#1
Someone explain to me the purpose/benefit of gold pin tubes. are they worth the extra dough? ive heard of some people just putting one of them in their gear... why just one? what slot? im looking at 12ax7's with them... probably a jj or tung sol.
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#6
Quote by Roc8995
Gold is shiny...

i saw you were the latest poster and was expecting an in-depth explanation...
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#7
Quote by Roc8995
Gold is shiny...

+1

I've known at least 5 guys that purposely went with the gold pins, and not one of them has said there was any noticable difference compared to the normal ones.
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#8
Quote by UnsignedRecords
i saw you were the latest poster and was expecting an in-depth explanation...

OK- here you go:
Gold is a good conductor. Keep in mind that the coating on the tube pins is probably just a few microns thick. There's nothing wrong with that, but the benefit is probably not much-especially when you consider that the tube socket contacts and every other bit of wire going to the tubes from the power supply is copper.
It's possible that tubes which test better are given gold pins, but there isn't a whole lot of testing that goes on at the factory, so if you get your tubes from a dealer that tests their tubes well (dougstubes, tubedepot, KCA) the quality will probably be similar anyway.
So, back to my original point-
Gold is shiny.
#9
As it has been said Gold is a good conductor and has a much lower resistance than the metals that are used as pins in regular tubes. As far as i can understand there will be no precievable difference in tone because changing short lengths to gold will not have much of an impact on the overall resistance of different parts of the tubes. Its all a gimmick for money I think. Although i do believe that some tube manufactures use solid gold pins instead of coatings. If gold was such a better conductor and the price was justifiable then our houses would have gold wires, and as you can see they don't.
#10
Quote by Roc8995
OK- here you go:
Gold is a good conductor. Keep in mind that the coating on the tube pins is probably just a few microns thick. There's nothing wrong with that, but the benefit is probably not much-especially when you consider that the tube socket contacts and every other bit of wire going to the tubes from the power supply is copper.
It's possible that tubes which test better are given gold pins, but there isn't a whole lot of testing that goes on at the factory, so if you get your tubes from a dealer that tests their tubes well (dougstubes, tubedepot, KCA) the quality will probably be similar anyway.
So, back to my original point-
Gold is shiny.

ahh i see. gold is shiny...
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#11
I'm also pretty sure that gold doesn't erode as much as other metals. So you wont get any rust or something similar. That said, when was the last time you saw rust on the tube pins? Never.

Not worth it. Unless, of course, your like me and like taking out the tubes and looking at the shiny pins.
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#13
Unless your a real tone freak nah. But we have tested gold pins to common pins and yes their is a discernable difference but not enough to justify.
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#14
Bah, maybe marketing scam?
I dunno, I just stick to plain old boring normal pins.
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#15
Quote by modernp
Unless your a real tone freak nah. But we have tested gold pins to common pins and yes their is a discernable difference but not enough to justify.

so these were tested to have the same gain ratings and were the same brand, and there was an actual audible difference? That's interesting, I think that's the first time I've heard that from someone that doesn't sell them. What kind of discernible difference?
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#16
from what i understand, copper or silver actually conducts electricity better than gold does. But gold is less corrosive than either. So in long long run gold might pay off, but you won't necessarily get a better sound from it
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#17
Its just slick marketing. If the rest of the amp is full of copper wires and regular solder than the little bit of gold on the pins of a tube arent going to have much effect. For resistance to corrosion gold is hard to beat. But there are many vintage tube amps that dont have a huge problem with tube pin corrosion. Its a solution to a problem nobody had. And a way to sell more gold. Somebody asked how much they can get for the gold on the pins at a pawn shop. It would take a whole pile of tubes and a ton of effort to get it off and melted down. That ever so thin layer adds up to very little actual gold.
#19
Quote by Erock503
so these were tested to have the same gain ratings and were the same brand, and there was an actual audible difference? That's interesting, I think that's the first time I've heard that from someone that doesn't sell them. What kind of discernible difference?

These were matched tubes with different pins bought for our amps in the studio.WE have numerous tube configurations for our amps because sometimes different musicians specify different tubes. That being said the gold pins have a flatter mid than regulars.On the clean side it is more chimier especially with single coils.Pleasing to my ear I don't know,but there is a difference.
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#20
It doesn't corrode. That's that only advantage over nickel plating. On the other hand, gold is very soft, so you'll wear through the plating quickly, and expose the easily corroded copper.