Best way to handle tubes.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Droog, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    I am going to switch the pre-amp tubes in my 400+. What should I use to grab'em with. I assume not my bare hands. What do you guys do?
  2. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    i do belive your hands would be fine, as long as it isn't plugged in and the tubes aren't hot.
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I usually grab mine with a clean cloth between my hands and the tubes, just to avoid getting finger oils on the tube glass, which 'could' decrease its life.
  4. Bare hands are fine. You're not going to leave any oil deposits that can do any harm to the life of a tube. Tube manufacturers PAINT on the glass for crying out loud!!!!!!!
  5. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    O.K. great. Thanks guys. For some reason I thought bare hands are a no, no.
  6. MrBonex


    Jan 2, 2004
    New Hampshire
    I don't want to rain on anyone's personal parade, but EVERY tube manufacturer and distributor of repute that I have ever heard of recommends using a cloth or something equivalent rather than bare hands.

    The skin's oil is the reason. And oil is significantly different than paint that was formulated to withstand heat. So use your fingers, take your chances.

    Come on! How hard is it to use your hankie????
  7. tomg


    Mar 15, 2004
    I'd like to see some more information on this. I'm aware of the problem of finger oils on projector bulbs, but have never come across any actual information regarding tubes, other than the occasional forum discussion.

  8. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Finger oil on ANY glass surface that heats up will make a hot-spot on the area where the oil is found. Halogen bulbs, tubes, any thin glass bulb which heats up. Sure, halogen bulbs are much more sensitive to the heat and will burn out quicker when finger oil is present, but it can't hurt to avoid touching a tube's glass directly with your hands, just use a cloth or napkin. Its what the manufacturers recommend, in any event, and so easy to do . . . .
  9. Please provide an example. Not to rain on your parade, but the only places I've ever seen that have been audiophile rags who also recommend $50,000 cables. The heating of the glass is secondary and even on the thinnest, cheapest Chinese junk tubes, temperatures never approach enough to make "oil hot spots" a factor. You wanna see a melted envelope? That results from a tube in runaway, not any skin oils. And also there is NO magic paint formula that will make dried paint any less a heat sink than skin oil.
  10. I'm with Psycho on this. The oils on your skin aren't enough to do any appreciable damage. Tube surfaces only get up to about 100 degrees C at most, and there are variations in surface temperature anyway. Hot spots caused by skin oils aren't an issue.

    I've been handling some very pricey 300Bs a whole lot recently and I haven't seen any evidence of anything more than normal surface tempereature variation. The manufacturer doesn't say any anything about not handling them either. I wouldn't sweat it.
  11. basstard


    Jan 28, 2004
    Fremont, CA
    I prefer to change my tubes with my teeth!
    hehehe :D
  12. one time at band camp..... i burnt my tounge so bad doing that. never again :p :D

    i kid i kid, i'd like to see where this thread is leading, as i'm looking into some nice tubey good amps soon