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07-10-2005 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 1175
Reply to: 1175
To drive the 6C33C...

Sine I informed public about Melquiades amplifiers I receive many emails from people asking me about the operation points of 6C33C. For whatever reasons people mistakably took me for some kind of 6C33C guru, which is am not. Moreover I could be hardly be a consultant to any electronic engendering subjects, probably with an exception of the very narrow fields where I personally happened did something and was able (mostly accidentally) to reach some conclusive results. This post is my sharing with public about my experience regarding the 6C33C’s operation where I today do feel comfortable with my findings and with my result.

I do use 6C33C for years and I experienced it in many amplifiers, I like this tube. However, I begun to actually drive it on my own since the Melquiades project started last year. There were countless experiments done during that time to optimize the 6C33 used and more or less optimum scenario was found. However, with the Super Melquiades (3 channels of Melquiades) the task was to push the envelop of Single Ended’s capacity. The Super Melquiades’ MF and HF use ½ of the 6C33 and the LF channel uses one full 6C33.

My primary attention of this post is to share my finding of how the LF channel of Super Melquiades was resolved as the solution turned out to be not that I was expecting.

Forget the paper’s operation data on the 6C33. The 125V and the current up to .5A perhaps goes a job in a voltage regulator of MIG-29 but it has no relation to sound. Certainly, in my case the 6C33 was used and tested with fixed bias, no other biasing methods considered civilized for this tube (sound-wise).

My initial sentiment was to replicate what Vladimir Lamm did with this tube - 175V/300A. He suggested that he used this tube for his designs sine 1971 and that he was the person who opened this tube to public. Obviously he knows what he does with 6C33, however, he uses 6C33 regulated but I do not, and do not practically like anode voltage regulation. Secondary Lamm is highly conditional in his visions and this restricts his output. So, when I made Melquiades I had in there 200mA transformer and it was no surprise that I had the very best bass result at 180mA/200V. Any further increase of current worsened sound whish obviously was die to the core saturation, or at least it was what I though… the ironic part was that Melquiades with it’s little transformer ad way better bass then 310mA Lamm ML2 drive at full throttle. I attributed it to many Melquiades’s specifics but not to the lower plate current.

Last few days I spent a LOT of time playing with the Super Melquiades. The Super Melquiades has 450mA 1/8 output transformer with inductance of primary of 15H.  It is non-sectional little-monster that specifically made for LF operation and that roles off at 630Hz. It powered by 1A power transformer with multiple secondary 275V, 300V and 330V. After a full wave rectifier the channel has input 10H/500mA chock, followed with 100uF, then 50R resistor and 350/10.000 capacitor, sitting directly next to the primary of the transformer.

After I set it up I spent quite a time to driving my LF line array and to listen the thing under the different operation, voltage and current. Then, armed with scope and function generator I begin to measure the thing trying to find out some correlations between the auditable and measurable. Dima Kereev (“deemon” within this site) pretty much ran the show with the “measurable” and he was the one who interpreted the results of all my measurements. We spent countless amount of time on telephone and now I learned how to measure with a oscilloscope the pH factor of my coffee. :-)

Anyhow, to my big surprise the fashionable believe that the 6C33 loves high voltage turn out to be incorrect. With increase of voltage and dropping current the tube certainly give up more power but bass become contrived and pretentious. The channel kind of demonstrates a willingness to push bass even if there is not need for it. With the specious recording there was bass but there was no Space – the primary evidence that the sub-audible bass was not there.  In ALL scenarios I find that 45-50W on plate is more suitable power dissipation for this tube. So, the measurement-wise at 275V and 170mA the channel pushed at full power down to 23Hz with 5.2V at input,  then with decrease of input voltage to 4.8V the channel was able to care this power down to 14Hz. The rise of current helped a little, however driven by continues 20Hz  at 5V input signal the tube (any tube that I tried) had a tendency to heat the plate.

At 250V the total out was also strong but the behavior was in some way identical with 275V on plate. The exception was that the lowest non-distorted max power was at 21Hz and with reduction of input voltage the channel begin to distort at the same 14Hz. The heating up of plate was way less aggressive and sonically the bass had way less nervousness and anxiety then when it was driver at 275V

I liked the most when I drove the 6C33 plate with 230V. I run all possible currents and… surprise, surprise I ended up at 150mA.  At this current I had in somewhat reduced total output power (34W on plate ~12W at aoutput) but the tubes measured very nicely. The most important it has a phenomenally interesting sound bass- very reach, very low, very articulates but at the same time very… VERY… “loaded”  At full power the channel ran down to 16.5Hz and with a reduction of input voltage from 5.2V to 4.8V the amp holds the perfect shape of wave down to ~7Hz. The anode at 20Hz and 5V of input hold the temperature very nicely.

