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03-01-2006 Post mapped to 3 branches of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 1
Post ID: 2146
Reply to: 2146
Macondo – Super Melquiades: few months later.

Loudspeakers. For whomever who follows my dairies on this site and whoever has any real understanding what makes a horn-loaded loudspeaker to sound good it is know that Macondo Acoustic System is not juts the result of my DIY efforts or the John Hasqiun’s craft but rather a vision. Macondo is kind of a compilation of what might be done and what should not be done. Many believes of mine, visions and outcome of many experiments about horn loudspeakers were fulfill in the way how Macondo is organized. It looks simple and “as is” but in fact there is a lot of very much non-accidental decisions (and in the very many instances faulty decisions that were reviewed) that took place in Macondo loudspeaker. In the end the Macondo Acoustic System architecture is not something that was designed but something that “happened”. After many faulty decisions and many faulty directions were filtered out the architecture that left…. turned into something that become the Macondo Acoustic System.  (Look in “My Playback” for more)

Amplifiers. The playback-wise, the 2005 was a big Melquiades year for me. The original single Melquiades was built in January 2005 and in March I made a decision to pursue a DSET (Dedicated SET) – The Super Melquiades or the configuration when each Macondo channels would be driven by an IDENTICAL separate channel with only output transformer optimized for the need of the specific frequency range. The Super Melquiades was finished I believe in June-July 2005 and since then it is running in my system.

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Melquiades.aspx

Since Super Melquiades was “deployed to the duty” there were a few very-very minor, practically negligible changes done to it’s circuit. None of them affect topology but rather the minor optimizations with a context of my playback and in the context of the Macondo–Melquiades integration.  After a few month of running the Super Melquiades DSET coupled with Macondo I would like to share with you some notes that I have made.

Generally a multi-way (horn) installation and the dedicated identical SETs driving them is a phenomenal architecture. Beside all sonic, practical, integration and technical advantages the architecture has some extra benefits that people who do not have this setting can hardly be familiar with.  I’m talking about the fact that when the identical DSETs drive own channels then there is an opportunity to very-very precise, in real time, to dial in Sound or to shape the sonic presentation with unheard flexibility. Of course the gains between the channels are fixed and the basic loading of the output anodes are fixed (optimized for the drivers/incisures).


However, there is always opportunely to use the plate currents creatively and those affects are very different then it would be with a single SET driving the entire system.

Let look at the LF channel. The Macondo’s LF line array with six Scan-speak 25W/8565 drivers in sealed enclosure, line-crossed at 65Hz with fist order, driven by the Super Melquiades’ LF channel are is superbly sensitive for damping. Actually it is more sensitive that anything else I have seen. Even a half Ohm is auditable, very auditable! The LF Melquiades drives the tower with 230V and 175 “default” mA, loading the plate of the 6C33C with 560R. However, the Melquiades’ output stage can perfectly handle much larger current (the transformer is gaped at 450mA with 15H primary) and running the palate current form 100mA to 270mA it is possible to “change” bass. The key in here: what kind change it might be. With increase of current the bass’s amplitude very slightly go up, very-very slightly. However, the intensity and expressiveness of bass is changing as well and this change is more important Yes, I understand that with change of plate current changes the plate impedance and consequentially the damping. However, I have another OPT with 3 more ohms and I can testify that it is not juts the damping. All together this all boil down that increasing the plate current on Melquiades LF channels adds presentational effectiveness of bass, however the decreasing the current adds quality to the bass. By decreasing the plate current, I loose power but get the LF bandwidth, still it would be only when I would be near the maxing out the DC capacity of my OPT. In my case, operating it near 200mA, and having the 450mA transformer I am very far from any danger of saturation…. Anyhow, the running the LF channel between the 150mA and 210mA turns out to be a correct setting and although the change with this scope hardly affect the amount of bass but this change is quit affective from the prospective to get out of the system that “idiosyncratic bass”. The “plate current running” gives an ability (literally) to conduct the bass instruments and to make them to accent themselves with a necessary articulation. This is very, very cool tool and this is the tool that I never was able to use before, while I drove my LF section with other amps, including the Lamm ML2.

