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Old 19th March 2004, 12:17 PM   #1
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Default Tube Sockets

While I'm searching for suitable tubes for my push/pull amp, I would like to take the opportunity to replace the worn out original Dynaco tube sockets.

My options are Ceramic, Porcelain, Teflon and Plastic. I can see pros and cons of each, but what do I use for best performance, heat dissapation and longevity?

I'd appreciate any formal education on each of the above materials listed above, so that I can have an understanding of why a particular material (if any) is prefered.

BTW: here's a link to the Teflon sockets:
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Old 19th March 2004, 12:39 PM   #2
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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There's no point in buying PTFE sockets and plugging a valve with a phenolic base into them, so you can forget PTFE for the Octals. Ceramic/porcelain is the same thing. Phenolic (that black or brown plastic) is leaky, and can cause noise. Avoid phenolic sockets. Opinions differ, but there's not much in it between ceramic and PTFE sockets for Noval valves, it's more in the quality of the pins. Don't waste money on gold plated pins. NOS PTFE sockets have better pins than modern ceramic sockets.
The loudspeaker: The only commercial Hi-Fi item where a disproportionate part of the budget isn't spent on the box. And the one where it would make a difference...
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Old 19th March 2004, 12:57 PM   #3
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Oh, and avoid those silly Chinese noval clones that try to pass for a socket....
The Russian Octal and noval ones are much better in every way unless perhaps you can find some NOS military ones.

Ceramic aka steatite aka porcelain, the better ones are glazed to avoid hygroscopy.

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Old 19th March 2004, 01:30 PM   #4
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Ok, this is over my head. I don't get where you are going with this. Can you explain at a level where someone with NO background in electronics would like to make an intelligent decision on what material sockets to buy?

You guys definately know your stuff, and I always check this forum, but I admit I need a little hand-holding through this.

Oh yeah, any links to tube sockets that you recommend?
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Old 19th March 2004, 10:48 PM   #5
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The low level signal sockets for 9 pin and 7 pin tubes should look like the ones you see depicted here:


Except for pic #1 (a Chinese one) all the others have good contacts and sturdy solder lugs.

Octal # 1 is probably a Russian one, # 2 looks like NOS US made , both are excellent.

Now take a good look at the flimsy solder lugs you see depicted here:


Pics 1 through 3 are NOS phenolic but it's mainly the solder lugs and associated contact seats that tell you they are really not worth buying into.

Pic 4 looks nicer but in reality isn't better than the others, it is again a Chinese made one with a shielding can.

To cut a long story short, the only thing worth buying on that page if you plan stocking some tubes is the pin straightener a few more pics down the page.

Certainly the Japanese Yamamoto jobs look the works but the price is out of this world too.

I don't know about dealers in your area but if they don't have a website with pics of what they sell, at least ask for a sample or two of the types you need.
Even if you're required to pay for them, it's still better than being stuck with so so sockets...

Hope this helps,
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