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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if anyone has recommendations for good places to get tubes? I am familiar with the Tube Depot, Tube Store, and Eurotubes but am wondering if there are any other reliable sources?

My JCM2000 doesn't sound great so I figure it could do with being retubed (best to try that before sending it in to Yorkville for service) and am just starting to look around at tube retailers but the three mentioned above are the only ones that I am familiar with.
 

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Tube store is the only one in Canada (Hamilton) and shipping will be cheapest (there's some blurb on their website about whether they allow pickup to avoid that cost but I don't recall). Still list everything in US$ so you will get dinged for conversion. Prices are good (you ain't gonna do better after shipping from anyone else). Their matching / QC is good.

Eurotubes prices are about the same (worst case a few cents more) but their matching and QC are much better. You'll get dinged for more shipping and maybe duties (it's been a while since I ordered from them) and they only sell JJs online (if you call/email they have other stuff if you need things that JJ does not make or are out of prod). All in you will spend a bit more here, but it can be worth it if you like JJs but are worried about online horror stories about the occasional dud - won't get any from these guys. That said I haven't had a bad JJ yet, no matter the source.

Never used Tube Depot.
 

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In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with using The Tube Store. They are located in Canada and get the job done. I used to repair a lot of tube amps and I've never used anyone else. No reason to look for someone else when you've all ready got someone (mostly cause there is no one else in Canada at their level).
 

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To support GG's comments:
- Tube Store does allow pickups, just arrange it first
- I agree that their QC is only "good" as I've had several troubles; but they have never failed to make things right

Another suggestion is to find some friends and people you can learn to trust, like for example on a Canadian guitar forum of some type. Just a thought.
 

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I've had good luck with the Tube Store and Watford Valves in the UK. Shipping from the UK is usually cheaper and sometimes quicker than the US. I prefer the Tube Store because they list in Canadian $ if you have a Canadian account and shipping is cheap and quick.
 

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Do you need them "now"?
Then L&M have them.
If you can hold out, TubesStore have sales quite a lot.


Sent from my other brain.
 

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I've had pretty good luck with online orders through Tube Store although their stocks can be hit/miss if you're looking for certain tube types/manufacturers. Haven't had to do any returns with their tubes. I did have to process a return on the one/only online order I processed thru Tube Depot in the US, although and to their credit, they processed a full refund without questions or hassle.

Also used Gregg Levy from Hi Test Guitars with good luck a couple of times. He has no online ordering system and only processes by phone as he wants to chat to you about your application and personal needs. He's one of the few dealers I've come across that tests for noise and microphonics and will back his tubes accordingly. Not cheap, but an interesting personalized service that can add value if you're looking for one of those difficult to source or finicky tube applications (i.e.. need a super quiet V1, etc).
 

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Another +1 for Tubestore. Even if their QC is a little lacking, they've always made things right if necessary.

Are you looking for preamp tubes or power tubes or both?

Preamp tubes rarely wear out (they aren't providing power, only voltage amplification), but they can go microphonic or develop other audible problems. Because of that, you probably don't have to replace all of them. You could just buy a few to rotate them through different positions. And you could buy a couple different types just to sample the variety. Of course, the first couple of 'pre-amp' locations and the PI will have a more noticeable impact than the loop driver, for instance. For the extra $5, I personally like to used a 'matched pair' pre-amp tube in the PI as it makes the +ve and -ve waveforms more uniform in a push-pull amp. I will admit it is questionable if they sound better, but the tech in me thinks it just makes sense.

As for power tubes, I believe you will need a matched quad for that beast. Although others will disagree (some vehemently), I don't think 'expensive glass' or 'nos' won't yield much benefit if you aren't playing loud enough to clip the power tubes. That's really, really loud in a 100w amp. If you are only running it at reasonable levels, the tubes are linear and the circuit design has much more to do with the sound than the tubes. It's your money - and there's a huge difference involved when you're buying a matched quad. Just OMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Another +1 for Tubestore. Even if their QC is a little lacking, they've always made things right if necessary.

Are you looking for preamp tubes or power tubes or both?

Preamp tubes rarely wear out (they aren't providing power, only voltage amplification), but they can go microphonic or develop other audible problems. Because of that, you probably don't have to replace all of them. You could just buy a few to rotate them through different positions. And you could buy a couple different types just to sample the variety. Of course, the first couple of 'pre-amp' locations and the PI will have a more noticeable impact than the loop driver, for instance. For the extra $5, I personally like to used a 'matched pair' pre-amp tube in the PI as it makes the +ve and -ve waveforms more uniform in a push-pull amp. I will admit it is questionable if they sound better, but the tech in me thinks it just makes sense.

As for power tubes, I believe you will need a matched quad for that beast. Although others will disagree (some vehemently), I don't think 'expensive glass' or 'nos' won't yield much benefit if you aren't playing loud enough to clip the power tubes. That's really, really loud in a 100w amp. If you are only running it at reasonable levels, the tubes are linear and the circuit design has much more to do with the sound than the tubes. It's your money - and there's a huge difference involved when you're buying a matched quad. Just OMHO.

I have never retubed an amp so just assumed that I should replace all of them. But it makes sense that I could just do the power tubes. It uses EL34s but I am considering the JJ 6CA7s as I have read some good things about them in Marshall amps.

When pricing out all of the tubes for that amp the Tube Store seemed to be more expensive than some of the other vendors (and that was before tax and shipping).
 

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+1 more for the Tube Store, I have been using them as my go to source for years now.
They have a lot of quality options and pickup can be arranged.

L&M is good if I need something immediately.
I have also used Eurotubes for JJs in the past and they are a good supplier, but I haven't used them in a long time as the Tube Store and L&M are more convenient.
 

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Another vote for The Tube Store here! Reliable, good prices and fast and cheap shipping!


Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
 

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The tube store hamilton
 
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