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Old February 28th, 2012, 10:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What did I buy? $50 CL find

Cruising craigslist I came across this. Got a good deal and decided to try my luck. I was planning on getting a tube amp kit as a first build but figured if nothing else, I should have some decent parts here to piece something together.

I am wondering where to start on this beastie. I could just disassemble it and inventory the parts but I'm curious to see if this is operational and what is sounds like. The story is that is was built by an IBM engineer in his spare time so I am thinking there is a good chance of it being built correctly and with a 3 prong plug might actually be safe to use as is.

Let me know what you think. I imagine I'll have to make a schematic for to figure out exactly what goes where.

Any sage advice is appreciated.

Bb
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Old February 28th, 2012, 10:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Couple more pics..
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Old February 28th, 2012, 10:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd loose the crimps ons and screw on terminal strips for sure...

Plug er in, love to hear a success story...
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Old February 28th, 2012, 10:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks clean, no visibly leaking caps. I'd put in some newer tubes and then fire it up.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 11:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Really nice amp. I wouldn't use it for parts!

Looks like a push-pull hi-fi amp (mono). Very nicely built. Whoever put it together knew what they were doing and used quality parts.

One of the small (I'm assuming they're 9 pin but can't tell for sure) tubes is the preamp tube, and the other is a phase inverter for the 2 power tubes (the 5881s).

Those 5881 are fine tubes. When they were introduced, they were considered the higher fidelity variant of the 6L6. They are only a direct sub for the early metal 6L6s or the first glass bottle 6L6s. They are not a direct sub for later 6L6s as their upper plate limit is 400 volts max.

That Acrosound output transformer is super high quality.

I'd just recap it and use it as is, or sell it to a hi-fi nut. (I'd be interested). I bet it sounds fantastic.

-Kevin
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Old February 28th, 2012, 11:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Assuming the trannies work, you have definitely scored.
This amp was probably pushing those 5881s to their max. Just guessing, 400-0-400v secondaries would be producing over 400vdc to the plates, even with a 5R4 rectifier.

Consider getting some new power tubes like 6L6GCs or something, and saving the 5881s for a lower voltage amp. And definitely recap, including the aluminum cans that are externally mounted.

Nice!
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Old February 28th, 2012, 09:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes I see that 400v limit on the 5881. I'll check that out.

Bb
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