Preamp Tubes? - Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How?

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by joshuaaewallen, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Matt, I swear to you I have a box of tubes sitting at my office waiting to ship. Some are going to have to be individually wrapped. I owe johnfv a couple of power tubes as well and they are there waiting along with yours. It seems like every time I think of them I don't even have enough money for a pack of smokes. I haven't forgotten about you.
     
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  2. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Okay, I got the magnifying glass and flashlight out and checked out these EL84's I got yesterday. The type code is rX2 and the factory date code is D7J on all three tubes. You can see various remnants of the Bugle Boy logo along with Amperex and MADE IN HOLLAND. I don't know how these happened to be labeled Amperex, but they were made in Hamburg, Germany in October of 1957. The logos and EL84 are almost completely gone but the type and date codes are very legible.

    From what I've read, Hamburg produced the first EL84 tubes EVER. They are supposed to be some of the best sounding EL84's ever made. Time to pay the Class 5 a visit!!!
     
  3. MartyStrat54

    MartyStrat54 Well-Known Member

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    Amperex and Miniwatt were both made at the Valvo factory.

     
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  4. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Okay, I ended up with the three Valvo EL84's, a Sylvania 6BQ5, a GE 6BQ5, and this one which I'm not sure of. RCA maybe? It looks like the Philips plate structure but it's a black plate. It's labeled Philco. Check it out and let me know what you experts think:

    [​IMG]

    I have already filled up the box my Egnater Tweaker came in with tubes, and I have two more caddies and a couple of flats full of stuff that hasn't been gone through yet. I got a few other power tubes and today I found a Sylvania 12AX7 and a Raytheon black plate 12AX7 and both are strong tubes.

    I also have probably a few hundred trasistors, IC's and various controls still in the Zenith parts bags. I filled up a large box with capacitors and another with resistors. Unfortunately a lot of the caps are electrolytics - very few bumblebees, damn it. I picked up a few transformers - I got a nice Stancor PC8408 power transformer. The secondaries are 340-0-340, 6.3v and 5v. It looks like it would be a great PT to build a Fender 2x6L6GC amp around. I didn't find much in the way of output transformers.

    I'm off to sort through some more of this stuff. I love doing this!
     
  5. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Oh, I forgot. In an interesting piece of irony, I found the fourth tube in that set of Valvo EL84's. I uncovered it and it had been stepped on. You could tell from the plates and the getter that it was the same tube. I would have loved to have a quad of those things!
     
  6. 61rocker

    61rocker Active Member

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    Hey Rockers....I have been so busy at work it's sick....with Spring early and the new store in it's second year....it crazy busy....I come home and crash usually...anyway...I picked up this 2007 American Standard Strat today at GC in Memphis...a nod to Buddy for great customer service....
     

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  7. solarburnDSL50

    solarburnDSL50 Well-Known Member

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    Hngd!
     
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  8. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    That's a couple of nice looking guitars! How do you like the double-cut? I've always wanted to try one.
     
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  9. 61rocker

    61rocker Active Member

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    Hey Alan....I love that Double cut....it's got Burstbucker Pros...the fastest neck I've ever owned....nails Page thru the Super Lead.....
     
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  10. MM54

    MM54 Well-Known Member

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    Alan, you know I'm not in a rush :cheers:

    Ever find out anything with that Fluke? :)
     
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  11. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    It's buried under two tons of gear. There's a guy set up over at that same flea market today who has a lot of HAM gear and tubes. I'm about to go check out what he's got.
     
  12. MM54

    MM54 Well-Known Member

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    Nice, good luck!
     
  13. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Bah, nothing but over-priced HAM gear. The problem with those guys is, if you ask them one intelligent question about tubes (especially sweep tubes), linear amps, antennae, power supplies, etc., they will launch into a 30-minute monologue on everything they know about tubes, receivers, amps, etc... Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it sucks.

    Matt, you asked me about resistors, caps etc. a page or so back... I have no idea how much of anything I have but I did get probably around 20 boxes of Sprague Orange Drops in different values. Most of the resistors are the big wirewound ones. If you want, shoot me some values in both electrolytics and Orange Drops. I have a few silver micas and ceramic disc caps. mmF is the same as pF, right?
     
  14. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I tried a handful of 12AX7's I've picked up recently. You win some, you lose some. I had an RCA and a Sylvania that weren't even home when I tried them. The Sylvania was DOA and the RCA was like turning the gain down to about 1. I think I'm going to start breaking the tip off those tubes when they come along. I have a habit of never throwing anything away and I end up finding the same bad tubes a year later and wondering why they don't work.
     
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  15. 66 galaxie

    66 galaxie Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Hey Alan, and anybody else :lol:
    This guy gave me a couple of tubes to try.
    He said they are russian made. I dont know skittles from m&ms.

    Check them out...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. MartyStrat54

    MartyStrat54 Well-Known Member

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    Those are the Russian military version of an EL84. As long as they are matched, they should sound pretty sweet in the DSL201.
     
  17. 66 galaxie

    66 galaxie Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I'm not sure if they are matched. Would it be a bad idea to put them in and try it without going full bore?
     
  18. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    They really look like they have been ran hot for a long time. Those tubes were spec'd at 10,000 hours though, so they should still have some life left in them. I couldn't make a call on whether or not they will work in the DSL201 though. For them to work optimally and safely, the DSL would need to be re-biased. You might get away with trying them without biasing the amp or you might fry the tubes, your amp, or both. Your friend who works with amps should be able to bias them for you.

    You could learn to bias it yourself. It's not that hard as long as you respect the voltages you'll be working with.

    BTW, those Reflektor 6P14P tubes usually have a simple date code. They are right underneath the tube number and the format is WW YY so your tubes were made in 1982 and 1984.
     
  19. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    To continue the EL84 goodness, I raided that same TV shop from last week and found an Amperex xF3 EL84 with an X7E factory date code in an old TV that I meant to look through last time and forgot about. X is the code for the Philips plant in Sittard, Holland, and it was made in May of 1957. There are a couple of guys on here who can attest to the goodness that is a Sittard EL84. It's really weird how I won't see a particular tube type for months, then all of a sudden they are everywhere.

    I took all the big sweep tubes by and let my friend who's into HAM radio dig through them Thursday evening. He pulled out some good stuff and said he's going to come up with some EL84's and 12AX7's to trade me for them. He also has a line on some old EL34's that some of his HAM friends use until their output power starts to drop a little and they throw them out and put in another set. He says they still test at 80% or better. I'm looking forward to checking some of those out.

    I'm going to have a blowout sale on single EL84/6BQ5 tubes for all the Class 5 owners. I've got 10 or more that are unmatched but are excellent tubes. I've already got a good stash put away for my own personal use.

    Anyway, that's my tube story for the week - one EL84. Now I'm going to go build a couple of effects pedals out of all the goodies I found.
     
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  20. johnfv

    johnfv Well-Known Member

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    PM sent!

    JV
     

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