RavenDave's Dozen & Then Some (Revised : 7/2/2021) - Some of the Best Tubes in History are Available Right Now!!! REVISED AGAIN~!!! And again...
Dave’s Two Dozen & Then Some~ My Absolute Favorites.
THE BEST OF THE BEST 12AT7 & 12AU7 TYPES
These Are Guaranteed For a Year~! - So Purchase Without Worries About Future Problems? - Questions, Just Talk to Me
Tubes I have in stock for sale to Raven Family Members ONLY! - are as follows - all are pristine untouched NOS pairs - except where designated. I have to say that of all the tubes I have listed, there are NO fair to midland tubes here. They are all really excellent tubes. These tubes are purposely collected and listed here for Raven Audio family members, and I have gone to great expense and time to get them here for you. I have done so to make you understand how valuable it is to put the best tubes ever made into your Raven amps. You will find that it makes a HUGE difference.
1.) Brimar 1950's 6060 "Yellow T's" $300 (#1 in the world - #1 Dave's Dozen) SOME IN STOCK!
2.) Brimar 1950's CV4024 black plates $110 (#5 or 6 - Depending on Your System - 80% of the Yellow T) GONE SORRY. In fact, these look identical - so they may be the same tubes physically... but something is different, because they sound a tiny bit less bold, dynamic and punchy.
3.) Brimar 1950's 13D9 black plates $90 (Dave's Dozen, top 25 Really Wonderful Authentic 1950's era Brimars!) IN STOCK.
4.) Mullard 1970's CV4024 copper/charcoal plates $90 (A Really Good Tube, MUCH better than anything newly made) OUT SORRY
5.) Mullard 1960's CV4024 3-hole wrinkled glass $150 (top 10) Sorry, Out of Stock Now.
6.) Mullard 1960's ECC81/12AT7 3-hole plates $120 (top 15) Out of Stock.
7.) RCA 1950's black plate 12AT7's (yes, real ones!) $80 (Dave's Dozen) One of the Very Best USA made tubes in existence, while they last!
8.) Philips USA 1940's era WW2 shiny black plates $100 (Dave's Dozen) Another of the best ever USA glass... Every bit as good as the RCA's, just different. These are from the WW2 era and were used in Naval communications... and we all know how rigorous USN specs are. Excellent in every way.
9.) Sylvania USA 1940's WW2 shiny black plates $100 (Dave's Dozen) Rounds out the top of the USA made tubes. Just fabulous~! Really!! Another US Navy communications tube, only this is Sylvania's version of the same tube. Side by side they look and sound very much the same.
10.) Seimens 1960's era ECC81's - NOS (new in white box) $120 (Dave's Dozen) THIS BATCH TURNED OUT TO BE REALLY FABULOUS.
11.) Valvo 1960's era ECC81's - NOS (new in white box) $170 (Dave's Dozen) ALMOST OUT!
12.) Raytheon 1950's era 12AT7 black plates $100 (top 25 in the world) Out Sorry.
13.) GE 1950's era ***** (5-star) 12AT7 black plates $100 (top 25)
14.) Raytheon 1950's 12AU7 black plates (SALE PRICE!) $100 (top 25) This is a super USA made tube, ranks closely with the other three USA made.
15.) CBS Hytron 1950's era 12AU7 shiny black plates* *$120-160 (depending on if NIB authentic boxed, red letter, etc.) - THE best USA made "12AU7" in the world* - This 12AU7 tube is seriously punchy, bold, exceptionally holographic, and though the new GE's may have a tiny bit more bass in the 38-42Hz region, these tubes have the thunderous yet clean slam. They can move your pants legs if you have large woofers!... they are my favorite USA made "AU". The ones I just received from the UK are white lettered military 100-count box style, not the red labelled ones that say CBS on them. I still have a few of those too, but they are the exact same tube. I detect no difference sonically. LOVE these tubes I do~! Combined with a UK and German tube set, heavenly holographic magic! They will anchor your Avian or Elite Series amp/preamp complement like no other tube out there.
16.) Sylvania WW2 US Navy 12AU7 black plates, VERY RARE $120 (top 10) - Dave's Dozen - astounding!) Another highly exceptional military tube
17.) Philips - Harleen Holland 1950's era ECC81 $200 (top 10) - Very Few In Stock - Too few to add to my reduced price combos
18.) Telefunken 1960's ECC81 diamond on bottom $125 (top 15) - What can I say... no tube addict doesn't have some of these~! NONE!
