I use Herbies and really like them. At first I thought they weren't making any difference... then I took them off; shock and horror things got a bit worse. Haven't tried any others. http://herbiesaudiolab.home.att.net/
I am also a fan of Herbiesaudiolab.com.
However, if Herbie's will occupy too much space around your "caged" tubes, then check out
Marigo Audio Dots
which are placed either on the tube base, or tip of key pin, for resonance control. These add virtually nothing to the dimension of each tube, and will allow for tight clearance locations.
Also, Herbie's proprietor, Steve Herbelin, may be able to suggest identical placement of his own tiny dimension Grungebuster Dots (a different part of his product line) in a way to emulate Marigo Audio Dots.
May the better dot win!
Another vote for Herbies. He is very helpful, there is a full range covering all likely temperatures and tube sizes and they are cheap. What more can you say, OH yes he has a returns policy, a no brainer.
Herbie's work very well. The change is not immediately apparent for some reason, but over time you will hear the improvements.
Herbies ring look good however I dont want to remove the cage around the tubes, they look fairly nice oem style. Any other recommendations?
I used Teflon tape on my tubes on my Hagerman phono stage.
You wrap about fifteen times around the middle of the tube.
Can buy it at any hardware store for cheap.
I just put some Herbie 09's on my 6922's in a BAT Vk300x Integrated and also in a BAT VK-D5 tube CD player. I'm not sure how much difference I heard since the gear was still relatively new to me. But I am getting a 3-D soundstage with amazing space, air and instrument placement. I believe all those attributes improved with the Herbie tube dampers. The pricepoint is sweet enough that I am going to just leave them on. The Amperex tubes I am using deserve the very best!
If my Audiophile listening club wants to scrutinize the tube damper tweak some night, I'll do an A-B test with, and without them and ask the group to report on what differences they hear.
Teflon tape? Huh, wrap it around 15 times wow, if that doesnt kill vibration I dont know what will, lol!
Another vote for Herbies. I use them on my Ref 2 mk1 and heard differenty sonics as you "roll" them up or down the tube quite easily. They also do not dry up so you can use them on your next tube change.
I tried using O rings on my pre. Didn't notice any change. After a while the tubes started to make a ringing sound so I removed them. I think I'll try some teflon tape as I have some on hand.
I suppose it is time to dig out the Herbies that came with the amp I bought here on audiogon. They are in the basement somewhere.
Doesn't the tape hold heat in?
I have giant brass dampers on my 6SN7s for my preamp. Got them from Andy at VTS. I haven't seen them on his Web site for a while, however.
I won't use the preamp without them. They give amazing heft to the image, and clarity in the low end.
I'm using Herbies on my 12au7 and 12ax7 signal tubes in the power amp. Not as dramatic a change as the preamp tube dampers, but I haven't taken them out yet.
I recall a small brass version from Andy for the signal tubes but haven't seen them either.
This is the first time I've tried any kind of tube damping.
I bought some Duende Criatura tube rings. for MY JD100 AND
DK VS1. It's an amazing diference in detail and bass control.I'm hearing things that i didn't hear before.
I was using some NO$ Amperex HOlland and American version 7308's but have recently switched to NOS Russian with Herbies HAL-0 9s. In my system I prefer the latter, better extension and presence than the Amperex. I wish I had tried this before spending hundreds on tubes. YMMV
"Doesn't the tape hold heat in?"
You have to see it. It is more like very thin ribbon.
Caused no heat problems that I was aware of and is apparently a common tweak.
It made a positive difference for me on my phonostage.
Is there a placement position for the Herbie tube dampers that seems to work best? I read that somewhere between mid-way and higher seems to be best. I haven't really experimented all that much with their placement. Thanks for any suggestions
Has anyone tried the brass damper and the Herbies to see what differences there might be?
I have seen that Mapleshade sells some brass ones, but I also wander about the heat issue. Mapleshade claims they help dissipate the heat.