I needed 2N3904 transistors, so I went to the few (poor) electronics shops we find in my country. They didn't have those, but they gave me 2N9013 and stated that those were equivalent NPN transistors. Both in TO-92 packages.

I've searched for a datasheet and found one from Promax-Johnton (who?) with "1W OUTPUT AMPLIFIER OF POTABLE RADIOS IN CLASS B PUSH-PULL OPERATION" which is worse than Chinese to me.

My questions are:

  1. Is the 2N9013 a good replacement for my 2N3904?
  2. What additional considerations I need to be aware?
  3. Recommendations?
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm very surprised they didn't have the '3904, it's practically a jelly bean part. What about the 2N2222? \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas O
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 7:02

3 Answers 3


How good a replacement is a rather complex question, mostly revolving around what you are looking to do with it. It looks from the datasheet that the 2n9013 has twice the Ic (continuous collector current) of 500mA, compared to a peak in the 3904 of 200mA. The 3904 is definitely intended to be a signal amplifier, and has a gain bandwidth product of 300MHz. The 9013 datasheet I found doesnt even have GBP, which to me tells me its much more intended as a current buffer, than as an amplifier. The fact that they tote the Hfe (essentially, but not the same as beta) as being linear suggests to me that it expects to have large signals fed into it, and not do much more than buffer an input to an output (hence the need for linear Hfe, but no mention of GBP). The other thing, that line 1W OUTPUT AMPLIFIER OF POTABLE RADIOS IN CLASS B PUSH-PULL OPERATION (I was as shocked to see the word potable is actually what they said on the datasheet. I'm like 90% sure they meant PORTABLE, not that its safe to DRINK the transistor). That line thats "worse than Chinese" means that its intended to be used with its PNP complimentary transistor the 2n9012 on the output stage (hence the class B push pull bit) of a power amplifier.

The long and short of it is this: its a good replacement as long as what you are replacing the 9013 with works the same for you as it did before. That is really all that matters. Generally tho, most designs are not THAT component parameter sensitive that they wont work with the wrong VAGUELY similar part.

Good luck!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you very much, that make my day, everything is clear as potable water jeje thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – Havok
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 4:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't believe that the word choice (misspelling) was that bad, but sure enough it's good for 1W drinkable amplifiers. \$\endgroup\$
    – W5VO
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 4:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ "tout" instead of "tote", but the CyberNanny wouldn't let me fix it... :( \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 19:54

It is a little more powerful than the 2n3904. Most likely the current gain is less, and and maybe also the maximal voltages.

Depending on your application that may be OK, which is quite likely if it is not too demanding. The correct thing would for you to check the numbers in the data sheet.


2n3904 and 2n3906 are two of the most common parts ever made, you should be able to find them 2n2222 is a TO 18, pn2222 is a to92 lots of people make this mistake, including those who remark parts

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to EE.SE! Please consider reformatting your question to use conventional capitalization and distinct sentences. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 22:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please don't just consider it: please do it. \$\endgroup\$
    – user207421
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 2:15

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