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Old 7th September 2007, 10:37 PM   #1
jtwrace is offline jtwrace  United States
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Default Tube Tester

Which reasonably priced tube tester do you recommend? I'm really looking for something quality to match all kinds of tubes.

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Old 8th September 2007, 12:02 PM   #2
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Hmm. Match all kinds of tubes? That is quite a requirement. In general, if it is not a Hickok, it is not a tube tester. Stark, military TV-2/TV-3/TV-7/TV-10, and a few others are the same circuit. Across the pond, AVO does well, yet hard to find in the States. Keep in mind that tubes that match in any tester are not necessarily matched in your circuit.

Though I have 2 Hickoks, I usually make my own test jig if matching is necessary, or I trim them in circuit.

If you are really keen about using a tube tester, get the Alan Douglas book. You will learn a lot. Prices tend to track track the number of knobs and meters rather than utility, so take care.
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Old 8th September 2007, 01:15 PM   #3
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OK, this is not a joke (and I know it seems ridiculous) - but are these testers available NEW?

All I've seen anywhere are vintage units - of which I'd be highly suspect at this point for *tube matching.* I would say you could hand match your tubes in a simple circuit you built yourself with much, much more accuracy. Think of all those vintage switches, knobs, caps, resistors, etc... and the odds that none of them have strayed much? Would cause inaccurate readings?

To those of you using them - have you refurbished these or are you just flying blind in hopes the tester still works as advertised?
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Old 8th September 2007, 03:01 PM   #4
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Default tube tester new

Yes, you can buy new! . Peace. Robert
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Old 8th September 2007, 03:08 PM   #5
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Yes, but why? If you have an oscillator (if not, you need one), and you have a bench supply (if not, you need one), and a fluke (if not, you need one or more...), you can trace your own curves.

Tube testers are fun, but pretty low on the utility scale.
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Old 8th September 2007, 04:47 PM   #6
Zung is offline Zung  Switzerland
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Or use an old spare amp. At least it'll give you the appropriate power supplies.

In spite of their reputation, Hickoks are only good for TV repair persons. They test all tubes at a fixed 160V rectified AC plate voltage, so the results are not very meaningful.

For HiFi use, you really need a lab grade tester that lets you set the exact voltages & currents. I use a French Metrix from the '60 that's really good; also, the AVO's & Taylor's from England are not bad. Sadly, there isn't that many made in the US.

If you want a new one, the and the are cool... if you can afford them
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