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Thread: Tube Dampers??

  1. #1

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    Default Tube Dampers??

    Caveat: I'm a tube newb....
    Are tube dampers worth getting? Or are they hocus pocus?
    If they serve a real purpose and are recommended, suggested brands or sources??

    Only source I looked at so far is http://herbiesaudiolab.home.att.net/

    Right now I only need two for my Dodd ELP.

    Thanks
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    I came to no "conclusive conclusions" after adding them to the 4 tubes in my pre and one in my CDP. I took no scientific approach and did not listen carefully for 2 hours before or after etc.

    They are relatively inexpensive and in theory I could see the benefit. In reality I can neither confirm or deny their worth except in my mind - they make me feel good.

    Now, if you wanted to talk about cables, I could offer a real opinion ;)
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    Microphonic tubes do exhibit less "ring", when using Herbies, but I decided that once I found a tube to become microphonic, I lost interest in keeping it in the system regardless of how much I could tame the ring. Bottom line with me was they could make a poor tube listenable, but simply listenable wasn't good enough for me, when rolling the tube out is so easy to do.

    In the world of tweakers, they do offer a sort of cool look.

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    Like with any damping tweak, it depends… Maybe at normal low listening SPL’s you won’t need them, but venture into higher dB ranges and you might find them beneficial. It works that way for me anyway… Also, some tubes are more microphonic than others. With the:

    90-day no-risk trial. If not satisfied, simply return your Herbie's Audio Lab product within 90 days for a full refund.

    You can always return them if you don’t receive any benefit.
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    Consider buying them more for the cool factor than anything else. Otherwise, the extra bucks can be better spent on a six-pac of your favorite beverage.
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    I like the Herbies brand of dampers and use them on all my tubes. I've had some vintage gear that I felt experienced a benefit but not much modern stuff. Not sure why but I don't really care....they're cheap.

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    Thanks all,
    Yeah I figured that they are low cost so relatively low risk. A couple tubes (or pairs) I have seem to be ringing as microphonic-I flick them and I can hear ringing in the speakers.
    I haven't rolled much, but like Dennis, I'd probably be more prone to just replacing the tubes.
    For $30 I'm not likely to return them even if they were useless-I'm bad like that-I think more money would have to be involved.

    I think I'll pick up a pair of Herbies, to see if it tames the microphonics and if for nothing else the 'cool factor' and to see for myself what level of improvement they might have.

    Thanks..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Gardner View Post
    Microphonic tubes do exhibit less "ring", when using Herbies.....
    I picked up a set, and I tested them out on a VERY microphonic set of tubes, and I agree-they definitely reduce the 'ring'. However they definately don't reduce the overall microphonics. I could lightly slide my finger down one of the 'wheels' and it would still sound like I was running my finger across a microphone. If I flick my finger against the pre's chassis (such as the input selector knob), without the damper there is a 'ring' of sorts, but definately muffled if not reduced altogether with the dampers on.

    I bought a pair of the MidFi+ as well (for $5 each) and I didn't notice much if any difference. Except that in the very microphonic tubes, I could actually hear static or something as I 'rolled' the silicon wheels down the tube's surface.

    I'm sure that different results would likely be achieved depending on the rest of the system, one's hearing sensitivities, different tubes, and different tube 'issues'.

    So from my own brief testing and conclusions-It's my opinion that the dampers do in fact do something, however its limited. I would compare it physically to ringing a bell-while holding (damping) a bell in your hand it will still make a noise, but muffled (less ring), but not no noise at all. Is it a worthwhile tweak for $5-15 each? I would say yes.

    I will keep them on for the interesting look as well as possibly reducing any 'ring' that I just might not be able to hear (esp. at louder volumes) that just might possibly be improving my SQ.

    I will simply avoid microphonic tubes and just reserve them for testing tweaks or burning in speakers/ICs (so as not to reduce the useable life of good tubes).

    Thanks all.
    -Madden

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    They look cool, so they must do something
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    Default not to worry

    All Herbies products have a 90 day money back guarantee if you don't like them. Plenty of time to evaluate for yourself in your system w/o the need to rely on others with different setups and gear...... and ears!


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    I'm no tubehead but it would seem to me that increasing the surface area of the tube would help dissipate heat a little and increase tube life a little irregardless of the dampening benefits.

    Wes
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    I used them with my ELP, mine were some large brass rings you adjusted to fit the tube cant recall the name, I sold them to George Daniels with the unit. Cant say they did much for SQ, but the hear dissapation made sense and they sure did not hurt anything.

    I do not use them with my BAT or Manley gear.

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  13. #13
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    I use the orange silicone type and I'm not sure if they make a difference. Practically I could see where they could help since I'm using two per tube and that's some good dampening ability, but they probably help a little. I ordered mine from ebay and they were uber cheap ($25 shipped for 20 dampers), so I'm not heart broken if they don't make a difference.



    PS. My amp now looks like some kind of UFO without the top on it with all the circuits, tube glow, and orange rings.

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