Before the closing up the amp I thought to dump those finding on my site. I do not know how generic my result might be but I hope some of you would find it useful. At least it might be a collective reply to a dozen of guys who contacted me asking how I used the 6C33C, I never said to them anything defiantly before….

Rgs,
Romy the Cat

PS Correction: Please increase all written by me current measurements in Super Melquiades by 20%


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
07-11-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Thorsten


United Kingdom
Posts 65
Joined on 12-06-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 1181
Reply to: 1175
Re: To drive the 6C33C...
Hi,

 Romy the Cat wrote:
I liked the most when I drove the 6C33 plate with 230V. I run all possible currents and… surprise, surprise I ended up at 150mA.


I find the same true with other power triodes.

When comparing operating conditions near rated power (eg. 300B @ 400V/80mA) I like the sound least, I personally tend to prefer lower currents and voltages TOGETHER with a much higher nominal load impedance. Eg. I generally like the 300B best at 350V/60mA/5K Load, compared to 350V/80mA/3K for WE91 and the often found 400V/80mA/2K5 in commercial Amp's for maximum power.

I generally find that Valves sound better keeping dissipation to no more than 1/2 rated anode dissipation and equally that "low current high load" operation sounds better than "high current low load" operation. If in doubt and more power is needed I tend to prefer to raise the Anode Voltage and the load, not the anode current, but all rules have occasional exceptions.

Ciao T


"It is to Madame Justice that I dedicate this concerto, in view of the holiday she seems to have taken from these parts." V
07-31-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 1251
Reply to: 1175
if (6C41C.CompareTo(½6C33C)!=0)

The 6C33C was available with 1,2,3 anodes. The version with one anode known as 6C41C.  It kind of smaller tube with the rest practically identical characteristics with ½ 6C33C. Did anyone ever hear how this tube sounds. Bas Horneman  uses it in his amps but he does not have experience with 6C33C. I have seen before that the sampler packaging tubes did not sounded as good as this larger brothers, even if the where identical tubes but with the reduced glass volumes.

So, did anyone have an OK sounding amp with ½ 6C33C and who tried to replace it with 6C41C? If so then could you share your observations?

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
08-01-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Genn
Moscow
Posts 16
Joined on 06-28-2005

Post #: 4
Post ID: 1252
Reply to: 1175
Re: To supply the 6C33C...
I used 6c33c at about 250V Vp, -100 Vg and it was good. 

Another important point for sound of tubes - the filament. I find out, that the sound at 6,0-6,1 V filament is preferable to the one at 6,3V. I simply add a series resitor for each socket. Brightness of the music is reduced - but transparency of the meanings and musical involvment increased.  

SY, G
03-02-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 2148
Reply to: 1251
How to live with ½ of 6C33C?

 Romy the Cat wrote:
 ... did anyone have an OK sounding amp with ½ 6C33C ...
The 6C33C has only one pin that connected to both plates. Since I use ½ of 6C33C in my MF and UpperBass channels then I theoretically burn just a half of the tube. Pretend that the right part of cathode, plate and grid, along with right filament has already worn. Then, could I instead of trashing the tube to flip it to the left filament and continue to use the unused part of the cathode, plate and filament? Theoretically it might be the case but the entire tube now should be filed up with the residual gas of right triode operation and the getter should be greatly eaten. Still, can I somehow take advantage of the fact that I still have a brand spanking new heater and anode in left triode or the tube might be considered gone for good?

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-05-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Thorsten


United Kingdom
Posts 65
Joined on 12-06-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 2154
Reply to: 2148
Re: How to live with ½ of 6C33C?
Hi,

 Romy the Cat wrote:
could I instead of trashing the tube to flip it to the left filament and continue to use the unused part of the cathode, plate and filament?


Sure you could.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
Theoretically it might be the case but the entire tube now should be filed up with the residual gas of right triode operation and the getter should be greatly eaten.


We have several modes that may 'fail' a valve, excessive gas and no getter are one, no emission from the cathode is another.

So, if you have a "halve used" tube who still has decent getter, 'flip' it with impunity....

