A tale of two valve suppliers

gingermrkettle

Wammer
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Feb 22, 2013
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Over Christmas, the Mullard ECC82s in my preamp gave up the ghost after a good few years service.

First attempt was some Golden Lions from Hotrox. Straight off they were noisy, to the point of the hiss being audible from the line stage valves over vinyl surface noise from charity shop records. Back they went, to be told that they measured fine and nothing was wrong. Months later they still have the valves and my money, with no meaningful response.

Next attempt was a pair of CITFEs from Watford Valves. About 90 days in, one of them cracked and failed. They couldn't be sure what had caused it, but did a good deal on a replacement.

Which one do you think will get future custom?

 

rabski

Everything in moderation
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Dec 2, 2006
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Richard
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Anyone selling decent ECC82s would be a good start.

Without going mad in terms of price, ECC802S JJ Gold Pins are about £23 a go from Puresound and surprisingly decent tubes.

 

gjm

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Anyone selling decent ECC82s would be a good start.Without going mad in terms of price, ECC802S JJ Gold Pins are about £23 a go from Puresound and surprisingly decent tubes.
Good tubes.

Nice people to deal with, too. :D

 

rabski

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Good tubes.Nice people to deal with, too. :D
BVery true. The JJ Gold Pins are standard fitment in the Puresound L300 and that should give you some idea of their quality. Short of serious money NOS tubes, I've heard little that comes close and they're certainly miles better than virtually any other current production.

 

gjm

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BVery true. The JJ Gold Pins are standard fitment in the Puresound L300 and that should give you some idea of their quality. Short of serious money NOS tubes, I've heard little that comes close and they're certainly miles better than virtually any other current production.
Agreed. The JJ tubes generally are excellent value; my pre's E88CCs are bettered only by spending serious money, too.

 

Valvebloke

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Dec 3, 2009
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When I phoned Glenn Croft to ask what EL34's he recommended for his modded Quad IIs he said if he couldn't get decent original Mullards then he used JJs. I've had good experience with their valves with one exception. I had an EF806S once which developed an internal short after a few days running. I should've asked Hot Rox for a replacement, but I didn't (this was when the 806s were cheaper than they are now). Instead I just put it down to an 'infant mortaility' failure on the downward slope of the bathtub curve and forgot about it.

VB

 

AlanB

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Aug 20, 2007
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I have found Hotrox very shy when things go wrong with a valve.

Had a couple og Winged 'C' KT88's blow very quickly and Mark was very slow in replacing. Told me it was the amp yet GL's worked happily without problems.

Recently had problem with my amp which was repaired under warranty. When it was returned UPS had damaged the amp and broke a GL KT88. Amp repaired again with a new pair of GL's from Hotrox. One blew within an hour. Mark didn't want to know as I wasn't the original purchaser. This is after I have had many valves from him over the years. Won't get my custom again.

Only one dodgy valve from Watford Valve and replaced without fuss. Same experience with Chelmer Valves.

Lorenz@wiwitubes is great to deal with Had two sets of KT88's (TJ Fullmusic & Guiguangs) that threw a whoopsie in short time and returned them and money back in Paypal account immediately. Stacks of valves from him and they were the only one's to play up.

The above is my own personal experience.

 

AlanB

Wammer
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Aug 20, 2007
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Alan
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I've always had a good experience with these guys:http://www.karltone.co.uk/index.asp

They seem to properly match valves ~ they run power amp valves before matching, for example.

Quick delivery and pretty good pricing. A :^ from me.
Yes forgot them. Never had a duffer from them therefore don't know about back up if things go pear shaped.

 

silencio

Wammer
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Feb 12, 2010
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One failed MOS valve in 13 years is a damn good result! Part of the problem with NOS valves, in addition to Pentagon pricing, microphony, etc. is the chance that they may not have been kept under ideal circumstances for the last 50 years... As for the OP - I guess, you've answered your own question. Stick with the guys that stick with you, when the shit hits the fan! Simples :)

 

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