Herbies Audio Labs tube dampers.

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,295
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E. England
#1
Steve W's recent experience of these on his Pacific tubes has got me thinking. I run 70W/ch Nat Audio SE2SE monos using a quad of 1948 GE 211s. And my Nat Audio Utopia pre uses four 6N1P and two 6N6P driver tubes.

So, there are three ranges of Herbies dampers. The cheaper Ultrasonic SS and Rx, and the pricier titanium ring Hal-O IIIs. It's these latter Halos I'm likely to use on my big super hot 211s.

A few Qs.

First, can you "overdamp" a tube? And is there a risk of that w multiple dampers per tube?

Also, is it pure trial and error to see how well they work?
For instance, w my amps, I cannot install dampers near the socket, chassis top plate precludes this. But I have approx 6" of total tube height to play with. So, go for one, two or three Halos per 211?

My driver tubes are smaller and don't heat up as much. Still stick w Halos for these? Or go for the SS or Rx alternatives?

And most importantly, what am I hoping for/expecting to hear?
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#2
like you my biggest worry with these was overdamping

I can honestly say that with 3 rings per tube on the KR242's and 2 rings on the RK-KR 5U4G there was zero overdamping

I use a Hal-O lll on the 5U4g around the center of the tube

I use Ultrasonic SS on the 242's top bottom and base and the same on the base of the 5U4G
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#3
Marc

I started with one, then two and finally 3 (at the advice of LeifS)

BTW the biggest gain was placing these at the top of the KR242's

As for which kind to use, these were what Herbie advised
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,295
2,168
433
E. England
#4
Ok, I'll get around to emailing him.
I realise a lot of this is trial and error, so one could always start w one Hal-O III per 211 and add on in time. It's just I've had strong advice that I should go one or three per 211...but deffo not two. And just curious why.

It'll have to be Hal-O IIIs on the 211s because of heat output. But on smaller driver tubes, SS and Rx are now possible.
 

bazelio

Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2016
1,344
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California
#5
Yes you can easily overdamp tubes. But it's always going to be a matter of taste. I've never liked the effect of tube dampers, personally. Though every situation is different.
 
Likes: bonzo75

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#6
Yes you can easily overdamp tubes. But it's always going to be a matter of taste. I've never liked the effect of tube dampers, personally. Though every situation is different.
Well I’m here to say that 3 rings on my KR 242’s did not overdamp
 
Dec 4, 2019
27
11
3
#7
Well I’m here to say that 3 rings on my KR 242’s did not overdamp
Look at the size of that tube, no wonder you can use 3 dampers.
I found that one Herbie's SS on a small signal tube (12A_7) was beneficial, using 2 overdamped it. Bass was too tight with shorter decay.
YMMV.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
14,146
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London
#8
Yes you can easily overdamp tubes. But it's always going to be a matter of taste. I've never liked the effect of tube dampers, personally. Though every situation is different.
I agree with this, though yes, it can differ system to system
 

analyzer

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2016
162
45
60
Torino - Italy
#9
I have two dampers from Herbie's audio Lab for my 101d tube, used in a Coincident statement line stage.
The differences with/without is subtle, neverthless audible; with a more satisfying decay without dampers but it's a difficult choice if employs them or not.
Please consider that the 101d tube is enough prone to microphonics due to its structure.
I tried other products from Herbie's and I find always very very good; superb value for the price.
 

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