Originally Posted by DKJones96
This is a little off-topic, but I didn't want to start a new thread. How do you determine compatible tube part numbers and/or how do you read them? I was at a surplus store around here and they have boxes upon boxes of new old stock tubes that I want to go through but don't know what to look for lol
To be cynical, you're unlikely to come across anything in too much demand; I'd guess that 95% of NOS tubes at surplus stores these days are television tubes with few other ready applications, and the remainder are - if you're extremely lucky - very common radio tubes like the 12BE6, 12BA6, 50EH5, and so on.
It's usually easy enough to remember what tubes will work in an amp you own
. If you want to discover new and obscure tubes that could perhaps be made to work in amps yet unbuilt
, I suggest picking up a copy of the RCA tube handbook, and bringing it with you. Then you can least figure out what the tubes you're looking at were meant
for, which is of course not always a good indicator of what they'll do
If nothing else, it'll prevent you buying a bunch of tubes just because they say "Amperex" on them, only to later discover they're rectifier tubes, or something similarly un-useful for amplifier use.
For example, someone gave me a NOS Westinghouse 76 tube a while ago. A type 76? Never heard of it. A quick check, though, shows that it's a 6.3v triode
meant for use as an amplifier, albeit at plate voltages over 100v. Equally quickly, one will see that, though it has a fairly usable gain (for a headphone amp, anyway) of 13.8, as a triode, you'd need two
to build a stereo amp with 'em...