NOS Tubes

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Jazztone, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Jazztone

    Jazztone Member

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    First foray into the mysterious and murky world of NOS tubes. Looking to buy some NOS 6L6's from a reputable dealer.

    Who can I trust?
     
  2. Bloomfield fan

    Bloomfield fan Silver Supporting Member

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  3. Strum und Twang

    Strum und Twang Member

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    Another vote for Mike's offerings. Well packaged, too.
     
  4. RupertB

    RupertB Supporting Member

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    +1 for KCANOS/ Mike.

    Will be calling him soon myself.
     
  5. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    What amp? The suffix (A,B, WGB, C) makes a difference.
     
  6. Rambergwest

    Rambergwest Member

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    Mike is a great guy but nobody has everything so you may want to give HiTest a call too. Gregg has a little different selection.
    Both would make you very happy
     
  7. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

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    FYI in my sig and in the stickies on this forum there's a list of user recommended online dealers.

    My personal list of NOS suppliers (IE the ones I call) is
    kcanostubes.com
    hitestguitars.com
    dougstubes.com
    and terry the tube tramp (email is in the sticky)
     
  8. brucesinger

    brucesinger Member

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    +1 on KCA. Honest opinions on tubes.
     
  9. sricabla

    sricabla Member

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    NOS tubes are a funny thing. You can buy them from a reputable dealer and get a really good tube at a premium price. Or you could buy from a private seller and get a really good tube for cheaper price than a dealer. No one knows how long a tube may last. They both have more or less the same odds in failing in most cases. Some have guarantees, some don't. With my own experience, I bought a 64 Mullard 12AX7 for $90.00 from a dealer and it sounded great! The problem was it failed within 6 months. I bought another Mullard from a private seller for $45.00 and it sounds great. That was 2 years ago. It's still in my amp. What can you say... Tubes are like a lottery, it's just luck of the draw that it sounds good, has a good price and lasts for a while. My luck has been good so far. When I get a NOS tube ( I have about 12 spares) I put it in my amp and use it for a couple weeks and I take it out and save it for until I need it again. I date it when I get it and put it away. Whenever I have to use it again (however long that is) who knows how long will it last. I have to be grateful how ever long I have it. That's the choice you have to make. Personally, I don't buy from dealers anymore.
     
  10. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

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    I'd much rather buy from dealers. Especially the ones I know put it on a tester at real world voltage (not some 50 year old tester that's never been calibrated) and will back it up with a reasonable warranty.

    At the end of the day, you're buying a lightbulb. There's risk involved. But I'd prefer to minimize that and know the guy will give it a reasonable warranty.
     
  11. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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  12. Trotter

    Trotter Supporting Member

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  13. Luke V

    Luke V Member

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    Doug at Dougs Tubes is a great guy to deal with.
     
  14. windwalke9649

    windwalke9649 Member

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    I have THE BEST tube/ component guy. He owns an old TV repair shop (if you can believe they still exist, its like a VCR repair shop). He does a lot of old jukebox repairs. I work PT in a guitar repair/restoration shop, and i mentioned i had some tubes go and couldnt get anymore for a few days so he told me to go up there. I used to get concert tickets there in high school (scored golden circle @ Pink Floyd 1994), but I thought they were out of buisness.
    I went in there, told him what i wanted, he asked me what i wanted to pay; i shot out a price for what you'd pay for a set of JJ's or something along those lines. he came out with some Svetlana's, and a set of lightly used NOS Sylvania's. Since then, we've struck up a good relationship; i send him work, and he me. But i always get great tubes really cheap, and he can get ANYTHING. I bought a dozen NOS Bumblebee caps from him for like $100, a few were junk, the rest fine. Since Gibson are selling them again for $80/each, idid well.
    But he always has NOS tubes, and old tubes that are used, but still have plenty of life and tone out of them. I just picked up a set of RCA 6V6's for $15/each, how can you go wrong?
    I was repairing an amp, and needed a 1W 82K resistor, called him; he had it. I walked the 3 blocks to his shop, and he comes out with this old, never used resistor; everyting there is like that.
    I selfishly keep him to myself, all i need is every guitar player in the greater Boston region mooching in on my spot.
     
  15. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    I love posts like this. So unwilling to share....:rotflmao
     
  16. gmann

    gmann Member

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    I've dealt with Mike at Kcanostubes as well as Gregg at HiTest many times over the yrs. Actually I've dealt with both of them as recently as last week. Great svc and products fm both. I recommend either of them highly. I've heard great things about the other guys mentioned just haven't done any business with them, yet.
     
  17. ufguy73

    ufguy73 Gold Supporting Member

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    after having some microphonic experience with one of the trusted dealers here, i think having some sort of refund recourse is probably a must for me in the future...i was surprised, actually, by the experience
     
  18. stratotastic

    stratotastic Supporting Member

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    Yup. I've actually had bad luck with some of the "reputable" dealers on here. No more mail order. Not worth the hassle. Now I just get tubes directly from my tech. He has a good stock, tests them for me while I watch, and is a 15-minute ride away should there be any problems.
     
  19. GGinMP

    GGinMP Supporting Member

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    After sticking with my trusty amp and only fiddling with softer pre-amp tubes (switching 12AX7 for 12AY7), I'm starting to go from "what works" to thinking about "what sounds best." NOS seems like a world of magic and pixie dust. How does one know something is really NOS, or even if it is, will it still be any good? Seems like buying a "pre-Castro" Cuban cigar - just because someone says it its, doesn't mean it IS?

    When I was a kid, my dad took me down to Thrifty's to use the tube tester and see what TV tube went bad. I got a triple scoop for a quarter while I was there. What do I do now (about tubes; I've got a good ice cream shop)?
     
  20. mattymel

    mattymel Supporting Member

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    Anybody got any good leads on some NOS el84s?

    And please no "big lebowski" jokes...
     

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