It isn’t always easy to find vacuum tubes, indicators, capacitors, ferrite cores, and similar parts for your setup. Local shops don’t always stock these items.
If you need to have your local store order these on your behalf, you’re almost better off buying what you need online. At least in that instance, you have more control over the brand, quality, and price.
One of the better online stores for those parts is found at ruTubes.com. This business features Russian tubes at reasonable prices, with a record of providing services since 2002.
Is it worth trying to get tubes and other parts from a Russian website in today’s political climate?
ruTubes.com Review What It’s Like to Deal with Them
Although ruTubes.com receives low rating scores from online website analyzers, the website’s customer experience is generally favorable. Since you’re ordering parts from Russia, it can take some time to receive a delivery. It’s not unusual for it to be 30-45 days and sometimes longer.
The business front for ruTubes.com is in Moscow, Russia. As a company, this group got its start by selling radio parts in 2002.
Since that time, over 3,000 buyers have joined the community to create a global source of unique products.
What makes it fun to shop at ruTubes is the more aged inventory of capacitors and vacuum tubes from the Soviet Union era.
Some items even come with the “Made in USSR” stickers, which were challenging to get at the height of the Cold War.
Although some of the parts are over 20 years old, they have never been used.
If you’re trying to refurbish old equipment or want something vintage to enjoy with your current setup, you’ll find what you want through this online storefront.
“Our mission has been, and always will be, to provide the highest quality products at competitive prices,” the company says, “and stand behind them with world-class customer service.”
Why Choose ruTubes.com for Spare Parts?
Although you won’t find a massive selection of tubes and parts from worldwide manufacturers, ruTubes supplies one of the best collections of Russian-made items that you can find online today.
You could purchase these products from eBay or similar sites, but you must think about the seller’s reputation in those circumstances.
When you shop with ruTubes.com, you’re getting a reasonably reliable service.
One of the best deals you’ll find is the EL84s. These tubes retail at $6.80 on the site when they are in stock. If you wanted to purchase them from a local dealer, you’d pay upwards of $25 per unit.
Another example is the 6P43P-E EL84 tube. The Russian warehouse sells this product at $3.50. If you shop for them on eBay, you’ll find Buy It Now prices hovering around $19.50.
When you want to avoid dealing with Russian postage and handling, you might find some vendors operating out of Ukraine. Even they don’t reach the same deals as you can find on ruTubes for the parts you want.
Why Does ruTubes Trigger a Scam Alert Online?
If you look up ruTubes.com on websites like ScamAdviser, you’ll find its reliability score is meager. As of March 2021, it was rated at 45%.
That’s why it is essential to evaluate the positives and negatives of a transaction with this Russian company.
Based on the feedback collected from aggregator websites, here are some of the issues that you’ll want to review before getting started.
|Positives of Working with ruTubes.com||Negatives of Working with ruTubes.com|
|• The website’s registration date is several years into the future, providing confidence in the investment it delivers.|
• It has operated as a business since 2002, with forum comments left about transactions covering more than a decade.
• Customers can use PayPal for their transactions, which allows you to get your money back if the parts don’t arrive.
• Several online shopping features are enabled to help you avoid scams.
• Each product comes with a direct count of what is available in stock so that you’re never left guessing about a backorder.
|• The website’s owner has hidden their identity on WHOIS, making it impossible to know who you’re actually working with during a purchase.|
• Alexa rankings for the website are below average compared to the rest of the industry.
• The website does not have a security certificate.
• Your only payment options are Western Union or PayPal.
• The minimum delivery time is between 14-17 business days.
• The website doesn’t have many public reviews listed on other domains.
• When reviewing the site’s server, it contains information from several other domains with similarly low ranks.
• The payment methods support anonymous transactions.
Before you complete a transaction on ruTubes.com, you’ll want to be familiar with PayPal. Since you can wire money via Western Union, your PayPal account is the only way to guarantee a secure transaction.
What If I Want to Use a Different Payment Option?
Although the ruTubes website’s payment page says that the minimum credit card order value is $10, there is not a place for you to enter this information.
