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Maybe a dumb question but why are there not gold pinned power tubes?
Without music what is there?
Big difference there. The ONLY possible advantage gold coated can offer on tube pins, RCA cables, or any other electrical connection is corrosion resistance. Personally I would rather remove my tubes yearly to clean and treat all pins and sockets than pay extra for this gold plated gimmick.
Solid gold pins may be another matter, but I would rather have silver or copper. They are better conductors than gold anyway.
I remember ads for gold-pinned small signal tubes in the '60s. From what I remember, no technical benefit was ever claimed, it was just a way of denoting the excellence of the tubes. Undoubtedly, larger tubes with larger pins would simply require too much gold to be economically feasible for this treatment.
Buy Chinese. Bury freedom.
My thought is gold plating was derived from specific civilian, military and nuclear power specification. Technology advanced more slowly in these areas as a tried and true method was preferred over the latest and greatest. Ballistic (nuclear) missiles were a critical component in cold war defense and power display yet caution was paramount in the implementation as mistakes and faults were to be avoided in a spare no expense mind set.
The same with nuclear power in it's infancy and through the golden age such as it was. I came into the industry in the mid 80s and be aware that anything built then was designed in the 70s. Systems deemed critical used gold plated connectors on the wiring. We found bags of them left behind by the reactor provider. Although long decommissioned when I was able to tour it Peach Bottom I, the first commercial nuclear reactor had racks of vacuum tube sockets in the control panels.
As technology moved on and the need for the vacuum tube stock expired they were sold off as surplus and the mythology grew from there.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
It sucks to get old. It really sucks to get old and bitter.
***Systems deemed critical used gold plated connectors on the wiring.***
Of course. But both parts were gold plated.
It's been know for decades, that a gold-tin pair deteriorates faster, than tin-tin.
The differing metal for electrical connections are a not as good a conductor as anything that is solid. Back in the 1970's when aluminum wiring was getting a bad name due to house fires it was determined that it was not the actual wiring at fault, but the connections. Aluminum wiring affixed to things like outlets that were designed for copper wiring caused problems due to the differing conductors. I will stick with solid conductors myself.
I have some Realistic branded (Japanese made) power and rectifier tubes that have gilded pins.
My guess is that it was mainly a marketing ploy by Radio Shack.
Good question. I don't know for sure, but maybe the logic was that you'd change power tubes more frequently than small signal tubes. It was originally done for corrosion prevention, so tubes that don't get changed often would be where gold is used.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Gold is only good when both sides of the connection are gold, otherwise you have accelerated corrosion due to dissimilar metals.
Well stated...galvanic corrosion.
Larger pins for the 300B, and such, whether hollow or solid are often 'barrel' plated - where they are tumbled and rotated in the plating solution, like a coffee roaster. So the entire part is plated. Since the amount of gold on each part is so thin, it's cheaper than having machinery/fixtures to just plate one side.
Good point, Vic.
So, a marketing gimmick then?
I mean they do look cool.
I think gold pins on "signal" tubes started back in the day for military/industrial needs. So the manufacturing processes are still available/common vs output tubes.
My 2 cents!
"I know just enough to get into trouble. But not enough to get out of it."
A number of current manufacture 300B tubes have gold pins.
much more surface to cover = too much gold neccessary then is my thought.
but - modern psvane KT88 Mk II seem to have gold coated pins!
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