eBay sales Tube Receiver Pilfering

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by allied333, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. allied333

    allied333 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    waterford, mi
    I noticed more tube receivers on ebay than not that the tubes were robbed from the chassis. It appears the sellers are on to the high price of old stock tubes and sell them separately. It is disgusting IMO. Replacement old stock tubes can easily cost more than the receiver itself. Even at the lower prices without the tubes & not knowing the operating condition itself, these receivers are very bad deals. You can likely buy a receiver with tubes in operating condition at lower prices vs buying the receiver & the tubes separately. Stay away folks!

    A tip regarding the expensive power tubes in a used amplifier or receiver is looking at the tubes. An indicator of tube health is looking at the shiny chrome color getter flash on the tube glass. If reddish/brown or partly burnt away, the tubes are at end of life. A white frosty getter means the tube is dead due to lost vacuum. A set of four NOS (new old stock) power tubes can cost $125 to $400. Four NOS Tung-Sol 6550 can cost $1500!
     
    qwerty, apesfan and Bob_in_OKC like this.
  2. Night Version

    Night Version Active Member

    Location:
    New York
    What's disgusting about breaking down and selling a component by pieces? Especially if the pieces are worth more individually than as a whole? I did that with my Linn LP12. Sold power supply and tonearm separate from the rest. Also disgusting?
     
  3. allied333

    allied333 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    waterford, mi
    Linn LP12 is a turntable. I consider TT different vs tube receivers & amplifiers. Vintage tube equipment is somewhat rare. It is not good to sell off the pieces for maximum profit. Most parts in the amp are not worth much expect the audio transformers. It is the tubes that can make money. The vintage amps & receivers needs restored for now & future generations.
     
  4. pantoramasan

    pantoramasan Member

    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I do the same with amps and TT's etc. And some, if not most sellers, they put junk (weak) old or junk Chinese and Russian tubes to sell with the old amps. I find that more disgusting.
     
    enfield likes this.
  5. pantoramasan

    pantoramasan Member

    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I have purchase several vintage amps with crappy tubes which were unusable. So if I can find a vintage amp that I am interested in, I would prefer to buy tube-less (for less $$) rather than pay extra for junk tubes included.

    "it's not good to sell off pieces for maximum profit"

    By that comment I can only assume that you most likely have never owned or operated a small business. I have for well over 45 years. And regardless of merchandise, selling for maximum profit IMO is GOOD BUSINESS.
     
  6. There is a difference between good business and doing good for the hobby.
    If you're an individual audiophile who is dedicated to the hobby and you part out a vintage tube amp like that then I question your actual dedication to the hobby. If you're a business and parting out vintage tube amps like that then your business is bad for the hobby. There are still some audiophile businesses that manage to also support the hobby.

    If it becomes common to part out vintage tube amps like that then pretty soon there will be no more proper vintage tube amps for new audiophiles to experience. And that's a loss to the hobby.
     
    apesfan, riverrat, somnar and 3 others like this.
  7. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    Pretty much anything goes on ebay. If it bothers you, then stay away from it.

    jeff
     
  8. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    Easily solved: Don't buy it.

    That sends the clearest message of all.
     
  9. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Yep. It's the wild west. Amps with tube pulls are very common. Just as many sellers are selling pulled tubes from other amps. How would you buy those if no one ever pulled them? As someone who has restored and serviced amps for many years, I can say that not every vintage amp will have had its original tube set when it comes time to discover it again these days. Tubes failed decades ago and got replaced and they still fail now or test poorly and are replaced. That's why they have sockets...
    -Bill
     
    ti-triodes, octaneTom, timind and 4 others like this.
  10. Night Version

    Night Version Active Member

    Location:
    New York
    So then you buy the tubes you want on the tube market. Bunch of socialists here!
     
  11. Bubbamike

    Bubbamike Forum Resident

    Screwing your customers in the name of maximum profit is not good business. It is bad business and in time it will catch up with you.
     
  12. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    The seller is maximizing their profit.

    Think of it this way, if the amp is worth $1,000.00 with or without tubes and is sold with tubes, someone will buy it and flip it without tubes for the same $1,000.00 PLUS sell the tubes separately for $300.00 (or whatever).

    So why would the original seller give someone a gift?
     
  13. allied333

    allied333 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    waterford, mi
    Exactly, screw the unaware buyer. ???????
     
