Why are Groove Tubes so HIGH!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by robbph37, Feb 18, 2009.


  1. robbph37

    robbph37 Member

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    Just curious. I want to try out different 6L6 and EL34 's in my VHT 25002 power amp. Everywhere I see Groove Tubes they are really expensive when compared to many other popular brands ( JJ's, Mullard, Ruby etc. ) Anybody know why they are so high when there seems to be very little positive reviews on TGP?
     
  2. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    They've always been high, and back in the 80's and 90's, when the Chinese and Soviet Block tube companies were putting out some pretty low-end product, GT offered a great solution - take the best-of-the-best of the NOS stuff, test it, match it and repackage it, so users would have quality assurance they couldn't always get elsewhere.

    Then as NOS tubes became more scarce and expensive, there wasn't as much room for margin for GT, so they started applying the same QC and rebranding processes to Chinese and Soviet-block tubes, making some of their products less sought after by purists, especially now that decent tubes can once more be had from JJ/Tesla, =C= (formerly the Svetlana factory) and others.

    Now that Fender owns GT, expect pricing to continue to be high, especially since Fender has announced a 40%-52% across-the-board price increase.
     
  3. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

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    also they are color coded so one can replace tubes and not have the amp rebiased (in theory) People like to trash GT because they are so high but they are just repackaged sovteks or JJs or whatever...I wouldn't buy them but they came stock in my twin and they seem fine to me..as for why they are so expensive that's easy: they can charge whatever they please (rightfully so)
     
  4. 909one

    909one Member

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    GT actually manufactures some of there own 6L6's now...
    From all reports I have heard these are comparible to NOS stuff. Pricey yes, but about the same as any NOS you'd find.

    "GT reissue which have a majority of USA components made on the original General Electric machines, the original tools, dies, materials and processing formulas as acquired from the liquidation for the last American tube factory in Owensboro Kentucky. Stunning clarity, and tone that is reminiscent of Carl Perkins through Jimi Hendrix... both of which mostly recorded through Fender amps in a period when they only use this tube. The most expensive (because of the the high US content)"
     
  5. Gtrman100

    Gtrman100 Member

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    (puts on fire-retardant suit)...I've been very happy with my GT tubes, even though they are a bit more pricey because they were sold at retailers. I know there are several people who have an axe to grind against them, and maybe there have been some problems with a few tubes they've rolled out. I have a feeling that some of the animus is for financial reasons. Now that Fender owns them and the local(SoCal) factory has closed, who knows what will happen.

    They've been good about honoring the warranty on a defect tube I had even when it was over the warranty period, and I've when called them for advice, they were very informative. I first got into them when I bought a Soul-O 45, an amp that I still use a lot and love.
     
  6. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    They cost more because they have to put the orange GT on them.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. wyatt

    wyatt Member

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    GT supplies the NOS parts the Shuguang in China which actually makes GT's 6L6GE and 6AC7 tubes. Shuguang got the business because Reflector in Russia "lost" the tooling for the GT KT66.

    To the OP, their are high priced because it is their business model. They worked hard to develop brand equity that they can trade on and they do. And people eat it up. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, and they do have a few good proprietary tubes, and they do stand behind their product. But a smart consumer can get most of the same tubes for 1/2 the price, especially with so many tube dealers will gladly test and match the tubes for free before shipping them out and offer a guarantee.
     
  8. KHAN

    KHAN Member

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    I just order from Doug's Tubes and bypass the price hike. Doug is in N.Y.
    If I was in the West, I'd order from Mike at KCA. Nothing wrong with Groove Tubes, but they are not worth a premium price IMO with other good vendors out there.
     
  9. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    I'm not using their tubes right now (get mine through www.thetubestore.com) but I have had service questions about my Soul-O 45 and they were extremely accommodating.
     
  10. 909one

    909one Member

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    So they closed the factory in which they made their own tubes?
     
  11. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    I paid $36.95 for a matched pair of EL34-M's at Guitar Center. Doesn't seem very pricey to me. :dunno
     
  12. wyatt

    wyatt Member

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    No. They never made tubes in the US. Their facility was where they use to test and match the tubes and apply their logo and tube "rating" onto the tube itself. It was more of a distribution center. They haves sold plenty of non-tube equipment over the years, I don't know how much they built in house and how much they outsourced. Their success is built on outsourcing, they get the best deal from a good supplier and then GT does the marketing and branding. The real money is in being a good middle-man.
     
  13. jerrydyer

    jerrydyer Member

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    because people continue to pay.
     
  14. jerrydyer

    jerrydyer Member

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    Frankie I see you at the metro forum .. You know better than that. There are tubes guys on that forum. Better prices Better matching more variety, comparison test, etc etc
     
  15. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    I don't think you can beat $36 and change for those EL34-M's, sir, plus, they were there to take home right then when I needed them. I think they sound better than my pre-JJ black base Tesla E34L's actually!

    If it'll make you feel better I'm waiting on a set of Siemens/RFT EL34's to come in the mail, the GT's are just to hold me over. Plus, I just fired up that Metro 50 watter for the first time in its life, I didn't wanna accidentally cook good tubes in case I wired something wrong, now did I?
     
  16. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    Absolutely. But this is still only a small part of GT revenue ops. I found a set of new GT/GE 6L6's in a Pro Reverb, and while they did sound good, I couldn't really hear a strong quality difference between them and a set of =C=/Svetlanas in the Vibrolux right next to it. Both amps had been gone through by the same tech, and they both sounded great.
     
  17. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    No, not really. Where were they made?
     
  18. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    They're GT's, they don't show country of origin, but I assume they're Shuguangs like the rest of the bunch. Pretty sure that was the low down on the GT-EL34-M series. Very decent tubes for tubes in general, and the fact that they're good sounding GT's is mind boggling. :huh

    They slaughter some Electro-Harmonix EL34's I have, and like I said earlier, I like them better than my Teslas. Can't wait to get these RFT's in the amp though.
     
  19. Gtrman100

    Gtrman100 Member

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    Actually, there was a factory for building guitar amps, and some signal processing equipment. They gave me a tour when they built my Soul-O 45. This was years ago and they were tooling up to produce the 6L6GE, I'm not sure if they ever produced them or they were outsourced. There was the test area for grading and matching tubes as well.

    Too bad there is so much vitriol about GT, I found them to be knowledgeable and very helpful. I wonder how many of the guys that bag on them have created their own market segment(guitar amp tubes) and designed their own amps, microphones or Vipre preamp? I'm not saying they're perfect, but I've had very good experience with them.
     
  20. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    I'm not knowledgeable about current EL34's, not since I sold my 50 watt 1987 halfstack about 12 years ago, but the one thing I've noticed about cheaper tubes like Sovteks for instance, when it comes to 12AX7's, 6L6's and EL84's, is shorter tube life.
     

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