Let look at the upper bass channel. It is 35Hz-1400kHz electrically line-level and 95Hz–1000kHz acoustically. First off all the upper bass coil do not talk with MF driver that is unheard in a case of a single-amping. Moreover, the beauty of adjusting of plate current at the upperbass channel is the real important thing and this upperbass plate current attenuator is the most frequently used by me attenuator in the entire Super Melquiades. People who do not use properly built upperbass horns do not know anything about the upperbass reproduction. Unfortunately among the people who do use upperbass horns mostly still are in dark. The key in upperbass is that the upperbass-midbass drivers should be as small as possible. The folks who use 15”-18” drivers to reproduce upperbass do not use in fact any horn-loading at all… So, how the plate current within “a proper upperbass channel” would affect midbass Sound? Contrary to the lower bass channel the dumping in midbass is less effective, prefabs because my upperbass driver is properly “held” with own back chamber. For upper bass drive the Super Melquiades uses a half of 6C33C driving it with 230V with “default” 125mA behind the OPT ~8H primary and 250mA gap. Adjusting the plate current form 100mA to 150mA it is possible to change the … a volume of Sound in the room. I am not talking about changing the loudness of the upperbass but rather it’s physical volume and it’s capacity in a room. I usually call it “The Accordion Effect” ™. It is like a clarinet bridges in an orchestra the string groups and woodwinds…The upperbass channel in a playback does the same bridging the LF and MF channel. It has nothing to do with the forwardness or amplitude of upperbass - it does not change with the change of the plate current, the question is “HOW?”. It might do it by loading a room with something that become “sticky” to the dimensions of the room as well as the to the sound of LF and MF channels. The “The Accordion Effect” is an effect when the room suddenly begins to “puff back” (listen some Bruckner). In order to do so the room should be very precisely filled with…..**** (fill in blank)   and it is very easy to do by dialing-in the plate current at the upperbass chanla. Usually, when I want to be anal, I increase the upperbass plate current unit “The Accordion Effect” is just shows up and then I reduce the plate current for a 2 turn on my 10-turs Burns, considering that it would be the correct setting… for the given recoding and the given state of the damn electricity… Usually 100mA and 150mA is good values for the upperbass channel.

Let look at the MF channel. It is It is 3.7KHz speaker-level high-pass electrically and 1 kHz acoustically.  For the MF channel the Super Melquiades uses a half of 6C33C driving it with the same 230V with “default” 110mA behind the OPT ~1H primary, gaped at 250mA. I allow the current vary between the 100mA and 135mA. Actually with 110mA and 6E6PDR in input sate I feel that the MF channel performs fine and I never go higher. If I need more HF then I have the HF transition slope adjuster and I might add as much HF as I need.

The only reasons why I go sometimes for 125mA-135mA at the MF channel when some audiophiles – the morons brewed on the steel tweeters and overly exuberate sound - visit me and they want to hear their “definition of quality”. Those Morons ™, until they do not hear the sharp, overly presumptuous and irrationally vigorous HF they experience the “deficiency of air in sound”. So, usually I turn up for them the MF plate current too keeps those hoodlums happy. If I do not do so then they do not hear “resolution” and do not get their “details from the grooves”

This pretty much how my setting looks like for my own “default” listening:

Generally the Macondo – Super Melquiades system proved to be very flexible, very versatile and very adaptive. It is not finicky and not tweaky but form another perspective if I wish then it offers some tools that allow shaping Sound upon my needs. Among the imperfection I would mention the mains voltage fluctuation. It could be fixed only by regulation with all negative sonic consequences of regulation. Another problem is the 6C33C tubes themselves that have different characteristics to begin with and then they age with deferent tempos (remember The Melquiades uses fixed bias). Thanks God I built in the Super Melquiades the opportunities to test 6C33C while it is working but still the out stage requires monitoring 6C33C once per 2-3 month.

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
03-12-2006 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 2
Post ID: 2189
Reply to: 2146
A half-ass cure for bad electricity?

Hm, I made today a very interesting observation. When electricity is good then the plate currents that I indicated at the picture above work very nice (LF in the left, upperbass in the middle and the HF on the right). When the electricity is bad then Sound  is not good (noises, compression, discolorations and etc…) However, what I discover today that it is possible hugely to improve (or perhaps to mask out) Sound when electricity is bad by increasing the plate currents.

