If you have been in this audio industry quite some time, then you might not be surprised to hear this name: Yamamoto. Yamamoto is well known for its Telfon tube socket. Although we can find other products manufactured by this brand.
To be honest, there are not much tube socket manufacturer in the world (I mean, “good” tube socket manufacturer). Off course you can always find “standard” tube socket (could be Ceramic base, Teflon, Bakelite, and other materials). The price also could vary, from less than US$ 10 a piece, to over US$ 10 to 20 a piece (usually for Teflon based).
Yamamoto holds its own class, as Japanese manufacturer with high quality construction. But the bad thing is, you have to spend more to grab his product 😉
Despite its quality, Yamamoto also quite genius to release some dual construction tube socket. One of them which suits my need is the UX-UF socket combination. I can save space to make my system able to use two type of rectifiers: B4/UF based rectifier (RGN, what else?) and UX based rectifier (like #80 or #83 Mercury Vapor type). Actually the original idea was to use 300B and PX25, but we can always have another use, right?
The bottom side of the pins.
This is the 5pins Rectifier tube socket. We can have the Octal one also, but this one is specified for Rectifier purpose.
The 9pins version is one of the most expensive line up from Yamamoto. According to some source, the construction is more complicated as this is the smallest tube socket with quite high count of pins (so they will charge you more). Also, the precision of the machine to build this socket is on the level of building watches.
Although this picture is quite big, but actually the real size is quite small. See the pins construction on the bottom of this 9pins socket? The detail and precision are there. Not quite sure if they really use a machine which uses to build watches, but definitely this kind of socket is not easy to be manufactured.
Last but not least, I also need P-Socket. But sadly, Yamamoto only has Ceramic based for this type. I think due to the complexity of the construction (and probably less market demand), makes the Teflon based for this socket is out of economic scale.
All of the Yamamoto tube socket pins are non-magnetic type. Based on the information from the Yamamoto itself, they don’t use Nickel during the construction of the pins. This will result a slightly less shiny gold plated finish, as Nickel is normally used to give shiny ‘expensive’ look. But magnetic things could degrade the sound – which I’ve been there on several ‘magnetic’ cable. So, I don’t like magnetic things on my signal chain 🙂