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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Why do chain guitar stores stock crap for tubes?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by bluesholyman, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Holic

    Nov 10, 2013
    Greater Atlanta
    You'd think they would carry good all Groove Tubes. Occassionally you'll find some with JJs, but mostly its just run of the mill tubes...

    I really don't understand that...

  2. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    As for the ubiquity of Groove Tubes, my guess is that a good deal of it has to do with Groove Tubes's warranty on the tubes and their selection process. I'm sure there are other things going on as well. Most of the stores I've been in that are not big box stores and that seem to know what they are doing have JJs. In fact a lot of Groove Tubes are re-branded JJs or Sovteks, though they re-brand all kinds of things. I'm curious to see what other people say.

  3. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2010
    My guess is that it's because no two musicians would ever agree on what the 'good tubes' are.

  4. Jerry Lee

    Jerry Lee Tele-Afflicted

    May 29, 2011
    La Crescenta, CA
    I don't know about the tube situation at big box stores.
    What I want to know is if Tone is in the underpants why doesn't Guitar Center sell underpants. :D

  5. don71

    don71 Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 6, 2009
    Central Missouri
    What are you expecting? buyers expectations differ from sellers. They have only a few modern examples to offer.

    I'm no expert..if you want a good tube get and old school vintage tube. That might mean having to pay for it. I know that sounds easy enough. But that means researching a little bit and trusting those few vendors that hawk that stuff on our favorite buying sites.

    I'm not a gigging muso, but the old stuff deserves the old tubes. I'm not dissing JJ tubes or what ever, but if you have an old amp, put the correct era tube in there. At least get a matched set..consider that.

  6. Steve Ouimette

    Steve Ouimette Tele-Holic

    Aug 17, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Funny to hear "No, it's all Groove Tubes". Man, there was a time when Groove Tubes meant great tubes. Of course it's been a long time but back when I was just getting into Marshall's and needed tubes, Aspen Pitman was THE guy to talk to about them and his matching was great.

  7. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    I think you're expecting too much, like walking into McDonalds and getting upset that you can't get prime rib...

    That's not where you go for a fantastic meal, but it will fill your belly on the cheap...

    Same goes for good tubes and GC...

  8. Deeve

    Deeve Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 7, 2009
    My response in two words: "Price shoppers"

    When folks get me on the phone and their focus is Price, first last and always, I quickly lose interest in their project and find a way to pull out, but make it seem like their idea. Life's too short for cheap ham, low-bid surgery or crappy tubes. Save money on something else.

    Peace - Deeve


  9. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Aren't Groove Tubes a FMIC product? If so it would tend to make sense that the chain stores who are Fender licensed dealers would stock them and are probably given price incentives to so.

    It's the sale of lower cost not discounted merchandise with higher profit margins that pay the rent. I actually expect most of their accessories and parts stuff to fit into that category because that's the way I would do it too.

  10. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    What would be considered a good price for an RCA black plate 6V6? I see that tube depot has 1950's NOS listed at $100. That's a bit painful…

  11. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Holic

    Nov 10, 2013
    Greater Atlanta
    Yeah, maybe thats my beef. I can get a matched set of JJ 6v6s, for example, for $30-35 (some places more) at many small shops. A set of matched "premium" Groove Tubes (same JJs) is $60.

    I think that is why they don't carry other tubes and why I don't like buying Groove Tubes - its way over priced for what it is.
    soulman969 likes this.

  12. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Because! :)

  13. brogh

    brogh Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    I believe it's cuz most of the customers enter asking for a 6l6 ( or whatever ) tube.
    The guys who walks in and ask's for " do you have a mullard NOS 6l6 in stock ? " are quite rare, usually those customers source for tubes at speciallized tube shops.

    The goal of these chains stoere is to have the store picked clean form all items all the days of this would be a feaseable option, they simply stock the most selling articles, and even if some of those (different) article would probably sell, in a chain store policy this means stocking things for all the stores which can led up to big money.

    Shelf space has a cost, those shops tend to optimize it the most they can and shelf only things that they're 100 % sure they'll be sold.

    This is the reason why sometimes you get those blowout sales with "good" priced items for us to enjoy and spare a couple of bucks.

    My 2c

  14. Coach56

    Coach56 One of the Boys

    Aug 16, 2013
    Oak Park, IL
    Well I don't know about underpants, but at the very least they should be selling fingers
    brogh likes this.

  15. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 14, 2013
    my guess is that guitarists who know and care enough about things like RCA blackplates, Mullards, and Telefunkens are not spending a lot of time at GC. They're online, and ordering online.

  16. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Holic

    Aug 19, 2015
    Richmond Va
    I would also guess that for the tube business to be profitable, a seller must have large quantities on hand for matching and warranty purposes. This would also require specialized testing gear and training for the person who is doing the testing and matching. Since GT tubes already come tested and matched, it is much easier for the average store to sell these to a customer.

  17. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 3, 2012
    Austin, Texas
    There are plenty of places to buy good tubes. Why worry about what the chain stores carry?
    MilwMark likes this.

  18. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Dec 24, 2015
    my Mom's basement
    "There are plenty of places to buy good tubes. Why worry about what the chain stores carry?"
    because... GUITAR CENTER LOL
    Its an easy way to start a conversation. :cool:
    t guitar floyd and MilwMark like this.

  19. Jazzerstang

    Jazzerstang Tele-Afflicted

    I believe the original question the poster should ask is "why does Guitar Center only stock Groove tubes?"

  20. 24 track

    24 track Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc

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