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Reliable online source for matched valves / tubes

Discussion in 'audio' started by James, Aug 2, 2021.

  1. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    That's very kind of you, Sean.

    If you have a pair of NOS Mullard ECC82 and four ECC83, we might be able to talk turkey.

    Right now, I'm trying to wrap my head around the variables of (1) new vs used, (2) new vs NOS, (3) matching, (4) flavours and (5) pricing.
  2. Salamander

    Salamander pfm Member

    Everytime I look on there the less choice there seems to be, Hotrox have been recommended by many
  3. eguth

    eguth pfm Member

    I believe that you may well be quite right in thinking it was a bad batch from JJ. You are not the first with that experience.

    Eurovalves have a special relationship with JJ- I think some kind of family connexion. Their shipments from JJ are pre- selected at the JJ factory. Eurotubes give them tests, break in and matching. I have always been very satisfied with JJs purchased from Eurotubes, and a big fan of JJs.
  4. eguth

    eguth pfm Member

    Why not add (6) military? I populated my (modified) Leak Troughline with NOS military equivalents and in every case there was an audible improvement. They are also likely to be more rugged and last longer.

    In my (modified) Radford STA 25/III, for example, Mullard EF86 just do not sound quite as good as NOS militaries- even unmatched militaries.
  5. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    They are a limited resource and running out. I remember the large valve store at GEC McMichael, full of CV types, in Slough that went into landfill in 1985. They would be worth a fortune now.
    Anyone buying valve amplifier now had better do a lifetime buy.
  6. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    JJ are my avoid at all costs brand FWIW... unreliable. I used to fix loads of valve guitar amps and JJ seemed the brand of output valves that most often failed catastrophically. I even once saw a melted EL34.. yes the glass envelope had melted!
  7. Sean K

    Sean K pfm Member

    Sorry,no, just the pair of ecc 83s and a variety of tuner valves EF86s, I think
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    They are a popular and sought-after tube, an input pentode and are used in Quad IIs, Leak TL12 Plus and many guitar amps.
  9. Sean K

    Sean K pfm Member

    Thanks Tony, I didn't know what they were for, they're obviously wasted on me. I need to dome some research an stick them in the classifieds or on ebay.
  10. fran

    fran pfm Member

    This is the thing that bothers me about your question. Its fairly rare for a valve not to glow, even when worn out, and this usually points to something else wrong. To rule out the valve, you might consider swapping the two of this pair around, and see does the other one glow in that socket. If it does, then it is something with the valve, but if not, then its more likely something else with the preamp.

    Maybe you've done this in which case ignore!!
  11. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    I swapped the 12AX7 valves around. It's the same one that does not light up.
  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Are they the same brand and type? As stated by others upthread different designs glow differently. That can be designs within brands, e.g. a 50s long-plate Mullard will look different from a mid-60s short-plate.
  13. Mike P

    Mike P pfm Member

    Hot Rox are another decent UK supplier.

    I've had nothing but good experiences with modern production Sovtek manufactured valves, so far.
    Si74 likes this.
  14. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The Sovtek 12AX7LPS is probably my favourite new-production ECC83 type. I’ve not heard absolutely everything on the market, but it is a very decent valve and would certainly act as a cheap stop-gap/benchmark until James has had time to really research the NOS market. No idea about ECC82s, I haven’t heard any new production I’ve liked the sound of there. They tend to be a lot cheaper than ECC83s so NOS is the way to go IMO.
  15. The Bish

    The Bish pfm Member


    I've got hundreds of lightly used or NOS ECC83s, 5751s, ECC82s, 12BH7s, and other small signal valves which you might be interested in. Bit of a long story but my father lives in the US and as a radio ham and tech has been building up a stash over the years, which he has now sent to me to sell as he is getting too old to put them to use, so a lot of them are US brands such as RCA, Sylvania, Westinghouse, GE, Kenrad, Raytheon etc, but I do also have some European valves including some Mullards, Tungsrams, and Phillips. I am getting around to setting up a shop on Ebay / Etsy etc as a side business but haven't yet found the time to do it, but I am updating a big spreadsheet with list of what I have and the prices which I can send over later this week if interested. I now also have Maxipreamp and maximatcher valve testers so can test for Gm, noise, and gain and can get a quad matched up for any where I have 4 of the same type.

    Or if you just wanted to use the Maxipreamp to test any you buy elsewhere then happy to test any if you like.

  16. The Bish

    The Bish pfm Member

    Ah just spotted you are in NZ - might make it a bit trickier to send!
  17. Si74

    Si74 pfm Member

    Shame they stopped making KT 88s as these were the best sounding (o.i.m.o) and most reliable I've ever had. Never had a Sovtek fail, wish the same could be said for E.H. and JJ's
  18. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

  19. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    Maybe for the Maxipreamp and maximatcher, but small valves are light and compact.

    If you can find a quad of matching ECC83 and a pair of ECC82 in your stash, I would entertain the idea of buying them from you.
  20. The Bish

    The Bish pfm Member

    James, I’ll have a look on Saturday and drop you a pm.
    James likes this.

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