Tube Depot's "NOS vacuum tube sale"

Tube Depot does distinguish between "lightly used" and NOS.  Where do all the new old stock tubes keep coming from?  It's like there is an infinite supply?


. . . SED Winged C EL34s that are theoretically NOS for only $100 a pop and all I need are a dozen. . . .

I think they are legit. They have very few tubes I use- I did buy a pair of old NIB 12ax7 Tele ribbed plates from them a couple years ago- fresh old stock. They had a pair of NIB WE 3ooBs for close to 20 grand at one point (with boxes that looked pretty old).

I like Andy at Vintage Tube Services for pristine stuff, but he doesn’t carry some of the tubes I use-- old DR Reflector 6h30, GEC u52 rectifier.

I would regard them as the real deal, but call before you buy to get specific. Tubes are really pricey these days and if you are buying true NOS, it behooves you to verify what you are buying.

And, to answer your question about unlimited supply, no. That's partly why these things are now so costly. I see some of the rare tubes coming out of Vietnam, India and other countries. It's getting harder to find fresh specimens of desirable audio tubes. 

There isn’t an infinite supply.   I got several rectifiers from them.  All 6 looked like they were pulls.  Absolutely no doubt they were at one time in service.  All looked poor   Several had a band of oxidation around the pins where the tube sockets made contact.  

I would never buy NOS again from them.   They did refund me but it was a bad experience.   

@oddiofyl That’s good information. I’m looking around for various nos tubes at the moment and keep running into their website via google search. 

Andy (Vintage Tube Service) is the best I have experienced within the US, but he has some limitations. He’s pretty old school too, which is fun but don’t expect instant gratification. I’m surprised Tube Depot would sell pulls as NIB/NOS- I don’t question your experience, that’s disappointing. What I got from them was pristine, but at the price-- for what I regarded as a common tube that I used to buy for 10 bucks--I’d expect the real deal. Being a "tube" audiophile is getting more difficult.

I’m actually considering a small solid state amp- possibly a Valvet- to substitute for my Lamm ML2s when I’m listening less critically. It’s supposed to be a good amp. Hard to find 12 watt solid state amps these days made to a quality level.

@whart  , I did buy some tubes (12au7s, 6922s, 6550s) from Andy back before 9/11 and I was mostly happy.  As far as Tube Depot goes, I do note that some of the vintage tubes they have on sale are specifically listed as having light use on them.  There are some Tung Sol (not the Russian reissue) EL34s that come to mind, and I think there may have been some 6SN7s listed the same way.  Probably more, but those were the only two tu8be types I was really looking at.