found boxes of tubes, what should I look for?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Lee H, Nov 8, 2012.


  1. Lee H

    Lee H

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    Redding CA
    I had posted a pic of two boxes of tubes I found in the top of my shop (been "lost" there for many years). The previous owner has been dead for years, and these were in the back corner of the attic.
    so what tubes should I watch for? I do not build old amps, and have no idea what I am looking at. It was suggested, on another section, that I post these here
    this is not even all of them. Many are in their original boxes

    [​IMG]
  2. rodl2005

    rodl2005

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    Tasmania, Australia
    6L6, EL34, 6550,KT88, 12AX7,12AU7, 12AT7.....
  3. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

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    Brooklyn, New York
    Sweet Jesus that's a lot of tubes.....
  4. iiipopes

    iiipopes

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    May 4, 2009
    Keep them all. There's the common ones that most tube amp companies use, and then there are all the esoteric ones that Ampeg uses.
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  6. azureblue

    azureblue

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    I see some very old tubes there. First step: get them all tested. Second step: ebay.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard Gold Supporting Member

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    Feb 7, 2005
    Great find! Congrats! I got a little box from my electronics school the other day. Just organize and google them when you get a chance. It's a good rainy day project.
  8. will33

    will33

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    Awesome!!!

    Clean the dust off them, but don't rub off any labeling.

    Sort them by type. 6v6, 6sl7, el84, etc.

    Get ahold of a tester, or somebody who has one and knows how to use it.

    Inventory.
  9. Lee H

    Lee H

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    the 6V6 number I recognize. I have quite a few of them.
  10. Bassmann1968

    Bassmann1968

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    I take the 211 if you got some :)
  11. atomicdog

    atomicdog Supporting Member

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  12. bobcruz

    bobcruz

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    Yup, possible gold mine right there if they still test strong.
  13. will33

    will33

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    Commonly used in the Fender Champ, Princeton and Deluxe.

    Just google or wikipedia every different model you have there. Don't let somebody offer you what you may think is good money for the whole box, only to find out you had some gems.

    And of course, play some amps that use them. Yes, even with a guitar.:bag::D
  14. Bassmec

    Bassmec

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    If you have any good working order 6386 or VF14's you might be a good deal more socially secure.
    Other than that Gec KT88, 2a3, 12ax7, EL34, 6l6, 6j7 are all readily saleable.:bassist:
    I just found you a price for a VF14 if its good $1500
    and if its a VF14 with an M written on the end cap
    eBay sold one for $1800 not so long ago, Its a steel envelope pentode and fits in the classic Neumann U47 microphone.
    Among other things.
  15. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

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    Go easy wiping the dust off, they never made ink that stuck to glass very well, managed to wipe the gold lion off a gold lion KT88 once.
  16. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Gold Supporting Member

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    That's a treasure chest! Wipe each one gently with a dry cloth, keep all the original boxes, make a list and check the web (esp ebay) for going prices.
  17. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

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    When doing the ebay check, use the completed item search under advance, because people can list things for any price, and it doesn't relate to what they actually go for.
  18. throbbinnut

    throbbinnut

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    Looks like a bunch of old radio tubes. Probably a few audio tubes in there, but most will not be the types found in guitar or bass amps. If you have any #45 or 2A3 tubes, those are worth good dough.

    Chris
  19. Lee H

    Lee H

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    Redding CA
    in another box I found old metal phonograph needle heads, an mic stuff. I have a friend who is into the old phonographs, so he gets a "donation" ...that kind of means he has to go through everything, and he has to dispose of all the junk...LOL
  20. will33

    will33

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    Just a quick-n-dirty if you want to weed out some of the ones most commonly used in musical instrument amplimafiers.


    Power tubes: 6550, 6L6, 6V6, el84, el34

    Preamp/driver tubes: 12ax7, 12at7, 12au7, 6SL7, 6SN7

    Rectifier: 5AR4


    As stated earlier, you may have some for microphones, compressors or other studio gear and radios of all types.

    Also search up a cross-reference chart. Many of those will have military spec equivalents that will have a different numbering system.
  21. pie_man_25

    pie_man_25

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    Location:
    Windsor, ON.
    this is a good idea, I've heard that the US, the UK, and the russians have all had different numbers for corresponding tubes, eg the 12AX7/6SL7 I think.

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