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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tube of the Month: The 843


The last two Tube of the Month articles covered variants of the 801A with higher and lower mu. This months tube can be considered as an indirectly heated variant. The 843.

The 843 has very similar parameters to the 801. The amplification factor is 7.7 (versus the mu of 8 of the 801) the plate resistance is 4800 Ohms (4600 for the 801). With a max. plate dissipation of 12W it is actually closer to the 10Y than the 801A.

Being indirectly heated it needs one more pin to bring out the cathode connection. Thus it has a UX5 base. The pinout is pictured on the left. Where it differs from the 801 and 10Y is the heater voltage. It requires 2.5V at 2.5A. Please see the datasheet for all details. With an adaption of the socket and heater voltage this could be an interesting alternative to the 10. While the 10 or 801A require well filtered filament supplies for hum free operation, this tube could be used with AC heaters. It could be interesting as output tube or driver tube and potentially a preamp tube as well. I have not tried the tube myself yet.

As usual, let's have a look at the plate curves to see how linear it is. These are the curves from the datasheet:

The curves in the datasheet are a bit skewed since they also cover the Class A2 operating area with grid current. Linearity of the Class A1 region is difficult to judge. So let's have a look at the curves taken from an actual tube with the curve tracer:

This looks very promising! Definitely a tube which can be considered for audio purposes. It seems that it is not widely used among amplifier builders.

The 843 was initially made in globe shape and later also with the more modern ST (shoulder type) glass:

Let's have a closer look, first the ST type:

 Some close up shots of the plate structure:

As with all ST tubes, mica discs are used to align the internal electrodes.

The next photo shows the indirectly heated cathode.

The tube lit up:
A close up of the heater:
A beautiful tube! But the globe is even prettier:
Let's have a closer look to this one as well:
As is typical for early globe tubes, no mica is used. The elctrode alignment is done with a piece of glass inside the tube:
A closer look at the cathode, here from the top side:
And from the bottom:

The heater lit up:

From the top, this photo shows the grid around the cathode sleeve:

This is the last post about tubes from the 800 series for now. There are more interesting 800 tubes which will be covered in the future, but first we will have a look at a completely different kind of tube in next months post.
Best regards


  1. Greetings!

    Type 843 appears to have exact same heater voltage and current value as type 2A3!
    But do you think it has enough potential to replace the later one after using an socket adapter ( from 5 to 4 pin) ?


  2. Hi Pablo,
    no the 843 cannot replace the 2A3 these are very different tubes. As I wrote in the article, the 843 is more like a indirectly heated version of a 801A (with different heater/filament voltage)