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Friday, March 13, 2015

NOS Tubes

Do you love NOS tubes? We do! 

I (Ken) myself is a very, very small time collector. From time to time, I do look for bargains on the net and from friends to increase my collection with unique exotic tubes. NOS tubes are like antiques. Prices only go in 1 way - up! It can be considered as an financial investment as well if one does not plan to use it.

Well, today's topic is not about financial investment or NOS tubes collection. It is about, USING EXOTIC NOS TUBES in your amplifier. We are not talking about those common NOS tubes that have been used by big time manufacturers, where the price is sky high and the good quality ones are already in the hands of collectors. Those that people can find in the market now are the 2nd or 3rd rate NOS tubes. Once in a while, something that is of the higher grades do appear and is being snapped up by rich and/or smart audiophiles. 

We have seen NOS preamp and driver tubes that fetch over U$1,000 a piece, or more. How insane is that?

So, why are we still hoo-haa-ing over NOS tubes? It is because, there are still PLENTY of exotic NOS tubes around that users can use! They are still at dirt cheap price. Those super old and super high quality ones still can be found in eBay or in dealers' stashes, at very reasonable prices. 

Why are they still being so inexpensive? Are they inferior in quality? Not at all! In fact, some of them are better in quality and produce much better sound. A few of the reasons are as follow:

* They are not being used by big time manufacturers and therefore lesser demand.
* No as many hoggers, "investors", and collectors are going after these tubes. 
* Not many users are capable of using them due to their non-mainstream electrical and mechanical properties.

We often scout the market for such gems and we will use them in our customized amplifiers, with excellent results and very economical price. We got the technical know how and the foresight to detect such unpolished diamonds in the "rubbish" pile. Once properly designed and implemented, these exotic NOS tubes are miles and kilometers ahead of the "leftover" tubes or even the new production tubes, not taking into consideration the unique outlook and collectible values. If you follow our blog, you would have probably discovered some of them.

Some may ask, what are those exotic NOS tubes you are referring to? Well, today is your lucky day. We are going to show you some. For those lucky ones, you can immediately buy and implement it in your designs. For those without the technical knowledge, it's our time to make some money out of you to install one of these exotic babies in your setup. The collectible value and uniqueness in look and sound are priceless!

Below are some pictures taken out of the internet to show our readers some exotic NOS tubes they can use. If it infringes your copyright, please kindly let us know and we shall remove them immediately. Some of the tubes are still cheap but some of the tubes have already reach quite unreasonable price due to the uniqueness. We still show you for completeness sake. And, you can still request them to be used for your design if you are willing to pay the premium for these tubes.

Contact us, and we can explore these options together. The NOS tubes world is much bigger than this. It's good to use those uncommon NOS tubes to save the Earth's scarce resources. It is good for your wallet! It sounds great! It looks even better! It has substantially more value than the generic reissue tubes! 

Have you ever imagined using very, very old and exotic NOS Cossor, MOV, GEC, Telefunken, Mullard, Osram and similar tubes? A lot of us are taken back due to the stratospheric prices. A GEC U52 or U53 is almost U$500 now depending on the condition and the type. Do you know how much is a match pair of Telefunken ECC803S with <> bottom? It is U$2250. 

I would rather spend this money on good irons and use the leftover funds to invest in the non-mainstream exotic NOS tubes. That is what we call "good investments". 

Imagine your friends' faces when they visit you to have a listen. They will be drooling over the Telefunken, Cossor, MOV, and GEC tubes based preamp and power amplifiers that they can only dream of using mainstream gears. The mainstream NOS tubes could have been more expensive than their gears now.


Telefunken AZ1 Mesh Plate Rectifier

CK1006 Gas Rectifier

Purple glow of CK1006

Cossor 6J5G

Smoked glass Cossor 6J5G

Cossor AT20

Cossor 220


GEC U31 rectifier

RGN2004 Mesh Plate

RGN1064 Mesh Plate

Marconi MU14

Marconi U14

Nice Marconi label

Philips 1823 Mesh Plate

Telefunken RGN1064

Telefunken RGN1064 Rectifier

Telefunken RGN2004

RGN2004

RGN2004 Mesh Plate - lighted

J&K Audio Design

3/13/2015



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* Finished amplifiers, DACs, audio gadgets, upgrades and repairs - this is not our core business and we do it out of passion. We do not have fixed models, fixed price and we customize for each individuals. The sky is limit of creativity.

* Our product lines are always improving and increasing. If you do not see what you want, contact us!

* Please email for volume discounts, distributor and OEM pricing.

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