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  1. #1

    Default Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    I ran across a few old tubes while going through some old boxes of electronics... have no idea what they're for?

    There is set of 4 Sylvania 12AX7WA that all have the exact same markings and numbers on them. A couple more differently marked Sylvanias of the same type, a couple of longer, skinnier NEC 6AQ5.

    They all look clear, but I gather that doesn't necessarily mean they are good from what I'm gathering? They weren't in boxes so that makes me a little suspicious.

    Anyway, I'd appreciate any advice on how to confirm if these are good. Thanks!
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    Just take them down to Rexall Drug and plug them into the tube tester.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    4 Sylvanias are preamp tubes the NEC's are audio amp tubes. 2 ways to test, in a tube tester, or in the circuit under power. Maybe one of the music stores has a tube tester since tube amps are popular with musicians.
    *disclaimer Just because bettingpython says it's probably okay doesn't mean it is so. His opinons and statements are not a defense against prosecution.

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  4. #4

    Default Re: Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    Typically tubes degraded from the moment they were plugged in. If they haven't been used, they are likely still good.... if you had something to put them in.
    I'm not biased

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  5. #5

    Default Re: Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    Suck on it.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    Thanks for the suggestions guys (especially you noober... that would work great if I had whatever device these work in ).

    I never thought to go take them down to a music store. Now that I think about it, I know there are a couple of electronics parts stores in town too, I could just take them down there and maybe they'd buy them too if they work? I'd be happy just to get some lunch money from it rather than throw them out. I just don't want to waste too much time dealing with it, but I have this built-in fear of throwing away potentially good parts.
    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State,
    the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed
    ___________________

  7. #7

    Default Re: Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    Quote Originally Posted by HMFIC View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions guys (especially you noober... that would work great if I had whatever device these work in ).

    I never thought to go take them down to a music store. Now that I think about it, I know there are a couple of electronics parts stores in town too, I could just take them down there and maybe they'd buy them too if they work? I'd be happy just to get some lunch money from it rather than throw them out. I just don't want to waste too much time dealing with it, but I have this built-in fear of throwing away potentially good parts.
    Search youtube...plenty of videos of non-guitar items...but it's a conspiracy theory so .....

  8. #8

    Default Re: Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noober1 View Post
    Search youtube...plenty of videos of non-guitar items...but it's a conspiracy theory so .....
    Thanks again. You're so helpful.
    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State,
    the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed
    ___________________

  9. #9

    Default Re: Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    New old stock in the box on the sylvania and NEC tubes looks to be about $12 a piece. Probably not going to get much for unknown quality, 12AX7WA's are still being made by Sovtek for 12 a piece.
    *disclaimer Just because bettingpython says it's probably okay doesn't mean it is so. His opinons and statements are not a defense against prosecution.

    Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
    H. L. Mencken
    My Feedback Thread

  10. #10

    Default Re: Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    Quote Originally Posted by bettingpython View Post
    New old stock in the box on the sylvania and NEC tubes looks to be about $12 a piece. Probably not going to get much for unknown quality, 12AX7WA's are still being made by Sovtek for 12 a piece.
    Cool. Thanks.
    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State,
    the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed
    ___________________

  11. #11

    Default Re: Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noober1 View Post
    Suck on it.
    I can see how you are winning friends and influencing people.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    call mr Miller at speakerworks on monday and see if he has a tester
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    Quote Originally Posted by tyromeo55 View Post
    call mr Miller at speakerworks on monday and see if he has a tester
    Probably your best bet.

    If he's not interested or doesn't have a tester, let me know...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amps use the 12AX7s, 4 of them. So if you know anyone who has one they could plug them in and see if they work. I have one AND a tube tester but Quapaw is a couple of hours away from Tulsa. You could also list them on ebay, lots of that kind of stuff there.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Anyone know how to tell if a Vacuum Tube is good?

    I think tv repair shops used to have tube testers. So did Radio Shack. If you can find an old tv repair shop, they might still have one.
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