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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

WJAAS - Stairway to heaven







... sometimes a "stairway" can be an elevator!

I returned in Akihabara quite deluged and scared, BUT at a corner saw some triodes looking at me from the shop window... oh, oh, I told to myself... entered the shop and asked to the staff about the tubes...

They chatted each other for a couple minutes and then... a guy with a pink shirt asked to me to follow him...

OH, OH!?!?!

Maybe 15 meters from the shop on the main street, in a small unassuming building, the shop employee addressed me to the 5th floor...

I was amused, BUT very intrigued... felt for some moments like a Russian spy looking for spares for nuclear secret weapons...

Not an english or Romanji word everywhere, on door-bell or... thanked the so kind chap and took my way to 5th floor...

... and...

... when elevator door opened: Holy Triode!!!

Imagine a 300+ square meters apartment FULL, FUUUULLLL of tubes, audio tubes!

I was sweating a lot...

The communication was in japlish and using several paper sheets, I wrote, feverish, for obscure tubes models... which were PROMPTLY taken from the shelves by Asano-san.

Where am I? I asked myself... WE 300B engraved base (at Y 600.000 the pair...), RCA 845, STC 4274 rectifiers (at Y 300.000 the pair...), Westinghouse 211... the VERY best of the crop!

Returned to this place two times in two weeks and the owner was very friendly and generous, with the WE 416-B and 416-C, the Western Electric VT-25A matched pair and 5R4-GY Mullard's I bought... which sounded SOOOO good in my amps, as I discovered when back home.

Sure I'm not their BEST customer (compared to the average japanese buyer, I'm a penny pincher, remember?!?!;-)) - but, nonetheless, I found extremely kind and friendly people who greatly supported me.

Must be said that will keep this tube-warehouse address strictly for friends and myself; being a (little) secret, like for a treasure, will hint the following: there is a nice soba/noodle tiny restaurant, established in 1965, just few meters from this place;-)))

Just kidding, folks: I took a picture of the "shop" sign... hey, it's in Kanji, but it's Tokyo;-) - Good luck!

P.S. - I'm still asking myself... maybe in the above mentioned shop they briefly chatted if I was deign or not to know about this CRAZY place! Who knows?

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