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New Old Stock

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I would really like to know what the deal is with the availability of the better New Old Stock tubes. Are these things gonna be gone in 5 years, or what? How come someone doesn't get off their ass and make tubes that are better than NOS? Is there no profit in it, or what?
post #2 of 32
Yes, they are going to TOTALLY DISAPPEAR. If you haven't noticed, prices have been escalating dramatically over the past 3 years.

No, it isn't profitable to make them. Tiny profit margins. That's why the companies who do are in poorer countries like Slovakia. They ain't gettin' rich.

I believe a very small one or two man operation could work in the U.S.... but they would barely break even, and the tubes would have to be very expensive.

I'm willing to pay for exceptional tubes.
post #3 of 32
Nick, you have to start reading HiFi+, the English magazine. Not only do they test more tubed amps than anyone else, but the new issue, #16, even goes so far as to test tubes per se -- they reviewed Western Electric 300B output tubes.

Excuse me, I mean "valves," as they're called on the other side of the pond.
post #4 of 32
That's a perfect example. The WE 300B is current manufacture aimed towards us crazy audiophiles... but the co$t is high. Very high.

I did read a 300b shootout a few months ago which included the WE 300b. If I can find it I'll post the link.
post #5 of 32
I think it was on Vacuum Tube Valley
post #6 of 32
post #7 of 32
The problem is that very few people are willing to buy new production tubes. There was an interested editorial in a magazine within the last year, forget which one (Recording, EQ, PAR, one of those). The problem is, if someone wants to start a tube factory, they have to get financing. Banks laugh at people like us.

So definitely check out new production tubes and try to find the best and review them and buy them, because tubes are a dying breed.
post #8 of 32
mmm... this is sad. team valve may disappear like the dinosaurs. lack of heat because of lack of tubes? oh no! i may have to sell my mg head now while i still can!

heh, or not. but i am really curious about new production tubes and how they sound. read the Joe's Tube Lore thing on Nick's site and he says they suck, but there's got to be some great sounding tubes out there that are currently in production. there's just got to be!

anyone know if there really is?
post #9 of 32
I know Sovtek makes a 5751...

...but then again, all of the Sovtek tubes I have tried fall short in one way or another.

Those Ei Elites mentioned in other thread may be worth checking out. In the meantime, grab some Sylvanias while you can. They've been trading around $50 apiece on eBay.

It's worth it. A $50 upgrade of this magnitude is pretty darn cheap. Hopefully, eric343 will win that eBay auction for that quad of Sylvania 5751's (it will be at least $200, be prepared) and share with others... maybe.
post #10 of 32
$50 a piece! yikes! how much are the ei elites and where can you get them? maybe i should just search for them... think i will.

so are the sylvania tubes that much better than the GE i have right now? the only real problem i have with it is that i feel like the highs are missing. there's no sparkle... midrange and bass is great though! very full throughout those registers.

wanna open a tube factory nick?
post #11 of 32
I can't figure this out. We Head-Fi'ers will spend $150 on a cable, $200 on a headphone, and $350 on an amp... but will blanch at a $50 tube upgrade that makes more of an improvement than anything else.

The triple mica blackplate Sylvania 5751 brings the MG Head OTL to its peak. It sounds better than G.E. 5751's, better than Raytheon 5751's (albeit small), and better than RCA 5751's. Highs sparkle, mids are lush, and bass is tight. What's a better upgrade than that? For $50? Shakti stones?
post #12 of 32
Alright fine! If they are that good then I'll buy the Sylvania's! Heh, I guess it's just that I feel like I can't buy just one. Have to buy many just in case... I feel in limbo right now only having one input tube. What am I going to do if something happens to it? btw, where can you get the JJ EL84's? Are those current production tubes or NOS?
post #13 of 32
I get a little confused of this. Looked a little on tubes some months ago when I considered upgrading my old triod amp. I think it is good, but not enough power for my speakers. Could be excellent for AKG K-1000, especially after some tuning. But that is a coming project.
Thought NOS is tubes that are not longer produced as Siemens, Philips and Mullard (although there are equivalents made by new companies). The New in NOS is only that the tube is unused or little used. You don't get these tubes in new amplifiers, with few exceptions. Musical Fidelity made a limited edition of amplifiers based on the Nu-Vista tube. I really don't understand where all of these tubes come from except military supplies that are successively sold out. Maybe, some can be found by hunting through old radios, amps and the deepest corners of supplies.
This breed must disappear, except some EXTREMELY expensive samples.
Is this a problem? I don't believe so. Some say that NOS is better, some it is hype.I have not listened to these NOS tubes but know of no other 40 years old electronic component that is superiour to current ones. Resistors, capacitors, transistors, tweeters, cartridges, turntable motors?
It seems like the death of the turntable. In 1994, Robert Harley in his excellent guide to high-end audio advised to buy a really good turntable rather than upgrading later. Because this might be you last chance! I don't blame Harley as noone can foresight the future, but this was evidently wrong. There is an abundance of both good, low priced turntables as well as expensive high-ends. And cartridges too!
There is also an abundance of tube amps and other tube equipment. If NOS are better than new ones and eventually will vanish, I think improved new ones will appear. As long as there is a demand for tube gear.
post #14 of 32
Well... I guess we all HOPE that new ones will appear that are as good as NOS tubes. Is the demand really that high for tubes though? I don't know... I really don't know much about them at all, except a little about the types that will go into the MG Head. I'm just hoping that there are some good sounding, current production tubes out there that can be had for cheap so I can buy some.
post #15 of 32
If NOS are better than new ones and eventually will vanish, I think improved new ones will appear. As long as there is a demand for tube gear.
I hope you're right... although after 50 years I'm beginning to wonder.
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