Ciao T


"It is to Madame Justice that I dedicate this concerto, in view of the holiday she seems to have taken from these parts." V
03-20-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 2203
Reply to: 1175
Re: bad, bad, bad tubes ...
Hi Romy,

Am I misunderstanding something about the 6C33C?
I had a look at the operating point you recommend for this valve in your 'full range' Melquiades amplifier. The way you are using it seems to give almost 20% THD.
Does this sound good or is it just more bathroom euphonics? This doesn't seem to be a very linear valve at all, certainly not one you would choose for high quality audio use. The load lines are horrible. I can't imagine it gives a very accurate representation of what is fed into it. Maybe that's not what you are after.

I tried a higher current/lower plate voltage condition which would give more acceptable levels of distortion but I'm afraid you only get about 5 watts out of it.
You'll have fun getting a nice sounding transformer with that much standing current passing through it though.

I've seen some negative comments on here about the 845 but that does seem to be a far more linear valve than the 6C33. Unfortunately no commercially made amplifiers I've heard load it, drive it or supply HT to it in a sensible way. They've all sounded poor. I have heard good 'home made' 845 amplifiers though so in my view it can be done.

best rgds,

Guy
03-20-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Genn
Moscow
Posts 16
Joined on 06-28-2005

Post #: 8
Post ID: 2204
Reply to: 2203
Re: bad, bad, bad tubes ...

Guy,

could you, please, specify the workpoint for the tube and workload you use in your comments.

SY, Genn

03-20-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 2205
Reply to: 2204
operating points
Melquiades condition (both cathodes heated)

Plate Voltage 220v
Bias Voltage -80v (-110v puts the working point in a ridiculous place on the curves I have)
Plate current (according to the curves) 165mA approx
Power Output 15.5 Watts
2nd Harmonic Distortion 14.8% (hmm, nice)
3rd Harmonic Distortion 2.8%
4th Harmonic Distortion 2.1%
THD 19.7% (approx)

Another Condition

Plate Voltage 143v
Bias Voltage -40v
Plate Current 336mA !
Power Output 5.5 Watts
2nd Harmonic Distortion 2.3%
3rd Harmonic Distortion 0.5%
4th Harmonic Distortion 1.2%
THD 4% (still a bit high)

I must be missing something because I normally wouldn't bother trying to make an amplifier with this type of power supply regulator valve. The advantage (if there is one) must lie in the output transformer design ie less of a step down ratio than with the higher impedance valves.

I have not built or heard one of these amplifiers yet so would reserve judgement on how well it works. I am interested to try but I'd like an explanation for how the 6C33C can sound good when it behaves like this. It goes against my 'limited' understanding.

best regards,

Guy


 
03-20-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 2206
Reply to: 2204
Re: load impedances
forgot to mention,

Melquiades Plate load 600R (into 8 ohms)

'Other Condition' Plate load 820R

Guy
03-20-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 11
Post ID: 2207
Reply to: 2203
.. and what would it means?

Guy, but you measure harmonic distortions and get out of your measurements juts numbers. How those numbers relates to anything else you do not know. The harmonic distortions are not audible but only the mechanism the crates them; however your “numbers” do not describe the mechanic of the harmonic distortions creation. Not to mention that the auditable distortions are not the delta between the outputs and input but much more complicated creation.

It is possible that with higher current 6C33C measures better and even has lower plate impedance but it does not necessary serve any useful purpose to me.  I personally get correct sound with good electricity at 165mA or perhaps 185mA and with higher currents I need to use a transformer with different amount of the secondary turns as Sound become too sharp. Why would I need it?

I really do not know how to interpret the results of your measurements besides to accept then as “just numbers”. Probably if you need to make a good amplifier to satisfy your distortion analyzer then you needs to get a good SS amp from 80s that has .00005% distortions. Sorry, I do not need it. I have much more objective ways to assess the harmonic pattern of amplifiers.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-20-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 2208
Reply to: 2207
Re: .. and what would it mean?
Hi Romy,

I haven't measured anything I was just looking at the data sheet for the valve. I was hoping someone could explain to me how a device with that much distortion could be any good. I am quite interested to build a pair of these amplifiers to see whether certain conclusions I have drawn about what has been good and bad in amplifiers I have made in the past are valid. I've usually found valve rectifiers to sound preferable. I don't normally like huge reservoir caps. The Melq has lots of features I'd shy away from usually which makes it intriguing.

In my experience though, you can choose a bad working point for a valve and the effect is audible. Whether it's the distortion or the mechanism causing the distortion that is responsible I don't know.

If I was really interested in ultra low 'measured' distortion I wouldn't be using zero feedback amplifiers and horns. Of course I realise there's more to it than conventional measurements. I was just surprised to see how & where this valve was being used.

