Well you are listing brands so I don't know? I am puzzled over how big the "used" tube market is. Not NOS but used tubes? I suspect it is a small market.
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You are quite right, Sugarbrie. I've been buying heavily through eBay for myself and local friends here and have rarely been disappointed. Especially German and most of the US sellers with good feedback can indeed be trusted. The measurements they give are usually correct and the items are packaged expertly and safely. Prices, if you are expert in clever bidding, are mostly not too bad.
My post may have been unclear, I am not talking about NOS tubes sold on Ebay....were talking stuff like Sovteks, Tesla, Svetlansa, Chinese stuff that are still made and sold by places like Tubeman, Tubestore, TriodeElectronics new for cheaper than what some ads here sell their used ones for.
I sometimes do feel that there are so many newbies or unscruplulous sellers who misuse the term NOS. It is my understanding, NOS means NEW OLD STOCK, if you find a 1950s 6DJ8 Amperex which has been used in a preamp, it is no longer NOS. It is USED OLD STOCK. It has gotten to the point where some people think anything other than a Current Prodcution stock tube is NOS. It just adds confusion and danger when buying tubes off places like Audiogon and Ebay.
just .02 more of thoughts
I think a lot of people use the term NOS to mean a tube that can be new [never used ] or a tube that is used and still tests in the new range. You need to know what the specs are for a tube you are thinking about buying and buy only tested tubes from one of the better sellers . Power tubes are very trickey to buy and have more risk fellow audiogon seller fletchj has been very good to Me . I also like tubeworld pricey but great tubes . lake513
It does blow my mind at times. But you have to remember a few things. If someone is selling KT88 for $20 each, that is below cost. Or in one case two dollars above. Who will work for that kind of money, including doing the buying, pack, ship, and test? And the cost of rejects?
Tesla is notorious for not taking back tubes that are defective. In fact, we negotiate knowing we won't get back a penny. If properly tested for all parameters, you will kick out maybe 20% if them.
All parameters means also tubes that draw excessive screen current. No commercially built machine tests for that. We had one built. And it costs thousands. In some amps, you won't have a problem. In some larger ones, you will break the amp.
So saving a few bucks may or may not be worth it. Ask SPECIFICALLY what is tested.
I have a lot of $$$ in defects here that I won't sell to end users. There are known parties that buy tubes that are out of spec. They test 'em on a TV-7 and sell them as "new, tested" which in fact they are. But doesn't mean I would use them! But these tubes do not disappear.