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ballpencil ballpencil is offline

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About Me

  • About ballpencil
    RF Engineer


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General Information
  • Last Activity: Today 08:17 AM
  • Join Date: 15th November 2013


Latest Blog Entry

Posted 17th September 2016 at 06:32 PM by ballpencil Comments 0
Posted in Uncategorized
.. or NAGA84 for short.

That familiar feeling.. All tube enthusiasts will have a hard time resisting the urge to build an EL84/6BQ5 push pull amplifier, at least to hear for themselves what makes this tube so well-known (and overpriced).

Lurkers of the tube section most probably have already seen the Baby Huey wiki and thread. With such unique local feedback scheme, it's unsurprising that it garners some avid follower. As amazing as the feedback scheme may seem, there are few things i prefer to do differently on that amp. The most prominent thing would be NOT to use a triode for the input/driver stage as the rp of a triode will change with the signal swing and cause inconsistent feedback ratio. That, and the fact that it doesn't measure really well under simulation, motivated me to do my own version of the EL84 push pull amp.

To remove the triode from the feedback equation, there are two options i can think of:
1. Use pentodes, obviously....

Posted 13th July 2016 at 05:22 AM by ballpencil Comments 0
Posted in Uncategorized
This is actually a follow up on this post: Adjustable Ultra Linear Line Stage. Here we see a slightly different variation of the first post, namely the cathode follower is now moved to the top of the small signal pentode and arriving at some kind of mu-follower circuit.

This CF will act as constant current load to the pentode and will allow us to achieve high gain. On Spice simulation, with 6K7 as shown, the open loop gain for the input stage is about 75x (15Vpp swing with 200mVpp input). This gain level is perhaps excessive so how do we tame it? As shown, the input stage is on pentode-mode as the screen grid is AC-grounded by C2 via the lower 6N8S cathode follower. We can reduce the gain by changing R16 to a 100k trimpot and connect C2 to the trimpot wiper. Adjusting the wiper, we can vary the UL feedback from 0% (full pentode mode, achieved when the wiper is at the screen grid side) to 50% feedback (achieved when...

Posted 27th May 2016 at 05:48 AM by ballpencil Comments 0
Posted in Uncategorized
This circuit is to fulfill my curiosity of hearing the sonic differences between pentode, ultra-linear and triode gain stage. As with any line stage, this circuit can also be the input part of a power amplifier. I'm considering a single ended amplifier where both the input and output stages have adjustable ultralinear percentage.. I'll show the output stage design on another post.

Anyway, i'm not sure there will be an audible difference between each mode other than gain.. but until i actually build this circuit, i can't really be sure.

The idea is to use a pot to replace R5+R6. Dual 250K linear pot should do for both channel. You then adjust the screen feedback percentage by adjusting the ratio between R5 and R6. Here's how you obtain each mode:
1. Pentode mode is by making R5 = 200k and R6 = 0R. This will keep the screen grid at at fixed voltage regardless of plate swing.
2. Triode mode is...

Posted 26th May 2016 at 06:04 PM by ballpencil Comments 0
Posted in Uncategorized
Such mouthful blog title.. The idea is nothing new: to get the so-called "tube sound" from a hybrid amp. Tube sound for me comes from these two factors:
1. Triode-like linearity
2. Low to moderate damping factor
Personally, i believe number two is the main reason for tube sound. Any solid state amplifier manipulated to get a damping factor of around 1-2, instead of the typical SS amp DF that falls into the tens to hundreds, will sound like a tube amp. This is because with such low damping factor, the amp ceases to ignore the speaker impedance curve and start to become less of a voltage source and more of a current source where the bumps of speaker impedance curve will affect the amp's output.

Without further ado.. here it is:

Some notes:
1. Ignore the transistor and MOSFET type. I chose them because that's what i have in LTSpice. The small signal BJT can use BC547 for...

Posted 26th May 2016 at 03:25 PM by ballpencil Comments 0
Posted in Uncategorized
I joined on Nov 2013 and that's pretty much when i started this hobby. Maybe "restarted" is a better term as i played with diy amps, tin and soldering iron back when in junior high but somehow stopped. That being said, it should be obvious that i am just a beginner and with that:
1. There will be mistakes/misinformation. Feel free to correct me. It will be much appreciated.
2. There is no guarantee any schematic shown works in real life, unless mentioned otherwise. Basically once LTSpice shows that it works, i'm 80-90% sure it should work in real life.
3. There will be updates and revisions as i learn more, hopefully with your help!
4. There will be language barrier. English is not my first language so bear with me!

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