What should I do?!

For those building and repairing amps on their own. Learna and share ideas.

What should I do?!

Postby NewToTubes on Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:26 pm

Hi, I hope I'm posting to the right board, many apologies if not. My grandfather was a radio engineer and enthusiast back in the day, and I came across a couple boxes of old tubes in his attic, mostly RCAs, that appear to be from the 50s/60s. Remarkably most are in good condition - the contacts seem to be pretty clean although I'm not sure what else to visually check for. Some had "Used Spare" written on the boxes in his hand writing, so I'm not sure if those are any good. I was familiar with some of the numbers since I've played guitar for about 15 years, although I've never owned a tube amp. Here is the rundown of the lot I've got:

6A7: 1
6AB7: 1
6AC7 (not 6CA7 sadly): 2
6AG7: 3
6V6: 5
6V6GT: 1
6J6: 1
6L6: 5
12AU7A: 5
12AU7: 4
12AT7: 8
12AX7A: 6
12AX7: 2
5751: 1
6SL7GT: 2
OB2: 1

Again, the vast majority of these are RCA tubes, with a few Tung-Sol, Sylvania, and Mullards mixed in. I guess I am just looking for some advice on what to do with these all. I have been thinking it would be a pretty fun project to build a tube amp, maybe a fender champ or similar. Thanks for any and all advice!
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Re: What should I do?!

Postby Papa Dog on Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:56 am

I cannot tell you what you should do.
I can tell you what you could do.

As I see it, you have 6 choices.
(1) put them back in a box and store it for someone else to deal with later.
(2) Use them as art objects, curiosities or conversation pieces.
(3) throw them away.
(4) build something which would require some of them. But...the tubes are rarely the most expensive items in a constrution project.
(5) give them away to someone whom you know that is interwsted in such things.
(6) sell them
should you decide to sell them you could place adds in forums such as this or put them on e-bay.
in any case, you would need to know the average fair market value for them, and recent auctions on e-bay will give you an idea of what other similar items go for.

BTW, "used spares" could also be called "good pulls". IOW they are used tubes which your grandfather believed were good enough to be re-used. Lots of those went in to techs tool boxes back in the day when a whole set of tubes might be changed when only one of the set was actually bad.
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Papa Dog
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Re: What should I do?!

Postby Unit_1 on Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:33 pm

there's nothing that quite beats the sound of tubes in a guitar amp

subtle harmonics are induced into the signal that just can't yet be duplicated

i say buy a kit and get out the soldering gun!

we can help you through any problems

then sell the rest on eBay :mrgreen:

check http://www.mojotone.com for kits. they have good components, great cabs and offer tech help.

other places tend to skimp on the quality and thickness of the wood used in cabs and use cheap Chinese made switches and other components

i was making an amp for a guy who insisted that I get the weber cabinet for his amp, and when he looked at it made comments about it being so flimsy and that it did not use voidless plywood. he had wanted to paint it so we got one without tolex, that's how we knew for sure they had used regular plywood instead of baltic birch because we could see the holes they patched with bondo. :POd: :POd: :POd:

so that piece of junk is still setting on a shelf in my shop. guess I'm just gonna throw it away someday.
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Re: What should I do?!

Postby ThisLifeILead on Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:05 pm

Weber!!!!!! :dumass:
"Great spirits often encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds" - A.Einstein
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Re: What should I do?!

Postby ThisLifeILead on Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:15 pm

Weber!!!!!! :dumass:

I agree with Unit_1. Get a kit that will work with the tubes you have. You got 6L6's and 6V6's with a bunch of noval preamp tubes (12a*7). Or buy a cheap vintage practise amp and learn some basic skills like soldering, biasing, voltage readings and amp layouts.
"Great spirits often encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds" - A.Einstein
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