JJ KT77 Review

Review – JJ KT77

The KT77 has been gone for many years and original NOS pieces are rare and expensive. JJ electronics has revived the design and released their own version, JJ KT77. To my ears it sounds a lot like a 6L6 but has the heater current, max plate voltage and output rating of an EL34. The JJ KT77 has published specs that are identical to the original Genalex specs. The base has pin 1 included but there is no connection to any internal element. The sound is somewhere between an EL34 and a 6L6. Overall a nice balance of tone in bass, midrange and treble. The breakup is earlier than a 6L6 with more compression but not as compressed as the EL34.

Unlike an EL34 this tube can be used in place of a 6L6 in Fender amps with minimal modifications. Vintage Fender amps usually use pins 1 and 6 as tie-off points for input grids and screen grids, mounting resistors on the socket. A standard EL34 can’t be plugged in because the input grid would be shorted to the suppressor grid via pin one. The KT77 avoids this. The only caveats are to ensure that your power transformer can supply an extra 500ma of heater current per tube and that the range of bias voltage adjustment is correct. If you have a Marshall amp and find EL34’s too compressed and 6550’s too crunchy the JJ KT77 may be just the ticket.

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