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Old 13th January 2021, 05:27 PM   #11
calmant is offline calmant  Belgium
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I have another question: in the parts list, it says 'two output tubes' (I'll get KT88s), and a single 12AT7 tube.

On most build, I see four tubes. Is this the 'tube rectifier' version? If so, what is that exactly?
Is my choice of a 12AT7 going to make a difference in sound, or only the output tubes will?
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Old 13th January 2021, 05:43 PM   #12
Duke58 is offline Duke58  United States
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One output tube per channel is what makes it a Single Ended (SE) amp.

SSE = Simple Single Ended. There is a separate rectumfinder tube and one 12AT7 tube. Two sections on the 12AT7 tube, so you only need one driver tube for the amplifier. There are subtle differences between brands of tubes. Since there's only one per amp, tube rolling may commence at a lower price point.
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Old 13th January 2021, 05:51 PM   #13
Tubelab_com is offline Tubelab_com  United States
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You will need 2 X KT88, one 12AT7/ECC81, and one 5AR4/GZ34 for the SSE.

The 12AT7 and ECC81 are the same tube just US / Euro designations. You can use a tube with either, or both numbers. Ditto the 5AR4/GZ34.

The European KT88 and US 6550 are very similar but not totally identical tubes. Either can be used in the SSE.

I got your order and it will be shipped tomorrow. I'll email you the tracking number tonight.
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Old 13th January 2021, 06:04 PM   #14
calmant is offline calmant  Belgium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke58 View Post
One output tube per channel is what makes it a Single Ended (SE) amp.

SSE = Simple Single Ended. There is a separate rectumfinder tube and one 12AT7 tube. Two sections on the 12AT7 tube, so you only need one driver tube for the amplifier. There are subtle differences between brands of tubes. Since there's only one per amp, tube rolling may commence at a lower price point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubelab_com View Post
You will need 2 X KT88, one 12AT7/ECC81, and one 5AR4/GZ34 for the SSE.

The 12AT7 and ECC81 are the same tube just US / Euro designations. You can use a tube with either, or both numbers. Ditto the 5AR4/GZ34.

The European KT88 and US 6550 are very similar but not totally identical tubes. Either can be used in the SSE.

I got your order and it will be shipped tomorrow. I'll email you the tracking number tonight.
Thanks for the clarifications.

Will these works as coupling caps? They're rated 630VDC.

About the 12AT7 tubes, will tube rolling these make any difference to the sound? As a starting tube, I can either get this one or that one. Any pointers?
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Old 13th January 2021, 06:14 PM   #15
Duke58 is offline Duke58  United States
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Caps are caps. Laws of physics don't change. Congratulations to anyone who can hear a difference between caps made of beeswax and caps made of gold and fairy dust. I put Illinois (IC) yellow caps in my SSE and it sounds good to me.

As for the driver tube- I would buy the least expensive for now. Listen to the amp after you build it, then roll some tubes.
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Old 13th January 2021, 06:17 PM   #16
cogitech is offline cogitech  Canada
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Either one of those will be "fine" as a starter 12AT7.

Some people report that the quality of driver tube can be just as important (perhaps more so) than the power tubes. It is all very subjective and depends a lot on all the other pieces of your sound system, so there is no way to know whether you will notice a difference or not.

Regarding rectification - this converts AC power to DC that the amp can use. The SSE can use either solid state rectification (via diodes) or tube rectification (via 5AR4, 5U4-GB, etc.). If you plan to use solid state rectification then you don't need that tube. SS rectification is more efficient, so your B+ voltage will be significantly higher and more "stout". Despite this, most SSE builders choose tube rectification.
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Old 13th January 2021, 06:23 PM   #17
calmant is offline calmant  Belgium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke58 View Post
Caps are caps. Laws of physics don't change. Congratulations to anyone who can hear a difference between caps made of beeswax and caps made of gold and fairy dust. I put Illinois (IC) yellow caps in my SSE and it sounds good to me.

As for the driver tube- I would buy the least expensive for now. Listen to the amp after you build it, then roll some tubes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke58 View Post
Caps are caps. Laws of physics don't change. Congratulations to anyone who can hear a difference between caps made of beeswax and caps made of gold and fairy dust. I put Illinois (IC) yellow caps in my SSE and it sounds good to me.

As for the driver tube- I would buy the least expensive for now. Listen to the amp after you build it, then roll some tubes.
These Mundorf are even cheaper than the one I could find on Digikey. I was just wondering if they would work. As in, are they too big or not rated correctly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cogitech View Post
Either one of those will be "fine" as a starter 12AT7.

Some people report that the quality of driver tube can be just as important (perhaps more so) than the power tubes. It is all very subjective and depends a lot on all the other pieces of your sound system, so there is no way to know whether you will notice a difference or not.

Regarding rectification - this converts AC power to DC that the amp can use. The SSE can use either solid state rectification (via diodes) or tube rectification (via 5AR4, 5U4-GB, etc.). If you plan to use solid state rectification then you don't need that tube. SS rectification is more efficient, so your B+ voltage will be significantly higher and more "stout". Despite this, most SSE builders choose tube rectification.
That's interesting, I didn't have this information even though I read a lot of things about the SSE.

Is their a way to make the amp able to do both? As in, freely switch bewteen diode rectification and tube rectification? I'd like to experience both. Though more power sounds like something I'd like. I need something around 15W per channels.
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Old 13th January 2021, 06:27 PM   #18
cogitech is offline cogitech  Canada
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Yes. You can install a switch which will allow you to switch between SS and tube rectification. Very simple - George designed it this way.

I recommend reading the entire SSE page(s) at least 3 times before beginning.

15W per channel in ultralinear mode is a no-brainer with KT-88, regardless of rectification method (especially considering your 3.2K OPTs).

Last edited by cogitech; 13th January 2021 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 13th January 2021, 06:34 PM   #19
overtheairbroadcast is offline overtheairbroadcast  Canada
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Quote:
That's interesting, I didn't have this information even though I read a lot of things about the SSE.

Is their a way to make the amp able to do both? As in, freely switch bewteen diode rectification and tube rectification? I'd like to experience both. Though more power sounds like something I'd like. I need something around 15W per channels.
Head over to George's website. It is the official repository of all things George has done with his designs.

Under the SSE tab for his designs, read each page carefully as it gives tips, recommendations, and all the instructions you might require to build your Tubelab SSE tube amplifier. George has done all the leg work and presented it there for everyone to see.

Want to switch between SS rectification and tube rectification? It is there along with colourful diagrams.

Wiring Diagrams | Tubelab

Recommended parts and components? It is there. Recommended values while testing and during the operation of the amplifier? It is there.

Troubleshooting a problem that you just can't get a grip on? A how to question? An opinion on a certain change you might want deviating from the original design? How would light coloured wood might look versus a plain black painted chassis? Well, ask away here in these forums and provide lots and lots of up close photographs and someone will answer.

Good luck in your build, it is really a nice amp to listen to.

Last edited by overtheairbroadcast; 13th January 2021 at 06:35 PM. Reason: A word.
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Old 15th January 2021, 12:45 PM   #20
calmant is offline calmant  Belgium
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Everything's ordered and I'll start building as soon as I receive the components.

I was wondering whether it would be possible to include an Arduino in my SSE build, hooked to a screen monitoring watt per channel, time since I turned on the amp, temperature, etc.

I looked through the forum but can't seem to find anyone who's done it before.
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