Your experiences with NOS tubes

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by What?, May 17, 2020.

  1. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious to hear from anyone who has gone down the NOS rabbit hole and came out the other end more satisfied with their sound or not, particularly for non high-gain tones of clean, edge of breakup, to mid gain from classic Marshall amps.

    NOS stuff is crazy expensive these days, and I have read lots of reports of both good and bad experiences, ranging from points of view that it makes all the difference over new production stuff to paying too much for old junk.

    Opinions on where NOS tubes really matter also seems to cover the spectrum, i.e, some people say that the big difference is in V1, or every position. Some say that rectifiers don't matter in sound, only in reliability, where others say otherwise. Same goes for power tubes.

    Then there are reasons why NOS might matter. Clarity, dimension, noise, breakup character, reliability.

    What has your personal experience been?
     
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  2. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    If it "is" a real NOS tube? New Old Stock.
    This is a tube which has never been used, it's new.

    NOS is not an old tube which has been "tested." NOS means that you are using a brand new tube that was made many years ago.

    Testing does not detect 60% of the defects in audio vacuum tubes. Test machine only tells you 40% of what you need to know.

    Therefore:
    If you bought "NOS" tubes that have been "tested," you may have just paid for old used junk noisy tubes.
    BEWARE
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  3. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    Just pulled the trigger yesterday on strong XF2 EL34 Mullards for my 800
    and trying to find some KT66 Gec's for my Vintage Modern which are worth every penny
    tone wise !.......I've installed them before in my VM and they are awesome.
     
  4. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Yea, that is another issue.
     
  5. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    What specific tonal differences did you notice? What did they replace?
     
  6. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Yes. Sellers are selling used tubes that they "test" as n.o.s. That is NOT n.o.s.!

    N.O.S. stands for New old stock, which means stock that was never used, so effectively new, with no use, but old original stock. There is no test for new old stock, they either are never used or they are used, which takes them out of the category of N.o.s., and are USED TUBES! Don't be confused..tests as nos is a seller thing to take your mind away from the fact the tubes they're selling are USED, and should sell for LESS than NOS tubes, which by definition are UNUSED.
     
  7. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    I will show you how to spot a fake "NOS" tube.
     
  8. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    There doesn't seem to be a way to definitively test whether tubes are actually NOS or used. NOS is like a box of chocolates?
     
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  9. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The first indicator is when they list as new old stock, but then in the description they say tests as nos.
     
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  10. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    In my limited experience with nos tubes I dont think they sound any better than current production tubes, but they should last longer (maybe forever) due to heavier construction of yesteryear.
     
  11. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    No. Either they were used or they wernt. Tests as nos is not nos..browning getter flash, heat indicators on the base like browning, smallcracks..logo discoloring are all indicators of bullshit nos.
     
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  12. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    XF2 dual halo Mullards are some of the most powerful el34s I have ever had, and they were used tubes out of an old pa head..the best el34 that I have ever had.
     
  13. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    What has been your experience?
     
  14. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Limited.
     
  15. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean by 'powerful'?
     
  16. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    NEW OLD STOCK. The prerequisites are in the title. It's not a test no matter how many tube vendors would like to make you believe that.
     
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  17. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Louder, strong. Less flubby, imo more headroom than n.p.

    idk if they are worth what people pay for them, but they are great tubes.
     
  18. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    1. A Real NOS tube. Look carefully.

    (real NOS sold by The Tube Store)

    The silver coating inside the tube is shiny and bright like a mirror.
    There is no discoloration of the silver inside the tube.
    This is the most important thing to learn about NEW vacuum tubes: SHINY BRIGHT MIRROR INSIDE THE TUBE, NO discoloration.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  19. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    They award themselves "NOS" status, for their old junk used tubes. :lol: mighty generous.
     
  20. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a description of early Malcolm Young.
     

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