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Old 20th March 2012, 02:05 AM   #1
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Default gold grid 5881 - was I had?

RARE 6P3S-E = 5881 = 6L6GS Tube 1980s Gold Grid. REFLECTOR NOS | eBay


there are a few tubes on ebay that indicate they have gold grids. some 5881's, el-84, and a few others. bought some of the 5881's. got them. don't see any gold. I can see the screens and they look regular color. Maybe they are white gold. Got some el-84's coming. maybe they will have some gold grids. I asked the seller , where's the gold.....wondering if gold grids sound any different. I know gold pins sound the same as regular pins. Anyone have any insight?
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Old 20th March 2012, 02:43 AM   #2
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It's g1 that gets gold plated. It's a good thing, as it stops g1 from emitting electrons under certain circumstances. Maybe you should try a little AB2 action with those 5881s.
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Old 20th March 2012, 03:32 AM   #3
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I wonder how the seller knows the control grid is gold plated... unless all 6P3S-E come that way. This tube shows no markings that are any different than any of the other dozens of 6P3S-E I've ever seen.

I've got a couple dead ones around here somewhere... maybe I should crack one open and dissect it.
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Old 20th March 2012, 08:46 AM   #4
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I bought tenths of these tubes, but I have never seen gold inside. The only place where you'll really find gold is inside the seller's wallet!...
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Old 20th March 2012, 12:09 PM   #5
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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A gold plated grid is only going to help when the grid gets hot. This either means AB2 (or Class C) operation with lots of grid current, or the grid mounted very close to the cathode such as some RF valves or high gain valves (EL84?). Elsewhere it is just a fashion accessory.
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Old 20th March 2012, 06:25 PM   #6
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here are true gold plated tube grids:

Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 20th March 2012, 06:42 PM   #7
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Tung-Sol 5881s had gold plated grids form the beginning (1952) - it's described in an article introducing the tube (see Gary Kaufman's site). I suspect most of the 6L6GCs did as well...
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Old 20th March 2012, 07:51 PM   #8
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Gold grid is good for AB2 audio, which is how these valves would be used in PA or modulator applications. For AB1 or A it should not make much difference.
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Old 20th March 2012, 11:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty_Bower View Post
I wonder how the seller knows the control grid is gold plated... unless all 6P3S-E come that way. This tube shows no markings that are any different than any of the other dozens of 6P3S-E I've ever seen.

I've got a couple dead ones around here somewhere... maybe I should crack one open and dissect it.
All the g1s on ALL those tubes are gold plated. The seller is not misstating the facts.
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Old 21st March 2012, 05:59 PM   #10
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I think that the seller is misstating that his tube is, or at least is equivalent to a 5881. Have a look at the maximum ratings, e.g. for plate voltage: 250V for 6P3S-E vs. 400V for 5881.

Last edited by Kay Pirinha; 21st March 2012 at 05:59 PM. Reason: orthopraphic
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