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Old 12th September 2005, 02:42 PM   #1
pat49hk is offline pat49hk  Hong Kong
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Default 6C33 Circlotron

Dear All,

I am going to build a 6C33 Circlotron OTL as schematic attached. I hope can get help to :

1) evaluate and give comment to modify the circuit;
2) a effective speaker protection circuit to apply;
3) a soft-start HT circuit to avoid pop noise with arround 2 minute start up run-in.

Thanks in advance.

Patrick
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Old 13th September 2005, 01:42 AM   #2
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Quote:
1) evaluate and give comment to modify the circuit;
I assume you are used to design SS based amplifiers? It looks un-necessary complicated to me and I am sure that you would reach a good result quicker with a less complicated design, e.g http://members.aol.com/aria3/index.html if you want a Circlotron or something like this if you can accept a non circlotron design http://www.tubetvr.com/otl.html

I dont like the Circlotron myself due to higher complexity, higher output impedance and DC level on both outputs without any advantages.

Quote:
a effective speaker protection circuit to apply;
Not really necessary but if you want you can do a window comparator that measure the DC level on the output and switchoff the B+ if DC offset is too high

Quote:
a soft-start HT circuit to avoid pop noise with arround 2 minute start up run-in.
Not necessary either if you switch on power stage heater + drive stage heater + drive stage B+ first, wait one minute and then switch on B+ to output stage.

Regards Hans
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Old 13th September 2005, 08:03 AM   #3
pat49hk is offline pat49hk  Hong Kong
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Default 6C33 OTL

Dear Hans

Thanks for your response and kindly advise.

Yes, I am agree that the circuit is complicate a little bit and look like SS design as it is one of my goal to try and get the result for applying those concepts in a tube amplifier. (Somebody told me that it was good but another said that it sounds "dead-hard" even the measurement data are excellent. Please let me know if anybody has experiences about this.)

Your links enclosed are very useful. I had build a Futterman OTL with 7591 in triode connection long times ago and its ˇ§sweetˇ¨ sound still in my mind.

Can you explain in which view of point you are thinking that the speaker protection is not really necessary? It is so different with my own thinking.

The start-up procedure is right but I just want the auto proceed to make my wife comfortable.

Hope to hearing from you soon.

Regards,

Patrick
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Old 13th September 2005, 11:49 AM   #4
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Hi,

My firm belief is that one of many reasons why tube amplifiers can give better sound than SS designs is that it is possible to make a design with fewer components. In early days of solid state designers tried to make amplifiers copying old tube circuits, it didn't work well as design criterias are very different for tubes and solid state and for the same reasons I don't believe in applying ss design to tubes.

Some examples: in your design the first diff stage is connected to a 2nd diff stage or what tube designers called a CF input GG output stage, what is the reason of this? Is it to not put un-necessary load on the diff stage? It is not necessary with tubes as the grid has all but infinite input impedance. I also note that you put constant current sources on all drive stages, is it because you want to maximise gain? The gain of a triode doesn't differ that much if the load is changed so you dont get so much by this, maybe 3dB, with transistors it is different as they behave more like a penthode where the gain is ~GM * Rl but this is not true for triodes. I would remove all CCS and get a much simpler design.

Re speaker protection, the most common failure modes of 6C33 is reportedly grid cathode short with a large increase in cathode current and what will happen is either that a fuse in the B+ circuit will blow or that the cathode link in the tube will blow. Either of these, (the fuse or the cathode link) will burn so quickly that a speaker doesn't have the time to get damaged so therefore you probably don't need a speaker protection. I have built several OTL amplifiers for my frends and some of them strongly requested a speaker protection so I made a simple one with a relay that switch off the B+ if the DC offset on the output exceed a certain value, it works very well when I test it but it has never been activated in practise.

The start up procedure I described cab be handle by a simple relay timer with turn on delay that switch on the B+ after a certain time, these can be bought ready made.

Regards Hans
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Old 15th September 2005, 03:03 PM   #5
pat49hk is offline pat49hk  Hong Kong
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Dear Hans,

First of all, I need to clarify that I am simple circuit pursuer also. But in another hand, I believing "what you pay and what you get". The only question is - It worth to pay or not? (Sometimes trouble is one sort of "get", right?)

Actually I had preparing two sets of driver board (one with-out CCS) for this experiment. I agreed the differences between SS and tube circuit, but I just want to know the possibility to gear-up the strength and weak of them. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

I still trend to insert speaker protection due to uncertainty. Your practices are good reference but never been activate does not means never happen.

Ready made seems a bit off-track of DIY; I wish to have my own design.

Regards,

Patrick
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Old 16th September 2005, 03:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
The only question is - It worth to pay or not? (Sometimes trouble is one sort of "get", right?)
Agreed but it usually some kind of "diminishing return on investment" and often complexity doesn't pay off at all.

I don't know how you came up with your design but if you think it is good then try it, when I am doing a new design I first sit down and think about what I want to achieve and then I design the circuit to fulfil those goals. This is how I work in my day to day work, (I am working with radio circuit design) and this is the way I have found is the most efficient. Of course it is so that I do a lot of experiments but I always get a good understanding on how something is supposed to work before I build it. My personal goal is to predict how something is going to work and then confirming it by building it, this I can achieve not always but often.

I will not give more comments to your design as we probably have completely different thinking and/or philosophy regarding eventual benefits of using solid state circuitry in a tube circuit.

Quote:
I still trend to insert speaker protection due to uncertainty. Your practices are good reference but never been activate does not means never happen.
I understand that you are worried about this issue and I have given you 2 ideas, either use a quick blowing fuse in the B+ lines of the Power stage or design a circuit as I did using a window comparator checking DC on the output, both methods work well.

Quote:
Ready made seems a bit off-track of DIY; I wish to have my own design.
I assume you mean the timer for start up? I used a ready made turn on delay relay in my first OTL but I have used an electronic timer for the others I built, It uses the same circuit board both for the speaker protection and for the turn on timer.

Regards Hans
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Old 16th September 2005, 07:58 AM   #7
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Hi,
have you ever thought of using/adapting this design for 6C33?
http://www.vacuumstate.com/various/d...ure_lo-rez.pdf
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Old 16th September 2005, 08:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
have you ever thought of using/adapting this design for 6C33?
I don't know if you directed the question to me or Patrick but the answer from me is no, I have stopped building transformer coupled tube amps and am concentrating on OTL's only. I have never found a transformer coupled amp that is as good as an OTL and then I have auditioned probably more than 50 different amps including SET, push-pull, hybrid and OTL.

Regards Hans
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Old 16th September 2005, 08:53 AM   #9
kambule is offline kambule  Hong Kong
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Default where you get the 6c33B ??

Patrick,

I live in HK as well. Where you get the 6c33B and the reliable sockets ??


kb
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Old 16th September 2005, 07:53 PM   #10
pat49hk is offline pat49hk  Hong Kong
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Dear Hans

I am glad to sharing your work experience and it is precious for my daily job too. (I was AM/FM Multi-band PCB designer but turned to Cordless Phone PCB design now.)

As I said that this is an experiment; the main goals is to comparing the differences and try to seek the ways to gear it up. I think this can only be finding out from practices and not concerning about any prediction and/or philosophy (May be the only prediction is to prove). I wish somebody could tell me which performance/specification need to analyze thoughtfully and how.

Yes, I am worrying of this issue. Can I have your schematic of what you told - window comparator - for reference? My own idea attached hereafter but I am considering to modifying it.

I think we got the same idea and please comment my preliminary board design.

Regards

Dear Wiligruen,

One of my friends had built a 6C33 class-AB amp with output transformer, it sounds good. But there are wide range of tube selection for transformer output amp not only 6C33 - a hard handling tube.

Regards

Dear Kambule,

My friends in Mainland bought it for me. I don't know the socket is reliable or not now, until I proceed the experiment.

Regards
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