19.) Telefunken 1960s ECC81 Special - Seimens made $120 (Dave's Dozen) OUT - Same as #10, only Telefunken QC, Rebranded - this current batch (arrived 7/24) is seriously downright incredible. They outperform most of my generic Valvo and Telefunkens... because they actually ARE branded Telefunken and Valvo a lot of the time. This large batch that I acquired seems to be just very special and exceptionally clean. The midrange is so "in the room" on these, made in the Harleen plant in the 60's, when you combine these with Yellow T's or Tungsrams, or the Amperex, they are just killer!
20.) Telefunken 1950's ECC81 angled getter!!!! $ OUT SORRY (#2/3 in the world - only the Telefunken E801CCS may be better - though I prefer these due to the cost versus sonic excellence. This tube is so close to the top Telefunken that I would recommend this one every time. The others are $500+)
21.) Amperex 1960's ECC81/12AT7 Japanese Made $150 (Dave's Dozen) Bright Red Globe w/White printing also. An extremely rare animal. Incredible! Fabulous, shockingly beautiful in every way. Delicate yet thunderous and full, punchy yet crisp and clean. What it does for big band, jazz and folk-rock such - Ronstadt, Taylor, Heart, Elton, etc. is just remarkable. Can't believe I still have some of these left in stock. When they are gone it's over. I have NEVER EVER seen any others of this particular tube. We were so darn lucky to get the 100 count boxes we did. Stock is Getting Very Low Now!
22.) Mullard ECC82 chrome/charcoal plates $120 (top 25 ECC82/12AU7) - The only way to surpass the great American black plates I have in stock! With one exception... the CBS shiny black plate #15 Sorry, no Telefunken, Seimens & Valvo ECC82's in stock right now, but they are coming.
23.) Raytheon 6414 black plates** **$120 These just In - Extremely Good Tubes, Exceptionally Rare Now in Black Plates
24.) Tungsram ECC82 Austria/Hungary $100 Just received these from my German supplier. Clean crisp, with deep bass, great for systems that may be sounding a little soft and especially good when listening to classical music recorded within the last 20 years.
25.) Nearly New Telefunken & Seimens (Ligthly used 90%) $100 These will still last a generation or two in your Raven Audio Avian Series amps and they will all sound exactly the same as the brand NOS ones. Pulls from old military bench equipment. GONE NOW, SORRY.
26.) RCA 12AU7 1950's black plates $100 (top 25 ECC82/12AU7) - The classic USA made tube, exceptionally good. Just acquired! OK, these are very close to the Hytrons, except thicker. They aren't better than the Hytrons and GE green print for large orchestral and movie soundtracks but they are exceptional for jazz and easy listening stuff like the folk rock of the 70's-80's and especially what is coming out on the alternative scene now. GONE SORRY!
27.) Tungsram ECC81 - Authentic Hungarian/Austrian $240 (#2) GONE NOW UNFORTUNATELY, I've been unable to find more~! It is a completely new tube for me... very surprising. We have sold a few pairs and everyone that has received them has been quite shocked at how good they are. This is a startlingly good tube for the price. I have owned many Tungsram tubes in the past but never this exact one. It was made in the early 60's in Austria, and Hungary also, and has a completely different inner structure from any I have seen in the past. Whatever they did when making this tube made it one of the best tubes I have ever heard. Different from the Yellow T's, different from the Telefunkens, and different from the Philips Holland. A crisp clean tube with massive bass response and a midrange to die for. It is not quite as warm as the Brimars, but is warmer than the Telefunkens. It excels at giving a holographic soundstage. Backup voices and percussion instruments pop out of nowhere. I am scrambling worldwide to find more of these. I wish I had hundreds!
