How to partially revealed tubes


2019-06-19 8:35 pm
I am planning my next project, a point to point wired, Pete Millet inspired headphone amp. I would like to construct the amp on an aluminum bottom plate, and leave the sides and top wood.

However, I am trying to wrap my head around how to partially reveal the tubes. An example of the aesthetic I am after is shown in the HiFiMan EF2A Headphone Amplifier or the Bellari VP130.

I think a set of standoffs could raise a tube socket up off the bottom plate, but that seems like it would be hard to wire/assemble. Are there PCB tube sockets with standoffs?

Has anyone tried this before? Any advice? Construction photos?

Thanks for any help.

How about this:
mount the sockets on standoffs, but upside down, mounted to the lid.. Now mount the rest of the stuff on the underside of the lid. In other words make the unit essentially upside down, with the tubes pointing through teh lid panel.

Now your terminal strips and tube sockets all face the same way, for easy wiring.
The aesthetic benefit should be weighed against the risks of exposing the most fragile part of the device to prying hands and casual damage. This type of construction would not pass safety standards for a commercial product in the UK for at least three reasons, risk of elecrocution, access to small fingers and burn-hazard.

Adding a wire mesh protective dome is a convection-friendly approach to this aesthetic with an eye to greater robustness and safety.

As for the basic problem I'd suggest using an inner lightweight Al chassis for the circuitry and sockets, stood-off from the base at the correct height for the poking-out-of-the-top bits.

I'd definitely avoid lots of mounting holes in the top plate, thats seldom aesthetically justifiable unless symmetric and decent bolt heads are used.


2019-06-19 8:35 pm
The heatsinks I have, only have metal pins for mounting. Think those will be okay if I epoxy them, upside down, to the lid too? I haven't started on fabrication of the chassis yet. I do have a nice piece of rosewood and some aluminum and acrylic stock tho.

I'll continue to think about this, no need to rush.