Rattling power tube

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by StingRay85, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a weird question, but what should I do with a rattling power tube? I have an amp packed with 6 RFT EL34s, and one of these tubes always rattles when I'm playing through the amp (I mostly play bass). The rattling is not amplified so it's not microphonic I guess. When I play on one of my other amps, I sometimes also hear it rattle. For that reason I installed 6 spring retainers, but unfortunately the rattling is still there. Only thing left to do is throw it out?
     
  2. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure it is not the speakers
     
  3. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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    The vibrations caused by the speakers are rattling the glass or interiors of the the tube. When I take it out and shake the tube, it rattles a lot harder than any other tube I tried this with. The spring retainer doesnt stop it
     
  4. Travis398

    Travis398 Well-Known Member

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    I have a couple tubes that do a similar thing, they was in a combo amp. Certain notes would make them rattle but on mine the sound was amplified and came out the speaker. I thought something was wrong with the amp till I changed them and was very happy there was nothing wrong with the amp.

    Not sure you can do anything about it. Mine was caused by the speaker vibrating them so I installed them in a head that doesn't sit on a cab. seemed to cure it. If I played bass I would think it would have been worse.
     
  5. Chris-in-LA

    Chris-in-LA Well-Known Member

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    A spring retainer only holds the tube in. Replace the rattling tube.
     
  6. Seanxk

    Seanxk Well-Known Member

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    I have the same thing at moment with a Mullard and I'm not throwing it out, it's not going to stop rattling, but it's a great sounding valve.
    Basically don't sit the amp on the cab, put a high temp O ring under the spring retainer to decouple the metal to glass contact.
     
  7. CraigP

    CraigP Well-Known Member

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    Thought I had a tube rattling, turns out it was the sconce on the wall in the next room. Took me quite a while to figure that out.
    Good luck with your rattle issue.
     
  8. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member

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    It seems from the description that you are not playing loud enough.

    The father of loud is not impressed.
     
    Dogs of Doom and StingRay85 like this.
  9. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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    Just filled up another amp with 6 Xf3 mullards and goddammit again a rattling tube. Replacing is really the only option, and saving them for other projects. I already have enough hearing troubles crancking it louder is no more option. Hyperacusis ain't no joke probably why I spent more time building amps than playing them
     
  10. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    The low frequencies of a base guitar pulls a lot of amps in the power tubes . Turn down the base on the amp . You might get some Russian military spec power tubes Might help
     
  11. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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    Luckily I still have quite a bit of blackburns laying around. I'll replace with one that doesn't rattle.
     

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