I'm also a little concerned because I don't like the fat 'tubey' sound of the 834P one stage of which someone else pointed out was operating in less than ideal circumstances.

best regards,

Guy
03-20-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Genn
Moscow
Posts 16
Joined on 06-28-2005

Post #: 13
Post ID: 2209
Reply to: 2207
My own experience with 6C33C
Vp = 240v, Vg = -90v, Ip = 165 ma, RL=1k5,  10W, H2 = 6.9%, H3=1%, H4=0.2%  
I used it with cathode bias (used 50w resitor, backed by 10x200uF capacitor).  How it sounded - warm and punchy.   I had an amp with F-3 about 4Hz and it had an overal good performance on standart JMLab speakers. I use it to learn a lot of Music.  And I never used it to get more than 2W.  With my 90,5 db speakers it provides about 94 db of volume (at 0dbFS!0 - enough for comfort listening.

When you read the Roman's design - you should always keep in mind his highly effective speakers.  With those speakers he normaly get out of an amp maximum 0,1 W (probably).  
03-20-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 14
Post ID: 2210
Reply to: 2208
It is purely voluntary, isn’t?

 guy sergeant wrote:
I've usually found valve rectifiers to sound preferable.

For HF channels only. Still with shaft switch diodes and properly implemented input choke filters there is not advantages of tube rectification, quite opposite, and particular for the LF.

 guy sergeant wrote:
I am quite interested to build a pair of these amplifiers to see whether certain conclusions I have drawn about what has been good and bad in amplifiers I have made in the past are valid. I've usually found valve rectifiers to sound preferable. I don't normally like huge reservoir caps. The Melq has lots of features I'd shy away from usually which makes it intriguing.

Well, if you are wiling to build a pair of these amplifiers then you will be able to drive output tube with any current you wish. I still feel that at 320mA you necessary burn the tube. Also do not forget that this is a fixed base and the infamous 6C33C temperature stability. I personally feel that instead of driving the tube with huge currents it is better to get more sensitive speakers with higher transient capacity.

 guy sergeant wrote:
I'm also a little concerned because I don't like the fat 'tubey' sound of the 834P one stage of which someone else pointed out was operating in less than ideal circumstances.

I’m not concern. Moreover I find that all the rest my phono-correctors are too fast, too “gipsy-sounding” and I am getting rid all of them leaving myself ONLY with ET2 connected to 834PT. Generally, if you care to add some “vigor” and some nervousness to Milq then it might be gone but boosting the plate current but I do not feel that it is necessary.

Rgs,
Romy


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-20-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 15
Post ID: 2211
Reply to: 2210
Re: to be made 'as is'
When I get around to making these I shall make them as close as possible to your detailed design. I want them to be representative of what you are listening to so I can better understand the elements of playback you feel are important. There doesn't seem to be any point in changing anything. I'm sure you are right about putting too much current through the tube. Other people have also remarked that these can 'run away' if not handled carefully. Also, I'd worry about the performance of such a high current SE OPT.

Do you think this output stage works well because the OPT has to step down significantly less than a typical 5-10K OPT?

I just don't understand how such a tube will sound correct when it amplifies the signal in such an assymetric way.

There's only one way to find out!

rgds,

Guy
03-20-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Ronnie
Stockholm
Posts 81
Joined on 06-30-2005

Post #: 16
Post ID: 2212
Reply to: 2205
Is that bad? Re: operating points
6c33c 560ohm lines


I am always curious about those silly lines.
The 230V 165mA point for the LF sections does not look so bad to me... maybe a bit of expansion effect, which could be good for counteracting some evil within the LF drivers.
If I understand right, the full range Melquiades moves the operating point just a little bit to the left. Not super unlinear either.
If those lamps would behave better than to burn up some 40 watts in each heater alone, I would be very interested in the super melquiades design!
03-20-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 17
Post ID: 2213
Reply to: 2212
OK, the “truth” about the 6C33C.

OK, first off all I have moved the latest posts to the “How to drive 6C33C” thread.

Regarding the operation point. My initial intention was to give Melquiades’ output as ML2 did: 175V, .310mA. What is important is to understand that for LF channel I would like to have much power as I could get, within the audible limits and reasons. I never dialed up power with LF channel but juts dumpling, which forced me to order two separate transformers, unfortunately. For the MF and Upper bass channels I really did not care about power and was only conserved about the relations about the harmonic correctness and “speed”. Another reasons why I did not care about the operation point in the beginning because with 8 sections of the Landhale transformers and 100-150mA of the spare gap size it is possible to configure any imaginable loading and play with different currents. 

