i bought the 158's and 102's at my local supplier...
they sound great...when they work.
ridiculously temperature sensitive, and even the britface mod doesn't help the leakage.
in my fuzzface, i've had to resort to using a mix of silicon and one of the 158's...i can't use two of them together...they sound awesome at 70 degrees, anything higher or lower, and they freak out...either runaway gain, or unacceptable blatty farts.
i think most of the NTE stuff i've run into is kaka
the 102's sound better in my experience, but i've killed a couple of them...just suddenly DEAD.
I did a FF for a buddy using 158's. It sounds fantastic, but I ended up with some kind of crazy resistor values. First stage Collector resistor was 18k, I believe, and second stage RE was something like 470/4.7k to get a .6V bias in Q1's Base. Used a 10k pot from Batt- to V- for "sag".
I have a couple trannys that are worse on the temp thing, but I definitely agree... these kinda suck with the heat. That's why I shoot for a .6V at Q1 Base and 4.5V or so at Q2 Collector... I didn't know really what I was doing, but it seemed to be the voltage that gave me the best all around stability in sound
(you can "fix" the sweet spot with the Sag pot, not sure how it works out like that, but it does).
Gotta say, The_Armadillo... I'm surprised PRR didn't drop in and hit you with "Don't throw money at NTE". I agree with him, though. All my local store has is NTE... and it's all overpriced ($4 J201 equivilant, same for a BS170 equivilant, all the NTE prices you find at RatShack). It's almost ALL re-stamp, as well. Take a wild guess what the NTE490 (BS170 equivilant) is under the paint! Do a search on NTE products... it's kind of a nasty find. I think a certain pedal builder took a queue from it and gooped JoYo pedal boards, repainted the enclosures, and sold them as "Boutique".