How to stop Tube Vibrations and Microphonics in combo amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by D-Nastee11, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. D-Nastee11

    D-Nastee11 Member

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    I just order new tubes because after having my amps shipped from tone merchants cross country to Missouri I have been noticing a lot of rattles and noises. I know UPS and Fed EX aren't nice about tossing around boxes that are heavy so I figure my best bet is to just start fresh. Now that I have the tubes ordered I wanted to look into any methods people are using to minimize such issues. I have heard about a few different ones. Just wanted to see what people here are doing. Thanks
     
  2. D-Nastee11

    D-Nastee11 Member

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    bump
     
  3. supergenius365

    supergenius365 Silver Supporting Member

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    I use tube dampers - those rubber ring things. Seem to work well.
     
  4. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    Well, when amps are shipped it's a good idea to pull the tubes and wrap 'em in bubble wrap and secure 'em somehow in the amp or in a separate box. No good reason to ship amps with tube in the sockets.

    As for tube dampers my experience has been that simple silicone o-rings don't do much. I have found that these can work: http://herbiesaudiolab.net/tube.htm, but they're not going to make a howlingly microphonic tube like a good one.
     
  5. Toneseeker361

    Toneseeker361 Supporting Member

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    I have heard of people using soft rubber washers on the amp mount screws to minimize tube rattle.
     
  6. Standard 64

    Standard 64 Member

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    good luck,I hate combo amps for their rattle capabilities
     
  7. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    Yeah, I never found that to be very effective.
     
  8. falconer

    falconer Member

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    :agree As many times as I've been tempted...I'll never buy another combo.
     
  9. DeaconBlues

    DeaconBlues Supporting Member

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    It's a matter of isolating issues(if any) to minimize/eliminate any rattles. I seldom have these issues with combos, but when I do it's usually a simple quick fix. I like combos for their portability. I hate heads and cabs for their lack there of.

    I've had good luck with the red silicone(?) washers for quieting tube rattles, btw.
     
  10. tele_jas

    tele_jas Supporting Member

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    This...... Works really good.

    I've been playing combo's for a long time, rarely do I have a problem with tube rattle.... but the few times I have, I used these tube dampers and they worked wonders, even on an EF86.
     
  11. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    Just FYI, be careful about rubber....tubes get freakin' hot, some upwards of 300 degrees and will melt rubber washers. Silicone is the most common material you see for tube dampers (which are often just silicone o-rings repurposed), because silicone can handle the heat.
     
  12. D-Nastee11

    D-Nastee11 Member

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    I agree 100%, but for whatever reason they left them in the sockets so that's why I decided to start from zero and just re tube both amps. I would like to try those herbielabs dampeners, but at $23 and up per tube I really need to know they work WELL.
     
  13. tbblues

    tbblues Member

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    +1 for Herbie's Audio Lab. The one listed for guitar can take the heat. In my case, it tamed an ef86 pre-amp tube in a combo.
     
  14. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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    Don't replace the whole batch. Tap on 'em [w/ the amp on] to isolate which tubes are causing the most noise.
    Re. preamp bottles, if you can find them, the Russian '90s 12AX7WBs are really low-noise.
     
  15. Toneseeker361

    Toneseeker361 Supporting Member

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    Thanks!
     
  16. dughaze

    dughaze Member

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    Between the tube noise, the heavy weight, the chassis rattles, the inevitable boxy sound, and the lack of a good sounding low end I gave up on combos also.
     
  17. falconer

    falconer Member

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    I've been through any combination of cab, chassis, and tube rattles in every single combo I've owned. I've experienced perfectly good, and expensive, NOS tubes that played well for a few weeks, then turned microphonic. No more.

    As one tube vendor here told me via email: Combos are excellent devices for turning good NOS tubes into microphonic junk.
     
  18. Ed Reed

    Ed Reed Senior Member

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    Mesa sells a noise dampened 12AX7 and it has a piece of heat shrink tubing on the OD. This would be easy to do. Power tubes are another thing.
     
  19. cxx

    cxx Member

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    I haven't had any luck with any remedies. The combos with horizontal tube mounts are worse, but I've had problems with both. Mostly power tubes in my experience. It probably depends on how loud you play but if you go with a combo you just have to live with shorter tube life. I'd keep a replacement set around and swap when questionable.
     
  20. Rambergwest

    Rambergwest Member

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    The speaker is the vibration source obviously but the main reactive surface for the pickup effect is the chassis. The larger surface area gets energized and feeds the electronic components. One trick to reduce this source is to use the self adhesive vibration matt that is available from car stereo shops on the outside of the chassis. This will significantly quiet the metal and if you use tube covers on your pre-amp tubes you should be quite a ways down the road to a usable amp. As always FWIW and I am sure that a lot of folks see just the tube itself as the problem.
     

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