The Milq’s design goes not really cares about the operation point of the output stage and when the amp was done it was spent quite a lot of time and efforts to fine what would be more suitable to drive that 6C33C. So, my operation points are juts what I ended up due to the experiments and listening and not something that I believe “should be”. BTW, the Super Melquiades plate transformers are 1A with triple secondary: 330V, 300V and 270V, minus the drooping in the rectification and LCRC: 10H -100uF - 50R – 10.000uF

 Ronnie wrote:
The 230V 165mA point for the LF sections does not look so bad to me...

Ronnie, do not forget that the 130mA or 165mA for “bad electicity” is the operation for the MF channels. The MF channels are ½ of the 6C33C, not a whole 6C33C.

 guy sergeant wrote:
I haven't measured anything I was just looking at the data sheet for the valve.

I do not know what you fantasy yourself. I have very little understanding it interest to looking at the distortions patter. They are juts numbers. Put the amps in bath and measure it’s water displacement and then claim that it does 63.473 of “something”. That “something” has as much to do with Sound as temperature in Sahara desert relates to appetite of polar bears in Antarctica. BTW, if it does means anything (not for me though) then I might tell that when the Melquiades and Super Melquiades were made Dima and I spent quite few affords/time to run different tests with generator and scope. We did not measure the distortions but Dima has a lot of experience to interpret those images and he told that the Milq at full power has around 5% of distortions, whatever it means


 guy sergeant wrote:
When I get around to making these I shall make them as close as possible to your detailed design. I want them to be representative of what you are listening to so I can better understand the elements of playback you feel are important. There doesn't seem to be any point in changing anything.

Guy, all that I can tell you that you use completely WRONG motivations and if your want to have a replica of what I’m listening then do not west your time. It is completely idiotic intention to subscribe Romy the Cat’s believe in sound, some kind of Framer’s believe in sound of a believe in sound of some kind of Moron from AA. The only motivation that you should have would be your implicit nailing down what exactly is wrong with your current amplifier, what exactly you would like to change and in which direction. There was nothing more inelegant ever written about audio upgrades then this:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?postID=432#432

Once again, my feelings of importance should not bother you. Develop your own and follow them. Read agene the release notes for the Milq. The Melquiades meant for the people who have objectives, not just the blind frustrations….

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-21-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
hagtech


Hawaii
Posts 117
Joined on 02-13-2006

Post #: 18
Post ID: 2214
Reply to: 2213
Distortions sound good
I think there is a definate trend here regarding distortions that cannot be ignored.  Guy, you pointed out some excessive 2nd order harmonics with the Melq bias point.  Hey, maybe so.  I haven't really looked into this tube - but I just might.  Been wondering how to make a decent SET, didn't want to get into 2000V region.

Anyway, the trend here is the same as for the phonostage (corrector, whatever).  The EAR834 input tube has similar distortion characteristic at its bias point.  After many years, Romy has come to enjoy this style of amplification.  If I read his words correctly, the sound of these machines brings him more emotion and connection with the music and musicians.  An admiral goal.  Who the heck cares about distortion numbers when you have this?

The question in my mind is how best to implement this.  My preference is to put the 'character' in the power amplifier.  It should be synergistic with the speaker/crossover in delivering power with the appropriate sound and emotion.  That leaves the sources and linestage to act as clean and pure machines that do not add anything to this characteristic - lest is add too much or erase some.  My point is thus: you have to be careful about polarity or the 'goodness' can be erased.  Two gain stages (lets call them phono and power) in series must work together.  If one of them inverts polarity, then 2nd order distortion turns into 3rd, etc. 

Romy, a simple test.  You obviously have it correct as it is.  If there is a way to invert polarity between the phono and power stages, I predict your ears will bleed from the harshness.  Easy with balanced interconnects.  But anyway, this is a thought experiment.  I certainly don't expect anyone to modify their gear to satisfy my curiosity.

jh
03-21-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Thorsten


United Kingdom
Posts 65
Joined on 12-06-2004

Post #: 19
Post ID: 2215
Reply to: 2214
Ze Zound of Distortion (or not)
Folks,

Before we discuss "high distortion" amplifiers, lets us ask what kind of SPL Romy's system produces.

I don't know, so let me make some eduacated, conservative guesses.

Let us assume his midrange and treble Systems are both 100db/W/m and he listens at 4m distance, or 88db/4m/1W. Having a stereo pair of speakers gives most music enough correlated sound to give at least 4db more SPL.

