Tube Tester Suggestions?

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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby JMPGuitars » Fri 10/04/13 4:13 pm

CurtissRobin wrote: As to "mismatched" tubes harming an amp, nonsense. Assuming tubes of the same type, at least one of the tubes would have to be faulty, not merely different in transconductance from the other(s) to cause harm.
KennyO
The tubes that I was referring to were JJ tubes, which I've had a great deal of reliability issues with (only with EL84 tubes). So it's possible that one of the tubes was faulty instead of simply being overly mismatched.

I have read a lot though about the tubes being too far out of balance causing trouble. I don't personally lean one way or the other. Like I said, I think the people that push the need for extreme tube matching in guitar amps are the people making the tube matchers or offering the tube matching services, much like DeBeers did with the diamond in the 1930s.
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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby Freddy » Fri 10/04/13 11:22 pm

The emission type testers are not totally useless. You can check for shorts, dead filaments, and do a basic emission test to see if they are conducting. As long as you can get one cheap and in good shape they can come in handy. Good for screening old tubes from flea markets, grab bags of tubes off FleaBay or ones found in an attic. The vintage Mu testers go for stupid money and a lot of them haven't been calibrated since they were made 50-60 years ago. The Orange tube tester looks interesting but for $500 it just gives you three indicators: Good, Worn, or Fail. No way you can match up power tubes with that system.
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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby JMPGuitars » Fri 10/04/13 11:33 pm

Freddy wrote:The emission type testers are not totally useless. You can check for shorts, dead filaments, and do a basic emission test to see if they are conducting. As long as you can get one cheap and in good shape they can come in handy. Good for screening old tubes from flea markets, grab bags of tubes off FleaBay or ones found in an attic. The vintage Mu testers go for stupid money and a lot of them haven't been calibrated since they were made 50-60 years ago. The Orange tube tester looks interesting but for $500 it just gives you three indicators: Good, Worn, or Fail. No way you can match up power tubes with that system.
Supposedly it tests for all of this:

Heater filament test: Short circuit
Heater filament test: Open circuit
Heater filament test: Tolerance check
Heater cathode insulation: Leakage
Heater cathode insulation: Short Circuit
Tests for heater current abnormalities
Amplification factor
Voltage gain
Power gain
Screen grid test
Mutual conductance test
Dual test for double triodes
Emission
Inter electrode leakage
Inter electrode short circuit
Flash-over (arc detection, high voltage breakdown)
Gas ionisation test

According to the video I watched, after it tests the tube, it also gives a number, and you're supposed to match according to that number. Since I fall somewhere in between the two extremes in regards to whether or not tubes need to be matched, I figure it should be sufficient... But, no, I won't pay $500 for it. I've read reviews where people have gotten it new for as little as $350. I'll most likely wait until I find a used one for under $250.
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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby tone » Mon 02/17/14 6:56 pm

Hi there. I'm a newbie to this site.
I took the plunge on the Orange tester and spent a few hours going thru my supply. I like it. I wish it provided more specs but its good at matching tubes and eliminating bad ones. I discovered the driver tube in one of my amps was unbalanced and replaced it. The difference was obvious instantly. I'm going to experiment with unmatched el84 tubes to see if there is a difference.
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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby JMPGuitars » Mon 02/17/14 10:28 pm

Jealous! :)
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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby tone » Tue 02/18/14 7:41 pm

Update: The only real complaint is the thing doesn't do ef86 valves.
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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby JMPGuitars » Tue 02/18/14 9:11 pm

tone wrote:Update: The only real complaint is the thing doesn't do ef86 valves.
Seriously?? That's kind of a deal breaker for me. I love EF86 preamps. Orange better add it in there for the next version or update.
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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby tone » Tue 02/18/14 9:28 pm

I wasn't aware when i got it. Someone in Orange R&D missed that nugget. I have a custom built rig that uses an ef86 pre. Something special about that tube...
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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby JMPGuitars » Wed 02/19/14 10:57 am

I agree. I have at least 4 amps I built with EF86 preamps in my office right now. :)
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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby davidw » Fri 03/25/16 4:45 pm

Came across this one the other day. I think it looks really good and would be interested in other opinions before having a go at building one.

http://www.valveheaven.com/wp-content/u ... tester.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby JMPGuitars » Sat 03/26/16 4:47 pm

davidw wrote:Came across this one the other day. I think it looks really good and would be interested in other opinions before having a go at building one.

http://www.valveheaven.com/wp-content/u ... tester.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Very interesting! I'm going to have to look into this more. Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby CurtissRobin » Sun 03/27/16 9:55 am

Hmmm! I've got a suitable chassis, all the parts (even the transformer due to an old, old SS hi-fi amp project that never got done) and Harbor Freight nearly always has those $5 DMMs in stock. This could happen!

Much thanks.
KennyO
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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby JMPGuitars » Sun 03/27/16 10:30 pm

CurtissRobin wrote:Hmmm! I've got a suitable chassis, all the parts (even the transformer due to an old, old SS hi-fi amp project that never got done) and Harbor Freight nearly always has those $5 DMMs in stock. This could happen!

Much thanks.
KennyO
Do it! You'll probably have free time to do it before me, and I'd love your opinion on it. ;)
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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby CurtissRobin » Mon 03/28/16 2:23 pm

Do it! You'll probably have free time to do it before me, and I'd love your opinion on it. ;)
Not likely soon ... I just got a lead on a sidecar for my project bike, it's about to turn to April and the sun is shining; what do you think my priorities are this week??!!

KennyO
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Re: Tube Tester Suggestions?

Postby JMPGuitars » Tue 03/29/16 9:45 am

CurtissRobin wrote:
Do it! You'll probably have free time to do it before me, and I'd love your opinion on it. ;)
Not likely soon ... I just got a lead on a sidecar for my project bike, it's about to turn to April and the sun is shining; what do you think my priorities are this week??!!

KennyO
Crap. Oh well, I guess we'll see who gets around to it first. :)
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