Tube Vendors

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Captain Humble

Tube Vendors
« on: 14 Dec 2006, 01:28 pm »
Recently, one of our members saw a post of mine that indicated that I had purchased a Tung-Sol tube from the Tube-Shop and he asked for feedback regarding that vendor.

Being new to tubes myself, I had simply googled the tube I was looking for and placed an order.
At that time all I knew about the Tube-Shop was that they are based in the UK.
Obviously I took a small chance that they were a reputable company.

So now I'm thinking that it would be nice if there was a single thread that covered tube suppliers and our collective experiences dealing with those vendors.  So...I'll start it off and I hope others will provide feedback regarding their tube buying experiences.

http://www.tube-shop.com/

THE TUBE-SHOP:

1.  I ordered a Tung-Sol on 11/28/06 & received an order confirmation email that day.

2.  I Received a credit card transaction email on the 29th.

3.  There was no further communication from the Tube Shop until I sent them the following on 12/6/06:

Quote
Your website indicates that my order is still being processed.

I received your confirmation email of your receipt of my order a week ago so I’m most curious as to when you intend to ship.  Please advise.

When you do ship, do you email a tracking number to me?

I’m also curious to know if this is a new tube or used tube.

The details below are from your email to me confirming receipt of my order on 11/28/06.

Thank you,

Jeff

4.  Received the following from the Tube-Shop on 12/6/06:

Quote
Dear Jeff,
 
Firstly thanks for ordering with Tube-Shop.com!  We are having a few problems with the web site at the moment, the order status page is not updating properly.  Your order was shipped on 29th November and should be with you by the end of the week.  The consignment number is RI 4365 5753 9GB.  The tube is brand new, the only use it has had was during testing.
 
If you need any other assistance, please let me know.
 
Kind regards
Joanne Smith

5.  Received the tube via US Mail 12/11/06.

6.  The tube plays fine and was well packaged including a pin protector.

7.  The tube was double boxed and packed in peanuts.

8.  I would buy from them again.

Jeff

Scott F.

Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #1 on: 15 Dec 2006, 12:23 am »
I've ordered a from a couple of different online vendors and had good luck.



The Tube Store in Ontario - http://www.thetubestore.com/index.html
They carry (mainly) new tubes. they do have the odd selection of NOS but their supply is spotty. Of the tubes I've ordered (12A series, some 6BM8's plus an odd tube or two), from the time of ordering to reciept wasn't more than a week at most. I called rather than using the online checkout.

Rating (1-5, 5 being best)
Service -  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
Pricing -  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:




Parts Express - http://www.partsexpress.com/

Again, mainly new tubes though they do have some odd JAN NOS tubes. I've ordered from them about two or three times.

Service -  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
Pricing -  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:



Triode Electronics - http://store.triodestore.com/

I've not ordered tubes from them (though they do carry them), I've ordered nifty resistors and caps from them and had really good luck with them.

Service -  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
Pricing -  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:



Upscale Audio - www.upscaleaudio.com

I know, I know....Kevin takes a lot of crap at times for the price of his tubes and sometimes his service but I've had nothing but good luck from Kevin. I know his prices are high (sometimes really high) but if you want teh best, sometimes you just have to bit the bullet and pry open your wallet.

Service -  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
Pricing -  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:



Vacuum Tube Valley - http://www.vacuumtube.com/

This is one I'll list but I really don't want to get into the reasons other than to say that I will never deal with these guys again.

Service -   :thumbdown:
Pricing -  :thumb: :thumb:




If I think of any more, I'll add them later.

SET Man

Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #2 on: 15 Dec 2006, 04:07 am »
Hey!

 Scott, that is a very creative way of using the thumb smiley :lol:

 Yes, I do agreed with you on the Triode Electronic. I've ordered from them couple of time... but not lately. They do have great price and service... I just wish they have more selection on they site.

   Upscale Audio is great for nice NOS but you pay hefty for it :?

Take care,
Buddy :thumb:

nunhgrader

  • Jr. Member
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Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #3 on: 15 Dec 2006, 07:33 am »
Great topic!

Scott F. beat me to the punch with the Tube Store. At the moment, I purchase only 6BQ5/EL84 in a set of two for my headphone amp. Great service, double-boxed - no problem. Also used Parts Express with similar success. Borrowing Scott F.'s rating system.

