• WARNING: Tube/Valve amplifiers use potentially LETHAL HIGH VOLTAGES.
    Building, troubleshooting and testing of these amplifiers should only be
    performed by someone who is thoroughly familiar with
    the safety precautions around high voltages.

I want to MOD - help?

auditude

Member
2007-12-06 7:36 pm
Hi,

I'd like to tackle what seems to be a "simple" mod.

Subject - TAD-60 el34 PP amp
Skills - NONE whatsoever. Other than working on a Radioshack Electronics kit when I was 6 I have next to no soldering skills.

Reason: I know what the Modded TAD can and does sound like in my system and I want to mod the one I have to equal or surpass it.

* I had owned a Superba/Signature TAD60 about a year ago and I was thrilled by it's sonics. Why don't I still have it? The amp hummed miserably in my house.

Long story short I sold it and now have another one but it is stock. I DOES NOT hum so but it doesn't sound as good as the modded version.

Now I want to mod it so that it sounds as good or better since I know this unit doesn't hum.

I'd like to start small and simple and step by step in order to see the results of each mod as I perform them.

I'd like to start @ the input caps. I believe the Superba unit had Sonicaps or Auricaps - I'm looking for something to meet or exceed the performance of those caps in the input section.

Do I simply replace with a better cap that has the same values?

Any tips to keep in mind while doing this and where are the resources to order the parts from?

Simple enough for a DIY n00b? I'm just a bit more competent than my wife likes to believe so step-by-step with illustrations or pictures WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

TIA and happy listening folks!

Angelo
 
1) Find out what mods were done- if it's a complete redesign that could be a bit too much to handle.

2) Have you considered trying different tubes first? Get some NOS tubes and see their effect on the sound, it can be remarkable. Small signal tubes are not terribly expensive.

3) Read the safety thread- you don't like your gear enough to die from it.

4) Replacement capacitors should be the same or similar value and an equal or greater voltage rating. Avoid spending a fortune- there is a lot of snake oil out there.
 

auditude

Member
2007-12-06 7:36 pm
Thank you

Yes, I've read the Safety Sticky Thread as well as some of the other n00b and tube stickies and threads as well.

I have no intention of messing with the power supply or any part of it...at this time. I just want to deal with the signal/input portion.

I've contacted Paul a few times re: the upgrade, especially since I've previously owned the "Superba" version but he will not disclose the info to me. It's not like I can't ask a Superba owner to take a picture of the amp's guts for reference.

I actually opened my superba version up WITH Paul on the phone in order to hunt down the hum so I remember that there were either Sonicaps or Auricaps in the signal path. Other than that though, I'm blank.

Re: Tube rolling - I'm a n00b to DIY, not to tubes and not to rolling. I've tried many different signal and output tubes and have finally settled on a cv4004 in the ax7 spot and RCA Cleartops in the au7 spots. I currently have some Svetlanas and NOS Sovteks c.1999 for my el34 duties. (A Quad of each - NOT mixed together :bigeyes: )

So, now I'm left with modding or upgrading to another amp. I'm in a time in my life where I'm enjoying the gear I have and I'm feeling adventurous enough to try the input cap mod.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

TIA and good listening!