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    The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

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    Bob Latino
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    The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by Bob Latino on Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:26 pm

    If you are hung up on running NOS tubes in your amp or preamp these days, you better have deep pockets. The prices keep rising ... Yes - they probably are better made because all the older tubes from the 1950's and 1960's were made in the USA, Great Britain and Germany. Now all the tubes are made in Russia, China and the Slovak Republic and quality control and the actual materials that the tube are made from are many times not quite as good. This is not an indictment of ALL newly made tubes. The Gold Lion and Tung-Sol tubes now made in Russia seem quite good. The Gold Lion KT66 is the best output tube I have ever used in my own VTA ST-70 amp. Check out this PAIR of Western Electric 300A tubes being auctioned off at the Ebay link below. As I write this, there are three days left in the Ebay auction. What do your think the bids are up to on this pair of tubes ? I wonder what the winning bid will be? Check the link below to find out ... Only a tube "collector" would pay the $$$$ that these tubes will bring. I don't think any "user" of tubes would pay this kind of price for a pair of tubes.

    Western Electric 300A tubes being auctioned off on Ebay (ending 1/9/16)

    Bob

    peterh

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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by peterh on Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:03 pm

    It reminds me of the tulip bubble in netherlands ....

    evoroadster

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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by evoroadster on Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:49 pm

    peterh wrote:It reminds me of the tulip bubble in netherlands ....

    Wow, I didn't realize you were that old!

    tubes4hifi
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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by tubes4hifi on Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:47 pm

    $4200, I would have guessed about half that much . . . .

    Kentley

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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by Kentley on Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:32 am

    My crystal ball predicts:

    In the year 2525, a canny archaeologist discovers my man-cave buried under a hundred foot rock. My stereo system, when decalcified and decoded, becomes the stuff of legend, as it still operates flawlessly, and becomes the centerpiece of the Historical Museum of Old Timey Music.

    And we will have VTA to blame, as well as my own astute and currently unassailable CD collection -- an ineffable commentary on life in the 21st century.

    Maybe....in my argon dreams.

    deepee99

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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by deepee99 on Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:11 pm

    All markets have bubbles, as peterh points out one of the first being the great tulip bubble of 1637.
    Market prices are set by buyers and sellers and one has to wonder, who are the buyers bidding these babies up? Are they speculators? ARC, McIntosh and the more esoteric tube-gear makers use Russian or Chinese tubes for the most part, so it isn't them. I'm unaware of any way to measure the growth, if such exists, in the DIY market which would seem to be the likeliest culprit in demand for NOS tubes, but there can't be that many new tube gear builders to justify the NOS price increases. But the vast majority of even tube fanatics want a plug-and-play situation and aren't going to go tube-rolling. Most ham gear these days is mainly solid-state, so it ain't those guys.
    The math doesn't make sense, either. A New Sensor Gold Lion KT-88 will give at least 3 years of high-quality service and costs 50 bucks. A NOS and properly tested TS 6550 runs nowadays for about $175-$200. So the antique Tung-Sol would have to run rock-steady for 8-10 years to meet the value of a new GL. I'd like to meet someone who has gotten that length of service out of any power tube in a guitar or hi-fi amp.
    I do prefer the sound of NOS Sylvanias and RCAs in the pre-amp and driver holes, and am willing to pay a premium over the Russkie prices. But I am sure the Russians will catch up, if we quit bombing their factories.
    Back to the original question one must posit: who's buying all these NOS tubes? Judging by the price curve, the answer has to be speculators -- people who are buying them not because they intend to use them, but because they are betting the price will keep rising and they'll make a fortune.
    Of such thinking, bubbles are created. Think 1929. Bernard Baruch's cab-driver told him that summer to load up on such-and-such stock, it was a sure thing. Baruch knew that when the common man was in for a quick buck, it was time to get out, and shorted everything. The rest, as they say, is history. The NOS $5 6SN7 and the $8 6550 aren't far ahead.





    sKiZo

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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by sKiZo on Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:44 pm

    How many watts can I get out of a tulip?  ;-}

    Blame it on the baby boomers just discovering tubes. 1950's Mullard GZ 37's are going for about $60 more than I paid a couple years back - if you can find them. Good thing I was a bit ahead of the crowd and  stocked up when I went crazy on the new amp. I'm good for another hunnerd years or so.

    And ya ... still a fan of the TungSol KT120 here ... those have gone up maybe $5 a pop since I got mine some time ago. Still a real deal IMHO.

    PS ... anyone else tracking the stock markets? Tube prices probably went up another 10% as I was typing this ...

    deepee99

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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by deepee99 on Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:03 pm

    sKiZo wrote:How many watts can I get out of a tulip?  ;-}



    PS ... anyone else tracking the stock markets? Tube prices probably went up another 10% as I was typing this ...
    On the other hand, the stock market appears to be going down the tubes . . . maybe into the tank.

    deepee99

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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:04 pm

    There is also the consideration that, on balance, the failure rate of NOS-advertised tubes these days is probably on the order of 25 percent or higher. When you factor that into the price things go pear-shaped in a bigger hurry.

    Bob Latino
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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by Bob Latino on Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:53 pm

    Just a note to let you all know that those two Western Electric 300A tubes finally sold for $10,300 USD. This is the highest price I personally have ever seen for a pair of NOS tubes. Undoubtedly a couple of "tube collectors" bidding hard against each other ..

    Bob

    deepee99

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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:12 pm

    Good Lord! Top o' the market, boys and girls. Sell what you absolutely can't live without for the next 100 years, and buy it back (along with a case of tulips) for 5 cents on the buck.

    Dave_in_Va

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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by Dave_in_Va on Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:21 pm

    What kind of gear would use a 300A?

    GP49

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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by GP49 on Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:06 pm

    The 300A and 300B are triodes, very low in distortion, and popular in homebuilt single-ended triode power amplifiers, often using a single 300 per channel, driven by 6SN7. They are capable of 7-9 watts output in this configuration.

    deepee99

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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by deepee99 on Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:02 pm

    GP49 wrote:The 300A and 300B are triodes, very low in distortion, and popular in homebuilt single-ended triode power amplifiers, often using a single 300 per channel, driven by 6SN7.  They are capable of 7-9 watts output in this configuration.
    So, let's see, $10k for tubes, plus building a room big enough for 130dB/watt high-efficiency horns. I guess if ya got the bucks, why not?

    GP49

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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by GP49 on Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:11 pm

    Chinese reproduction 300B are much less, around $120-$250.

    But they are...Chinese reproductions! Just as the Chinese EL34s, etc. are Chinese reproductions. Anyone who will tell you that a Russian or Chinese EL34 will hold up to the full plate voltage specified for the EL34 is kidding himself.

    Single-ended triodes are addictive but obviously require very efficient loudspeakers.

    sKiZo

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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by sKiZo on Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:08 pm

    Wonder if they plan to run those 10k tubes in a Chinese amp?

    Kentley

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    Re: The price of NOS tubes keeps rising ..

    Post by Kentley on Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:10 pm

    sKiZo wrote:Wonder if they plan to run those 10k tubes in a Chinese amp?
    Now THAT'S funny! lol!

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