Vacuum Tubes in the 21st Century


Tube Amplification, Restoration, Construction and Peripherals

If you are handy, and love to create new electrical things while

also having Metal Working Skills you found your Happy Hour!

Shockman says, be cautious, enjoy and stay safe in this Hobbyy


Door I - On creating new Tube Amps, substantial tooling-up cost involved

Door II - Restore vintage/classic equipment, less up front cost, fix rather than create

The rest of the Doors, are for enjoyment of this most musical of hobbies

*Click on the thumbnails below*

TDoor  I - Unique Tube Amps


Door II - Classic Vintage Production Tube Amps


Door III - Speaker of the House Notes

Door IV - Una-Tube Manifesto, the short & skinny


Door V - The Water Cooler, Time Out to Relax


Door VI - My Contact Details 


Door VII - Shockman Hazard Disclaimer


Door VIII - Basic Tube Measurements


Door IX - The Hammond Organs

(Partly under construction, I let a few things make it here)

Door X - Schematic Library

(Under construction now, your patience is very much appreciated I have lots of schematics on file)

Door XI - My personal Analog Zone

(Under construction now, your patience is very much appreciated)


 Power Tubes for Amplification

My "High Bias" Power Tube Reviews

KT-88/6550 - Cavernous lows & very polite highs, trash metal crunchers, surprisingly good with Horns and Lowthers

KT-66/6L6/5881* - Layered, tonal, great for both HiFi & Guitar Amps, many nice variants, a chameleon of Tones

SPECIAL HONORABLE MENTION: 7355 TUBE (RIP) - Small 6L6 variant, brilliant design, out of production, the 7591XYZ was a great 7355 sub, until SOVTEK production ceased

KT-77/EL34/6CA7 - Midrange Guitar "screamer", with a nice leading edge, crystal clear HiFi, very nuanced, KT77 smoothest

EL-84/6BQ5 - Musically engaging, great for Classical Music, a smooth operator, vocals are crisp and clean

7591/7591A/7868/6GM5 - Sweet sound, deceivingly smooth at high power, can kill speakers, current production is Russian

7027A (RIP) - Nice Warm & Detailed Sound, used when Tubes roamed the market

8417(RIP) - Audio Power Pentode, late bloomer, akin to a V8 and Oil Price Hikes, long out of production

6F6 Metal / 6F6G Glass (Russian 6F6S Glass) - Think old Tube Car Radios, fabulous tonality, best kept DIY secret, listen here on 16 Ohm PSV-2

6V6/7408 - Lighter version of 6F6 but different sound, filaments are not as hungry as 6F6, can be bright, glassy-clear

6AQ5 (RIP) - Out of production, have a few on hand, will made a prototype amp, with plans to enjoy later

6CM6 - (RIP) also out of production, fantastic Jazz and Vocal, listen... a small 6V6, similar sound character, glassy-clear

E80L/6227 (RIP) - European 9 Pin Pentode. 10,000 hour PQ version, on my short list of Tubes to use, uncommon

2A3 - Single Ended Holography, Fine Bourbon & Single Malt Scotch, look for the Single Plate Sovtek today. NOS usually worn/used

300B - The trusted voice of DHT Class A - the golden S.E. standard - Expen$ive but Musical, used in Preamps as well

Special Mention RF Power Tube;

6146B - Commonly used for Radio Transmitters, seen in Audio Amplifiers, bully of the block. Easily capable of 75W in PP

Small Signal Voltage & Gain Stage Tubes for Pre-Amplification

Line Stages, Tone Controls, Phase Splitters & Buffers

ECC83/12AX7 - High-Mu, Dual Triode everyone knows something about, it is very common in Audio

ECC81/12AT7 - Medium-Mu Dual Triode, common in Guitar amps, seen less in HiFi amps (Fisher SA300)

ECC82/12AU7 - The true 9 Pin chameleon, Low-Mu, versatile, ubiquitous, handy, the toolbox of small signal tubes

12DW7/7247 - Half of a 12AX7 plus Half of a 12AU7 cool tube, (Dynaco ST35, EICO 2036)