28.) GE 12AU7 Green Print - shiny small box plate (from UK, Made in USA 50's era) $110 This is a new variation on the same plate (shiny black anode) as the Hytron, only with horseshoe getter, so they are actually a '50's variation of the same tube, same plate structure etc. The only difference I can see is the horseshoe getter. These tubes are outstanding which is why I invested a huge amount to bring them here. There was a minimum purchase requirement. For what you get this is truly an unbeatable price. This tube is in my personal amplifier in place of my Hytrons right now, and it is really showing me that I know so little about what is out there and the difficulty in comparing and rating them for my Raven Audio family. So close to the Hytrons, but I am noticing if anything they might have a little more bass. Still the same tight clean punchy bass quality, but I am aldo noticing a little more depth on the deepest bass, nice and round, fat - probably in the 39-45Hz region but maybe slightly less slam and punch. But I really love the clarity and deep bass and nice mid-range throughout. Really a bargain for the price for a tube of this quality and pedigree... just exceptional untouched NOS tubes with perfect labeling and beautiful clean clear glass envelope revealing a beautifully built pristine inner structure~!!! 100+ IN STOCK
29.) GE 12AU7 Green Print - lg. ladder plate (from UK, Made in USA 50's era military) $90 OK, these are completely different from the shiny box plates, #28 above. These are much cleaner, bold sounding and highly holographic. If you use these with German tubes depending on your speakers, horn speakers will be highly accurate, delineated and punchy like the Hytrons and GE green label above (#28). But they also go really perfect with Brimar Yellow T's, Amperex or a pair of 3-hole Mullards, Brimar black plates, either CV4024 or 13D9's. Their warmth is a perfect balance with this tube's holographic clarity. I mean DEEP soundstage with really deep clean bass. Expect to hear the frets on acoustic and electric guitars. So clean that it can almost become troublesome in small rooms with no wall treatment. Also great with vinyl because of this. These go very well with Tekton, Legacy or Volti Audio, and many well-designed warmer speakers also. A really excellent tube that will last 10,000+ hours in an Avian or Elite series amplifier. just a really fabulous 12AU7~! Almost a must at this price. NOS perfect shape, looks like they were made yesterday! 100+ IN STOCK
30.) SHUGUANG 6L6GC Coke Bottle Glass - As Beautiful to look as they sound~!!! $200 per matched quad. These are the last of the Chinese military stock. They are COMPLETELY different than the Shuguangs that are almost everywhere for a lot less. Those are usually from 90's and later era manufacturing. They suffer from horrible bias drift over time and sonically they are flat around the edges. In other words they lack upper end extension and deep bass response, though the newer ones have a nice midrange they sound completely lifeless when compared to the older military ones like these that were made in 1970. These were found in Pakistan and India in the late 80's and brought to the UK by the Mullard/Brimar distributor. They have been in storage since then. A few batches of these were sold earlier in 25 count boxes, but all are long gone now. We just purchased the rest of them. 100+
31.) COMING SOON! - ECC81 European Philips - Mullard manufactured in the 80's. - More information later, testing now. Sounds very promising~!
32.) COMING SOON! - CV4003 Brimar - A fabulous ECC82/12AU7 equivalent. - More information later, testing now. Sounds excellent!
33.) COMING SOON! - 12AU7 Sylvania black plate - 1950's era - European distribution, awaiting their arrival for testing.
34.) COMING SOON! - ECC82 Brimar - 17mm long plates - 1960's era - Test pair is here, listening - so far they sound exceptional~!
**An audio tube all on its own. It has a gain of 37 where the ECC81/12AT7's are 70 and the ECC82/12AU7 tubes have a gain of 17-19. So if your speakers have a sensitivity of 88 or lower, this tube can boost the Avian Series amplifier to where it better matches those harder to drive speakers - when placed in ROW 3. It can add more punch and presence, but at the same time may possibly overdrive speakers in the 90+ range, where 12AU7/ECC82's are going to be perfect. This tube can also be used in Row's 1 & 2, for a fabulous sound improvement, lowering the noise floor on sensitive speakers due to its lower gain. If you are hearing some noise in your system - which occurs quite often in old homes and buildings where numerous generations of electrical wiring have occurred - THIS MAY BE YOUR SOLUTION~! A truly wonderful USA made tube, that is about a half inch taller than other normally seen tubes. The plates are larger and the structure inside is MUCH more ruggedized making this an extremely quiet and at the same time a quite sensitive preamp tube.
IMPORTANT NOTE: These packages are made out of the tubes I have in stock, so I am basing it on stock only. This doesn't mean that I am claiming these combo's to be the "absolute best ever made, ever", but the best combinations of preamp tubes that I currently have in stock. Many of these tubes are the originals that are well-known as other brands also, like Cifte, Marconi, Tungsram, Tesla, Bugle Boy, and many others because of common rebranding.
