The L.A. Vintage Gear Tube Collection
L.A. Vintage Gear unearthed and purchased a special collection of 9,000 vintage vacuum tubes consisting of the world’s most desirable types for audio and guitar amps. This unique collection includes excellent examples of the most desirable popular models from the apex of tube production. We have thousands of preamp, and power amp tubes, from: Mullard, Telefunken, Amperex, RCA, GE, Sylvania, Tung Sol, Philips, and more. This is very possibly one of the last large collections of vintage tubes to be found.
This premium collection was purposefully amassed over 25 years and includes top level tubes from the best American and European manufacturers from the pinnacle of tube manufacturing; known as “The Golden Era”. Tubes from this era have never been equaled since and they are a critical element in getting the tone that defines “that elusive sound” that we’ve all been chasing for decades.
The tubes made by these manufacturers have an intrinsic quality in build and tone that far surpasses all modern production. In the 1950’s and 60’s, tubes were the state-of-the-art technology. The largest and richest electronics companies in the world made the bulk of their revenues from tubes; therefore, the quality was the best it’s ever been, and the quality control was unrivaled.
You can trust that these tubes are properly tested, graded, and matched. We spent over three months with a crew using high quality test equipment including MaxiMatcher II, MaxiPreAmp II, Hickock 6000A and Military TV7 tube testers. Pairs and quads are matched within 5% of current draw where possible. Our rigorous testing goes far and above what is typical. We know you will be happy (and so will your amp).
We will be posting for sale: Mullard and Amperex EL34s and GZ34s, RCA, Sylvania, and GE 6L6GCs, Tung Sol, Philips and GE 6550s, all sorts of 12AX7s, 12AT7, 12AU7s and other preamp tubes. There are even 7591, 7199s, 7027s, 6SL7, 6SN7s, 6L6s, 6L6G, 6L6GA, 6L6GB and many other pre and power amp tubes.
There are still tube manufacturers out there making useable tubes; however, the production is of a much different standard than these Golden Era tubes. All modern tubes are made on machinery that is decades old and not operating to near the tolerances of the fresh toolings on which all these tubes were made. Modern tubes also have a very short functional lifespan; often losing power and sound quality in less than 100 hours. No modern tubes are measuring at the prescribed book specifications from the 50’s and 60’s . . . and those were guaranteed minimums back then! These vintage tubes, even if used, will measure better than any modern production and likely last for years, if not decades.
The vintage tube market is shrinking rapidly and has been for 20 years. Buying NOS tubes today that were manufactured by the famed manufacturers of yesteryear is an ever more difficult task. As the years go by, the stock of good quality US and Euro made NOS, ANOS (Almost New Old Stock) and used tubes has dwindled to the point that what is available from standard sources generally not the best quality. As we’re forced to buying tubes from unknown sources, Ebay, etc, there’s no certainty to what you’re buying. LAVG has gone to the trouble to test, match, and grade the entire collection of 9,000 tubes!
Common problems LAVG will help you avoid:
- Tubes labeled as matched but aren’t. Even by respected web tube dealers. While some of the dealers take care in matching, unfortunately some don’t.
- Tubes that are counterfeit. Way back when, it was common practice for the high quality brands such as RCA, Sylvania, Mullard and Amperex to rebrand their tubes for other manufacturers. For example, you will find Mullard ECC83/12AX7s with brands such as RCA, GE and many others. However this practice of rebranding continued when those original companies stopped making tubes. You will find RCA and other brand tubes that could be made anywhere from Czechoslovakia, India, Korea, Japan, China and Russia.
- Tubes that are mislabeled. For example you many find tubes labeled KT88s that are actually Tung Sol 6500s. While a great tube in their own right, they aren’t KT88s and cannot be used in a Marshall Major.
- Sold as NOS by a highly respected tube web dealer, are they truly NOS? We’ve seen those that aren’t.
The word is out and the tubes are going fast. Even before putting up this website, we have already sold out of some great tubes!