Any of these tubes good for audio applications?
I recently found a box of old Realistic Lifetime tubes in a closet. I haven't heard of any of the tube types in the box and was hoping someone here has heard of one, some, or all of them. Basically I'm wondering what they were used for and what application are they best suited for and finally if I could use them for any DIY project whether it be a pre or power amp or whatever really. Here's a list of what I've found:
1X 6LQ6 (6JE6C)
1X 6Z10 (6J10)
1X 12BV7 (12BY7A)
2X 6HG5 (6AQ5A)
Again, any information is usefu. Thanks.
The 1K3 is useless, the others are only limited by imagination.
Re: Any of these tubes good for audio applications?
Learn to use TDSL and peruse the data sheets for yourself.
I strongly suspect those tubes were intended to be used in a TV receiver. For instance, the 12BV7 is a video O/P type.
Off the top of my head: the 6GH8 is a pentode/triode frequently substituted for the fast disappearing 7199, the 6JU8 is a quad diode that can be used to bridge rectify LOW current supplies up to 300 VDC, and the 6HG5 appears to be a member of the 6V6 clan. IMO, the 2X 6HG5s are of obvious interest. They can be triode wired and used in an approx. 2 WPC SE amp. Look here.
Obviously all are color TV tubes. Most of which could be used for an audio amp, but you won't find a lot of existing schematics that use them, and unlikely to find a scheme using just units off that list. So DIY is in order with these. But you better make sure they are actually working first, before commiting any money for the more expensive parts, like transformers etc.
Since the 6HG5 appear to be 6AQ5 clones, it could make sense to build something already designed around them. With only 1 or 2 quantity on the others though, it would be somewhat dubious to design around those, unless you just happen to have parts laying around to experiment. They should however be cheap to get more later though. Several tube sales are going on currently that have TV tubes for $1 each. (at that price, I would be more inclined to just select the best TV tubes suitable for a design and then just order them)
These are all TV tubes. Many can be used in audio, but some creativity is required, schematics are not common.
The 6JS6, the 6LQ6 and the 6KD6 are sweep tubes. These can be used to build a high powered push pull amp. Unfortunately you will need 4 of the same type.
The 12BY7 is a video output pentode. They work well as an audio driver and were found in some first rate audio amps like the Citation II.
The 6HG5 / 6AQ5 is a small oudio output tube common in old radios, TV sets and a few guitar amps. They can be used in SE (1 to 2 watts) and P-P (10 watts) audio amps. They will work in most 6V6 schematics at a reduced voltage.
The 6JC6 makes a decent low level audio amp when triode wired.
As stated previousle the 6GH8 / 6EA8 can be used in several audio applications. It is most commonly found with the pentode as a voltage amp and the triode as the phase splitter.
The 1K3 is virtually useless, and the others can find use in audio with a bit more creativity. The issue that I see is that you will need at least two of a given tube for a stereo amp. You could build an SE amp with 6GH8's or 6JC6's driving 6AQ5's.
The sweep tubes bring good money on Ebay. The funds could be used for transformers.
The 6JS6B and 6LQ6/6JE6C can be used in Ham Radio Linears
since there sweep tube and have been adapted .....
The 12BY7 has been used in audio and is about a $15.00 tube
Your 6GH8 just missed it, awhile back there was a project
using the 5GH8's
Rest ... Good luck...
Steve @ Apex Jr.
The 12BV7 is a high flyer. Don't bin it as numbers are getting scarce and one can make a dammned good driver stage from it in triode config. For decades it is one or my favourite audio tubes.
Edit, it has lousy impedance specs -- an order of magnitude worse than a glow tube. Still, with constant current it could work.
I do have TDSL, and went through and looked at all these tubes, but being somewhat of a beginner when it comes to tubes and a total novice when it comes to designing tube circuits, i only see the pinout and type of tube as well as some stats. Most of the links don't work and the datasheets are still a bit foreign to me.
The 3 tubes that intrigued me the most were the 3 largest. 6kd6, 6lq6 and the 6js6b. The 3 "sweep" tubes. What exactly is a sweep tube? Could they be used in a single ended or push pull audio amplifier? If not what would warrant a tube for these applications? I'm doing as much research into tube "technology" i quote it because i know it's nothing new, but it's definitely new to me and fascinates me. I also like to hear people's differing opinions on circuits, tubes etc. Hence this thread!
The data sheets at this site are more complete and easier to understand IMHO. You can see characteristic curves for most and details of maximum values as well as typical applications. In some cases you will have to use your imagination to interpret the data for some tubes intended for unusual service but careful study of the data sheets will get you started in the right direction and then you can ask specific questions based on what you see there.
Hope this helps.
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