In Reply to: RE: Relabelled and sold by Telef ? posted by Tre' on July 12, 2012 at 15:14:25:
All right, then. From the mid-seventies thru the mid eighties, I worked as a sound engineer in NYC. I had close ties with a few electronic parts distributors, popular back then. When I heard of the supposed Siemens Telefs, I asked my favorite tube distributor about them.
I was told that these Telef labelled tubes only came in bulk, only available in white boxes; or, for a small extra fee, nicer boxes. You see, some distributors often had silk-screening capabilities as well as folded and ready boxes and small printing abilities in their back rooms. Yes; the distributors could rebrand tubes as well as the companies themselves. They could even replicate the numbering on the top flap of genuine factory boxes that were folded flat, sent to the distributors in bulk. At what point the term counterfeit is applicable is a matter of opinion.
I really needed some extra ECC83s for our studios. So, I still pressed on, wondering about the quality of these rebranded tubes that sure looked like Telef smooth plates. My distributor ally insisted the tubes were testing very nicely. They hated returns. The word on the streets, within both the studio engineering world as well as the hifi (audiophile) world, was these tubes were bootlegs. These tubes were not "authorized" like so many rebranded tubes from large companies. The distributor did not even know where they came from, but was told they were German. The mystery lived on. BTW, at that same time, you could buy Siemens branded small plate ECC83s or E83CCs in genuine orange and blue Siemens boxes, which sounded very good. Since the studio manager/CE needed long-term reliability, we purchased some of the real Siemens tubes in Siemens boxes.
Now Tre, as I know you know, I am well aware that many manufacturers/large electronics companies sold rebranded tubes. These same companies did not "hide" their sources; for awhile. When you opened a red and white RCA box to find a white silk-screened "Made in Great Britain" or "Made in Germany" as well as the RCA logo on the tube, you knew what you were getting. You knew that RCA had stopped making that tube and still needed to supply the users with authorized rebranded tubes. However, sometime in the eighties, many large companies allowed "mislabelled" tubes to be rebranded and resold in their own boxes. You know that deal; I am sure. Thus, even though the tube was labelled made in Britain or England or Germany, it could even be a Russian or Yugoslovian or Slovakian or ? tube. Certainly, at that point, we were consuming gray market, non-truth in advertising, "goods" that may or may not live up to the companies' reputations.
The EI Telef smooth plate ECC83s may be outright counterfeit tubes. Does the product say they are made by EI to Telef's specs ? Do the boxes, which look good to the non-vintage aware guys, let us know these are repros ? Even if they sound good, we all have heard about reliability issues with many types of EI tubes. Real Telefs are good for decades; often many decades. Can we say that about the many currently available "rebranded" tubes ? The "new" Mullard tubes clearly indicate their origins, as do the repro Genalex. Hopefully, these "repro" tubes will last a long while. We should all be aware that the original output tubes keep climbing in value, indicating the repro KT tubes (for an example) are not satisfying many discerning collectors.
But, the rebranding did get out of hand in the past. Some of it was genuine rebranding. Some of it was genuine deception. Buyer beware was, and is much more important than truth in advertising or any FTC assistance. "Quality is job 1" is a concept of the past; it seems...
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors:
Topic - Do All Telefunken 12AX7 Tubes Have the Diamond on the Bottom? - The Dill 06:03:57 07/12/12 (27)
- Photo of guts should tell you. - FenderLover 06:49:34 07/16/12 (0)
- How do they sound? Like Telefunken 12AX7 tubes? - Jay Buridan 09:34:14 07/13/12 (0)
- Here's a question. - R Browne 19:02:02 07/12/12 (0)
- Yes. - Alpha Al 06:59:46 07/12/12 (22)
- RE: Not absolutely true. - firstname.lastname@example.org 11:32:02 07/12/12 (17)
- RE: Not absolutely true. - email@example.com 05:31:44 07/13/12 (2)
- RE: Not absolutely true. - firstname.lastname@example.org 05:33:15 07/13/12 (1)
- RE: Not absolutely true. - email@example.com 05:34:31 07/13/12 (0)
- RE: Not absolutely true. - Alpha Al 12:34:18 07/12/12 (13)
- RE: Not absolutely true. - Frihed89 15:11:47 07/12/12 (0)
- Not absolutely true ? - Interstage Tranny 13:17:56 07/12/12 (11)
- RE: Not absolutely true ? - The Dill 13:44:06 07/12/12 (10)
- RE: Not absolutely true ? - Tre' 14:09:58 07/12/12 (9)
- The code (factory) you circled looks to be Chelmsford... - DeKay 17:11:18 07/12/12 (3)
- RE: The code (factory) you circled looks to be Chelmsford... - Tre' 18:30:32 07/12/12 (1)
- Yup, I see right side up now. NT - DeKay 20:55:00 07/12/12 (0)
- RE: The code (factory) you circled looks to be Chelmsford... - Joe Appierto 17:26:33 07/12/12 (0)
- Relabelled and sold by Telef ? - Interstage Tranny 14:52:28 07/12/12 (4)
- RE: Yes. - Tre' 10:35:04 07/12/12 (0)
- No Diamond on Bottom = Counterfeit or Bootleg... - Interstage Tranny 08:56:53 07/12/12 (0)
- RE: Yes. - Nunki 08:54:11 07/12/12 (0)
- I have the EI and the Telefunken and . . - John PA 08:53:26 07/12/12 (0)
- RE: Do All Telefunken 12AX7 Tubes Have the Diamond on the Bottom? - JNS 06:53:05 07/12/12 (0)