I may stop selling these because they are one of my favorites, and are known to be incredibly rare and sound like music coming from the gates of heaven! I know once these are gone there may very well be none left in the world. They are from an original tiny batch of tubes made for Amperex in Japan on Mullard, Seimens and Panasonic owned tooling brought over from the UK and Germany in the early 50s cold war era when Germany was getting shut down due to the Russian invasion and occupation. These tubes were only made for a year according to my source. Just fabulous. So move fast if you are thinking about a pair. On the fence, the gate is going to close any time. I will sell a few more to my Raven Audio family members ONLY!
Combo A: My absolute number 1 "in-stock" combination. (#1, #10, & #15 or 28)
Combo B: A new favorite combination. Stunning, clean, crisp, yet with huge bass and midrange to die for! [#10, #21, & #15 or 28]
Combo C: Another great, more economical complement for your Raven Audio Avian Series preamp Section. (21, 10, 28)
Combo D: My third favorite combination from the "in-stock" groups, which are all going to be within 80-90% as good as the primo Combo A & B, but much more economical. Composed of the second best Brimar tube I have in stock... the 1950's era Brimar CV4024 black plate. This tube is almost the same as the Yellow T. In fact, I can see no inner physical difference at all between the two, which leads me to believe they may actually be the same tube, only they weren't sent through the additional quality control process that the British military instrument and surveillance grade tubes were required to go through - the 6060 Yellow T's were. Teamed up with the Amperex ECC81 or Seimens ECC81 & Raytheon 12AU7 black plates, you get almost the same response, and without the COST of the Yellow T's holding your wallet at bay, you will experience almost all that Combo A has to offer.
Combo E: 100% USA made military spec. 1940's & 1950's era glass. Here are the world famous RCA black plates from the 1950's, teamed up with US Navy specified military communications grade shiny black plate 12AT7's teamed with Sylvania shiny black plate 1950's era ladder plate 12AU7's. This is what an all USA made tube amplifier should have in it during the golden vacuum tube era. Sure, they also came with Telefunkens, Seimens and Brimars, but these are the best USA AT & AU tubes ever made. The sound is completely different from the overseas stuff. It is bold, beautiful, warm and clean. This is a pure USA jazz combination to the max. If you choose to grab this package along with one of our best, it will give you years of fine experimentation too.
These tubes are from the country that designed the vacuum tube! Freedom, Liberty, and good old American designed technology - burning glass at its best! Thank you Mr. DeForest for your invention of the vacuum tube! For much LESS $$$ too. And European tubes are going to work extremely well with any of these. The wonderful historic Sylvania or Philips 12AT7 shiny black plate. If it weren't for the slightly different finishes on the anodes (plates) of these two tubes could barely be told apart. The RCA 12AT7 black plates will always have an octagonal etch at the top, with 12AT7 inside it. The Sylvanias will have old - most likely almost or completely worn off old green lettering, and an old triangle with an "S" inside. Finally, but not least by any means, the Philips also made a USN spec. black plate with the same winged structure and a slightly duller plate inside. The printing will be gone from those though Even in the box they flaked away into dust over the last 70 years.
Here's where it gets a bit more complicated. All of these 12AT7 tubes are VERY close in physical appearance. But the Philips have a tad bit duller finish than the Sylvanias most of the time, which are really shiny. in my opinion the Philips and Sylvanias are a little bit cleaner and leaner than the RCA's but this is what make this such a great combo. The RCA's are full, warm, bold and beautiful sounding. Added together and they are pure USA gold. Take care with these tubes at first though, because when you are talking about 70 year old tubes lying in some warehouse somewhere, you have to really give them a chance to burn in and wake up, especially when some have been sleeping since WW2~! USA Made Combination: (7, 8/9, 14/28/29)
You can always call me if you want a little more information about the micro differences I hear between these different American tubes, or to further explain the tiny little differences that can help you notice which tubes are which - because almost all of them will no longer have much lettering on the glass. And even sitting in the box, this lettering will flake off as the temperature in those old warehouses expand and contract the glass envelop e. And I must add - which without being in your room in front of your speakers - my observations will be mostly really just an opinion about these Combos that is based on listening to them for many years with MY speakers in MY rooms - on Raven Audio amplifiers. Your room will absolutely make a difference in the sound. Every room changes the system sound - bar none. This is why the room is the "final component" but should probably be considered as the "second" most important component at least.
