Good tube source?

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by rockinlespaul, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Recovering Oxblood Addict V.I.P. Member

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    Anyone know a good source for vintage nos tubes that doesn't want a arm and leg for tubes?

    Anyone?
     
  2. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Define "an arm and a leg". NOS costs money.
     
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  3. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    And what kind of tubes?
     
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  4. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    I had an opportunity to buy an old Baldwin organ at a thrift store a couple of years back locally, for about $100. I pulled the back cover to find 13 (!) 6BQ5s (EL-84s), and eight 12ax7s, all labelled "Baldwin".

    Pulled out my smart phone and did some google-fu ... turns out that era Baldwin had Raytheon tubes, so the damned thing was worth a grand.

    I couldn't rustle up any help wrestling it home, and with my hip disorder, couldn't manage it myself.

    God damn it. At least a grand in tubes alone. Not NOS, but good lord, late-60s Raytheon tubes ...

    Guess I should invest in a hand-truck.
     
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  5. Big John

    Big John drinks are on the house V.I.P. Member

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    Thump, God damn it is right. I know a guy here in the PNW that would've given you $250 for that organ without the tubes.
     
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  6. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Recovering Oxblood Addict V.I.P. Member

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    I realize that, but I'm not looking to spend 300 bucks per tube either.
     
  7. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Recovering Oxblood Addict V.I.P. Member

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    EL84s and 12AX7s. Mullard, Telefunken, Amperex, etc....
     
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  8. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Well, a few months back, hunting up a single EL-84 for an amp, I found $75 quote ... in Austin, the EL-84 capital of the world, y'know? That's too much for me, so I went to Tube Depot and played acoustic for a few days while it shipped.

    NOS is gonna grill ya, especially those brands. I think there are modern options that will get you damned close (close enough you'd have to struggle to hear the difference).
     
  9. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    For EL-84's, may I suggest 6P14P-EV tubes? They sell for an excellent price from Russian, Ukraine and Latvian ebay vendors, I got pairs shipped for the price of a pair of JJ's. These little wonders were built tough for the Soviet army and man do they make my VOX sing. They really max out the headroom compared to any other '84 tube I've tried. The Tube Store sells them as their 'Preferred Series', albeit at a jacked-up price.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  10. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Yeah, that chassis alone, with amp, was extra dough. Just the tubes, at $50 a pop ... sigh.
     
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  11. sk8rat

    sk8rat Senior Member

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    why not just pull the tubes?
     
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  12. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    Hey Fred, what Tubes are you specifically after?

    Sorry just read your post re EL84’s & 12AX7’s.

    I’ll send a PM tomorrow or later tonight.

    Cheers, Rudi
     
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  13. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    NOS 12AX7s are going to cost real money for Mullard, Telefunken, RCA, etc.

    12AX7 is the most common preamp tube, those brands are the most desirable, and vintage ones have been in fashion and demand for several decades, already. True NOS ones are rather hard to come by and, when you do, they aren't cheap if they are legit.

    I've never really followed the NOS EL-84 market but if they are anything like EL-34s, you'll need a stiff drink before you pull out the credit card for a nice NOS set. I had a slight addiction to XF1s. I can't even afford XF2s anymore.
     
  14. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    When I went on the AX7/NOS hunt, I found no deals online. I think unless you really luck out, most vendors know what they have. I found my deal at an old radio shop in the middle of nowhere, SouthWestern Ontario. The guy had a box of Rogers tubes, NIB and he had a lot of them. They turned out to be rebranded Philips i65 tubes. I was able to coax a pair out of the old man's hands for $40. I've since seen singles for sale at more than what I paid for a pair. Combined with a pair of 6P14P-EV tubes, they really made my VOX come alive (or so I think, psychoacoustics, ya know).
     
  15. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Because they wouldn't sell separately and I'm not about to leave my trash for others to throw away.
     
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  16. sk8rat

    sk8rat Senior Member

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    they could have still sold it without the tubes...
     
  17. sonar

    sonar Senior Member

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    NOS is kind of a B.S. word nowadays and NIB (New In Box) is pretty much extinct in the EL84/12AX7 world.

    Your best bet is strong testing (verifiable) pullers for 12AX7's. Even then, Mullard ECC83's are going to be a small fortune. Even then still, just because it bench tests well doesn't guarantee there won't be noise or microphonics once it's in your amp.

    From what I've been told you're basically screwed if looking for old glass Mullard EL84's. Most modern, 8 pin power tubes like 6L6's and EL34's are good enough for most guitarist needs, but vintage Vox purists and some of the Supro guys claim that modern EL84's just don't cut it.
     
  18. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

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    I suppose to alleviate all this "stress" over prices and scarcity, I could go all digital, but heck, I love my Orange tube amp. I'll just pay the price to replace my amp's tubes when necessary and be thankful I have it and the money needed to keep it running.

    Classicplayer
     
  19. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Like I said, they would not sell separately -- I did ask after that option -- and I can see their point. A non-functional organ taking up floor space can stay for a while, and they're in the business of making money for their charity, not warehousing old instruments.
     
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  20. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Silver Supporter

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    I buy lots of old tube on ebay.
    I look for ones that have all of their ink intact and not more than a new production valve.
    I have a bunch of RCA 12AX7s GE and Jan Phillips
    It's a gamble, some are good some not . . . .
    valves7.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017

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