Posts Tagged ‘EL34 Valve’

Does Plate Dissipation Affect Valve / Tube Life In Practice ??

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

In general, the obvious connection between higher anode dissipation and shorter tube life holds good, however,  many other factors affect tube life, including accuracy of heater voltages and the efficiency of tube cooling within amplifiers.

The tube leaves the factory with a known amount of cathode coating material which is the source of all the electron emission. In use, this material is used up as it emits electrons when heated by the filament and plate current is drawn.

If plate current is drawn before the cathode is at operating temperature, the surface of the cathode can be damaged (so called ‘cathode stripping’).

This is why the Standby switch should be off when the amplifier is warming up. If, however, the tube is operated for long periods with the filament hot with little or no plate current being drawn, then an oxide-like coating can form on the cathode, effectively blocking the emission of electrons even when normal operation is required (known as ‘cathode poisoning’). TubeSync takes care of this by automatically controlling the bias at both start-up and run conditions.

vacuum tube EL34 valve

Plate dissipation is generally quoted by the manufacturer as a maximum value which, if exceeded could cause damage to the tube and should not generally be used for ‘normal’ operation. The relationship between tube life and plate dissipation follows an exponential curve. Tubes operated correctly at around 30% maximum dissipation can have lives in the region of tens of thousands of hours and can last several decades of years. This figure decreases rapidly as the dissipation increases, in some cased down to hundreds or even tens of hours as they approach or exceed their maximum plate dissipation rating.

Cooling is extremely important as running tubes very hot also increases the risk of arcing and a condition known as thermal runaway, which can instantly destroy the cathode material, making the tube useless. Conventionally biased tubes are most at risk when biased towards ‘Class-A’ operation, as they experience maximum power dissipation when no audio signal is present.

TubeSync_225

Marshall JVM210 100W & 50W With TubeSync DIVO OV4 Installed

Friday, July 13th, 2012

What is my opinion about the TubeSync Divo OV4? (Charlotte Mijnders – http://www.charlottemijnders.nl )

Well, it has improved my sound, it is much tighter than before, on both the amps it looks like the tubes are matched much better and are pushed to their best performance.

The overall sound is more defined, tighter, more dynamic to my opinion.

On my Jvm210 I have 2 El34’s and 2 6550’s , I can switch between them and they sound as mentioned above, but the best thing is combining all the tubes together, that makes a great sound, more tight bass and bass/mid response of the 6550,and beautiful mids and mid/highs of the El34 on top of it, I like it!.

That is a great option of the Divo, that you can combine tubes in this way.

Pictures

011_02

010_02

divo25_02

015_02

Oranges in the Tornado

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Pics from Glory Days music in Joplin, MO USA. A reporter at CNN saw the orange tolex and took the pics.

We sincerely hope that the company can recover from this, our thoughts and best wishes go out to all.

IMG_6742

IMG_6743

Checkout the cymbal sliced into the door frame

IMG_6746

IMG_6748

IMG_6755

Orange Amps DIVO TubeSync and OV4 Explained

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Orange Amps presents DIVO with TubeSync technology. DIVO helps increase the life of your tubes, protects against unexpected tube failure, and even allows for (4) different tube types to be installed in the same amp.

DIVO will come pre-installed on select Orange Rockerverb 100 MKII heads beginning Summer 2011. The OV4 stand-alone unit, also available in 2011, can be installed on almost any amp that has (4) power tube slots.

ov4_tubesync

Doug Doppler Demos Orange Amps Rockerverb 100 with DIVO Frankfurt Musikmesse 2011

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Doug Doppler Demos Orange Amps Rockerverb 100 with DIVO Musikmesse 2011

Orange Amps Rockerverb 100 with DIVO Musikmesse 2011 / Doug Doppler

Orange Amps Rockerverb 100 with DIVO Musikmesse 2011 / Doug Doppler

KBO Dynamics TubeSync Technology

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Introduction

There is a certain quirkiness about the British psyche. On the one hand, the proportion of consumers in this country who actually bother thoroughly to read instruction manuals is undoubtedly very low. On the other, there was a Japanese survey, apparently, that found of all significant inventions going back over 200 years, 55% of them were British. Obviously, the Germans are more disciplined and better organised. The Americans are driven. The Japanese are still incredibly advanced technically, yet the British struggle to get the trains running on time. Maybe that’s the point: because we’re surrounded by chaos, we’ve had to become inventive.

