Warning: Watch out for fake tubes

I just wanted to post a warning about buying products from PartsConexion.

I picked up a pair of tubes for my T4 from them. I was specifically looking for a pair of Brimar Yellow T CV4024 tubes. Their listing showed exactly that. Product was listed as NOS.

After receiving the tubes, I noticed that the yellow T label on the tubes were a plastic sticker. It’s my opinion they placed the stickers there to make the items appear to be something they are not, probably to increase the price.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I doubt Brimar (or any of the old valve manufacturers) used plastic stickers on their tubes. Ever. Were plastic stickers even around in the 40’s and 50’s?

IMO, this is shady as hell, and will be the last time I purchase anything from them.

I have reached out to their customer service department via email and am awaiting an answer. I requested a full refund and explained why I wanted this, and why I am very upset.

EDIT - I’m going to share their communication below. They were very level-headed in their reply, and offered an apology as well as a refund (which they state they will process tomorrow). I’ll update this post, if needed.

(Names were intentionally removed)

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That sucks. I hope they make things right.

I’ve had nothing but good experiences buying from them. Hopefully, they can explain in detail any concerns you may have.

I updated the original post with their reply. They responded very quickly.

The more research I put into this, the more I see that these are actively being faked on the market.

I’m less upset with them now. I believe that it is a vendor’s responsibility to ensure the products they sell are genuine, and they’ve stated they will do what’s right. I also understand how crazy the tube world is. Putting myself in their shoes, it seems that they got scammed from their supplier. It sucks for everyone.

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Time for mo’ whiskey to ease the pain… I am still waiting on my T4… I am sad panda

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Glad they made it right. I’ve always found them to be a good vendor. I’ve purchased from them several times.

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Fakes and the fuzzy local application of intellectual property laws affects everything from multi-million dollar collector cars down to very inexpensive products. Fakes are often present on sources such as e b a y, and there is no evidence that IP laws affect the content on places such as g e a r b e s t or a l i e x p r e s s. A secondary distributor or retailer can get stung by their suppliers. It’s easy to overlook red flags when one is buying hundreds or thousands of items at once – many items in the shipment may be real, or the fakes can be indistinguishable even to the genuine manufacturer [this actually happened with fake PC motherboards.]

As many manufacturers have proven to be able to duplicate products with great precision, I don’t think there is a practical solution. Sellers and buyers must stay within known supply chains to control it, but there is profit to be made by going outside…

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I 've bought parts and cables from then for many many years and never had an issue or any suspected “shady” dealing. Hope they make this right. And Brimar ramped up in the UK making tubes around late 2015.

IMO, you should delete this statement from your original post. Obviously they’ve don’t a great job addressing your complaint. Even refunded your money without requiring you to return the tubes. That’s a company I want to do business with! Since your statement slammed them before you even gave them a chance to respond I think it’s unfair to leave it as is.

Never post publicly when you’re still upset. It’s generally better to wait to cool down and see how the other party responds before complaining publicly.

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Agree with your statement. The quick response by the business to make this right is above what other dealers would do. As they noted in their response, so many fake tubes abound and not just tubes, counterfeit parts ( cables, IC’s, bluetooth speakers, are among us in almost every business including audio. Counterfeit audio is big business in the crime world. https://www.wired.com/2011/04/counterfeit-sting/

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Those old enough to remember the 1980s know of white van speakers. This scam involved a couple delivery guys with a white van and ‘excess inventory’ they would unload at a low cost to those willing to bend the rules. In reality, they were selling new cheap speakers marked up by a ridiculous margin to then offer a discount. The scam fell apart with the rise of screw-down wire terminals. White van speakers had cheap spring loaded terminals so no one took them seriously as high-end equipment.

Selling stuff that way is a textbook definition of shady as hell.

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I’ve updated the title of the thread since it looks like the vendor solved the issue quickly and there was no ill intent on their side.

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They have been caught before with fake Oyaide parts. Be aware.

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I believe the post conveyed my feelings at the time accurately, and their reply also shows they did nothing shady intentionally. They took the appropriate actions to resolve the matter fairly.

I’m not a fan of censoring posts, even my own, regardless of how it looks to other people or even if I may have been mistaken.

I will not edit it.

Yes, I’ll agree with this. Good advice for everyone.

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That’s a bit concerning as I just got my first order of tubes from them. Luckily I dont think EH6922’s are worth counterfeiting…

Its good that they responded and refunded asap and all, but the thing is, aren’t they supposed to test and match pairs (they charge extra for matching) so wouldn’t they spot the big ridiculous stickers then or prior to that with another tested pair and know right away they were fake? No tubes that I know of have stickers. For one thing tubes get hot and stickers would not hold up to that. That is very suspect imo

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I owned a pair of white van speakers (the van was actually tan/baby food color). They were my 1st pair of speakers; they sounded awful; and I learned a lot from them.

The No. 1 lesson was: “These sound like shit. I need to upgrade” (cue shower scene music from PSYCHO).

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It seems white van speakers morphed into a huge variety of fake brands, and were active until at least 2009. They were most recently on Facebook and Craigslist. I vaguely remember reading an audiophile magazine review (e.g., 1980s or 1990s) where they bought and tested a pair. They said something like “we paid $500 and got $200 speakers.” With prices for better quality hardware falling so much in recent years, the sales model may not make sense today.

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I bought my pair in 1978 for (if memory serves) $200. They were worth maybe 2/3s what I paid.

What I got from those speakers was a start in audio. A couple years later I began clawing my way up the sonic quality food chain.