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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:37 pm 
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If tube "x" is $35, is it worth an extra $5 for the same tube, but in gold pin? What would be the theoretical advantage? Better conductor? Other?
Experiences?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:51 pm 
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If the tube socket is also gold-plated with then it is worth getting a tube with gold pins for that extra $5 but if not, then you have dissimilar metals making electrical contact and that is reliability issue. It's called Galvanic corrosion and is not a good thing.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:15 pm 
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If it'll make you feel better for throwing a fin out the window ... go for it. Otherwise, you won't hear a difference.

The electrical engineers at RCA, etc had a pretty good idea of what they were doing and dissimilar materials wasn't an issue unless for instance the tube socket had aluminum sockets (which I've never seen) and the tube had copper pins. Even then, under normal use the tube would fatigue long before a galvanic reaction would be an issue.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:16 pm 
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True, for a tube that might be in there for years, it might start to sound worse. Or possibly silver, a better conductor but will oxidise unlike gold. Good point, a connection will only be as good as the lesser conductor anyway.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:23 pm 
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I've yet to come across an identical tube - one with gold pins and one with not. which tube are we talking about?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:24 pm 
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The tubes such as EH which offer both gold and standard pins have an added complication to consider: the gold is added on top of the standard pins, increasing the diameter slightly. The larger pin may make better contact with the tube socket, but it will also potentially stretch the metal receptacles in the socket compromising the connection in the future, particularly with standard pins.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:38 pm 
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Tom_r wrote:
The electrical engineers at RCA, etc had a pretty good idea of what they were doing and dissimilar materials wasn't an issue unless for instance the tube socket had aluminum sockets (which I've never seen) and the tube had copper pins. Even then, under normal use the tube would fatigue long before a galvanic reaction would be an issue.


Is that a fact?

I've worked with mass produced consumer electronics and Galvanic corrosion was a REAL issue. The other electronics engineer thought it was a good idea to mix gold and nickel contacts but hundreds if not thousands of customer complaints proved that it was an issue. Soon after I pointed the obvious, mechanical changes were made, problem fixed.

PCs during the SIMM socket days have exactly the same problem of mixing gold and nickel contacts, memory errors was the end result.


Last edited by ej251awd on Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:33 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:41 pm 
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rustee wrote:
True, for a tube that might be in there for years, it might start to sound worse. Or possibly silver, a better conductor but will oxidise unlike gold. Good point, a connection will only be as good as the lesser conductor anyway.


I believe that silver oxide is still as conductive as pure silver. Tarnish, which is silver sulfide is another story however

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:42 pm 
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ej251awd wrote:
Tom_r wrote:
The electrical engineers at RCA, etc had a pretty good idea of what they were doing and dissimilar materials wasn't an issue unless for instance the tube socket had aluminum sockets (which I've never seen) and the tube had copper pins. Even then, under normal use the tube would fatigue long before a galvanic reaction would be an issue.


Is that a fact?

I've worked with mass produced consumer electronics and Galvanic corrosion was a REAL issue. The other electronics engineer thought it was a good idea to mix gold and tin contacts but hundreds if not thousands of customer complaints proved that it was an issue. Soon after I pointed the obvious, mechanical changes were made, problem fixed.

PCs during the SIMM socket days have exactly the same problem of mixing gold and tin contacts, memory errors was the end result.


Quite true, but we're talking vacuum tubes not solid state. What kind of voltages and contact areas were you dealing with?

I worked in high end commercial construction for one of the worlds premier manufacturers of stainless steel, brass, bronze, copper, and aluminum entrances. Dissimilar material was always an issue. When a client spends millions, product failure due to galvanic reaction is not an option.There were methods to separate/isolate the materials but that wouldn't work in electronics.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:54 pm 
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Tom_r wrote:
Quite true, but we're talking vacuum tubes not solid state. What kind of voltages and contact areas were you dealing with?

I worked in high end commercial construction for one of the worlds premier manufacturers of stainless steel, brass, bronze, copper, and aluminum entrances. Dissimilar material was always an issue. When a client spends millions, product failure due to galvanic reaction is not an option.There were methods to separate/isolate the materials but that wouldn't work in electronics.


Low voltage on gold and nickel/tin contacts on solid state applications.

A vacuum tube's grid is also low voltage BTW.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:01 pm 
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ej251awd wrote:
If the tube socket is also gold-plated with then it is worth getting a tube with gold pins for that extra $5 but if not, then you have dissimilar metals making electrical contact and that is reliability issue. It's called Galvanic corrosion and is not a good thing.


I agree disimilar metals can be a caution, but not here.
This is a bit of a stretch in my opinion. I sell products in applications where chlorine, potash, etc are present. Aluminum and stainless steel are poor in most instances, then add tough atmosphere or cruddy dust, its worse.
Unless you have a pool, hot tub by the equipment, its not an issue in your scenario.

Ever notice the rca jacks for phono are sometimes or often gold plated, and the rest (Cd, Aux) are not?
Low signal conductivity is the reason for the gold, and then some phono cables are or are not. Yet it works fine, and unless untouched for decades are unlikely corroded. Provisio being ocean side states like Florida where sea air is present. ( don't buy vintage from from some places)...

Back to the tubes... 1cent of gold plate for $5.00 is a nice profit adder. If your sockets are good quality, hold tight, its hard to convince me its worth it.
billions of tubes are steel or nickle plated or less...in sockets of unknown metals. It's your 5 bucks.
(I have wasted more than 5.00 in Audio... But on more wide reaching theories.)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:29 pm 
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http://www.engineersedge.com/galvanic_capatability.htm


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:21 pm 
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Tom_r wrote:
If it'll make you feel better for throwing a fin out the window ... go for it.

It won't. That's why I'm asking.

electrafixion wrote:
The tubes such as EH which offer both gold and standard pins have an added complication to consider: the gold is added on top of the standard pins, increasing the diameter slightly.

The tubes I'm looking at are indeed EH. I had never considered this.
Sasklite wrote:

ej251awd wrote:
If the tube socket is also gold-plated with then it is worth getting a tube with gold pins for that extra $5

The piece in question is an SFL-2 preamp. I can't tell by looking and google turned up nothing.

I appreciate the input from everyone. My feeling is not to drop the extra $5 x 4 tubes.
Thanks!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:58 pm 
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ah, sfl-2... 4 tubes being replaced are the front 4 that are not in the signal path I assume?

gold pin tubes have been around since what? the 60's? , 50's?? not sure it's been a cash grab since then.

if memory serves me, gold is an inert metal so no oxidation no rust, no tarnish and still has high thermal and electrical conductivity - thinkin the real reason behind it.

probably why its used in electronics.... and why some profit in recycling those discarded electronics.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:03 pm 
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BinkyTheCat wrote:
ah, sfl-2... 4 tubes being replaced are the front 4 that are not in the signal path I assume?

gold pin tubes have been around since what? the 60's? , 50's?? not sure it's been a cash grab since then.

if memory serves me, gold is an inert metal so no oxidation no rust, no tarnish and still has high thermal and electrical conductivity - thinkin the real reason behind it.

probably why its used in electronics.... and why some profit in recycling those discarded electronics.


Actually, replacing all 8 tubes, as well as the 4 (same type) in my SFS-80. My thought, as posted in another thread, is to go with 3 quads, so i can move them around a bit, both within the pre and between the pre and the amp.
It just happens that one of the quads i'm looking at (EH), have both options...

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