Ah eBay. The tube buyer's minefield. In my previous posts I have already called out a seller or two, and have warned potential buyers about all the mis-information and mis-identification they will encounter when buying tubes on eBay.
Here are a few more examples.....
In the ad below, the seller has mis-read the date code. This is a common error. These tubes were not made in 1948. The typical format observed by tube makers in the mid 20th century is a one digit year code followed by a two digit week code. The GE tubes below have a date code of 5-48. So the 48 in this case indicates the WEEK, not the year. The single 5 means 1955 in this case. From 1946 to 1955 most all tube makers used this format with a single digit for the year. This isn't absolute. There are makers who didn't follow the 'rule'. But generally, 6 = 1946, 7 = 1947, 8 = 1948, 9 = 1949, 0 = 1950, 1 = 1951, etc. etc. etc.
The next example is in my opinion more egregious. Reason being, this seller is setup in appearance as an expert in tubes, and a home for premium NOS tubes. With, of course, the prices to match. The problem is, any seller of this kind of reputed pedigree, would not make the follow major error in date code reading.
Remember the example above? Tung Sol followed the same format, but, with some 'extra' information thrown in that can get confusing. Well, not really extra information, but the factory/manufacturer code flows into the date code, rather than being on its own line.
The code on these Tung Sol tubes is per the seller's description 322149.
The first three numbers, 322, is the code for Tung Sol. The last three numbers are the date code. So, again, following the same rule for the GE tubes above, that means without ANY DOUBT these were made in the 49th week of 1951.
This is basic information that anyone running a 'Tube Museum' and selling tubes at an inflated price should know.
The next example isn't about codes; rather the tube itself is misidentified.
The seller is correct in asserting this isn't actually a GE tube, in spite of the labeling. He/she just gets the actual maker wrong. This is NOT a Westinghouse. The getter is a dead giveaway. It is a bent square getter on a raised copper post.
Very nice tube, actually. The mid-50's Raytheon long gray plate with bent square getter is one of the best USA made vintage tubes, period. GE was wise to contract with them for this 'replacement' tube. I wonder if the original customer noted that the replacement tube was a better performer than the OEM GE tube it replaced?