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Old 8th December 2012, 05:04 AM   #1
Ogien is offline Ogien  United States
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Question Found An Amplifier In My Basement I'd Forgotten About & Learn It's Sought After

Sorry guys, I'm the man of a million and one questons today but the landscape did change a little in the world of tube audio so I figure if I ask these questions now I'll catch up to the rest of you quicker.

Some time ago I stopped at either Thrift Shop a Pawn Shop. It's easy for these two to get confused because I got to a lot of thrift and pawn shops but I remember that whether it was Thrift or Pawn, it was in my neighborhood cause I was on first name basis with the staff and even the owners.

The long and short of it is that I purchased a gigantic, old, monster of a tube amplifier. It also turns out that I bought this amplifier for around $25 because the owner didn't want it taking up floor space in his store.

It also bears mentioning that this amplifier had everything a tube amplifier needs to function except for tubes. (Go figure)

I brought it home, probably did a basic search online about it and having found almost no information I stuck it in a closet where it sat till last night.

As my creative tube audio juices are flowing and I'm consuming vast amounts of information that I'd missed the previous 3 years I suddenly remember the amplifier in the closet.

I nearly strain my back but I bring it into my office (my computer room) and set it down and immediately notice 2 things. First, it's obviously a mono amplifier and two it was made by Stromberg Carlson Model AU-36.

I quickly take this information to Google and some of the first hits I start seeing are old and new eBay listings.

To my shock I start finding concluded auctions where the Stromberg Carlson AU-36 sold for $500 and then there was another that sold for close to $600.

Now the best I can figure it is that the Stromberg Carlson AU-36 was made as a public address and also a sort of live entertainment device. I base this on the fact that it has a Microphone input and a Phonograph input and that's about it for the inputs.

Could someone please advise me here? Do I have something that is legitimately special and simply didn't know it? It's a mono, 50 watt public speaking tube amplifier so what is it about this thing that is drawing minimum starting auction bids of $250 on eBay these days?

I should mention that aside from missing tubes (which I fear will be expensive as it needs a LOT of them) the amplifier was well cared for throughout it's existence and with the exception of some dust it hardly even has a scratch.

So do you guys know anything about this Stromberg Carlson AU-36 Tube Amplifier and could you tell me what makes it so special all of a sudden? Are folks modifying them into some amazing sounding mono-block or something? I just don't get it and the Internet isn't giving up too much information as to what makes this thing so "special."

Sorry for the long post but at least you're getting to know me which is good since I'm a newb on this board.
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Old 8th December 2012, 05:12 AM   #2
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Location: Pittsburgh, crumbling wasteland
Nothing special about that amplifier. Sell it on ebay and use the money to buy some nice output transformers. Ebay is no longer a place I seek out for deals. All the prices on there are super inflated IMHO. Its really only a benefit to the sellers now.

Last edited by astouffer; 8th December 2012 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 8th December 2012, 06:21 AM   #3
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A tube amplifier without tubes like apple without juice... Hope you can get a buyer...
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Old 8th December 2012, 06:34 AM   #4
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The chassis is well made and very hard to duplicate for a typical DIYer, so keep it for another project or restore it (the tubes are easy to get). There have been many conversions into guitar amps with the Stromberg given its mono design, with a few tweak, they do sound pretty good. For what you paid, it's a keeper!

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Old 8th December 2012, 04:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by stevensoosai2527 View Post
A tube amplifier without tubes like apple without juice... Hope you can get a buyer...
I buy the occasional tube amp on epay and unless there is some expensive tube included such as a Mullard GZ34 the rest go in a big box of "pulls" that may or may not ever be tested and put into service. I am perfectly happy to buy an amp with no tubes. I certainly wouldn't pay more for an amp with them.
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Old 8th December 2012, 07:49 PM   #6
Ogien is offline Ogien  United States
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Thanks guys, great to know. I honestly couldn't figure out what was so "special" about this thing. Now I know.
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Old 9th December 2012, 02:49 AM   #7
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You can find service information on my Stromberg page: Made In Rochester
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Old 9th December 2012, 08:41 AM   #8
Ogien is offline Ogien  United States
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Originally Posted by Tom Bavis View Post
You can find service information on my Stromberg page: Made In Rochester
Oh wow, that's fantastic stuff. Thanks for the link and the work you put into making the site.

If you'll excuse me, I have some reading to do.
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