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Why don't they put NOS Tubes in equipment when built
Old 8th May 2012
  #1
Why don't they put NOS Tubes in equipment when built

I read a lot of people changing their tubes for NOS or something. Are they that much more expensive that the manufacturer can't afford to put them in the unit when they build them? "Here's a $1500 unit but it has a $5 tube in it." It's hard to believe that a manufacturer would put crappy tubes that compromise the quality of their unit. Is it the norm for someone to open up a unit and drop in a different tube? Warranty etc comes to mind too....
I'm worried that money spent isn't delivering all that it can/is expected.
BTW - I'm talking higher end stuff....
Old 8th May 2012
  #2
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Because POS tubes are cheaper and what's available.
Old 8th May 2012
  #3
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That might require more NOS tubes then they can source - and then continue to source over the life of the product.
Old 8th May 2012
  #4
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DCtoDaylight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtripper View Post
That might require more NOS tubes then they can source - and then continue to source over the life of the product.
This! Supply chain management is enough of a hassle even with normal components. Also, a significant percentage of the market doesn't care about new vs. old tubes, and the extra effort and expense wouldn't provide any return with them.
Old 8th May 2012
  #5
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by bushwick View Post
Because POS tubes are cheaper and what's available.
Old 8th May 2012
  #6
Gear Head
 

You will rarely if ever see anybody putting NOS tubes in a device from the factory. If i remember correctly, there is a small company called metasonix that makes a lot of oddjob audio hardware. They put some pretty obscure nos tubes in them.

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Old 8th May 2012
  #7
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BOWIE's Avatar
Some companies like Manley, Retro, A-Designs, and a few others use NOS when it's feasible. For instance, they'll use 5670s, 6AL5s, and others that are not in high-demand but go with modern-stock for the 12AX7s, 6V6s, etc. Mic designers are going w/ less expensive and more available NOS options like EF800, 5840, 6AK5. As has been mentioned, it's just not possible to source large quantities of the popular types. Once you screen out the truly quiet and healthy pieces, your cost goes up many fold (most of the popular types have been picked-though already). Then, you need to have several thousand that are from the same production period, otherwise not all of your units will have the same sound. It would require a full-time employee who is an expert in the biz just to source the tubes and, even then, there's no way of stocking enough pieces for any company that is producing in the thousands. So, it's not really an option for them.
Old 8th May 2012
  #8
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Yeah,reliable supply has to be readily available especially for bigger companies like Fender and such,i read that they use groove tubes mostly because they are hardy tubes that hold up well for shipping/handling.
Also they would have to burn in NOS tubes because if you ever put 50's/60's tubes in an amp,they spit and fizz at first among other things and people would be returning gear right and left.lol
Old 8th May 2012
  #9
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Just to play devils advocate, you'll probably also find its because there is no scientific proof that a NOS tube is "technically" any better than a tube off the shelf. Alot of people throw terms like "NOS" around like it's a silver bullet to make all tube gear instantly 100x better. As a design engineer though, you would want to see some hard evidence that an item that at manufacture could cost 10 or 20 times more, is going to reap rewards to that ratio that would justify every end consumer paying substantially more for an item. It's much the same reason why when you buy a car, it doesn't have a trick sound system that costs an extra $500 at manufacture. Sure, many people upgrade the sound system in their car with new speakers, fancier head unit, amps etc, but for the majority, the standard unit does the job just fine.

Not everyone who buys any gear with a tube in it is rushing out to ditch their tubes for NOS.
Old 8th May 2012
  #10
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frans's Avatar
The companies that use NOS quality stock charge money, you could source and swap yourself - provided you know what to use and where to get it. In manufacturing and the costs that follow, a piece of gear is sometimes calulated on the sum of parts x4 or x5 (just an example). With that in mind, NOS tubes that did cost 50$ to source and pay and ship will drive up the price of the gear in question by 200 or 250$.
Here's what I do: l learnt about what russian 'JAN' NOS tubes can be replaced and get them from my friendly communist villain next door. They still have a big supply and their best tubes aren't any ounce less great then Telefunken, Mullard, GE and so on. When the west ended the production of tubes, the east not even shrugged and carried on. But you still can be ripped off buying a tube-shaped turd if you don't know what to get.
Old 8th May 2012
  #11
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gavriloP's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draytone View Post
Just to play devils advocate, you'll probably also find its because there is no scientific proof that a NOS tube is "technically" any better than a tube off the shelf. Alot of people throw terms like "NOS" around like it's a silver bullet to make all tube gear instantly 100x better. As a design engineer though, you would want to see some hard evidence that an item that at manufacture could cost 10 or 20 times more, is going to reap rewards to that ratio that would justify every end consumer paying substantially more for an item. It's much the same reason why when you buy a car, it doesn't have a trick sound system that costs an extra $500 at manufacture. Sure, many people upgrade the sound system in their car with new speakers, fancier head unit, amps etc, but for the majority, the standard unit does the job just fine.

