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found boxes of tubes, what should I look for?

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

  1. Lee H

    Lee H

    Nov 30, 2011
    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

  2. 6L6, EL34, 6550,KT88, 12AX7,12AU7, 12AT7.....
  3. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    Sweet Jesus that's a lot of tubes.....
  4. iiipopes


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

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    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.
  7. will33


    May 22, 2006

    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.

  8. Lee H

    Lee H

    Nov 30, 2011
    Redding CA
    the 6V6 number I recognize. I have quite a few of them.
  9. Bassmann1968


    Feb 17, 2009
    I take the 211 if you got some :)
  10. atomicdog


    Jun 18, 2011
  11. bobcruz


    Mar 10, 2004
    Alameda, CA
    Yup, possible gold mine right there if they still test strong.
  12. will33


    May 22, 2006
    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
  13. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    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.
  14. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    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.
  15. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    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.
  16. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    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.
  17. 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.

  18. Lee H

    Lee H

    Nov 30, 2011
    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
  19. will33


    May 22, 2006
    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.
  20. 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.