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New Old Stock - Page 2

post #16 of 32
i agree with nick, this debate has been on for the past decade and no real progress has been had. there have been some advancements with 12a_7 variants and power tubes, but it must be remembered that the high-fi demands/profit potential is miniscule when compared to the guitarist/musician market. and let's face it, most guitar amp owners aren't about to shell out $30/tube.

so yeah, good luck. otherwise, stock up on nos now (as many of us did a few years ago) and watch the market rise steadily.
post #17 of 32
The most difficult thing is to predict the future. But I am optimistic regarding both tubes and turntables. These old things have definitive strengths. This doesn't mean that I am negative to all new developments. Think CD is a problematic medium, not better than vinyl, but have seen some promising reports and a little experience on SACD.
My conclusion on tubes is based on observations like these:
- I have read on tube sites that the quality of new tubes has improved during the last 5 - 10 years.
- There are tube factories in at least former Yougoslavia, Russia and China. There is a competition and seems also to be a cooperation with Western partners.
- Stereophile 2002 lists 23 tube power amplifiers in class A. These are megabucks. Besides there are tubed preamps, integrated and phono preamps. Add class B and C, those not reviewed in Stereophile, tube amps only on the market in UK, Germany, Japan etc. So there are hundreds or thousands of models on the market.
With new tubes!
- Tubes for guitar amplifiers seem to be popular.
post #18 of 32
Just to articulate another view:

There are a lot of tubes still out there, NOS and light use. Remember just how common tubes were before transistors took over...and the takeover was gradual.

Tubes last longer than people give them credit for. Unless you've got a crazy designer pushing tubes beyond their limits, they're going to last for years, in most cases.

There are a lot of tubes in private collections that are going to be feeding the market for years. Tube collectors don't just buy enough tubes to operate their equipment. I've got enough tubes to keep my existing amps going for several centuries (and I'm not kidding). Assuming no great advances in medical sciences, sometime in the next half century, those tubes will find their way back out into the market. (This may be partially balanced by those tubes that will be lost because a surviving spouse decides to simply throw out the "electrical junk".)

The views stated in this post are not necessarily the views of the author
post #19 of 32
anders,
btw many of those amp and preamp manufacturers now say they're voicing their equipment with available tubes in mind. some even say there is no point in rolling... tim deparavinci of ear comes to mind, but what the hell does he know
post #20 of 32
No point in rolling? HAH! I'll stop rolling when current production matches or exceeds NOS.
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by carlo
and let's face it, most guitar amp owners aren't about to shell out $30/tube.
Um...you'd be surprised. The Ei Elite actually came from a guitar amp. Guitar players are all about "tone", and the primary force for "tone" is the amp (in the same way that we are about sources and amps, the guitar is the source in that analogy).
post #22 of 32
I have nothing against rolling. Actually I wrote initially that I plan to do that in a coming project.
What I can see, rolling is not necessarily a question of rolling to NOS but also to other current production tubes. Maybe NOS are better, but in either case you have a possiblitity to modify the sound to something you like best rather than take manufactures taste for good.
If a product uses cheap tubes to cut cost, the chance of improvement should be great. My triode amp has Sovtek EL34. In most aspects it sounded quite good, although these tubes seems to belong to the worst. Looks as good conditions for improvement.
post #23 of 32
Hirsch,
Excellent point. However it should also be noted that you are insane and have a hell of a lot of tubes

Just to go with your idea, I have 2 pairs of Mullard 6922s, 2 pairs of Mullard 7308s, 2 pairs of Amprex 6922 PQs, a matched quad of Amprex 7308 PQs, and a pair of Phillips SQs from the Amprex factory, all authentic and verified, all NOS. Factor in the additional six or seven pairs in my equipment and rolling rotation (all of the above, later production Seimens-Rohre, 70s Russians, JANs) that are obviously no longer NOS, the box of tubes that came with my equipment that I didn't like but inexplicably kept, and my quad of Valvos that aren't rebranded anything and sound like crap and I've got enough tubes to last me the life of my components (or at least untill I'm married, have kids, and need to downsize the system). As you and I have discussed on #headfi (shameless plug) the cost of NOS in this family is crazy and it's not getting any better. It could be said that the ownership of such tubes is an investment... I'm fairly sure that if I decided to sell them now I'd get more than I paid for them. That said I'll never get rid of them unless they're included with a sale of my current tubed equipment.

Of course, this family is a bad example since it's one of (if not the) best examples of supply not matching demand. Also, I have yet to hear a current production variant that I like, and that includes the Teslas.

