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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know if the tube store price matches. I noticed that their prices are a lot higher than KCA. I sent an email several days ago but it went un answered. Mike at KCA answers his emails almost immediately.
I was hoping to save a few bucks in shipping with the tubestore as its local to me.
 

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It should say somewhere on the site if they price match.
 

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Ya but...... KCA appears to be in the USA. Tube Store is Hamilton. And KCA shipping policy is:
International Orders ($100 minimum excluding shipping)

Be sure you're comparing $US to $CDN. Watch out for customs' fees.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ya but...... KCA appears to be in the USA. Tube Store is Hamilton. And KCA shipping policy is:
International Orders ($100 minimum excluding shipping)

Be sure you're comparing $US to $CDN. Watch out for customs' fees.
Yes I've submitted a quote from KCA and will estimate the customs which I know won't be alot. I'm trying to request a quote from the tubestore but they are just brutal for communication. I emailed through their form several days ago and just sent another one a few minutes ago. I've tried to call but they don't pick up their phone. Even if the tubestore ends up being a little more money I'd go that way as I can pick up local which means one less time those tubes life need to be shipped. I guess if I don't soon get a hold of them I'll have no choice but to go with KCA. I've ordered from them before and not had a problem. That was many years ago though.
 

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What do you mean get a quote? They have the prices online. If you're local then the shipping should be negligible - but they will still probably ship it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What do you mean get a quote? They have the prices online. If you're local then the shipping should be negligible - but they will still probably ship it.
Yes I got the quotes online. Finally got hold of tubestore so I'll be going with them as the price difference isn't too bad.

4 JAN GE 12AX7WA

Tubestore $360 US no shipping needed
KCA $334 US with the shipping

The heartbreaking thing is I remember buying these tubes 10 years ago for about $30 each.
 

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Ya but...... KCA appears to be in the USA. Tube Store is Hamilton. And KCA shipping policy is:
International Orders ($100 minimum excluding shipping)

Be sure you're comparing $US to $CDN. Watch out for customs' fees.
Part of the issue is that Tubestore's prices are all in US$ so comparison is very easy. It's an issue because that puts all the currency fluctuation risk on the consumer vs the seller. It is also a strategy to get NE Yanks to buy online from them; brilliant but not exactly very good for Canadian customers. Their prices are not competative on most items (some items much worse than others) unless you have a very small order so the shipping savings covers the price differential - either that or a very large order where bulk price breaks apply. They also allow for local pickup IIRC, but it's not that close to me personally so I haven't tried that.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Part of the issue is that Tubestore's prices are all in US$ so comparison is very easy. It's an issue because that puts all the currency fluctuation risk on the consumer vs the seller. It is also a strategy to get NE Yanks to buy online from them; brilliant but not exactly very good for Canadian customers. Their prices are not competative on most items (some items much worse than others) unless you have a very small order so the shipping savings covers the price differential - either that or a very large order where bulk price breaks apply. They also allow for local pickup IIRC, but it's not that close to me personally so I haven't tried that.
Luckily for me they are on the way to where I work so not really out of the way. I have to consider some of the value of not having the tubes shipped so no risk of damage during shipping as part of the value for me. If the tubestores price is only a little higher its still worth it. If I have an issue KCA states on their policies that they don't cover shipping either way. The tubestores policies are that they will take care of shipping if they have to send out a replacement. So if you're having it shipped theres a little less risk there. I would think that the tubestore might be a little more careful screening knowing they are covering shipping in the event of a replacement.
I know on most forums KCA gets lots of love but I was talking privately to someone who was sent an old used tube that was sold as NOS.
 

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Part of the issue is that Tubestore's prices are all in US$ so comparison is very easy. It's an issue because that puts all the currency fluctuation risk on the consumer vs the seller. It is also a strategy to get NE Yanks to buy online from them; brilliant but not exactly very good for Canadian customers.
If you log in with your Canadian address, presto, Canadian prices.
 

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Try them. I had a long chat with the owner once when doing some work on the building. Seems like a straight up guy and quite a selection
 

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If you log in with your Canadian address, presto, Canadian prices.
Yes, but my point still applies. This is from their site (emphasis mine):

"All prices default to U.S. funds.

Attention Canadian customers:
- Canadian orders that are shipped to an address within Canada will be converted to CAD after you enter your shipping address. If you register the website prices will be shown in CAD once you login to your account (Note: you will need to provide a Canadian shipping address when creating your account).
- The prices are converted to CAD at the current exchange rate."

If you login (assuming account; personally F that; too many accounts and I'll order from them once every 2 years) it will convert the US $ price to CA on the fly, vs at checkout, but their prices are always based on US$. Check back the price of the same item week to week - fluctuates, but the US$ price remains the same. Lately that's been a bit better (relatively) for us with our rising dollar, but for the past few years not so much.
 

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4 JAN GE 12AX7WA
Tubestore $360 US no shipping needed
KCA $334 US with the shipping

Don't forget taxes. With the exchange and pickup rather than shipping, it is over 500 ($508 according to xe.com) Canadian for a quad of these tubes.
 

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I have several of those JAN 12AX7WA tubes, as well as other JAN tubes. I found a stash of unused, unopened tubes several years back.

Are they good? Yes, but they are not necessarily that much better. It is very much a case of depends. It depends on what amp, what volumes, playing alone or with others, etc. How picky to do want to be.

If I put them in my Vibro Champ, they seem very well suited.
If I put them in my Mesa F100 212 combo, they are microphonic, eventually, when loud, clean with my Tele that has a SD Five Two bridge pickup, and definitely microphonic when driven. I have also tried JJ, and have gone back to new Mesa tubes. Resolved, just works as it is supposed to. Drink the Koolaid and move on.

I use JAN EL84 (6BQ5) in my Mesa Mini Rec and my Dr.Z. Maz 18R. They work exceptionally well in these amps and really seem to last. I bought two premium Tubes Store EL84 tubes for the Maz when I needed tubes, and they were awesome for about 3 months. I paid well over $130 for these two tubes. That might have even been in USD. I had recently tripped over my stash of JAN tubes and rolled two of each, unmatched, in both amps. Stunning, and have been in there at least two years.

I have a Ceriatone Expression Trainwreck clone that came with JJ tubes. Awesomely loud and bright. I wanted to tone down from loud EL34L power tubes and rolled all my JAN 6V6 tubes through that amp. That amp lets you easily read or grade values of tubes, so burned them in some and took readings. I wound up grading a good half dozen matching sets. That amp loves being loud with EL34 tubes by design. I liked it best with the original 6CA7 tubes from my Garnet Session Man and a full compliment of JAN 12AX7WA, but still wants to be played way too loud to sound great. It now has JAN 6V6 and the original JJ 12AX7 in there, and allows a more tolerable volume with Trainwreck tone. However, I still would love to try some vintage Mullard power tubes in this beast.

I rolled the assortment of tubes through at least a dozen amps that I own and have either left them in or put a common available tube back in.

As an example, I decided that Fender knew what they were doing with the Fudge Brownie ‘65 PRRI. That amp is 100% just fine for me as delivered. All the screwing around swapping tubes and speakers was only an educational experience.

As I said, it all depends, and your mileage may vary
 

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Discussion Starter #19
4 JAN GE 12AX7WA
Tubestore $360 US no shipping needed
KCA $334 US with the shipping

Don't forget taxes. With the exchange and pickup rather than shipping, it is over 500 ($508 according to xe.com) Canadian for a quad of these tubes.
Well the nice thing about local pickup is that I have a native status tax exempt. When I order online its a very difficult thing to fill out forms to get that back from the government and mostly I don't bother.
 
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