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Author Topic: Rusty VF14 on Ebay, or Straight to the Lottery Ticket?  (Read 1444 times)


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Rusty VF14 on Ebay, or Straight to the Lottery Ticket?
« on: February 20, 2014, 07:44:49 pm »

I received an anonymous email containing only this link:


I responded to Mr. Anonymous (which I should not have done- individuals hiding behind the curtain are usually trouble, and this one turned out to be trouble, too) that bidding on this tube without any relevant information about its specs was like playing the lottery. To which Mr. Anonymous responded:
You all the time alert everybody regarding fake VF14 on eBay.
Are you doubting that the tube is genuine ?
If the answer is YES, pls notify eBay respectively.
If the answer is NO, the comparison with a lottery ticket is farfetched and absurd.
His defensive tone was a clue: "Are you the seller?" In his third email he finally admitted it.

So let's turn this into a positive, a teaching moment:

What information is essential to bid with some confidence on a VF14 tube in an auction? (Hint: it's not the seller's claim that the heater filament wire is not broken- in the auction, he submits this as proof for the tube's quality and originality***)

* Noise floor relative to a healthy VF14M: something like "+ 1dB noise, compared to Neumann specs"

* Plate voltage, measured when the tube is installed in a U47 or U48, with 105VDC B+ applied: anything below 31 VDC is suspect

* The time it takes from pinging the housing tube of the mic until the microphonics of the tube subside: should be 1 second or less

If you cannot provide all three specifications, don't bother with colorful language or other shinola, like, when the tube was supposedly made (the date stated in the auction is off by many years), or its "cold resistance" (he copied that funny term from a hobbyist's response on an amateur radio site). All of this is irrelevant noise, when trying to understand the tube's functionality, as designed, and therefore its true value to the buyer.

Facts like "Item has NOT been tested in a Neumann U47 microphone regarding noise levels" are relevant. Especially when paired with the words "no returns". Thank you for that, and I'll pass (unless I am still working on my gambling addiction).

So, come again, how the comparison to a lottery ticket is "farfetched and absurd"?

Read more on how to not get fooled when buying a VF14 here:

*** After our e-mail exchanges, the seller pulled back a tiny bit. He amended the "quality" claim.

Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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