Tube Socket Savers, why?

So I am kind of new to Tube Amps and did use the archive and was wondering.

A. Why are folks using Socket Savers?

B. What brand is a good brand?

I am a firm believer in an ounce of prevention to give my equipment better performance and longevity. But please do tell me I need a $100 fuse LOL!



Unless you're pulling a tube in and  out constantly, and the tube socket is soldered directly to the board, there's isn't a need for them.

Repeated tube swaps stress the solder joint, thus possibly breaking the connection, leading to an intermittent problem  years from now.

You're spending too much time on Agon.

I have a tube preamp and the base of the socket is actually recessed into the chassis or casing. When one places a vacuum tube into the socket it sits down about 1/2 inch. This is fine for operation of the preamp, but if I wanted to try different tubes (like tube roll in new old stock tubes NOS) I would have to hold the glass of the tube, not the base that is partially hidden below the chassis, and lift it out by the glass. Rocking these old 40-50-60 year old tubes would probably detach the glue which holds the glass to the base. Not cool at all. A tube socket saver actually lifts the tubes higher in the socket by 1/2 inch and allows me to handle the tubes by the base, thus saving the integrity of the old tubes.

I must agree with @tablejockey. If you are just a component owner I would not consider them. We are constantly trying to make the fewest connections and most direct path for the electronic signal to preserve sound quality. I have owned tubed equipment for decades and never had a socket problem. I would not introduce something unnecessary.


On the other hand if you are like @2psyop it would be something to consider. Mostly for the grip he can get on ancient tubes.

I use socket savers to raise 2 of the 4 Linlai Global E 6SN7. This allows them to fit in a preamp that has too close spacing for such huge 6SN7s. Each tube is 2" in diameter.



Like Aldnorab, I've used them to raise tubes for fit.  I noticed that they fit so tight that it is hard to leave them installed and pull the tube out of them.  Struggling to get the tube out of the tube saver puts stress on the socket.  

If somone designs a quality socket saver that fits snugly into the socket and tubes can be removed more easily, that would make sense.

Here is where a socket saver is useful:  If you roll old tubes a lot and don't like to spend 10 minutes cleaning the corrosion off the pins with steel wool.  The corrosion on the pins is abrasive and will wear out your socket and cause poor connections.  your socket ends up cleaning the pins. 


And if you do decide to install socket savers, look at Tube Mongers.  The cheap varieties found on EBay and Amazon are poor quality.

If you can find NOS Pomona Electronics socket savers, they are the best but more expensive than Tube Mongers.

I use them in a tube tester but not my amplifier.

I use them on my vintage MC30s, since they were born in 1958.  I’d like to think they help wear and tear when swapping tubes. 

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