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Thread: 5881 tube retainers

  1. #1
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    5881 tube retainers

    I built an amp that has a pair of Philips 6L6WGB power tubes. The standard bear trap retainers are too large for the tube bases. Do all 5881 tubes have a smaller diameter tube base than the 6L6GC tubes, or is this a peculiarity of the Philips tube? Is there a bear trap retainer available that fits the smaller Philips tube base?

  2. #2
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    If by smaller,you are refering to the "wafer"type base,I dont know of a base type retainer that will work with that.But if you simply mean a smaller diameter base,you can just squeeze the half rings on each side of the retainer closer together with no tube in the socket,it will retain this tighter fit and then hold the tube when you install it.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Stokes. You're right about squeezing the bear trap together - that was the ticket. I took some measurments of the various tube bases and found the 5881 was only a little bit smaller, less than 1/16 inch. The bear traps on this particular amp are thinner steel than on my other amps, so they don't grip as hard. I probably just bent them open when I was removing tubes, and they lost their grip. On my other amp with standard bear traps (thicker steel), I need to be Charles Atlas to remove the tubes.

  4. #4
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    I find it easiest to bend the "trap" open with one hand while removing the tube with the other,less scraping on the tube base.Just re-size the trap before inserting the tube again.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokes View Post
    I find it easiest to bend the "trap" open with one hand while removing the tube with the other,less scraping on the tube base.Just re-size the trap before inserting the tube again.
    Yes, that's what I do too. Although, I never had to re-size the trap before on the heavy duty versions.

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