#1
I came across these on tubestore.com:

Duende Criatura Tube Rings


Are they worth it? what do they do for the tone of a tube amp?

thanks.
Pain is temporary. Stupid is forever. - Some really friggin' smart dead dude
#2
They do jack for the tone of an amp. I've tried three different brands (thought I didn't actually buy any of them) and they didn't ever affect the actual sound of my amps. What they do is neutralize microphonics. They prevent the tubes from making that clinking noise if you bump the amp and prevent the squeal you get from really microphonic tubes with distortion. So basically, if your tubes chime when you tap them, you should consider tube rings (but don't spend more than ten or fifteen dollars on them), but if they don't those things will not improve anything.
#3
But if your tubes chime when you tap them you should really be changing the tubes. Supposedly rings extend the life of the tubes - I'm not convinced. You'd be better off spending that extra money on better quality tubes that will both sound better and last far longer. You can still pick up NOS JAN Phillips 12AX7's for about $25 which isn't much more than some cruddy Sovteks. Phillips without rings >> modern valves with rings. A Phillips 12AX7 should last around 20 years so whichever way you look at it it's a better way to go.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#4
Granted, it's better to replace the tubes. The rings will not significantly extend tube lifetime--that's just marketing. The only situation I can think of where the rings are very beneficial is if a tube goes seriously microphonic right before or during a gig--the ring would keep it going until you could replace it. Or if you had some extremely rare tube, like a 6K11 in a Soldano Hot Mod, and needed time to find a replacement.
#5
Doesn't everybody take spare tubes to a gig? If not, why not? That's like not having a spare tyre for your car when going on a trip.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#6
I don't know about everybody. I bring spare tubes, but I imagine if you didn't--ah, screw it, the things are worthless.
#7
thanks UGers. I have some Sylvania's in my head already, so I'll just save my money and look for spare NOS tubes.
Pain is temporary. Stupid is forever. - Some really friggin' smart dead dude