VU meter bulbs

The one thing that is letting my Sony TA-F6B down is the blown VU meter bulbs. If you do any reading up on this amp blown bulbs seem to be endemic, which suggests they were perhaps under specced?

Legend has it that these are 6.3v 100mA fuse type bulbs, and they are unobtainium. Even the guy in America who is supposed to be the world’s expert on replacement hifi bulbs can’t supply them, and even if he could, he’s stopped dealing with the UK and EU, because of the stupid new VAT collection regime.

Anyway, I pulled mine, and found that they are 8v items?

I wonder if someone has replaced them in the past and tried higher rated bulbs to try and improve longevity? I wonder how long they lasted compared to the originals?

Anyway the nearest I can find is this:

It’s a bit fatter at 6mm, but the holder clips should expand enough to take it.

Anyone got any other suggestions?

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Yep, stop calling them bulbs. bulbs are round things you plant in the garden. They are lamps



And I’ve just got an email, in response to my order, telling me that it’s out of stock and obsolete… :rage:

They’re sending me an alternative. Let’s see.

It seems people make LED replacements for these (search eBay for LED fuse lamp). How well they’d work would depend on how well your meters would cope with the somewhat directional light from LEDs and whether you can get the right physical size and a nice warm colour (not white, probably, and not blue-white almost certainly).

I looked into the LED versions, and they tend to be a more white light, and quite bright.

If I only had the amp then that wouldn’t bother me too much, but seeing as I have the matching cassette deck I’d like them to match, without me having to swap the cassette decks lamps too.

I bought a couple of 8V 55mA lamps for the VU meters on my Teac R2R from an ebay seller called Tascam_Ninja
He doesn’t seem to be listing any at the moment but might be worth sending him a message to ask.

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If you don’t mind sucking-up the MOQs/delivery charges, Farnell, Digikey &c have assorted warm-white LEDs (1500-2500K), or for vintage gear, amber looks good if it’s not too bright; mount them behind a diffuser (just a bit of translucent heat-resistant plastic will do), or bounce them indirectly off a bit of aluminium foil - shiny side or matt side, to taste.

Sod incandescents - only need replacing again… and again… and again… &c…

Those festoon lamps are only rated for 2000 hours. For a component like a tape deck that’s not an unreasonable lifespan, but an amp is generally used a lot longer than individual source components so you can understand how they get burned through in a relatively short time in comparison.

The lamps are on their way now so I’ll use them. When they inevitably burn out I’ll look into replacing them all with LEDs.

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Needs blue fluescent VUs

Couldn’t help myself, just bought 10 yellow led fuse lamps for £4 from Aliexpress. Was briefly tempted by the purple but conformism ruled.

So now I have incandescents and LEDs on their way. FML.