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Old 26th August 2008, 11:38 AM   #1
colivet is offline colivet  United States
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Default Tubelab SE 45... Super amp!?

I finally put all the parts together, checked some voltages, set the bias and does she sing.
Men I am more than impressed with the sound emanating from my speakers. First thing I noticed was the bass. So much and so perfect. Round and full yet tight and natural. After a week of playing I still can not believe how good it is. I had been somewhat worried when I read that the 45 tube was not great at bass. The worries are gone.

At the moment I am getting 330V of B+. I want to bring it down a bit. Eventually I'll be installing the Emission labs solid plates and don't want push them too hard. They are too expensive. I ordered another hammond 158M because the one I got seem to have been mislabeled. I am reading 204 ohms when it should be around 260 ohms. The body of the choke looks like the triad C-14x... Hopefully the new choke will get me closer to 300V b+. I ordered a few $1.50 electrolytic capacitors to fine tune the power supply. Once I get a value, I'll get the proper ASC motor run.

I've got some FT-3 russian teflon coupling capacitors coming from somewhere in europe to replace the 40-y russian Pios. I think that will be an improvement.

I have also replaced some of the resistors in the signal path with a combination of rikens and shikoh tants. They made a noticeable improvement in the sound. I made a lot of research on resistors. It seems that some kinds work better on some places than others. From a forum I got that the following combo works real good:
Kiwame for Plate
Tantalums for screen stopper
Riken for cathodes
I know all of this is highly subjective but I am trying to build the best sounding amplifier I can afford. So if you have suggestions, I am all ears.

George, thanks for making this board available. This is the only way for me to get some real high end sound in my system. I couldn't afford boutique amps, and I would be missing all of the fun and pride from building my own thing. Once I get a nice chassis, I'll be posting pictures.

Christian
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