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Thrift Store Score!

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Maggot Brain, Jun 18, 2021.

  1. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    I hit the jackpot finally!

    I found 2 working Amperex Bugle Boy ECC83/12AX7s!!!

    [​IMG]

    I got them for $0.50 a piece! 1 whole doller!

    I also found a GE 12AU7 to add to my stash. I've been scoring a lot recently and so I am tempted to start a web store on Etsy or Ebay etc etc. My obsession with antiques and history is paying off as I am finding quality stuff quite often and for great prices.

    Anyone else like to thrift, pick or antique? Anyone have any cool finds?

    I'm debating on keeping the Bugle Boys as they seem to be worth a pretty penny... Hmm... I'll keep them in my amps for the time being, they sound fantastic!
     
  2. PaulHikeS2

    PaulHikeS2 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Great find! I love to hit up thrift stores and flea markets with the wife. Just found her a beautiful 1967 Tivoli piano accordion in very good working and cosmetic condition - paid more than a dollar though! About the price of a Squier Bullet though, so all in all a good buy.
     
  3. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    keep...

    Great score! congrat's! :applause:
     
  4. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    That's awesome! It's amazing some of the stuff you can find. I recently snagged a Fender Mustang 1 V2, I found an original 80s MIJ Boss TU 12H tuner, 2 curly instrument cables, 4 various brands and length instrument cables and a DiMarzio guitar strap just to name the guitar related items I've found. I'm still waiting to find that vintage Fuzz Face and other vintage pedals haha... One day! I check nearly every day.

    Thanks man! I am pretty sure they are staying in the amps haha!

    I didn't know how sought after the Amperex Bugel Boy tubes were, they had another one that I left behind, a 6DJ8/ECC88 Bugel Boy... I can't use it but saw they are valuable too, I will return to get it in the morning.
     
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  5. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    i stumble on to shit all they time. just not stuff im personally interested in for myself. usually.
     
  6. 351

    351 Member

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    With those 12ax7/ ecc83 or 12at7 whatever, what I do is get a strong example, or, a brand new for example tung sol 12ax7, and then listen to it for 30 seconds or so in v1 of any amp, then quickly replace the known strong one with a new find, and I'll hear straight away how good the new find is.
    They lose bass response over time and get a bit dull otherwise, and this test is better than any machine.
    Good ones leap right out at you, the good ones sometimes have weathered markings and look dirty whereas a really new looking tube ( like the ones you scored ) can sound weak. Sometimes new looking tubes have faults, they pop a lot or hum.
    That's the thing, sometimes even new tubes are weak ( or faulty) , you have to find a strong control tube.
    Your bugleboy tubes look like a PROPER score, congratulations.
    I wonder how they compare to Mullards?
    I scored about 25 mullard ecc83 used last year in a batch of old equipment, and about a third of them are as strong as strong can be, a third are weak ( i use them as 12at7 or in fender amps ), and a third are medium/good .These Mullards are glorious in v1 of a Marshall, the stronger the tube, the better.
     
  7. Gutch220

    Gutch220 Well-Known Member

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    all of the thrift stores around me only have trash. Old clothes, dishes, and lamps, and old discarded furniture. Nothing special.........nothing even in the category of something I'd want.
     
  8. wakjob

    wakjob Well-Known Member

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    DANG!.... I have a few of those. My favorite v1 tube in JMP/JCM's.

    Don't forget to get out to those car shows this summer.
    Most of them have swap meets and flea markets or a "corral" where you can find tubes!
    I bought a bag of about 60 tubes that were a mix of 12au7 and 12at7's for $20!
     
  9. PaulHikeS2

    PaulHikeS2 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    So many are like that. In my experience, the best ones are church/charity run in semi suburban and semi rural areas. Not picked over too much and they aren't looking to turn a quick buck. Got a Bose Soundlink Mini in its box for $6 last summer. Just have to be persistent and enjoy treasure hunting. It's not for everyone.
     
  10. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    I spent a few hours testing and comparing them in both my Origin20c and Bassbreaker 45. When compared to my current production JJs, Ruby Tubes and Electro Harmonix it is very evident the Amperex is in it's own league. Possesing superior dynamics, harmonics, frequency range and a sense of "3 dimensional" clarity I am convinced the tubes of old are definitely of a MUCH higher standard. I tested both Amperexs in both of my amps against all my current production, the difference is night and day and I'd bet even a novice would hear the difference. The Amperex being much brighter while still musical than all the other tubes. Both the Ruby Tube and EH are bright sounding but have a shrill presence that is hard to shave off without dulling the sound with the Treble and Presence control. I do not have a control Amperex for my testing but I am confident these tubes are very strong and full of life. I am convinced and starting to understand the crazy prices for vintage and NOS tubes, while I'd never pay the crazy Amperex and Mullard prices, given the opportunity I'll choose the vintage tubes every time.

