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soundbrigade 5th April 2008 01:28 PM

One major problem with Single End-amps is the low output power. My ECL82SE outputs some 2-3W, the Darling 3/4W and the (now retired) GU50 and 50CA10 amps some 6-7W.
A way to get around this obstacle, if power is needed, is to use exotic and letal tubes like 211, 845 or 813. I have a pair of 813 for the future when or if I will feel suicidal.:xeye:
Another idea is to run tubes in parallell; but I'd rather finish the 6L6 hybrid-PP that use my Russian 6L6s in a low power PSE.

So what to do then? Well, I started looking for tubes requiring modest voltages to operate and that could produce some extra watts and ended up with ... nothing at all. Except EL156. Maybe there are other tubes out there; the 6S33S is quite powerful but needs loads of current and a special transformer.

What I did was simply aiming a shot from the hip. I found some notes how to bias the EL156 and had an idea of a good driver, the Russian 6Э5П, for which I had some recommendations for setting up from a Russian book on tubes.
So this is the schematic I went for.
I will share some more photos, but I assembled a protype yesterday and had it play some bars from a Supertramp CD. That sounded good. Wrong, that sounded REALLY GOOD!! I have never heard any of my tube amps sound so .... "precise". Especially the bass was to dry and non-rumbling. The drums suddenly sounded "Thud!" not "Thump!". And I also got the feeling (I had so far been running my speakers from an ECL82-SE) that the extra power gave so much more dynamic headroom.
Now I have to decide how to pack the amplifier. Would like to build a pair of monoblocks, but as that would require two of many components I am also considering assembling the two channels (that have separate PSUs) in one chassis.
Then I will do more listening tests.

More pics to come.

kstagger 5th April 2008 02:56 PM

Very nice - I have all the parts for an EL156 UL SE amp. Just need to finish up the Front Panel Express work. I've only heard the EL156 in mono, running in prototype mode with all bench power supplies. Sounded very impressive on some mono Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles.

ErikdeBest 5th April 2008 03:41 PM

Hi Soundbrigade

Can you briefly tell us (me) why you retired the GU50 SE amp? I was looking at this valve as a cheap possibility to burn some 40W of power in the plate with the OPT's I have on hand.

Many thanks, Erik

soundbrigade 5th April 2008 03:42 PM

Need to check bias voltage (-26V), but ... later.

I thing in a sense that EL156 is a good compromise - high wattage and low voltage (with low, I mean not 1200V).
I am running it on some very moderate 370V, which is a little low, but I can adjust that by getting other mains transformers.

But I like the punch.

soundbrigade 5th April 2008 03:46 PM

ErikdeBest: I simply .... maybe I was ... I think ... Well, I don't know. I have abig bag of GU50s and some of them will propably go into the Priboi I have.
They are cheap (as my brother-in-law gave them to me) and they make good amps. The one I had (SE) was OK, but I felt I needed something more "punchy", and I think I have gotten that now.
The other side of the SE-coin is low power, and I have a project involving 6L6 in a hybrid config.

ErikdeBest 8th April 2008 12:31 PM

Hi Magnus

Thanks for explaining your view about the GU50. I also have some, including a nice pair of OPT's (5k, amorphous core from AE-europe)...but still did not found the time to put everything together.


soundbrigade 8th April 2008 12:54 PM

Here are a photo of the prototype I built:

Photo 1
Mains transformers are a Welter Electronic (Germany). It is slightly underrated so I will use two in a dula-mono config. The power transformers are from Danbury Electronic (UK).
Tubes are Chinese EL156 (octal rules!) and Russia (6EE5P).

soundbrigade 9th April 2008 08:02 PM

Well I got something up and running. Have to check the wiring and ground everything that can be grounded. Have some 100Hz in the background. This is hum is greatly enhanced when turning the "knob".
Sounds great, though. Really punchy - must have it operating for a longer period to see tehre's no temperature problem. The mains transformers got really warm, but not hot, the 1/2 hour it was running.

soundbrigade 12th April 2008 01:08 PM

I am playing the amp for a few hours at a time as I am slightly worried about the mains transformers - they get hot, not that hot I cannot touch them but hot.

I have to install a mains switch and a volume pot, and when that job is done the amp will look like this:

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