Originally Posted by gibosi
I am looking forward to your impressions regarding the Sylvania 6HA5. As I already have some RCA/Siemens, GE/Blackburn and GE/??? 6AH5, I decided to wait for others to try the Sylvanias.... Thanks! :)
Besides, I have become so enamored with a pair of 1960 Amperex Bugleboy ECC88, that I am actively searching for other varieties. The 6DJ8 / ECC88 marketplace is very different than that of most of the non-traditional tubes we have been trying recently. For one thing, NOS/NIB tubes are often prohibitively expensive, so it is primarily a marketplace of used tubes. Even so, I have had to readjust my maximum price from $8/tube to $15/tube. Further, since these tubes are used, the vendor's measured test results are quite important. Tubes that test low have likely had a lot of use and thus can often be had rather cheaply. However a well-used tube may not last long, so I try to find tubes with test results that are close to new. Given this, so far I haven't even considered purchasing tubes that haven't been tested. After careful and patient searching, I have managed to stay below my limit and purchase some Mullard, Siemens, Tesla and Reflector tubes. Now all I have to do is wait....
And hey! It feels pretty lonely here in 6DJ8 land! I think AFB has has gone even further afield into 12A?7 land? Am I really the only one here?? lol :)
Haha, no I'm still here and investigating double triodes in the shadows lol!
Like you said, since the prices and the selling "pattern" of these tubes are quite different from what we're used to, it takes a leap of faith to actually buy anything. So, I've been taking my time with these tubes.
While you've been a self-proclaimed "bottom feeder" of 6DJ8/ECC88 tubes, I've been trying to be a "middle feeder" of sorts, finding NOS or used but strong tubes from secondary manufacturers (EI, Matsushiita...) that used machinery from the best companies. Both for ECC88 tubes and 12AT7/ECC81, and even 12AX7/ECC83 (just as ridiculously expensive as some ECC88...).
Apart from my free pair of Mullard Mitcham M8162/CV4024 (12AT7), I have a few pairs of NOS EI ECC88 made on Philips machinery, with the later "A-frame" getter, which cost me nowhere near a premium price ; and I just managed to find a pair (hopefully identical, but still perfectly useful otherwise) of used and very strong EI ECC83 (12AX7) with the legendary "long smooth plates" made on Telefunken machinery! Still, like you said, even though I keep thinking I got a good deal for them, I still forked 24.50€ -shipped- for the pair... I guess, since they're double tubes, one could argue that I'm just at the 6€ or $8/triode limit lol!
The latter is the good example of a pretty good deal you can get on ebay, without even looking that hard. These EI ECC83 had poor ad wording and no more silk screening on the tubes (no writings on tube apart from factory codes), so it took some googling to make sure what these were, and some eye squinting to read the factory codes; and as it is, I could only read the codes off of one tube. But sure enough, I saw the EI Nish factory, Yugoslavia, codes, and know for a fact that the tubes have those unmistakable Telefunken smooth long plates. So, it should turn out to be a good deal.