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  »  New  Shock-absorbing tube sockets...  Skinny pins and cheap-o sockets...  Audio Discussions  Forum     11  55545  12-21-2006
  »  New  The Shielding Condoms on those tubes......  The Shielding Condoms on those tubes.......  Melquiades Amplifier  Forum     0  17455  09-21-2009
09-21-2007 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
JJ Triode
Posts 75
Joined on 09-12-2007

Post #: 1
Post ID: 5339
Reply to: 5339
Herbie's Hal-O Tube Dampers
Romy,
I noticed in several photographs of the various Melqs that you are using the Hal-O dampers on your driver tubes and sometimes on the regulators. The ones in your pictures are the earlier versions of Herbeleins' products with the thick polymer rings holding the elastomer pads (I think the black rings were made of something called Nylatron, while the white rings were teflon).

I recently tried out the newer versions of the Hal-Os which have metal rings in place of polymer (there are two different kinds made of different alloys but they are said to perform similarly.) The pads have been revised too. Anyway I find these metal-ringed Hal-Os to perform MUCH better than the teflon-ring type. Rather than attempt to desribe the benefits I would like to suggest that you try a few and give us your own impressions. You can even tune them by adjusting the tension in the ring or moving them up or down on each tube. I find them very good even on output tubes.

There is nothing to lose since Herbie lets you return them within 90 days, as you probably know. I hope they work out for you.
09-21-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 5341
Reply to: 5339
It is not so straight forward with tubes damping.

JJ,

yes, I got Hal-O dampers a few years ago and I do use them but it would require more say then just “I use” them.

I have them for a long time. I initially bought then to use with 7788 tubes that I am employing as an input tubes in my phonocorrector. As you understand at that location a tube with 50.000 mS transconductance needs as much help as it can get. At least it was what I thought intellectually. The 7788 sits at the shock-absorbing socket and with 2 Hal-O dampers.  Do the dampers work in there? I do not know as after I picked the tube comforted it in there with all “help” I did not use it without the dampers. I have no microphonics and no parasitic oscillations in my phonocorrector.

Then, when I built the first Milq I figured out that since it uses a very fast 250mHz driver I need to get tube dumpers for it as well. Then the audiophile Moronity stroked me and I got the dumpers for all Super Milq tubes. Why do I call it the “audiophile Moronity”? Certainly I do not imply that the Hal-O dampers are bad solution. However, I did buy all those dumpers and up now I do not know if they have a positive impact to Sound - I still debate it with myself. A right tube (my Milq driver tube might have tendency to be microphonic – but WAY less then 437A-417A - I would say one of twenty 6E5P might be to “live”) does not need any dumpers – it sounds good “as is”. A bad tube could not be also helped by the dumpers. I hardly feel any differences when I use a good tube with or without the tube dumper. Well, I might hear “some” difference (though practically none) but I absolutely defiantly would NOT say that with the dumper the tune sounds “better”.

So, if I use or not use the dumper is does not really matter and if I use them then it is just because I already have them. Reading it, one must understand that in the super Milq the tube sockets are mounts directly on the chassis and the chassis is VERY thick. (~25 pounds barebone, without anything on it). Also there is absolutely nothing inside the Super Milq’s amplifier chassis that might be a source of vibrations – no chokes, no transformers – and when I get the stethoscope and lay it down to the Super Milq’s chassis   then it responses with a silence of a gravestone (the cooling fan is another matter). So, perhaps the Super Milq is not the best amp to observe the Hal-O dampers contribution. I do not know how the vibrations of the tube’s glass important as if it is then it would be tube to tube related. BTW, my driver tube according to the specialists has a huge space between the cathodes (I need to post picture) and the tube creates (reportedly) the shape of electronic cloud like no other 9-pin tube. Perhaps it makes the tubes intestines to “talks” with the tube’s glass differently….

The photograph is not mine. The image courtesy to "Real Big Sushi"

From the other side I do feel, not confirmably, that the use of the class dampers minimizes the longetivety of the tubes. I do not know if the dampers were guilty but I have seen in my own practice that the tubes with dampers were turning darker faster then the tubes without dampers.

