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Does this look like "NOS" to you?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by maxvintage, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    Why did they label the glass instead of having an indented and painted base label ? I was thinking it was just super-fast-paced-now where nobody does enough thinking about a product.
     

  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Well, since we are talking about Noval...9 pin.... tubes with glass envelopes I have to observe that there is no baseplate.
    For octal glass tubes that do have a baseplate, those baseplates were used for more than just one type of tube from more than one manufacturer. The info could not not be impressed or engraved on that baseplate during the manufacture of that baseplate....or it would have been prohibitively expensive to do so. Same thing for etching or engraving the baseplate after the Tube was built....expensive. Some glass envelopes from certain manufacturers do have etched info and codes in the glass. That never wears away and can identify and date certain tubes.
     
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  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    I just looked at at presumably NOS/ NIB GE short plate 7025 and it has the typical GE relic printing that looks old when new.
    The pins have the same basic dead straight but three color sunburst finish as in your picture.
    WRT being certain a tube is NOS, I have more faith in the most unprofessional sellers who have a bunch of boxes that look like a legitimate stash of new tubes, or some brands of military production where the box and tube have matching codes.
    Better still sleeves with well matched relicing.
    Ha ha WTF this is what we've come to.

    But mostly I really don't care if a tube is legit NOS, and would prefer a '50s 12ax7 with five years use in a preamp and no microphonics over a brand new anything made today.

    If it's quiet, not microphonic, and sounds good in my amp, I'm happy to pay $7- $15 for it.
    My last legit NOS/ NIB buy was IIRC a pair of '81 JAN Philips 5751 for $50.
    Might have gotten others since then, I've bought boxed 12ax7s of unknown condition that are great tubes and were cheap.
    Some are microphonic from the factory I presume.

    The big NOS dealers sort tubes and take our money.
    I find if I sort them myself, I get free PI and eq recovery stage tubes for my trouble.
    There is still that lingering "I wonder if this tube really sounds as good as I think?", but I get over it and have plenty of spares.

    Edit: I'd agree that if paying high NOS prices I'd prefer a tube looked new.
    Maybe as dealers cull through the dwindling supply, they could include cosmetics in the description and grading. Really clean looking tubes will be rarer and rarer, as well as truly never used tubes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
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  4. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    56
    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    I'm familiar with colors/oxides on heated metals.
    Those look like they've been in sockets.
    Scratches are a better indicator than colors.
    I coulda been wrong.
    The pic isn't great.
     
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  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    Chances are good that the expensive retailer plugged in the tube to test it, and that the less expensive wholesaler they got the tube from also plugged it into their tester before selling it to the retailer.
    A good retailer really ought to plug a 12ax7 into a high voltage tube tester and a high gain guitar amp to confirm both that the tube tests above new spec and also that there is no noise or microphonics.
    By the time the end user gets the NOS tube it needs to have been "used" at least three times in order to confirm that it is not "used".

    In most vintage markets there are pickers who dig through warehouses and basements to find the stuff, then test it before selling it to a retailer.
    There are probably some NOS tube retailers that travel around digging through garbage, but generally we will be at least the sixth owner of a NOS tube.
    Manufacturer
    First retailer/ wholesaler
    Repair tech
    Family of the deceased
    Picker
    NOS tube retailer
    End user with money to burn


     

  6. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    58
    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA

    Exactly my thought. Looked like significant heat on metal. I didn’t capture it in the picture, but it was really clear
     

  7. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Holic

    730
    Jun 7, 2011
    clinton, ia
    I bought a nos 12ay7 from probably the same guy. It looked the same way and was unusably noisy so I returned it but still had to pay return shipping. Old tubes are a pricey pain in the butt. I use them very sparingly.
     

  8. DougM

    DougM Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 5, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    Dan40 must have no nerves left in his fingers, 'cause I've never seen a 12AX7 in any amp that wouldn't burn my fingers if I touched it. When tube rolling in my Jolida (stereo integrated amp) I often burned myself by not letting them cool enough before I pulled them to try another.
     
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  9. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    I've always wondered what's to prevent unscrupulous sellers from taking a recent-manufactured tube and relicing it to mimic a nos tube...
     

