays tube production environment QC seems to get the smallest piece of the budget.

All power tubes should be burned in 48-72 hours except EL84s which should be burned in 24-48 hours.

You will have problems matching your tubes if you don't burn them in. I've seen tubes have as much as a 50% varation even within the same batch.

I tell people we sell QC on all tubes, not tubes.
Old 24th August 2011
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Maybe the TAD 6L6GCSTR's are the way to go then. I read a review stating they sounded like the JJ's only a bit better and worth the extra cost. A few others said the Tad's did develop a rattle and another said they had some fail on them. I would've thought that Russian tubes would be far superior to Chinese but I will say that basically all electronics these days are made in China and "last a long time". My amp is sitting empty and it's discouraging to hear of all the problems new tubes in the 80 dollar per quad range seem to have. I was looking forward to the JJ's because I'm looking for a deep bottom end with out spending too much. I tried out some Winged C's and they were too thin sounding. The JJ EL84's in my Peavey 50/50 really sound nice as well as the ecc803's I have in my other preamps. Too bad the 6L6's have a bad rap.
Old 24th August 2011
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I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the JJ or any other tubes. Just make sure the vendor burns them in well and tests them.
Old 24th August 2011
  #11
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Just let them Run them for 48 hours, then plug in and see how they sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by plexisys View Post
I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the JJ or any other tubes. Just make sure the vendor burns them in well and tests them.
Old 24th August 2011
  #12
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Most old texts use 100 hrs as the burn in standard for critical tubes.
Old 27th August 2011
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I still may take a chance with the JJ's. I really like the sound of the EL84's and I'm just not sure about the TAD6L6-STR's. Many reviews claim the sound is better than the JJ's but I just have a gut feeling that anything Chinese is going to be disappointing as far as tone quality goes. The reviews say they are an exact copy of the older blackplate RCA's ? which makes me even more skeptical. Usually anything good that's copied overlooks some key element. Most of the clips I've heard sound pretty harsh and gritty and I've read that the bottom end is loose. As far as quality or durability goes, unless they are made under strict guidelines, which these may be considering they have German roots, it seems like almost anything I've ever bought made in China with the exception of a few electronics have had some form of mechanical weaknesses. Take the Blackstar amps for instance. Some reviews I've read claim the tranny's are very undersized and fail to come through when pushed too the limits. And those are most likely under the strict guidelines of Marshall. So who's to blame. Marshall farms them out for cheap labor and cuts quality as well. Maybe the tube designers are skimping on materials too. China just takes what we give them for resources. But I do believe on the other hand that if it's German engineering just farmed out to China under supervision then I don't see much reason to worry. Granted, when I think of the JJ's factory in the Czech Republic, the movie Hostel is the first thing that comes to mind. It does seem like most of the complaints posted about JJ's reject rates seem to be back around 2008 so I wonder if their quality has improved or if people just got tired of posting about them or found something they liked better. One thing with Russian tubes is they're not farmed out. They've always made them .
Old 28th August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clemford View Post
...Take the Blackstar amps for instance. Some reviews I've read claim the tranny's are very undersized and fail to come through when pushed too the limits. And those are most likely under the strict guidelines of Marshall. So who's to blame. Marshall farms them out for cheap labor and cuts quality as well...
Don't blame Marshall for Blackstar trannys. Marshall has nothing to do with Blackstar. The company Blackstar was simply started by ex-Marshall employees.

- Tony
Old 28th August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmarra View Post
Don't blame Marshall for Blackstar trannys. Marshall has nothing to do with Blackstar. The company Blackstar was simply started by ex-Marshall employees.

- Tony
That's good to know. I thought it was a parent company.
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