Vacuum tube prices
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bifcake

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A friend of mine owns two VTL monoblock amps and when he had to replace the vacuum tubes, it cost him a small fortune (close to $1,000). I think the most expensive tubes his amps use are the EL34. I figured that these damn things can't possibly cost all that much. After all, they're imported from China and Russia. I did a search on the Internet and I found a number of sites selling vacuum tubes. I used the EL34 as a price reference. They were selling them for $28-$40 a PIECE!!! I couldn't believe it! I wondered how much it would cost to buy them in Russia. So, I browsed some Russian sites and I discovered that the Russians are selling the same EL34 tubes for... better sit down... <drum roll>... $8 a piece RETAIL!!! For all you guys who have been buying tubes in the States, you've been getting ripped big time!!! Talk about mark up! Talk about thievery going on.
 
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john_jcb

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What are you waiting for?

Send a bundle of cash (or your credit card #) off to Russia then just sit back and relax. I have no doubt that your tubes will arrive in a day or 2. Now take them and go to Ebay. Before you know it you will be living on easy street.

I am sure returns of defective items will be just as easy.
 
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bifcake

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Why would you think that I wouldn't get the tubes if I bought them from Russia? Granted, it's not going to take a day or two, but I have no doubts that I'd get them. I had bought items on e-bay from Hungarian, Czechoslovakian and Ukrainian sellers without any problem. If I can get merchandise from individual sellers, why wouldn't I get it from a retail merchant? As far as returns for defective tubes, it wouldn't be cost effective to return them. However, for $8 a tube, I can afford to have one or two tubes be bad out of the bunch.

Where do you think the US retailers get their tubes from? Nobody in the US manufacturers vacuum tubes, so the only places to get them is Russia or China.
 
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Tuberoller

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Quote:

Originally posted by bifcake
Why would you think that I wouldn't get the tubes if I bought them from Russia? Granted, it's not going to take a day or two, but I have no doubts that I'd get them. I had bought items on e-bay from Hungarian, Czechoslovakian and Ukrainian sellers without any problem. If I can get merchandise from individual sellers, why wouldn't I get it from a retail merchant? As far as returns for defective tubes, it wouldn't be cost effective to return them. However, for $8 a tube, I can afford to have one or two tubes be bad out of the bunch.

Where do you think the US retailers get their tubes from? Nobody in the US manufacturers vacuum tubes, so the only places to get them is Russia or China.


I buy a lot of tubes from a few different sellers and trade and sell some myself.Tubes are not the easiest thing to deal in.There are a lot of variables.To find a matched quad from a group of tubes you must often test dozens of tubes.Out of those dozens you may find only 4 or 5 that are actually worthy of use in your best gear.When you buy tubes from a reputable dealer you eliminate your end of the risk factor.For this you pay a premium.If you want to try buying tubes from an overseas retailer and don't care about returns or quality control then good luck to you.
 
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bifcake

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Where do you think the US resellers get their tubes from? They get them from the same places. Since at $30-$40 per EL34 tube, they match the right tubes AND make a profit, it goes to reason that one may want to do this oneself and get the right tubes for less. Perhaps it won't come out to $8 a tube, as the best case scenario, but I bet it'll be CONSIDERABLY cheaper than the $30-$40 per tube that we're being charged.
 
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