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Old 25th January 2013, 04:35 AM   #51
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I wasn't referring to the output stage. Few tube amps use pentodes on the input stage. That said i prefer my PP EL34 in triode.

dave
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Old 25th January 2013, 09:41 AM   #52
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Synergy

In the last 10 years I’ve built many amps and speakers, many valve amps, both SE and PP, and a few SS, mainly Firstwatt. I’ve found some speakers sound better with valve amps and some prefer SS. Some prefer valves with feedback while others prefer valves without.

I’ve measured stuff until the cows come home but I’m still none the wiser, in fact I’m probably more clueless than when I started.

What I have convinced myself that I’ve found is that a loosely damped cabinet/driver combination will sound very wooly in the bass area if coupled with an amp that has high output impedance(low damping factor).

In the diy area I will always recommend trying to listen to the target combination, either borrowing kit or visiting somebody with the same set up. Building on somebody elses recommendation can present risks. It’s the match between amp and speakers that is the deal breaker, not whether it’s valves or SS.

Synergy matters!

and then when you've got the synergy nailed, there is still the environment to think about.....personally I think the SS vs valves argument is well overplayed.

just my two penneth

Ed
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Last edited by vitalstates; 25th January 2013 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 25th January 2013, 03:09 PM   #53
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Try Glen Moray 16yr
Very smooth, not much peat, yum. My current favorite.
Best I ever had was Glen Morangie, 25 year. A friend bought a bottle for New Years Eve 2000. We finished it. I got engaged. He puked.
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Old 25th January 2013, 03:16 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by vitalstates View Post
Synergy

In the last 10 years Iíve built many amps and speakers, many valve amps, both SE and PP, and a few SS, mainly Firstwatt. Iíve found some speakers sound better with valve amps and some prefer SS. Some prefer valves with feedback while others prefer valves without.

Iíve measured stuff until the cows come home but Iím still none the wiser, in fact Iím probably more clueless than when I started.

What I have convinced myself that Iíve found is that a loosely damped cabinet/driver combination will sound very wooly in the bass area if coupled with an amp that has high output impedance(low damping factor).

In the diy area I will always recommend trying to listen to the target combination, either borrowing kit or visiting somebody with the same set up. Building on somebody elses recommendation can present risks. Itís the match between amp and speakers that is the deal breaker, not whether itís valves or SS.

Synergy matters!

and then when you've got the synergy nailed, there is still the environment to think about.....personally I think the SS vs valves argument is well overplayed.

just my two penneth

Ed
I believe you are correct, sir.

When I was pondering tube amps, I listened. Not to the amps, as I had no opportunity to. I listened to the folks around here. One person in particular (chrisb) has the exact same speakers as I do and he seems to love them as much as I do, so when he said (in a thread that I cannot recall now) that the amp which worked best with his speakers is a P-P tube amp, I figured that was something I needed to pay attention to.

So, synergy isn't always an accident. It can be copied.
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Old 25th January 2013, 03:27 PM   #55
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A bottle of scotch would last years, my limit is close to as little as you can put in a shot glass and still cover the bottom.
We drink about the same amount
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Old 25th January 2013, 03:46 PM   #56
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Those "spirit" generic capacitors are prime candidates for modding.
Thanks for the tip.

From what I understand, some capacitors matter more than others, depending where they are in the circuit. It seems "coupling caps" and "output caps" (same thing?) are discussed a lot.

Is there any way for an educated person to look at the bottom of this amp and say which caps are doing what?
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Old 25th January 2013, 03:55 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by cogitech View Post
Thanks for the tip.

From what I understand, some capacitors matter more than others, depending where they are in the circuit. It seems "coupling caps" and "output caps" (same thing?) are discussed a lot.

Is there any way for an educated person to look at the bottom of this amp and say what caps are doing what?
Those yellow capacitors couple the driver tube to the output tube. They have to handle hundreds of volts swing rapidly back and forth, so their quality is critical. In a push-pull stereo amp, you have 4 channels, so 4 capacitors. They should be in the range of 0.22uF.

The other capacitors are not as critical. I'm not sure what the white ones are doing.

You can try SS rectification, and roll some tubes, depends on your mood.
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Old 25th January 2013, 04:06 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
Those yellow capacitors couple the driver tube to the output tube. They have to handle hundreds of volts swing rapidly back and forth, so their quality is critical. In a push-pull stereo amp, you have 4 channels, so 4 capacitors. They should be in the range of 0.22uF.

The other capacitors are not as critical. I'm not sure what the white ones are doing.

You can try SS rectification, and roll some tubes, depends on your mood.
Thanks very much for the info. I love learning about this stuff!

If I ever get the courage to replace those caps, which caps would you recommend I use? Auricaps? Solen? Also, I am not a skilled solderer, so I am not so comfortable removing the capacitor leads from the board. Would it be practical to snip the existing caps off, leaving the leads in place, and then solder the new capacitors' leads to the old leads? Silly, I know, but would it be a disaster?

WRT tube rolling; I have already ordered a matched quad of EH EL34 and a matched pair each of NOS-tested Sylvania 12AX7 and NOS RCA 12AU7. I will wait till I have about 150 hours on the amp before doing any rolling.
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Old 25th January 2013, 04:11 PM   #59
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Yeah, you can leave the old leads in. I would recommend Mundorf Silver/Oil, with the standard Supremes a cheaper alternative.

You can try GE 5751's in place of 12AX7 and 12BH7 in place of 12AU7. Psvane makes Black Treasure series of EL34.
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Old 25th January 2013, 04:19 PM   #60
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Yeah, you can leave the old leads in. I would recommend Mundorf Silver/Oil, with the standard Supremes a cheaper alternative.

You can try GE 5751's in place of 12AX7 and 12BH7 in place of 12AU7. Psvane makes Black Treasure series of EL34.
Great! Thanks again.

Re: Psvane tubes; I am very hesitant. The price is very, very high, and while I am very impressed with this amp, GF does also sell some products which I would put into the category of "snake oil" ($100 power cords, $500 interconnects, etc.).

Maybe the Psvane tubes are amazing, but I am not sure I will hear $300 worth of difference. Recall what I paid for the amp!
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