The Americans make the best electric guitars but the British make the best amplification, goes the old adage. Doubtless, there are as many British luthiers as American amp manufacturers chorusing their disagreement, but as a general rule, this is probably true. And although if you look at all the great British amp makers – Hiwatt, Marshall, Sound City, Orange and the rest – they all have an Achilles Heel: the tubes. Ironic, really; amps that collectively have been responsible for the greatest sounds in contemporary music relying on components whose design hasn’t altered at all for decades. Enter TubeSync.

TubeSync_225

The engineering guys here at KBO Dynamics – inventors of TubeSync technology -are into power supply. Their background ranges from white goods to defence, and to be fair, making a washing machine go is hardly rock’n’roll. But when they turned their knowledgeable gaze towards tube amps, well, that’s different. For example, when a technician at Hiwatt builds a Custom tube amplifier, he and he alone will spend 20 hours soldering the components to stringent quality control guidelines: no production line or PCBs here. Yet, despite this labour of love, if the tubes fail, the amp won’t work. So when KBO Dynamics approached Hiwatt with a system that could monitor the tubes constantly when the amp is turned on, adjust the biases, forewarn if the tube was getting flaky and even switch pairs should one of the tubes fail completely, they pricked up their ears.

TubeSync

Musicians don’t shell out for a big, powerful expensive amp if they’re not gigging. That makes them either pro musicians or semi-pro at the very least. That also means that the public shell out to go and see them play. Therefore, neither party will be particularly chuffed if a tube goes in the middle of a performance. Yes, the pro musician probably carries a spare amp just in case, as most guitarists have a spare guitar in case they break a string, but it’s not ideal. TubeSync gives the musician peace of mind; simple. With TubeSync fitted in the amplifier, it’s a bit like having a dedicated amp tech working full time on that amp from the moment it’s turned on to the moment it’s turned off.

custom ampThe output from a traditional 100-watt valve amplifier comes from two pairs of EL34 tubes: matched 1 and 4, and 2 and 3. There are companies who sell ‘matched’ pairs of these tubes, as two identical tubes will tend to last longer than an unmatched pair. Normally, the EL34 will operate at 50Ma, although they can be rated higher, but the higher they are rated, the shorter their life. Best not to fiddle around too much, then. Better still, let TubeSync do what fiddling there needs to be done. The device, which is not an integral part of the amplifier, sits within the circuitry and ensures that the pairs remain matched throughout, and micro-adjusting the biases when necessary. Four LEDs on the facia plate – one for each tube – serve as a visual indicator of the state of each one. So the musician is given adequate warning if one of the tubes is getting flaky. In the unlikely event of one of the tubes letting go completely without warning, TubeSync will immediately switch out the affected pair; OK, the amp will be functioning at only half power, but at least it will be working. That’s peace of mind. Knowing that this technology is available but not using it would be a bit like driving really fast whilst wearing welding goggles. Don’t want to worry you or anything.

hayden Granted, having TubeSync installed in the amp is going to give peace of mind, but then we at KBO Dynamics haven’t just left it at that. Professionals in the music industry need to find out not only that there are certain strains on the tubes within the amp, but are there conditions within the live situation that perhaps put an amount of stress on the tubes above others. Handy that the techies can plug a laptop into TubeSync and get a readout, then. Handier still, we are working on an interface that when completed will allow the TubeSync-ed amp to hook up with either us or Hiwatt via the internet, and the amp’s performance can be monitored remotely in real time, even if the gig is in Australia. How formula 1 is that then? But then again, it isn’t, when you think about it; it’s more like professional progress. The Rolling Stones, for example, earn millions every time they tour – having seen them, they’re worth every penny, but that’s just one opinion – but they will never have toured in the past with amps loaded with TubeSync. Imagine the poor old amp techs frantically peering through the grilles of the back line checking for the dreaded EL34 red death glow while the band is laying it down for over a million fans on a beach in Brazil: now that’s stress.

We are talking with other amplifier manufacturers, but Hiwatt was a logical place to start: they are fiercely proud of their reputation for reliability, rightly so, and any technology that compliments that reputation is clearly going to be of interest to them. Both KBO Dynamics and Hiwatt feel that the incorporation of TubeSync technology genuinely adds value not just to the amplifier, but also to the whole amplification process. Tubes are still fairly reliable; with or without TubeSync, manufacturers wouldn’t build tube amps if they weren’t and we’re not in the business of scaremongering. However, the fact of the matter is that they are still the least reliable component part of the amp, and if you have experienced ‘sod’s law’, then you’ll know that if a tube is going to fail then it’ll pick the most inconvenient time to do so. Going back to the driving analogy, the odds of you needing the airbag in your car are reassuringly long. But try driving a car without one fitted, you genuinely do feel vulnerable.

