View Full Version : NOS Hickok 539C...

03-11-2004, 12:42 AM
Dont see these everyday...

No affiliation, just wondering what the over/under will be. Most I've ever seen one go for was a mint used one for $1700, double the next highest I've seen.

03-11-2004, 01:49 PM
Went for the full BIN of $2980.

Here's one of the pics for posterity.

03-11-2004, 02:02 PM
Holy Crap!!! You could get a 100% rebuilt 118B and a full set of cards for less. I bet the seller is doing a happy dance!

03-11-2004, 06:34 PM
Someone please enlighten me, what is the thing and why is it so special?

03-11-2004, 06:35 PM
Its older than your mother in law and never been touched. And it is a good tester to own.

03-11-2004, 06:51 PM
What is a tester for? More info please Obi Wan

03-11-2004, 07:22 PM
Call me paranoid but the seller doesnít seem to have ever sold anything before. All the feedback is posted from other sellers.

And the account has been dormant for 14 months? No recent transactions so you canít even view what the person was buying, so you canít tell if they bought cheap CDís or expensive audio gear.

Good luck to the buyer of this piece of gear.

Mitch aka born again skeptic

03-11-2004, 10:09 PM
Don't blame you and it's a foreign seller to boot.

The 539c is considered by many to be the finest tester the finest tester manufacturer, Hickok, ever made. No disrespect intended for the 118b "Cardomatic" TE mentions; the 118b has the advantage of being modified to accept a computer interface.

Hickok of Cleveland, Ohio (my hometown) set the standard for mutual conductance tester designs. They won just about every US military contract ever let for test equipment.

Anyway their testers can quantitatively test every aspect of a tube's operation without damaging the tube. When you hear about a matched set of tubes, they've been matched on such a tester.

There are many Hickok models out there. Here's a link discussing many:
Note that they vary in versatility, i.e., how many different kinds of tubes they'll test, user friendliness and cost.

03-12-2004, 06:10 AM
So it's a good thing the new tubes I got were a matched quad then? I knew it sounded good just didn't know why ;)

03-12-2004, 07:21 AM
Besides the fact that you just have to push a card into a 118B there is also a set of cards to calibrate them. Some testers are better than others but none are good if out of calibration. The 118Bs weigh in at twice the 539C and a full set of cards that much again. Easier to use because of the cards setting the voltages on the correct pins etc I think the best thing about them is how easy it is to keep them calibrated. I have used both and like both. I like the 539C best when you have to move one since picking up the 118B is like picking up a suitcase of lead bricks.

03-13-2004, 03:12 PM
This is undoubtedly a scam. The pics are directly from an auction by John Birck ( about a year ago, where the unit (which was not claimed as NOS), sold for about $1100-1200. The description is a direct lift from that auction too, with the addition of the BS about "NOS", etc.

John still has these pics on his site, have a look.

the 539B/C is a nice tester, but far from the best hickok ever made. The 580/580A easily surpasses it in basically every way, and the 15750 for WE is better too (regulated supplies). Cardmatics are nice too if you like those. 539C just happens to be the most hyped/overrated of the bunch so it commands high price. This is about 4x what it is worth.. a good one in servicable shape usually can be had for about $550-750 if you know where to shop (and it's not ebay).