Dangers of tubes?
Jul 1, 2008 at 8:31 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 27

SmallWalrus

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I'm asking this due to a few other posts I've read on this forums where the posters experiences cases where the tubes start glowing near the end of its life.

Does that happen regularly? How do you know if your tube is dying with a tube tester? Is it a good idea to routinely throw your tubes away just to be "sure" it won't blow your amp up?
 
Jul 1, 2008 at 8:46 PM Post #2 of 27

Uncle Erik

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The biggest risk is tube accumulation. Once you get hooked, more and more show up. I don't understand it.

Fortunately, they don't fail that often. For gear I use regularly, I'll test the tubes every few months. Anything borderline gets replaced.
 
Jul 1, 2008 at 9:59 PM Post #3 of 27

jcx

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burns
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Jul 1, 2008 at 10:23 PM Post #5 of 27

malldian

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Considering I have used tubes for all of like three weeks the only danger I have encountered is not really a danger - they get kind of hot.
 
Jul 1, 2008 at 10:33 PM Post #6 of 27

Penchum

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Rumors, speculation, old wives tale, fairy tales or poor science fiction maybe.
I've never seen, or heard of, a tube blowing up in a tube headphone amp. Tubes that "go bad" usually stop working or sound like crap at the end of their life, so you replace them.

Any amp has the potential to start a fire or other catastrophe, but you are more likely to have a shoddy custom power cable (non U/L approved) cause you a catastrophe (besides your wallet).
smily_headphones1.gif


Just when you think you've seen it all, the BS alarm goes off again!
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Jul 1, 2008 at 11:08 PM Post #8 of 27

jp11801

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SmallWalrus /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Ahh... anyway what will be the worst thing that can happen when a tube starts glowing and no one is around to switch it off?

Will it burst and send broken glass all over the place?



no this is just silly, tubes were used in almost ALL electronics prior to the advent of solid state. People from the 1920s to the 1960s did not have these issues what makes you think modern tube gear would be different?
 
Jul 1, 2008 at 11:45 PM Post #9 of 27

braillediver

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I think the tubes that turn cherry red, melt the glass envelope and catastrophically fail are high power output tubes. Not the small signal tubes used in headphone amps.

I’d think the transformers are more likely to fail.

I leave my amps on all day when I’m around. If I leave for any length of time I turn them off.

Cooking is more dangerous and causes more fires than tube amps and most people aren’t afraid of cooking diner.


Mitch
 
Jul 2, 2008 at 12:18 AM Post #10 of 27

pataburd

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Tubes have either fail outright, or gotten very noisy and microphonic, IMHE. At that point I pitch them (not without a little reluctance--they're so nice just to look at and remember all the nice music they helped generate in their lifetime).

Like Uncle Erik, I think the biggest danger is accumulating too many. : )
 
Jul 2, 2008 at 12:38 AM Post #11 of 27

Uncle Erik

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Er, tubes do fail and take stuff with them. I got into hi-fi through working on old tube radios. Yeah, there were failures and associated problems in years past. A lot of that was from old paper/wax capacitors, but tubes are not infallible. Not old wives' tales, I've seen them myself.
 
Jul 2, 2008 at 11:02 AM Post #12 of 27

Penchum

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Er, tubes do fail and take stuff with them. I got into hi-fi through working on old tube radios. Yeah, there were failures and associated problems in years past. A lot of that was from old paper/wax capacitors, but tubes are not infallible. Not old wives' tales, I've seen them myself.


Tubes in old radios do fail and take stuff with them. Nothing like this happens with new tube headphone amps today. If it did, it would be a MAJOR topic here at HeadFi, and we all know it. It just isn't probable that a tube will explode or melt down in one of today's modern tube headphone amps.

No one should be afraid of new tube headphone amps.
 
Jul 2, 2008 at 11:45 AM Post #13 of 27

nor_spoon

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The danger could be placing flammable objects nearby tubeamps with glowing tubes in the open. I am always around when my amp is on.
 
Jul 2, 2008 at 12:46 PM Post #14 of 27

Penchum

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nor_spoon /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The danger could be placing flammable objects nearby tubeamps with glowing tubes in the open. I am always around when my amp is on.


I only run mine while I'm here too. I would keep the sheer curtains off of the glowing tubes and that kind of thing for sure.
smily_headphones1.gif
I'd keep little fingers out of reach and make sure the amp has plenty of area around it to enhance it's cooling. Mostly the common sense things you normally do with heat producing items.
 
Jul 2, 2008 at 1:48 PM Post #15 of 27

manofmathematics

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Go ahead, start rolling tubes. Your friends have warned you, but you don't care. The dangers are real. Head-Fi "crack" (aka Tubes) will drain your wallet as quick as anything else.

But it sure is fun!

Oh yeah, by the way, tubes can fail, and fail hard sometimes. Sitting in my dad's listening room on day and jumped due to the nice loud noise while dodging the big chunk of glass that flew at me.

It it goes, get that amp off ASAP, but don't be surprised if it goes along with the tube. Just the nature of the territory.
 

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