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Thread: Tube pins

  1. #1

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    Default Tube pins

    In trying to find a good assortment of tubes for my buffer I am wondering about the pins. I have seen many of the larger tubes that have 24k gold plated pins. Does it make a big difference in their sound or more for the anti tarnish properties? The reason i ask is in my case 6j1,5654w, EF95 class of tubes I seen only one seller that is selling the Russian Voskhod (Kaluga) plant tubes @ 24.00 a pair seems cheap enough, but I've bought some of these tubes(without gold pins) for a lot less from very good sellers and have been happy with them. I offered the seller of the gold pins a BIN 20.00+ shipping for a pair. He declined the offer but said he would knock off 1.00ea if I bought 3pr.
    Aren't the pins made of copper? It wouldn't rust but could corrode a little but that could be cleaned easily from my experience. This would be the very first of this type of tube that I have seen gold pins. Are they rare?

    thoughts?

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    Looking forward to knowledgeable input from others . . . .
    Ive heard it makes a huge Diff

    Thanks guys n' dolls

    G
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    All I hear is crickets glenndog......

    Where are all the tube heads

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    Hello, gentlemen. While I would be the first to admit that I am definitely not a tube guru, I can offer my observations with tubes that have gold pins versus their counterpart. I currently run a full compliment of 12AX7 Ei gold pins in my Dodd MLP and the Jolida CDP. 6 total. I personally prefer the gold pin tubes for what they do for the sound itself. To me, they do not sound like they restrict the reproductive effort at all whereas the tubes I have tried to replace these with that did not have any gold pins always left me wanting something more. While I would admit that the sonic differences are not anything I would even remotely consider a night and day difference, there is a big enough difference to me that I will always insist that gold plated pins be in my rig......at least if I can get them. I dread the day I can not.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction.

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    in some cases, manufacturers produced "better" quality tubes with gold pins (certain Amperex tubes, e.g.). In theory, gold is superior to other metals in terms of resistance to oxidation... but it is not as good a conductor as silver or copper (although it is slightly better than aluminum). Otherwise, it is pretty much a gimmick - Radio Shack's later "lifetime" tubes boasted gold pins. :-)

    see, e.g., page 77 of http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/catalogs/1978/

    resistivity chart for selected metals:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electri...ious_materials
    Last edited by mhardy6647; 08-27-2013 at 10:29 AM.
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Thanks guys
    Just love that 1978 RS catalog!! I never knew that 300ohm antenna wire was once shielded and foam cored that rocks. Bet that stuff is near impossible to find these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pitdogg2 View Post
    Thanks guys
    Just love that 1978 RS catalog!! I never knew that 300ohm antenna wire was once shielded and foam cored that rocks. Bet that stuff is near impossible to find these days.
    umm... I am pretty sure I have some in the basement :-) Not a whole lot, though. Just a hank I picked up at my favorite local emporium...

    There was a time that 300 ohm balanced was de rigueur in home (TV and even FM) antenna installation and there was some very fine quality 300 ohm twinlead available.
    Last edited by mhardy6647; 08-27-2013 at 12:02 PM.
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Sylvania had a GB or Gold Brand. Great tubes and also sold with steel pins. These are 5687 family. Nice tube for a ModWright modded CD/SACD player.

    Last edited by SCompRacer; 08-27-2013 at 12:28 PM.
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    I thought all the pins were copper. I didn't know some were steel I can see why you would want to gold plate steel. I see some tubes have some sort of silver'ish whitish coating on the pins. Mine just look like copper that got hot as you can see clean copper inside the glass, but one pair has the whitish coating on the outside pins.

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    IIRC most pins on tubes we mess with were a nickel alloy or copper cored nickel alloy. I think copper alone would be too soft for a tube pin. Kovar was one alloy type that comes to mind.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Oh, in regards to the why gold plate it was for corrosion resistance. Think military application. Not sure if that is where the first gold pin showed up, but military tubes were generally built to high quality specs and some were available with gold plated pins. In a harsh environment, no time for cleaning tube pins.

    Here is a cold war tube Bendix/MU6900, a 5687 on steroids used in ICBM warheads. (MU engineering bought the Bendix Redbank Division). It was also available with gold plated pins. Max altitude 80,000 feet, 500G impact load, 50G vibration acceleration. In audio applications, near twice the transconductance of a 5687. Incredible detail.

    Last edited by SCompRacer; 08-27-2013 at 02:32 PM.
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    wow thanks man. I bet that sucker is very pricey. I did see some tubes on eBay today that were at 1000.00 with days to go. Do not know the number so don't ask I was just perusing and they were in the side of the page.

