View Full Version : Bell model 2440 amp - is it any good? (pics attached)


Vintageaudio123
09-24-2006, 09:59 AM
Any Bell amp gurus out there?

I might have the chance to buy a Bell model 2440 (20W? p/ch) tube amp. I tried finding info on the net, but nothing came up. Haven't seen the amp personally yet, but as a reference I've attached the sellers pictures. Looks like the output tubes are Sylvania's, but I cannot make out the tube numbers.

Anybody know this amp, has any experience with it in terms of sound quality, or even has any literature, specs, or schematics on it?

I'm already starting to ask the owner the usual questions about it's condition, and so forth, but wanted to ask here if this model is really worth keeping. His asking price is about $160.

Any pointers very welcomed.

-Alex

Vintageaudio123
09-24-2006, 06:33 PM
Followup:

Ok guys, found out that this amp uses 7189A output tubes. Also has 5 12AX7, and one 5AR4 rectifier. Owner says there is no hum, and no rust. Amp supposedly working fine.

He also says that tubes should be ok, just because they all "light up with equal intensity". :lmao:

Wondering about the availability of these tubes too. :scratch2:

Hope that still someone could at least give me his opinion on this deal and or the amp. :wave:

Thanks.

Tom Bavis
09-24-2006, 06:43 PM
Looks nice. I wouldn't pay $160, but I have several similar amps already.

I found it in the Sams index, folder # 538-5 - 1961.

Vintageaudio123
09-24-2006, 07:00 PM
Hi Tom,

I figured not many persons would pay that price in the US, but bear in mind that I am in Venezuela, so it's not as easy to get tube amps down here. Even if I buy one in the US, my overseas shipping cost (~$4.50 per pound) is always an extra burden that needs to be taken into account. So if this is a decent sounding amp, maybe in the end the price is not sooo bad after all.

Still when I get the chance, will try to talk the seller into lowering it somewhat, besides I don't think there will be any other takers. Problem down here any tube gear is considered by many as "collectibles", and ridicusly high priced accordingly. :sigh:

Also, I believe the 7189A's are about $20-25 a piece (inc s/h), so it could still be a pricey affair if it turns out the amp needs new output tubes. :thumbsdn:

Thanks for your input.
-Alex

Vintageaudio123
09-24-2006, 07:33 PM
Price just went down to $120. Based on the fact that a output tube replacement would cost me about $100, I am offering him to buy the amp for $80, no questions asked.

My guess is that we might settle for $100 selling price.

Vintageaudio123
09-26-2006, 09:42 PM
The guy won't go lower then $120.

I'm surprised what little response I've gotten to my post, is this amp really such an unkown?? :scratch2:

Anyone??? :wave:

cabinover
09-27-2006, 04:45 AM
It's only money and you can't take it with you, might as well enjoy it while you're here. I'd buy.

Sorry, I don't know squat about the amp, first time I've seen one is here.

jaymanaa
09-27-2006, 05:52 AM
I'm not familiar with this particular amp either, but I love the "retro" look. Looks like decent output trannies too, from what I can see of them. I don't think you could get hurt for 120. Let us know if you get it, Jay

Vintageaudio123
09-27-2006, 09:16 AM
Thanks guys. I'm probably going to close the deal next week.

Would love to have the schematic, or any service info at all. If anybody has any leads to it, please let me know.

Incidentaly, can anyone guess what the recomended bias settings for the 7189A tubes in this amp might be?

-Alex

pen_man
09-27-2006, 09:28 AM
Buy it! I would pay that for it without a second thought. It will be fun to play with and you cannot loose any money on it!

John in MA
09-27-2006, 06:03 PM
It has the same industrial design as a Bell PA amp I got a few days ago. Haven't taken a tube count yet.

johnda
10-01-2006, 02:56 AM
My dad had a stereo system in the late 50's. It was a console system made by Churchhill cabinets, It had a Bell receiver and Jensen speakers. The record changer was a Garrard. It was the earliest form of stereo gear, you tuned the am tuner for one channel and the fm tuner for the other channel and it had a magic eye tuner. I have to say that it sounded really good!

If I recall correctly, Bell was THE name to have in those early days, but Fisher replaced them in the market.

Vintageaudio123
10-06-2006, 10:51 PM
Busy week, didn'd have a chance to follow up with the seller, but will do so next week. If it's still available will probably go for it.

Anybody have any idea of the bias settings for the 7189A output tube topology in this amp. Or at least a ballpark figure?

Thanks for the comments so far.

-Alex

Vintageaudio123
10-06-2006, 10:53 PM
I found it in the Sams index, folder # 538-5 - 1961.

