makes difference in tube longetivity. it holds heat
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Thanks guys for your responses. I didn't think it would hurt anything to keep the tube cage off but wanted additional perspectives. Since I don't have children, the issue with protecting the tubes from wandering hands isn't relevant. Like Hiendmuse, I agree that the Mystere preamp build quality is quite extraordinary. I enjoy the sound and performance that I receive from my gear at this stage.
Has anyone ever noticed if tube cages help with dust accumulation? My concern is having dust get into the gaps of where my preamp tube sockets are. The cage I saw for my Jolida cover the transformers and all the tubes so all will be protected from curious hands or paws. Seems like dust can still get in but not as much as if I left everything uncovered. Thanks
I would think there could be some level of "Micro-vibration"going on with the cages installed. Unless there are kids/pets/housemaids...etc...leaving them off adds the final benefit of tube amps (besides their sonic attributes): they are sooooo coooool in the dark or dim light....ssooooo coooool. I always leave them off and actually gravitate toward amps where they are in full view (all 'performance-else' being equal) just for "The View".
The biggest benefit of a tube cage is it can insure your tubes don't climb out and run away when you're not paying attention. I hate that. On a more accurate note, I think the dust that gets into the tube holes (I dust my cageless Jolida frequently and have thought about this) can be ignored for a couple of years and then removed by taking the amp apart and dusting the innards...being careful not to electrocute yourself...there's nothing cute about electrocute...
My only experience with a tube cage was with a Music Reference RM-9 many years ago. It came with a nice steel cage that not only protected the tubes but also looked nice. Unfortunately, it added a slight steely edge to the sound, something I did not pick up on right away but when I compared the sound with cage and without it was apparent. In my experience, once colorations like this are identified, it's hard to ignore them, so for me that meant the nice looking cage went into the closet.
One person's experience with a different model of amp doesn't really mean anything for your situation. The lesson, however, is pretty clear---try your amp both ways and see if you can tell a difference. If you can't, then leave the cage on. But if you can hear a difference, be prepared to put the cage into storage.
Hi you guys. Good stuff as usual. I did end up getting the tube cage for my Jolida. More to keep prying hands away from the tubes. The glow of them all can be quite enthralling. Especially the Mullard CV4024 tubes. ;) The KT-120s and even the preamp tubes get real hot and I don't want any little ones to mess with the tubes. I'll observe the dust situation over time. To handle any vibration I wonder if I could put some dynamat or similar sound deadening materials on the inner parts of the cage.
Now this cage doesn't rest on the amp. It could but then I think Lissnr's point about vibration could come into play. That and if I'm around the amp and am checking on stuff or dusting I may knock the cover into something.
Wolf. I'll get in touch with you about the cage as well as those JAN Philips 12AT7s. The cage is secured by four screws. There are 2 screw holes on each side of 502P and this is where the cage gets secured.
Not only can your tubes not escape but we can't get in to check on them and make sure they are ok. No caressing them before the amp gets powered up and they get a workout. Marvelling at their glow is limited now. ;) If I had the Jolida in a partially ventilated cabinet or not on the top shelf of a rack I don't think I would put the cage on. With the screws on the side it would be a pain to remove it.
To Salectric points I have not heard any differences yet with the cage on or off but I am saving the box to make sure I have a good place to put it. Wearing the cage on my head would be a no go.
Thanks again everyone.