| Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com |

Post new topic Dampers for tubes
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  Dampers for tubes
joe long


San Antonio, Texas
Post  Posted 22 Feb 2021 10:45 am    
Reply with quote

What's the best way to apply dampers to tubes?I have dampers for my Milkman but they seem to be a tight fit. I'm afraid of breaking the tubes.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Michael Butler

California, USA
Post  Posted 22 Feb 2021 12:02 pm    
Reply with quote

tubes. i use orings from autozone or pep boys.

play music!
please see my Snakeskin's Virtual Music Museum below.

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Jon Voth


Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 22 Feb 2021 6:45 pm    
Reply with quote

I got those & wondered the same if & when I need new tubes (& want to save the dampers).

I moved one a touch just to see if you can-I'd just go for it. He puts them on somehow. I would try a teeny bit of soapy water if I ever do it.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Bob Hoffnar

Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 23 Feb 2021 6:20 am    
Reply with quote

I take those dampers on and off the tubes in my Milkman. It’s not a problem.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website



Los Angeles
Post  Posted 23 Feb 2021 8:39 am    
Reply with quote

If you search back a month or two I started a topic on tube dampers, wondering if they worked, etc etc etc.

I ordered some of them from two different sources, for both pre and power tubes.
I kept meaning to post my findings and opinions about them, but now I'm finally getting around to it.

They look like they are made from the same source, but are sold by two different vendors. They might not be made in the same "factory", but they sure look like it.
I measured them and they are identical.
You can't tell one vendor from another.

Do they work for rattles, etc?
Well, it's hard to say.
They seem like they would, but it's possible that like with all things tubes/guitars/electronics/ etc, the problem *could* have fixed itself.

Would I recommend the ones that I bought from the vendors? Well, now we have the subject of this topic post.

No, probably not.
If I did, I would wave a red caution flag the size of your house about them. IMO, they could be EXTREMELY DANGEROUS for exactly the reason that started this: They fit on the tubes EXTREMELY TIGHT. This goes for both the pre and power tubes.
They are made from rubber that does not have a lot of stretch built in, if that makes any sense.
The center cutouts are not "round" vertically if that makes any sense. Therefore, they are not like an O-ring. This means that you need to slide them on, and can't "roll" them on, if that makes any sense.

I tried them first on a couple of 6L6 tubes. I feel lucky that I did not shatter a tube and run the glass through my hands. Think about what that could do to your playing future, slicing through nerves and muscles and tendons and such.

If for some reason I ever decided to remove them, I'd think seriously about removing the tubes and shattering the tubes with a hammer, as opposed to trying to peel/slide them off. They fit on THAT TIGHT.

I should say that I tried them with 3-4 different 6L6 tubes, and 3-4 12A** preamp tubes. They fit extremely tight on either.
I tried the power dampers for fit on a couple of 6V6 tubes as well. IMO these fit WAY better. There was not nearly the force required to put them on, since the 6V6 tubes are a smaller diameter.

Bob Hoffnar wrote: "I take those dampers on and off the tubes in my Milkman."
I'm not sure what is exactly meant by his statement.
However, I cannot imagine someone putting on these dampers while the tubes are installed in the amp.
That goes for the pre, or power, dampers.
For starters, you'd be putting a lot of force on the tube sockets by pushing on the tubes.

Since I got these I've found a bunch of O-rings at an online vendor that I think might go on much easier.
It's McMaster Carr. I tried Grainger but didn't find anything.
I have the part numbers and prices, but have not ordered them yet.
I keep meaning to order them as an experiment but haven't gotten around to it.

If someone has found some off the shelf and over the counter at an auto supply store or whatever, if you have it, please post where you bought them and the MANUFACTURER AND EXACT PART NUMBER.
I have scoured Kragen/AutoZone/Pep Boys/etc on line.
Nothing comes up immediately, and I'm not going to go through a bazillion searches on their web sites.

Once again, these seem like they would work for some tube rattle cases, but BE VERY CAREFUL.
View user's profile Send private message

Carl Gallagher


New York, USA
Post  Posted 23 Feb 2021 12:03 pm    
Reply with quote

All preamp tubes are microphonic to some degree.Even a brand new,seemingly quiet tube will respond when you tap on it.As they age this becomes worse and worse til it begins to make noise even when you dont tap on them.I have had an active repair shop going since the early 80's, been working with tube circuits since 1969 and have never had a problem tube that was fixed with these tube dampers, to me they are snake oil.They may work to a small degree with low volume but once you crank that amp the ringing will still be there.If a power tube becomes microphonic I would not even think about putting these things on it.If a power tube starts making noises just change it, a power tube failure can take out other costlier components.There is a "quick fix" for noisy tubes....new tubes.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Jack Hanson

San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 23 Feb 2021 2:22 pm    
Reply with quote

Even though I did just fall out of a turnip truck,

yesterday is the first time I had ever heard of these things. Am I fortunate that in over 50 years of playing electric instruments through tube amps that I've never experienced a need for 'em, or are they merely a solution looking for a problem?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Gabriel Edell

Hamilton, Ontario
Post  Posted 23 Feb 2021 4:56 pm    
Reply with quote

As others have said, dampers should be unnecessary. None of the classic Fenders and Marshalls had them. I guess I can see some of the crappier modern tubes being microphonic but the best way to deal with that is to get better quality tubes.
GFI S-10 P U, Moyo Volume, Fender Steel King, Fender 5F4 Super-Amp
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  
Please review our Forum Rules and Policies
Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction, and steel guitar accessories

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 S. Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Click Here to Send a Donation

Email SteelGuitarForum@gmail.com for technical support.

BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles for Band-in-a-Box
by Jim Baron