Today in Boston is bad electricity and nothing beside the flimsy jazz could be played today.  But is it Sunday and I pulled Mozart Clarinet, Flute and Bassoon concertos by Bohm and they were completely unlistenable. The Wiener orchestra sounded like the all play one single note during the duration of the entire movements – just horrible. I do not know what motivated me but I decided to raise the plate current at HF channels. To my surprise the result got much better – clarity, articulation, nose in harmonics, colors and so on.

I recalibrate all channels and after some experiments I surmised that at my 230V the currents of 220mA-180mA and 180mA (L-M-F) sound much better, almost good. This still keep plates at reasonable dissipation of 50W for a full 6C33Cand 41W for a half 6C33C. What is VERY interesting that when I experimented with the same plate currents while the electricity was good then the sound was too aggressive, too bubbly, overly colored and more remind an appearance of a gipsy skirt then actual music, good for the "Boston Pops" but not for anything else. Also, it is interesting the note that further increase of plate current “burn out” the detals in the HF channel.

So, could the increase of plate current be a sort of a half-ass remedy for week electricity. I wonder why it happens… Nevertheless, I am very much welcome this discovery, despite that I feel that musically the increase pf the plate currents during the bad electricity bring some minute degradation, However, sonically there are some major benefits, that make playback during those “bad electricity days” more or less digestible.

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
04-08-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 3
Post ID: 2292
Reply to: 2189
6C18C vs. 6C33C?

Got today a party of the 6C18C from 1960s, an interesting tube. The plate looks like 1/4 times larger and has no bridge between the halves. The 6C18C has even less plate impedance than 6C33C and it appears that it futures inside more “colorful” metal then the 6C33C. I have no idea how it sounds at this point and I wonder in which channel I should stick it is. The lower plate impedance and the larger anode would suggest that it should be a LF channel. The year of the production suggests that it should be HF channel. (The newer Russian tubes are the more vulgar they sound for whatever reasons). I would be an interesting try…

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
04-09-2006 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 4
Post ID: 2297
Reply to: 2292
The damn Russkis saved on everything!!!

 Romy the Cat wrote:
Got today a party of the 6C18C from 1960s, an interesting tube. The plate looks like 1/4 times larger and has no bridge between the halves. The 6C18C has even less plate impedance than 6C33C and it appears that it futures inside more “colorful” metal then the 6C33C. I have no idea how it sounds at this point and I wonder in which channel I should stick it is. The lower plate impedance and the larger anode would suggest that it should be a LF channel. The year of the production suggests that it should be HF channel. (The newer Russian tubes are the more vulgar they sound for whatever reasons). I would be an interesting try…
... as I told: the younger Russian tube then more Moronic it is.

The damn Russkis saved on everything. It was not enough for them that they manufactured vacuumed tubes (from the same batch!!!) that have 4db different in gain but they also managed to manufacture the same tubes "gradually improving the efficiency of production"… namely removing the anode material for sake of damn economy. I'm sure they samed a lotQ  The last time I have experiences it in Russians when I inspected Lamm M1.1 amplifiers and detected that the heatsinks design employed paralleled output transistors  but there was actually no paralleled transistors installed in the slots. “It works well without them”, Vladimir Lamm assured me. At then time I did not know any better answer….

Anyhow, inspecting and playing with different years of the 6C18C and 6C33C and observing how their plates dissipate heat I detected an interesting fact: Vladimir Lamm had good teachers and somewhere in the mid 60s Russians started to “save” on the plate’s volume. I wonder how much they saved? Ima sure Lamm did saved $2.5 for his MOSFER over the cost of the $19.000.00 amplifier....

The picture above presents 3 tubes, from left to right. First tube is 6C18C production of 1963, 1964 and 1965 (they all look identically). The second tube is 6C18C production of 1968, 1969. The third is 6C33C production of 70s and 80s. Now is a request for a wild guess: even if to presume that the plate materials are the same then which anode would dissipate more power?