Also, I have used:

Antique Electronics: http://www.tubesandmore.com/
Service:  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
Pricing:   :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

The Tube Center: http://www.thetubecenter.com/index.html
Service:  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
Pricing:   :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:



Wanting to try out this guy (these guys/ gals?):

http://www.dougstubes.com


For a wealth of resources (that I have used), check out this link:

http://www.triodeel.com/tlinks.htm

Which is part of this page:

http://www.triodeelectronics.com/


« Last Edit: 15 Dec 2006, 07:44 am by nunhgrader »

Kim S.

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  • Posts: 188
Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #4 on: 15 Dec 2006, 11:47 am »
I'm new to tubes also so this is a useful thread.  I've ordered from Brent Jesse, http://www.audiotubes.com and have been very satisfied.  His web site had alot of  information about individual tubes and lets you try to figure out what might best suit your needs and be the better buy.  Some of the other sites I visited did not mention any weakness in any of the tubes they sold so it was hard to decide what would be best.  Brent also sells some cool T-shirts with vintage tube logos.

TheChairGuy

Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #5 on: 15 Dec 2006, 06:52 pm »
I made this  sticky as I think it a great resource for all in the future  :thumb:

Here's an interesting resource I just found last night - on ebay:

http://stores.ebay.com/SaleRCS

They sell only new, not NOS...but EVERYTHING is cryo'ed, and at prices less than I've found for non-cryoed equivalents.  I'm not sure how they do that...but I've got two shiny new, cryo'ed Electro-Harmonix 5U4GB rectifiers coming shortly and will see.

EDIT: They arrived, packed beautifully, and sound great

I paid $11.95 per for them (cryo'ed) vs. the same non-cryo'ed (and, also, not matched) tube from the normally well-priced Joe at Triode Electronics for $13.45  :o

They are located in nearby Milpitas, CA (south of San Francisco), so shipments to CA are fast, in particular.

I haven't found NOS tubes to be any particularly better than new ones if chosen carefully (the main benefit either way is that you are swapping out a tired, languid tube for a fresh one, full of vim and vigor), so I'll probably make use of these guys a lot.  Some of you hardened NOS guys may not care for their offerings, tho.

I also can't truly point to any superiority of cryo'ed tubes over non-cryo'ed....but if I'm not paying any more for them that way, I'll buy them from him that way  :wink:
« Last Edit: 22 Dec 2006, 03:23 am by TheChairGuy »

nunhgrader

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Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #6 on: 22 Dec 2006, 01:43 am »
Re: TheChairGuy - those prices are cheap! Thanks for link; I've always wanted to try the cryo'ed verions.

mjosef

Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #7 on: 22 Dec 2006, 02:16 am »
Waw...I bought a quad of Tung Sol 6550 for more than he is selling his cryoed versions. He has some good prices...I may just try some of his stuff.
I didn't see his return policy...does he exchange defective tubes?

TheChairGuy

Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #8 on: 22 Dec 2006, 04:20 pm »
Waw...I bought a quad of Tung Sol 6550 for more than he is selling his cryoed versions. He has some good prices...I may just try some of his stuff.
I didn't see his return policy...does he exchange defective tubes?

I'm not sure, you may want to ask him.  The proprietors name seems to be Ron Shelton...as this was the PayPal account I sent it to.

My rectifiers were packed in total overkill packaging - it's unlikely they'll break on the ride...it would only be a case of defective tube (from factory) that you'd need to use any exchange policy.

I may just buy some cryo'ed EH 12au7's from him now I'm so pleased, overall.

John/TCG

R_burke

Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #9 on: 22 Dec 2006, 06:29 pm »
Here's a direct link to his Store website and it's return policy

http://www.cryoset.com/catalog/shipping.php?osCsid=f5d122242cbf5b02907e5ac9d72ec017


JoshK

Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #10 on: 22 Dec 2006, 07:22 pm »
Never bought from them myself, but http://www.angela.com/ seems to have a good selection and reasonable prices.

