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Tesla E83CC - Have done research & still having trouble spotting fakes from real
Tesla E83CC - Have done research & still having trouble spotting fakes from real
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Old 16th February 2015, 03:41 AM   #1
johnnyque is offline johnnyque  United States
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Default Tesla E83CC - Have done research & still having trouble spotting fakes from real

Hi all, I'm a novice tube addict, and I've been scratching my head for weeks trying to decipher real Tesla ECC83s from the fakes/relabelled ones. I have read many threads and looked at all the pics I could find. I could use some expert help, as despite my reading up on it, I'm having a heck of a time spotting the genuine goods from the imitations. I also hope this post helps other newbies like me who are having the same difficulty.

Things I've picked up so far: (please let me know if any/all of it is wrong):
1- Real Tesla E83CCs have flatter tops (straighter shoulders if you will), while relabelled JJs (the most common fake) has curved sloped-down shoulders
2- The real getters should be a darker color similar to the Telefunken ECC803s, while many imitations will have lighter-colored getters
3- Real Tesla E83CCs will only have short plates (some fakes do - other fakes have long plates) Long plate Teslas may be real but would be a ECC803s, which, while excellent, is not the same tube.
4- Real Tesla E83CCs will have a frame grid design. Some/most fakes will not.
5- (WRONG - no shielding plate at all on E83CCs) Real Tesla E83CCs will have a black-coated nickel shielding plate between the triodes, JJs will have uncoated gray nickel instead
6- The fakes can be so close in appearance and are so prevalent that even an honest/reputable seller may be fooled.

The first pic is one that I can't tell if it's real or not. To my novice eyes, the top of the tube seems flat and the inner tube construction (what I can see) seems to be a correct Tesla E83CC to me, but I'm just not sure. The 2nd and 3rd pics are of a different example, and I also can't tell if it's genuine. The 4th pic is the last example. I'd greatly appreciate experienced opinions/info.

This site has a ton of information: ECC803S TESLA FAKE TUBES
and FAKE TUBES LIKE ECC803S and others
and Compare of TESLA TUBES with JJ TUBES.
I found this thread useful too: Vintage Amps Bulletin Board • View topic - Tesla ECC803s vs. new production in a Matchless DC30 results
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Last edited by johnnyque; 17th February 2015 at 12:05 AM. Reason: I wanted to mark incorrect information to prevent its spread
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Old 16th February 2015, 10:02 AM   #2
Keit is offline Keit  Australia
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A real E83CC, that is, one made by Mullard/Philips, and other European tubemakers, is a special quality version of the ECC83, similar to the American 12AX7WA.

As such, shouldn't the question be not is it a genuine Tesla?, but is it likely to meet the characteristics, low noise performance, and reliability of the E83CC/12AX7WA?

The tube is a high mu low gm tube for audio use. As such it should not have frame grid construction and should have short anodes. It should have the proper double mica structure at the top.

All teh tubes in your photos have pins/leads that look as though the are the proper dumet metal. I have noticed that Chinese copies typically do not.
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Old 16th February 2015, 10:21 AM   #3
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyque
1- Real Tesla E83CCs have flatter tops (straighter shoulders if you will), while relabelled JJs (the most common fake) has curved sloped-down shoulders
Yes, JJs (of almost any valve type) seem to have very rounded shoulders.

Quote:
5- Real Tesla E83CCs will have a black-coated nickel shielding plate between the triodes, JJs will have uncoated gray nickel instead
Not sure about this one, as no real ECC83 or equivalent can have a shield as there is no spare pin to connect it to. Some Chinese ones do, but I can't think why. As far as I know, the JJ version does not have a shield.

Quote:
6- The fakes can be so close in appearance and are so prevalent that even an honest/reputable seller may be fooled.
I guess that is what the dealers say?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keit
The tube is a high mu low gm tube for audio use. As such it should not have frame grid construction and should have short anodes.
Some genuine Tesla (and Telefunken?) ECC83 equivalents are made using a frame grid construction. The JJ 'copy' of the Tesla has anodes which makes it look like a frame grid valve, but I'm not sure that it actually has a frame grid.
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Old 16th February 2015, 10:30 AM   #4
ruffrecords is offline ruffrecords  United Kingdom
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Can I ask why you are particularly interested in genuine Tesla versions?

Cheers

Ian
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Old 16th February 2015, 10:43 AM   #5
Keit is offline Keit  Australia
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I had a look at the jacmusic site linked in johnnie's post.

Seems to be a mix of bull dust and facts. Example: jacmusic says he has seen tubes that glow very darkly and considers this proof that nasty manufacturers livened up their duff tubes by adding radioactive material to the cathode. Such a tube would be easily detected in electrical testing. It is far more likely that the sealing of the pins to the glass has failed and there is air in the tube.
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Old 16th February 2015, 11:23 AM   #6
Parafeed813 is offline Parafeed813  Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keit View Post
A real E83CC, that is, one made by Mullard/Philips, and other European tubemakers, is a special quality version of the ECC83, similar to the American 12AX7WA.

