Where do you buy your tubes? From Conrad Johnson or ....

Discuss and chat about all things Conrad Johnson.
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Re: Where do you buy your tubes? From Conrad Johnson or ....

Post by Wildcat » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:45 pm

I could have shopped around the set I bought for the Premier 11, but I figured that Kevin and one of his employees had helped me with a few questions, so I had no problem giving them the business this time.

Wish I could have found a NOS 5751 pair, but the new production tubes are well reviewed, and they do sound good in the P11.
C-J PV-14L/C-J Premier 11/Vandersteen 2Ce

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Re: Where do you buy your tubes? From Conrad Johnson or ....

Post by plurn » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:18 pm

I stocked up on a heap of new old stock philips PCC88 from Electols/Halfin in Belgium for my ET5. Same tube that CJ uses for GAT 2 (and GAT in some cases). Very likely suitable for ET3 too.

Due to Electols long history supplying tubes (since 1946!) I would not be surprised if they bought them direct from Philips back in 1964 and have stored/sold them ever since. There are some examples of their advertisements for tubes on their Halfin website going back to 1947, as well as a bit of history of their company - quite interesting.

I've had lots of problems with tube life in my ET5, with most tubes lasting about 250 hours, yet this Philips PCC88 has turned that around. I just hit 4000 hours on my first one and it still sounds great with low noise.

Very reasonably priced for an excellent tube. I figured I could get a lot more for my money from Electols than from typically mentioned suppliers, then do my own matching/selection for noise. Even if I get a 60% reject rate I am still ahead. So far of four that I have tested they are all good and low noise.

Interestingly, earlier in the year they had over 4000 left and now it is down to 984. Maybe CJ bought them all?

I have not seen much other types of tubes of interest there for typical audio. Not in great volume anyway. No el34 or kt88 or m8080 or 12ax7 etc in large numbers unfortunately, and what they do have is not low priced. Lots of obscure weird tubes though.

RJ might want to pick up some of their 12AV7 tubes.


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Re: Where do you buy your tubes? From Conrad Johnson or ....

Post by Big Dog RJ » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:43 am

Yes, agreed on The Tube Store and other places that may stock them. The only thing is for me, I guess I'm old fashion, I'm still a bit skeptical when it comes to online ordering... I've had some nightmares along the way, wrong product sent/faulty etc..
Whenever I seem to phone direct and place an order via CJ, I've always received top quality, never had a single failure. I was hoping there would be a store somewhere in down under, where I could walk in, pick a tube and pay for it or at least try it out with a sort of guarantee from the seller. But nowadays these stores don't exist anymore. My daughter says "dad get with the times!"

CJ, Manley/VTL and ARC I have dealt with directly for tubes, and always received spares (one or two) just in case some were DOA- dead on arrival. Eve Anne Manley was one of the best in services in this regard, and now I don't find this level of service elsewhere, unless it was directly with the brand/manufacturer. On top of that, most of these well respected companies are based in the US, and we are located on the other side of the planet!
Anyway, perhaps as my daughter says and most of you who are sourcing online, it's probably time I get with the times...

Cheers and thanks for the advice,

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