Tube tester recommendation!


Is there an inexpensive (but accurate) tube tester that one can buy? Here on Agon sometimes? Through a merchant? Amazon? Ebay?

Tubes can be expensive and I want to get every bit I can from them but once they begin to go I'd like to have the means to validate that (sometimes I think my hearing may be the issue :-))

Thank you!  
rbschauman
Hickok testers are considered the best but can be very expensive,
I have a Eico 667 which is popular and can be had on Ebay for about $200. Since these units are 50 to 60 years old they may updating and mods. There is lots info on the web.
I just asked Ralph Karsten the same question. He also recommended Hickok testers, but said they would run $800-2K or so.
BTW- he offers tube testing for a modest price-which is what I am going to do, as I don't think I am going to need to test that many tubes.
Bob
Testers also require occasional recalibration, which will probably be necessary, if you buy one via eBay, craigslist, etc.  Another option for having them tested, should you choose not to spring for a tester: http://tctubes.com/tube-testing-service.aspx
Thanks for the responses fellas. I'll look at the Hickok testers but in the meantime I really like the idea Rodman put forth. Think I'll use that in the near if not longer especially with them being a neighboring state!

Thanks again, appreciate the help!
Here’s a link to some info about picking a tube tester. This site appears to be current although I heard that Roger had some health problems a while back

http://www.alltubetesters.com/articles/tester_guide.htm

Also if you want to test tubes from the 6DJ8/6922/7308 family you will need a military tester like the TV-7.  For some reason many testers can't handle these tubes.
Not infrequently Hickok tube testers appear for sale for reasonable prices at forums and sites which serve the antique radio collecting community. For example, this listing offering a model 534 for $325 appeared just three days ago, although as you can see in the subject line the unit has already been sold.

Periodically Googling "antique radios" + "Hickok" + "tube tester" could very well pay off, eventually if not sooner!

Best regards,
-- Al

I got mine from:


C. G. Industries LLC
[email protected]  • Work305-745-8450
Post removed 
These look very interesting, have not used one but looks well built.
http://www.beck-elektroakustik.com/
I think it may depend on which tube components you own and how many tubes.

If you have a preamp/line stage which doesn't stress tubes or possibly a D/A converter or other component with on 1-2 tubes then sending them off to be checked should not be a frequent task.  But with an amplifier or anything with several tubes it should be more convenient having your own tester.

I understand that Hickoks are frequently recommended but there are others, and usually for less money.  I've had a B&K 707 for several years which served me well.  Also kit companies such as Heath, as well as Eico, sold lots of testers.

If you decide to buy one I'll offer two suggestions.  Be certain the tube charts are included, otherwise they may be difficult to locate.  And having instructions to calibrate the unit would be important, just consider how old nearly all of these units are now.