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Gold Lion reissue EL84 tubes arcing

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hey all, so my long awaited purchase finally came, a quad matched Genalex Gold Lion EL84's which I purchased from a ebayer located in Greece. The amp I purchased it for is a Mini El84 tube amp which takes quad EL84's and 2 6N1P's. I've been successfully tube rolling on this amp for the past 2 years almost with various NOS Amperex, RCA and Russian EL84/6BQ5 tubes with no problems whatsoever.

 

The packaging I received on these amp shipped from Greece by the seller was a parcel envelope, inside the 2 pairs of EL84's are in there respective boxes wrapped around in 4 layers of flat plastic bags, no foam support whatsoever. Pretty poor packaging in my opinion for something so fragile.

 

Aside from that, there was no cracks with the tubes that I can identify so I dropped them into my amp. Turning it on and waiting for the warm-up process with in 40 seconds I get arcs shooting across 3 of the tubes (2nd test, all 4 tubes arc), the arcs are mainly going off the plate areas on the side, bright lightening strikes going of randomly. I quickly turned off the amp. Cooled down then I swapped back my Russian 6BQ5's and all is good with sound production. So I quickly search the problem: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/tubes-valves/143456-genelex-gold-lion-el84-reissue-arcing-3.html this thread from diyaudio was exactly the same problem as I am having now. I informed the seller about it and he said it was fine in his Leben CX300 and that damage via shipping is impossible unless the tubes was cracked. Further more I read that big shock to tubes can damage them, causing arcs and shorts. So right now I'am with 4 EL84's that arc like crazy on warmup and there is no sound coming from them whatsoever. The seller has asked if I could try it in another amp, but I don't have any.

 

Also I've noticed that the tubes make rattling springy noises inside if I shake it a very slight bit or move it up and down quickly. This is the first time I've seen tubes arc, I've experienced cracked, burnt and shorted tubes but never one that arc's.

 

So what should I do? And are there any Aussies here able to test these tubes for me?

post #2 of 29
Thread Starter 

I hope this thread will get more of a response than my last one did. frown.gif

post #3 of 29

I recently bought a pair of these Gold Lion reissue EL84s from an eBay USA seller, and they arrived to me in Europe without any problem. I can't say they were extremely well packed, as they arrived with their cases wrapped around a piece of card to hold them tight together inside a regular envelope. And the envelope had many signs of a rough time during the trip... Anyway, I placed them in my amp, they seem to work fine (at least they sound fine, and I can't see anything wrong with them during use). I'll check later if they have any rattle sounds like you mentioned...

post #4 of 29
Is this real arcing or merely a not atypical flash with initial power up ?
post #5 of 29

Don asks a great question.  An arc is like a little lightning flash in the tube bottle.  Many tubes have the filament glow brighter when first turned on, but that lasts only a second.

 

also, an arc will cause loud sounds to emit from either speakers or headphones that are connected.

 

If they are arcing, they must not be used again and you should return them to the seller.

post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

Hey all, so my long awaited purchase finally came, a quad matched Genalex Gold Lion EL84's which I purchased from a ebayer located in Greece. The amp I purchased it for is a Mini El84 tube amp which takes quad EL84's and 2 6N1P's. I've been successfully tube rolling on this amp for the past 2 years almost with various NOS Amperex, RCA and Russian EL84/6BQ5 tubes with no problems whatsoever.

 

The packaging I received on these amp shipped from Greece by the seller was a parcel envelope, inside the 2 pairs of EL84's are in there respective boxes wrapped around in 4 layers of flat plastic bags, no foam support whatsoever. Pretty poor packaging in my opinion for something so fragile.

 

Aside from that, there was no cracks with the tubes that I can identify so I dropped them into my amp. Turning it on and waiting for the warm-up process with in 40 seconds I get arcs shooting across 3 of the tubes (2nd test, all 4 tubes arc), the arcs are mainly going off the plate areas on the side, bright lightening strikes going of randomly. I quickly turned off the amp. Cooled down then I swapped back my Russian 6BQ5's and all is good with sound production. So I quickly search the problem: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/tubes-valves/143456-genelex-gold-lion-el84-reissue-arcing-3.html this thread from diyaudio was exactly the same problem as I am having now. I informed the seller about it and he said it was fine in his Leben CX300 and that damage via shipping is impossible unless the tubes was cracked. Further more I read that big shock to tubes can damage them, causing arcs and shorts. So right now I'am with 4 EL84's that arc like crazy on warmup and there is no sound coming from them whatsoever. The seller has asked if I could try it in another amp, but I don't have any.

 

Also I've noticed that the tubes make rattling springy noises inside if I shake it a very slight bit or move it up and down quickly. This is the first time I've seen tubes arc, I've experienced cracked, burnt and shorted tubes but never one that arc's.

 

So what should I do? And are there any Aussies here able to test these tubes for me?

I have had the Genelex reissue el84 and they did not flash in my amp. I think you have defective tubes and I would return them to the seller.   Some tubes as skylab mentioned flaash but the glow goes away quickly and you would not see w hat your seeing. It sounds like a short.

post #7 of 29

If as you say as well as arcing when you shake them they rattle .No thought required the mountings for the plate/ grid2[screen]  is making contact with either grid1/cathode. An easy test if you dont have a Tube-Tester is to set your Multi-meter at its highest ohms range-preferably an anologue meter as more current is used and putting one prod against the plate pin-pin7 when looking from underneath.

