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Seeking sockets for cost no object build.

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by trainbuftony, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. trainbuftony

    trainbuftony Electron Herder Subscriber

    I recently came into a pair of Acrosound Ultralinear 2 amplifiers. I got a great deal on the first one and paid the same price for the second one. Looking over the circuit and the literature indicates that this amp is one to buy the best parts available for, and rebuild. I have ordered some really nice passive components and I bought a set of spare circuit boards from Brice. Thanks Brice. The boards are very well done and I'm using only premium components. Metal film resistors and nice capacitors are available from a variety of sources, and I don't have trouble finding and selecting good components. Where I run into a wall is with the tube sockets. I just haven't found anything that appears to be the same or better quality than the boards and passive components I'm using. I need 6 octal sockets, and 4 noval 9 pin pcb mount sockets to complete the amp. Does anyone have a source for super high quality sockets that they can share? The kicker is that they need to mount to a PCB. I'm open to hearing everyone's input, however I have already looked at a variety of Chinese made ceramic and plastic sockets, and nothing has jumped out at me as being really well made. Cost is no object here, if I end up spending $50 each to have the best sockets available on earth, that is fine, I'm ok with it. Please throw me a bone here....
     

     

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  2. kward

    kward AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,460
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    Regardless of cost I think Belton sockets are some of the best made in the world. They also happen to work for folks on a budget. They make them in chassis mount and PCB mount in both 8 pin and 9 pin varieties. They are made with a glass fiber material and have perhaps the best pin grip I've ever seen on a tube socket.
     
  3. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    I'd start with a rec from @Brice as he spun up the boards. He used something as the design center for sockets, what was it? The PCB through-hole does not leave you much leeway for fitting socket pins larger than specified. That may eliminate most of the Japanese and Chinese HQ ones unfortunately, those pins are huge.
     
    trainbuftony likes this.
  4. trainbuftony

    trainbuftony Electron Herder Subscriber

    I asked Brice first. The supplier he used was Angela instruments and they no longer list that socket as far as I can tell.
     
  5. kward

    kward AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,460
    Location:
    Utah
    Right...I doubt the Beltons will work on an existing PCB with a socket outline and pin size already set.
     
  6. trainbuftony

    trainbuftony Electron Herder Subscriber

    Well they (the belton sockets) are cheap enough I could order them and decide not to use them if I don't like what I get. I want to hear what others have to say, and I'll maybe order a set of beltons after work today.
     

     

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  7. primosounds

    primosounds SE KT120 w/ 6J5G drivers. Subscriber

    Messages:
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    I have some old stock, usa made, but they are the plastic type. Good standard sockets. I don't do pcb, so i doubt if i will use them. PM if you are interested.
     
  8. Brice

    Brice AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,495
    Location:
    Hoboken NJ
    Hi guys,

    Yes, I looked at the Belton octal socket and like them, but because of their straight pins, that makes the pads very close to each other.
    Too close to my taste as I enforce a minimum of 2 mm clearance between traces.

    I am also surprised to see that no other manufacturer have products like this.

    Primo, after Tony buy you what he needs, if you have some left I am a buyer. Thanks
    Brice.
     
    Bill Ferris and trainbuftony like this.
  9. trainbuftony

    trainbuftony Electron Herder Subscriber

    The 9 pin sockets came out nice, thanks primo. Now I need to find the 6 matching octals... Any leads?
     
  10. primosounds

    primosounds SE KT120 w/ 6J5G drivers. Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,717
    Location:
    Terra, 21st century CE
    It seems like the Belton? is the go to for high quality currently available, although the company is in Korea. There is an outfit in the UK that sells lots of ex millitary surplus tube stuff. I found it..Google Billington Valves, and check out tube sockets. The exchange rate is favorable nowadays so prices are decent. UK stuff is usually excellent quality. If you do get those i would be interested to know how you like them.
     
  11. FlaCharlie

    FlaCharlie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    595
    Location:
    Gainesville, FL
    What?!! There's gotta be at least one boutique parts dealer out there selling sockets infused with magic pixie dust. Maybe just not in PCB mounts.

    I'd suggest that you just go with Belton, grind off any markings that might reveal their true heritage, and if anyone asks about them just make something up about how they were a special military spec design that the government paid $100 each for (in 1940s dollars!) but was discontinued because the ingredient that makes them special is now unobtainium. You would, of course, also have to explain that it also cost you some outrageous amount to have them converted from panel mount to PCB mount just for this project. It would probably also be best to put a little icing on the cake by stamping 'JAN 1942 Western Electric' on them somehow.

    One thing's for sure, your amp will sound amazing!
     
    John James likes this.

     

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  12. trainbuftony

    trainbuftony Electron Herder Subscriber

    Im in no hurry. I think i have devided to go woth the factory style sockets, im just waiting for someone to list sufficient quantity. I dont have any use for pixie dust. I just need a socket that fits the board and the tubes I'm using
     
  13. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Try Jim McShane,
    I've gotten various sockets from him over the years. Maybe he could hook you up .
     
  14. trainbuftony

    trainbuftony Electron Herder Subscriber

    So i had some time, and i pulled the cage and the tubes and found the number 139 on the factory socket, which looks betterand better the more i look at it. That number decoded on the EIA list is Cinch Manufacturing. So i tried another search and found them listed for sale new old surplus. I ordered 6 of them at $10 a piece plus postage
    TedSS was the website. No affiliation..
     
  15. trinhsman

    trinhsman AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Contact AK member Gordonw. He is a master on tube gear.
     
  16. primosounds

    primosounds SE KT120 w/ 6J5G drivers. Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Tony, did you check out Billington? You may find that UK made is better than US! Unless they were out , the price was only 5 quid, which is around 8 bucks. I bought some Loctal sockets for 7.50 pounds that were teflon with silver plated phosphor bronze contacts. Absolutely, brilliant!
     
    trainbuftony likes this.

     

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  17. trainbuftony

    trainbuftony Electron Herder Subscriber

    I checked out billington. Ill probably order something from them in the future. The 2 types of pcb mount octals which they list are the same chinese ones listed everywhere else. They have a 3rd type listed, but they dont include photos or dimensions of that style, which makes it difficult to take the plunge. I could inquire for more info
     
  18. primosounds

    primosounds SE KT120 w/ 6J5G drivers. Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,717
    Location:
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    Yeah, that is the ones i was referring to. No pics, unfortunate that is.
     
  19. nerdorama

    nerdorama AK member Subscriber

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  20. GordonW

    GordonW Speakerfixer Subscriber

    Messages:
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    That's what I've taken to using, in my "higher end" projects.

    The only ones I categorically will NOT use are the ceramic sockets. They are bad for transmitting mechanical noise to the tube, and are also rough on tube pins (any mis-alignment of the socket pins puts a lot of stress on the tube pins- which can, in worst case, actually crack glass-base (miniature) tubes! They don't sound good, and they might damage a tube- no thanks!
     
    drtool likes this.

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