Conclusion

In recent years, there has been an exponential rise in ‘extreme sports’ and the arrival of the adrenaline junkie, doubtless in response to an increasingly risk-averse society. The term “Nanny State” has been coined as a result. But let’s keep things in perspective; there’s a big difference in safety for safety’s sake and straightforward common sense. TubeSync technology has been designed to prolong the life of the tubes in the gigging musician’s amp – which is good – and also to alert them to the fact that the tube is approaching the end of its life – also good. We think that’s common sense, which is why we invented it.

TubeSync_500

TubeSync Service Points : Why Should You?

Friday, September 10th, 2010

TubeSync technology

TubeSync streamlines with the amp’s circuitry to constantly test and monitor the amp without altering the fundamental amplification process, tone or sound. It eliminates the need for bias current matching, increases tube life by micro-adjusting the bias on each tube, predicts tube failure and can, in the event of tube failure, even run the amp at half power, preventing catastrophic amp damage. ­­

The result is an amp unhampered by many of the problems associated with conventional tube amplification allowing musicians to enjoy classic tube sound quality without the frustrations.

These are just some of TubeSync’s unique features:

  • Eliminates the need for bias current matching of output tubes
  • Micro-adjusts the bias on each tube to ensure its full potential is realised
  • Assures reliability
  • Maintains optimum performance
  • Increases tube life
  • Reduces quiescent power consumption
  • Sets tubes at their optimum temperature as soon as you power up
  • Detects tube failure and prevents catastrophic damage to amp
  • Switches out faulty tubes and runs amps at half power until tube can be changed

A new industry standard

TubeSync technology has now been incorporated in new amp designs from some of the world’s most prominent amp manufacturers. Hiwatt, famed for their legendary reliability, was one of the first OEMs to recognise the potential of TubeSync for further enhancing the reliability and performance of their amps. KBO Dynamics continues to work with the industry’s biggest names to raise the bar in tube performance and reliability, creating a new industry standard in amp design and manufacture.

Introducing the Bias Engine

The Bias Engine is the hardware that encapsulates TubeSync’s unique technology. Fitting the Bias Engine is a straightforward procedure, with all necessary components supplied within the retrofit kit. It is stipulated that the Bias Engine is fitted by an accredited technician.

Bias engine retailThe Bias Engine is sold as a part of the TubeSync Professional Amp Upgrade Kit containing:

TubeSync Bias Engine Hardware

TubeSync hardware is wired straight into the amp’s circuitry. The Bias Engine is a very compact component that can be incorporated in both point-to-point and PCB wired amps.

Tube fault LED indicator harness and amp chassis LED plate

The Bias Engine is wired to 4 LED indicators that permanently illuminate when the tube is faulty and ‘flash’ when the tube needs to be replaced. The LEDs sit on the amp chassis, surrounded by the LED plate.

Wiring harness and mechanical fixings

The wiring harness, bundling all necessary wires and connectors, completes the kit along with a full set of mechanical fixings for securing the Bias Engine.

TubeSync Bias Runner software

Improving amplifier biasing methods, servicing and fault diagnostics

Interfacing with Bias Engine hardware, our Bias Runner software has been designed to allow OEMs and professional amp technicians to interrogate the status of an amplifier, alter bias settings, perform field diagnostics and configure the amp for best performance, further adding value to your services.Bias Runner_02

Bias Runner is easy to install, offering full fault diagnostics, enabling tube biasing with and without audio present, either collectively or as individual tubes. It is the perfect tool for warranty provision and servicing, providing a database of hardware serial numbers and storing amplifier parameter settings for full traceability.

Total service hours

Reads and displays the total number of hours the amplifier has been powered up. Optional reset facility available if required.

Total duration with audio

Reads and displays the total number of hours the amplifier has been driven with audio. Optional reset facility available if required.

Total hours idle

Reads and displays the total number of hours the amplifier has remained idle i.e. has not been driven with audio. Optional reset facility available if required.

Faulty tube log

Reads and displays the number of times a tube has been switched off due to a fault during the lifetime of the amplifier. A reset function is available for each individual tube.

