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Old 29th April 2007, 04:19 AM   #1
Jeb-D. is offline Jeb-D.  United States
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Default Vintage gear hunting

Been looking out for vintage tube amps. Noticed they go for quite a bit on ebay, even when there fairly battered. Anyone had any luck finding any at thrift stores such as salvation army or goodwill? Or, know any other sources to score some vintage gear?
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Old 29th April 2007, 04:25 AM   #2
Tweeker is offline Tweeker  United States
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The garbage in old neighborhoods.
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Old 29th April 2007, 09:20 AM   #3
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Most charity shops no longer take them due to insurance issues. My experience with second hand emporiums is that they know their stuff and don't tend to undersell anything.

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Old 29th April 2007, 01:22 PM   #4
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back when I got into tube gear ('89) you could get a Dynaco 70 for ~$100. Integrateds were $75-$80 and Mac gear was pretty cheap. But I really have never come across anything uber-valuable while going to garage sales / flea markets / antique stores etc.

Most of the good vintage stuff that is out there has passed hands several times and people know their value. Of course there are exceptions - my friend picked up a mint Dynaco PAS at an estate sale for $60. There was also an EICO ST70 amplifier there but he got beat to it. I once picked up (and still use) a pair of Altec Model 15 speakers at a garage sale for $100. But that was a special sale by a retiring high school AV guy - the entire garage was packed with speakers... and a co-worker of mine got a MAC30 for $25 - it was stuck in a basement for 20 years and happened to notice it when he was visiting a friend.

I've pulled 6BQ5 / 6V6 amps out of consoles waiting to be trashed - those were fun to play with.

Best bet - scan the papers for estate sales and you may luck out.
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Old 29th April 2007, 01:41 PM   #5
Tweeker is offline Tweeker  United States
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Aye, the heirs often dont care nearly so much about that old junk. The same phenomenon applies to collecting stuff out of curbside rubbish. The issue with trash often is beating everyone else to it.

A lot of the stuff is not operable without work, but will have plenty of salvageable parts. Ive quite a few 6SN7GTB from TV pulls etc. The question may be how much is your time worth?

Hamfests are great for all sorts of stuff. Prices tend to be in inverse proportion to weight.
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Old 29th April 2007, 01:45 PM   #6
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Hi.

Try 'Freecycle'.

I recently was given an excellent Garrard 401, SME3009 and Ortofon cartridge!

Andy
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Old 29th April 2007, 02:36 PM   #7
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You have to keep your eyes open for those rare finds these days. Old tube gear has gotten quite scarce in recent years. Only a decade ago, I used to see Dyna, Scott, Heath and similar amps regularly at flea markets and garage sales, with the occasional Marantz or McIntosh unit (never cheap because they looked expensive). You could often buy a Dyna ST-70 or a PAS for $10 or $20. Occasionally you could find that $5 deal, which is what I paid for a Dyna SCA-35. Nowadays I figure that most of this stuff has either been discovered by tube enthusiasts, or has been thrown out in the trash by unsuspecting family members. I hate to think of all the tube equipment decaying under 20 feet of landfill, with cracked Telefunken tubes and rusting OPTs. The original owners are getting old, and sadly, many are dying off.

I take long bike rides through suburban neighborhoods for exercise. When I see a garage sale, I will usually slow down to take a quick look from the street. If I see children's toys, I ride on, knowing that the household is too young for tubes. If I see an older couple selling antiques or older items, I will sometimes ride in and ask of they have any old stereo equipment. Unless they're in their 70's or 80's, they will only offer you solid-state mass market stuff. In that case, I usually respond that they're just too young to have had tube gear.

Two days ago, I wheeled into a garage sale. I asked the women, in her early 70's, if she had any vacuum tube stereo equipment. She didn't understand what I meant by "vacuum tube". As I was turning to go, she said "wait a minute" and she retrieved a mint Grundig tubed reel-to-reel tape recorder from inside the house. Although I have no use for a reel-to-reel, I told her I might be back for it (for the parts). You just never know what might pop up. The quest is part of the fun.
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Old 29th April 2007, 02:59 PM   #8
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I found an old 3M reel to reel tape deck at a yard sale a few weeks ago. The tape transport-part isnt much good but it had a pair mono amplifiers in the bottom that dont sound half bad. It uses 2 6EU7's and a 7591 as an output. All tubes test 90-95%! Not a killer find but worth 10 bucks.
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Old 29th April 2007, 05:04 PM   #9
Sherman is offline Sherman  United States
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I've picked up a few good finds at 'antique' stores. My first was a record player with a mono PP EL84 amp I picked up for about $25. I converted that one to a guitar amp. A couple weeks later at a different store I found a stereo console with SE amps for $35.

Each of those was worth much more for the iron alone. It does seem that the better deals have been on console-type units rather than components. I've still got my eye out for a Maggie PP EL84 stereo.
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Old 29th April 2007, 05:16 PM   #10
Jeb-D. is offline Jeb-D.  United States
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Wow, you guys have had some luck.
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