WARNING, buying old Valves

Discussion in 'eBay Deals' started by Seanxk, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Georgiatec

    Georgiatec Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Looking for something I don't remember what.
    Does it work, yes, does it sound good, yes = it's a good tube. No to either of these questions = a bad tube.
     
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  2. guzzis3

    guzzis3 Well-Known Member

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    They were one of the top valve companies back in the old days. I think they invented the KT88.

    You can tell a lot about a valve with a visual inspection, assuming you know what you are looking at and your eyes still work with the aid of both reading glasses and magnifying glass... (posting for a friend)..
     
  3. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member

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    Lions are in many countries. Why associate with China?


    upload_2019-10-5_23-41-48.jpeg
     
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  4. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Tubes made in "the good old days" by the likes of Mullard, Amperex, GE, Tung-Sol, Telefunken, Siemens, Philips, Sylvania, etc. were built to a very high quality standard and they rejected and crushed any tubes not meeting their rigid quality control standards. Mullard in particular was known for pulling a REALLY hard vacuum which contributed greatly to enhanced tube life.

    All tube factories still in existence today will ship tubes that any of the old manufacturers would never let get out the door. The Russian Reflektor factory and the Chinese Shuguang factory both have a practice of shipping anything out the door that looks and acts sort of like the tube it's supposed to be. Quality control is questionable at best, and at worst, when it happens, it's a happy accident.

    Today, you can get good tubes but you pay a premium for tight tolerance matching and extended burn-in period. Things that weren't considered necessary back in the golden age, because the manufacturing quality was so high and acceptance standards were high and rigid.

    Yes, there IS something about vintage/NOS tubes. It's the quality standards that went into them, in addition to a level of tube buildlng expertise that hasn't been seen since the Sylvania-Philips and Mullard factories shut their doors.

    That doesn't mean there aren't some good new built tubes to be had these days. But the odds of any given one of them being built to Mullard or Sylvania quality standards are not particularly good. If you do find some good ones, they should sound like some NOS classic examples. They might even last as long, if their vacuum is as as hard.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  5. Seanxk

    Seanxk Well-Known Member

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    Well they did sell for £29.00 ( perhaps ), anyway my concern apart from that I originally posted, was, the Mullard EL34 production evolution numbers went from x f 1 up to x f 5, starting in the 50's and ending production in the 80's ( guessing ), now that ''Mullard'' logo is 1970's and on, yet all three valves have the same codes ( even that's odd/rare ) all dating from 62 which is correct for x f 2 but not for that logo which is x f 4 and 5.
     
  6. Seanxk

    Seanxk Well-Known Member

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    Personally I would have kept a few.

    I do like to buy New and NOS and I will buy some New current EL34's for my SB mk2 which is thrashed regularly.
    But those of us who own a JTM45/100 and especially the one with the RS choke which is running 580V on the plates with some even higher, new production KT66 will not stand up for very long, but she's happy with 4 x GEC KT66.
    Ratings for China/Russian are around 500V max, GEC 550V ( and the rest ).
    I'd be too nervous to gig it with new ones to be honest.
     
  7. slide222

    slide222 Well-Known Member

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    i have always thought this , if like me you know nothing about tube recognition -is it good , is it just old shite that that should have been binned along time ago , I've read lots about nos tubes , and no thx i'll just buy new and miss out on the expensive nos tubes experience
    and vintage speakers is another roll of the dice .i'd rather buy new and know what I have
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
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  8. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Gold Lions didn't come sealed in plastic bags from the factory. Somebody put the plastic on long after the fact.
    Which just goes to show you that what you are buying is so questionable.
    It's convenient that you can't look inside at what you are buying until the plastic is removed...:rolleyes:
    It's a fabrication.

    If you are buying "NOS" tubes:
    make sure you can see the whole tube insides, top to bottom before you shell out your cash.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
  9. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    If those are fakes then someone went to a great deal of effort to duplicate the details of originals. I would be inclined to believe that they are real and original.
    Of course I could be wrong.


    I just bought an apex matched quad of Chinese KT-66's with a one year guarantee, issued by the seller, good for any failure other than broken glass.

    For just a hundred bucks for the brand new set, I didn't have to struggle to make the decision to buy them.
     
  10. Seanxk

    Seanxk Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's a surprise, our friend the 100% EL34 just made another sale ( 3rd or 4th attempt ) and made £144.00, I suppose you just have to keep trying or perhaps it helped being mixed in a lot. Interesting thing is the seller always showed the red plating on the valve, so all credit to him really. Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 18.36.25.png
     
  11. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Gold Lion was made in Albion.
    But later New Sensor bought the Gold Lion name and started making them in Russia.
    New Sensor also bought Tungsol, Mullard etc...
    So the new ones are not made the same probably because of environmental regulations.
    Lead, Mercury etc had to be changed to different materials to conform with ROHS.
     
  12. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    They are fake in the sense that they have been re-packaged so you can't see the insides of the glass.
    There was no plastic vacuum bag sealer when those valves were actually manufactured....that plastic bag was added much later.
    But the tubes are real I agree. It's just the way they are presented which arouses suspicion.
    If you can't see the insides of the glass: I would be suspicious. Somebody's trying to conceal something.
    [​IMG]

    There's something fishy about this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  13. Seanxk

    Seanxk Well-Known Member

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    Actually all Gold Lions came in sealed bags, they also contained a test report for that actual valve.
    It does leave room for adding a bag to make them more valuable later though. The only way to tell if the bag is original is to bury it in landfill for 1000 years and then dig it up to see if it's still ok, if it is then it's original.
     
  14. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe that those plastic bags are original.
     
  15. Seanxk

    Seanxk Well-Known Member

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    As the bags are already open, it wouldn't hurt to open them properly. Then test them and see if they match the report, although that may be difficult as their testers were real situation testers, not easy for those of us that may even have a normal tester.
     

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