    I love how you described it as treasure hunting and that is exactly what it is. I have spent the last year hunting for vintage tubes in the wild, I was determined I'd eventually find some old 12AX7s but never imagined I'd stumble upon 2 highly sought-after tubes, especially so damn cheap.

    It was a treasure hunt and I struck gold! It took over a year but it eventually payed off.
     
  11. StrummerJoe

    StrummerJoe Well-Known Member

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    $1.00?!? OUTSTANDING! Congrats!

    I'd keep them.
     
  12. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    Yes! They were sitting in a bowl with a few other tubes and no price listed anywhere. Walked up to the counter with the 2 Amperex 12AX7 and 1 GE 12AU7 and the owner said "$1.50 for all" ... I couldn't pull the money out fast enough.

    I think they were pulled from a radio, he had quite a few radios and 1 or 2 radios looked parted out. The other tubes in the dish indicated it was a small radio they were from. I am going to go back and see what he wants for the 2 complete radios, I'm hoping there is some treasure inside those too!
     
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  13. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    I also spent some time experimenting with the GE 12AU7 and I found it phenomenal in the PI spot in the Origin20c. I had my favored EH 12AX7 in that spot prior as I find it very harmonically rich in the PI. The GE 12AU7 had just a tiny bit less gain than the EH but made it up with a much greater frequency depth (deeper punchy bass, brighter yet smooth treble) and also rich in harmonics.

    I've experimented with all the tubes I have in the PI slot, I find the JJs can add a layer of fizz, the Ruby Tubes become shrill and "brittle" imo, I do not like either in the PI at all. I have enjoyed a 12AT7 in the PI but it doesn't come alive it seems until you are really pushing the output toobz. Right now I am really digging the 12AU7 in the Origin and really enjoying the EH 12AX7 in my Bassbreaker45.

    Hands down the best $1.50 I've ever spent but feel it may have created a new rabbit hole to fall down haha... I really want to get my hands on some more vintage tubes but plan on hunting them down in the wild. The prices for some of these used "NOS" tubes are insane as I really want to get my hands on some vintage power tubes.

    Today I found a console radio loaded with a quartet of RCA 6V6s, didn't purchase it but it's on my radar. If I had a Fender Champ etc I'd probably have picked it up.
     
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  14. axe4me

    axe4me Well-Known Member

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    Congrats.

    I went to a Goodwill store with my wife and saw this (Gretsch Electromatic?) hollow body that, looked like it was repainted with a roller.

    I said, "if it's $25.00 , I'll buy it".

    It was $199.00:lol:

    Pass.
     
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  15. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    That is too funny. Maybe it was an Early Shives Custom Shop special?
     
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  16. GregM

    GregM Well-Known Member

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    Not guitar related but we were shopping for costumes for a party and I always need ashtrays, noone sells good ashtrays any more. So I picked this up for 10 bucks ausd.
    IMG_20210621_082524.jpg
    Google the thing when I get home and saw this.
    Screenshot_20210525_194314_com.android.chrome.jpg
    Now I have no idea why anyone would pay that much for an ashtray, and I'm not selling it, but thought it was kinda cool.
     
  17. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Congrats…I never tried them, what makes them soo great. Just curious!?
     
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  18. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    See! That's what I live for, love thrifting and finding cool stuff like that! I've never thought to look for cool vintage ashtrays, now I know what will be on my radar.

    To be honest... They are actually quite amazing, after having them in for a day or so I swapped the stock tubes back in just for reference... Yeah these bugle boys have that "mojo" and I mean a lot of mojo. I can only describe it as 3D with such detailed articulation that once putting the JJs in the amp sounded... flat, hollow, soulless... I actually can't believe that a preamp tube makes such a drastic difference. I actually dread the day they wear out as I don't think I'll ever enjoy a current production tube again, I've seen/heard the other side and it will be hard to ever go back.

    I'm stepping up my game, I'll be hitting up estate sales in full force. I keep hearing in the local collector circles that, that's where the best stuff is found.
     
  19. GregM

    GregM Well-Known Member

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    Yup, just scout out someone with a cool tube collection, get them knocked off then get in there!
     
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  20. fitz288

    fitz288 Well-Known Yinzer Silver Supporting Member

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    This gets me thinking.
    I've seen many organs on CL, etc., for free if you haul away.
    No harm in checking them for tubes.
    Wonder if it's worth a trip to the dump with an organ after you clean out the tubes, and possibly entire chassis with transformers?
     
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