Tube sockets. Upgrade or Not?

tvr2500m · 2375

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Offline tvr2500m

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on: August 18, 2023, 11:34:29 AM
I have been using both my S.E.X. and Crack for several years now. Enjoying both enormously. The S.E.X. is my favorite general purpose headphone amplifier (I only use it for headphone duty). And I have a lot of headphone amplifiers. One of the convenient things about headphone gear is that much of it isn't terribly large, heavy, nor especially expensive, so it can be easy to end up with a fair amount of it.

Both S.E.X. and Cracky are stock + C4S equipped. I bought two additional kits to build to experiment with, while leaving the current two stock. I have a pretty good map of where I want to go with both of the new builds. A couple of things to finalize. One of them is tube sockets.

Is there any reason to change the tube sockets (greater reliability, durability, electrical connectivity/integrity)? To something more exotic'ish, like PTFE machined pin sockets, Belton sockets, some vintage Cinch or Amphenol? Those're all kinda nifty, but the stock ceramic tin plated pin sockets seem to more than adequate for the job.

Thanks.



Offline Thermioniclife

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Reply #1 on: August 18, 2023, 12:01:00 PM
It's your thing, do what you wanna do. But having said that unless you want/can do some metal work/ drilling than I would carefully measure the supplied socket and screw hole diameters. I have used Belton many times before and have not had any problems.
The only time I bought teflon sockets the holes for the collet pins were to small and the tube couldn't be inserted,I could have corrected that but decided not to. I ended up using some E.F. Johnson ceramics instead, this was not a problem as the chassis was custom made and I could use anything I wanted. Just one man's opinion.

Lee R.


Offline 2wo

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Reply #2 on: August 18, 2023, 05:18:50 PM
There is nothing wrong with the stock sockets, but I hear you, some of the old stock sockets are nice. what I use in my own builds.

Teflon seems to be very hit or miss...John

John Scanlon


Offline Paul Birkeland

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Reply #3 on: August 19, 2023, 07:41:10 AM
Is there any reason to change the tube sockets (greater reliability, durability, electrical connectivity/integrity)? To something more exotic'ish, like PTFE machined pin sockets, Belton sockets, some vintage Cinch or Amphenol? Those're all kinda nifty, but the stock ceramic tin plated pin sockets seem to more than adequate for the job.
I generally suggest avoiding teflon sockets for anything with small pins.  They are sort of OK for octal and UX-4 sockets, but I've seen them cause a lot of problems when used for 7 and 9 pin tubes.  Old stock is the way to go, but they may need a different hole pattern in the chassis plate and I suggest pre-tinning with some extra flux to get them ready for the build. 

You have already taken the most important step which is already having built kits available so you don't feel the need to rush.

Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man


Offline tvr2500m

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Reply #4 on: September 14, 2023, 10:31:00 AM
I'm going stock on the sockets on the modified builds...



Offline Mucker

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Reply #5 on: September 14, 2023, 10:58:24 AM
Do users change their tubes often with SEX amp? I was always under the assumption there aren't many options for tubes and that Compactrons last nearly forever. I have a pair of Sylvania in mine that I may never have to change (old user and limited use). The amplifier is absolutely great.



Offline Natural Sound

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Reply #6 on: September 14, 2023, 01:05:07 PM
Do users change their tubes often with SEX amp? I was always under the assumption there aren't many options for tubes and that Compactrons last nearly forever. I have a pair of Sylvania in mine that I may never have to change (old user and limited use). The amplifier is absolutely great.

I have 3 S.E.X. amps in operation. The one in my office seeing the most use. I've used it 5 days a week and 9 hrs a day since 2015. It's a version 2.1 with 6DN7's. I still have the original set of Sylvania's in there. I have an older version 2.0 with more time on the original set of tubes than that. My 3.0 6FJ7 has 5 years of lighter usage. The 6DN7/6FJ7 is a very rugged long life tube. The only thing I've done is clean the tube and socket pins along with the RCA jacks when things get a little scratchy.