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bradd 25th February 2006 02:23 PM

Tube availability: what would you do?
I'm a big fan of 12v space charge tubes, but I get paranoid about the availability of them because they're no longer in production. I'm sure this applies to everyone who uses tubes that aren't being made anymore!

I tend to buy the well-known brand tubes as I need them, but lately, I've been thinking that I should just stock up on the cheaper Japanese and low-brow brands so I don't have to worry about running out. However, what if that means they'll only fail faster?

So what would you do... go for quality over quantity, or vice versa?

DoomPixie 25th February 2006 02:58 PM

win lottery.... buy all NOS tubes of ALL types that you can get your hands on no matter what the warehouse to store them in...sorted! :D

anatech 25th February 2006 03:11 PM

Hi bradd,
Design using currently manufactured tubes that are also popular. That is your best bet.


bradd 26th February 2006 11:00 AM

I use 'em because they sound good at 12v rather than having to use starved plate 12AX7s ect though!

Japanese tubes are cheap...but they're still pretty decent, right?

anatech 26th February 2006 03:36 PM

Hi bradd,
My experience with Hitachi (HitRay) has been good. Replacements seem to be the big concern for you so .........


arnoldc 26th February 2006 10:59 PM


Japanese tubes are cheap...but they're still pretty decent, right?
My experience with 12AX7 Matsushita (National) and 6SN7 Hitachi is very good.

pmillett 27th February 2006 12:40 AM

I wouldn't worry.

As far as existing stocks go, specifically on the 12V space-charge tubes: I asked one tube vendor about the availability of 12AE6A and 12FM6 tubes (you may well know them, 12V triodes). The reply was that thay thought that they had 6-8,000 12AE6A's and 4-500 12FM6's. And that's just one vendor.

The fact that these are so seldom used means that it's unlikely that the stocks will be depleted any time soon. Unlike "rare" audiophile tubes.

It also means that these tubes (at least the ones I mentioned, in the US) sell for only $2.00 or so each. So if you're worried about it, why not buy 10 or 20 or 100 of your favorites?


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