So, when his amplifiers are cruising at 1W output the SPL will be in the region of 92db at the listening position. The highest averages I measured in the the third row of the Royal Festival Hall during a performance of the Mussorsky/Ravel "Pictures" by a young and energetic russian  conductor was around 94db.

If Guy's calculation of 15W @ 15% 2nd HD is right (which it is not on real 6S33's, they are less linear than the 300B but not THAT much) this means at this point Romy's amplifier produces around 4% 2nd HD, much less of all others. In reality I expect something closer to 1% 2nd HD @ 1W for the 6S33.

Is this audible? Perhaps. Patterson et all showed that ears own mechanisms give rise to about 20db MORE 2nd HD at such SPL's. That is merely the ears mechanical system, it should be noted. If we then note the human auditory systems other behaviours we need to ask, is it reasonable to assume that we can hear reliably a "distortion" that matches closely that of the mechanical transducer system in the ear in spectrum but is 20db (or more) BELOW the distortion in the ear?

I for one venture for a clear "not bleedin likely govner!".

As for the Distortion in the EAR834P, it also is rather low when measured with around 10mV @5 cm/S (which gives maximum peaks at 50mV) and certainly very low, when compared to the ears distortion at 92db and that of the LP's mechanical system @ 5cm/S.

Anyway, some food for thought....

Ciao T

Ve cannot all play ze first violin, some of us must sit back here and push vind through ze trombone....


"It is to Madame Justice that I dedicate this concerto, in view of the holiday she seems to have taken from these parts." V
03-21-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 20
Post ID: 2218
Reply to: 2214
Some spaghetti of thoughts: distortions, 834

 hagtech wrote:
After many years, Romy has come to enjoy this style of amplification.  If I read his words correctly, the sound of these machines brings him more emotion and connection with the music and musicians.  An admiral goal.  Who the heck cares about distortion numbers when you have this?

Actually, Jim, it has absolutely nothing to do with “emotion and connection with the music and musicians”. My feelings about the necessary to “appropriately saturate” reproduced sound with second harmonic do not derive from any “emotions” or even from music itself but rather from very simple reproduction of even the individual sounds. (There is even no need to go into the complexity of music). A single note has a pitch, or a centered frequency of maximum amplitude. However, the signal hit the pitch only instantaneously and a single note it s juts clams up to the pitch and then descends down. The pitch is always the same and even the “roundness of the pitch” (or a duration of long a single note stays at its amplitude summit) is always the same (for the same duration of the note). What is different would be the profile of the parabolas with which sound rolls to its pitch and roles out form the pitch’s summit.

I have no numbers. My RTA can work in a distortion analyzer mode and Dima bugs me to measure the Melq’s distortion pattern. I really have no motivations or needs to do it. There is something that I recognize as “THE correct acoustic distortion” and this is how I tune my playback. Let to visualize the distortions as the reflections. The 2nd distortions would be the initial reflection of acoustically produced sound, the 3rd would be the third and so on… In the real world we never register the direct sound, but always deal with reflections. The reverberation radius (the distance where we hear 50% of direct sound and 50% or reflected sound) is very small and if I remember correctly then for the large places like Carnegie or MET it is within a half dozen feet. The point is that our perception is always trained to perceive reflected sound and the dominating amount of information about the notes, tones and their expansiveness lives not in the instant hitting of the pitches but in the note’s harmonic.

Now, let pretend that you in the Carnegie Hall, filed with people (necessary for a proper reverberation patter), you have a single violinist is taking tones on stage and you are in a chair with a remote control and you might move your chair: from a few inches from that violinist to the end of the Hall. Moving back and force you moderate amount of distortions (primary and secondary reflections) and eventually you can find a place what you feel that the sharpness and evenness of that violin’s notes would be correct. Interesting that the “correct distance” for that violin will very-very little fluctuate with the volume of the notes and our hearing in natural acoustic space can accommodate our hearing attention (more about it later). However, the microphones can not do the intentional accommodation and they register everything alike and unconsciousness. In order to fight with it we need to inject into the recorded-reproduced process the “acoustic space-like behaving” superstructure that would overwrite the microphone’s vision and mimic for our awareness the acoustic environment – the space where out awareness is accustomed to operate and where all roles of phono-harmonies were born. The way to do it is to position between the absoluty correct signals that we get from he sources (let pretend that it is absoluty correct signal) and us, the listeners, a proxy layer. What this semi-transparent layer should do? I do not know but after this layer will be trespassed by Sound the Sound should have similar to the original acoustic structure patterns of the primary and secondary reflections. So, here is where the mechanism the phase randomanization kicks in, where is the none-linearity according to the “objective measurements” become “beneficial” and many other thing take place. Here is where my rules of “The Beach Effect” operate and here the humanity-like outcome of the electronic-barbaric methods becomes the key.

