What do people think of the SETH 2A3 PP? - diyAudio
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Old 15th May 2007, 02:09 PM   #1
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Default What do people think of the SETH 2A3 PP?

After much reading, researching etc., I think I'm [this close] to undertaking building a couple of SETH 2A3 PP mono blocks.

Just wondering if anyone else has been down this path, and what do they think of the results?

I've previously only built from kits, so the very clear instructions in the PDF helped make this decision for me, along with the fact that it does seem like a quality bit of equipment.

Link is here
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Old 15th May 2007, 06:38 PM   #2
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Given that this circuit doesn't include gNFB, the performance is going to be very dependent on the quality of the iron used here, especially that of the splitter autotransformer. That type of splitter is often used for RF amps, where you tune it with a split stator capacitor, and can include a balance trimmer. Not so common with AF amps. I would also ditch L1 and replace it with a grid resistor.

The worst flaw is the 2A3 bias circuit. Filament xfmrs aren't designed to pass audio frequencies, and so I'd replace this arrangement with filament balancing resistors and connect the bias RC network at the center point. (See attached)
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Old 15th May 2007, 07:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Miles Prower

The worst flaw is the 2A3 bias circuit. Filament xfmrs aren't designed to pass audio frequencies
I thought, that with push-pull the audio currents are not going through this transformer, only the PP error currents (input/output) are?

Anyway, I have this exact arrangement on the cathodes of my Amity and I can't say otherwise than this amp sounds fine.

regards,
Arend-Jan
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Old 15th May 2007, 07:16 PM   #4
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^^^^

I still wouldn't do it unless it was something where fidelity didn't count, as in a modulator driver or something like that. It's easy to avoid, only requires a few additional parts that don't cost much, so why not avoid the problem completely?
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Old 15th May 2007, 09:13 PM   #5
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hey-Hey!!!,
That front end is built that way so as not to look complicated. There are far better ways to amplify and split phase than that circuit. My friend has built a pair and after a bit of experimenting with various front ends, he shelved them for PP 807's with an E-Linear front end and less expensive custom output Iron. I think he's wanting to sell the Seth's now.
cheers,
Douglas
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Old 15th May 2007, 11:10 PM   #6
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Hi Miles,

I read with great interest your comment about the bias circuit. My 2A3 SET amp (not PP) has had that bias circuit since I "stole" its TDO hum balance for another project.

1. Does your statement apply to all topologies? (SE/PP)
2. If so, then I have not been getting the potential of my amp?
3. Where do I stick a scope probe to see the differences?
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Old 16th May 2007, 12:41 AM   #7
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hey-Hey!!!,
The PP 2A3 can be a very nice amp. Keep it class A, and perhaps run a 6k6 a-a output TX. As designed AB1, its plate load dropps to ~1k2...and that's not any fun. For a few more watts, build a different amp; leave the 2A3 to deliver a nice 6W from a conservative operating point.

Also, a single split bobbin filament TX for each of the finals will help. Connect a 50R pot in the usual fashion and one can get hum levels near zero...
cheers,
Douglas
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Old 16th May 2007, 08:04 AM   #8
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Wow - thanks for the excellent feedback. I envy you guys the ability to look at a circuit and judge improvements - I'm new to this, and whilst learning all the time, do not yet have the experience to judge a circuit from reference alone.

I guess I'm back to the drawing board, then. I'm a rock fan, so I thought PP would be more appropriate. Before I decided on PP and found the SETH, I was looking at tubelab's SimpleSE, but thought I'd quite like to try P2P as all my previous projects have been PCB. I currently have a P2P wired chinese EL34 PP stereo integrated amp, and would like to replace it with something I can call my own that will hopefully outperform it.

Oh, and Miles - an excellent modification to the schematic NO, seth NO!
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Old 16th May 2007, 08:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Miles Prower
^^^^

I still wouldn't do it unless it was something where fidelity didn't count, as in a modulator driver or something like that.
If you agree with me that the audio currents are not going through that transformer, then I don't see how fidelity is compromised. Anyway, it should be easy enough to try so I'll give it a spin in my amp.

regards,
Arend-Jan
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Old 16th May 2007, 11:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
the performance is going to be very dependent on the quality of the iron used here, especially that of the splitter autotransformer
Quality is obviously going to be a factor here, but if you stick with the magnaquests this shouldn't be an issue. I have heard people rave about this particular splitter arrangement. The impression I got was it sounds wonderful - but measures less so.
I have used interstage transformer phase splitting and it works well. Again on paper it shouldn't work - but it does.

Quote:
I would also ditch L1 and replace it with a grid resistor.
Other than cost - why ? There are good theoretical reasons why this should work better.

Shoog
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