As long as the pins are making good contact and the tubes do not "vibrate" out, it should be fine (SEE DISCLAIMER BELOW). I do the same thing to the tubes in my Audion Silver Night (both signal and output) and use the tip of a thin fingernail file (power is off) to gap them so that they do not ride too high. Since you mention it, I am just telling you that you are not alone in your observation, but I do not recommend this to people in the event that a tube will vibrate out and cause damage to their equipment (my tube sockets are in good condition and grip very tightly, so I don't worry about it). I had thought of using a thin Sorbothane pad (with holes for the pins) between the tubes and the sockets (thought that this might act as kind of a damper), but have not yet tried it out and am guessing that Sorbothane does not conduct current which would have to be verified first.
This is truly fascinating. Has anyone an explanation for this phaenomenon?
I recently had a loose connection in one of my output tubes in one of my monoblocks and it arced and shorted out some equipment upstream from it. The fellow who repaired my equipment thought it was the loose connection that caused it.(I recently moved the monoblock when I repositioned my speakers). As a long time tube person I know that it could of arced anyway but now I always make sure my output tubes are fully seated.
Detlof: I think the difference in sound just comes from lifting the glass tube globe (the bottom of it on my signal tubes) and the plastic tube base (on my output tubes) up off of the tube socket. My tube sockets have slightly raised centers. This way vibration is only transmitted by the pins (instead of both the pins and the bottom of the tube. Rec makes a very good point that by raising the tubes you are then exposing the pins themselves. Again, although I practice this myself, I do not recommend it because of the risks involved. My tubes are also not enclosed and are easy to check and monitor. I cannot hear a difference when I raise the 5687 driver tube in my amp (but I do it anyway). The 6922 types though do sound better to me (more detail though at the same time a little smoother on top - kind of hard to describe) and the 300B's seem to focus better and play a bit louder while still maintaining clarity. My tube amp is enclosed in a closet off the living room (where the speakers are located) and receives very little air born vibration and this may be why this additional tweak is even audible to me at all as it is not a major change in sound, but a change (that I like) nonetheless.
Here's a tweak just for you, Dekay: Teflon and cellulose tube sockets at $90/pair. http://www2.117.ne.jp/~y-s/soket.html
Hey, what'd I miss while over at Bottlehead? I only get 1 note and the other guys get three?
Thanks Kitch: I was thinking more on the lines of free or under $10 for enough material to do all of my tube sockets and also to isolate the four little "things" in a TDS Passive Audiophile from the chassis. My wife doesn't have any "cellulose" yet, so that's out.
Thanks Dekay for enlightening me. Makes sense actually, at my next tube rolling frenzy I must try it out.
In another vein, slightly lifting tubes changes the point of contact on the pins -- so, maybe better contact? You'll notice that the pins have small indentations at the point of contact with the base -- I used to sand the pins with very fine paper in order to clean the contact.
Did the same, Greg, never heard a difference, but continued to do so all the same at every tube roll...one never knows ..( perhaps I'm a compulsion neurotic after all )Cheers,
LOL, Detlof; I never noticed a difference either -- but I kept it up, religiously!!!
Am I neurotic?
Is there a place that carries those teflon sockets pictured above? The Japanese page didn't really have much to offer in that regard... looking for a dealer in the US if possible.. I have a friend who is interested who does a lot of DIY components.
I have used the type of sand paper that is made of (mounted on) cloth (can't think of the name of it and it's used for polishing) with good results. It has gotten rid of the start up "rustle" on some old signal tubes. I am leary of using it on plated pins though as I went through the gold on one once. I lost my sheet so have to replace it to clean up a couple batches of NOS tubes that I have since received. I now use Kontak on all the tube sockets and pins and the grunge that it lifts (that alcohal did not get rid of) is visible as the results are audible. This is the first place that I tried it out and the improvement motivated me to clean the rest of the connections in the system.
Greg, I think that it was C. G. Jung himself, who maintained, that although all humans must suffer, it was the neurotic who suffered about things "unreal". So you see, we are NOT neurotic, because our sufferings (expensive gear, reproachfull wives, bust budgets, scratchy LPs, snipers on ebay, when you've found that rare CC803 Telefunken for five bucks the pair, the list is endless) are REAL enough. We may be nuts, but that is fine, neurotic we are defenitely not.
No sheet, huh, Dekay?
It's called emery cloth or the finer grit is crocus cloth.
Nh Fi, Michael Percy has the fancy tube sockets, www.bainbridge.net/percyaudio
Actually, come to think of it, I think I prefer loose women to loose tubes and with those you'd hardly need sandpaper and sometimes not even sheets and here you certainly will notice the difference. Does that make me a bad audiophile?!!!
Kitch, what kind of "fancy" sockets. I'm running too slow now to download the catalog.
Dekay,Nh-fi, in the Michael Percy Audio catalogue it says:
Super Premium Tube Sockets: Where only the very best in the world will do! Machined Teflon or epoxy impregnated wood laminate, 9 pin chassis mount, octal, UX4 and other types with removable gold plated machined phosphor bronze or silver plated brass contacts, CALL FOR $$
You'll find it on page 16 of the catalogue.
Their phone number is: (503) 470-8650, their fax: 470-8651
and their email address: email@example.com
Thanks Detlof. No hurry though as I just had my amp spec'd and cleaned and will wait until further maintenance is required before considering changing the tube sockets. The materials used are new to me for this application and I will go to the site when AOL is not bogged down as much as it is right now. I believe that Percy also sells Sorbothane which I need for an upcoming project.
Be advised that changing tube sockets isn't anything like changing a capacitor. On 9 pin, all nine pins have wires soldered, some of them have multiple wires and/or resistors. Then you have to get in there with a probe from your meter while it's powered up. Let me get my dictionary and make sure I spell 'lethal voltages present' correctly.
Yes, they carry orothane stuff ans Kitch, you sure know how to spell!!
Yes, they carry sorbothane stuff and Kitch, you sure know how to spell!!
Triple, quadruple - cheers!!!
Dekay the "cloth" that you're remembering is called "crocus cloth" which is available at good hardware stores, but not just any generic home improvement shop. It's an extremely fine abrasive which I use to burnish my AC cords' plug prongs to a shiny state (just prior to applying Kontact). I also use it for burnishing edison fuses & AC power cable ends when doing installation work. This is really great stuff, but unfortunately it seems that many people are unaware of it.
Regarding those sorbothane "tube spacers" that you want to try out, could your also use a thin sheet of Teflon, cut & pin-punched to fit. Either material would insulate those high voltages; one might possibly sound better than the other (or not)?