SUMMARY: All of these are packages are combined from some of the absolute best antique and historic tubes ever made. You will more than likely have already heard about almost all of these tube brands over the years if you are a true tubehead - being that they are all so well-known and revered. Many are or have been re-branded under dozens of other company's monikers/labels/brands. I didn't mention some of the other incredible American glass that is also right up there with all three of the above mentioned tubes, such as Raytheon, KenRad, and some of the now very rare old GE black plates - especially the 5-star GE black plates. And Sylvania and RCA both made ladder plate anodes later on that were also excellent, with the RCA Command series even being better than some of the best 1950's era black plates that are so religiously spoken of. Those Command series tiny ladder plates, which are extremely rare now - are nothing short of exceptional. I may even dare say - better than some of the European tubes. THAT is really saying something.
Finally, GE was notorious for rebranding Mullard tubes. RCA also rebranded some Seimens and Telefunkens - especially in their 6922/6DJ8 series. Then there were the EXCELLENT post-war Japanese-made tubes with all sorts of American brands on them. Some of these were Hitachi, Mitsubishi, and the really excellent Mitsushita angled getter 12AT7's, which are some of the best ever made. Even Telefunken had an almost exact copy of this incredible tube... and I have versions of both of them that are absolutely exact, only the Telefunkens have Made in Germany stamped on them... but it has to make you wonder, since they are perfectly identical in every way - even sonic-wise. It's a real head-scratcher. Those tubes are exceptionally rare and wonderful. I may even say that they rival the 6060 Yellow T's in sound quality, only they sound very different.
I don't mention them because I cannot find any more of them. I'd give hundreds of dollars each for matched pairs of them IF I could ever find them again believe me. If you put a pair of these rare tubes with the Yellow T 6060's - sonic bliss like you've never experienced occurs - and you will have the absolute best combination possible. The only thing is, finding those German/Japanese/angled-getter tubes at all is an impossible task. They must have only made a few of them. Possibly only for the Tektronix corporation. In all my life searching for tubes - I have only seen a very very few of these gems. I have actually posted pictures of them in Dave's Dozen - and they each have a silver Tektronix label on each one. And everyone knows what that means... it doesn't get better than that in our world. Tektronix made the best oscilloscopes in the world back in the 40's through the 80's I believe. For literally decades no military test bench was without them. NONE! I still use them to this very day!
We are so very lucky to have found such rare and exceptionally nice batches of such glorious US, EU, & UK valves/tubes in stock right now, especially in NOS form! And that more are coming from overseas is even more exceptional. I cannot believe I found more of these friggin' tubes in NOS form!!!! I also have a few that are in the "nearly NOS - slightly used" category too, and those are all in the 90%+ arena - and that will save you a few more bucks, but those go really fast... so ask me!
In the end... for our Raven Audio Avian Series integrated amplifier owners, I have picked these groups out that I actually have experimented with for many years now, and I know what combos will work together extremely well - to help pull the absolute best music playback from your Avian Series amplifiers. I am also constantly on the lookout for more of these special tubes and have developed a loose network of overseas and domestic suppliers that have so far been able to keep our customers very happy - and my vault fairly stocked most of the time. All of the tubes on this list are vastly superior to anything currently made. And the difference is vast. It's just not even close. And the old tubes last forever... I MEAN LITERALLY FOREVER! We are talking several generations sometimes... even if you listen almost every day for several hours, you are most likely NOT EVER going to see these old preamp tubes go bad.
Go pick up a pair of JJ's, any Chinese brand bar none, Russian, Eastern Europe (some of those like EI are really good now too) and none of them will compare with the great old glass from the 40's through the late 80's. NONE~!!!!!! Nada, zilch, not, zip, nyet, nope... not going to happen.
Please know that we are always on the lookout for more, and I will try my best to keep this list updated as tubes sell and we are resupplied. During Covid 19 with everyone stuck at home listening to our wonderful amplifiers I have especially been a bit taxed due to all the tube sales. So please bear with me if I get behind for a few days. I will catch up soon. As of now this is what we have in stock, and more are coming as I am writing this.
Similar tube types with the same level of manufacture and quality control during past wartime eras - only varying in intensity and quality thereof are:
Group A personality: The Wonderful Warm British! (#1 thru #7) Warm, full, round, punchy and bold. These tubes are some of the best ever made in the history of glass. Huge presence with a still open and separated character. The British character supreme - often explained like this, (see Brent Jesse) "Like dressing in a warm tweed jacket with a nice warm cap, maybe with an old ivory & Oak pipe, overlooking the British moors on a crisp cool morning right before full sunrise" Bundle up with the UK's best of the best. Mullard, Brimar, Marconi... all very British.
