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FDP Forum / Amp Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Tube retainers/clamps

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Mar 15th, 2019 11:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm guessing this is the correct term for them....the power tube retainers won't open up enough to allow my RCA 6l6's to insert and secure...but my Tung sol 5881's do..I'm guessing because the base is slightly smaller..

any thoughts on how to correct?...I doubt I'll spend too much time on it and send it out for a good thorough servicing, but I'm curious as to the fix.

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 15th, 2019 11:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

If you're referring to the 'bear trap' retainer (link), the thing to do is to use needle-nose pliers to change the orientation of the spring jaws, as well as the little teeth (if equipped) to grip the tube's base.

It usually takes just a little bending to achieve success.

Bear traps on a Marshall chassis

willie

Too Near Atlanta GA

Amp Tech Emeritus
Mar 15th, 2019 11:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

..are you referring to the "bear trap" type retainers? They can be hard to disengage sometimes but usually with equal downward pressure to both sides while gently pulling up on the tube, they will let go and come out. Sometimes you have to very slightly rock the tube from side to side...taking GREAT care not to break the plastic tube pin index (Keyway) that is inserted in the socket.

willie

willie

Too Near Atlanta GA

Amp Tech Emeritus
Mar 15th, 2019 11:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

Whoa...Peegoo beat me to it... :)

w

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Mar 15th, 2019 11:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

bear trap is an excellent term for them...;-0.....thanks for the tip..

I can't find a link to show what mine look like...they have a small row of teeth in the middle...

I also found these..but I still might run into the same issue

tube socket saver

willie

Too Near Atlanta GA

Amp Tech Emeritus
Mar 15th, 2019 11:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yep, you have bear traps and they are quite common and should release your 6L6GC tubes with some pressure and perhaps readjustment of the clamps.

Those socket savers have some good use purposes, but I would not use them in a tube amp as the tubes are apt to fall out or become "cockeyed" in the socket which is a bad thing. :) We use them in tube testers to keep from wearing out the sockets from so many insertions and removals.

willie

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Mar 15th, 2019 11:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

Ok...posted a pic...I tried to carefully bend them to allow tube to fit but still not enough room...even if there were no teeth it looks to be too small.

pic

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Mar 15th, 2019 11:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

..and.... is there any way to replace the original clamps without replacing the socket?...I'll need one for the rectifier anyway..

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Mar 15th, 2019 11:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

got to run out for a bit....thanks to the both of you for the help...

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 15th, 2019 11:52 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yes, the same pair of screws that hold the tube socket in place also hold the retainer clips in place.

Some amps (certain Peaveys come to mind) have the tube sockets riveted on the chassis, and some amps have the sockets simply soldered to a PC board with no way of attaching a tube retainer to the socket.

WARNING: if you do decide to pop open the chassis and remove the socket screws, discharge the filter caps before doing anything else. You might have big DC voltage at the socket connections. Always discharge the power supply filter caps and then use a meter to check for any residual voltage before proceeding.


Willie, please accept my apologies :O)

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 15th, 2019 12:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

Ohhh, now I understand.

Yeah, those are the flat ones, and they close up too soon to be of any help with larger tube bases. The one in my linked pic is three times as tall and opens up larger.

But you have other issues: yours are riveted in place. You can remove that type of metal rivet by carefully collapsing the rolled end into itself with a small plier and pushing the rivet out.

Next, get some small 6-32 or 8-32 machine screws and nuts, and use them to reinstall the new bear traps and re-secure the sockets to the steel chassis. The screws go from 'outside to inside' the chassis, meaning the nuts go on the backs of the sockets. Use blue Loctite on the nuts.

Sponsor AES has these for octal tubes, in 1.5" center-to-center:

Measure your mounting hole's separation before ordering!

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Mar 15th, 2019 12:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

"WARNING: if you do decide to pop open the chassis and remove the socket screws, discharge the filter caps before doing anything else. You might have big DC voltage at the socket connections. Always discharge the power supply filter caps and then use a meter to check for any residual voltage before proceeding."

oh...you don't have to worry about me doing that...I know my limitations...;-0...

I'm going to farm this job out to someone who's done it before....there are other issues I want looked at as well......

but I appreciate your concern bro!!



willie

Too Near Atlanta GA

Amp Tech Emeritus
Mar 15th, 2019 03:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

What amp model/brand are these riveted retainers in? Peegoo is on the money about how to remove them...or you can drill them out too if you are careful. I actually prefer the old Ampeg spring type retainers, though there are many that despise them. Different strokes...

w

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Mar 15th, 2019 03:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

willie...
The amp is a 1960 Gibson Ga-77 Vanguard.....since I've never done something like this I wouldn't want to practice on a nice vintage amp...

would you be interested if I decide to go that route?..

light is on


willie

Too Near Atlanta GA

Amp Tech Emeritus
Mar 16th, 2019 12:23 PM   Edit   Profile  

Sure...would be my honor.

w

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Mar 16th, 2019 01:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well I couldn't stand it so I fixed it this afternoon with the help of a friend.....drained caps, removed the clamps altogether...used a Dremel too grind off the ends of the rivets and just pushed them back through, reattached them per Peegoo's suggestions...re tensioned and cleaned the sockets and the tubes secure nicely...

the advice and support from this place is easily worth another star!

thanks again gentlemen

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 16th, 2019 04:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

Shame on you for taking food out of the mouths of Willie's infant children :O)

I think it's very cool that you summoned the intestinal fortitude to crack this nut. There is always so much more to learn. The day you quit learning...may as well get out the shovel.

Outstanding.

willie

Too Near Atlanta GA

Amp Tech Emeritus
Mar 16th, 2019 07:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

LOL...

w

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Mar 16th, 2019 09:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

oh I'm sure willie's not starving..;-0...but his email to me and his willingness to take on the project won me over..

actually it wasn't difficult... I was just being a lazy old fart...but my friend shamed me into it!

I did keep the clamps I removed...because sooner or later the stuff us guitar heads have will be owned by someone else down the line and they may want it...

ever think about what this stuff will be worth in 50 years...or even longer?

FDP Forum / Amp Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Tube retainers/clamps




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