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Components and Circuits For discussions about component types, alternatives and availability, circuit configurations and modifications etc. Discussions here should be of a general nature and not about specific sets.

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Old 28th Jan 2016, 12:38 pm   #1
BigClick
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Default Going rate for valves?

Hi folks,

is there a "going rate" for an EL84? I often see EL84s going for 25.00++ on-line.

This seems very high, is there a source that you folks can recomend for valves at reasonable prices?

best regards
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 12:52 pm   #2
ITAM805
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Default Re: Going rate for valves

try ebay, 25 will get you a matched pair
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 12:53 pm   #3
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Default Re: Going rate for valves

Think I got a pair matched though Russian for about 12.50.Military grade at 8.50 each.
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 12:55 pm   #4
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Default Re: Going rate for valves

20 for a JJ electronics matched pair from Rapid.
I have used them, and they seem to be OK. About 9 odd for one.
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 1:05 pm   #5
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Default Re: Going rate for valves?

It all depends on the manufacturer and the individual design. Some 1960s Mullard and Telefunken production sells for astronomical amounts. The Russian ex military ones are fine for vintage radio work though, and probably sound just the same as vintage Mullards in hifi and guitar amps too.
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 1:46 pm   #6
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Default Re: Going rate for valves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim View Post
20 for a JJ electronics matched pair from Rapid.
I have used them, and they seem to be OK. About 9 odd for one.
I get mine from Watford Electronics, and they seem to do very well in Bush VHF64s and similar.
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 2:06 pm   #7
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Default Re: Going rate for valves?

Last time I looked RS were doing new ones at a good price from stock.

I use the Russian ones 6n14 something i think, and they are fine, never had a bad one. That's not an " n " but it looks like one!
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 4:03 pm   #8
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Default Re: Going rate for valves?

Nothing wrong with Russian valves, I have used their EL84's in a Leak stereo 20.
They were the military version and sound just as good as the Mullard's.

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Old 28th Jan 2016, 4:19 pm   #9
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Default Re: Going rate for valves?

Agreed with the majority.
Don't go "Chasing rainbows" after Mullards etc. NOS if you can find them go for Russian oligarch prices and personally I wouldnt go for a used Mullard/Telefunken/RCA etc etc etc unless it was from someone I trusted (e.g. any of the regular guys here).
What is it for? In most if not all applications you'd be hard pushed to tell the difference in individual brands.
How many do you want? I have a used russian 6P14PEV marked EDICRON EL84 which I would let you have for the price of the postage or a donation to the other halfs favourite charity. Not tested other than all voltages measure spot on in a Stereo20 and the waveform on the oscilloscope looked the same as all the other valves I shot through the amp a couple of months ago.
Send me a private message if interested.
Otherwise go and buy a brand new one for a tenner or less. Google is your friend here.
Another alternative is to pop along to a BVWS swapmeet or other similar event and there are usually a few chaps selling Valves for all needs and not normally expensive.
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 4:22 pm   #10
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Default Re: Going rate for valves?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark pirate View Post
Nothing wrong with Russian valves, I have used their EL84's in a Leak stereo 20.
Nor Chinese ones, I bought a full set of "Golden Dragon" from Tube-shop for my stereo 20 12 years ago and they were as good as anything. Still are.
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 4:26 pm   #11
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Default Re: Going rate for valves?

Thanks, I guess its just a case of shopping around.

i am hoping to build an AC30 clone once I finish my Regentone restore.

Is matching valves actual valid for guitar amps? I used to buy matched pairs but I dont know if I could tell the difference.
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 4:50 pm   #12
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Default Re: Going rate for valves?

If the amp is working with "fixed bias" then matched valves are desirable, bearing in mind that the matching tolerance can vary between suppliers. And also bearing in mind that the "matching" is only valid at the time of matching. As a valve ages a matched pair may well go out of match.
With cathode bias amps, it's not really so important. Indeed Harold Leak made a sales pitch out of using Cathode (or "automatic bias") in that if an output valve failed in one of his power amplifiers, only that valve need be replaced without materially affecting the measured performance. Valves were expensive items even then.
The other side of the matching coin is that even with cathode bias, valves that were mismatched to a greater extent would upset the current balance in an output transformer causing potential magnetisation and saturation issues. So the usual advice is to use matched pairs if fitting a new set of valves and that should give the amp an easier life.
Most new valve retailers offer matched sets for no extra cost so you might as well take advantage of the situation.
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 4:55 pm   #13
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Default Re: Going rate for valves?

Just remembered this.
Some manufacturers would also cut costs and use a shared cathode resistor and bypass capacitor on a push pull output stage. The Rogers cadet is a case in point. In that case matched pairs would likely be better. (or modify the amp for individual cathode resistors.)
I don't know how The guitar amplifier manufacturers did things but from what I have read they didnt usually spend more than they had to on parts, and I would guess most guitar amps would work fixed bias to squeeze as much as possible out of the output valves.
The Guitar amp experts here will be able to enlighten you more.
A.
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 4:59 pm   #14
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Default Re: Going rate for valves?

I bought mine from RS - about 7.50 each. I bought 10 and matched them myself.
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Old 29th Jan 2016, 7:11 am   #15
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Default Re: Going rate for valves?

I too can vouch for Russian valves, may take a while to arrive though.

Why an AC30? Not the best amps, not that well designed or made, or are you after "that" sound?

Andy.
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Old 29th Jan 2016, 4:39 pm   #16
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Default Re: Going rate for valves?

Because Brian May used one?
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Old 29th Jan 2016, 10:17 pm   #17
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Default Re: Going rate for valves?

I suppose it is "that sound" plus my donor cab is from a Sessionette 90 bass combo and is a bit too big for a Fender Champ
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Old 30th Jan 2016, 12:21 am   #18
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Default Re: Going rate for valves?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikerhifinut View Post
Because Brian May used one?
And a few others!

The AC30 is a brilliant sounding amp, I own a 1965 model and those EL84's are definitely put to good use
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Old 30th Jan 2016, 6:46 am   #19
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Default Re: Going rate for valves?

That's quite a list; never tried one but I see there are plenty of cheap OPT's available for these.

Andy.
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