September 28, 2019
Chester, the lead tube tester, is in the midst of a dilemma. Recently he asked his Uncle Sylvester to watch the house while Chester and his wife vacationed for 10 days in Mexico. Uncle Sylvester also was in the house a few days prior and after Chester's trip and always watched Hogan's Heroes (CBS, 1965-1971) at 10 pm on weeknights. Chester recalls being forcibly exposed to Hogan's Heroes during the dinner hour in his adolescence and not much caring for it, particularly the laugh track. It was another affront to his artistic sensibilities at that time, much like Gilligan's Island, Iron Butterfly, Mod Squad, and The Monkees. His dilemma is this: He sat down with his uncle for a few minutes at 10 pm the night before he left for vacation and found himself drawn to the TV series he once barely tolerated. How could this be? Suddenly, Werner Klemperer was now elevated to an endearing and skilled comic actor, a master of harmless buffoonery. John Banner was transformed into a genius comic physical actor. For the first time, Chester saw Hogan's Heroes in color on a large set, not the 12" Panasonic B&W portable of his adolescence. The image quality was remarkable (although the color a bit saturated). How could Chester, now older and ostensibly wiser, be drawn into the show that still had a middle-school student appeal and an annoyingly phony laugh track? Not to mention Bob Crane's smug character and the added ironic weight of what we now know about his sordid extra-curricular home video activities uncovered years later. "Am I going soft in the head?" a concerned Chester asked me, with some guilt and even embarrassment. Seeing this question as instead a cry for help, with his wife's permission I stole the digital antenna from Chester's home and pray he does not replace it. His wife knows nothing.
July 22, 2019
Several new 12AX7 tubes in stock now. Of particular interest are numbers 161 and 162, RCA Red Tip. A great value for this matched pair.
In other news, Chester found a boxed set of The Godfather trilogy at a Goodwill outlet center for like 50 cents, and we watched Parts 2 and 3, Part 1 being well known to us, Part 2 we wanted to revisit. Let's just say we were not impressed much with Part 3, none of us having seen more than bits and pieces prior. We started squirming a little about 15 minutes in. How long was it necessary to shoot that foundation sequence at the start? Can you imagine the audible disbelief that exploded when George Hamilton appeared on the screen? He did a good job, but he was not an actor anyone expected to see cast in this Coppola film. It's as if Wayne Newton suddenly showed up. And what was up with Talia Shire's mobster cheerleading act? As to Sophia Coppola's oft-skewered performance, we thought she was pretty good and agreed (rarely does this happen) with Roger Ebert's assessment, that she brought a naive freshness to the role. All agreed that Part 2 was in some ways the most satisfying of the three, even though the De Niro parallel flashback story first struck some of us as contrived. Of particular joy in Part 2 were the sequences featuring the sly Hyman Roth, especially his getting shot in the airport.
June 16, 2019
Sadly, the Hallicrafters S-38B restoration project was cancelled due to poor viability. The Grundig 5088 will now take its place in line for restoration. Much sexier. All the Hallicrafters tubes tested great, so they got harvested and added to the Old Radio Tubes list.
June 6, 2019
We just added some old radio tubes we found in an RCA tube caddy. (We're keeping the caddy. It's so cool.)
The accountants say we have too many 6DJ8s. Pick any two for $25 each, any four for $20 each! They're Amperex, dammit!
We just got a matched quad of 7189s! Just what Dr. Scott ordered.
Oh, yeah. Another thing. Hail to Arcturus!
May 26, 2019
Be sure to check out our growing and freshly updated tube inventory. There are some juicy matched sets available at reasonable prices, and a new quad of 7189s is coming soon. As always, if you have any questions or comments, email us.