Tom, so far you're my only lead to any info on this amp. Any idea where I could get a copy of this Sam's folder? Thanks.

-Alex

Tom Bavis
10-07-2006, 09:15 AM
See my earlier posting for sources: http://www.audiokarma.org/forums//showthread.php?t=82521&page=2

soundmotor
10-08-2006, 12:01 PM
I'm surprised what little response I've gotten to my post, is this amp really such an unkown??

IIRC, Bell made this style very early on when they went to stereo then switched over to this style which is more common -

http://www.ee.vill.edu/~cdanjo/bell/bell7.jpg

There are only a few Bell integrateds that command high $$$ such as the Carillon 6060 shown above. Factoring in that you need to replace the tubes, I think your offer of $80 is generous. If he doesn't budge I would likely continue my search.

Vintageaudio123
10-16-2006, 09:04 PM
Hi Soundmotor, are you sure the Bell that is shown on your pic is the same brand as the one I'm considering buying? Look at the brand name logos, they seem different.

Today I did another google search for "Bell model 1440", and guess what, the first hit is THIS tread. No further usefull info on any of the remaining hits. Perhaps this amp came from a UFO and that is why there is no info about it anywhere on the net. :scratch2:

I have to travel to the US next monday, so I will try to finalize the deal with the seller this week before leaving. Work has been very busy lately, so I haven't had time to do much else.

Any AKers in the Miami FL area?

BTW, thanks Tom Bavis, saw your links to the Sams searches. :thmbsp:

-Alex

tcdriver
10-17-2006, 08:44 PM
Hi Soundmotor, are you sure the Bell that is shown on your pic is the same brand as the one I'm considering buying? Look at the brand name logos, they seem different. I pulled out my 1962 Stereo/HI-FI Directory and looked up your Bell 2440. It was listed under the same Bell Sound heading as the Model 6060 “Carillon”.

I owned a mono Bell (6L6) with styling similar to the 6060 as well as an earlier mono unit (6V6). Both the units I owned sounded pretty good. The phono sections were somewhat similar in that their gain was a bit on the low side and the plate supply was relatively low in comparison to units made by other manufacturers. The original suggested list price of the Model 2440 was $179.95. By comparison, the Fisher X-100 had a list price of $159.50 the same year.

According to the RC-27 RCA Receiving Tube Manual, the 7189 Power Pentode has a suggested plate current of 65mA per pair of tubes when used with Plate Voltage of 400V in class AB1.

Vintageaudio123
10-18-2006, 08:25 PM
Thanks for the info!

So the amp is not alien after all. Don't really know much about the X-100 amp, but at least now I have a point of reference about the Bell 2440.

Now if I only could find a 2440 schematic...

BTW, what output tubes does the X-100 use, also 7189A's ?

Vintageaudio123
10-18-2006, 08:57 PM
I pulled out my 1962 Stereo/HI-FI Directory and looked up your Bell 2440. It was listed under the same Bell Sound heading as the Model 6060 “Carillon”.

Any chance of sending me scan of that section? Love to take a look at it.

TIA.

tcdriver
10-18-2006, 11:56 PM
Not much to scan. Here is what it says about the 2440:

Model 2440 44-Watt Stereo Amplifier
Uses amplifier section of Bell Model 2445 Tuner-Amplifier (refer to tuner section for specifications); 5 7/16" x 17 3/16" x 10 5/8"; 28 pounds ... $179.95

Here is what it says about the 2445:

Model 2445 AM/FM Tuner-Amplifier Combination
... Amplifier section: power output each channel 22 watts, 44 watt peaks; bass and treble cut and boost 15 dB.; dual inputs for tape, mag and ceramic phono, tape amp; frequency response 20 - 20,000 cps. +/- 1dB.; harmonic distortion less than 1% at 40 watts; tubes are 4-7189A, 5-12AX7, GZ34; dc. supply for filaments; rumble and scratch filters, loudness controld; 35 pounds ... $329.95

I had a Fisher X-100 a while back. I believe the output tubes were EL84. The H H Scott Model 222-B, which also used EL84s, had a suggested list price of $144.95 in 1962. The point of the price information is to show that the Bell amplifier was a little more expensive than the other amplifiers from the other well known brands.

Vintageaudio123
10-19-2006, 08:00 AM
Thanks again for the info. I'm guessing there are no close-up pics of the 2440 either?

Vintageaudio123
10-19-2006, 09:03 AM
Hey guys, went back to take a look at the auction of the amp, and the seller had reduced the price to $80, so I went for it.

Will be picking it up this afternoon. Owner says that the balance control will need "some servicing", but insists that both channels are working fine.

-Alex

tcdriver
10-19-2006, 09:42 PM
Thanks again for the info. I'm guessing there are no close-up pics of the 2440 either? Sorry, no pictures.