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
04-19-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 5
Post ID: 4235
Reply to: 2297
Writing from Sweden about the 6C33C

This is by Hans Beijner. His site is: http://www.tubetvr.com/

In 1976 a Mig 25 fighter jet landed in Hokkaido in Japan, it was flown by a soviet military pilot that wanted to defect to the west. This was a real field day for western miltary people as not so much was known about the MIG 25 and the plane was completely dismantled.

Two things startled the military analysts in the west, the first was that the plane was built using a lot of high tension steel, it was earlier thought that the MIG 25 was built in Titanium to withstand the heat that is generated by flying at mach 3 that the plane was capable of, that it was built in steel made it heavy so the performance was actually less than expected.

The second thing that surprised people in the west was that electronic tubes was used in some parts of the radio equipment. After a while it was understood that the tubes where used so the plane should be able to withstand EMP. An EMP, (Electro Magnetic Pulse) is generated by the detonation of a large nuclear bomb in the atmosphere, the electric field so generated destroys most solid state electronics and EMP is thought to be used as a possible electronic warfare measure.

In the power supply of the main radio unit of the MIG 25 a previously unknown triode tube was used, the Soviet military designation was 6C33C and it was a voltage regulator triode. The data of this tube was much better than anything made before in the west and SanEi of Japan imported some 6C33C tubes for audio application in 1997, renaming them EC33C for the Japanese consumer. Mr. Dakesue in Japan was the first person to design a 6C33C-B OTL power amplifier circuits in 1977.

The main characteristics of the 6C33C is that it has very high transconductance, high current capability and low internal resistance and also as the tubes where intended for use in miltary aircraft they are mechanically very robust. The nearest western equivalent is 6336 but data of 6C33C is better.

Tube 6336A 6C33C
Gm 27 mA/V 40 mA/V
Rp 100 ohm 80 ohm
Max continuous anode current 200 mA 600 mA
Heater current 5A 6.4A
Data for the 6336A is for both sections in parallel

6C33C in OTL amplifiers

A tube used in OTL amplifiers should ideally have high GM, low resistance and be able to withstand high continuous anode current. I think the best tube today is the 6C33C but also the penthode EL519 that was manufactured for use in TV sets as vertical output stage can be used if connected as a triode, (I believe the 6C33C is the more linear of the two). As I had some experience of the 6C33C in my SE amplifier I decided to use the same tubes in my OTL amp.

Some special characteristics of 6C33C

Some people have reported problems when using the 6C33C tube in OTL amplifiers. The problem has usually been varying characteristics between different tubes which make it difficult to find mathched pairs.

The reason that these tubes show varying characteristics is NOT because of bad quality manufacturing. The reason is that as the 6C33C has very high transconductance the internal spacing between the electrodes is very small and therefore even a tiny difference in the spacing will have a big effect on parameters, especially on gm.

gm for a plane electrode triode is equal to:

gm = 3.5 * SQRT(Eg + Ep/µ)/(dc^3/4 + ((dc + dp)^3/4)/µ)^3/4

Where:
Eg is the grid voltage
Ep is the plate voltage
µ is the amplification factor
dc is the cathode to grid distance
dp is the grid to plate distance

It can be seen from the above formula that if a tube is to have high transconductance the distance between grid and plate also have to be small. Such a tube will of course be more sensitive to any absolute difference in this distance and the transconductance will therefore vary between different tubes. In other words as the grid plate distance is only ~0.2mm in a 6C33C it is more sensitive for a variation of +- 0.05mm than a tube that have 1 mm grid to plate distance. Even so the tolerance in gm of 6C33C is rather small ~10% at higher currents, this shows that it is a real high quality tube.

Dynamic matching is more important than static!

Or static matching is almost un-necessary! The grid voltage needed for a specific anode current for the 6C33C varies quite a lot between tubes, this is because of the high transconductance and the above mentioned tolerances. I have found that it is not necessary to select tubes that needs exactly the same grid voltage in an OTL amplifier. The reason is that it is quite easy to adjust the static grid voltage in the amplifier so the current will be the same in the tubes. What is far more important is that the dynamic characteristics is the same, that is what increase in voltage is necessary for a given increase in anode current. it is not un normal to see a difference in grid voltage of 10% between two tubes for a given current if the anode current is fairly low, this difference is not important if the amplifier have individual grid bias adjustment.



