BLACK SABLE Cryogenically Treated Vacuum Tubes FAQ

Frequently Asked BLACK SABLE Questions:

1.) What does cryogenically treated mean?
2.) Why is the BLACK SABLE process better than other company’s cryogenically treated tubes?
3.) Why are BLACK SABLE – Cryogenic Tubes more expensive than other “Cryo” tubes?
4.) What sonic improvements will I notice with BLACK SABLE – Cryogenic Tubes?
5.) Can I use BLACK SABLE – Cryogenic Tubes in my guitar amp?
6.) How does the BLACK SABLE process increase the longevity of a tube?
7.) I have some tubes that I would like to be cryogenically treated. Can I send you these tubes?
8.) What is the BLACK SABLE process in detail?


What does cryogenically treated mean?

Cryogenic treatment is a process by which a product is cooled down to a temperature below -190 Fahrenheit / -123 Celsius. The BLACK SABLE process descends all the way down to -300 Fahrenheit / -184 Celsius.

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Why is the BLACK SABLE process better than other company’s cryogenically treated tubes?

The BLACK SABLE process is far more than putting tubes in a chamber and lowering the temperature. The BLACK SABLE process starts with tube selection. Only the best preamp, power and rectifier tubes are chosen to undergo this arduous process. All tubes undergo a 24 hour burn-in under load. The tubes are then placed in the Cryo-Processor where a computer-controlled proprietary system lowers the temperature to -300 Fahrenheit / -184 Celsius for 24 hours and then slowly ascends back to room temperature. Preamp tubes are tested and rated for Gain, Microphonics and Noise. Next, all 7/9 pin tubes have their pins cleaned for a better electrical connection. Power tubes are matched to within 3% for both Ip (Plate Current) and Gm (Transconductance). No other cryogenic process comes close. When only the best will do, choose BLACK SABLE.

Rarely do you actually see our competitors equipment – nor is it mentioned in their information. We are very proud of the BLACK SABLE System.

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Why are BLACK SABLE – Cryogenic Tubes more expensive than other “Cryo” tubes?

BEWARE of inexpensive “Cryo” treated tubes. We know how much time and effort is involved in producing quality cryogenically treated tubes and we also know that adding $1 to the cost of a tube and selling it as a “Cryo” tube equates to just adding a sticker to the tube box.

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What sonic improvements will I notice with BLACK SABLE – Cryogenic Tubes?

Some the benefits are:
  • Noise reduction
  • Decreased noise floor for blacker blacks
  • More 3 dimensional and focused stereo soundstage
  • Reduction in microphonics
  • Increased longevity


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    Can I use BLACK SABLE – Cryogenic Tubes in my guitar amp?

    Yes you can. BLACK SABLE – Cryogenic Tubes will improve the harmonics of your distortion and improve the quality of saturation. The net effect is a richer and more satisfying overdrive.

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    How does the BLACK SABLE process increase the longevity of a tube?

    By reducing and aligning internal stresses of the internal metal structures, this process allows the electrons to flow less inhibited. In addition, the grain structure and arrangement of carbon in the metal is more uniform than before cryogenic treatment. The net results are lower operating temperatures and longer life.

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    I have some tubes that I would like to be cryogenically treated. Can I send you these tubes?

    We do accept tubes to be treated from our customers. It is very expensive to run the Cryo-Processor, so we keep runs to a minimum. If you don’t mind to wait until we are ready to run the next batch, then you will be very satisfied with the outcome.

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    What is the BLACK SABLE process in detail?

    Vacuum tubes selected to go under the BLACK SABLE process are burned in under load on our burn-in racks for 24 hours. Not only are the filaments lit, B+ voltage is applied to the plate to simulate real world use. This burning in helps to finish cathode activation and reduce popping and static noise. These problems are normal for vacuum tubes and result from uneven cathode coatings or impurities. Our 24 hour long burn-in insures that the cathode is settled down and broken in. In addition to cathode activation, burning in allows the plates, grids and cathode to “settle” into the mica supports. This step alone serves to improve the sound and performance of the vacuum tube.

    The vacuum tubes are then placed into our proprietary Cryo-Processor where a computer controlled program slowly reduces the temperature from ambient / room temperature to -300 Fahrenheit / -184 Celsius. The tubes will then soak at this deep cryogenic temperature for 24 hours. During this time, the stresses that have built up in the manufacturing process are reduced and the tube is annealed. To better grasp what this means, try to understand that vacuum tubes undergo several different steps in the manufacturing process where high temperatures are involved. Each one of these high temperature steps, from plate welding to envelope sealing, sets up a stress point in the tube. Metaphorically, you can think of these stresses like the molecular magnetic poles in steel. When first poured, the molecules of steel are all at different angles and alignments. When a strong magnetic force is applied to the steel, the magnetic poles of the molecules become aligned. The BLACK SABLE process reduces stresses by aligning and annealing the stress points in a tube - further reducing internal strains and improving performance.

    Cryogenic treatment has been proven to improve the performance and life of many different products. From critical aircraft components to expensive surgical tools, cryogenic treatment is essential when you want the best performance obtainable.

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