  10. Paulie Walnuts

    Paulie Walnuts Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    111
    Apr 15, 2017
    Pennsylvania
    It's because the new stuff is so obviously different in it construction and materials a fake would be easily spotted. Although there are plenty of tubes being faked out on the market. There is a well known guy to others in the tube collecting world that sells tubes on the bay that he gold plates the pins and then offers them as rare tubes at insane prices
     
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  11. OneHenry

    OneHenry Tele-Holic

    Age:
    62
    569
    Apr 16, 2018
    North carolina
    If I saw a "NOS" tube that had a pristine looking label, I would be suspicious and wonder if it is a "reissue". Reissues use a ceramic type ink that doesn't wear off, "NOS" tubes generally used ink to mark the type number that would wear off; the brand name on NOS tubes may have been, but not always, printed in a ceramic ink that didn't wear off. You can usually trust numbers and symbols that are etched in the glass (with acid). I would imagine that counterfeiters could also etch numbers and symbols onto a tube, something that could happen with really expensive tubes.

    In the 70s I was a part-time TV repairman and a shop I worked in went through a lot of tubes, most of the brand new tubes we had on the shelf had chewed up lables. If the tubes had been in a tube caddy, the boxes were chewed up too.
     

  12. OneHenry

    OneHenry Tele-Holic

    Age:
    62
    569
    Apr 16, 2018
    North carolina
     

  13. OneHenry

    OneHenry Tele-Holic

    Age:
    62
    569
    Apr 16, 2018
    North carolina
    I've burned out the heat sensors in my finger tips from removing hot tubes from 1972 to 1980. Started during vocational radio TV class in high school, and pretty much ended when I stopped repairing TVs and stopped working in a telephone office in 1980.
     

  14. djh22

    djh22 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Age:
    62
    501
    Jan 12, 2012
    VA
    NOS? NFW!
     

  15. schmee

    schmee Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    The pins are always dark on NOS tubes, not from use. So dont worry about that. Probably from the heat of enclosing the glass I suppose.
    I have a sleeve (5) of RCA 12AX7's out there I know are new. The pins are dark.
     
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  16. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Holic

    865
    Aug 19, 2015
    Richmond Va
    I have never handled a 12ax7 from a preamp that was hot enough to discolor metal. That tube would have to be biased extremely hot (which most preamp tubes aren't) to discolor metal pins. Think about how hot a 100 watt incandescent light bulb burns in a lamp...have you ever unscrewed one with a black, discolored base? Power tubes are a different story, and depending on how they are biased can run extremely hot.
     

  17. schmee

    schmee Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    An amp does not produce enough heat to discolor the steel pins that way. Not even remotely close. "the temperature range between the softening point and the working point of glass is between 700-1000°C. " That's the temp the pins saw when manufactured. Some of today's tubes use a different metal/finish than plain steel. That's why they are shiny bright.

    Regarding NOS vs OS:
    Now days the only way a seller would know for sure if he has NOS is if he bought it back in the day and it's sat in the box for decades in his possession. Everything is else is just guessing. I agree with those that say what matters is how it performs and if it has retained it's vacuum. I've had "nos" pre tubes flash and get creamy white immediately when used. They had lost their vacuum.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    The colors we sometimes see on the pins that look like they have been heated probably came from either the welding of the internal parts to the pins and/ or the melting of the glass bottle around the pins.
    Both glass and steel melt at similar temps, but the internals include steel and copper among other metals like tungsten windings IIRC.

    Anyone know what the pins are made of?
    How about platings?
     
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  19. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Holic

    865
    Aug 19, 2015
    Richmond Va
    I had posted back in the beginning of the thread that the rainbow effect on the pins was likely from the torch used to melt and seal the glass around the pins. Most of my old NOS tubes show this discoloration also. I usually notice a darkening of the glass near the bottom of preamp tubes after they have spent time in an amp. Most new in box tubes will have a nice clear glass at the base from what I have seen in my stash.
     

  20. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    FWIW I've had dozens of NOS tubes that looked similar to the one in the OP.

    Paint wears off in storage simply from boxes being moved around for decades. And some pins tarnish over time to exactly that sort of look.

    The seller accepting the return indicates to me that they're perfectly legit as well. IME fraudulent sellers usually offer partial refunds (if any) or offer to send the buyer some "used" tubes to offset the deal.

    It's nearly impossible to tell visually unless a tube is scratched or otherwise damaged. You can't tell by pin color or slight logo wear.
     

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