An experiment with 1940's Marconi 6V6G Coke Bottle tubes

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by JHowdy, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Electronics history is very interesting.

    If we think that "Big Business" today is brutal, political, driven by greed and money, well, it was like that from the beginning.

    It was a brutal quest to be at the top of the industry.

    Still is that way today. People invent and see a new business. Companies have the money to invest, and make a new business rise, or never take off.

    Deals are made. Sounds like the Marconi situation. That name is associated with certain tubes, made by another big company, sold under many name brands, and I guess everyone wins something.

    All that I'm certain of is that these bottles sound GOOD.
     
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  2. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    70
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I've worked in theaters that still used pre war technology. It was a case of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The PBS TV station I worked at still used some early 1950s equipment. In Niagara Falls, you can still see some of Tesla's original power plant gear. You can still ride on century old (and older) steam trains. Tubes have been around for just over a century. Amplifiers, as we know them, have been used for 80+ years. The ones many love (and still build clones of) are 65 years old. Just because it's old doesn't defeat it's value or esthetics. The Hammond Organ that I love can be traced back before Laurens Hammond's design back to 1895. The electro-mechanical tone wheel is as archaic as it gets---but it's the organ sound that many love and try to emulate. Same with electric guitars. It's far more than just nostalgia that propels this love of these old antiques. It's something that modern electronics just can't touch.
     
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  3. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Wow and The Soviets even created Fake News.
     
  4. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    When the electric system was being developed, in the late 19th century, the battles were epic, with dirty dealing, betrayals and controversies that have never been fully settled.

    Likewise for the history of the early radio industry, which was probably the beginning of consumer electronics. The fights over patent rights, etc. would have been hard to believe had someone tried to pass it off as fiction, but that was the way the business ran. Edwin Armstrong was denied rights to his invention because a huge corporation kept him in court for many years. He eventually jumped out of a window, to his death. The tech giants of our day are pussycats by comparison.
    The microprocessor and it’s ancestor, the Integrated Circuit, are miracles of our modern age, but the technology of vacuum tubes is nothing to sneeze at. The tube industry had amazing complexity and used technology most people would not imagine to have existed, at the time. Here’s a video about Mullard’s factory:

    The more I learn about amplifiers and electronics, the more amazed I am by what I learn. There is an absolute science to acoustics and most of what we know about it has been learned in the last 100 years. Electronics goes hand in hand with acoustics and in order to create amps which sound good, people such as Leo Fender has to have known their subject matter very well. The fact that, back in the day, you could buy a new RCA tube for a buck or so was a minor miracle.
     
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  5. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Here's some very interesting stuff. Check the TUBES section.

    http://www.jproc.ca/marconi/

    @Synchro will like this too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  6. JHowdy

    JHowdy Country Gent

    Age:
    54
    Nov 16, 2013
    Finland
    Oh wow! I think that the website administrator could use a picture of JAN 6V6G tubes and their original boxes...
     
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  7. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    70
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    If a Tesla gets stolen, it's called an Edison.
     
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  8. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Age:
    64
    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    In looking at the Marconi site re: Canadian electronics history, I notice that they are referred to as both "tubes" and "valves."

    For our Canadian members: is that the way of it in the land of the maple leaf? Are the terms interchangeable there?
     
  9. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    :)
     
  10. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    Always knew them as tubes.
     
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  11. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    Just grabbed a 6V6G to pop in the baby blondeshell. :) should be fun through my 212 vox clone cab with silverbells
     
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  12. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I hope you share the experience you have with that tube in the baby! I just love the sound of the Baby Blondeshell through the silver bell blue dog 2x12!
     
  13. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Both men were brilliant but both men had lots of help by the workers they hired and nicked ideas from them. Edison may have used some ideas from others but he had plenty of his own. There's a whole museum full in New Jersey, Texas, and Florida. Without him our world would be really different.
     
  14. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    In London, people would send you to the subway if you asked for "tubes" :D
    To them, the electronic thingies are "valves".
     
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  15. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    70
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Leo Fender, and others, just copied and combined circuits that they found in the Sylvania Tube Guide, a compendium of all the tube knowledge at the time. I always found it ironic that Leo didn't play an instrument. He was a radio repairman that like country music, and built amps for friends. Seems to have worked out OK for him in the long run.

    The Canadian TV show, "How It's Made", has segments on tube manufacturing. It is indeed almost a lost art verging on magic. It amazes me that tubes were used in proximity fuses for anti-aircraft artillery. They had to be sturdy enough to handle being fired from a cannon.

    Of course, they only had to work the one time.

    Tubes were often more than "just a buck". The cost was based on complexity and materials. A CRT was really pricey. You could get the smaller common tubes reasonably inexpensively. Mass production and economies of scale made that possible. The fact that tubes are a rare and archaic item now sends the price higher.

    When transistors first appeared in the early '50s, thanks to Bell Labs (and somewhat by Purdue), most electronics engineers thought that they wouldn't be much more than amps for hearing aids. An appliance maker from Japan found a way to make them into a portable radio in '57. That simple act changed everything. Portable radios no longer needed a set of expensive batteries and tubes to operate. The radios themselves shrank in size from the size of a small suitcase to something that would fit into a shirt pocket. Kids found that they could listen to music without having to use the radio that their parents were using. Rock and roll got even bigger within two or three years of that. Everything electronic continued to get smaller. The cultural shift caused by the simple transistor was world changing. Then, the IC came about, and all that it changed/ When the transistor first showed up, computers were run by tubes, used vast amounts of electricity, and filled a warehouse. They were limited in their capabilities, and memory was infinitesimal compared to what we have now. Even by the time of NASA and the Apollo program, the computers used were only about as powerful as a calculator that we have today. It still took legions of mathematicians, punch cards by the millions, and vast amounts of time and money to accomplish anything of that scale.

    Still, when it comes to music, the lowly, antiquated, archaic vacuum tube, AKA valve, still holds strong. It's not that we're Luddites, or that we throw our wooden shoes into modern machinery, it's that we love what the tubes give us---a sound that nothing else truly makes. And we've got guys like Leo Fender and Laurens Hammond to thank for it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  16. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    "I always found it ironic that Leo didn't play an instrument. He was a radio repairman that like country music, and built amps for friends. Seems to have worked out OK for him in the long run." Well, at least for the first 74 years or so, we'll see how it plays out over the truly long run. :)

    All jesting aside, Leo Fender was an enigma. He was a relatively stodgy guy that changed music. He didn't literally invent the electric bass or the solid body electric guitar, but he put them on the map. From what I've read about the man, I doubt that Leo Fender was all that interested in most of the music that developed from his inventions.

    His tastes leaned towards Country and I suspect that the Buck Owens sound was probably what he had in mind. But he was no fool, and he realized that he was selling a lot of gear to people with tastes much different from his own. There are legends about his involvement with Dick Dale's music, and he probably saw his gigs as a great test bed for bulletproof amps.

    The more I learn about vacuum tubes, the more amazed I become. These were truly high tech marvels.
     
  17. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    Leo actually did like to pick on his Banjo, so he wasnt totally removed from playing the stringed planks
     
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  18. tolm

    tolm Gretschie

    269
    Jan 25, 2016
    UK
    Nothing ventured, nothing gained - right?! Cool that you went for it and seems like it turned out alright!
     
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