The fact that vacuum tubes wear out, and that many audiophiles consider the early tubes made by GE, Mullard, RCA, Sylvania, and others superior to tubes imported from Russian and China today, has created a brisk market for vintage vacuum tubes. Lightly used tubes and new-old stock (NOS) give music lovers the chance to hear what a vintage amplifier or receiver might have sounded like in its prime, powered by the vacuum tubes, or valves, it was designed for. Popular tube types include the AX7, 300B, 845, 6L6, 6SN7, and KT88. Still, while vintage tubes are in demand, some listeners swear by new tubes from international manufacturers such as EAT, Electro-Harmonix, Shuguang, Svetlana, and Telefunken.

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