I knew NOS tubes had gone crazy, but...

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by Ricochet, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Puzzling. I had always thought it was mostly economics. Perhaps the modern ways are less EPA offensive.
     
    new6659 likes this.
  2. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    Winnipeg
    Hmmm, I remember being told the toxic part was the metal coating on the inside of the glass.

    But it could depend on if you use argon?
     
  3. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Oh no @loudnlousy : the VT25/10Y are not costy like the 2A3, 45, 50 by and large. They do not give more than 1W RMS output with a 10K load, they have a shiny tungsten direct heater which needs 7.5V 1.75A... :confused:

    A+!
     
    loudnlousy likes this.
  4. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    I don't think it's anymore toxic than the mercury in the swirly light bulbs they allow them to make today. If you break one on your living room floor you need to call the freakin EPA to clean it up. If the tubes can't be made here then the light bulbs with mercury in them should be banned as well. The LED based bulbs are better anyway.
     
    wabash slim likes this.
  5. afire

    afire Country Gent

    That's why these are for audiophiles who've got five, six, or seven figure setups. They are by definition crazy and rich. What's another $10,000 or $20,000 for the "right" set of tubes? If 300B tubes were the ultimate tubes used in guitar amps, they'd run $1,000-$2,000 per pair, not $10,000-$20,000.
     
  6. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    70
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    LED lamps are dimmable, too, unlike fluorescents. The 10K+ hour lifespan is a major selling point as well. We use them on stage as they use a minute fraction of power compared to incandescents, they provide superb color without using gels or dichroic filters (the blues are amazing), weigh less, can be easily controlled from a lighting computer, has no EPA issues, and are inexpensive compared to quartz and other incandescent lamps.
     
    Lizardkinged and pmac11 like this.
  7. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Nuthin better to listen to scratchy old KISS albums on.
     
    loudnlousy and G5422T like this.
  8. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Synchromatic

    622
    May 20, 2016
    Australia
    Don't want to spoil the party but I just tried out the new Tonemaster Twin Reverb.
    I don't care what these nos tubes cost. My next amp will be solid state.

    :)
     
    Ricochet likes this.
  9. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    ahh those bedroom players who own $100,000 Dumbles would drop 10k for some tubes no worries :)

    I've got buddies who had NOS tubes like 10 yrs ago when they were cheap and they reported no difference to any other good quality tube.

    I never tried them - What do you guys think ?
     
    Lizardkinged likes this.
  10. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    54
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    I recently found a bag full of vintage 12ax7 and EL34 tubes. Telefunken and Siemens.
    I had that routine to change all of my tubes yearly. So these should be still all functional.
    If there is a tube change on my Reußenzehn amps I will try them out.
     
    Ricochet and Waxhead like this.
  11. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    NJ
    yeah... I used to do NOS (15 years ago). But it's gotten out of hand. If I need a good EF86 or 5751, I'll still go NOS. But power tubes and 12AX7s? No way.
     
  12. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    10 years ago, when I was shopping for NOS, the sonically better NOS tubes were mostly all bought up or were very expensive already. Even 15 years ago, when I was buying a few NOS preamp tubes, the great sounding preamp tubes like Mullards, RCAs, GEs, Tung Sol and Sylvanias etc. were already quite expensive. And what's more, the re-issue versions of the Tung Sol 12AX7 from Russia are/were sonically fantastic.

    But there were some affordable NOS preamp tubes like JAN 12AX7s or ANOS GE's etc. The JAN versions aren't tpyically the greatest sounding (in your V1 or V2) positions. Being military spec, they were designed for control systems so typically were not prized for their sound but for their precision, toughness and stability. But they generally last a very long time so they make great phase converters and tremolo tubes. I have a few of these as well as some NOS and ANOS Mullard, Tung Sol and Telefunken preamp tubes and I still don't think any of them sound as good as a modern Tung Sol reissue. Granted, when I bought them, I think all the best ones were already gone. But again, they almost always outlast the modern ones by a long margin.

