How MDB Ventures Rates Bargain Bin Tubes
Our Bargain Bin Unpopular tubes are rated by appearence only. They are rated as
either New, or Used. If they look to be new, they are rated as new. If
they look to be used, they are rated as used. This rating is done
purely as a judgement call by our tube sorters. The tubes listed have NOT been
tested. An outline of how the determination is described below.
How we rate our Bargain Bin tubes:
Most tubes have been in storage for many decades. Because of this, the
boxes are often dirty, worn or damaged.
Most of our tubes come from, estate sales and closed TV/Radio repair
shops. Our experience has been that almost all of the tubes test good,
even the used ones. Defective tubes were usually thrown away by the shops
since they were not usable.
Our method of determination of NEW or USED for our Bargain Bin Unpopular tubes:
- 1. Box is relabeled.
While a relabeled box sometimes contains a new tube, we can't be
sure without spending time to inspect it, test it and verify it's condition.
Because of this, a tube in a relabeled box is declared to be used unless there
is other specific evidence indicating that the tube is new. An example being
if the box is label "new" and the tube itself looks new, it is declared to be new.
- 2. Dirty, worn and/or torn box.
Since the tube typically has been in storage for decades, it is
normal for there to be some dirt on the box and for there to be
storage wear and tear of the box. This just means that the box has
done its job of protecting the tube. If the tube in the box looks new,
it is declared new. If the tube in the box looks used, it is declared
to be used.
- 3. Worn labeling on tube.
Some tubes have poor painting on them that wears off just by
touching it or with a slight amount of moisture. Tubes made in the
60s and 70s were particularly noted for this problem.
Because of this, worn labeling is not the best indicator of
whether the tube is used or not since it can easily wear off
during storage and handling. However, many tubes have better
labeling paint that does not easily wear off. Usually with those
tubes, if the paint is worn, the tube is likely to be used.
A good knowledge of the tubes and the paint used is needed to
make this determination. The determination is made as a judgement
call by the tube sorter.
Note: The easily removed labeling was actually done on purpose.
Many tube manufacturers would sell the tubes amoungst themselves.
With paint markings that were easily washed off, they could
wash the original marking off the tubes and place their own
paint label marking on the tube. This also allowed OEM
manufacturers that used the tubes to replace the original marking
with their own paint markings.
- 3. Dirt on tube.
Since the tubes have been in storage for decades, they have a
tendancy to collect a surface haze of dirt even inside the box.
This is similar to the collection of dirt that occurs on a TV
screen or window. The dirt does not degrade the tube.
For tubes with the poor labeling paint, it is not desirable to try
to remove the dirt since doing so can also remove the label paint.
However, dark caked on dirt is an indication of a used tube.
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