Tubes?



I recently came across a few boxes of various vacuum tubes. Is there any way to quickly test whether or not they're still good? I've read stories about tube testers being at the corner five-and-dime, but it seems like those setups are hard to find these days.

The lack of detail in this question is meant as testament to my knowing very, very little about tubes, so I would appreciate any insight.

Thanks!
afranke
There are 2 options.
1. Use a tester, but some only give you a good-bad decision, no idea of how good. Its been a long time since they've been at the five and dime (a long time since there has even been a five and dime), but you may find one at your local independent hi-fi or tv repairman, or if you post your location, someone here may volunteer.
2. Sub them in to a component that uses the same tube type, but again, that will only give you a go-no go decision
I would either send them and pay a small fee to a reliable Tube supplier..or Ask someone on this Audiogon site that has knowledge and owns a calibrated tube tester to test them for you.....Other than that its not worth taking a chance unless your willng to take that risk?
It's also possible the tubes you've found are not worth the trouble even if they test perfect. Of the thousands built, only a double handful remain popular in high end audio.

If you list what you have, I and a dozen others here at Audiogon can tell you if they are desirable. If they are desirable it's worth testing them and putting up for sale or keep for yourself.
I'd stick to Albert's advice. It is sound, I think. Give us a list of what you have, wait for responses and go on from there.
+1 for Mr A's advice. Further- The majority of musical instrument amp repairmen own tube testers, as tubes are widely used in music/sound gear. Check your yellow pages, and make a couple calls.
Thanks for the replies so far. Here's the list of tubes. I had no idea how to sort them, so I just did it based on external appearance, then by alphabetical order on the designation.

Edit: the preview seems like it won't be quite readable, so here's an Excel version: http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/243/Tubes.xls

Type Quantity Manufacturers

With Bases

40 RCA (CUNNINGHAM)
934 RCA
2050 RCA
50L6GT HYTRON
5Y3GT 2 GE, KEN-RAD
6AU4GTA GE
6AV5GA RCA
6AX4GT 2 RCA
6AX4GTB 2 GE
6AX5GT RAY
6B8G RCA
6BQ6GA GE
6C6 PHILCO
6K6GT 2 GE,RCA
6Q5G DUMONT
6X5GT SYLVANIA

With Covers

12SK7 RCA
6AC7 RAYTHEON
6AG7 SYLV
6C5 2 RCA
6H6 3 GE (2), RCA
6J6 RCA?
6N7 RCA
6SF5 RCA
6SJ7 2 GE,RCA
6SK7 3 RCA (2), KEN-RAD
6SV7 GE

Without Bases

5964 20 RCA
5654 SYLV
5963 2 RCA, REM/RAND
5965 SYLV
0A2 RCA
12AD7 2 NEC, SYLV
12AT7 3 SYLV, TUNG, TELEFUNKEN
12AT7WB GE
12AU6 2 WESTING
12AU7 5 AMPEREX (4), RAYTHEON
12AU7A 4 SYLV, RAYTH (2), GE
12B4A HP
6AB4 TUNG
6AK5 RCA
6AL5 2 GE
6AL5W GE
6AR8 GE
6AU6A 2 RCA, GE
6BH6 RCA
6BL8 3 GE (2), RCA
6BR8 CEI
6CM4 MULLARD
6CX8 SYLV
6DJ8 2 AMPEREX
6J6 BECKMAN
6J6A SYLV
6LE8 GE
6LY8
6U8A 10 GE(5), RCA(4), ALLIED
6X4 INTOR
85A2 MULLARD

Oh, I forgot to add, I'm in NYC, Upper West Side.
Here are (in my opinion) the most desirable of the lot:

12AT7 3 SYLV, TUNG, TELEFUNKEN
12AT7WB GE
12AU7 5 AMPEREX (4), RAYTHEON
12AU7A 4 SYLV, RAYTH (2), GE
6DJ8 2 AMPEREX
YES- Mr A has nailed the ones that would be most desirable to an audio-tube user. If they are NOS, they could put some change in your pocket. You might try contacting Audio Classics(Vestal, NY), and asking if they would grade the tubes for you.