Magnatone Guitars!

New for Fall 2013, a complete guide to Magnatone guitars and the stories behind them!

1938-1960 Steel Guitars

1956-1963 Bigsby/Barth Era

1964-1966 Starstream Era


6973 and 6CZ5 power tubes

Between the 280 and the 280A, Magnatone engineers switched from the 6CZ5 tube to the 6973 tube. The good news for owners of either amp is that the 6973 is back in production.

The 6973s can be made to work in amps that came with 6CZ5's, so 280 owners are in luck too. The pin-outs are the same except pin 8 is not used on the 6CZ5.

It is important not to go in the opposite direction (sub 6CZ5s where 6973 tubes should go), the 6CZ5's max plate voltage is 350 and the 6973's is 450.

Servicing the power tubes in a 60 year old amp should be done with care. Consider having a professional amp technician give your amp a health check when changing power tubes, especially when subsituting type of one power tube for another.




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