Group B personality: Those Incredible Germans (#10, 11, 16, 17 & 18 thru 25) These tubes tend to have a bit of a more of a clinical finish, yet are extremely wonderful with a highly accurate character. They will help to open up and delineate your soundstage behind all of these warmer British and a few of the USA tubes like the RCA black plates - which are going to be somewhat close to the Mullards and Brimars in their own right. Perfect tubes to match with the Group A British types, and most of the great black plate USA tubes.
Group C personality: The Dutch (#8, 15, 18) These are right in the middle of the first two. They all have gray anodes (plates) and they are always nice and warm yet still very open and clean. These tubes have a specifically unique personality that falls clearly between the UK and German tubes. Most of these are Holland-made and are a little warm yet clean and crisp at the same time. We are talking of course about the Amperex and Philips Harleen tubes. Wonderful~!
Group D Personality: The American Black Plates Most of the USA black plate tubes fall into this category. The black plates are somewhat warm, yet more bold than the British, which are a little rounder and warmer overall. They are usually exceptionally clean, just south of crisp and clinical, and all of them are far better than anything made currently. They very between the RCA which are among the best USA made tubes, to the Raytheon, which are a little bit less warm, yet still very airy, very open and good with great upper end extension, though not quite as good as the German tubes in the very upper end. Sometimes on some speakers, especially horns this can be a really good thing. The USA made Philips with the shiny winged plates are going to go even further in the crisp, clean end of the spectrum. If you put the RCA's with these you will have a very very good combo also. The GE black plates, most have a five star (**) stamp on them can also be really nice when combined with RCA or Raytheon, Sylvania, Philips because they are a little bit crisper. The GE gray plates are crisper still and can help open up older gear - and even the best Avian Series stuff when used with some warmer speakers.
Combo E Personality: The USA Gray Plates Following directly behind the USA black plates are the gray plate USA made tubes. These are less audiophile quality overall, but still can be very very good when teamed up with some of the USA, British, Amperex or German tubes. These tubes sometimes tend to be a tiny bit grainy sometimes and sometimes can be a bit less delineated overall than anything German, but of course there are exceptions. There are actually quite a few exceptions, but far too many to list right now.
I just know that putting GE gray plates behind RCA black plates for instance can be really nice. But you have to wonder why almost all of these are lower in price. In my opinion and experience, this is exactly why. NOW!!!!! Some of these gray plate tubes are real sleepers!!! This is a very important note, because some GE gray plates have silver plates sandwiched in between those gray plates. When you see this - it is probably not a real GE... it is a MULLARD! These Mullards are going to be GREAT! So I am warning you... rules like this are made to be broken, so stay wary and look closely! When in doubt... email me with pictures and be patient.
I will almost always be able to help you if you have a question about which tube you found and where it came from origin-wise. I will promise to at least do my best. If I cannot figure it out, there are always the real bonified tube gurus out there like Brent Jessie, Jim from Vacuum Tubes Plus, the folks at VIVA tubes, etc.
I hope this helps... and when it doubt... send me a message or text me. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION: I am always searching the world for stocks of great NOS and OS tubes. Constantly! Sometimes I will find a few pairs, sometimes 10 pairs of great tubes. But the truth is, I am really looking for 100 count boxes.
A New Note: After this pandemic I am finding tube stocks severely depleted. What is left is MUCH higher in price. I am going through the last of the British stock now, in two huge warehouses in the UK. I am grabbing what is left of any use for Raven Audio amplifiers. In the process I am also stocking up on the 12SN7 and 12J5's that our Elite Series amps use because we are working towards reproducing new versions of those amps soon.
I also purchased the entire stock of those Military Grade 6L6GC Shuguangs. I knew they would be gone soon if I didn't. So currently we have a few hundred in stock. These are such wonderful power tubes for the Avian amps. I also managed to grab CV4003 and 12AU7 Brimars and some Mullard made Philips ECC81 factory-matched pairs. I had to do something... we are running low here!
