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Once In A Lifetime Find KT88's From 1956 & 57

99.254.26.36

Posted on February 17, 2017 at 17:37:49
Posts: 7
Location: SW ONRAIO
Joined: January 16, 2013



The KT88 first came out in 1956 so according to the date code on the Bakelite pair they are from November ML 4 and December 1956 MM 4. So these are first production (1st generation). Anybody know what month they began production and coding?
The second pair are 2nd generation KT88s same glass as generation 1 but with metal bases Date codes put them at March 57 NC 4 and December 57 NL 4

These were purchased back in the 1960's by an engineer (now retired 78 years young) They were put into a storage box and forgot about. About a month ago I was introduced to him and I have these wonderful tubes now.

They appear to be NOS NIB. The boxes are crisp and clean, the inner envelopes are present and the Logo's on the tubes are primo. Testing as new on my tester.

Trying to research these first generation KT88's is almost futile. There is no information out there anywhere. What gets me more is that when you go to google images not one picture of these original style glass come up.
Are these tubes really that rare?

Nothing is coming up on ebay present or past.

Maybe they should be in a museum

and what would be a real market value. Hard to put a price on something that you never see for sale let alone ever see!

Thoughts comments anyone?

 

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Freedom costs a buck o' five, posted on February 17, 2017 at 18:04:37
Chip647
Audiophile

Posts: 1653
Location: The South
Joined: December 24, 2012
Who know's?
You will know when you sell them and give the money to the 78 year's young engineer.
Or, you could just use them.

 

RE: Once In A Lifetime Find KT88's From 1956 & 57, posted on February 17, 2017 at 18:04:47
Eli Duttman
Audiophile

Posts: 9397
Location: Monroe Township, NJ
Joined: March 31, 2000
Great score! Undoubtedly, somebody will pay BIG $ for those tubes. However, their (IMO) real value lies in putting them to work playing music. The tubes were manufactured to be consumed, not sit on a shelf.

Those tubes would be outstanding in a correctly maintained H/K Cit. 2 or McIntosh MC275.

Eli D.

 

RE: Freedom costs a buck o' five, posted on February 17, 2017 at 18:14:00
Posts: 7
Location: SW ONRAIO
Joined: January 16, 2013
I stepped up on those they were not free

 

RE: Once In A Lifetime Find KT88's From 1956 & 57, posted on February 17, 2017 at 18:18:15
Posts: 7
Location: SW ONRAIO
Joined: January 16, 2013
At this point I am not thinking of selling. They just looked cool and thought I don't have any of those nor do I have an amp that takes them.

 

RE: Once In A Lifetime Find KT88's From 1956 & 57, posted on February 17, 2017 at 18:43:21
zacster
Audiophile

Posts: 1097
Location: NYC
Joined: November 22, 2003
This reminds me of something. About 10 years ago, or maybe less, I'm at an audio meet and the guy that was hosting said he had an old tube amp. I had brought my diy tube amp to the get together and it had been well received. Anyway, he wanted to know if I could take a look at it. Sure, OK. He comes to my house a few weeks later with a Macintosh amp with Genelex Gold Lion KT88 originals. But, and this is the thing that just kills me, he had broken one! He had no idea what they were worth. And this guy was an "audiophile", younger than I am.

At his event, he was showing off his transistor amp, don't remember what it was, and I just thought it sounded like crap. It was still some high-end thing. He had ceramic wire lifters, all sorts of tweaks, but it still didn't sound good, and some of the other guys I was chatting with thought the same. Then I put my amp on and everybody quieted down. When he told me about this McIntosh I couldn't understand why he didn't show it off. To him it was just an old piece of junk, except with a priceless set of tubes! And again, he considered himself an audiophile.

Find yourself a great amp to put those in, and enjoy it. Bring them up slowly just to make sure.

 

Well- If you want to sell...., posted on February 17, 2017 at 19:25:44
Ross
Audiophile

Posts: 1290
Joined: January 24, 2000
I will pay you $10 each, and I'll pay shipping and paypal fees !

Seriously- GREAT tubes. I hope you put them to good use.

 

RE: Once In A Lifetime Find KT88's From 1956 & 57, posted on February 18, 2017 at 07:35:56
baileyler
Audiophile

Posts: 278
Location: Chadds Ford, PA
Joined: January 17, 2007



I have never had a pair of the brown base, but I have had a few of the metal base (I still have one used pair somewhere).

Be careful with those tubes - based on the original literature they are not rated as high as the more "common" version - a maximum rated plate voltage of 600V (as opposed to 800V for later versions), and a maximum anode dissipation of only 35 watts (as opposed to 42 watts for later versions).