Dusty,
Actually I wouldn't be surprised at all. Note the *most* and that it's obvious musicians are what drive current production. Still, most wannabe guitar gods I know hardly get enough money from gigs to survive, let alone retube the input and power stages of their amps. While I am impressed with modern tubes in some families, I still don't think most compare with good vintage. I've been in this hobby long enough that I'm not going to hold my breath for change. By the collection of tubes in your avatar I suspect you know what I'm talking about.

Anders,
For what its worth I don't like any of the Sovtek signal tubes but their el34s have surprised me. Also, since the tube is so common in hifi and guitar amps, readily available, and therefore low cost I doubt you'll have any problem retubing your amp.

Nick,
Right with you man.

best,
carlo.
post #24 of 32
As with anything there is a lunatic fringe in operation here as well.I offer the Western Electric 300B debacle as example.The WE300B has always been highly prized and much sought after, and prices were (and have surpassed) $600.00 for NOS examples.Well ,Western Electric(or a company who bought the name and tooling)decides to take advantage of this and begins manufacturing new 300B tubes and even two new monobloc amps(I took pics and posted them from Las Vegas).These tubes are manufactured from the exact same plans,with the exact same tooling and some are even manufactured in the exact same plant that the originals were, yet there are those who swear thay can hear a difference between the two tubes(I can't).I have a pair of SET monoblocs that use 300B tubes and while I can tell the difference between non WE300B tubes, all the WE300Bs sound the same to me.NOS tubes are the best in my opinion but only because they are no longer available new.I just ordered a set of Ken-Rad VT-231 tubes from a guy in Australia(they're coming Crescendopower) he says he only has seven sets left and after those they are gone forever,that's a shame.I know and understand the obvious quality differences between some of the new vs. NOS tubes but I think sometimes they are overstated or even downright non-existent.I have a large, valuable collection of tubes,but my hope is rather than a never-ending supply of NOS tubes,new high quality tubes are manufactured to the satisfaction of nuts like us.I am looking for a major manufacturer to get into tube audio in a big way,if/when this happens I think tube audio will take off and tube availability will improve some,hopefully.In the meantime make tube purchases wisely and watch out for phonies and mislabled tubes,Triode electronics swears that most of the tubes for sale on ebay are not authentic,I doubt that,but still, buyer beware.
post #25 of 32
Nick: I lost the quad Sylvie auction, despite a $175 bid. However, I've got a source for 3 sylvies, 1 RCA, 6 GE Blackplates, and 6 GE Grayplates, ALL MATCHED TO EACHOTHER!

$285...
post #26 of 32
$285 is a lot, though... considering that the only tubes you REALLY want are the Sylvanias. RCA's and G.E.'s come up on eBay all the time.
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by Tuberoller
I just ordered a set of Ken-Rad VT-231 tubes from a guy in Australia(they're coming Crescendopower) he says he only has seven sets left and after those they are gone forever,that's a shame.


I have two sets of used Ken-Rads, one dark glass and one clear glass with staggered plates. The price of NOS was getting too much.

Quote:
In the meantime make tube purchases wisely and watch out for phonies and mislabled tubes,Triode electronics swears that most of the tubes for sale on ebay are not authentic,I doubt that,but still, buyer beware.
Well, yes. Triode won't sell as many tubes if people aren't afraid of ebay. And yes, there are fakes and phonies. I've bought forged Amperex (was actually Matsu****a, but I still paid less than a dealer would charge for the Matsu****a tube). Worse are the used tubes, where people try and clear out marginal ones. Even then, the low cost of buying pulls lets you weed out the bad ones, and still wind up with good tubes at a low price.
post #28 of 32
Nick: Yeah, I got him down to $60 for the RCA and Sylvies.
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by carlo
...most wannabe guitar gods I know hardly get enough money from gigs to survive, let alone retube the input and power stages of their amps.
Most guitarists that I know (electric ones, anyway), have the following priorities: tone first, survival second. Sort of a "what's the point of living if I don't have tone?" philosophy.
Quote:
While I am impressed with modern tubes in some families, I still don't think most compare with good vintage.
I agree, but eventually the hoarders will use or sell all their stuff, all conterfeits will be revealed, and we will have no choice. So I will continue to try NNS (new new stock) every time a variant comes up.
Quote:
I've been in this hobby long enough that I'm not going to hold my breath for change. By the collection of tubes in your avatar I suspect you know what I'm talking about.
(sigh) Yes, I do. However, I still hold out hope.
post #30 of 32
$285 for tubes? I wonder how much is a pair of brand new Mullard 6922/ECC88 worth now days.
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