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Old 27th April 2013, 08:11 PM   #1
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Default Tripath TA2020 + 6N3 Tube buffer

Hi everyone,

Totally new to tubes and preamps - Matter of fact, I have no idea what i'm doing here.

I managed to assemble an TA2020 chipamp (from 41hz.com) which I've used for a portable boombox last year. I have just got an 6N3 preamp/tube and wondered if I could use it together with my chipamp to either "boost" or enhance the sound quality?! - If this is the case, then i have a couple of questions I hope you could help me with:

- How should I connect the two of them?
- The chipamp is powered by a 12V battery - should the 6N3 be separately powered as well?

If anyone would be so kind to make a drawing of how they should/could be connected, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance for helping a noob.

Kind regards,
Tobias

Pictures
The amp
http://postimg.org/image/v6euhakcv/
The tube
http://postimg.org/image/6p1obkadb/

Last edited by Tobiashellbrandt; 27th April 2013 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 28th April 2013, 03:25 AM   #2
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Bottlehead Hybrid Amp
Tubalizer
Hybrid Amp
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Old 28th April 2013, 08:10 AM   #3
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Thanks, jazbo8..

I would actually rather use the amplifier for the sound source, so that the tube is "after" the input.. Would that work, or does that just make no sense?

I still seem to have some troubles with the wiring because the amp has no input (only 2 channels output), where the tube has 2 channels input and 2 channels output..

The obvious thing to do (as I see it) is:
"Amp; output" -> "Tube; input" -> "Tube; output" -> "Speakers".

Am I way wrong?
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Old 28th April 2013, 09:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobiashellbrandt View Post
Thanks, jazbo8..

I would actually rather use the amplifier for the sound source, so that the tube is "after" the input.. Would that work, or does that just make no sense?

I still seem to have some troubles with the wiring because the amp has no input (only 2 channels output), where the tube has 2 channels input and 2 channels output..

The obvious thing to do (as I see it) is:
"Amp; output" -> "Tube; input" -> "Tube; output" -> "Speakers".

Am I way wrong?
You have to get the basics right first.

The buffer handles only small signal levels (line level) and is your preamp (basicly your volume control).

The 41hz amp is your power amplifier and brings your line level signal up to enough power to drive your speakers.

Running a power amplifier into a pre-amp is a recipe for instant death for the preamp.

So the correct signal chain is signalsource-buffer-poweramp.
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Old 28th April 2013, 09:40 AM   #5
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Alright, thanks.. As said i'm really first learning here, why i know my basics are really insufficient..

So, what I should do is signal source->buffer->(via jack-in) amp->speakers?

As for power supply, can I connect my 12V battery directly to the PCB of the buffer? And should both the amp and the buffer be powered, or how does that work?

Thank you for bearing with me and my lack of knowledge
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Old 28th April 2013, 10:28 AM   #6
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"source->buffer->(via jack-in) amp->speakers?"
That is correct.

But given your in-experience, it may not be a good project for you to start with. There are hybrid kits that are already set up the way you want - using the tube as a buffer for the TA2020. They don't cost much at all, so perhaps you can get that instead, but to be honest, since the tube is simply being used as a buffer, often without any gain at all - so I am not sure you will really hear any difference at all - especially if you run the tube at low voltage.

Jaz
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Old 28th April 2013, 10:57 AM   #7
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Yeah, I've seen those hybrid kits, but most of doesn't run off of 12V. - And as i'm using the setup for a portable system, i also have to have the battery life span in mind.

I got the 6N3 from friend of mine. He bought it assembled and tested, so i don't have to do any soldering or anything. Sadly he's not able to help me with my project, which is why I turned to you fine gentlemen..

Jaz, you're having your doubts whether it will do a difference as it'll only be used as a buffer? But it should theoretically still provide gain and extra power for the output, or not?

As for the power supply, do you know how I could power the signal off? Battery in one end, or battery on Amp AND Buffer?
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Old 28th April 2013, 12:37 PM   #8
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That buffer needs AC so you need a transformer or an AC wallwart with enough current capability.

It may have a voltage doubler circuit on it and then yo got more then 12v present on the board.

So there may be a shock hazard even when feeding with low voltage.

I encourage people to explore and learn but if you´re a total newbie perhaps it´s a good idea to get help from someone more experienced.
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Old 28th April 2013, 12:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobiashellbrandt View Post
Yeah, I've seen those hybrid kits, but most of doesn't run off of 12V. - And as i'm using the setup for a portable system, i also have to have the battery life span in mind.

I got the 6N3 from friend of mine. He bought it assembled and tested, so i don't have to do any soldering or anything. Sadly he's not able to help me with my project, which is why I turned to you fine gentlemen..

Jaz, you're having your doubts whether it will do a difference as it'll only be used as a buffer? But it should theoretically still provide gain and extra power for the output, or not?

As for the power supply, do you know how I could power the signal off? Battery in one end, or battery on Amp AND Buffer?
A buffer in it´s true meaning is unity gain = 0 or sometimes a bit less then zero amplification.

What you´re after with a buffer is a volume control and the a capability drive your amp.
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Old 28th April 2013, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobiashellbrandt View Post
Jaz, you're having your doubts whether it will do a difference as it'll only be used as a buffer? But it should theoretically still provide gain and extra power for the output, or not?

As for the power supply, do you know how I could power the signal off? Battery in one end, or battery on Amp AND Buffer?
I should qualify my statement, since the TA2020 does not really need a pre-amp, in many hybrid designs, the tube is run as a cathode follower, with less than unity (<1) gain, in fact, it should sound exactly the same as the input given the 100% negative feedback, it's as colorless as a tube is going to get... For a placebo effect, put an orange LED under the tube and "light it up", so you can get that nice warm "tube" glow.

Of course, you don't have to use the cathode follower configuration, in which case, you can amplify the signal then attenuate the output, before the TA2020 so it is not over-driven.

May I ask what is the application for this hybrid amp? Is it for portable use? If so, the whole thing can be run off battery, or as it has been suggested, run off an AC-DC power supply, either way will work. Take a look at the links I provided, and you can see both scenarios.

Jaz
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