Tube Testers

Tube Testers

  • Yes

    Votes: 52 72.2%
  • No

    Votes: 5 6.9%
  • Am contemplating buying a tube tester

    Votes: 16 22.2%

  • Total voters
    72

rhopkins

New Member
Apr 28, 2010
45
2
0
I use a Roger Kennedy Hickok 533 with all the modern conveniences. I also condition all new and NOS tubes for 72 hrs before applying power. This extends the life of the tube and prevents some from failing on start-up.
 

Fred

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
296
5
365
Covington, LA
Jay,

Cramolin or "Deoxit", made by Caig Labs is a product classified a contact cleaner or "enhancer". I get mine from MCM Electronics. It is available in a variety of forms but I use the the 100% (versus diluted) "red" that comes in a little squeeze bottle, with a hypodermic-type tip which is useful in getting it into "tight" places.

The idea is to put it on (or "wet") a contact, wait a few minutes, then remove as much of it and the "bad" residue as you can with a tissue or Q-tip. I routinely use it when working on "classic" hi-fi equipment - on tube pins, switch contacts, input/output connectors and in "quieting down" noisy volume/balance/tone controls. It really works. From time to time I also use it to "clean" all the interconnect/speaker contacts on my system.

Please understand that its use is controversial, with detractors claiming adverse sonic effects.

Caig also makes a "green" solution which they recommend applying after finishing the red treatment. It is supposed to "preserve" the cleanliness of the contact by delaying corrosion. I don't use that.

There are other similar products - "Tweak" comes to mind - if it is still being made.

As a sidebar: I had a conversation with Paul Jayson of Viola Labs on this "contact" issue - as it relates to interconnects. For those who remember - most all the input/output connections on "early" equipment used tin or nickle plating which would severely corrode over time (in some cases a relatively short time). Paul opined that one benefit of newer technology is that the materials used in "modern" connectors is just "better" (let's not go into why) - in general they have less sonic "baddies" AND the cable/equipment connections can go much longer without "maintenance". Like every so often unplugging and re-plugging everything on your system.

Happy almost Summer

Charles

I recently used Deoxit on my Marantz 2226B with great results. Excellent contact cleaner, a bit pricey, but worth it IMO.
 

microstrip

VIP/Donor
May 30, 2010
20,807
4,700
2,790
Portugal
I use a Stark 12-22A Tube Tester - very easy to use and very reliable. I have now calibrated it for the 6h30.
 

Atmasphere

Industry Expert
May 4, 2010
2,360
1,852
1,760
St. Paul, MN
www.atma-sphere.com
How many do a controlled burn in before testing the tube and if you have, is there a difference?

With any power tube if it is brand new, it should be preconditioned. This is not the same as a controlled burn-in, but should proceed one. The idea is simply to run the tube filaments. With most modern power tubes, this should be done for at least 72 hours. This will double the life of the tube.
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
9,481
17
0
With any power tube if it is brand new, it should be preconditioned. This is not the same as a controlled burn-in, but should proceed one. The idea is simply to run the tube filaments. With most modern power tubes, this should be done for at least 72 hours. This will double the life of the tube.

Bold statement about doubling the life of the tube. What do you base that on? By running the tube filaments for 72 hours, are you saying that the primary failure of a power tube is the heater? Tubes should die a natural death from lack of cathode emission and not filament failure.
 

microstrip

VIP/Donor
May 30, 2010
20,807
4,700
2,790
Portugal
Bold statement about doubling the life of the tube. What do you base that on? By running the tube filaments for 72 hours, are you saying that the primary failure of a power tube is the heater? Tubes should die a natural death from lack of cathode emission and not filament failure.

Mep.

Most power tubes do do not die from cathode emission - if so they would die quietly, as current would decrease. But most of the time they take a power fuse when they approach the end of their life, indicating it was not due to to lack of cathode emission.

AFAIK Ralph advise is mostly based on experience with the 6AS7 in Atma-sphere amplifiers - and from my experience with the MA2s that used 40 6AS7 tubes it reduced the failure rate of new tubes. I always carry this burn-in in all my new tubes - but have not done statistical analysis or proper measurements of its effect.
 

GaryB

Well-Known Member
Oct 27, 2012
4
0
296
California
Hickok TV7-D/U and 539C

I've got a couple of old Hickok tube testers. The TV7-D/U is a nice military surplus unit that I had calibrated by Dan Nelson in Arizona. It's reasonably compact and is the one I use most of the time since it's easy to carry around. I've also got a Hickok 539C that hasn't been calibrated but matches transconductance numbers from the TV7 exactly. For detailed testing of tubes, the 539C is a bit more versatile. For routine grading of tubes, the TV7 is just fine.
---Gary
 

andi

Well-Known Member
Apr 9, 2012
97
5
913
Germany
Hello,
I am using a B&K 707 too.

It works ok for checking my buys on Ebay.
It was around 300US $ incl. shipping from USA to Germany.

Andreas
 

katylied

Well-Known Member
Sep 7, 2011
69
0
913
Torino (Turin) - Italy
I've bought a B&K 550 in very good shape for 150 Euro but unfortunately the meter was replaced with the one of another model without the GM reading. Then bought a B&K 650 in so so shape for $100 only to get the meter and replace it on the B&K 550; unfortunately the shipping made a lot of damages, including the meter that was completely destroyed :mad: ..... The seller follow up on this by sending me a meter in perfect shape :D!.
 

Grooves

Well-Known Member
Feb 29, 2012
152
0
323
Pacific Northwest
I'm thinking of picking up, or trying to at least, a B&K 747B. As my limited reading has shown, that unit is able to test coming 9- 6922's whereas the model 707 can't since the 692's2 came out after the 707. Correct if I'm wrong. My question is, if I'm luck enough to find one I 'm reading that often time thay need to be rebuilt or at least calibrated. Is this true? any added info. would be much appreciated.
 

MMF

New Member
Feb 5, 2015
4
0
0
I recently bought two tube testers. The first one is L3-3 Russian tube tester and the second is IL-51 Bulgarian tester. L3-3 is in mint condition, but unfortunately the power cable is missing and the other small cables for tube testing. I'm new in tubes and started from back to front, as first bought the tube testers, and then started to read about how to use them and about the tubes. I think, that L3-3 is a very quality equipment and very well made. My L3-3 have been made in 1978, and is with the latest upgrades. Now I have about 50 tubes for testing, and a lot of for reading.:)
 

c1ferrari

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 15, 2010
2,162
51
1,770
Enjoy :D and Have Fun Learning :cool:
 

cedreige

Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2016
16
6
233
Germany

topoxforddoc

Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2015
67
6
138
Cheltenham, UK
Mine's an AVO Mk IV
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
6,774
1,198
580
Boston, MA
Wonderful! Glad to see you back here!
 

Barry

Member Sponsor
Jan 7, 2012
273
54
1,220
Somewhere near Philadelphia, USA
Most everybody uses the Amplitrex AT1000 in stand alone mode to test tubes. However, it can run tube curves in computer mode. To do this you need to load the AT programs on a laptop and connect it to the tube tester.
 

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