Valve experts...NOS or not?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by OaklandA, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. OaklandA

    OaklandA Silver Supporting Member

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    Ok, so I'm getting a PRRI soon and was going through my tube stash to see if I had anything interesting for a tube upgrade or whether I'll order new tubes. While I was doing this a friend came over and saw a pair of what I've always thought were JAN GE 6V6GTA tubes (probably from the late 70's). They had come in a MMB I had once that I later upgraded to JJ's.

    Anyway he looks at them and says they are most likely fakes, counterfeits. In fact he's sure that they are Fender tubes that someone had scrubed the Fender stamp off and restamped to look like JAN GE's. You can see traces of scarlet ink on there like Fender uses and make out a small "C" and a "TA" on one tube, but slight hints of ink on the other when held to the light. Further he believes that a real JAN GE would have the bigger base as opposed to the smaller base like these.

    He later brought over a Fender 6V6 and while very similar they definitely are not the exact same tube. The plates on the Fender tube have a slightly different shape and are much darker.

    What do you guys think? I've heard of counterfeit tubes floating around but I'm not convinced they're fake yet. Not a big deal - I have a genuine set of NOS Hytron brown base or could also go new production Tung Sol.

    Apologies in advance for the pictures....I am a lousy photographer....tried my best to get the light right.

    Hopefully you can see the "6V6 GTA" as well as the GE "dots":
    [​IMG]

    Another angle trying to capture the ink:
    [​IMG]

    And last, the Fender tube (Chinese?):
    [​IMG]

    Discuss...

    Thanks
     
  2. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    Those are GE coin base 6V6GTA's.
     
  3. OaklandA

    OaklandA Silver Supporting Member

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    wow...the pics aren't that great....I'll try and make them bigger and better.

    Same tubes, same order:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. OaklandA

    OaklandA Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks...any thoughts on the ink traces? Were these ever OEM for Fender amps?
     
  5. sector9

    sector9 Member

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    A fender tube is what ever fender buys and puts their name on. Older fender tubes were GE and RCA, todays stuff is russian and chinese junkola. Do your cbs/hytron tubes have a hole in the guide pin?
     
  6. Mickey Shane

    Mickey Shane apolitical Silver Supporting Member

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    Maybe someone will chime in that knows about glass etching from the factories.
     
  7. OaklandA

    OaklandA Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes, that is what I'm thinking....that maybe these ARE Fender OEM tubes from the late 70's or early 80's and the ink was rubbed off perhaps.

    The Hytrons are marked "JAN CHY 6V6GTY" on the side of the base and have a hole in the base but not actually on the guide pin but next to it. The top of the tube is etched with the stop sign containing "6V6 GTY". The funky old box is dated "3/53".

    I got this pair from KCA NOS Tubes sometime back for a 5e3 clone but ended up going in a different direction and have had these in safe keeping since. From what I understand they're excellent tubes. Not sure how they'd be in a PRRI though. Might better in a tweed amp. Maybe one of you guys can offer a suggestion.

    Thanks.
     
  8. teleharmonium

    teleharmonium Member

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    Wouldn't make much sense to fake a 6V6.
     
  9. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    They're genuine, vintage GE-made tubes, as Slider replied. They are not, however, "NOS" tubes if they've been used (which is likely the case).

    - Thom
     
  10. sector9

    sector9 Member

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    I always thought hytron manufactured tubes had a hole in the guide pin, a hytron tube that does not have the hole is a rebranded tube, i've seen rca and sylvanias with hytron stamps.

    i have tried the GE coin base tubes before, they sound fine. I don't know why your friend thought they are fake, fake what? fake GE? fake fender? Fender does'nt make tubes.
     
  11. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    Hytron was an older brand that Sylvania merged with. Hytron/Sylvania was a common label, and eventually, the Hytron name was dropped - way before those 6V6 were made.

    - T
     
  12. OaklandA

    OaklandA Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the responses...informative.

    Some comments:

    First, for clarification sake I hope everyone gets that we're now talking two different sets of tubes here.....the tubes in the original post and a set of NOS Hytrons that I have that I may still use in this amp.

    Also, I never said the JAN GE's in the original post were NOS....obviously since I pulled them from an amp they're not.

    Why would someone fake a 6V6? I suppose if you got a very cheap Chinese tube, scrubbed off its markings and re-stamped/re-etched it as a JAN GE you could make a $25+ profit on the difference. Do that enough times...

    As far as the Hytrons...they are certainly NOS and I'm guessing legit. I've done business with KCA NOS a couple of times and Mike seems to be above board and has a good rep. I believe he may be a TGP member as well (?).

    Again, apologies for the pics but here are a few of one of the Hytrons:

    [​IMG]

    The base - the hole is at 2 o'clock (to distinguish from the pins)
    [​IMG]

    The box
    [​IMG]

    Thanks, guys...I may try both sets when the PRRI comes in.
     
  13. OaklandA

    OaklandA Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, there's the pics of the CBS/Hytrons...no hole in the pin. not sure of the significance of that.
     

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