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 Post subject: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Sun 04, 2020 7:03 am 
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Joined: Dec Sun 07, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 4376
Location: Meridian, MS 39307
I can remember, back in the early '90's, finding lower-to-middle line tube audio equipment at antique radio swap meets, etc. for very cheap prices. Now, I'd love to be able to rewind the clock and buy more of it.

I usually keep an eye on Ebay for such stuff; but, it all goes for too much money (at least for me) and the stuff that is reasonable is stuff that I wouldn't want because it's usually a rust bucket with half it's parts missing.

Tonight, I found this Olson tube receiver from the mid '60's and it was likely the cheapest one they offered. No separate bass and treble controls...only a tone control, only a single aux. input, FM-only, Japanese-made, only 3.5w/channel (likely a single 6BM8 tube/channel), and advertised as not-working.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-OLSON- ... Sw5d9fcsNz

We had two hours to go, a $50 opening bid, and no bids. I got excited and figured that since it was a low end model and not working, I could get it for a semi-reasonable price. Then, during the last couple of seconds, somebody snipped it out from under me. So, I guess I've got to bid five fortunes to get even a lower end tube receiver off of Ebay.


Today, about the only way that you're going to get any taste of tube audio on a budget is to either get lucky locally or yank the amp out of a beat up tube console stereo and about all I ever find locally is '90's and 21st century stereo receivers and Chinese-made "home theater in a box" garbage.

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Last edited by radiotvnut on Oct Sun 04, 2020 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Sun 04, 2020 9:44 am 
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Joined: Jan Tue 07, 2020 1:41 am
Posts: 3057
Location: Fenton, MI 48430
Demand for vintage tube gear is high. Buyers are willing to have rebuilt by a tech for $700-$1000. So, they will pay $500 for any amp making 15 to 30 watts per channel. Your single-ended 6BM8 would sound good into efficient speakers. Siemens (most have RCA label and state made in Germany) 6BM8 plus Mullard 12AX7 long plate tubes are best. Russian 6BM8 are close in performance to the Siemens. The tubes will cost many times the price of the Olson amp.

Replace the audio coupling capacitors with Russian K40Y-9. New electrolytic caps are in order. After suggested mods and upgrades it will outperform most solid-state new gear, even $2000 solid-state gear.

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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Sun 04, 2020 1:07 pm 
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Joined: May Thu 26, 2011 5:58 am
Posts: 4314
Location: Capon Bridge, WV
Heck of a lot cheaper to just roll your own these days. Dig up some schematics, make a parts list and get to it. You'll save hundreds, maybe even thousands.

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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Sun 04, 2020 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 6082
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
Yes, DIY, especially amps.
You get get professional PC boards for very good pricing from very experienced DIYers some of whom have engineering backgrounds.
Check out the diy forum at https://www.diyaudio.com
Check out this supplier of boardss: http://tubelab.com
You have also a choice of several overseas suppliers of full kits of at least Ok quality to excellent.


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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Sun 04, 2020 2:58 pm 
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Location: Somers, CT
Watch the FaceBook Marketplace. I am seeing an lot of stuff on there, some cheap, some decent, some outrageously priced. But, there is a lot.

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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Mon 05, 2020 12:04 am 
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Joined: May Thu 26, 2011 5:58 am
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Location: Capon Bridge, WV
PCB's and kits are cool bit I still prefer point to point :D ...


Attachments:
20140223_120141.jpg
20140223_120141.jpg [ 795.66 KiB | Viewed 699 times ]

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"Those are my principles and if you don't like them.. well, I have others"
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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Mon 05, 2020 6:23 pm 
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Location: Latham NY 12110
Nice work!


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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Mon 05, 2020 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
i would like to see the topside. Tubes surrounded by iron is always attractive.


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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Mon 05, 2020 8:09 pm 
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Joined: May Thu 26, 2011 5:58 am
Posts: 4314
Location: Capon Bridge, WV
Thanks guys :D .

