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Thread: Tube Rattle

  1. #1
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    Tube Rattle

    Guys,
    I have a question regarding the mechanical sounds a tube makes....meaning when you hold the tube in your hand and tap the bottle...it rattles.. What affect does this have on the operation of the tube?

    Case in point..
    Working on a buddies amp to do some studio work, he is complaining about all of the non-amp related sounds that his amp makes..I begin to go through the amp and replace grommets, move componets so they don't rattle against each other (or the tag board)...ect

    I find that the Sovtek 5Y3 makes noise when tapping it..

    I proceed to go through my tube collection looking for tubes that do not make any noise "mechanically". I find one (GE 5Y3) and install it...The amp sounds great.

    How does "mechanical" rattle affect the performance of the tube?

  2. #2
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    The rectifier is not in the signal chain,I dont see how the "mechanical" rattle from a rectifier would appear at the speaker.Power tubes will exhibit this,but I've never heard of a rectifier doing it.

  3. #3
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    Hi,
    it's true that the rectifier is not in the signal chain, and, though I've encountered some rattling preamp tubes, I' ve never witnessed a rattling rectifier tube; OTOH I think that, if the rectifier's electrodes are free to move due to mechanical damage the change of relationship between them could affect the +B voltage, or make the noise enter the signal path through the plates' circuits, and ( especially with a less-than-perfect filtering ) this could result in a sort of "modulation" of the signal to be amplified.
    Best regards
    Bob

  4. #4
    Senior Member chipaudette's Avatar
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    The rectifier tube in my (new) Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue rattled quite a bit after a few months. It really annoyed me. So, I replaced it. That made it better.

    Of course, now my amp rattles/buzzes in different ways. I really hate these "other" types of noises coming from the amp. They're very distracting.

    The only way to not notice them is to TURN IT UP!!!

    Chip

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    Whoosh Rattle

    Quote Originally Posted by voxrules! View Post
    Hi,
    it's true that the rectifier is not in the signal chain, and, though I've encountered some rattling preamp tubes, I' ve never witnessed a rattling rectifier tube; OTOH I think that, if the rectifier's electrodes are free to move due to mechanical damage the change of relationship between them could affect the +B voltage, or make the noise enter the signal path through the plates' circuits, and ( especially with a less-than-perfect filtering ) this could result in a sort of "modulation" of the signal to be amplified.
    Best regards
    Bob

    The sound I was getting, that I attributed to the rectifier, was a higher frequency whoosh/rattle...it was hard to distinquish in the beginning, but as I elliminated other amp noise it became clearer. The interesting thing is that this was a brand new Sovtek 5Y3...not an ole beater..

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    Jammin' Chip

    Quote Originally Posted by chipaudette View Post
    The rectifier tube in my (new) Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue rattled quite a bit after a few months. It really annoyed me. So, I replaced it. That made it better.

    Of course, now my amp rattles/buzzes in different ways. I really hate these "other" types of noises coming from the amp. They're very distracting.

    The only way to not notice them is to TURN IT UP!!!

    Chip
    The art in amplifiers really begins when you try to stick them in front of a Neumann U87!

    You must elliminate all sounds, that are not intended....thus the search began to understand mechanical rattles in tubes..

    For other guys I jam with, they just want to know if it can handle an open E when totally dimed out....I'm down though, I like to rock out in all kinds of ways...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingCameron View Post
    The sound I was getting, that I attributed to the rectifier, was a higher frequency whoosh/rattle...it was hard to distinquish in the beginning, but as I elliminated other amp noise it became clearer. The interesting thing is that this was a brand new Sovtek 5Y3...not an ole beater..
    Probably more related to the fluctuating B+ as Bob pointed out.I find the "ole beaters" to be much better than the Sovtek 5Y3's.The old stock rectifiers are much sturdier than these current production ones.A good example is the Mesa Lonestar,they are known to eat these current production 5Y3's,but put in a good RCA or GE and no problems.

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    +1 on what stokes said,
    we've been forced to talk about this over and over again, as current production tubes unfortunately seem not to be on par with the quality of tubes from the "good ol' times". In your case, as already stated, the rectifier was probably "modulating" the signal through the +B rail, so....throw in a NOS one and forget about the issue.
    Regards
    Bob

  9. #9
    Gaz
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    My brand new Sovtek 5Y3 in my 6W amp rattles as well, but only when I shake it I put in a JAN 5Y3, but not because it doesn't rattle like the sovtek, but because it makes my amp sounds better running at less than 'hulked-out' Russian 5Y3 power.

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    NOS rattles

    Just keeping it real....
    Even NOS tubes can have rattle. Trust me, I went through my collection and culled many. It's not just a Russian tube thing. Though I agree; they are mostly crap. The take home point here is that tube rattle is bad, regardless of old or new tube design.

  11. #11
    Gaz
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    yeah, the Russian stuff isn't bad, it was actually too powerful in my case. The rattle wasn't really an issue, but the high plate voltage was...

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