buying (NOS) tubes online

Hi All,

Schiit replacement tube prices seem to have skyrocketed recently..

Does anybody have experience (positive or negative) with Novik Tube Store (via eBay?

Looking for a Valhalla 2 set. [They were $40, now $120]





I’ve not purchased from Novik Tubes- can’t help you there. I do know those are fairly inexpensive tubes though when compared to what some are using/rolling.

I would try Billington Export but you may have to pay a retail premium if you’re not placing a large order. There site has a downloadable catalog you can find here-

Billington Export

You might try skimming the forums over at Head-Fi as there are a fair number of Valhalla owners there as well. They may have other suggestions for replacement tubes and/or suppliers.

@oddiofyl + 1 - I buy all my tubes from Brent; I can trust him to make good recommendations based on what I tell him I'm looking for, too. 

On eBay, I make sure the seller tests with numbers (readings and minimums) and they have 100% feedback.

Andy at  You must talk with him though.  Be patient and you will be rewarded.  (616) 454-3467.

@cherbib  Andy is the best for nos tubes, I've never had a bad tube from him, can't say that for other tube sellers even if they have a good return policy it's still a hassle.

@cherbib Wrote:

Andy at You must talk with him though. Be patient and you will be rewarded. (616) 454-3467.

I agree! Very knowledgeable man.


Passionate, crazy catalogue of knowledge and history.  A true tube nerd in the highest sense.  And, he actually cares.  That alone makes him vintage.

I'm a big fan of Andy at Vintage Tube Services too, and have bought from many of the usual suspects. Most tubes that are marketed as NOS are not- they are old tubes, "pulls," that come out of other equipment. Finding true "never used" old tubes is a challenge. Brent is good and will stand behind his product- you should read his page on NOS as well. 

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For around $50 (including shipping) for the stock set of four tubes just give them a try.

They have good feedback, so why not?


Another vote for Andy Bowman. I have used him on a number of occasions over the years. He can be trusted and he will steer you in the right direction.



brent jesse.

I bought matched set, hated their sound. he had me break them in for 60 hours (just on, no signal needed), then decide.

still didn't like them. I picked a different tube, 1/2 price of original pick. he let me return, gave me a refund for the cost difference, only cost me the extra shipping. 2nd pick sound terrific.

Buy from reputable sellers vintage tube  dot net,

vintage tube services , Brant Jesse audio, viva tubes , and a few others 

Also check out Vivatubes for older production Soviet replacements.

For the 6N1P's older (1970's) Vokshod versions should be warmer sounding than later Vokshod and Reflektor versions.

Getting into 6922 types to sub for 6N1P will up the cost substantially.

Not aware of any subs for the 6N6P.




@inna i see you deleted your post about not liking Brent Jesse. Why? 


my vote is for Brent and Andy for NOS. I try to never buy off eBay because anyone can put down test results and even show a picture of the tube tester that is biased wrong to produce good results. If Andy sold via online in a quick fashion that would be great but because of the slow wait I always go to Brent Jesse. Much quicker. 

+ whatever for Brent Jessee - good tubes, fair prices and easy to deal with. He's my main go to.

Have also purchased NOS Russian 7189A's from Viva Tubes

Also, reliable, though their prices have risen the last few years is Tube Depot

I didn't delete it, it's Audiogon police. And I do like Brent, that was a joke. Just bought a pair of vintage 12AX7 Mullards from him.

You just have to talk to Brent, either through emails or over the phone before paying. His website might say it is in stock but in fact it may be out of stock. And possibly the other way around. He usually replies to emails within one day, or even in a few hours. Feels honest and reliable.

A word of caution about his musical preferences. First, he states that Telefunken is his overall favourite brand. Then, in his opinion, some military grade Brimar sound as good as any Mullard. No. Not in my VAC. I still decided to keep them just in case as spares but could've returned for 80% refund.

Two words: Brent Jessee.

well, that was four, so, I have bought several pairs of 1940’s-era drivers (6SL7, 6SN7) and for the price, matching, insurance (optional) I couldn’t be happier. 

never called, just emailed. I figure he must be busy and I knew what I was looking for.

most eBay “closely matched pairs” seem matched by size/shape or model, specs on testers with10-20% tolerances when new/calibrated and the prices these days? Fugeddaboudit.

@inna - did you tell Brent what your musical preferences are and what sound you are looking for? He wants to sell you tubes based on YOUR musical preferences, not his - he's got a very large variety on hand -  if you've described correctly what you are looking for. 

Brent because Andy struggles to answer the phone…. IF i could stand a Michigan winter, i would go there to help him fill orders…..