Hi Dave!Thanks Gregg..I'm going to look into the references you have given me.
+1 on all the good advice so far. I live 10 minutes from
and you should check out their site. There's more than just tubes but also tube sockets, retainer "springs" for output tubes, coupling caps and electrolytics and even some grill cloth!
The other stuff I get from American online guys like
I never use partsconnexion 'cuz as was said they cater mainly for the tube audiophile hifi guys. Those people have more money than brains! They'll pay $400 per foot! for speaker wire and then think it must sound better just because it cost $400 per foot! It must be the only field where instead of learning more of the real technicals you just pay excess money for the right to brag...
I'm not slamming partsconnexion as I'm sure they are competitive within their market world. I just don't buy into that world myself. I have a lot of technical knowhow but that just makes it harder for me to buy into what passes for tech info in that market world. What they put in their advertising usually strongly conflicts with anything and everything I've ever learned. And I'm not rich enough to get into bragging wars over gear I've bought.
I've seen 12AX7s sold for $50 U$ that were the same brands that we guitar amp guys buy for less than $10. The extra cost was "justified" by enclosing a "test certificate" suitable for framing with each tube. If you were a true techie and understood the parameters on the certificate you quickly saw that the results didn't indicate the tube was anything incredible. The test results were simply normal for any decent run-of-the-mill 12AX7!
Unless you are independently wealthy and also have a strong urge to brag I'd stay away from the tube audiophile world.