    But when it comes to power tubes, the equation shifts a bit. I was able to purchase a quad of NOS RCA EL84s that I used in my Laney and they were sonically excellent. All the modern ones I tried in that amp were either dull or broke up harshly. But the RCAs were simply amazing - smooth breakup, warm but not dark tone. I also have some Sylvania and RCA NOS 6V6s that I acquired about 15 years ago that I like much better than any of the modern ones I tried - Tung Sol, EH, JJ. I also have some Tung Sol 6L6 NOS tubes that are much better sounding the modern ones and these stay in my Vibrolux Reverb.

    This being said, I did try a set of new Groove Tubes 6L6GE that were sonically excellent but didn't last very long. Another modern power tube I've liked are the TAD 6L6 versions. Not quite up to the NOS Tung SOL, but close enough.
     
    Ricochet likes this.
  13. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    There's one in every crowd...:rolleyes:
     
  14. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    I'll definetly have to look at those new ToneMaster Fenders DR, PR, TR, since I have the SF tube ones... I would really be pleased if (finally - since the 60s !) they could have the same tone as my weighty oldies ! o_O:cool:

    A+!
     
    Ricochet likes this.
  15. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    The world is crumbling around us...

    My take on solid state amps up until now has been that I never like the clean channels. I'm usually just okay with the overdrive - it tends towards fast and the overdrive is right there, I usually don't have to work for it. But the cleans I usually can't stand. I so far have always preferred the silky or smokey or smooth clean tones of my tube amps. Solid state cleans have always been kind of thumpy and unpleasant.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
    Ricochet likes this.
  16. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Yeah we'd like your opinion :)

    I'll be very surprised if they rate anywhere near the vintage or re-issue tube amps. And considering how ordinary Fender SS amps have been so far they would be the least likely of all companies to achieve it imo :)

    The fans boys said the same thing of the Roland Blues Stage and Artist so I tested them myself and found they were no better than an JC-120 and maybe a tiny touch better than a Cube 60 or 80.
     
  17. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    An involved process that needs expensive components and materials to make good tubes and isn't exactly a high volume item. It doesn't surprise me more companies here aren't making them.
     
    TV the Wired Turtle and Henry like this.
  18. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    3A5BAF8D-F85C-436F-ABDD-ACA6F6C9E6F1.jpeg These aren't nos but of current production, they sound really good. @TV the Wired Turtle turtle turned me onto these. I have tried them in my Joyo Atomic and Orange Micro Dark and it did make them sound better not quite as thin. But I pulled them out because now I want to try them in my XXX amps. I think NOS is a scam in most cases, tubes someone pulled out of a device that has already burned them for hours and resold as holy grail tubes. I'm sure there are a few out there that are incredible but mostly I think its mumbo jumbo.

     

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    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  19. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    The ragin era Clean air act put the nail in the coffin for the state side tube companies. GE last produced tubes in
    I think 85?? I could be wrong but it was around that time. And ya the only things left these days are the cast offs
    from the military, at least from the USA. Still many euro tubes of joy to procure. I was gonna die a happy boy back
    when Ei took over tesla and for several yrs I had the best sounding tubes of my life.. but then all of a sudden quality went to sheepnip and they fell apart, totally microphonic crappola. These 90s tubes now listed as NOS and expensive :) I think most can be happy w the tungsol reissue and the EHX tubes, Genelex Gold lion if you want to be fancy for those extra bits of craft beer notes to the nose.
    I love them but they are lost on the likes of Fender blues and hotrod series amps.
     
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  20. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    These days many of the NOS tubes are old stock that nobody wanted because they were lame. Most of the good stuff is gone. I was able to still get good NOS tubes into the 90s but now most of it is gone. I'm not taking any chances on the old stuff that's left. There are actually some decent tubes being made today.
     
    Ricochet, Waxhead and Bertotti like this.
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