Vacuum Tubes

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watchnerd
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Vacuum Tubes

Post by watchnerd » Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:48 am

The price of new vacuum tubes from Russia, China, and Slovakia has increased dramatically this year, and the vintage market on eBay is even worse.

Does anyone have a good source for 12AX7, 6DJ8, and KT88s?
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metacritic
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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by metacritic » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:29 am

I go through the Tube Depot or the Tube Store. But there are no deals to be found — especially for new old stock!

I sometimes regret getting a tube integrated amp!!!

Valuethinker
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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:58 am

Apologies if not useful but I discovered in the UK that you have to search for "Valves".

Only useful if you tease out a UK stockist, I suspect - not sure about other Commonwealth countries (Canada calls them "vacuum tubes").

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watchnerd
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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by watchnerd » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:10 am

metacritic wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:29 am
I go through the Tube Depot or the Tube Store. But there are no deals to be found — especially for new old stock!

I sometimes regret getting a tube integrated amp!!!
I've used them a lot in the past, but their prices have gone up substantially, I'm sure reflecting increased import costs or decreased supply.

Maybe time to do a group buy or a Massdrop?
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Call_Me_Op
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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by Call_Me_Op » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:44 am

Probably have some of those old thermionic emitters in my parent's basement. Used to love the smell of those 6146's in my Viking Ranger. 12AX7 was very common in receivers.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:54 am

3 cheers for you who still value the sound of tubes. I gave up and went solid state some time ago, but I have great respect for you diehards. :sharebeer

bob60014
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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by bob60014 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:31 pm

I had the 6146's in my TS-520, loved that radio.

To the OP, if you haven't done so, have you scoured the old fashioned tv-radio repair shops in the area? Many of these old timers have tubes squirrelled away in their back rooms.

Looks like you're in the Seattle area, check with the ham radio clubs, most have a website and ask around. Many of these guys have or know where to get stuff. Though the merchandise has gone modern, also take a look online for hamfests in the area. This is also amateur radio related and is a flea market and social gathering for hams/electronic geeks. Look around you might see tubes there or get info for a source.

I haven't had to buy tubes for a number of years and know the frustration trying to find older parts. Good luck!

samsdad
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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by samsdad » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:12 pm

I haven’t noticed a dramatic increase in prices. I literally just bought $125 of tubes on the bay this morning and that got me a matched quad of Svetlana EL34s, a matched pair of Shuguang 6n11s (the Chinese version of the 6922), and a matched pair of Electro Harmonix 6922s including shipping from Taiwan for the Shuguangs.

Sure, they aren’t Mullards, but with the Shuguangs and the Svetlanas, my Torii Jr. sounds absolutely jaw dropping running a Philips GZ34 and some IBM-branded (likely GE-made) 0c3s. I figured I could splurge and spend $30 and see if I like the EHs better than the Shuggies. We’ll see!

I purposely avoid NOS tubes when possible because of the price and potential inability to get the same sound from my amp after they poop out. I only went when the Philips due to it being the one GZ34 rectifier I’ve tried so far that gets closest to biasing my amp perfectly.

I put dozens of hours each week on this amp and love it. Never heard a better amp; it makes music I’ve heard for 30 years sound fresh and new. I’m listening to music that I’d be embarrassed to admit to listening to and am blown away by how well-mastered some of it is. When my wife starts dancing around the house and acting like a goofball I know I’m onto something good.

Totally worth the cost and my probably the only one non-frugal thing I’ve bought myself over the years that is truly worth the cost of admission. Even if tube prices doubled I’d still buy them—if only to watch my wife act silly dancing to 80s pop-candy.

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sleepysurf
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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by sleepysurf » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:57 pm

Your post piqued my curiosity. I found an old 2011 receipt, from thetubestore, for a matched pair of (Russian made) Electro-Harmonix 6H30Pi tubes (for my Conrad Johnson CT5 Preamp), unit price $33.95 ea. The current price is $35.95 ea. Not bad!

I guess the tubes you're looking for are in short supply.
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Electron
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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by Electron » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:24 pm

See the Tube Meister information provided at the bottom of the page below.

http://palomar-engineers.com/
Electron

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jharkin
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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by jharkin » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:10 am

I have not bought new tubes in a long time, but when I was my go to's where Triode Electronics and Tubestore.com.

http://store.triodestore.com/
https://www.thetubestore.com/

I dont recall all the prices but I remember when I first restored my MC240 around 1998 I got Svetlana (now "Winged C") 6L6GC power tubes for $60 a matched pair. Current price for the same tube is a bit under $90 a matched pair. Right in line with inflation according to the CPI calculator...

mouses
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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by mouses » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:39 am

Okay, I'll ask what are you folks talking about? For radios?

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watchnerd
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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by watchnerd » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:42 am

mouses wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:39 am
Okay, I'll ask what are you folks talking about? For radios?
I use vacuum tubes in the following ways:

-phono stage preamp
-headphone amp
-bass guitar amplifier
-oscilloscope
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:04 am

mouses wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:39 am
Okay, I'll ask what are you folks talking about? For radios?
If you have a high-end audio shop near you, you might want to listen to a good tube amplifier. The sound is completely different than you’re accustomed to. Danger danger; it can spoil you for anything else.

glock19
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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by glock19 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:00 am

Call_Me_Op wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:44 am
Probably have some of those old thermionic emitters in my parent's basement. Used to love the smell of those 6146's in my Viking Ranger. 12AX7 was very common in receivers.
You are bringing back a lot of memories. My first smell of a 6146 was in a Heathkit DX35. I really, really wish I had it back.

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Re: Vacuum Tubes

Post by Call_Me_Op » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:36 pm

glock19 wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:00 am
Call_Me_Op wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:44 am
Probably have some of those old thermionic emitters in my parent's basement. Used to love the smell of those 6146's in my Viking Ranger. 12AX7 was very common in receivers.
You are bringing back a lot of memories. My first smell of a 6146 was in a Heathkit DX35. I really, really wish I had it back.
Indeed. I had to sell my Ranger due to being broke at the time. Nothing ever produced AM like the Ranger. I miss it.

Oh, and I learned an important lesson (but too late) from the Ranger manual; "Do not depend on bleeder resistors to discharge (plate voltage) filter condensers."
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

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