UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > Offered and Wanted Messages > Sets, Parts and Service Information Wanted (private buyers only, no swaps)

Notices

Sets, Parts and Service Information Wanted (private buyers only, no swaps) If you need help obtaining components, sets or equipment, post a message here. Private buyers only - no traders. No swaps.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 16th Jul 2017, 9:29 pm   #1
snufkin
Triode
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 18
Default Best Place for valves these days?

Hi guys is there a better place for valves than ebay these days?

I need:

12AU7 x3
12AX7 x8
12AY7 x1
6AU5 x1
OG3 x1
6AX5 x1

for my bandpass filter restoration

any advice on sources for cheaper than normal appreciated (not fussy about equivalents)
snufkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th Jul 2017, 10:08 pm   #2
frankmcvey
Hexode
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Cottesmore, East Midlands, UK.
Posts: 406
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

Hi, Snufkin,

As you'll gather, audio triodes are at a premium these days. The cheapest I've found for the 12AX7/ECC83, for instance, is at Billington Export for around 8. Those are Chinese, of course. Some NOS Mullards would be more than 10 times that.

My advice to you would be to get your current valves tested first, if you're in any doubt about them - there's no point in replacing them just for the sake of it. The chances are that a high proportion of them will be fine.

I can probably help you out with an 0G3 voltage stabiliser (=85A2). PM me if you're interested.

Cheers,

Frank

Last edited by frankmcvey; 16th Jul 2017 at 10:17 pm.
frankmcvey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17th Jul 2017, 1:19 am   #3
Refugee
Nonode
 
Refugee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Worksop, Nottinghamshire, UK.
Posts: 2,346
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

You can get 12AX7 from a British supplier at a reasonable price with an established returns policy and all the trimmings.
http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6784114/
Refugee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th Jul 2017, 7:42 am   #4
Craig Sawyers
Heptode
 
Craig Sawyers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 876
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

Second Frank's comment about getting them tested to make sure that they need to be replaced. Small signal valves like those should last a good 10,000 hours as a minimum (well over a year 24/7), and will usually last significantly longer.

The audio community tends to get a bit paranoid and replace valves without any evidence that they need to be so. But it was ever thus - back in the days of valved TVs repair technicians were encouraged by valve manufacturers to replace every valve in a set during a call out. Which was good business for the valve manufacturers and for the repair technician.

They were always pricey though. The price in 1955 of a 12AU7 was 9/6, so about 50p. That equates to about 12 in today's money on ratio of rpi. Another way of looking at this is that 50p was about 4% of the average weekly salary in 1955 of 10.55 per week http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/p...han-today.html). That same fraction of today's average weekly salary is 21.

The price for a vanilla (non audiophile) 12AU7 is about 8, so cheaper than the index linked 1955 price (12) and the comparable fraction of today's salary (21).

Craig

Last edited by Craig Sawyers; 17th Jul 2017 at 8:11 am.
Craig Sawyers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th Jul 2017, 8:18 am   #5
MrBungle
Octode
 
MrBungle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: South West London, UK.
Posts: 1,412
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

I can vouch for the RS 12AU7's. They work fine in a VVM role anyway.

Have a picture:

Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 09.16.43.jpg
Views:	76
Size:	26.8 KB
ID:	146297
MrBungle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th Jul 2017, 8:18 am   #6
Craig Sawyers
Heptode
 
Craig Sawyers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 876
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

Darn - can't edit my original post because of admin policy. Numbers should be 5% of average weekly salary in 1955, and hence 25 of today's average weekly salary.

And so the price for a vanilla (non audiophile) 12AU7 is about 8, so cheaper than the index linked 1955 price (12) and the comparable fraction of today's salary (25).
Craig Sawyers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th Jul 2017, 1:51 pm   #7
mark_in_manc
Heptode
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Manchester, UK.
Posts: 664
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

Those are helpful and interesting price comparisons, thanks. 'We've never had it so good' (in terms of ECC83 prices and the free availability of recently obsolete consumer electronics - colour tellies and digital cameras, for instance!).
mark_in_manc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th Jul 2017, 5:05 pm   #8
Omegaman
Pentode
 
Omegaman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 191
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

I'll second RS for the 12AX/AU7s.
I've just put a load in a big amp I'm building and they're fine.
Made by Shuguan.
__________________
Howard G7AJN/M3OCL

"How hard can it be?" - Jeremy Clarkson
Omegaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Jul 2017, 5:03 am   #9
jay_oldstuff
Octode
 
jay_oldstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hyde, Greater Manchester, UK.
Posts: 1,033
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

For the 12AX7 have you considered the Russian 6N2P ? Only difference is the heater is 6.3v 300ma so wireing to heater pins needs slight modification. They are a cracking alternative and dirt cheep. I've used loads of them and they work brilliantly.

As others have said get your current valves tested first I'm sure most will turn out to be serviceable.

Ps I've NOS 6AU5 6AX5 in stock if you get stuck for them, however I'm out of the U.K. At the moment be back on the 25th

Jay
__________________
The light at the end of the tunnel is probably the headlight of an oncoming train

Last edited by jay_oldstuff; 18th Jul 2017 at 5:08 am.
jay_oldstuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Jul 2017, 9:39 am   #10
snufkin
Triode
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 18
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

Hi all many thanks,

I don't have a valve tester to hand here and the unit in question a very nice Krohn Hite Audio Band Pass Filter was retrieved from a non heated workshop and has sat unused for many years (for the last two in a dry heated environment with me) Many of the valves look visibly pretty knackered so I think Ill replace the lot.