My email and phone texts are deep with requests so I sometimes will grab and then contact my requests first. I sometimes get requests from RavenHeads to look at Ebay to make sure my family members aren't buying something that is counterfeit, so please do not hesitate to text or email me for help. Worldwide stocks of these great old tubes are starting to depreciate at an alarming rate now. If you are looking for something I am out of - I can probably find someone in my tight circle that still has some. Hopefully... as I said, world stocks are now depleting quickly.
I have what may be somewhat of an amazing piece of news if it all pans out....
My UK source may have just located what he thinks to be another batch of Brimar "Yellow T's" over in a warehouse in the UK. The boxes were located last night in the back of an old Mullard/Brimar military distribution warehouse that my source's family still owns.
He says there are possibly at least (2) 100 count boxes, and maybe more behind these - with the Brimar "Special" old paper tape on them - which normally means the "Yellow T" logo will be on all these tubes (valves in the UK). The last find we received a couple of years back had "HMSS" stamped on the outside along with the "Special" stamp. His warehouse worker says that he cannot see any 6060 designation whatsoever on the outside of these boxes so far - but there is a "12AT7" stamp on the boxes. Apparently these are covered and taped with a layer of thin old clear plastic (actually cellophane) that is still in place... so the story goes.
This would be kind of an unusual thing because the original boxes never had cellophane on them, only paper tape with stapled cardboard. The cellophane must have been put on them by the warehouse many years ago.
I told him I wanted him to take some pictures "please" so we can see the entire process of the find once he gets there, to add a little fun to the "Raven Audio tube-find story". If they do this I will post them. Hopefully he will, but he cannot be there personally until at the earliest late this evening - which is of course going to be early tomorrow morning over there.
He says he is going to go over there after breakfast (he said dinner, but since it's in the morning I assume it means breakfast?!) and personally pull and open the first one of these boxes and give us a look inside. Movements apparently are highly restricted in the UK right now, and no two people can be in the warehouse at the same time, and these restrictions must be strictly adhered to. So for now he is not there personally because of the rules about this Covid 19 situation, which has been really bad over there - and it was this staff member that actually located these boxes for us.
I have been pleading with them to take a hard look at their stock for ECC81's, ECC82's and substitutes thereof. Their stock apparently runs into the millions of old valves from WW2 era through the late 80's before they stopped handling tube distribution for the military and for electronics shops nationwide. It was his father's and grandfather's business since the early 40's. Of course I wish I could go and see all of this personally... in a very bad way~! But the world is not what it once was pre-January is it. Anyway, maybe that helps us tubeheads in the long run.
So.... we shall see what becomes of all this. The only strange thing about the story of find is the Brimar "12AT7" stamp on the outside of the boxes instead of the "6060" designation, which he says is NOT NORMAL for Brimar 6060 Yellow T's - BUT! - he has seen it once where an entire box stamped 12AT7 was filled with 6060 Yellow T's - albeit many years ago. Let's all hope together that this is what they have found for us this time too!
When he finally strips away the clear plastic he says he will send me an email with some pics of the process.
There are also other "finds" too.... there are some hundred count boxes of military-matched late 1950's Amperex Bugle Boy ECC81/12AT7's, a substantial cache of authentic Tungsram ECC81's & ECC82's, and a large batch of both Seimens and Valvo ECC81's in the mix as well.
This is all pretty exciting stuff for addicts like us, so we shall see~!!! Fingers crossed everyone. More to come!
OK EVERYONE~! I went ahead and made the purchase. We shall see if what I requested are the actual authentic ones. I am being forwarded 5 pairs of these tubes upfront via airmail. They should be here before the weekend... maybe even by Wednesday. Stay tuned... I am so excited I am about to blow a 50 amp fuse, as Mick Jagger would say~!
I will post pictures as soon as they arrive, and possibly even before. I requested pictures of the search, packaging, testing and matching etc.
Coming next, 50 matched pairs of authentic Bugle Boy 12AT7/ECC81's ~ !!!!!!! Geeeez talk about LUCKY~!!! And BROKE... These tubes were expensive as heck... but as they say... they ain't making these anymore. These were all made in the 50's and 60's. Back when I was, well... either not even born, or in elementary school.... LOL. OK, time to shut up before I make MORE of a fool of myself.