Even if you wanted to do so, the lack of an SSL certificate would make it a terrible idea! Your payment information would get transmitted without any encryption.
It’s already bad enough that the initial information form for your order doesn’t receive this protection.
Outside of Western Union, ruTubes does offer bank wire transfers as a payment option.
You will receive the information to send the money after placing your order in an email, which adds another red flag to the transaction.
European customers can use IBAN/BIC, with the bank’s name and the account published on the website.
There is also the option to pay by personal check, cashier’s check, or money order by sending the payment to an address in Plymouth, MN.
These payment options are subject to change at any time.
Is It Safe to Import Goods from Russia?
The issue that Americans, Canadians, Europeans, and others might have when doing business with ruTubes involves government-imposed sanctions.
When Russia entered the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014, many governments decided to impose sanctions on hundreds of individuals.
Additional restrictions are in place for election interference, malicious cyber activities, chemical weapons use, illicit trade with North Korea, support for Venezuela, and involvement in the Syrian conflict.
When sanctions get imposed on Russian individuals, it typically excludes that person from conducting any business with someone from the country that leveled the order.
That means if one of the sanctioned individuals is connected with ruTubes.com, your purchase could be nullified by the government.
In that case, you’d likely lose the money from the transaction and not receive the spare parts you want.
Your best option is to use PayPal when purchasing something from ruTubes or any other Russian website. When you read the part listing, you’ll want to make sure it isn’t marked “as-is,” “broken,” or “for parts only.”
What Is the Return Policy for ruTubes.com?
If you decide to take a chance on ruTubes for your parts, you do have a small return policy that can help protect your investment.
The issue is that you only receive a 30-day window when purchasing products from the online store.
You won’t receive a refund unless the parts are returned in the same condition as they were shipped, which you can’t verify if they arrive broken.
It must also be in the original postal box with all of the packaging materials, accessories, and manuals.
When you receive the order from ruTubes, you’ll discover multiple kraft paper layers that you’ll want to keep in case a return is necessary for your order.
The shipping costs are not refundable.
That means you’ll pay around $15 to have your order shipped to your address. When you have a return to process, it’ll be another $15.
Since damage can happen in-transit from either direction, you’ll want to put insurance on the item.
By the time everything is said and done, many customers would end up paying more to process the return than they spent on the spare parts.
If you receive an item that isn’t as described, you have the option to file a case through PayPal to get a refund that way.
That choice isn’t always guaranteed either, which is why there is a little risk involved when working with this company.
Alternative Products from What You Can Find on ruTubes
If you want to avoid the problem entirely, there are ways to secure your parts from more reputable suppliers.
Although you’ll pay more to shop outside of ruTubes, the price is often worth the enhanced guarantees you’ll receive.
Since preamp vacuum tubes are one of the Russian website’s most popular products, you should get to know the JJ12AX7-ECC83 tubes that are available today.
You’ll get them in a three-pack for about the same price you’d pay for them through ruTubes with the international shipping.
What I love about these tubes is their colorful tone. They deliver a robust definition throughout each frequency stage, with the overdrive staying smooth while hitting the lower end with an impressive attack.
You’ll get clean distortion without a massive overload, making them suitable for virtually any playing style.
When you compare these 12AX7s to those from other manufacturers, you’ll discover that more headroom is available.
As a bonus, they’re Russian-made. That means you’ll get the sound you want without as much risk.
Another option is the Riverstone Audio JAN 5654W vacuum tubes. They serve as an upgrade for the GJ1, GJ1P, GAK5, and EF95.
This product comes with a four-year warranty, but you’ll want to be careful during the installation since it can be a little tricky.
What If I Want More Information?
If you’re interested in parts or products found on ruTubes.com because of the item’s price or rarity, you can contact the company with questions directly. Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
You also have the option to call them, although international rates would apply. Their number is +7 915 178-38-25.
If you prefer to chat via Skype, you can contact them through the username “goods-of-russia.”
When you cannot find another place to purchase the tubes or spare parts you want, ruTubes.com could be the right choice to consider.
If you have an alternative to use, it might be better to reduce your risks by paying a little more.