Vintageaudio123
10-19-2006, 11:44 PM
Here are some pics of the new arrival. :banana:

Haven't hooked it up yet, will do it tomorrow and see how it sounds.

On a different matter, the OT's seem kind of small compared to the ones in my X202B, but the PT has a very respectable size. The balance control has some kind of a improvised L shaped bracked that seems to be the only thing keeping it from falling appart. Also saw a couple of wires on the bottom that were obviously soldered by someone not so experienced. Other than that, it seems pretty much to be in stock condition.

On the positive side four out of the five 12AX7's are ribbed plate ECC83 Teles. The remaining one is a GE. Output tubes are 7189 Sylvanias, not sure how these stack up in terms of quality or sound. Rectifier is a Valvo GZ34.

Comments welcomed! :wave:

-Alex

Vintageaudio123
10-20-2006, 01:29 AM
Bummer, OT's are different, and one has obviously been rewound (the one towards the right on the bottom detail picture, and left on the top view pic). The new modern brighter colored wires where a giveaway. The other OT also might be some kind of a sub. It's wires have been bundle taped on to the remaining wire pigtails of the original transformer. Furthermore, chasis is marked as 7189A tubes on the outputs, but actual installed tubes are 7189s. Wonder if the amp has been modified to accept the non-A tube type. Upon closer inspection there are indications of some non-factory soldering done on the output tube sockets.

Oh, well, only spend 80 bucks on it. Tomorrow I´ll find out if it really is in working condition, like the seller claimed it to be. In any event it will requiere quite some work, but that was something to be expected.

-Alex

Tom Bavis
10-20-2006, 11:07 AM
Don't feel too bad - I have TWO Lafayette LR-800 receivers, and both have had an output transformer replaced.... the 7189A only has a minor difference in pinout to 7189 - usually wired sio that either is OK. Ratings are slightly higher, but maybe not really, as the 7189 is rated for ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM values (Still often exceeded...)

Tell us what the numbers are on the transformers, and we'll see if we can identify them.

Vintageaudio123
10-20-2006, 01:53 PM
Hi Tom,

Thanks for your input.

Both transformers have the numbers 32B112 and 682 018 stamped on one of the side bells. Upon closer inspection they seem to be the same, only that at first glance one core seems to look different, but I gather that is due that the transformer was assembled upside down with respect to the bell covers, and mounted backwards on the chassis (with the wider bell cover looking towards the rear, rather then to the front as in the case of other transformer). At least on the outside they seem to be the same.

Still, the OT with the newer wires was definitively rewound locally. They used common #18 insulated electrical wire as used in buildings, a common practice here because usually there isn't much else to choose from in terms of other types of wires at you electrical materials store.

I'm in the middle of preparations for my 2-week trip abroad on monday, but will try to fire up the amp with the variac this weekend. Hope to make it sing (seller told me he tested it and found it ok on both channels). Still I'm sure the PS cans wil need attention, they seem to be the originals, so there will definitively some replacing to be done before putting this one in any kind of extended service.

Hope the numbers will help to id the OT's. Thanks again.

-Alex

Tom Bavis
11-10-2006, 11:13 AM
682 is Electrical Windings Corp., Chicago. 018 is 1960, week 18. I assume the other number is Bell's part number...

barrynsue
11-10-2006, 11:49 AM
Regardless of the outcome, the pulled tubes still have decent value if working so the $80.00 would not be wasted. Let us know how it turns out and hoping your stay here was a good one.

Barry

sethl
07-02-2008, 12:07 AM
Funny, I'm rebuilding a 2420 with one non-original OT as well! Also someone had partially recapped with ICs too....

The amp had no tubes when it came to me...as it's a "budget job" for a friend I converted to EL84Ms, it's taken a good deal of monkeying around with the bias but it seems to be running well now. One bonus is that unlike all the other Bells of this vintage I've seen, this one came with a handsome (factory?) wooden case, looks like rosewood veneer or similar. I'm having a carpenter (and hi-fi enthusiast) build replicas for all my Bells.

Anyway, if you need a photofact, you can find it here (http://thegoldenbears.net/bell.html)

Best,
Seth

Vintageaudio123
07-02-2008, 09:21 AM
Hi Seth, thanks for the photofact copies, that definitively might help revive this project. The amp has been sitting around gathering dust ever since I recapped the power supply and fixed some other minor issues.

Don't really remember exactly how it went, but once I got it working it seemed to sound ok but just a few minutes after turning it on, the rectifier would flash over. I put it aside waiting to have a bit more time, and schematics. At least now I have the later. Maybe soon I'll get back into it.