The Fat of the Land

John Frum

Secret Society Member
I drove an hour this afternoon to drop off my tube tester for refurbishment and calibration, an investment in sorting out my growing collection of used pulls.

On the way home, we stopped at an antique mall, and inside, I found a delapidated RTR. It was a $15 reminder of why I was on the errand in the first place:

CA06A443-BD0B-40F4-9601-4346A63067BB.jpeg

It seems like, for the most-used tubes of the late 50s and 60s - 9-pin dual triodes, common rectifiers, 6BQ5, even 6L6 - there’s no shortage of used tubes out there for the diligent.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve picked up, gutted, and broken down three organs with a total expenditure of $30, a tank of gas, and about a day of work. I gave my dad the speakers and amp chassis to sell and split the proceeds, which should handily cover my cash expenditures and pay me a modest sum for my labor. This box represents the unsorted, uncleaned, untested skim, about 100 tubes strong:

A62BF058-12C0-43F1-ABB8-0F10FE58C8CD.jpeg

If you can’t afford eBay prices for vintage tubes, hell, if you can’t afford new-production tubes, get out there and WORK for it!
 
Last edited:

John Frum

Secret Society Member
Setting aside the tubes, there’s a rich bounty of switches, tube sockets, cloth-insulated wire, knobs, feet, tag strips, transformers, wirewound resistors, even full power amps available to the intrepid DIYer willing to play with end-of-life organs, consoles, tape decks, and oddball instrument amplifiers that languish on your local Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

Now if I can just work up the courage to start using this stash...
 

paulbottlehead

Active Member
I can remember my neighbor buying some tubes for a me a few years ago randomly from some steampunk art supply store. I gave him the $50 he paid for the lot, then turned around and sold the quad of NOS Mullard GZ-34 rectifiers sitting in the box. That same neighbor and I went to an estate sale not long after and I snagged 6x Mullard EL34s for $75. The deals are indeed out there, but it takes a lot of looking!
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
Bell, this being Ohio and all. What kind of savage do you take me for?!? :tongue:
... as opposed to a Norskie Viking, eh? ;)

Neat-o. Don't see too much Bell equipment in the Northeast (do see some, most of it's very aesthetically pleasing, I'd opine) Don't think I've ever seen a Bell tape deck (other than at www.alliedcatalogs.com).

1579117229411.png

That "Bell" deck was also sold under Allied's "Knight" brand. :)
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
Somebody just had to mention transformers, hope your OK Redboy, go down into your basement and just sit next to your piles of those wire wound devices till you stop shaking.
That was a really nice grab there with all those Tele's. All very useful.

BillWojo
 

John Frum

Secret Society Member
Did you say... transformers? :)

That's a nice little lineup of tubes!

I keep trying, but this midcentury domestic detritus just isn’t giving up much in the way of silver-wound interleaved SE OPTs, Slagleformers, milspec interstage iron, or filament transformers! :Bow

Which isn’t to say I haven’t turned up power transformers, serviceable single-ended and push-pull OPTs, and the odd choke. Who needs endbells, right? Still looking out for useable step-ups.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
Setting aside the tubes, there’s a rich bounty of switches, tube sockets, cloth-insulated wire, knobs, feet, tag strips, transformers, wirewound resistors, even full power amps available to the intrepid DIYer willing to play with end-of-life organs, consoles, tape decks, and oddball instrument amplifiers that languish on your local Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

Now if I can just work up the courage to start using this stash...
I picked up five Tektronix signal generators a few years back - each one had two 12AU7 and one 5751 tube (the former being RCA black-plate and the latter being mostly the 3-mica variety). I think my total outlay was $25 for the five signal generators.

I believe @JohnVF has a couple of the 5751s on extended loan at the moment, in fact.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I picked up five Tektronix signal generators a few years back - each one had two 12AU7 and one 5751 tube (the former being RCA black-plate and the latter being mostly the 3-mica variety). I think my total outlay was $25 for the five signal generators.

I believe @JohnVF has a couple of the 5751s on extended loan at the moment, in fact.
I believe he does and he’s ashamed they’re still here. Will get them out.
 

Redboy

Knobophobe
I picked a Baldwin organ off the curb some years ago, and got a nice Jensen driver and two cigar boxes full of 12AX7 and 12AU7.

...I also got a 200 pound wood and metal carcass that took up half a garage space for three months until I finally dismantled the sucker with a crowbar and a reciprocating saw... It's hard to say if it was worth it. I haven't brought a lot of organs home, since. :-/
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
I picked a Baldwin organ off the curb some years ago, and got a nice Jensen driver and two cigar boxes full of 12AX7 and 12AU7.

...I also got a 200 pound wood and metal carcass that took up half a garage space for three months until I finally dismantled the sucker with a crowbar and a reciprocating saw... It's hard to say if it was worth it. I haven't brought a lot of organs home, since. :-/
I know a guy... who had the virtually complete entrails of a theatre pipe organ in his garage for a few years. Just sayin'.
:)
 

John Frum

Secret Society Member
I picked a Baldwin organ off the curb some years ago, and got a nice Jensen driver and two cigar boxes full of 12AX7 and 12AU7.

...I also got a 200 pound wood and metal carcass that took up half a garage space for three months until I finally dismantled the sucker with a crowbar and a reciprocating saw... It's hard to say if it was worth it. I haven't brought a lot of organs home, since. :-/

Well, there’s your problem! You only had one. Rookie mistake.

It becomes much easier to prioritize heading to the dump with a vanload of dismembered organ parts once you have multiples.
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
The trick with organs or consoles if your taking them for the amps and tubes is to finish the job as soon as you get it home. I helped a buddy pick up an old tube organ and when we unloaded it in his driveway we started on it like vultures. An hour later there was a pile of wood on the curb by his trash cans and some metal carcasses for his scrap pile.
If you shove it into the garage remorse sets in until your sick of it getting in your way.

BillWojo
 
Top