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Found some NOS tubes today.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by AdamR, May 3, 2018.

  1. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    While cleaning my basement i found a box of nos GE tubes. Mostly 6l6, 12AX7s and 12AU7s. Most look to be new, never used. I know very little about tubes so I have no clue how to test them other than run them through my tube guitar amp. Looking them up online they seem to go for $100 A piece for the 6l6s and about $75 for the 12ax7s. Certainly a nice find !

  2. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    If you run them through an amp, they won't be NOS any more.
    Maxfenderbass, Duder and Loring like this.
  3. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Very true lol
  4. Nice score!
  5. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Im thinking I should probably just buy a tube head to use these in. Maybe a Marshall Super bass.
    Loring and Bugeyed Earl like this.
  6. A 6L6 will not work in most amps designed for the 6L6GC. If these were in your basement where did they come from? I doubt they are NOS. The boxes look too aged.
  7. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Previous owner of the house was a musician. They are 6L6GCs. Ive been in the house for 10 years, My mother loved here 10 years before that so they have been sitting down there for at least 20 years. As far as I know the past home owner hasn't played since the 70s
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  8. They are likely old but that’s not going to harm them. You made a good find. :)
  9. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Sweet! Congratulations!!!
  10. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Some places sell used pulls as NOS if they test good. You never know what you are getting.

    When resellers offer NOS tubes, that often means that they test as new, not necessarily never used tubes. There’s some latitude in what people call NOS. If they fall within an acceptable range, they are classified as such.
    gelinas666, blastoff and cataract like this.
  11. speyer

    speyer Supporting Member

    jumbodbassman likes this.
  12. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    I use to chase NOS tube sound but gave up on it. It's costly, but the sound improvement over the newer tubes today was not worth it for me.

    I mostly use JJ and sometimes the new issue Mullard for preamp, and Wing-C for EL34, and a chinese KT77 copy for the JTM45.

    But you do have a good score, whether you use them, or put cash in the fund kitty.
  13. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT

    Last I looked the Winged C's were no long available. This were my go to power amp tubes also.
  14. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    The only amps I own that do not have a 12AX7/7025/ECC83 in them are my Aguilar AG 700 and TH 500. I have some older USA and European tubes that I collected years ago when they were easy to find and not too costly. My father was in electronics so I got a lot of tubes from him.

    I can certainly hear a significant difference between the older tubes and current production. The better of the current tubes are quite good but there are some qualities in the older tubes that have yet to be duplicated in new production.

    I use a lot of Telefunken ECC83's and appreciate their sweet tone with beautiful detailed highs that are never harsh sounding. I also use RCA, Sylvania and Mullard 12AX7 style tubes in some applications.

    As long as the tubes you found check good and are not noisy, you have discovered a nice little treasure.
  15. edencab


    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    I supect buying a brand new amp just to pull out the tubes and put in 20+ year old untried tubes will probably not achieve anything speacial that you think it will.....IMHO, YMMV
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
  16. Actually you might be surprised. I've heard a number of newer amps improved with vintage tubes. In particular the newer Fender Princeton Reverb Reissue, and Blues Juniors. There is no doubt in my mind that that good quality NOS tubes will improve the tone of many (if not most) modern tube amps. Whether or not the $$$ it costs to go down this path is a decision you will have to Weigh, as well as whether you or anyone else will hear it in a band setting at volume.
    I think I have pretty good ears for tone, and most of the guys I play with use tube amps have their tone together, but I played with a guitarist last weekend that used a Fender Mustang with all onboard digital effects (no pedalboard) and boy did it sound cheezy. Even the clean tone was thin. That's not to say an SS amp can't sound fat. Good quality vintage Tubes are not used to tune most modern tube amps. The builder has to tune/dial in the amp with the tubes that are readily available right now.

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