That brings me to a qestion if I am willing to use the dampers on my 6-chennal new amp. The difference is that on the new amp is that I embraced use of Absorb-GEL device, that I found VERY good and that I feel works better then anything else that I have seen.

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/GetPost.aspx?PostID=3487

When I apply nose to the amp chassis (badly mounted fan) that is well registered via a stethoscope then the noise is not transmitted to the tube then the tube sits on the Absorb-GEL. Still, I did not detect any influence to Sound even then the tube picks the vibration from the fan’s rotation.

What would be more interested if you JJ would point out what to pay attention when I am trying to detect the sonic benefits of the Hal-O dampers? Perhaps I just do not look in the right direction when I listen the results…

Rgs, Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-21-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
JJ Triode
Posts 75
Joined on 09-12-2007

Post #: 3
Post ID: 5342
Reply to: 5341
What the new Hal-Os seem to do
For me the "delta" with the newer Hal-O dampers was in the direction of increased clarity. One example is in vocals, where consonant sounds like "f" and "th" were much more realistic (my "s" and "sh" were already pretty good.) Beyond these typically-audiophilic effects, I also noted that lyrics were easier to understand, not only that I could tell better what words were said but that I could better understand the singers' intented meaning, an effect I did not expect and was not listening for. There were improvements at lower frequencies as well, and in symphonic and chamber music etc.

I would tend to agree that the early Hal-Os were not always positive in their effects and sometimes had no effect or were even negative. With the newer ones (the so-called BlackBery and UltraSonic rings) I am confident that you would hear a delta over the old ones (or no damper) on most tubes, and it would almost never be negative (but could be "merely different" in some cases.) I can well believe that you have your vibration issues much better worked out than most people, but I suspect that your installation also recognizes much smaller deltas, so there should be some benefits, or at least some interesting observations.

I was especially surprised at the benefits of the UltraSonics on output tubes, not only mine (2A3) but in a friend's installation (845) where the effect was about like cleaning a car's windshield after driving through a buggy summer day...
09-21-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 5343
Reply to: 5342
"...improvements at lower frequencies as well"

Thanks, JJ.

I do not necessary feel that it should be any difference between the early Hal-O production and the new version – they are essentially are the same products with different descriptions.  For new dampers should be better only for large tube as the metal rings might be bend to straighten the tube’s grip. For the small tube the type of the griping ring is absolutely should not be relevant. So, sorry, I do not buy into the differences between the Teflon, Blackberry and UltraSonic rings. They can come up with any imaginary name combining the Greek Gods with cryogenics but it would not drive my tail….

The output tube is a different matter. I never use it and your post might be a good motivation to try it. It is kind of not really necessary for me as now since big tubes do not care HF signal anymore but I still would like to try it on my Injection Channel, the one that works full-range. Also, you say that is “improvements at lower frequencies as well”,  so why not….

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-21-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 5
Post ID: 5345
Reply to: 5342
Of those I have tried
The best of the Herbie's bunch to date, in my system, have been the older PEEK, with black/dark gray "Cs" that are similar to Teflon.  I don't know if his source dried up, or the mimimum order got prohibitive or just too expensive, or what.  The older Teflon lost its grip over time, and the metal clamps just do not seem to damp as effectively for me.  I do use the metal "Cs" on my 6C33Cs because that's all he offers in the giant size.  But then, not everyone wants their tubes damped, and I also think the things may shorten tube life (and that's all I need with the stupid 6N6Ps...).

While I agree with your observations about the sonic "benefits", I would add that in some circles these things are said to "take the life out of the sound".  I have also heard from others that these dampers kill the "sparkle" and/or "destroy harmonics".  Draw your own conclusions.

Plenty of tubes are prone to microphony and/or self-noise, and these dampers also seem to help with that.

I can say for sure that these things do not destroy tubes almost immedately like other dampers.

No damper is a substitute for good tube screening.

Best regards,
Paul S
09-21-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
JJ Triode
Posts 75
Joined on 09-12-2007

Post #: 6
Post ID: 5347
Reply to: 5343
Rings and pads
Romy,
I wouldn't assume the ring material in the tube dampers to be sonically irrelevant. Polymer materials are viscoelastic, so should contribute to the damping effect, while a spring-like metal ring would have a more resonant behavior. In any case the contact pads are also different in the newer Hal-Os, in both the elastomer formulation and their physical design, so they "should" sound a little different. Not automatically better, though personally I did observe significant (to me) improvements.

