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Old 24th January 2011, 07:44 PM   #1
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Default Replacing ECL86/6GW8 to PCL86(14GW8)???

While I was in Solid State Land, I stumbled into dead Heathkit aa-32 and revive to a canary. I grew to love my Heathkit AA-32 8w/ch amp. But I am worrying about its o/p tubes. 6GW8 are the original tubes on my unit and they are hard to get and expensive. I learned 14GW8(PCL86) uses same construction except 14v heater voltage. Anyone tried 14GW8 to replace 6GW8's? How was result? How was sound? Is it worth trying? Should I Ebay my AA-32 and move in to deeper tube land ?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 24th January 2011, 07:53 PM   #2
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that will be hard as pcl86 is fully identical to the ecl 86 BUT . it has a series heater . so it takes like three times the voltage to light it up .

to be more exact . ecl86 = 6.3v .55A PCL86 = 14.5v 0.3A
could work . but you will have to install a separate transformer . for your new series valves .

edit . if you would mod your existing amplifier to use the series heater variant of the ecl86. you would have VERY little worries about replacing its output valves . picked up a box of TV valves for €15 and 20% of them where pcl86
and its SO dirt cheap i bet you could get tonnes of them in europe of ebay .

Last edited by v4lve lover; 24th January 2011 at 08:04 PM. Reason: little extra information .
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Old 24th January 2011, 08:25 PM   #3
taj is offline taj
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Yeah, only 3-4 years ago 6GW8's were easy to find and cheap, now they are $20-$50 each NOS, depending on the seller. PCL86's are probably your best bet as there are still a few available at more reasonable prices due to their uncommon heater voltage requirements.

See if you can find something close to a 14.5v transformer. I'm not sure what the tolerance is for the PCL86 heaters, so it's possible a more common 12.6v transformer might work, but I'm not qualified to answer that. Another option is a 10-11V transformer rectified to provide 14.x VDC.

I wonder if there's a Russian equivalent to 6GW8.

..Todd
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Old 24th January 2011, 08:46 PM   #4
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I often see advertisements for 'boxes of TV tubes' you can get for next to nothing (I got 20 kilos for free) and they're FULL of PCL86..
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Old 25th January 2011, 08:49 AM   #5
hooman is offline hooman  Iran
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ecl86 is little hifi tube.(originally for audio)...nice midrange(in all europ and us tubes brand ) no difeerent in sound bay heater voltage.so pcl...can use .... dc or ac 12 to 14.5 v.test this circuit in 6.3 line of your power transformer for new filimant voltage.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 25th January 2011, 10:13 AM   #6
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Using a voltage doubler with this load (300mA per tube, so 600 for two of them in stereo single ended) will result in a voltage of only ca. 1.5x the input voltage. So at an input voltage of 6.3V, expect no more than about 10V output. That's a bit on the low side for a PCL.
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Old 25th January 2011, 01:03 PM   #7
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You'd be Ok running them on 15 volts, lots of suitable transformers around. You could easily put in a series resistor to drop the odd half volt if you want to. 0.42 ohms is correct but 0.39 or 0.47 will be fine. ! watt rating would be adequate.
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Old 25th January 2011, 01:05 PM   #8
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That's 1 watt.
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Old 25th January 2011, 06:10 PM   #9
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Default Thank you very much for all your replies

I will find some transformer to rectify to DC 14v or Ac 15v to reduce. This will take some time. I think I will keep my Heathkit aa-32 for now.

Thank you all
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Old 25th January 2011, 08:14 PM   #10
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nice . keep your current gear . no need to buy anything hifi . that healthkit looks cool retro style . and is safe to . becouse its enclosed . i HATE to see valves being used as cristmas lights on top of a shabby looking wooden enclosure . not even talking about the D.I.Y wiring .

cheers .
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