Bias current (Audio present)

Enables the user to adjust tube current bias settings collectively or individually

Bias Current Idle (No Audio Present)

Enables the user to adjust tube current bias settings collectively or individually

Hardware and version status

Displays the serial number of the TubeSync module and the hardware version number

Serial number and settings database

Stores all serial numbers together with amplifier parameter settings in a   database for full traceability

Our commitment to you

We work closely with all of our partners to promote high standards and to support you in realising the full benefits of our truly innovative and impactful core technology and associated products.

As a TubeSync retailer or accredited technician you will receive:

Guaranteed product quality

All of our products are manufactured to the highest quality standards using state of the art assembly equipment. All components are ROSH compliant and uniquely identified for full batch traceability

A comprehensive solution

A complete package of hardware and software supports ease of use and easy configuration

Technical support

Our approach is founded on product and service quality. We offer our retail partners generous technical support to ensure that you are fully equipped for promoting TubeSync technology and advising your customers appropriately.

As an authorised retailer you will appoint a technician(s) who will receive training from our own technical team and who will be required to become certified as an accredited TubeSync technician before performing installations.

Warranty

All components come with a 12 month warranty which commences from the date of installation. Full warranty terms are available on request.

Dennis Marshall’s Amp Repair Shop Scotland Becomes An Approved TubeSync Service Point

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Over the last 40 years Dennis Marshall has worked with many people in the music business. Some famous, some to become famous, but mostly just plain ordinary musicians. Dennis has gained a reputation throughout the UK for his work and contribution to the music business and the latest news is……is that Dennis has recently signed up as the exclusive Scottish installer of TubesSync.

‘’TubeSync is a new product and is the new ‘wheel’ for guitar tube amps’’ states Dennis, ‘’ No need to match output valves in your amp. Drop in any combination of makes OR EVEN TYPES!!! (EL34, KT77, KT88, 6L6 etc).’’

‘’ TubeSync will automatically sense and adjust the output bias of each tube independently to balance the amp. Imagine what new tones you can create from those limitless output tube combinations!’’

Dennis has an amp in his workshop with Tubesync installed – so anybody is welcome to come in and try it out!!

You can reach Dennis directly on…………..

Telephone 01383 881761

Email tech@dennismarshall.co.uk

Or Mail or in person at

6 Main Street, Newmills

Dunfermline, Fife, KY12 8SR

Bias_Engine

Every person who goes into Dennis’s workshop is equally important and will always get the same high standard of service. Dennis is an approved Mesa Boogie engineer and has worked with a number of high profile bands including:

Deacon Blue, The Proclaimers, Roger Nichols, Texas, George Michael band, Nine Inch Nails, Wasp, Uriah Heep, The Hazey Janes, Pete Caban, Glasvegas, Katie Melua, Dave Valentine, Ona, Mark DeNeys, Fiesty Piranhas, Ally McErlaine, Bobby Bandiera, Stapleton, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Dougie MacLean, The Eels, Joe Gore, Joe Gormal, The Searchers, Jon Solish, Ray Wilson, Idlewild, Lionel Richie, Paul Buchanan, Stuart McCredie, The Eagles, Ron Sexsmith, Tam White, Lauri Anderson, Willie Logan, Bobbie Heatley, Steve Adey, Robbie Gladwell, Frank Macbeth, Sons and Daughters, Hamish McGregor, Miguel Orgel, Pilot, John Goldie , Marcus Ford, Echo and the Bunnymen, Athol Fraser, Mats Nermark, Bobby Carlos, Craig Oxley, Steuart Smith, The Jam, Healthy Minds Collapse, Avast, Adrian Clark, Nick Guppy, Sergeant, Tango in the Attic, Mike Walker, NYJOS, One Night of Queen, Davie Brockett, Runrig, Glasshouse Project, Kevin Brown, Ocean Colour Scene, Tony ‘Doggen’ Foster, Midas Fall, Mayhew….

Electro Harmonix Guitar Valve / Tubes EL34 s etc..

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Electro-Harmonix is a New York based company that makes electronic sound processors. The company was founded by Mike Matthews in 1968. They are most famous for a series of popular guitar effects pedals introduced in the 1970s and 1990s.

EL34EH Electro-Harmonix

buy

Electro-Harmonix was founded by Mike Matthews in October 1968 in NYC, USA.

