The only answer I can think of off hand is to thoroughly explore current production tubes before you venture off into NOS. You might be surprised that in many instances the differences are not that great and perhaps not worth the extra money. I've found that I'm able to use mostly current production stuff, except for a couple of critical places.
Yeah, you know the run-up of the price of vintage sports cars has me pissed off too. I want an Aston Martin DB5 and $400k just seems too much. That makes nice cars exclusive to the wealthy! I am not happy.
WTF!? not being happy about it is not going to do anything about it. If anything, the price of tubes are going to continue to go up - as will anything in a supply/demand market where the supply is limited and demand outstrips supply. Welcome to capitalism. If you want some, get them now. If you dont' like it, there's always solid state or current production tubes. Be glad those are at least still being made.
There are sources that are less expensive than the tube sellers that advertise here on Audiogon. You just have to do some searching of the threads here on Audiogon to find them. Nevertheless, NOS tubes are rising in price, and there is no circumventing their basic market value.
Maybe one should invest in NOS tubes and resell them later for a profit. Just a thought.
Yeah it sucks.
Got an alternative idea?
Honestly, it amazes me how many people are ignorant of market dynamics; NOS tube sellers are only able to get what people are willing to pay: no more, no less. This system ensures a relativly ready supply of items which went out of manufacture many decades ago -- a rather amazing result of the market.
A rational consumer would consider the price of NOS tubes - and the rate of inflation for such tubes - at the time of equipment purchase. They would weigh the alternatives and make a choice based upon the pleasure they derrived for the dollar spent.
Now, how hard is that for an adult to figure out?
Ok listen. Ed Sawyer and Mprime are both right, the laws of supply and demand dictate the price of NOS tubes. Too bad.
But look you two, stop being jerks. The guy asked an honest question, and you two responded like a couple of pricks. Stop it.
I've said it before and I'll say it again here. The odds of actually getting TRUE NOS tubes are pretty small. It's a sucker market. Next time you go to buy some NOS tubes, ask the seller to list every place these tubes have been since the date of manufacture. When he stops laughing, tell him he can't have your money.
Lousyreeeds...How did you get that one past the censors?
Ed's comments are spot on!!!
"The odds of actually getting TRUE NOS tubes are pretty small."
Maybe, but true not if you know where to shop. And that's specifically NOT on Epay.
Besides, the term NOS is even open to interpretation itself.
The dwindling supply is certain part of the problem, but so is inflation. Remember that a $5 tube in 1950 would now cost you $37. Best advice is to buy what you can afford now or you will regret it later.
How much do you think a pair of 6922 Telefunken or Siemens of 1960-1970,should retail for into todays market?
I've seen them at 300-400$ dollars.I need two pairs.
Does it worth it ?Would I get a 800$ sound improvement?
Open to opinions from the more experienced fellow audiogoners.
Yioryos, first of all, 6922 Telefunkens are not very good (in my opinion). You should consider 6DJ8 Telefunkens instead.
I just clicked over to EBAY and looked at completed items.
Today, 6 Telefunken 6DJ8's closed at $25.00 each, "pulls" from a Hewlett-Packard oscilloscope. HP graded tubes tougher than most equipment manufacturers and these in good shape would be as good as new.
This type tube has a VERY long life. I put a used pair in my Aesthetix Io about four years ago and they still test and sound perfect.
Another 6922 option is the Mullard gold pin. I bought dozens of these a few years ago and prefer them to Siemens. I'll bet they can still be found if you look around.
I have hundreds of tubes, many NOS such as Genelex KT77 are getting too expensive, but other options usually exist, and in this case the Mullard EL 34 XF2 B.
I just purchased 17 of these XF2 B Mullards (all test new) at $53.00 each. Some people ask that for Russian Mullards EL34's, reproductions which are no better than Electro-Harmonix.
So, I believe NOS (or good used) vintage tubes are not only worth the effort and investment, they are a necessity in a high end hi fi system. Don't get distracted and pay the highest price, shop smart and stock up on the tubes you really need when you find them at a fair price.
Yioryos, I have recently sought Seimans CCas which are related to 6DJ8s. I ended up paying $215 for two. They came from Argentina, which gives you an idea of how rare NOS is becoming. There are also sought after Telefunkens CCas which seem to sell for more. I doubt if you will be able to buy four at one time, but what it really takes is patience in watching what is up on Ebay.
You ask whether you will get an $800 improvement. This is impossible to answer for someone else. I have an Exemplar/Denon 3910 universal player which used the 6829/7062 type tube. I have found they 1950s Amperex 7062 pinch waists which probably cost about $75 @ to be clearly superior. I would not want to do without them.
I hope all those who read my prior post were not offended when I called this a "sucker market". Chalk it up to cynicism, please. There are reputable dealers out there, but I still stand by my point. Unless the dealer can show you a 40 year old invoice that proves he's the only person who has ever owned these tubes, you can't be sure of what you are buying. It is important to know that a 6922 tube with 1000+ hours of use can, and probably will, test "as new".
I thought I could add some insight,based upon a recent experience that a friend of mine just had.After the two of us had Great Northern Sound VERY SUCCESSFULLY rebuild,from the ground up,and,not cheap,our Audio research SP-15 preamps(which use 3 -6dj8 type tubes in te hybrid phono section)I went on a tube rolling binge and wound up using Mullard's Ediswan based types.I tried about 5 different type of manufacturers before arriving with these.They gave me the sound I was looking for,and since I was able to acquire 2 ultra low noise sets from Upscale Audio I was happy.My friend on the other handWho already had mirrored my experiences,and who already had an additional set of low noise(Upscale Audio again)Gold pinned Mullards,like Albert mentioned, continued to spend on nos like there was no tommorrow.He loves to spend money on this hobby,sometimes with little improvement,and I always learn from his experiences,so,off to the races he went.After investing literally 1000.00 on three sets of 3 each low noise(supposedly?)Tele cca's we found to our dismay and wasted listening sessions that the tubes sounded bright and unsatisfactory,based upon the HUGE improvement that had been made to the phonostage from the recent updates.He ultimately went back to the gold pinned Mullards and sold the Teles,for a loss.He got the 3 sets from 2 different dealers both with(suppossedly?)good reputations.I don't want to bum you out,but,beware of spending megabucks out there.I also heard,from reliable sources that there are some unsavory types out there that are actually able to mark the tube logos of Teles,Mullards etc.on the elcheapo reject tubes and sell them to unsuspecting customers.My advice: Buddy up to an audio pal like Albert Porter,buy him some pricey wine,take him to a REALLY good restaurant,and spend some big bucks on his favorite dish.Maybe even throw in a new reference lp that he has never heard.Then,when the timing is just right,put on your most vulnerable/sad face and plead with him to part with some of his private stash.That's your best scenario for success!
Tkfaudio, you got it right, guy! A tube with 1000's of hours on it can measure "NOS". That's the rub. Ask Bob at Eurotubes, one of the nicest and most honest guys in the business. He opened my eyes to this fact. His years in the tube arena taught him that a good tube will measure like a NOS tube until it is near the end of its life, at which time it will degrade rather quickly. And you have all these tube sharks picking up tubes at flea markets, garage sales, and hamfests for pennies. Then they do a half-ass job of testing these tubes to sell them for big bucks. You'll see it here on Audiogon all the time. Why do you think almost none of these guys give any warranty, other than that they function upon arrival? Caveat emptor.
check out the audioasylum peerless transformer forum-mystery peerless thread-see how "honest ed" buys extremely valuable tubes for next to nothing.
Many people are selling vintage tubes that test bad at top prices.Buyer Beware!!