Steve Herbelein uses some fanciful names, like in his "Way Excellent Turntable Mat," but at least he tries to genuinely improve his products without jacking up prices much. There are plenty of tweakmeisters who price their widgets every bit as outrageously as the Kharma speakers or Lamm's latest amp...
09-21-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 5348
Reply to: 5347
Combine damping, tube cooling and shielding

I ordered today from them the 6C33C dumpers and spoke with someone in there. Forthrightly speaking it sounded kind of ugly when the guy on the phone insisted to call the pads as the “anti-vibration instruments”. BTW, I did ask him directly if there is any difference from sonic point of view between the new dampers and old.  He said that there is not, though frankly he did not sound intelligent and it was very apparent that he pulled phrases out of his ass. So, I did not ask him about his “upgrade program”.

That all shell not defeat the idea of the tube dumpers. I do feel that the tube dumping effect would greatly depend from the construction of a specific tube, the tube made, the given tube sockets, chasses design the state of the given tube. In different cases it might work differently and I do not know if to change of the tube resonance is the only factor in the play. Only God knows what works and why in those circumstances...

Sure, I am not apologetic that I have those dumpsters in fact I have some others. In fact my very first Hal-O-like dampers I bought in 2000 in Tokyo, which was 1-2 years before the Hal-O come to existence. They were virtually identical….

If would be nice if someone would combine glass damping, the tube cooling and shielding.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-22-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 8
Post ID: 5355
Reply to: 5348
What do you do when someone cuts off your parts supply
or prices it out of your reach?

Well, in audio they "upgrade" to what they can get and/or afford/want to spend.

So cheaper and faster is "better" in every way.

Another good question is:  Which came first, the chicken or the phrase?

I wonder how many of these guys start out basically honest (if simple and/or confused) but just glaze over with time and the growing (if still dim) realization that marketing trumps application every time.


Best regards,
Paul S
11-04-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
JJ Triode
Posts 75
Joined on 09-12-2007

Post #: 9
Post ID: 5795
Reply to: 5339
"UltraSonic" Hal-O tube dampers
Hi Romy,
Well, I see in the photos what look like the newer Herbie's Hal-Os with the titanium rings on 2 of the 6C33Cs. Have you made any observation of the sonic effect of these things yet?
Rgs,
JJ
11-04-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 5796
Reply to: 5795
The ultrasonic wasted money.
 JJ Triode wrote:
Hi Romy,
Well, I see in the photos what look like the newer Herbie's Hal-Os with the titanium rings on 2 of the 6C33Cs. Have you made any observation of the sonic effect of these things yet?
Rgs,
JJ
Truly, I did buy them but I can not stress how irrelevant they are performance-vise, at least on my tubes and at least on my amp. I also got their new "ultrasonnic" design pads for my gas tubes – very disappointing from my point if view. The former were “sticky” and soft and they “glue” it self to the glass. The net are not soft anymore…. I do not like it. The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-05-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
JJ Triode
Posts 75
Joined on 09-12-2007

Post #: 11
Post ID: 5799
Reply to: 5796
The dampers
Romy,
I'm sorry the output tube dampers didn't work out for you. Maybe you already had the microphonics/mechanical grounding so well taken care of that there was no benefit. I had observed a significant effect in 2 different installations out here.

As for the gas tubes, I think Herbie still has the "BlackBery" dampers in the 7-pin size, which have very soft pads, even softer than the old teflon rings had. Of course there is no certainty these will do anything for you either.

At least he will let you return or exchange all these items, you only wasted the shipping.
Page 1 of 1 (11 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Shock-absorbing tube sockets...  Skinny pins and cheap-o sockets...  Audio Discussions  Forum     11  55545  12-21-2006
  »  New  The Shielding Condoms on those tubes......  The Shielding Condoms on those tubes.......  Melquiades Amplifier  Forum     0  17455  09-21-2009
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