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Old 22nd December 2010, 12:15 AM   #1
Structo is offline Structo  United States
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Default Tubelab Single Ended Amps

I didn't see any late postings about the amps from Tubelabs so I thought I would ask if any of you have built any of the amps that they sell the PCB's for?

I see the TubelabSE, the Simple SE and the Simple PP amp.

Is the owner a member here?

I like the idea of the simple SE one because of the variety of power tubes it can run.

Also the driver and Constant Current Source semiconductor are pretty unique, to me at least.

What is the general opinion of the Simple SE amp and would that be a good project for my first Hi Fi amp?

Thanks, Tom
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Old 22nd December 2010, 12:32 AM   #2
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Hi Tom,
George (tubelab) is a member here of long standing, and hundreds of forum members have built one or more of George's designs. There is an entire forum here devoted to all things tubelab: Tubelab - diyAudio

Considering who designed it and the support available here I would recommend it as an excellent choice as a first build.
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Old 22nd December 2010, 12:32 AM   #3
taj is offline taj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Structo View Post
Is the owner a member here?
Yes, George is a well respected member here. He has his own forum:

Tubelab - diyAudio

The amps are excellent.

[edit] I see Kevin beat me to it.

..Todd
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Old 22nd December 2010, 12:35 AM   #4
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Beware ! You will find you spend a LOT of time here if you build one of George's designs. Not because they fail, but because they are so good and adaptable and endlessly tweakable.

George's tendancy toward pyrotechnic displays are also legendary and well worth hanging around for.
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Old 22nd December 2010, 12:44 AM   #5
Structo is offline Structo  United States
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Thanks guys, I don't know how I missed that section, or is it hidden?

I'm still stumbling around here.

A quick question that I am having trouble finding the answer to....
What does DHT stand for and is there an "Idiots guide to single end amps?"

Like a glossary of terms or something?

I like the idea of a simple amp to play some vinyl on.

I have been immersed in pentodes so long in guitar amps I'm having trouble getting up to speed on these fine audio amps.

Take the Simple SE amp, can a regular CD player drive that amp or do you need a preamp as well?
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Old 22nd December 2010, 12:49 AM   #6
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DHT = Directly Heated Tube (the filament is the cathode)

Yes the Simple SE will accept a signal direct from a line device eg a CD player.

Don't sweat the pentode thing - George loves them - the bigger and redder, the better! Take a look at his avatar...
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Old 22nd December 2010, 12:50 AM   #7
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Structo View Post
Thanks guys, I don't know how I missed that section, or is it hidden?

I'm still stumbling around here.

A quick question that I am having trouble finding the answer to....
What does DHT stand for and is there an "Idiots guide to single end amps?"

Like a glossary of terms or something?

I like the idea of a simple amp to play some vinyl on.

I have been immersed in pentodes so long in guitar amps I'm having trouble getting up to speed on these fine audio amps.

Take the Simple SE amp, can a regular CD player drive that amp or do you need a preamp as well?
Click on the link I or TAJ provided, and no it's not hidden..

DHT - Direct heated triode. Examples would include the 300B, 2A3, 45, etc..

Go to the tubelab commercial site for answers to a lot of your questions.

You'll learn a whole lot more than you ever imagined just hanging out here..
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Old 22nd December 2010, 02:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Is the owner a member here?
Yes, I am. I go by the user name tubelab.com

Quote:
I didn't see any late postings about the amps from Tubelabs
Tubelab is a part time venture I started about 7 years ago to share our collective experiences with vacuum tubes, audio and ham radio. Originally there were three engineers who were interested in participating, and a few more who wanted to help build stuff. We all worked for the same major electronics company. Since then all of the other players have been laid off, and have left the area in search of employment. The computers are monitored at work so I can no longer answer email or post to the forums from work except for an occasional post from my phone.

I haven't had the time to update the Tubelab web site as often as I would like either. About a year ago I got an email from the operator of the diyAudio forums offering me my own forum. I set up my own forum here on diyAudio so that people interested in the Tubelab designs can discuss them in one place. If you have a question about one of my designs chances are it has already been answered there. Most of the postings about Tubelab amps has been moved there. My usual tube experiments will remain here in the main forums, but there haven't been many lately.

The Tubelab forum has helped reduce the repettitive email I get asking the same questions, but has made my postings here on the main forums a bit thin lately. The tubelab forums is a paid forum, and I have decided to renew it for 2011. It is here: Tubelab - diyAudio


Quote:
Take the Simple SE amp, can a regular CD player drive that amp or do you need a preamp as well?
All 3 of the amps can be driven directly from a CD player, DVD player, or iPOD.

Quote:
I like the idea of a simple amp to play some vinyl on
.

None of these (or any other basic amplifier) can be driven directly from a turntable. A phono preamp (also called a phono stage) is needed to boost the level provided by a turntable to a level similar to that provided by a CD player. It can be tube, solid state, or even a chip amp.

Quote:
What is the general opinion of the Simple SE amp and would that be a good project for my first Hi Fi amp?
The Simple SE and the Simple P-P were both designed to be built by a beginner, hence the "Simple" part of the name.

The Tubelab SE was the first amp, It was not intended for beginners, in fact it wasn't intended to be a kit at all. I made one for myself, then another, then.....Before long I couldn't make them fast enough, so I had some friends make their own (many were fellow engineers). The makeshift instructions I gave them were refined using their input into what is currently on the web site. It uses DHT's and requires adjustments made on a live board, and is somewhat complicated to build.

I got dozens of requests for something simple, so the Simple SE was born. It is a build it, plug it in and listen design. It is by far the most popular board and the easiest to build.

Quote:
I have been immersed in pentodes so long in guitar amps
I started out building guitar amps out of discarded TV sets in the 1960's. They all used pentodes. The Simple P-P uses EL84's in pentode mode, although it can be wired in triode or UL mode. I have been designing and building audio equipment, ham radio equipment, coputers and other electronics ever since.

Quote:
Don't sweat the pentode thing - George loves them - the bigger and redder, the better! Take a look at his avatar...
The big fat glowing tube in my avatar is actually a transmitting triode. It is designed to operate with a red glow on the plate. I have however been known to make tubes of all klind glow red........
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Old 22nd December 2010, 03:55 PM   #9
Structo is offline Structo  United States
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Thanks for the update George.
Times are hard everywhere.
I haven't worked in over a year thanks to the jokers on Wall St.

As soon as I can afford it I will build one of these amps.

Do you feel the Tubelab SE is markedly better than the Simple SE?

I liked the idea of the Simple amp being able to run a variety of tubes.

I would say I am a intermediate builder. I have built some fairly complex guitar amps.

Thanks again,
Tom
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Old 22nd December 2010, 04:13 PM   #10
rknize is offline rknize  United States
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The two amps are just "different". It is going to depend a great deal on your speakers and your listening space. The Tubelab SE (TSE for short) puts out about 4W when built for 300Bs and can just manage about 2W with 45s. The Simple SE (SSE) can crank out 14W with KT88s and can really rock if you get some nice output transformers.

I have both and the SSE sees the most use by far. Of course, my TSE keeps getting bumped down the priority list and so it still lives on a bread board. But I do drag it out when I want to do some serious listening. It has a sort of precision that the SSE can't manage. The SSE can come close, though, if it has a good set of OPTs and is setup with a nice pair of EL34s. I built mine to be able to run pretty much whatever tube (of the supported types) that I want.

Here is the story of mine, if you are interested. There are some SSE vs TSE impressions in the latter half:

Tubelab Simple SE with big honkin' Edcors?
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