Not everyone who buys any gear with a tube in it is rushing out to ditch their tubes for NOS.
I think it is better to leave the option to get NOS tubes for customer. Different tubes sound different, but of course better is just opinion, not science. One thing that I've noticed with modern tubes though is that they don't last as long. So in that sense some NOS tubes are better. And I admit that the mere sight of telefunken tubes makes me happy

But of course modern tubes work as intended too.

I've always wondered why can't they make more reliable tubes nowadays, but then it dawned on me: this is the paradigm shift in our society. In the past we strived for quality and excellence but nowadays we can't make too reliable products. I mean maybe we could but it just isn't good for business
Old 8th May 2012
  #12
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JetCity Amps are bringing out a tube drop in which I believe is some sort of MOSFET circuit or something or whatsamecallit. That'd be a cool idea to try another flavour in our tube circuits.
Old 8th May 2012
  #13
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Fletcher's Avatar
Every Telefunken microphone ships with a NOS tube, and IIRC, LaChapell mic-pre does as well... so really, its inappropriate to make any kind of blanket statement.

Most manufacturers don't ship product with NOS tubes because most of the people purchasing these products won't pay for NOS tubes. Remember, its not just the cost of the tube that will increase the price... its the cost of the labor to source the tubes, its the cost of the labor to test the tubes... and its the cost of the money that's tied up in order to inventory the tubes.

While you can probably find a quality NOS tube for $40-, if that same tube had to be sourced, tested, and inventoried by a manufacturer it would add between $200 & $250 to the final price of the gear.

When you pay it... they'll do it.
Old 8th May 2012
  #14
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A lot of "NOS" tubes are simply used tubes pulled from old TVs and organs and re-sold as "new". Manufacturers have no way of telling if they are truly "new" and this is not a good idea for warranties.
Old 8th May 2012
  #15
Baz
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Mil-Media offer NOS "upgrades" for those that wish to pay. I believe this is the best way to do it IMO:offer it as an option.
Old 8th May 2012
  #16
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draytone View Post
Just to play devils advocate, you'll probably also find its because there is no scientific proof that a NOS tube is "technically" any better than a tube off the shelf.
This^^

Some use it as a market edge. But I've a lot of tube swapping, and I can imagine the hell of finding consistent and reliable NOS tubes for a commercially manufactured product. Many are UOS.
There are some very good new tubes being made.
Old 8th May 2012
  #17
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I vaguely remember an email conversation with a pro audio manufacturer who said they use current tubes partly because they contain no lead.
Old 8th May 2012
  #18
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^ THIS

RoHS compliance is required in many countries that manufacture new electronic devices.
Old 8th May 2012
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
There are some very good new tubes being made.
Such as?
Old 8th May 2012
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtl777 View Post
Such as?
Rubys, JJs.
Old 8th May 2012
  #21
check out Genalex - Gold Lion Tubes, these are nice tubes.


On a budget I like tung-sol and JJ's. I got into the who Nos tube thing, its a crap shoot, especially if you are putting it into anything other than vintage units.

Here is my philosophy

If its vintage (or exact reissue) put nos tubes in it.

If it's new then put put new tubes in it.
Old 9th May 2012
  #22
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Ummm, what is a Russian JAN tube? Do you know what JAN stands for? Not likely to be many Russian parts on a JAN QPL.

It's much easier to optimize a design with some consistent behavior from the components. While a box of Chinese 12AX7s might notbe the most consistent thing on the planet, it's comparatively easy to set some screening parameters and sort through boxes of them than to design for some gold standard vintage Mullard that you can only find a few of.
Old 9th May 2012
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

I recently purchased a wonderful Miktek CV4--comes with a NOS tube. They seem to know what they're doing.
Old 9th May 2012
  #24
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Real MC View Post
Rubys, JJs.
Black Sable, some new Mullards.
Topic:
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