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Old 29th August 2009, 03:15 AM   #1
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Default 60's and 70's GE tubes

I have a reasonable idea about the price ranges of tube amps but not the tubes themselves. My grandad passed earlier this summer and I'm cleaning out the basement. I had an entire shelf of around 300+ GE tubes and from the packaging I'm expecting most are from the 60's and 70's. All are in unopened boxes but are now unfortunately all sitting in a huge box totally unorganized. I had no idea tubes could be this expensive.

Once I get everything reorganized and priced, I may make a for-sale post. If anyone has any general advice for selling, pricing, etc tubes it'd be very much appreciated.
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Old 29th August 2009, 06:17 AM   #2
rutcho is offline rutcho  Bulgaria
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For the actual prices of a NOS tubes you can check:
http://www.tubedepot.com/
http://tubesandmore.com/
If there are used tubes, you can correct the price accordingly.
When the stock list is done, there are two general ways to sell them - one by one or brough together in lot(s).
First way you will get a better price, but at the end some undesirabe tubes will remain.
Second way you can sell everything, but fewer people will be interested.
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Old 31st August 2009, 05:34 AM   #3
casouza is offline casouza  Brazil
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Just a reminder to help set your expectations:
Unless you find 5751, 12BH7, 6072 or 6550 tubes in the GE stash, do not expect to get a large sum of money for the tubes.
Most GE tubes were not made with audio in mind and are generally the least desirable/collectable USA-made tubes, therefore be prepared for some low-ball offers.
Good luck!
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Old 31st August 2009, 08:08 PM   #4
ChrisA is offline ChrisA  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frontier View Post
I have a reasonable idea about the price ranges of tube amps but not the tubes themselves. My grandad passed earlier this summer and I'm cleaning out the basement. I had an entire shelf of around 300+ GE tubes and from the packaging I'm expecting most are from the 60's and 70's. All are in unopened boxes but are now unfortunately all sitting in a huge box totally unorganized. I had no idea tubes could be this expensive.
Prices vary from maybe $50 to 50 cents.

Price depends on who you are selling to. For example "HiFi people" have their favorite tubes that they will pay high prices for. But will have zero interest in other tubes. People into Guitar amps will buy a slightly different set of tubes but will not pay silly "audiophile prices". Ham radio people are the worst. They will look at prices and re-design the circuit so it can use the cheapest tube and laugh at the audiophiles and guitar players who would spend even $10 on just one tube.

The price you get also depends on the level of service you are willing to do. Will you sell them by the lot, un-tested with no warranty or will you sell them one at a time with an offer to take back any that are defective? Likely your best bet is to "cherry pick" the best tubes and sell them one at a time for a good price then offer the others in lots for say 20 tubes for $10. So first sell to audiophiles, then guitar players then finally hams. But the very BEST use for those tubes is for YOU to use them. Shipping cost really eats into the value of all but the most expensive tubes.

Are there other parts? I'd think anyone who had 300+ tubes would also have a nice collection of other parts. Transformers are MUCH more expensive than tubes.

Last edited by ChrisA; 31st August 2009 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 31st August 2009, 09:21 PM   #5
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Look what I've found recently...
It was my Tower-I driver, used GE compactron 8AL9


*Made it a little smaller and added contrast, if you don't mind Anatoly.
Salas
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Old 31st August 2009, 09:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
"HiFi people" have their favorite tubes..... People into Guitar amps will buy a slightly different set of tubes but will not pay silly "audiophile prices"..... Ham radio people are the worst. They will look at prices and re-design the circuit so it can use the cheapest tube
Well, who am I? I design and build HiFi amps, guitar amps, and ham radio equipment. I won't pay mega bucks for a WE 300B or a Genelex KT88 or an 8950 when I can make something else work and give me 99% (or more) of the performance that the high dollar stuff MAY provide. On the flip side of that coin I know people in all 3 hobbies who will.

If your stash is from a TV repair shop, and contains mostly tubes that do not start with "6" or "12" do not expect to get big bux. There is a small list of TV sweep tubes that were used in CB and ham radio amplifiers and they have become scarce, so they command some stupid prices.

If they are popular tubes from the HiFi or ham radio hobby, they may be worth something. The guitar amp world uses tubes that are a subset of the HiFi world.

Make a list of the numbers and look for similar tubes on Ebay that have actually been bid on. That gives an idea of what someone is willing to pay for them.
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Old 31st August 2009, 09:36 PM   #7
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All that being said, I would be interested in any ham-radio type tubes, which for me are the 6146, 2E26, 6CW4, 6360 -- all of which were made by GE in one flavor or another.
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Old 2nd September 2009, 12:49 AM   #8
m6tt is offline m6tt  United States
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In addition to Tubelab's point about 6 or 12 as the starting digits, that does *not* include tubes labeled with 3 or 4-digit numerical names, those may be worth more. Tubes such as 807, 8417, 1614, 7025, etc. Also any tubes somehow labeled (unlikely since it's GE) with a two-to-three character alphabetical prefix (such as ECC83) starting with E may be worth your while (EL84, EF86, EL34, ECC?? etc.). If there are any tubes in HUGE boxes you can assume they're probably worth *something*. It's worth noting that GE tubes from the 60s and 70s are very reliable tubes in most cases, and the sonics are fine, sometimes better than RCA etc.

The sites mentioned above are like "Kelly Blue Book" values, they are good general commercial prices but collectors and afficionados rarely pay them. You will probably have to beat these prices for good success on eBay etc. Some tubes are however very valuable or rare and their collectors possibly insane. Good luck and I hope people keep finding good NOS stashes before they get thrown out or used for .22 practice.
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Old 2nd September 2009, 12:59 AM   #9
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Well, as shown on my schematic, a tube with the name started from "8" was used in a high-end quality amp.

I suggest you to build a table of names and quantities, then we'll share with you our opinions regarding what to expect from them.
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Old 2nd September 2009, 01:40 AM   #10
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
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Quote:
Ham radio people are the worst. They will look at prices and re-design the circuit so it can use the cheapest tube and laugh at the audiophiles and guitar players who would spend even $10 on just one tube.
I prefer to think of that as the "best"

Good example I can think of off-hand is converting Yaesu FT-101 finals from 6JS6Cs to 6146s...
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