mjosef

Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #11 on: 22 Dec 2006, 07:31 pm »
Thanks Burke...didn't see it on the ebay store. I ordered my matching quad of Tung sol 6550 from Triode, took them a while to ship, and when I received them, one of the tubes wouldn't bias , so had another delay of having to return the tubes(the whole quad) to them and waiting another week or two for replacement, can't say I care too much for their service...they don't test the tubes they ship, they rely on the factory testing them. yeah rite.
I recently ordered a couple pairs of small NOS tubes from Jim McShane, and am quite happy with his service. He tests all his tubes and notes the results on the tube themselves as well as on the box. Plus his prices are very reasonable.

lonewolfny42

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Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #12 on: 25 Dec 2006, 07:13 am »
Good service from the Tube-Shop..... http://www.tube-shop.com/
Captain Humble ordered a tube for me (Tung-Sol 2C51)....shipped from England on 12/19, arrived in fine shape-well packed on 12/22/06 - USPS. Good service....good tube....thanks Jeff :D

Gordy

Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #13 on: 25 Dec 2006, 12:59 pm »
Vintage Tube Services. Andy Bouwman is simply the best. He meticulously tests and matches his tubes every which way from Sunday. His prices are quite fair, and he offers a return policy but you won't need it. If he says the tubes are matched and quiet, you can take it to the bank. He always polishes the pins before he ships them. He never answers emails. You must call him. If he says he will call you back, don't count on it. It won't happen. Taking delivery sometimes takes two weeks, so it's not instant gratification, but his tubes are the real deal and will not disappoint.  Highly recommended despite his quirks. He is quitting the tube business shortly. He will be sorely missed.


I agree 100%.  Andy and his tube services are simply amazing!   He is a veritable encyclopedia of tube knowledge so be prepared for an enlightening conversation  8)  He also will test tubes that were bought from other sources should you ever need it. 


Captain Humble

Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #14 on: 25 Dec 2006, 03:30 pm »
Good service from the Tube-Shop..... http://www.tube-shop.com/
Captain Humble ordered a tube for me (Tung-Sol 2C51)....shipped from England on 12/19, arrived in fine shape-well packed on 12/22/06 - USPS. Good service....good tube....thanks Jeff :D
My pleasure Chris. :thumb:

The WE396A you sent me didn't make it to Dallas before we left for New Orleans.
I'm looking forward to taking it for a spin when we get home.
Thanks.
« Last Edit: 28 Dec 2006, 08:54 am by Captain Humble »

Hogg

Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #15 on: 25 Dec 2006, 04:42 pm »
If you like JJ tubes and amplifiers, give Bob a shot at your business.  I've purchased several tubes and one amp from him.  He's easy to work with a true to his word.

http://www.eurotubes.com

Product:   :smoke: :smoke: :smoke: :smoke:

Service:    :smoke: :smoke: :smoke: :smoke:

                                                                                    Jim

rollo

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Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #16 on: 2 Jan 2007, 11:05 pm »
VINTAGE TUBE SERVICE--simply the best as far as quality and advice.He has a special way of descaling tube pins that I must say works.He tests the hell out of the tubes.I've ordered mirror matched with great success.He also GUARENTEES for one year.
Rollo

TjMV3

Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #17 on: 7 Jan 2007, 05:01 pm »
http://www.triodeelectronics.com/

I ordered a matched pair of JJ/Tesla Ecc802/12AU7 (Long Plates) on December 29,  by phone,  and they arrived at my home on January 3rd.  Tubes work beautifully!! Helpfull and friendly. 

Product:   :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

Service/Price:  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

Ordered another matched pair of the same tubes,  on Friday.

« Last Edit: 7 Jan 2007, 05:28 pm by TjMV3 »

mcgsxr

Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #18 on: 7 Jan 2007, 07:00 pm »
Jim McShane, great guy, great products.

SET Man

Re: Tube Vendors
« Reply #19 on: 7 Jan 2007, 07:21 pm »
http://www.triodeelectronics.com/

I ordered a matched pair of JJ/Tesla Ecc802/12AU7 (Long Plates) on December 29,  by phone,  and they arrived at my home on January 3rd.  Tubes work beautifully!! Helpfull and friendly. 

Product:   :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

Service/Price:  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

Ordered another matched pair of the same tubes,  on Friday.



Hey!

   Yup, they are great, very good price and fast shipping. I've ordered from them couple of times before. I just wish that they have more selection. :?

    I would love to get a quad of Ei 12AX7 Gold Elite but they seem to be out for a long time now. :(

Take care,
Buddy :thumb: