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Old 13th October 2014, 02:48 PM   #1
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Default western electric 124 amplifier

Hi- I want to build a pair of WESTERN ELECTRIC 124 or 142 theater amplifiers. Is there anyone out there who knows about Western Electric amplifiers? I have a number of questions>

What is the difference between the 124 and the 142? I haven't decided which one i want to build.

Is the transformer input a big part of the sound? The vintage ones are impossible and expensive to get. Are there some modern replacements for these input transformer parts that will sound good? I have never used an input transformer. How do they affect the sound?

The 124 schematic says there are two ways to hook it up : one where is generates 12 watts power and one where it generates 20 watts of power. I want to hook up for twenty.......Is this a class A and class AB power configuration.?

Please someone be my guide. I have made six amplifiers and I want to continue but I am still quite an amateur and a copycat. Now I want to copy W.E. gear. Everyone raves about these vintage amps.
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Old 13th October 2014, 05:59 PM   #2
ColinA is offline ColinA  United Kingdom
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I am suprised that you want to build a vintage amp replica but you seem to have done no research!

The higher power output is obtained by applying higher voltage to the valve. 391v or 426v
A simple Google search gives this link
http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct...BNjBLQ&cad=rja
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Old 13th October 2014, 06:57 PM   #3
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If you have already built 6 amps but find it troublesome to analyze a simple audio amp schematic, I´d take the time to study a bit the common circuit topoligies to understand what each component does in the amp. When you realize how these things work you´ll enjoy the hobby a lot more.

Take some time to study before jumping into another amp, if not it´s like you´re building a lego set which seems kinda pointless to me given you´ve already done 6 other amps. Just my 2cents
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Old 13th October 2014, 07:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinA View Post
I am suprised that you want to build a vintage amp replica but you seem to have done no research!

The higher power output is obtained by applying higher voltage to the valve. 391v or 426v
A simple Google search gives this link
http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct...BNjBLQ&cad=rja
Thanks for this info. You're right I haven't done much research. I have an old scientific amp that you can switch from class A service to class AB and I assumed that maybe the W.E. did that too resulting in different output power.

I am getting excited about building a W.E. amp and I don't know which one to build. I also don't understand transformer inputs. The amps I have built are all inputs into the grid of the first tube.
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Old 13th October 2014, 07:20 PM   #5
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Thanks- I need to study more , you are right., but i don't find it troublesome, i simply don't understand how these things work in every specific case. I can follow simple circuits but I also get confused easily. I have been building things from schematics and have had good luck. Things like feed book loops confuse me, in this case the feed back loop is something i don't understand. I enjoy the challenge of this stuff. I appreciate your advice , maybe i will enjoy the hobby more as i understand it more fully.
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Old 14th October 2014, 04:46 AM   #6
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Default Western Electric 124 schematic

Schematic of all versions minus the input transformer posted below. As you can see the input transformer is not responsible for splitting the phase so it's not necessary in a clone project.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 14th October 2014, 12:37 PM   #7
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AFAIK, using vintage or period-correct parts is preferred for WE clones. Without them, do not expect much WE magic, the audiophiles in Asia go to great length to replicate the exact construction, layout and of course the components used for the amplifier. Good luck with your project.
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Old 14th October 2014, 01:19 PM   #8
Mikha is offline Mikha  Russian Federation
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Hi guys!

Quote:
The 124 schematic says there are two ways to hook it up : one where is generates 12 watts power and one where it generates 20 watts of power. I want to hook up for twenty.......Is this a class A and class AB power configuration.?
I think both of those power configurations are AB. Look at 6L6 plate specifications: Audio Tube Data Sheet - Power Tetrode
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Old 14th October 2014, 05:00 PM   #9
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Wow the guy asked a good question and everyone attacks him.. Maybe he enjoys building but has no interest in being an EE... There's nothing wrong with building and enjoying the hobby to the best of your ability.. The OP was even nice in replying to the rather crapy answers he received...

There is an artical online of a guy who tested a WE amp with mutilple out put transformers..
The conclusion was its the circuit not the iron.. WE iron was not full frequency it was for voice for the phone company..

You can get much better iron and end up with a very nice clone.. I don't think he wants to sell it as a reproduction so why the need for the original iron?

Let the guy have fun and if you don't want to help maybe no responce would be better...

Jason
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Old 16th October 2014, 04:04 PM   #10
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Luke, I too am interested in building an amp based on the WE 124 design. Someone in this thread mentioned an article somewhere from a guy who built one on a Heath chassis and tried different OPTs (including the WE 171C). He concluded that the magic in the 124 amp is actually in its circuit design and not the iron used. He compared his amp to an actual WE 124 and found that he was able to surpass the original in sound quality using a different vintage OPT and some other updated parts. Unfortunately, the site where that article appeared has been closed but I have a copy of it in my files. If you want to read it, I can look for it and send it to you.

All I know from firsthand experience is that a pair of true 124 amps can sound absolutely wonderful. There is a store not too far from me that specializes in vintage gear and I have heard the owner's pair several times on various speakers. Not quite the same as hearing them in my own home, I admit, but what I heard in his store was very nice indeed. Also, his 124s have WE 350B outputs which are supposed to be pretty special as well.
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