A comment in an earlier post got me thinking about this subject.
I can only speak of my very limited experience with new vs nos tubes, and offer some thoughts, but I'd to hear from other tube gear owners.
I think we can all agree that there is a preference for the old famous tubes of yore, but we also know that NOS it a term used loosely by some sellers and we don't always get what we paid for. And, I believe that new production tubes have suffered in their reputation for reliability by new production problems, and many say they don't match the sound quality of the old. I think that mostly covers the controversies in a broad stroke.
Well at this point, having used new production tubes for a couple of years only, I can't really speak to the reliability of them, other than I have only experienced one failure in about two dozen new tubes. But NOS tubes, from several sources, even reputable ones, have had about a 1 in 5 failure rate within a short time of initial use. I've bought at least 50 NOS tubes in the last several years. Models of new and NOS tubes include: EL-34, KT-88, 6V6, 12AX7 and its derivatives, 6GH8A and its derivatives, 6C4P-EV, 5U4G, and a few others I can't remember.
Except for the Blackburn-made Amperex 6GH8A's (the best sounding tube I have ever heard), the new production tubes have sounded better IMO. Now, granted, I have not spent a grand on a quad of NOS Mullard EL-34's, but I did buy a NOS set of SED Svetlana EL-34's, and the truth is, an 80.00$ quad of New production Mullard's sounded just as good at almost 1/3 the cost.
Here's what I think: Reliability issues with new production tubes will soon, if not already, be a thing of the past. Tube makers are working out the kinks, and they can probably do it more efficiently than could be done in the past. And because new tubes are almost exclusively used for sound reproduction, the focus is on sound quality. That was not the case in the past. And finally, given enough demand, new tube sound quality will surpass that of any and all old production tubes. Something to think about the next time you have to buy: Buying new supports new tube development and improvement.
I, for one, would love to see to what new levels of sound quality and reliability new tubes could be taken, by scrutinizing the old designs we love with modern testing methods and remaking them with improved production capabilities.
Saw DMH post this in RTM Tuesday and it's been eating at me all week so today it was time! Stereo/Mono who really cares? I received this album from a life-long friend living in the UK who's since passed and it's one of my most cherished in my Beatles Collection. Their 4th studio album and this, the 1st pressing, was released in by EMI in the UK in 1964. Such a great LP ANY way you look at it! Thanks to DMH for jogging the memory! Ohhhh, I sooo don't want to start on the Beatles stuff but I kinda do after hearing this great LP! Discogs? Never would have known it was a 1st pressing but knowing him it figures!
The weekly Associated Press Football Poll was just released. 1-Clemson 2-Alabama 3-Georgia 4-LSU 5-Ohio State 6-Oklahoma 7-Auburn 8-Wisconsin 9-Florida 10-Notre Dame. There are 5 SEC teams in the top 8. Other Big Ten teams in the top 25 are 11-Penn State, 14-Iowa, 20-Michigan. I am really surprised Michigan is ranked #20 after yesterday trailing Wisconsin 35-0 in the 3rd quarter. I really believe there are more than 19 teams that should be ranked ahead of the Wolverines. Hahahaha!
I wonder if U of ❌ is still negotiating that "Contact For Life" with Harbs??? 😎