I sold a group of five new in box a couple of years ago, and the price was high but not as high as you would expect. While there are a handful of pure collectors, most will not pay that high dollar. The rest are either users or resellers (mainly from Asia). Because the tubes are very scarce, they are tough to match and people really want a quad (for push pull).

 

RE: Once In A Lifetime Find KT88's From 1956 & 57, posted on February 18, 2017 at 07:52:19
Posts: 7
Location: SW ONRAIO
Joined: January 16, 2013



Thanks for the information. I figure since there are 2 sets they would be perfect SE application.

 

You did not mention that you paid him for the tubes., posted on February 18, 2017 at 08:18:08
Chip647
Audiophile

Posts: 1653
Location: The South
Joined: December 24, 2012
How much did he charge?

 

RE: You did not mention that you paid him for the tubes., posted on February 18, 2017 at 08:29:03
Posts: 7
Location: SW ONRAIO
Joined: January 16, 2013



I did alright as they were part of a small lot. 4 GEC KT77 2 boxed 2 not boxed (not pictured) 6 Telefunken ECC83's (not pictured) 2 EL37's 4 KT88's 1 KT66 for $700.00

 

RE: Once In A Lifetime Find KT88's From 1956 & 57, posted on February 18, 2017 at 12:18:25
Cleantimestream
Audiophile

Posts: 6576
Location: Kentucky
Joined: June 30, 2005
Indeed, Eli

... many years ago, was fishing with a Garcia Mitchell 308 and another fisher nearby said "that is rather rare... should be up on your wall...my response "well it won't catch any fish there!"
The Mind has No Firewall~ U.S. Army War College.

 

Truly ! A Once In A Lifetime Find KT88's From 1956 & 57, posted on February 18, 2017 at 17:15:30
Interstage Tranny
Audiophile

Posts: 2981
Location: Eastern
Joined: October 4, 2006
Wow ! Beautiful. Heirlooms for certain.

They "don't make them like this any longer." They probably became "straight sided" bulbous glass in 1958. There is no doubt that these were either inspired by 6550s or 6550s were inspired by these. IIRC, 6550s appeared in 1954 or 1955...

 

OMG,these are the real McCoy, posted on February 19, 2017 at 10:43:27
Michael Samra
Dealer

Posts: 35577
Location: saginaw michigan
Joined: January 30, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
June 24, 2005
I think these are the original Genelex KT88s from the 1950s but don't quote me.I never saw these in real life. Did you try them yet?

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: OMG,these are the real McCoy, posted on February 19, 2017 at 13:05:57
Eli Duttman
Audiophile

Posts: 9397
Location: Monroe Township, NJ
Joined: March 31, 2000
The OP needs 1 of the "Deuces" you've been hoarding. ;>) The OP has stated that he does not own a KT88 amp.

Eli D.

 

RE: Once In A Lifetime Find KT88's From 1956 & 57, posted on February 19, 2017 at 13:10:51
Eli Duttman
Audiophile

Posts: 9397
Location: Monroe Township, NJ
Joined: March 31, 2000
I would not be at all surprised if you have 2X reasonably well matched pairs. In an amp with 4X individual bias adjustments, like the H/K Cit. 2 (AKA "Deuce"), you would be just fine.

What sort of speakers are you planning on using?

Eli D.

 

RE: They'd sure sound good in my Soloist 88s you helped design!, posted on February 21, 2017 at 05:03:30
kitch29
Audiophile

Posts: 617
Joined: May 1, 2015






 

RE: OMG,these are the real McCoy, posted on February 21, 2017 at 20:45:57
Michael Samra
Dealer

Posts: 35577
Location: saginaw michigan
Joined: January 30, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
June 24, 2005
LOL
A pair of Mc60s,an Mc275,or a Scott LK150 will do if he doesn't have a Deuce.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: OMG,these are the real McCoy, posted on March 19, 2017 at 20:45:15
Posts: 7
Location: SW ONRAIO
Joined: January 16, 2013
No not as of yet. Sitting pretty on a shelf. A person I know has a pair of Heathkit W6M I can get. Great iron on them from what I have read. Very comparable to the HK II

 

Some more beauties from 1956, posted on March 19, 2017 at 22:01:51
XLR8OR
Audiophile

Posts: 610
Location: Sydney, NSW
Joined: August 30, 2005



All 4 tubes above were made in October 1956.

 

RE: Once In A Lifetime Find KT88's From 1956 & 57, posted on March 20, 2017 at 02:01:51
Nunki
Audiophile

Posts: 324
Joined: November 27, 2010
nice blanket! :))

N.



"How the fuck did our oil come under their sand?"

 

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