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Old 27th May 2009, 06:36 PM   #1
PaulyT is offline PaulyT  United States
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Default Joining the Tubelab SE club

Hi all! New here, going to be building a Tubelab SE, board is ordered; heard that a number of you are familiar with this, and that maybe even the designer hangs out here some? I'm sure I'll have questions. I've not built an amp before, though I did just finish a DIY active crossover that will be used in conjunction with the SET amp and horn-based speakers (vintage Klipsch Heresy), in my first foray into DIY audio stuff and an active system.

Should be fun!
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Old 27th May 2009, 06:47 PM   #2
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and that maybe even the designer hangs out here some?
Who me?

I do check in as often as I can which varies from daily to weekly depending on my work schedule. I just got back from a 2600 mile road trip, where internet access was limited, so I should be around more often now.
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Old 27th May 2009, 07:28 PM   #3
rknize is offline rknize  United States
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Welcome! Have fun with your TSE build. No shortage of Tubelab fan-boys here, myself included.

I use mine with a pair of Klipsch KLF-10s that I got off of Craigslist for a song. I seriously considered a pair of Heresy II's, but I couldn't beat the $150 price on the KLFs. The TSE with 45s is a great match to them and works very well at taming the horns while having amazing detail and awesome bass.
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Old 27th May 2009, 08:55 PM   #4
PaulyT is offline PaulyT  United States
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Oh good, you can send out my board soon. j/k, I haven't even ordered any of the parts yet, no rush.

Nice to "meet" you! And thanks for the great design and very informative and detailed documentation.
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Old 27th May 2009, 08:55 PM   #5
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Thanks! Yeah, paid $500 for some 1981 Heresy I's, in good condition. They sound pretty nice even stock and hooked up to a plain 'ole SS receiver. Can't wait to start playing with them in the active+tube setup! I'm planning to use 300B's for this, as they'll be driving two horns per channel (the Heresy is a 3-way).
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Old 28th May 2009, 03:50 AM   #6
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Oh good, you can send out my board soon.
Tomorrow morning good enough? Done.
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Old 1st June 2009, 05:16 PM   #7
PaulyT is offline PaulyT  United States
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Ok, got the board - thanks George!

Now reading the assembly manual and working through the parts list - and modifications - to get stuff ordered. Bit of a noob here so forgive the dumb questions (and I'm sure there'll be more after this ). Here goes:

1) An audio friend recommended the Electro Harmonix Gold Grid 300B. Anybody with experience with these? Any reason these wouldn't work with this amp? Seems to be one of the cheaper alternatives for 300B out there...

2) The power transformer, guess Hammond 276X is still a good choice? Never shopped for transformers before, so I have no idea what alternatives there are...

3) Output transformers: instructions talk about the Edcor XSE-15-8-5K, I suppose I could use this since I plan to drive only HF horns with this amp, at least in the system I'm assembling now. But trying to decide for long-term flexibility if I should just go with the Eletra-Prints anyway... I'm on the fence here. Haven't gotten a price quote from EP yet.

4) Will do the R4 choke mod - is the Triad C-14X still the way to go here?

5) For the supplementary cap at C5, docs say "I added a large 100 uF, 370 volt AC polypropylene motor RUN cap to my 300B amp." Anyone know where to find one of these? Not sure if digikey sells them, mouser seems to go up only to 80 uF in this class... (and wow, these aren't cheap!)


Gonna be working through the main caps (C1-11), just haven't gotten that far yet with all the above.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 1st June 2009, 05:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
1) An audio friend recommended the Electro Harmonix Gold Grid 300B. Anybody with experience with these? Any reason these wouldn't work with this amp? Seems to be one of the cheaper alternatives for 300B out there...
The only negative things I have heard about these are various audiophile gibberish. They seem to have a good reputation in terms of reliability. I have a pair of Shuguang 300B-98 tubes now, but some have come back saying that their long term reliability is a bit of a crapshoot. Another good choice is JJ.

Quote:
2) The power transformer, guess Hammond 276X is still a good choice? Never shopped for transformers before, so I have no idea what alternatives there are...
Personally I would avoid the Hammond transformer, but George and others use it for it's Allied Electronics equivalent (see George's site). I had a custom transformer made from Edcor for this amp and it seems to work very well for both 45s and 300Bs. Here is the thread on it:

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...77#post1784277

Quote:
4) Will do the R4 choke mod - is the Triad C-14X still the way to go here?
It will work fine. Any choke over 5H with the appropriate current capability will work just fine.

Quote:
5) For the supplementary cap at C5, docs say "I added a large 100 uF, 370 volt AC polypropylene motor RUN cap to my 300B amp." Anyone know where to find one of these? Not sure if digikey sells them, mouser seems to go up only to 80 uF in this class... (and wow, these aren't cheap!)
eBay...search for "motor run cap".
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Old 1st June 2009, 06:22 PM   #9
JoshK is offline JoshK  Canada
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I am going to start a TSE amp pretty soon too. Originally I was thinking of doing 2a3 (but don't own any), now I am thinking 300Bs. My OPTs are Transcendar 3K 10 watters.
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Old 1st June 2009, 06:52 PM   #10
PaulyT is offline PaulyT  United States
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Thanks!

2) Cool, I'll contact Edcor and see if they can sell me one of those.

3) Got a response from Jack from EP, asking about "Albert Pagan" and TM3KB, quoting directly his response:

Quote:
We sure do get orders from this Albert Pagan design over the years. never seen it!? The TM3KB has not been built for 5 years or so. The new designs with one sec are much more efficient and wider, First of all, the 2A3 is a 65ma tube and the 300B is a 100ma tube both are two different sizes and prices. the impedance is correct for both. You could only use the larger or 300B size for both. We also need your selection of output impedance. 4 or 8 or 16 or 6 for 4 and 8 or 12 for 8 or 16 ohms. The 65ma SE is$105.00 each, the 100ma SE is $165.00 each, all plu shipping. Just order by indicating the specs you select, like 3.4k, 65ma to 8 ohms. We know the power level.
I'm confused because I don't know all the jargon here, no idea what "new design with one sec" means... clues?

I guess there are two load impedances - the tube side (~2.5-3.6kOhm) and the speaker side (8 Ohm or whatever), and the total current throughput (e.g. 100mA) right? I can figure out the impedance of the speakers (from the specs on the drivers), but how do I know what impedance value is best for the tube side? Do I need the detailed specs of the particular 300B tube I'm getting in order to make this decision?

Does it matter how close the impedance of the speakers matches the rating of the output transformer?

5) Would this 80uF from Mouser work? I'm guessing the exact capacitance value isn't critical (100 vs 80 uF)? Could I hook up two 50's in parallel?
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