ECC88/6DJ8/6922 - Frame Grid design, a Love/Hate HiFi reputation, I love'em Hot and Bothered (Audible Illusions)

ECC85 - Used sparingly in Audio, very sweet, much more common in German Amps (Grundig)

EF86/6267 - A small Pentode Tube, everyone needs to listen to, most never have (Mullard 5-20)

6C4 - This is half of a 12AU7, small and petite, very cute, used in Acrosound Preamp & Hammond AO-28 (RIP)

6SN7/5962 - The Bulldog of Small Signal Gain Stages, robust and musical (Cary Audio SLP-5)

6J5 - This just half of a 6SN7 (think 6C4/12AU7), killer tone, a best kept secret, out of production (RIP)

6N7 - Rare metal audio tube, Stromberg Carlson Theater Amps (Stromberg Carlson APH50)

6SL7/5961 - Less seen in amps, Cary Audio used them in the 90's (CAD SE300)

12BH7 - Robust dual triode, awesome & beefy, great driver tube (Hammond AO-28)

ECC99 - The new kid on the block, speaks with an accent, nouveau 12BH7 (JJ Electronik)

6C45P - Best kept secret for Phono Stages, used in DIY for those in-the-know (Transcendent Sound)

6N1P - More robust than a ECC88/6DJ8, great driver for DHT Triode Tubes (ShermanAudio Kismet)

7199 - Out of production tube (RIP), Pentode/Triode, Russian version hit-miss (Dynaco ST70)

6AN8 - Out of production tube (RIP), Pentode/Triode (Dynaco MK3, some Japanese Amps)

Tube Rectifiers, the unsung heroes working in the Engine room

"An unfair reputation" when it comes to Music, Tube Rectifiers absolutely rule the tone department

Tube Rectifiers are gentle on their fellow Tubes, fairly slow turn-on, no voltage slam

GZ34/5AR4 - 5V/2A Superman of tube rectifiers, general purpose (Dynaco ST70)

GZ37 - A somewhat filament hungry 5V/2.8A variant of the GZ34, British, rare & expensive

Type 80 Globe - Paleo Rare Tube Rectifier, too much for me as well, for museums

5Z3 - Also rare, museum stuff, not for DIY, unless there is extreme nostagia

5Y3/5Y3GT - Neutral 5V/2A, very reliable when operated within their maximum ratings, quick-on

6X4 - Lighter 6V/.6A version rectifier, mostly used in Preamps (Scott LC21)

6C4 - Small sized rectifier common in the 60's, Silvertone Guitar Amp, also Hammond Preamps

6CA4/EZ81 - Common small 6 volt rectifier, used in vintage preamps and Euro Tube equipment

5V4 - Rare now, 5V/2A sweetie, nice for medium powered amps 20 to 30w

12X4 - A 12V/0.6A version of a 6X4, same tube, different filament (Dynaco PAS)

6CA4/EZ81 - Like a 6X4, but not as popular, 1amp, think VOX (Leslie Reverb Cabinets)

5U4/5U4G - Robust Rectifier 5V/3A, tall, dark and handsome (US Navy)

5R4GY - That Sexy glass bottle, 5V/3A often seen with Brown Shorts (JAN)

5R4WGB - Potato Masher Rectifier, totally ready for Dinner and Battle (Military Grade)

6AX5/6X5GT - Popular 50's-60's 5V rectifier, similar to 5Y3 in ratings, 5V/0.6A from the 50's

274B - Western Electric, high end tube, available today, must be nice, Expensive as F, $$$

Old and New Electrical Theory Testaments

The ultimate reading material for the facts and details

Remember always safety first

Prevent fatal electric shocks or Soldering Iron Burns

Always use Eye Protection,Never work when tired

Use good lighting and magnification

When measuring, one lead, always grounded

One hand with probe, other hand in pocket

No Alchohol when on the Bench, and don't spill the Coffee

I was on a stroll through Central Park NYC, not expecting to visit the John Lennon mosaic

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