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First Tube Project - S5 Electronics Preamp
First Tube Project - S5 Electronics Preamp
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Old 26th February 2020, 03:17 PM   #1
vdi_nenna is offline vdi_nenna  United States
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First Tube Project - S5 Electronics Preamp
Default First Tube Project - S5 Electronics Preamp

For several reasons, I have selected the S5 Electronics preamp as my first valve project.
It's just about the simplest tube preamp schematic you can imagine. There's a cathode and plate resistor, cap on input and output.
Uses a 5670 twin triode. Tiny thing. Doesn't include a power supply.

So I'm looking to find anyone who's built this kit, like to know their experience and if there's any simple improvements without crazy modifications.
There could be others out there that have built similar simple preamps.
Like to hear their thoughts as well.

I don't know a lot about tubes, but I see many designs with a cathode resistor bypass cap.
I suppose I could just try it, but I'd rather ask than break the thing out of the gate. Are there any recommended values for the bypass cap?
The Cathode Bypass Capacitor Explained - DIY AUDIO BLOG, AUDIO WORKSHOP

For $25 more, I purchased slightly "better" resistors and caps: Clarity caps and PRR resistors as opposed to orange drops and carbon resistors.

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Old 26th February 2020, 09:38 PM   #2
6A3sUMMER is offline 6A3sUMMER  United States
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In order to suggest a modification, it is really helpful to start with information about the preamp.
A schematic would prove helpful.

A link to the S5 Electronics would be nice too.

It is also helpful to know how you will use this preamp.

Your signal source into the preamp is ___________
Your amplifier the preamp output will drive is __________
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Old 26th February 2020, 09:51 PM   #3
vdi_nenna is offline vdi_nenna  United States
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First Tube Project - S5 Electronics Preamp
Thanks for answering.

Didn't include the schematic since it's a commercial product. Although it's probably no more than an applications note's design.

Sources into tube preamp: phono stage and line level DAC.

Tube preamp high gain output to solid state power follower (no voltage gain).
Tube preamp low gain to standard solid state power amps.

Amps range from SE mosfet to two stage with jfet inputs.

This preamp can be set to 10, 20 or 30db of gain, which is something I need.
S5 Electronics
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Old 26th February 2020, 09:59 PM   #4
rayma is offline rayma  United States
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Cathode bypass capacitors should not be needed here, since the gain is already able to be 30dB
without them. The distortion and noise would likely increase, if they were added.
This circuit appears to be a (dual) standard common cathode amplifier with input and output caps.
S-5 Electronics, Hearsay Corp.

Last edited by rayma; 26th February 2020 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 27th February 2020, 12:09 AM   #5
vdi_nenna is offline vdi_nenna  United States
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First Tube Project - S5 Electronics Preamp
Thanks rayma. Really basic schematic. Has 1 cap and 1 resistor going to both plates. The rest we already discussed. .
Uses four .22uF for input and output.
Was wondering if larger caps would be ok.
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Old 27th February 2020, 12:16 AM   #6
rayma is offline rayma  United States
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Depends on your load, but if the input impedance of the amp is over 100k, it's probably not
worthwhile, since smaller caps tend to sound better overall (if they are still large enough).
Make sure the capacitors are not Mylar (polyester); those should be replaced with pp types.

If the grids connect to ground through a resistor, you may be able to short the input capacitors.
Some biasing circuits do elevate the grid above ground though, even in a common cathode circuit.

Is this like the circuit (without the Ck)? If so, there's no good reason to have the input coupling capacitor.
Designing Common-Cathode Triode Amplifiers

Last edited by rayma; 27th February 2020 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 27th February 2020, 01:49 AM   #7
vdi_nenna is offline vdi_nenna  United States
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First Tube Project - S5 Electronics Preamp
Common cathode triode looks the same as S5, except Ck and R1 are not present in S5 preamp.

Replaced the caps with Clarity caps.
0.22uF 630Vdc, SA Series, Metalized Polypropylene Film Capacitor 24mmD x 20mmL
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Old 21st March 2020, 11:54 PM   #8
vdi_nenna is offline vdi_nenna  United States
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First Tube Project - S5 Electronics Preamp
Was able to get the S5 circuit built over a few weekends.
Plenty of gain to drive the First Watt F4 without changing resistor values.
I think it sounds pretty good out of the gate.
Has the tube sound I was looking for.
Would have been disappointed if it sounded like a transistor preamp.
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Old 22nd March 2020, 12:22 AM   #9
vinylkid58 is online now vinylkid58  Canada
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I guessing that power transformer was left over from one of your Pass amps.

jeff
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Old 22nd March 2020, 12:41 AM   #10
vdi_nenna is offline vdi_nenna  United States
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First Tube Project - S5 Electronics Preamp
Haha, no. It was recommended for the price, availability and secondarys, but I still had to lower the voltage by ~40v. It`s overkill but it got the job done.
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