We should never forget that the “The Beach Effect” (or let it call it the “language of electronic transformations”) has also own negative consequences that always poison the core of purpose - Sound. For instance in that single violin on the Carnegie Hall example we never have any serious fluctuation of the “best harmonic distance” depends the volume of the notes but with a playback it is the Bitch and each mV of input signal on the input grid would require own behavioral patters of the above-mentioned “proxy layer”, or own algorithm of “The Beach Effect”. It is very-very complicated and as far as I know there is no one in audio who ever conquered this subject with a minor exception (minor because it was most likely accidental and because it was never made at the demanded level) of Lamm L1 preamp. There are many other “operation complexities” for the “proxy layer” but what it the point?

The point is that the definition of success of that “proxy layer” is not something that needs to be descried mathematically or measured by a distortion analyzer. Sound after passing the “proxy layer” should have acoustic-like signature. This acoustic-like signature is very much no subjective parameter and any person who has civilized and not corrupted reference points in music ends up with absolutely identical reference results.  Let pretend that a group of 1000 people have an imaginary ultimate 1000000-bands equalizer, the one that do nothing negative to sound besides juts EQ the amplitude. We take music, EQ if up and down randomly and then let those people to de-EQ it back. Anyone among with those 1000 people who are familiar with the way how life music impacts them will painlessly adjust that EQ and will end up with very much identically final outcome, means their Sounds will be fundamentally the same. Others will set up their own sounds to reflect their or cultural and musical corruptions - they will be somebody whom I call the Morons ™ and I always question what they do in audio.

So, the point is that no mater what an amplifiers or phono-corrector do they should output that very same “identically strategic final outcome” (an entire systems?) This is how I try to assess the distortion patterns - juts by listening and interpret my reaction to the heard Sound. It is import to note that I do not pay a lot of attention to “how it sounds” but rather “how Sound affect my own inner-me”, looking in myself as a reflection of the sound instead to the sound as a reflection of my imaginary model.

 hagtech wrote:
Anyway, the trend here is the same as for the phonostage (corrector, whatever).  The EAR834 input tube has similar distortion characteristic at its bias point. 

In the end a few words about the EAR-834PT. I do not use it raw but with Expressive Technologies transformer. The Expressive does with EAR-834PT very interesting thing; although I did not detect that it did such an interesting things with any other correctors that I used, at least not to the same degree with other correctors…

It is hard to explain what it is because it is unprecedented and would sound like a BS for anyone who did not experience it. Let for instance take any good transformer and place it in front EAR-834PT. It will do 20dB -30dB gain and if a transformer is really good then it will not loose any notable quality of the Sounds. I did it with a dozen transformers and let take the S&B/Bent step-up for a reference. It does not do anything wrong and produce perfectly OK Sound but when fan begins when the Expressive substitutes the S&B/Bent (or any other magnetic that I tried) The Expressive hugely INCREASES dynamic range of the Expressive-EAR-834PT tandem (or at least make it to appear this way). Also, it widen the extreme frequencies quiet dramatically but at the same time it combines all the sounds across the entire frequency range in some kind of very uniformed, very unswerving and very connected substances. It is very difficult to describe and it should be heard.

So, I do not know if my admiration of the Expressive-EAR-834PT tandem derives from to Expressive’s or from 834PT. I remember that when I use the raw 834PT with MM cartridges I still had not problems with 834PT sound, but what one can say in context of the MM 5mV Grado?. When I drive my 3mM SPU into the 834PT direct it has enough gain but I do not like sound and I use my SPU with the 65dB Expressive-EAR-834PT tandem.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-21-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 21
Post ID: 2220
Reply to: 2213
Re:
Romy,

I have several power amplifiers each of which sounds different. I might enjoy some aspects of what one of them does but feel that it could do other things better. Another of the amplifiers might have different strengths and weaknesses. None of them are perfect but each has informed me to a degree about the effects of trying a particular topology, device or power supply type.

If I try to build a Melquiades (it won't be for a while, I have other things to do first) it will be for my own reasons one of which is curiosity. You advise not to make a change until you are sure what needs to be changed. I am sure that none of my power amps are unimproveable. Therefore there is a chance that this amplifier might deliver some improvements as I perceive them. I doubt that it will be unimproveable either but I may learn something from the process of making and listening to it and that is a good enough reason for me to try. I don't really care whether you feel my motivation is correct, in fact I find your concern that it isn't quite amusing. Don't worry, Ive no desire to become an apostle for you, Michael Fremer or anyone else.