Himself an R&B keyboard player, he had traded his passion of music for a job as a salesman for IBM in 1967. Shortly afterwards he realized that his job at IBM no longer suited him, and he was interested in trying once again to make career for himself as a keyboard player. Concerned he may not be able to support his (now ex) wife while being unemployed, he aspired to save some money to support her before embarking on his journey to stardom. Partnering with an acquaintance of his, Bill Berko, an audio repairman who claimed to have his own custom circuit for a fuzz pedal, they jobbed construction of their new pedal to a contracting house, and began distributing the pedals under a deal with the Guild Guitar Company Fuzzboxes were in demand following a trail of hits involving their sound, including “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction ” by The Rolling Stones two years prior, and recent popularization of Jimi Hendrix. The latter connection resulted in the pedals being branded the ‘Foxey Lady’.

Following the unexplained departure of his partner, Matthews was introduced to inventor and electric engineer Robert Myer through IBM colleagues.

Together the two began conceptualizing a circuit designed to emulate Jimi Hendrix’s use of a distortion-free sustain. While testing a prototype of the Distortion-Free Sustainer pedal, which Matthews did by simply plucking the strings of an electric guitar, as he did not play guitar, he noticed another small box connected to the prototype. When asked, Myer explained this box was a line booster, designed to boost the guitar’s passive signal to an appropriate level for the prototype. Matthews listened as the guitar’s volume increased greatly as the booster was turned on, and asked Myer what was involved in manufacturing the pedal. The pedal consisted of a simple circuit and used just one transistor (This would later become know as the Linear Power Booster (LPB-1), a pedal still manufactured today.Shortly afterwards, Matthews founded Electro-Harmonix to produce this and other pedal designs throughout 1960s, 70s and early 80s.

The first Electro-Harmonix product was the Axis fuzz pedal, which was also sold under the name “Foxey Lady” for the Guild guitar company. While working with Bob Myer on the early Big Muff design, Mike Matthews used a booster circuit Myer had incorporated into the design and marketed it as the LPB-1 or Linear Power Booster in 1969. This massively boosted a guitar signal to provide gain by clipping the signal, dramatically changing the sound. The new device provided a raw distorted sound, full of sustain and harmonics.

Several similar devices followed such as the Treble Booster and Bass Booster. The new devices were extremely popular with guitarists.

Electro-Harmonix stopped making pedals in the mid-1980s, and in the early 1990s started selling vacuum tubes re-branded with their name for guitar amplifiers, which they had also been making since the 1970s. However due to demand, and the high prices guitarists were paying for old 1970s pedals on the vintage market, they reissued the more popular old pedals in the mid-1990s, the Big Muff Pi and Small Clone included. In 2002 they started designing new pedals to add to their range. Company policy is that all reissued effects remain as close as possible to the original, vintage designs. This means however that casings, knobs and especially the old-fashioned mini-jack power plug are not up to modern-day standards. This all changed in 2006 with their smaller and more standardized “micro” and “nano” effect lines.

JJ Electronic Tubes / Valves

Monday, March 29th, 2010

All materials used in the JJ tube  manufacturing process must comply with the most stringent quality requirements. In tube manufacturing, the fundamental requisite for the best production results is to maintain as high mechanical precision for assembly as possible. JJ Electronic uses assembly precision of no more than ± 0.02 mm.

Before tubes are assembled, they are thoroughly cleaned using such methods as the ultrasonic bath, chemical cleaning or annealing in an inert gas atmosphere (hydrogen, nitrogen).

JJ EL34

JJ EL34

A thorough inspection is performed on every component of the tube internal system before assembly. Assembled systems are then sent to sealing in a glass envelope. During the sealing procedure, the temperature of the glass pass-through joints must be controlled and joints are gradually tempered to relieve the inherent thermal stress.

Next, the assembled glass envelopes are evacuated by mechanical and diffusion vacuum pumps. During this process, the cathode emission coating is activated. All internal parts are heated by a high frequency heater and any spurious dust particles are evacuated. Finally, the getter rings are activated, while they absorb any residual gas inside the glass envelope of the tube.

buy

Every tube is then electrically tested for all parameters which are the key to a flawless operation and a great sound. Specifically, these parameters include: leakage characteristics, internal vacuum level, cathode emission capability, filament voltage and current, anode current saturation level, microphony and others.

Every month, random samples are taken from the production line in order to perform a life time test of 5000 hours under nominal conditions or 1000 hours at maximum specified ratings.

Tube Types

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,