Fast Forward to Stock List
Six things that make selecting your
tubes an Art
- Attention to authenticity
and details in set matching that others don't even know exist!
This attention to details acquired from 30 years as both an audiophile
and lover of tubes and tube electronics.
A. Assurance that you are getting the original real McCoy as
described. the amount of cross-branding & outright fraudulent
re-branding, and late run tubes out there being sold as original
is UNREAL!!! I can't tell you how many stories of woe
I've heard about spending thousands of dollars on tubes from the "get
rich quick" type dealers that ended up in the back of the closet
or being thrown away. A VERY LARGE amount of what is sold
as original Mullard, Siemens, etc... by both the big houses and small
one-man operations is junk of such late manufacture that it is useless
for audio. This had been caused by the filtering out of the
good old stuff, resulting in mostly junk being left on the market.
Most of these tube dealers are not really trying to cheat anyone, they
simply don't know the difference or don't care. A good example of this
is the Tele-junk that is all over the place these days. What is
Tele-Junk? Well it seems that after the Berlin Wall went up the
East-German division of Telefuken kept running E88CC/6922 and a few
other tubes well after the West German division sold out to EI.
The stocks from the East are drifting West. At first I thought they
were counterfeits but the tooling was too good and of course they do
have a diamond in the glass. One of the only ways to catch many of these
is by a special rig that measures pin wire diameters and catches under
and over size pins. The reason for this is that the classic original
wire companies that had supplied the special wires like Dumet, (also
used as pins in mini tubes) for 80+ years, stopped production simultaneously
with the tube plants because the tube plants were the only ones that
used it. The wire that was made later, by regular European wire
companies, like so many of the Chinese and Russian companies was of
very low quality and is either over or under size. As a V.T.S. shopper
there is no chance of any of this ending up in your equipment.
I know many music lovers that have thrown away thousands of dollars
on these alone!
B. Properly matching vintage tubes is a whole different ballgame
from just making sure the measurements are the same! And from
what I have seen of their work, (tube dealers) nobody in the U.S.A.
even seems to know a used tube from a new one!
- The finest in tube
measuring and analyzing circuitry, both vintage and modern.
A. Featuring full current & voltage testing of
all small signal and power/output tubes.
B. Absolute accuracy to the original, proper specifications of
the manufacturer. This is assured by calibration to the National
Institute of Standards, (Test #910675) and proper laboratory instruments
C. All power to testing consoles is fully AC regulated, assuring
long and short-term calibration.
- Tubes are auditioned
and selected for tone quality and microphonics, by ear in a sound proofed
This is done by using both vintage and current High-End gear.
Many special rigs have been developed and much has been learned over
the last 18+ years of doing this full time. Many different techniques
are used and cannot be described in this catalogue and some really good
ones I will take to the grave with me.
- THE PINS: Each
pin on miniature tubes (excluding gold pinned tubes) is de-scaled by
a time consuming, proprietary process.
This descaling is the removal of the layer of VERY nasty oxides
(the blue/black scale) left when the high temperature gas jets are blasting
the tube during the joining of the base to the bulb and out-gassing.
Octals are brass-wheeled with the same great care. This is one of
the most important noise reducing features of V.T.S. tubes. I never
will understand the guys who lose sleep for days over their Tweek/De-Oxit/Silver
Paste, soaked, gold-plated, wrench-tightened, $5,000+ speaker and interconnects
and then plug in tubes that look like they've been at the bottom of
the ocean for 200 years. NOTE: Many octals are very shiny and clean-looking
even though they've been in a damp basement for 50 years. These don't
fool me either! There is a layer that you can not see that causes much
noise, especially with the cheap weak-gripped-third world tube sockets
used in most of today's gear.
- Internal visual inspection
that combines BAUSH & LOMB optics and all of my experience in working
One of the reasons why tubes which measure the same, often
sound so different in the proper or improper alignment of the cathode,
grids and other parts. This is also one of the reasons for the
poor sound of most output tubes made today. The sound and light-proofed
V.T.S. lab allows me to observe operating temperatures and evenness
in heating of cathodes, grids and plates during both general and power
testing (very important)!
- I maintain a full set
of files on both vintage and current equipment.
This includes schematics, operation manuals, tube layout
diagrams and specific notes for consulting when selecting tubes.
This gives me the ability to select the tubes as if I was working on
the system in your home. If a tube layout diagram makes you more
comfortable, just let me know. A few brand names of gear that
I have gotten world wide recognition for bringing to a higher level
of performance over the last 18 years or so include, Western Electric,
AMPEX, Audio Research Corporation, Valve Amplification Corporation,
M.F.A. (particularly the luminescence), McIntosh, Marantz, Cary Audio,
Rogue Audio, Audio Note, EAR, Citation, Convergent Audio, Wavelength,
Art Audio, Quicksilver, Jolida, B.A.T., Nagra, Aesthetix, Air Tight,
Jadis, Stax, Conrad-Johnson, Joule Electra, and the list goes on...
History | Music
Lover | Email
| Select Tube as an Art |
© 1999-2011 Vintage
Tube Services. All Rights Reserved