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    Once upon a time Bendix 6900's were getting over $1,000 a pair. Not everyone knew MU Engineering bought Bendix Red Bank tube division. They got the tooling, rebranded old stock and continued to manufacture tubes under the MU brand. At one time you could 'steal' the MU's for $300 a pair. I've had both and could detect no sonic difference and sold the Bendix.
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    well i guess a lot of this is starting to make sense to me somewhat. My tubes are small and do not get too hot to touch. This is what i found on Kovar

    Kovar (trademark of Carpenter Technology Corporation) is a nickel–cobalt ferrous alloy compositionally identical to Fernico 1, designed to be compatible with the thermal expansion characteristics of borosilicate glass (~5 × 10−6 /K between 30 and 200 °C, to ~10 × 10−6 /K at 800 °C) in order to allow direct mechanical connections over a range of temperatures. It finds application in electroplated conductors entering glass envelopes of electronic parts such as vacuum tubes (valves), X-ray and microwave tubes and some light bulbs.

    So yes it would make sense that the pins would be something that would not have large expansion characteristics to break the base or crack to affect the vacuum of the tube. Now that GOLD thing would make more sense because the pins being other than solid copper would need to have a better flow of electrons because nickel is not as good as gold which is not as good as solid copper....

    thanks Rich

    Ivan

    PS.
    Rich IF I EVER step up to those super expensive tubes do me a favor and come down here and smack around the head and neck area
    gosh what did i get into

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    Quote Originally Posted by pitdogg2 View Post
    PS.
    Rich IF I EVER step up to those super expensive tubes do me a favor and come down here and smack around the head and neck area
    gosh what did i get into
    You are most welcome Ivan. Tubes are a path. That path can be one of sensible or outrageous cost.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Gold pins were made to resist corrosion. As long as your pins are clean and your sockets are clean............and this is IMO, there is no difference in sound between the same tubes with gold pins or standard pins. I have tested it and I hear zero, nada, difference. Don't hold out and pay through the nose for a gold pin version vs. a standard pin version of the same tube. Obviously if cost and tube life are similar in both then go gold.

    I have severnal Sylvania GB (Gold Brand tubes) with standard pins and I don't stay awake at night wondering if I'm missing anything by paying another 50% or more for gold pin versions.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Gold pins were made to resist corrosion. As long as your pins are clean and your sockets are clean............and this is IMO, there is no difference in sound between the same tubes with gold pins or standard pins. I have tested it and I hear zero, nada, difference. Don't hold out and pay through the nose for a gold pin version vs. a standard pin version of the same tube. Obviously if cost and tube life are similar in both then go gold.

    I have severnal Sylvania GB (Gold Brand tubes) with standard pins and I don't stay awake at night wondering if I'm missing anything by paying another 50% or more for gold pin versions.

    H9
    About time you chimed in. Brock that is exactly what i was looking for. Right now I'm getting the for 6$ with 8$ shipping for standard with the gold pin models are 24$ a pair. 8$ shipping
    take care
    Ivan
    Last edited by pitdogg2; 08-28-2013 at 09:48 AM.

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    This goes along with what Brock said. I got these replies form the seller seems very honest.

    Hello! I don't know anything about gold pin 6j1p-ev.We've got 3 boxes of these tubes from military plant. We just opened box and saw these gold pin tubes. We made acid tests - it is real 24k gold. There is no information in internet, nobody from my friends and partners knows anything. Even military engineers don't know. It could be a small series for designing new equipment or tubes could have been gold-plated later at the plant. Only questions - no answers. Every tube has military stamps. We carefully tested them and matched into pairs. Besides gold pin, tubes are identical to ordinary 6j1p-ev.
    Oh, thanks for your interest. Actually, i'll be honest with you - there is no difference. :-) Gold makes no improvements.
    We tested them in the different amps. Just a good matched pair. It works as a placebo. We've got also about 40 pcs of 6s45p-e gold pin from the same plant. Nobody heard about those tubes also. The only explanation in my opinion is that in the late 80s ussr started conversion of military plants. So, that plant could design some audio or other equipment. So they plated tubes for their own needs localy. And those projects didn't worked out. These small quantities (300 pcs 6j1p-ev and 40 pcs 6s45p) are suitable for experiments. 6j1p and 6s45p are not military tubes! And it is very strange.

    In the end he made a deal we both could be happy with so I could hear for myself. We had a long email but you get the jest of it here
    thanks guys

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