I never would have though to check RS so will def be doing that

My other worry is the transformers which look a little rusty although I am having a friend check them out who used to build valve equipment and I am reliably informed the lamination are probably fine

I may contact members who mention the slightly harder to source stuff if I draw a blank
snufkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Jul 2017, 6:43 pm   #11
G8HQP Dave
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Solihull, West Midlands, UK.
Posts: 3,821
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

I'm not sure I know what a knackered dual triode looks like; good ones and bad ones usually look exactly the same. I do know what a knackered output pentode looks like, but that is quite different.
G8HQP Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Jul 2017, 7:30 pm   #12
Sideband
Dekatron
 
Sideband's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Croydon, Surrey, UK.
Posts: 4,443
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

You can't tell by looking. It's normal for dark or silvery deposits to appear inside the glass (within reason). 12AU7's are relatively low current devices and generally have an easy life. Once they are cleaned up, most if not all will look and perform like new. I've got a couple of 50 year old ECC82's (12AU7's) in my headphone amplifier (I know what they came out of) and emission-wise they are perfect.
__________________
'And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make'
The Beatles.
Sideband is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Jul 2017, 7:59 pm   #13
Craig Sawyers
Heptode
 
Craig Sawyers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 876
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

snufkin, if you can box the valves up and pay return postage, I'm more than happy to test them for you (AVO CT160, Mk III and Taylor 45C on hand).

Craig
Craig Sawyers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th Jul 2017, 9:23 am   #14
snufkin
Triode
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 18
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

Quote:
Originally Posted by G8HQP Dave View Post
I'm not sure I know what a knackered dual triode looks like; good ones and bad ones usually look exactly the same. I do know what a knackered output pentode looks like, but that is quite different.
Ah I had assumed that one or two with really white looking deposits were def knackered, some also look like there is a small amount of corrosion on the legs.


Testing would be great but I think actually it's probably not a bad Idea to get a full spare set of valves now and power it up with those, then get the old ones tested at a later date.

Many thanks
snufkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th Jul 2017, 10:03 am   #15
jay_oldstuff
Octode
 
jay_oldstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hyde, Greater Manchester, UK.
Posts: 1,033
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

Can you take a picture of the valves and post it on here, least we can tell you if the ones with white deposits are kennacked or are worth keeping for future testing.
__________________
The light at the end of the tunnel is probably the headlight of an oncoming train
jay_oldstuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th Jul 2017, 10:04 am   #16
G8HQP Dave
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Solihull, West Midlands, UK.
Posts: 3,821
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

OK, white inside where the shiny gettering should be means they have released the vacuum so are definitely not working. I assumed you were talking about dirty appearance etc. which may be a guide for power valves but not for small signal valves.

Pin corrosion can often be cleaned off. However, bad corrosion (usually due to a damp atmosphere) can sometimes cause air leakage and hence the white getter.
G8HQP Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th Jul 2017, 10:48 am   #17
Craig Sawyers
Heptode
 
Craig Sawyers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 876
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

OK - your call snufkin. All I can do is offer.

White getter is usually not a good sign, though!

Craig
Craig Sawyers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th Jul 2017, 1:00 pm   #18
snufkin
Triode
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 18
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

Craig I may take you up on your kind offer at a later date and would be happy to pay or make a donation in return

For now I think I know my plan of action!
snufkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th Jul 2017, 5:00 pm   #19
ColinTheAmpMan1
Heptode
 
ColinTheAmpMan1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Wimbledon, London, UK.
Posts: 599
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

Good places to get valves from at reasonable prices are Langrex (https://www.langrex.co.uk/), Colomor (http://stores.ebay.co.uk/COLOMOR-VAL...BES-COMPONENTS - but they also have a shop), Mullard Magic (https://mullard.org/), Cricklewood Electronics (https://www.cricklewoodelectronics.com/) and Tubezone (http://www.tubezone.co.uk/). For sillier prices, try Watford Valve (https://www.watfordvalves.com/) or Hi-Fi Collective (https://www.hificollective.co.uk/).
I have dealt with some of these, but not all, so I can't comment on all of them, but I have found Langrex, Cricklewood and Colomor to be good. Cricklewood are less likely to have any rare/esoteric valves, mainly the usual audio fare.
Remember, there are no factories in the west making valves any more. Anything that suggests it is made in the UK or USA and is brand-new has been relabelled. Even items that are marked as "Mullard" or any other famed make may not have originally been made where you might think, but in Russia, China, former Yugoslavia, etc.. This means that even something labelled as ECC83 might actually be a Russian "equivalent" and not the real McCoy. That doesn't mean that they are no good, though.
Caveat Emptor.
Colin.
ColinTheAmpMan1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th Jul 2017, 6:29 pm   #20
Craig Sawyers
Heptode
 
Craig Sawyers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 876
Default Re: Best Place for valves these days?

I completely agree with all of that, Colin.

Although Watford currently have 12AU7 from Tesla for 8, 12AX7 for 8 (Tesla) and 10.80 (Sovtek), and 12AY7 for 8.50 (Tesla), which are all pretty good prices.
Craig Sawyers is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools



All times are GMT. The time now is 6:44 pm.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2017, Paul Stenning.