As EveAnna Manley would say... TUBES RULE~!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here is the FIRST GLANCE at what the warehouse guy just came across... these are NOT the 12AT7's they were talking about earlier... these are authentic Brimar 6060 Yellow T's - in original plastic wrapping, sitting in stock since the 1950's. These were HIDDEN BEHIND the ones we talked about earier. We still don't know what's inside those boxes yet. But we do know what's in the second smaller box - YELLOW T BRIMARS!!!!!!!!! They will take the other boxes down from the shelf sometime soon. They will as they are peaked into, fully opened, and then fully tested - although they have a UK Military batch listing on them.
And there's more! Valvo ECC81's, some from the Mullard Blackburn facility, others from Seimens, still more from Valvo itself! There are literally thousands of dollars worth of Seimens ECC81's coming too. Telefunken? OF COURSE! Tungsram - I LOVE these tubes! They will be extremely reasonably priced because I am getting a pretty decent deal on these... but I haven't seen them yet, so we shall see.
I also grabbed some (of all things!) Untouched since the 1950's NOS RCA black plates! They've been sitting in a box in the dark on a shelf in the friggin' UK instead of here! Why, you might ask? Because even the English military knew how good they were! So I got them and am bringing them back home after almost 70 years.
Finally.... I also snatched ALL of the square getter Philips Harleen E81CC's because I think they are another one of the most significant preamplifier tubes ever among the 12AT7/ECC81 family.
Next up! The ECC82/12AU7's - because we need those tubes also! Row 3 is as important as row's one and two after all... don't believe me? Try my CBS, or Raytheons, or Sylvanias instead of ANYTHING made now... especially the Chinese crap out there!
UPDATE 5/22/2020: The pictures are here - direct to you from a HUGE warehouse filled with antique vacuum tube glass, and other various historic audio parts, pickadores, flublekits, thimadoogies, etc.
Is quite a task to develop a network only consisting of old authentic tubes like this... but when it turns out right and all the tubes are authentic and test NOS and balanced, perfect for our customers... there is nothing else like it. That's when i start to enjoy it myself. The wife keeps me nervous until I get the money coming back in - and really that's the only part that is a little difficult, for a while anyway. But everyone knows how hard it is to find gems like this these days. And these are the best tubes in the world.
Meanwhile, here is some tube porn for ya'll~!!! :LOL
Wow, now that's exciting -- wouldn't you just love to walk up and down those isles and touch a few of them. Truly awesome. Are those the Black plate RCA 6L6GC - my-oh-my
Looks like RavenDave heaven to me!
I think I would probably overdose with a smile on my face... ?
Those are just gorgeous condition! ?
Head's UP RavenHeads!
The new order from the UK is now at RavenDave's "La RanChita" in Trinity County, Texas!
I just thought you guys would like to get an upfront glimpse of what is finally here~!!!!! YES~!!! NEW YELLOW T'S ARE HERE! Also... Seimens, Valvo, Tungsram, Telefunken, Philips Harleen and TK Holland, and a more European tubes.
EVERTHING IS NOW HERE~!!!!!
In a posting on another site, someone said they bought a Blackhawk LE and you had them setup with Phillips 1988 12AT7 tubes. What are they like?
The same tube are considered OEM for our current MK3 Avian Series amps. They are great. Much better than ANYTHING currently made in Russia, China, Eastern Europe etc. They are the Philips Charcoal Plates as we call them, because they are a very dark gray plate, that is almost black. They sound very close to the old 70's era Sylvania black plates. A little smoother maybe, and not quite as clean and borderline clinical like those old Sylvanias could be. Good tubes overall, but are easily upgraded and upstaged by a lot of our current antique tubes from the USA and Europe & UK - I currently have many in stock in Texas and several very large shipments coming from overseas right now.
Now... in saying that, there is a different EGC 12AT7WC that had GREEN printing. That one is modeled after the old Mullard silver/charcoal sandwiched short ladder plate. Those are a much better tube in my opinion. I very much liked that version of the last run of Philips tubes. They were indeed one of the last tube runs ever made by Philips owned vacuum tube machines. They were from a different plant I believe, and I am unsure of their origin in comparison to the blue printed ones with the smaller anodes (plates). One thing is for sure, this was a better sounding design, and I do not see them much anymore, however I have just found a couple of hundred count boxes I am considering purchasing.
I'll try to post pictures later when I find one of them.
Dave congratulations on all those tubes that you purchase.
Dave, Congrats on this amazing motherload of tube heaven! Looking forward to my Nighthawk/CeLeste' to be singing like a mockingbird with some of these. Thanks for looking out for us, you are the best in in the world! Bill