Tube dampers?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by oktapod, Sep 14, 2020 at 6:50 AM.

  1. oktapod

    oktapod Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I’ve been using red silicon damping rings on the smaller (signal) tubes on my amp. I can see that there are a few alternatives, such as the HAL dampers, at higher prices. Has anyone compared these fancier dampers to silicon rings (either single or multiple)? How’d that go? Worth the extra?
     
  2. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I use Herbies tube dampers in my hybrid integrated amplifier and was so impressed with the uplift in sound that my phono stage now sports them.

    Silicon rings could not hold a candle to the Herbies. ( in my system etc.):edthumbs:
     
  3. sturgus

    sturgus Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis Mo
    I like the Herbies, and use them on the driver tubes in my amps. My fav is from Brent Jessie, the brass rings are great if room is tight. If you have tubes that are spaced the big copper dampers are the best.
    Vacuum Tube Dampers / Vacuum Tube Coolers For Sale
     
  4. Mad shadows

    Mad shadows Forum Resident

    Location:
    Karlskrona- Sweden
    Had some luck with the military dampers further down on the webpage.
     
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  5. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I tried sorbothane rings years ago. But they were messy since they tend welt themselves to hot tubes. But they did work. I have used cheap rubber O rings since them. They help a little, but its not a huge improvement. But they don't melt.

    I've long planned on trying some of Herbies rings, but I've never gotten around to it.
     
    chipcalzada likes this.
  6. chipcalzada

    chipcalzada Forum Resident

    What can one expect with using tube dampers? How does it affect SQ?
     
  7. Mad shadows

    Mad shadows Forum Resident

    Location:
    Karlskrona- Sweden
    My experience is that it enhances clarity by reducing background noise.
     
    chipcalzada likes this.
  8. Scott222C

    Scott222C Loner, Rebel & Family Man

    Location:
    ÖSTERREICH
  9. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    My experience has been exactly the same. I didn't find silicone rings to be of any use whatsoever. But the Herbie discernibly knocked down microphonicy liveliness on tubes for me across all kinds of different applications from hifi to guitar electronics (though I suspect some people like that added liveliness).
     
  10. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Tighter more focused imaging, less artificial liveliness, better low level detail.
     
    chipcalzada likes this.
  11. chipcalzada

    chipcalzada Forum Resident

    Interesting. Where is it more effectively applied? Preamp or Power Tubes?
     
  12. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I do not have power valves so pre-amp tubes here.
     
  13. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    The earlier a tube comes in the gain-chain, the more a lack of microphonics matters.

    Therefore: Phono Preamp tubes > Line Level Preamp tubes > Power Amp gain-stage tubes > Power amp Driver tubes > Power amp output tubes.
     
  14. chipcalzada

    chipcalzada Forum Resident

    Thanks! @TarnishedEars, I'm glad that power output tubes are least important to dampen as my amp uses 8 KT88's.
     
  15. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I use Brent Jessee's brass rings on small preamp tubes, and silicone rings on the EL-34s. Other than a new smell in the bedroom from the silicone rings, I cannot say I can hear any difference. Not that there isn't, I just can't hear it...
     
  16. I own similar tube coolers/dampers made for the UK military but I don't use them on my Phono preamp but I keep them as I own some NOS tubes that are microphonic (that I'll most likely never use as I'm set for life of the tubes I like) and with these I've tried turning the volume all the way up and with these microphony is 100% gone.
     
    Andy Saunders likes this.
  17. MRL_Audio

    MRL_Audio Forum Resident

    My preamp has shields on each tube. Guess HK had it wrong
     
  18. IanL

    IanL Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oneonta, NY USA
    The cheapest level of Herbie's tube dampers worked wonderfully when added to all the tubes in my phono preamp. I agree with Tarnished Ears, the earlier in the chain you use them, the more opportunity they have to squash extraneous noise before it gets amplified. I intend to eventually add them to my DAC tubes and my preamp tubes. The Herbie's site also says something about adding them to rectifier tubes and hearing the benefits for every tube that follows in the chain. Food for thought.
     
  19. Dischord

    Dischord Member

    Location:
    Malmoe, Sweden
    If I were to get dampers from Herbies, which ones are recommended to get? There is quite a price difference between the cheapest and the most expensive. It would be for a phono stage in my case
     

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