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Tubelab Discussion and support of Tubelab products, prototypes and experiments

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Old 9th July 2014, 09:32 PM   #1
Zap is offline Zap  United States
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Default SSE Questions - Tube Rectifier / Circuit Revisions

Hi everyone,

I have not been around the forums for quite a while. I have been thoroughly enjoying my SSE for years now, but I recently had a problem I wanted to ask about.

I just replaced the output tubes with a pair of PSVANE KT88-TII (Treasure version 2) and the sound is out of this world. I'm looking into swapping the 12AT7 out for a PSVANE as well (currently running a JAN Philips). These are by far the best tubes I've run in the amp so far, and according to reports they haven't even broken in yet.

When I first installed the new output tubes, I was a bit worried as I thought they had a problem, but I later discovered that they ran great with the SS rectifier enabled in lieu of the tube rectifier.

I just swapped back to a tube rectifier, but I used my spare (a Sovtek that I had laying around) and the amp also works just fine.

My question is if this is normal behavior for a tube rectifier that has aged or is on the way out. The filaments still light just fine and there doesn't look to be anything wrong with it. If so, I'm kinda bummed as the rectifier in question is a NOS Mullard, but I suppose that even the good ones do eventually fail.

This leads me to my next question - poking around the forum, it appears that there have been some SSE board (and circuit revisions). Mine dates back a number of years now. Is there a thread or page that explains these? One thread mentioned something about a mod that improves rectifier life. I already have an NTC device that I wired in-line, which was another thing mentioned.

One other thing I'm curious about is if anyone is running a Philips 5R4GYS in their SSE. It looks like a quality, cheaper replacement than another Mullard.

Just wanting to keep my amp in tip-top shape! Thanks for any input.

Last edited by Zap; 9th July 2014 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 10th July 2014, 04:31 PM   #2
w5jag is offline w5jag  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Arkansas
All variants of the 5R4 will drop into the rectifier socket on the SSE.

The 5R4 is directly heated, thus the voltage comes up more rapidly relative to the 5AR4. This may or may not be a concern to you. It's not to me, but opinions vary on this.

The voltage drop at a given current will be different.

I don't recall the difference in heater current off the top of my head. This likely would not be a problem in any event.

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