Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › Help buying a tube tester and a variac
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help buying a tube tester and a variac

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have seen mention of tube testers and variacs around here. I'm looking at getting a tube amp now, and a coworker and I are thinking about investing in the equipment.

My understanding is that a variac just alters the AC running to the device. So any variac that has an amp rating higher than the device will work? Any recommendations? Etailers? I've seen some on eBay going for ~$50.

Now when it comes to tube testers I'm totally lost. I understand that different tubes have different sockets, and so the tester must support those tube families. What am I looking for in a tester? Recommendations?

Thanks in advance for the great info you're all about to give me.
post #2 of 4
Believe it or not, the Coffeebean Corral is a good place to buy variacs. www.coffeebeancorral.com

Cheers!
post #3 of 4
The only current production tube tester that I know of is this one, but I could well be wrong about that. I know Hirsch got one recently, so maybe possibly he might share what he learned...?
post #4 of 4
The conventional wisdom is that a mutual transconductance tester is the best. Check out the FAQ on tube testers at www.audioasylum.com.

However, after talking with Andy at Vintage Tube Services, I wound up buying a small emissions tester (Sencore TC-162, Mighty Mite VII). Basically, an emissions tester doesn't give you as much information as a mutual transconductance type, but it's also much harder for it to become uncalibrated and start producing nonsense. It's also a lot cheaper (mine was $75). For a home user needing to check out tubes to see if they are any good, a decent emissions tester is fine. Ebay has a fair number of testers, but you never really know what you're getting there. Could be a bargain, could be a dog.

I decided to buy from Andy, after talking to him. He had both types available, but talked me out of a $300 tester and sold me a $75 tester instead. He made less money, but he was right that the one he sold me met my needs...a good sign in a dealer.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › Help buying a tube tester and a variac