Have you ever purchased (1) one or more "NEW" ( not NOS ) replacement vacuum tubes;  - - especially POWER TUBES ? How satisfied were you of the results and especially, the seller ? Something I thought it important to share; - - - - I too have bought many tubes from dealers in the USA; - - especially UPSCALE AUDIO. =Though I've read that an occasional buyer was less than thrilled for one reason or another, UPSCALE, in my opinion is the most reliable source anywhere. The reasons why can be easily determined by visiting their website, and read what KEVIN has to say. Be it said, that this is merely a preface, and not a advertisement for UPSCALE.

In writing this, what my purpose is, to put forth a WARNUNG ! 

Recently I was looking for a "NEW" matched quad of KT88's at a good price. In doing so I became lured to CHINA websites. In particular,

"CHINA-HI-FI.COM" Seemingly a well established seller of many brands of CHINESE made audio gear including vacuum tubes. In scanning through their offerings I came across a listing of a matched quad of SHU-GUANG "TREASURE" KT88-Z tubes. A brand I have used in the past, successfully. The price was right so I went ahead with the purchase.  

Just recently, I had occasion to test the tubes, prior to installation. "OH MY GOD". I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and decided to go to a good tech in Chicago to verify.  I wasn't wrong !! All four tubes were defective in various ways. Gassy, extremely low output, shorts, etc. In other words they were all reject "junk". So, I contacted the seller in China, and notified him of my findings. It took a while for a response. He wanted pictures. Then the usual rhetoric !! I asked him for an immediate refund, "NOT REPLACEMENTS". As I should have expected, he went silent on me.  Frankly, I am of the opinion that he knew he was selling me defective tubes. Otherwise, you would think that at least one of the four would have tested good.

So at this point all I can do for my fellow audiophiles is send out a warning about CHINA-HI-FI.COM. If this is an example of how they do business,- - - 

well, you get the idea.


Hi, sorry to read about your tube experiences. About five years ago, I re-tubed a McIntosh  MR-71 FM tuner with replacement tubes that were all NOS. It was expensive, but worth it. I used Telefunken tubes from the 1950's and 1960's, all bought from reputable online tube dealers. I deliberately avoided using new tubes because of issues raised by axpert's post. The results of my project? The tuner sounds wonderful, glad I spent the money to do it. 

I have bought quite a few tubes lately.  No problems with small input tubes, these guys last forever.  Got a couple of bad power tubes.  Some were NOS and some were tested good.  I got one bad tube of each kind.  These were ebay purchases.  I politely contacted the sellers who promptly sent me a good replacement. One was from Slovenia. No stress.  --Jerry

"I re-tubed a McIntosh  MR-71 FM tuner with replacement tubes that were all NOS. It was expensive, but worth it. I used Telefunken tubes from the 1950's and 1960's, all bought from reputable online tube dealers."


I use a 65 MR 71. 13 NOS Telefunken  tubes= WOW, kinda pricey? I was advised  just the 2(L/R)audio output tubes would (if at all) make a noticeable SQ difference and a alignment with any tube change regardless of tube pedigree and proper antennae make biggest impact.

I use a pair of Raytheon's in the output stage. The rest are RAM "premium" grade(also pricey, but not as bad as your Tele's)


Sounds like the first three gentlemen that responded were smarter than I, or at least "should have been". I recommend that if anyone asks for a source recommendation for vacuum tubes, that you steer them away from CHINA-HI-FI

Thanks gentlemen for you input.

Thanks. I have looked at that page, & considered buying a quad of Psvanes or Shuguang KT88T. However their shipping charge was quite ridiculous, IE $100+ to the US. I tried email to check if that was correct but never got a reply. That told me a lot about customer service. Actually, Customer service in that area of the world seems to have a different meaning than what I am accustomed to.