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TESLA ECC83S FAKE TUBE WARNING

I think it's like with fake money. You think this only happens to others. With money, the most likely thing to happen though is, you pass it along without knowing it. Then when your bank tells you, they will charge your account for 100 Euro because of the fake 100 Euro bill you gave them, you realize you got cheated by someone. Of course they don't give the bill back. With tubes is can also happen. It almost happened to me, and I want to share this information here. I was offered these fakes of Tesla ECC803S by a tube dealer which I would actually describe as a very reliable person.  I bought good stuff from him in the past, several times. So I am sure he was given these himself by mistake. Well both of us won't have a damage from it, he can give them back. Only... and this is different as with the bank, who is going to be the next to get those? I bet they will show up in Ebay soon.

For discussions about this subject, please do not email me! The above is all I can tell. Try www.audioasylum.com for a good discussion. You will see you get to do with many people that know nothing, some know something, and very few know almost everyting. So you allways will meet somebody like yourself ;)

The many (many... wow!)  Fake TESLA ECC803S  discussions on www.audioasylum.com make you feel funny when you can buy 500pcs in one buy of this most extremely rare NOS tube.    What was even more suspicious, these tubes are for sale every few weeks in this quantity. All of it very strange. But since I had good experiences with him I decided to take my chances.

What made me suspicious right away,  was the packaging,  in bulk packs with "EV88"  on it. The ECC803S were obviously put in there recently, because the inside wraps/flaps were from new paper.  The boxes itself were old.

Also the systems 1 + 2 test values were not identical at all. Note that this is a "must" by default of the original ECC803S specifcation as created by Telefunken. Old TESLA allways. fulfill that specifiction. JJ doesn't fulfill it. Same as with thise fakes; they have the sloppy JJ specifications instead of the tight and clean TESLA values.

For instance 1.0 mA + 1.8mA  in one bulb.
So one system is at 80% the other at 150%. 
That's not characteristic for good old NOS TESLA at all.. This is however characteristic for JJ tubes.
This is the material FAKES  are made of.

What you need to know is this:   The JJ ECC803S was not available until 2004.  It was introduced with a lot of bla bla. That is why I remember so well it was in. 2004. It is an (almost) exact copy of the TESLA ECC803S, but not so nice made, and JJ uses lower cost technologies. By this we are going to recognise what's fake and what's real. For the future, they fakers will sure learn how to make better boxes, and better stamps, but they can't change what's inside.

  For discussions about this subject, please do not email me! The above is all I can tell. Try www.audioasylum.com for a good discussion. You will see you get to do with many people that know nothing, some know something, and very few know almost everyting. So you allways will meet somebody like yourself ;)



Click here
Left tube is original
Right tube is faked

 

But.... no copy is perfect.   After carefully studying my NOS collection, I came to the following characteristics for JJ ECC803S. 

These observations are not from just one tube,  but from several of my collection

  1. The glass pearls that go through the bottom, with  JJ these stick out, inside the tube.  All JJ's have that.  All  TESLA's don't have that. 
  2. JJ uses a more rounded glass top
  3. The plate halves are clipped together.  With the TESLA the clips are to the inside.   With JJ to the outside.  Now this was a change, JJ made, whatever the reason. 
  4. With TESLA these clamps were bend by a machine,  each looks identical.   They are nicely rounded, real  "machine" work.  Not so with JJ.  With JJ they all look different.  This is clearly hand work, and some are done nice, some are just "so so" 
  5. The spacers that stick outside are rounded  with JJ, and trapezoidal with TESLA.
  6. The plate ribs distance with TESLA is smaller. 
  7. The getter ring  with TESLA is nicely mounted on the top bar.  I think this was the function of that bar.     See  the next picture....
 


Click here
Left tube is original
Right tube is faked
Here is another VERY interesting detail.    TESLA used a metal piece part this is mounted on top of the mica.  I can only speculate what it was for.   It think it is to reduce microphonic effects.   JJ just left that part away.   Here comes the interesting part....   JJ tubes do have holes for this piecepart.    But it's not mounted. 

With TESLA,  on this top bar,   the getter ring is mounted, very nice done. With JJ, they just plugged a metal wire between the plate halves, and mount the ring on there.  Sorry, but this is not so nice done. With JJ,   if you knock the tube (gently...)  the getter ring will say "dingggggg" and the ring noise is conducted to one of the two plates.  The one that it is mounted on.   With TESLA this noise is better isolated mechanically because the getter ring is mounted not on the plate but on a  separate part.  Since the 803S is a studio version,  that makes sense to me.  But I say it again,  this confirms what I allways say, that original TESLA. quality is much superior to JJ.

Click here for Another JJ vs. TESLA compare report

 

Here is a small note, that I think is helpful too. TESLA very often produced their tubes with a little bit thinner pins as normal. However this can be faked with acid very easily. However that will remove the shiny surface, the pins get opaque. And there is no real reason to do so, apert for retro gold plating.

Be carefull do draw conclusions from only this, but you can use this as an additional hint. By itself you can not draw sure conclusions from it though.


Conclusion:

What appears too good to be true, is probably what is appears.... Too good to be true.
Click here
for Another JJ vs. TESLA compare report

 

Fake tube, seen on Ebay

For discussions about this subject, please do not email me! The above is all I can tell. Try www.audioasylum.com for a good discussion. You will see you get to do with many people that know nothing, some know something, and very few know almost everyting. So you allways will meet somebody like yourself ;)


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