• WARNING: Tube/Valve amplifiers use potentially LETHAL HIGH VOLTAGES.
    Building, troubleshooting and testing of these amplifiers should only be
    performed by someone who is thoroughly familiar with
    the safety precautions around high voltages.

I just inherited a TON of tubes and tube amp components.

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B3finga

Member
2013-03-13 10:44 pm
I recently inherited a ton of tubes and tube amp components. I haven't counted yet, but I'm gonna guess over 1000 tubes, cabinets full of capacitors, resistors, chokes, transformers, tools, etc. Plus a bunch of antique radios and misc. electronics. I've got boxes full of NOS tubes by Tung-Sol, Sylvania, GE, RCA, Realistic, Philco, Truetone, Ken-Rad, and more.

Both my Grandfather and Great Grandfather were radio and TV repairmen. Lots of this stuff dates back to the 30's and 40's. I'm a musician, so I've always been interested in tube amps, but never have learned how to build them or work on them extensively....Now I'm gonna learn.

I want to start by converting this 1956 Motorola HS-544 amp into a guitar amp. It's old and might need tubes and caps, but I think that will be a good starting point. I would like to make it into a guitar head with a 15" speaker cabinet.

Any help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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B3finga,

Run a Google search on NEETS. NEETS is U.S. Navy training stuff and will get you started in acquiring the requisite background theory.

BTW, there's a good chance that any electrolytic caps. in the "pile" have literally dried out, with the passage of time. However it costs next to nothing to try reforming those parts. It is possible to luck out.
 
I recently inherited a ton of tubes and tube amp components. I haven't counted yet, but I'm gonna guess over 1000 tubes, cabinets full of capacitors, resistors, chokes, transformers, tools, etc. Plus a bunch of antique radios and misc. electronics. I've got boxes full of NOS tubes by Tung-Sol, Sylvania, GE, RCA, Realistic, Philco, Truetone, Ken-Rad, and more.

Both my Grandfather and Great Grandfather were radio and TV repairmen. Lots of this stuff dates back to the 30's and 40's. I'm a musician, so I've always been interested in tube amps, but never have learned how to build them or work on them extensively....Now I'm gonna learn.

I want to start by converting this 1956 Motorola HS-544 amp into a guitar amp. It's old and might need tubes and caps, but I think that will be a good starting point. I would like to make it into a guitar head with a 15" speaker cabinet.

Any help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

An externally hosted image should be here but it was not working when we last tested it.


An externally hosted image should be here but it was not working when we last tested it.


An externally hosted image should be here but it was not working when we last tested it.

Before you rip up that amp, consider it may have more value restored.

You can always build a guitar amp, but the Motorola amp may be something that is not easily found in the world, therefore of some value.
 

B3finga

Member
2013-03-13 10:44 pm
Yeah, I think my grandfather may have installed that jack for me. He knew I was interested in learning, but living in another state prevented me from spending a lot of time to do it.

I think I'll keep that one, however I will be selling most of the stuff and giving the money to my grandmother. I'm gonna keep some tools, a few tubes, transformers, components, and books so I can learn and maybe build an amp or 2 from scratch.

Any suggestions on how to go about selling this stuff.
 
If you find a small sturdy cardboard box in all the stuff....all by itself, with some old wadded up newspapers for protection....& it vaguely looks like this picture......prepare to be amazed how much $$$ some will pay you for it.

Consult with us first before you "give it away"

_______________________________________________________Rick.......
 

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You will be looking for needles in that haystack. The vast majority of tubes have uses primarily as TV tubes and are not worth very much at all. You see photos of hundreds on eBay that go without bids. On the other hand, you also see NOS audio tubes fetch in the hundreds of dollars each.

So, HERE is a link to a "wholesale tube price list". I'm sure there are others just like this, I don't know these folks from Adam and I'm not even sure how old the price list is. But, it and others like it would be useful for separating the wheat from the chaff. (Note that's two farming metaphors in one post from a guy that lives in the desert)

As for those transformers, they can be good too. Here is another handy LINK. You can use it to see who made those transformers and when.

I bought a lot of old NIB can caps a while back and I was able to reform a higher percentage of them than anyone would likely believe. They are not worth very much however.

Good luck to you and Godspeed to your grandfather. It's sad to see the old ones go.
 
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Yes indeed, the prices offered are very low. Buy low, sell high; that would be my guess.

The point I had attempted to make was that a list such as this one could be made useful as a means to separate the tubes of value from the less interesting ones. There is two orders of magnitude difference in pricing. If you put the tubes that list for say, over one dollar in one room and those that list for under a dollar in another, you would be well on your way to identifying the tubes that are of interest.
 
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