As such, shouldn't the question be not is it a genuine Tesla?, but is it likely to meet the characteristics, low noise performance, and reliability of the E83CC/12AX7WA?

The tube is a high mu low gm tube for audio use. As such it should not have frame grid construction and should have short anodes. It should have the proper double mica structure at the top.

All teh tubes in your photos have pins/leads that look as though the are the proper dumet metal. I have noticed that Chinese copies typically do not.
Philips and its subsidiaries (Mullard, Valvo etc) introduced the naming system that was adopted by most european manufacturers. Philips put the numbers in between the letters to identify SQ versions (ECC83 vs E83CC) whereas Telefunken added a '0' (ECC803S, EF806). As far as I know only TFK published (and maintained) very strict parameters to which its SQ valves should comply.
So that means that everybody can label a 'SQ' version of their own using the Philips convention. JJ is doing this a bit creatively, as their E34L has slightly different specs than their EL34.
The original Tesla factory produced an SQ ECC83 and so labeled it E83CC. As it is almost identical to the TFK ECC803S I suspect it was made in close cooperation with TFK (possibly as a subcontract to produce actual TFK ECC803S?). And yes, it has a framegrid construction.
Tesla was a producer of valves that could hold their own to Philips and Telefunken and so are getting very sought after. Had I known this in the early 90's, I would have gotten the whole box of of those E83CC's instead of just 1 for curiosity, oh well.

As DF96 said, types equivalent to the ECC83 have no pin to connect a shield between the anodes. Neither the Tesla E83CC nor the TFK ECC803S have such a shield.
In the pictures you provided there is no shield either.
The ECC808 has a shield, but different pinout.
Possibly you are confusing some pictures of E88CC's on the jacmusic site with E83CC's.

The valves in your pictures look identical to my Tesla E83CC.
The one suspicious thing would be the gold pins. Just like mine, the ones on jacmusics site have regular (non shiney) pins.
My camera is not working now, maybe I'll post pictures later.
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Old 16th February 2015, 02:17 PM   #7
Parafeed813 is offline Parafeed813  Netherlands
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Default brothers but not identical twins :)

OK, I managed to take some pictures.
Hope it helps.

These are TFK ECC803S (Ulm factory) and Tesla E83CC (Rosnov factory).
ECC803S-E83CC.jpg

Here you can see how similar they are: framegrid construction and shielded getter ring.
ECC803S-E83CC_framegrid construction.jpg

Seen from the top, you notice the small difference in the getter support, with the Tesla being slightly bigger. The getter ring in the Tesla is supported on two points, the TFK only on one. The mica spacers look VERY similar. There is no shield between the individual triodes.
ECC803S-E83CC_top view.jpg

As seen from the bottom it is clear that the pins inside the glass is very red, typical for eastern european production. The spacers are whiter in the TFK. The Tesla doesn't have gilded pins.
ECC803S-E83CC_bottom view.jpg
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Old 16th February 2015, 02:54 PM   #8
Keit is offline Keit  Australia
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Hmmmm..

Huge diameter grid support verticals are visible. That indicates the tubes are probably frame grid - but not necessarily. One would have to take a tube apart and see if the to and bottom laterals are there, as well the actual grid wire. Splitting hairs perhaps.

However, it is good confirmation that the tubes have been constructed to be identical, and something other manufacturers probably would not do.

An interesting quirk is the Tesla has copper coloured leads. Only the part inside the glass button should have this colour - it ensures a gas tight seal, but within the tube vacuum it isn't perfect because it is difficult to make free of absorbed gas.
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Old 16th February 2015, 05:32 PM   #9
Parafeed813 is offline Parafeed813  Netherlands
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Unfortunately copying the construction is no guarantee to get the same performance.
When Tesla (or was it their owner GE USA) shut down all valve production except transmitting stuff, JJ bought the equipment and set up a factory of his own in Slowakia. The shape of the glass may be different, but the insides of their frame grid types (ECC81/82/83/88) all look the same. I was shown some of their types when I was there in 2001.
So the insides are made on the same tooling, look the same, but use different materials as the originals are no longer available.
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Old 16th February 2015, 10:08 PM   #10
fdegrove is offline fdegrove  Europe
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffrecords View Post
Can I ask why you are particularly interested in genuine Tesla versions?

Cheers

Ian
They're excellent sounding like most of the Tesla stuff really.
Low noise, low microphony, frame grid, low distortion and long lasting etc.

Cheers,
__________________
Frank
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