Can you touch the tubes?

I was talking to someone at the tube store about replacing some KT 150 tubes and he said it was perfectly fine to touch the tubes.

I've always thought you're supposed to handle these things very carefully with white gloves or a microfiber cloth.

Handling them with my fingers makes it easier to pull them out , insert them more securely.

Does it really matter if my fingerprints get on the glass or should I clean them off with a microfiber cloth after I touch them?


I heard that licking the tubes will give you deeper sound stage, and better channel separation!

but you can only lick them counterclockwise

Ahhhh!!! A man of experience. Lick one tube and you're a tube licker for life. You and @tubebuffer must be related.


I don't believe that these audio tubes get anywhere near hot enough to degrade the glass envelope. I think this common belief is a holdover from high temp bulbs such as quartz- iodine light bulbs, Xenon flashtubes or old type M flashbulbs (anyone else out there old enough to remember flashbulbs?). Some of these bulbs get hot enough for the glass wrapper to glow. I still wipe my tubes down with an alcohol wipe anyway because I think it's a good habit with no basis in fact. Then I can feel good about myself when I watch these expensive things glow.