My experiences in making amplifiers for myself and to my taste have included listening to the effects of changing the operating conditions of a particular stage and trying to correlate the change in the patterns of distortion (sound they give) with the changes made to the operating condition. Despite other peoples assertions that the curves are 'silly' and that such changes are irrelevant I would beg to differ. I think the sound of a gain stage can and will be modified quite significantly by how it is operated and the effects are quite audible in terms of 'musical involvement' or 'emotional impact' or whatever terms of reference one uses. I also have found that prolonged exposure to rose tinted amplification becomes tedious if a wide variety of types of music are listened to. One becomes more conscious of the medium than the message, (or at least I do) and ultimately this gets in the way.

I have not drawn any conclusions about how this amplifier might sound. I cannot imagine how the input stage you use will behave and how that will impact on what the 6C33 does. As I've said previously the Lamm amplifiers using this valve always left me underwhelmed when I heard them but this seems quite a different design.

My only experience of anything remotely like it was listening to a half watt 6336 (similar type of valve)amplifier many years ago at Tommy Hornings place which was very impressive.

best regds

Guy
03-21-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
hagtech


Hawaii
Posts 117
Joined on 02-13-2006

Post #: 22
Post ID: 2224
Reply to: 2218
reflections versus distortions
Ok, I am again confused with the terminology.  You seem to relate reflections (indirect sound) to orders of distortion.  That is, 2nd order distortion has something to do with the first reflection of sound. 

I see these events as independent.  The 2nd order distortion of an amplifier creates harmonics that are not present in the source.  This changes the character of the sound.  Reflections and room reverberations also change the character of the sound, but in a different way.  How are these two things connected? 

jh
03-21-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 23
Post ID: 2225
Reply to: 2224
Re: reflections versus distortions

 hagtech wrote:
Ok, I am again confused with the terminology.  You seem to relate reflections (indirect sound) to orders of distortion.  That is, 2nd order distortion has something to do with the first reflection of sound. 

I see these events as independent.  The 2nd order distortion of an amplifier creates harmonics that are not present in the source.  This changes the character of the sound.  Reflections and room reverberations also change the character of the sound, but in a different way.  How are these two things connected? 

Excellent question, Jim. Let to think together.

The 2nd order distortion of an amplifier creates harmonics that are not present in the source. (Amplification)

The first reflection of sound creates harmonics that are not present in the source. (Live sound)

Both add something new to sound, but…

The reflection mixed with sound and heard as a part of sound. The distortions never mix with sound (particularly the higher order) and always heard as the independent sound.

Why it is so? Presumably because neither dispositions nor reflections are auditable and their volumes are completely irrelevant. What we head is not the fact of distortion but the signature of the mechanism that creates the distortions/ reflections. I think, and obviously I am not expert on this thinking, that instead of worry about the fact of the distortion we should wary about making the distortion with “human face” and make them to imitate the acoustic contamination of live sound.

Do not ask me how, this is the game of you guys.....

Rgs,
The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-21-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 24
Post ID: 2228
Reply to: 2220
Re: Lamm ML2, 6336 and Lowther

 guy sergeant wrote:
I have not drawn any conclusions about how this amplifier might sound. I cannot imagine how the input stage you use will behave and how that will impact on what the 6C33 does. As I've said previously the Lamm amplifiers using this valve always left me underwhelmed when I heard them but this seems quite a different design.

Well, as far as I concern the older production of Lamm ML2 was the most interesting SET that I heard before the Melq. Have you even heard in anywhere besides the hi-fi show and the dealer rooms, I mean in the hands of a person who know how to use it?

 guy sergeant wrote:
My only experience of anything remotely like it was listening to a half watt 6336 (similar type of valve)amplifier many years ago at Tommy Hornings place which was very impressive.

Yes, I know the 6336. Tommy Hornings, is it the guy who does the Horning speakers around the Lowther drivers? Did you heard the Lamm ML2 on the same speakers? I actually would be interested to head a good SET on them….


The caT



"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-22-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 25
Post ID: 2230
Reply to: 2228
Re: Lamms & Horning speakers
I have heard Lamm ML2's in a couple of different people's home systems. Did they know how to use them properly? Well either they didn't (quite possible) or the amplifiers simply lacked the virtues I would prefer.

Tommy Horning is the guy who makes those speakers but he wasn't using Lamms. His speakers are very enjoyable though.
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