I am lucky my dealer, Deja Vu Audio, has several tube testers and tests tubes for me all the time. If I didn't have that luxury I might seriously invest in a tube tester.
- 16 posts total
- 16 posts total
Testing tubes for audiophiles requires much more than simply running them briefly on a tube tester. If it was that simple and people would pay $10 per tube for that it might be a viable business opportunity for existing dealers. Most testers can check for basic functionality of the tubes, but testing and rating them for microphonics, noise levels, and precise matching is much more involved and can require a significant amount of additional gear. That's why the companies that offer such extensive testing are able to and justified in charging a relatively high premium for their most select graded tubes. If you want the best tubes expect to pay for the time and effort that is required to grade, match and select them.
Bill_K, thank you for accurately describing the type of tube testing audiophiles need and the additional equipment needed to perform the various tests.
I wish there were more dealers like Deja Vu Audio that Jond works with.
I'm not seeing any disagreement with the need for good tube testing from local dealers, just road blocks based on cost, time and perhaps lack of demand.
The testing suggested by bill_k would be necessary to sell NOS tubes for big bucks, but I think you're asking for less than that, i.e. to check your used tubes to see if they're still good and reasonably matched.
It would be a nice service and if the dealer is selling tube gear maybe he should offer it. I think the time involved might be why most dealers don't do it, though. As you noted the expense for a couple of testers for preamp and power tubes wouldn't be that much compared to monthly rent and equipment to display.
If you can't talk a local dealer into providing the service, I think a tester would be a good accessory for you with the number of tubes you use and your tube rolling habits.