Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Western Electric Boxes

I always love opening up a boxed WE tube and recently I found an interesting situation.  This tale involves some samples of the 388A and the various packaging over the course of a decade.

1953 date code.

Aug, 1945 date code

Sure one was JAN and accepted just as WWII was ending and the other was produced much later when the economy was booming but the picture of them both together is what makes me laugh.

I always thought it was odd that they would package a tube the size of the 388A in a box better suited for a 284D and when an auction came up for 4 of the 388A's + 3 872's I figured I'd put in my traditional $37.77 snipe.  I won it for 22.27 only to later find I had actually outbid that cheapskate we know around these parts as Jeffrey.... sorry bro.... they are yours.


  1. The smaller boxes were probably part of a bulk-pack, would be my guess. Bigger box = better for these, given they have filaments the size of cat hair...(!)

    Speaking of boxes and 284Ds my favorite ebay WE score was a pair of 284Ds, mislabeled as 838s and packed in some RCA 838 "world map" boxes. $50 for the 2 284Ds and a nice pair of 838s too, plus 4 world map boxes. Can't complain.

  2. Hi Ed
    Just saw this post and wondered if you ever wanna swap the 284s for something - please let me know. I'm restoring a WE
    Mirrophonic complete system in the UK (86/87/PS/x/o ETC ETC) and I've been looking for the 284 tubes. Someone told me there is an RCA 845 equiv - maybe you know it ?


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