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Thread: Fake Valves

  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Bishops Stortford

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    I'm Chris.

    Default Fake Valves

    I am intrigued by this notion of fake valves.

    The cost and aggro of producing a viable looking fake valve must be beyond most people. So are they just claiming old valves as NOS or worst relabelling different available valves with a new identity?
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  2. #2
    Join Date: Dec 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 49
    I'm Dan.

    Default

    Yes to both. I personally have never seen (at least to my knowledge) a re-labelled fake, but I have known a number of people that have bought them in the past.
    As for buying tubes that are supposed to be NOS and are used. I run into this all the time. I have an amp on the bench right now with a bunch of RCA tubes in it. I told the owner one went gassy, two are noisy and his response was "I just bought those, they're supposed to be new in box, old stock"
    Dan Santoni

  3. #3
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Bishops Stortford

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    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackdog View Post
    Yes to both. I personally have never seen (at least to my knowledge) a re-labelled fake, but I have known a number of people that have bought them in the past.
    As for buying tubes that are supposed to be NOS and are used. I run into this all the time. I have an amp on the bench right now with a bunch of RCA tubes in it. I told the owner one went gassy, two are noisy and his response was "I just bought those, they're supposed to be new in box, old stock"
    Thanks Dan

    I often buy 45 triodes from the USA, and you just have to trust sellers with multiple feed backs, and hope that the test data they supply is good.

    Haven't really found a source of 45 triodes in the UK.
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  4. #4
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Rugeley

    Posts: 163
    I'm Steve.

    Default

    Depends what you call fake. The Mullard name is legitimately being used again by Sovtek, but the valves are nothing like the original Mullards. Make no mistake, large parts of the valve scene can be a minefield. That's why people try to get hold of original 'name brand' valves albeit it a premium price. For hifi use, used within their parameters ie not overdriven, personally I don't think it makes that much difference. At least, it's subjective and I'm not going to get into subjective arguments, there's no proof for anyone there, it's just one person's opinion vs another's. But for pro electric guitar amp use the difference is chalk and cheese when overdriven. The cheap valves sound discordant and sour, and Mullards sound sweet, 'chimey' and rich in even order harmonics. When they're not overdriven, the difference is far less evident.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

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    Default

    As with any up-market desirable commodity from well-respected manufacturers, it is just as likely that valves will be counterfeited along with Swiss watches, luggage, women's handbags and anything else sporting desirable labels.

    So too in the audio world there are counterfeit, or fake Neumann and AKG microphones, as there are Siemens & Halske and Telefunken valves. These fakes can be spotted if you know what to look for - as an occasional pastime I look to see if someone is wearing a fake Rolex watch. Again easy to do if you know what to look for.
    Barry

  6. #6
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Worcestershire, UK

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    I'm Rob.

    Default

    I hear these work really well. Illuminating!
    Rob.
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  7. #7
    Join Date: May 2012

    Location: London

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    I'm Spartacus.

    Default

    Is this a for sale or wanted ad? Perhaps it should be moved unless bumpy wants to buy some fakes?
    Cheers, Jeff

  8. #8
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 40,499
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    Thread moved. It did not belong in 'Private Exhibitions'!

  9. #9
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: London

    Posts: 538
    I'm James.

    Default

    " For hifi use, used within their parameters ie not overdriven, personally I don't think it makes that much difference. At least, it's subjective and I'm not going to get into subjective arguments, there's no proof for anyone there, it's just one person's opinion vs another's."

    I agree that subjective reports are not worth arguing over, however I can easily measure differences between different valves when rolled in the same hifi equipment, at least in single ended circuits. It seems that such differences are not as clear in push pull amps, pentode driven amps, and others with higher levels of negative feedback.

    If one could obtain valves from different manufacturers which had identical measured characteristics then those differences *should* disappear, this is why matching across channels can be so important. Whether that would prevent the subjectivists from continuing to find sonic differences I doubt, but that is not my issue. Anyway valves of different constructional type will never measure the same so my proposition is at best hypothetical!

    Also agreed, the differences in guitar amps and their ilk are far more obvious.

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  10. #10
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: South Wales

    Posts: 7,330
    I'm NotTakingLifeTooSeriouslyTheseDays.

    Default

    Back when everyone seemed to be building equipment using 6922, 7308, ECC88 etc, it was brought to my attention that some unscrupulous dealers were in fact re-labeling variable mu triodes up as the real deal, not good. However, as to fakes in general, well, as has already been stated, Sovtek owns quite a few of the old original brand names these days, ie; Mullard, Tungsol, Gold Lion, etc, and produce valves under these brand names, although again; they are nothing like the originals in internal structar apearance, or sonics, still, they are not bad valves, just diffrent.
    In fact, Mike Matthews, who owns Sovtek, is responsible for producing, and thus supplying the Audio Industry with two very good, and useful all-new power Tetrodes, those being; the KT120, and the KT150.
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