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Just wondering what Tube Inflation has been since the 60s. Anyone know what a Brand New RCA 2A3 Tube would cost in 1965? No Single Plate, just a regular 2A3.
I'd be more interested in seeing how prices for DHT output tubes compared to IDH pentodes or beam power tubes back when demand for both was more balanced. Not sure if the 300B was commonly listed in the price lists, but how did the price of a 45 or 2A3 compare to a 6L6 or 6V6 or similar?
Back when DHTs were commonly used and the pentode was relatively new, I would suspect that the pentode commanded a slight premium in terms of price.
In terms of actual manufacturing cost and complexity you would think it would be cheaper and easier to manufacture a triode than a pentode or beam power tube. Today, the prices for current production DHTs range from much higher to totally ridiculous (IMO) when compared to current production pentodes or beam tubes.
Sure, I would expect to pay some sort of premium due to the lower demand for DHTs today vs more commonly used tubes. But it seems to me that today's prices for DHTs go way beyond what is justified economically. Again, I'm not talking about rare OS tubes that are considered collectibles, I'm talking about modern production.
The 300B was about $9.50 in the mid 1950s, which was very expensive, but it was a special tube designed for commercial or industrial use, not something employed in consumer applications.
OK, to answer my own question . . . here are some prices I found advertised in a radio magazine from Oct. 1948. Prices are from various ads:
6V6GT: .79, .45, .65
6L6GA: 1.00, .96
45: .49, .54
2A3: .80, .96
According to the CPI inflation calculator, $1.00 in Oct. 1948 would equal $10.86 today.
And, going back 10 years before that, here's a link to an Allied Catalog from 1938 which has prices for their house branded tubes as well as RCA and Raytheon and Ken-Rad.
I bought dozens of 45s and 2A3s from ePay that were strong pulls and even NOS for typically $10-15 back in the early 2000s. I even had several pairs of globes for under $20 each. Many times, I'd get them cheap as they came as a single tube. Then, I'd match them with others that I bought to make pairs based on manufacturers and test results.
Now, forget about it.
Buy Chinese. Bury freedom.
It is a two part thing...now keep in mind from this 'explanation' that I did not thorough economics courses, nor did I get an A in the ones I had to take for my Mechanical Engineering degrees.
Inflation is indexed off price increases on a specific set of goods. Inflation in the States is different if fuel prices are included or not. None of these care what the supply is, they just calculate based on price.
For Rod's type 45 example, it is sure that supply and demand are having an effect on the price increases, but when counting inflation, that bit matters not.
Friend, I would not hurt thee for the world...but thou art standing where I am about to shoot.
Some tubes adjusted for inflation may not cost more today than in the 1960s. But, the Mullard 12AX7 long plate at about $175 today vs $3 in the 1960s is seven (7) times the price adjusted for inflation. I think a WE 300B is worst.
"the Mullard 12AX7 long plate at about $175 today vs $3 in the 1960s is seven (7) times the price adjusted for inflation."
If there were 40 trillion of them available, they'd be the same price as in the '60s. And many tube types that are not so desirable are still available for $5 each. It's strictly a matter of supply and demand. Anyone who wants to analyze tube inflation needs to look at reissues, not NOS with limited availability.
Buy Chinese. Bury freedom.
My experience as well. I've got a dozen pairs of 45 Globes. What 45 amp are you using?
My 1966 RCA price list says the 2A3 is $9.90.
My 1963 RCA price list says the 2A3 is $10.50.
Oh, that's February of 1966 and July of 1963.
Not as bad as I had thought. I would have thought these tubes were much cheaper than that back then...
You can pick up one of these tubes today for $200 easily. Which is about 20 times 1965 Price.
-- Cup of Coffee at a sit down restaurant with refills back then was 10 cents.. Today 20 times that is 2 Bucks.... Good Luck finding that Cup of Coffee for 2 Bucks today.
Probably a bit more demand these days for coffee than 2A3s.
I should probably scan these price lists someday.
From 1972 Zenith price sheet
I can barely give away 12AZ7.
Your interest may vary but the results are the same (Byrd 2020)
I can't compete with the dead. (Buck W. 2010)
Cowards can't be heroes. (Byrd 2017)
"I can barely give away 12AZ7."
If you're giving away NOS 12AZ7s for $4.35 each, I'll take some. This type is virtually identical to the 12AT7 for audio use. Biggest difference is somewhat higher filament current.
Buy Chinese. Bury freedom.
I checked my 1963 list and every one of those were almost exactly a dollar cheaper in 1963.
Maybe by 1972 production volumes had dropped off so much that it drove a 20% - 30% increase in unit prices? That and effects of inflation?
Just for comparison, that $9.90 in 1966 would be $82 today adjusting for inflation. So maybe not that dramatic of a difference?
In the UK I bought my first car - a Mini van - for £350 new around 1965.
In the late 60s I lived just down the road from the MO Valve co. I could walk in and order anything from the desk. File that under "If only we'd known...."
Stocking up then (assuming one had the wherewithal to do so) would have been a good long term investment. As good as current production may be, I've listened to both the original Genalex KT88 and its current counterparts and the former just has a certain magic compared to the latter.
It is actually surprising how much these were. They were premium priced even then.
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