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So many tube testers, how do you know which results are best for tubes?
Old 5th January 2009
Gear Maniac

So many tube testers, how do you know which results are best for tubes?

I am tube hunting and seing many varaiations of test results, with people claiming, the average good valve result should be this.

From these testers, what results should you get for a new Telefunken 12AX7 / ECC83 tube.

- Jackson 648S tester
- B&K 747 Solid State Dynamic Mutual Conductance Tube Tester
- EICO 666 tester

It's hard to believe these sellers if you do not know exactly what the testers are doing or what they do?
Which is the better tester?
Do these testers test all types of tubes from 12AX7, 12AT7, 12AU7, EF86, etc.
Old 5th January 2009
Gear Addict
peeceebee's Avatar

Different tube testing machines will give out different readings, also some read different parameters of a tube's performance, and then there's the question of how accurately calibrated the tester is...

I'm afraid there is no magic answer to the problem-
Old 5th January 2009
Lives for gear
mamm7215's Avatar
Tales From The Tone Lounge; The Idiot's Guide To TubeTesters!

Go here and read, it's an excellent overview of many testers and how good they are. Fwiw, the B&K's are all quite good but not near as expensive as the Hickocks.
You also need to realize that most ALL tube testers you find are old, second hand and you shouldn't be paying big $$ for a tester. You do see some Hickocks go on E-bay for several hundred but that's just dumb for a tube tester, unless your in the business of testing tubes...
Old 11th February 2017
Can I just throw in there that I picked up a 1950's SIC (Superior Instruments Co.) TV-11 Tube Tester on CL for $35 and it is spot on! I had tested a bucket of tubes at our studio with our high end tester and this tester gave me identical results to a 'T'. It comes in a magnificent hand made wooden case with thermoresin like handle. Try to locate the supplement doc if you pick one up, it's such a handy machine, so well built right here in NYC too. Was considered to be for the home owner to test appliance tubes on the fly but the guts are amazingly well built, it's really a very impressive lil' unit I highly recommend for a reference test. It's the Coors light of testers but for $35, you can't go wrong. Plus, Coors light is cheap and delicious and does the job so the TV-11 is quite literally the parallel to Coors light. Thought others might benefit from this info. Cheers!!!!!!
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