  14. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    No it's not. o_O
     
    dalem5467 likes this.
  15. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic
    If people own the tube receiver then they cannot "pilfer" the tubes. The thread title is clickbait. It would be better to just alert less experienced forum members to the practice and have them better research the cost of the receiver sans tubes and the cost of an optimal or basic retubing. That way they can judge whether the tubeless receiver is a cost effective purchase or actually overpriced.
     
    octaneTom, KT88, bluemooze and 2 others like this.
  16. allied333

    allied333 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    waterford, mi
    $300-$350 for stripped amp or receiver cost. Buy equivalent vintage 12AX7s & power tubes. Used vintage tubes costs $250 and NOS vintage tubes at $500. Cost for re-tubed item is $550-600 with used tubes or $800-850 for NOS tubes and it is in unknown operating condition. It could have a blown audio or power supply transformer. Rebuilding costs more & necessary for any vintage gear, of course. So, $1200-$1800 for a rebuilt vintage amp or receiver with replacement tubes? An operating Scott 340B just sold on ebay for $480. It is disgusting to pay that much for an unknown stripped vintage receiver or amplifier.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  17. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Yeah, your prices are correct but people who don't know what they're spending money on get what they deserve.
     
    Done A Ton likes this.
  18. allied333

    allied333 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    waterford, mi
    I deal in vintage gear as a hobby, but not a business. I watch over my customers. I like good karma in my life.
     
  19. You don't price valuable vintage gear as a gift if selling on eBay or Audogon or any of the other popular used gear sites. If you sell lower than market then someone will decide that they're Pawn Stars and buy it to strip and flip. So anything sold on those sites should be priced at or above market, and include the value of the tubes in that price. If you want to sell the amp at a lower price for karma then sell it privately and quietly and advertised quietly only amongst people you can trust not to flip it or part it out.

    My objection to this stripping and parting is just for vintage tube gear. Those vintage amps in good working condition need to stay together with their tubes. It's to maintain proper karma in the vintage audiophile universe. If you're selling a new production tube amp and decide to pull your NOS tubes from it before selling then no problem. But to do the same with a good vintage tube amp just invites bad karma and lessens the likelihood of that amp ever getting the tubes it deserves again.
     
    Gary likes this.
  20. allied333

    allied333 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    waterford, mi
     
  21. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    Having enjoyed lots of tube gear for decades, both hifi and musical instrument amplifiers, I never expect vintage equipment to have all original tubes. Or, for that matter, any of the original tubes. If all original tubes are present (a rarity, in my experience), then that might be a bonus. Or not.

    Tubes do wear out, blow up, and become microphonic. Even the hallowed vintage ones. Frankly, I've never been able to get many years of use from any piece of tube equipment without at some point having to replace at least some tubes. Power tubes are not forever. Rectifier and preamp tubes might last longer, but the original ones found in the amp realistically might not be offering the best performance. This counts for Fender and Marshall amps to 1950s Scott and Fisher integrated receivers, microphones, to modern preamps and effects and recording devices. Yes, I seek out the best sounding vintage tube replacements when possible. With power tubes especially, that is frequently becoming near impossible or cost prohibitive, however. We all have to make the best of the situation. It becomes impractical to depend on an old set of power tubes, even if they were original to the amp. And what about the many people who pull and store the original tubes anyway and set them aside so they don't wear?

    I can see why one would hope to get all original tubes and have them all be awesomely functional. And there's the hope that those tubes will offer the ultimate magical sound for that piece of equipment. So, if I was looking for a deal on an old piece of equipment, I would probably seek out an example with mostly original tubes (and yes, no tubes present is like a used car with no tires or spark plugs). But then, I know I need to be prepared to replace each and every one of those tubes if need be, and that will factor into the price of having that warm tube glow.
     
    Done A Ton likes this.
  22. allied333

    allied333 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    waterford, mi
    The stock preamp & phono tubes are never great sounding if original or not in vintage gear. So, I replaced those tubes. But, the old tubes are worth some money offsetting the cost of the new tubes if the tubes check out ok. I liked Fishers with those stock Telefunken 12AX7s. Those tubes never checked bad- seem to last 50000 hours per what I read. They sold for enough money to pay for the tubes you wanted.
     
  23. The Trinity

    The Trinity Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Maybe everything should be free to keep hobbiests happy.

    Maybe I’ll tell my boss to keep my paycheque too.
     
  24. Higlander

    Higlander Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida, Central
    I would look at tubes as being a light bulb.
    They are replaceable and do not last forever, no matter what.
    If you find one that seems to have lasted forever, it will not last much longer!
     
    krlpuretone likes this.
  25. allied333

    allied333 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    waterford, mi
    True, tubes do not last forever. But, sometimes you can get lucky. I bought an Allied 333 that appears to have little use over the years. I believe it was built in 1963. 5000 hours on the dial lights produces a dark color on the glass. This receiver has original dial lights with a dot of intact white glue on socket to bulb base indicating original bulbs. The bulb glass is clear like new. The tubes are obviously like new with guessing around 2000 hours use. I like have another 8000 use on the power tubes and other tubes likely will last 20000+ hours.
     

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