"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-20-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,145
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 6
Post ID: 4237
Reply to: 4235
Does this not also apply to SETs?
Very interesting, and no surprise, really.  But who makes a tester that allows for dynamic testing of the 6C33C?

I suppose we will just have to keep our ears open, as ever, in order to know when something is not right for our own applications.

It seems like most people talk about the "non-linearity" of the 6C33C, so it's funny that he at one point refers to the 6C33C as being "more linear" than another tube.

Best regards,
Paul S
03-15-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 7
Post ID: 6915
Reply to: 2146
Macondo – Super Melquiades: couple years later.
The picture of the “perfect” 6-ch Melquiades and Macondo as they are now…

Milq_Macondo_Koshka.jpg


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-11-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 8
Post ID: 7376
Reply to: 6915
Melquiades and the hungry African children
Among many bad habits of mine I have developed one more – I do not shut down my power amps. The 12 channels of the Super Milq are running sometimes weeks non-stopping, thankfully weather still allow to do it. I presume it is environmentally unconscious and probably for the money that the Milq un-necessary burns out it would be possible to but a school Africa but it is what it is….

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
05-11-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Ronnie
Stockholm
Posts 81
Joined on 06-30-2005

Post #: 9
Post ID: 7377
Reply to: 7376
Summer Melquiades
http://www.rotel.com/UK/products/ProductDetails.htm?Id=14&Tab=2&Pic=1

Auto Turn On Level (with all inputs) 3 mV input signal
Standby: 2.6 Watts

I don't know, but doesn't it seem kind of nice? Just glue a couple of 6C33C to the top :-)
05-11-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,145
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 10
Post ID: 7381
Reply to: 7376
So, how's it sounding?
OK, I'll be the one who breaks down and asks:  Romy, please share about how the system is sounding these days.

I figured you had your hands full with channels integration and balancing, but as I recall you did have one Channel fully operational a while back.

Basically, having followed along so far, I am more than a little curious about how things are coming together.

Are you able to sit through a meaty LP concert via the full-tilt system yet?

Same question, but CD?

Best regards,
Paul S
05-11-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 11
Post ID: 7382
Reply to: 7381
The system is sounding these days…

 Paul S wrote:
OK, I'll be the one who breaks down and asks:  Romy, please share about how the system is sounding these days.

I figured you had your hands full with channels integration and balancing, but as I recall you did have one Channel fully operational a while back.

Basically, having followed along so far, I am more than a little curious about how things are coming together.

Are you able to sit through a meaty LP concert via the full-tilt system yet?

Same question, but CD?

My hands are very far from being full with channels integration and balancing – that all was done months back and I do not play with it since winter when I finished the second Milq. Relatively recently I chanced a frame on Macondo’s MF channel but it was not a big deal. So, I do not do anything with Melquiades’ or with Macondo, those projects are officially over and I just use the results. The sound?  Sound is fine, the way how it was made.
 
I do not listen LP lately and I am waiting when my mechanic will make for me the box for my final phonostage – my current is dissembled.  I still slightly fight with CD results as the late Bidat modification went not exactly in the direction that I would like to. FM is 90% of my listening nowadays.

The only outstanding problem that I see is electricity. The damn PurePower people blew another deadline and I at this point have very little expectation that they will be able to furnish me with a properly operating unit. They themselves know what it might be. Considering that over the last year I did not have chance to actually USE any properly operating regenerator I proposed them return the unit and to terminate my expectation from them. It is very sad as the direction is very prospective and if the right people were on the task then it might be a very fertile solution. It is pretty much it: if I had a power solution then I would not have any problems with sound organization.

Beside if that I am very comfortable with Sound that I am getting.

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
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  »  New  Super Melquiades Amplifier...  About the Super Melquiades Bass....  Melquiades Amplifier  Forum     29  185021  07-16-2005
  »  New  Summary: my/your audio: year by year..  The 2017...  Audio Discussions  Forum     44  261856  12-29-2006
  »  New  The short "6C33C Survival Guide"...  Ac filament.....  Melquiades Amplifier  Forum     20  249687  12-18-2007
  »  New  My (Amplification + Acoustic System): what is next?..  Macondo and Melquiades in the NEW room....  Audio Discussions  Forum     41  203938  01-10-2008
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