What is a good Tube tester to get?

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Any Hickok tube tester that has 7 & 9-pin sockets is a good choice. Some of the older models do not test those miniature 7 & 9 pin tubes, nor would list a EL34. To confuse firther, the Hickok 539 series came with two socket assemblies for older or more modern tubes. The 539C is the more modern version. More info is available at Padgett's Hickok Page. Do a Goggle search & the site will be found.
I have had excellent results with the Stark 12-22 and 9-66 machines. They do have a couple of finickey things about them, but otherwise, I like them a lot.

If you should accidentally press the OZ4 rectivier test button while something little like a 6AL5 is in, you'll fry it pretty fast. Upon other things, the tube testers are otherwise useful to me and I enjoy them. Another good thing is the internal tube index chart on rolls. You don't have to look them up in books.
Great tube tester to get

:smash: As far as tube testers can go, I feel that a B&K model 747 is an excellent choice. I would never question the results on small-signal tubes, if I performed the 'Shorts' and 'Grid Emission' tests whilst vigourously tapping the tube (on its side), and holding the tube being tested from loosening in the socket. Power tubes are never subjected to full-load during test, however, so you must use discretion in interpreting test-results {How fast does the tube come up to a good, strong, AND STABLE reading?}. Be sure to tap all tubes during Shorts & Grid Emission Tests.

Some of the high-traffic 7- & 9-pin sockets (e.g., for 6U8 & 6AU6) will invariably lose their 'grip' on the pins. After I got tired of buying "Socket Savers", I hit upon the relatively simple expedient of extending a socket's useful life with an injection of silicon rubber!! First, I used my trusty awl to carefully re-shape the individual pin-contactss (so that they would make firm contact, even if only enough for performing a few tests). Second, I put a small amount of clear silicone into a hypodermic that had a fairly large needle. Third, after I inserted the needle between each of the metal 'split-barrels' and the plastic socket, I forced enough silicone into the socket to be just visible around the metal barrels. If there was still open space within the metal barrels (of all the pins), the job was done, and the socket would be tighter than a new one, if I could stand the suspense of waiting at least twelve hours for the silicone to cure. If there WAS silicone within the metal contact, I just put a tube in the socket, pulled it back out, removed the silicone from the tube pins with a tissue, and repeated until satisfactory, letting the silicone cure without the tube in the socket. As insurance, you may wish to actually TEST a tube (without tapping!) before the cure really starts.
(Ken looks around room...)

Hey Chris:
I'll trade you the stark for this here Nikko Beta II preamp! Good deal, I'd take it if I wuz you!

Does anyone know what Nikko Preamp has the Film attenuator in it, or is that merely in my mind..and I stole the film attenuator out of the big Technics Receiver? Yeah.. I think it was the big 165 Wpc Technics from '77. Yep, that's the ticket. If anyone ever comes across the corpse of one..take it! The volume pot alone is worth it. And more useful small signal (top of the substitute chain) transistors you can shake a stick at. I must of fixed a dozen pieces of gear with that one corpse alone. ok. no more off topic.
you are right about there being a film 'pot' in the Beta II, but it is a Noble brand with metal casing..phenolic sorta substrate, with film laid down. The pot in the Technics Receiver..the big guy from '77... was an actual Fillm 'discrete' stepped 'attenuator'. The real deal. Alps brand, 250k. I'm using it as a shunt volume arrangement in my modded Acoustat TNP. I bit of a kludge fix but it works.. well enough. Far better than the original pot was. Even if the values are screwy.

Ps. also own a 707 dynajet. Minty.
About 3 years ago I was strolling passed the rear of the Physics building at the University of Adelaide campus. As a guy was chucking stuff into a dumpster I noted a Taylor Model 45D Tube tester going in.
As soon as no one was looking it was out of the dumpster, under my arm and I was beating a hasty retreat.
It had its power cord cut off - got it home, a new power cord and rejoin of a couple of broken wires, photocopy of the manuals from Arthur at Evatco in Melbourne and I'm set for life. Very easy model to use.
So keep your eyes peeled, you just never know your luck.
I have a Stark 9-66 that I bought used in the 70's. I like it. It has two pin receptacles for a pair of Hi-Z headphones marked noise test which would be usefull for more complete testing of audio types. Unfortunately I have no Hi-Z headphones.

I suppose I could wire a vintage tube radio SE output transformer to a modern headset, the Hi-Z plate winding going to the jacks. Just haven't had the inspiration/time.
anatech said:
Hi Rob,
You can get those high Z phones from the flea market in Aberfoyle. They are avaiable from Antique in Arizona.

Do you know of calibration instructions anywhere for the 9-66?


Aberfoyle? Are you talking about that all day Sunday during the summer antique market just southeast of Guelph? I was there a few years back looking for vintage TV's and to just check the place out.

Sorry, I have no data for setting up or calibrating the 9-66.

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