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Tube dampers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 2string1, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. 2string1


    Apr 1, 2013
    Has anyone considered tube dampers for there tube amps? I know in the audiophile forums they believe in them. Being a bass head sitting on top of your cab I would thing they would be good,but I don't know if it would make a difference. What do you think?
  2. Are those just matts that go in between the head and the cab?
  3. 2string1


    Apr 1, 2013
    No they go on the tubes them self, but a matt would be good.Where can I find one?
  4. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Sounds cool as long as they don't trap heat and make the tube burn out prematurely.
  5. Do a Google for Gramma. That should find them for you.
  6. 2string1


    Apr 1, 2013
    Just looking for a nice piece a foam rubber to put on top of my cab to put my amp on.
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I've read through a few previous threads about tube dampers, and here's what I got from it: Any tube that would vibrate in such a way as to harm its operation is probably on its way to failure anyway. For example, a tube that is operating normally will not be microphonic. You can limit the microphonics with a damper, but wouldn't it be better to put in a tube that works properly?

    I do happen to have dampers on the tubes in one of my pieces of gear, a H&K Blues Master. But in that case the dampers are mainly for protection against shock if I should drop the unit on the floor.

    To the question about heat, these are rings of silicon, so they don't trap heat the way a sleeve kind of damper might.
  8. 2string1


    Apr 1, 2013
    Agreed, but I think a tube can get shocked from the bass rumble of a cab too. Thats why they make military versions of tubes so they can take the abuse even if there in perfect condition.
  9. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Some dampers are simply rubber O rings. They are not going to do much. They are marketed with a lot of hype.

    Other dampers are larger and cover the tubes. They act as a tube shield on pre-amp tubes to help reduce noise and act as a heat sink to help dissipate heat. Both good things. Good quality tube shields do this as well. The theory is that these types of dampers also add mass to the tube to help reduce vibrations. True to some extent. Damping is used by manufacturers, Ampeg for example uses damping in some products such as the early SVT's, B-15 and V4B, by isolating the chassis or individual tube sockets. Tube mics and a lot of other audio products also damp the tube sockets.

    This sort of isolation is most effective in pre-amps where the designer wants to lower the noise floor as much as possible. Reducing vibrations can reduce noise in some tubes. The precaution can't hurt but the truth is tubes are pretty tough. They are designed to take both high heat and vibration.

    Bottom line, tube dampers won't hurt. They may or may not help. It depends on the amp.

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