Socket Savers can make it easier to instal your tubes. they also raise the tubes a bit out of the chassis so temps will lower a bit. Not that you have to worry about high temps, but lower is always better IMHO.
Plus, they look bitchin'!
These ones are inexpensive too:
Thanks for the suggestion. I had been considering buying some and I agree they look pretty cool (spotted a pic of your Lyr in a tube photo thread).
I took a look at tubedepot and although they are very cheap, shipping to the UK is $30!!!!
I'm not sure about the codes / reference no's the seller mentions but I this looks to be the same one (I think?) and shipping is cheaper: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/9-PIN-SOCKET-SAVER-Ships-USA-12AX7-12AT7-12AU7-EL84-12BH7-/400419755566?_trksid=p5197.m1992&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D14%26meid%3D7091505783400169134%26pid%3D100015%26prg%3D1006%26rk%3D1%26sd%3D400419755566%26
I also spotted some Novib Socket Savers ($15 with minor cosmetic blemishes) that have an anti-vibration feature and claim to have sturdier gold pins. If you've tried both do you feel it would be worth spending a bit more or do the cheaper ones work just as well?
One final question (I promise it'll be my last for a while!) which I've been unable to find an answer to whilst searching or looking on youtube. The Schiit manual is a bit vague in terms of how to install tubes and basically says line them up and push down gently until seated. I felt I need to use a fair amount of pressure to get them in, not quite brute force but definitely on the firmer side of gentle, and stopped as soon as the tubes felt secure and weren't prone to wobble or popping out. Looking through the vent on the right side of the amp I can see a visible gap between the porcelain holder and the bottom of the tube, with approx. 4-5mm of the metal pins still visible. I'm assuming this is how they're meant to sit and I don't need to push down any further?
Thanks in advance and I really do appreciate all the help you've given me
Edited by jellofund - 4/20/13 at 2:37am