The other prod put against cathode pin-pin3 or grid 1 pin2 and you should see a reading on the meter. Shake it at same time if no reading. The only way to try to cure this is by applying a high voltage to "blow off" the S/C.Thats the way to go if you have bought some duds and the sender wont give you back your money.

Otherwise as said above RETURN THEM!
 

post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hmm guess my early morning post didn't get posted via by mobile. Yes it is arcing, the first time I plugged them into the amp there was nothing short of amazingly bright lightening strikes going off in the plate area of the tubes with spark noises going off. I've managed to get it tested at a friends who knows more about these things then me and we tried it on his APPJ Miniwatt F3 clone amp which takes two EL84's, we did it in pairs and all of the tubes arc before anymore his amp getting shut down. 

 

Honestly this is the first time I've seen tubes arc, I've had tubes burn out and short but never arc before. I told the seller that either the tubes were faulty when he sold it to me or possibly the tubes exhibited a lot of shock during transit, but he said the tubes can only be damaged if the tubes are cracked which I know is not true as I've had a tube burn-in out before from a seller in the States due to improper packaging. Also to add, the tubes do light up and everything but arc's at random times unlike the first time, not to mention there is no sound whatsoever.

post #9 of 29

Either the seller is lying or he knows Zilch! about tubes .I have spent most of my life repairing tube equipment. Starting as a child repairing old 1930s radios.And yes it is a bit "frightening" to see flashes of electricity inside a tube. Your right it does NOT need to be cracked to cause arcing. As a matter of fact if a tube is cracked it usually means air has got in and then you will see "whitening" inside the glass. I have never come across a cracked glass that isnt all the way through the thickness of the glass.

Maybe there is but I havent seen it  /especially as you say the filament/heaters light up therefore no air intake. I dont need much of a guess to come to the conclusion that these are FACTORY REJECTS.The seller should be "named and shamed" as this affects every person who orders up parts via a PC and also  other sellers.That you can hear them "rattle" is a dead give-away that there is poor welding on the supports for the Plate.Get advice on this forum as to who you can trust to buy tubes from.

Hope it all turns out okay.
 

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply duncun. I sent the seller a message in regards to my further findings of the tube still arcing in another amp and have linked him to this thread, am awaiting for his reply still, I'll give it 3 more days for him to respond if not I'll open a paypal dispute. 

post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 

Ok been pretty much 3 day's since the last message I sent to the seller awaiting for his reply, but his communication has been extremely poor so far. Have just opened a dispute against him on Paypal as I don't want to delay any more of this into a possible risk on my end.

post #12 of 29

Good for you.  3 days is MORE than adequate time for a seller to reply.  My last dispute I gave the seller 2 days to respond... he failed.  I opened a case and got my $$$ back, pretty quickly too I might add.  Similar situation, defective merchandise, item grossly miss-represented.

 

Paypal will require you to ship the item back, fully insured, tracking with signature.  Ship it the fastest, most $$$ way possible, box + bubble wrap it like crazy and add the price of materials to the quote... Go with the most expensive carrier and get it all quoted.  (FWIW, UPS charges the most for their official packing materials, in store.  It cost me a $10-15 in material alone to ship an iPhone).  There is a gray area here, if the Paypal case worker sees the shipping fees in excess (relative to the $ price of the item)... they can waive the return shipping process all together, and charge back the funds on the spot.  Especially if the seller is totally ignoring all your communications.

 

It takes a phone call to the pay pal 800-CS line, once you get your return shipping quotes.

 

OT... I have used EL84 tubes in a 20 year-old stereo guitar amp for over 10 years (I am not the original owner)... 8 of em mind you and they hold up like a champ.  Very durable, reliable, predictable NON-finicky tubes.  Thats one of the reasons they remain one of the most popular tubes ever.

 

 

 


Edited by kramer5150 - 3/11/13 at 10:09am
post #13 of 29

As Kramer 5150- Glad you are taking action It makes all sellers look bad.The person should be named so that others arent taken in..And preserve the high quality of web-sites like this.He cant sue if its true.!
 

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks for suggestions. I've opened a dispute only with an optional request amount of 50gbp the amount I spent on the tubes, so if he refunds me that the dispute is closed otherwise I can escalate the dispute to a claim which will take about 2 weeks for ebay to investigate, hear both sides of the story and then go in favour of either the buyer or the seller. But I'm playing my cards wisely now for a dispute only. I also have not left any feedback yet so that's also another card to play if things go sour.

 

For reference: the sellers page: 

 

http://myworld.ebay.com.au/ecopak77/?_trksid=p4340.l2559

 

At the time when I purchased the tubes he also had quad matched Philips and Telefunkens EL84's. If I knew things turned out this way, I'm glad I didn't buy the Philips as well.

post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

Thanks for suggestions. I've opened a dispute only with an optional request amount of 50gbp the amount I spent on the tubes, so if he refunds me that the dispute is closed otherwise I can escalate the dispute to a claim which will take about 2 weeks for ebay to investigate, hear both sides of the story and then go in favour of either the buyer or the seller. But I'm playing my cards wisely now for a dispute only. I also have not left any feedback yet so that's also another card to play if things go sour.

 

For reference: the sellers page: 

 

http://myworld.ebay.com.au/ecopak77/?_trksid=p4340.l2559

 

At the time when I purchased the tubes he also had quad matched Philips and Telefunkens EL84's. If I knew things turned out this way, I'm glad I didn't buy the Philips as well.

surprised his feedback is unblemished and really cant see why he wont back it up  since he going to ruin his perfect record. Weird

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