I dunno if I have any topside pics handy. I'll have to look. This amp uses a Dynaco schematic. I call it the "Dynaclone" :lol: . 2 channel PP6V6 with 6SN7 preamp tubes and if memory serves a 5U4 rectifier. I'm a stickler for symmetry and neatness. Took quite a bit of time and a lot of arthritis meds to get everything just right :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Mon 05, 2020 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
Looks very good. All it needs is cord lacing :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Tue 06, 2020 5:11 pm 
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Location: Stanhope, New Jersey
badwaxcaps wrote:
Heck of a lot cheaper to just roll your own these days. Dig up some schematics, make a parts list and get to it. You'll save hundreds, maybe even thousands.


Thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Sun 25, 2020 5:38 pm 
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I would hang that picture on a wall, pure art there! Well, in my workshop anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Mon 26, 2020 5:23 am 
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Joined: Jan Tue 07, 2020 1:41 am
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Location: Fenton, MI 48430
BTW- there is so much audio tube junk on ebay and it is listed upwards of a few hundred dollars. Most of the junk are mono equipment. Brand name stereo equipment usually is listed at $500 and more. Many are not tested either- a dice roll.

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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Mon 26, 2020 6:47 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 5806
Location: 253 Blanche St. Plymouth, MI USA
jimbenedict wrote:
BTW- there is so much audio tube junk on ebay and it is listed upwards of a few hundred dollars. Most of the junk are mono equipment. Brand name stereo equipment usually is listed at $500 and more. Many are not tested either- a dice roll.


once this covid crap is done, and the shows resume, you will see a FLOOD of stuff, especially north of KY where it all is. For you, the best show might be the flea market and auction at the ARCI show near Chicago, usually the first weekend of August. Or, come up to Michigan mid July to the Vintage Electronics Expo. Here is a video of the last one... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz0Lj2RaMM4 Lots of stuff, Bargain auction at the end of the event...
Also, watch the estate auctions. Lots of old timers passing on.... I see at least two big ones a year within 3 hr drive of here in Detroit area.

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Antique Audio
Plymouth, MI
http://www.oldradioparts.net


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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Mon 26, 2020 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1171
Location: Eagan, Minnesota, USA
You have the option to build (or buy built) new tube audio components:

http://www.tubes4hifi.com/

I have the M125 monoblock amps and SP-14 pre-amp. I'm using them with Klipsch Cornwall III speakers and a Yamaha CD player. The system sounds great!

I think the products from this site will be as good or better than anything from any tube audio company from the past. I don't think paying big money for equipment that is 50 - 60 years old needs to happen to get quality tube audio equipment. We're lucky to have this option, and the equipment should last a lifetime and then some. Parts are new, and benefit from the technology and knowledge gained over the decades. The transformers are designed to last. I've been very satisfied with this equipment, and it may work for many others wanting good quality tube audio.

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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Mon 26, 2020 5:59 pm 
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Location: S. Dartmouth MA 02748-1225 USA
Quote:
Today, about the only way that you're going to get any taste of tube audio on a budget is to either get lucky locally or yank the amp out of a beat up tube console stereo and about all I ever find locally is '90's and 21st century stereo receivers and Chinese-made "home theater in a box" garbage.
Sorry to hear that.

Do you suppose that your just looking in all the wrong places?

Try other venues for old equipment. Second hand stores, side street Pawn shops, The recycle store, even post it notes on grocery store bulletin boards, as well as estate sales and abandoned equipment from schools, churches and auditoriums that has not been discarded. Ham radio flea markets. There is Craig's List and Facebook but that is where the flippers are so if your not there 10 seconds after it is posted, oops...

I have a nice early Archer tube amp, but I can't remember where it is? I think its in my North shed, to find when I do a clean-out next Spring.

So change the plan and give it go... Good Luck!... chas

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 Post subject: Re: Tube audio stuff on Ebay....I can forget it
PostPosted: Oct Mon 26, 2020 8:25 pm 
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Location: Ohio 45177
I got a decent condition Fisher integrated amp that I use occasionally. I had the identical one that I picked up at a hamfest one time and it might have been even better condition. I think I eventually sold it for only like 80$ or so working. Then I sort of inherited another like it and have kept it to use. Of course online that amp is worth big money these days. I don't use it a great deal because the output tubes are like 7591 or something? Hard to get. Except for iron curtain clones that are somewhat affordable. And not exactly highly respected. The Chinese are missing the boat not making stuff like that in kit form too. I guess their labor is so cheap that you might only save a dollar or something.

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