Posts Tagged ‘Sound’

Orange Amplification Announces DIVO VT1000 Valve Tester

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Orange Amplification has released the DIVO  VT1000 Valve Tester, an automatic valve tester that performs a host of diagnostics on both preamp and power amp tubes. The unit has one octal and two nine pin valve sockets to fit pe-amp and EL34 valves. Once inserted, the user presses the start button and the tests are run.

Vt1000 valve tester

VT1000 Details:

Tests run:

  • Heater filament test: Short circuit
  • Heater filament test: Open circuit
  • Heater filament test: Tolerance check
  • Heater cathode insulation: Leakage
  • Heater cathode insulation: Short Circuit
  • Tests for heater current abnormalities
  • Amplification factor
  • Voltage gain
  • Power gain
  • Screen grid test
  • Mutual conductance test
  • Dual test for double triodes
  • Emission
  • Inter electrode leakage
  • Inter electrode short circuit
  • Flash-over (arc detection, high voltage breakdown)
  • Gas ionisation test

Compatible Valves:

  • EL34/6CA7
  • EL34L
  • 6L6
  • 6V6/6v6GTA
  • KT66
  • KT77
  • KT88
  • 6550
  • 5881
  • EL84/6BQ5
  • ECC81/12AT7
  • ECC82/12AU7
  • ECC83/12AX7
  • ECC99
  • 12BH7

Backline Rental Companies Save Time & Money With TubeSync

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Backline rental companies don’t shell out on big, powerful expensive amps if they’re not going to be used on stage by pro musicians or semi-pro at the very least. That also means that the public shell out to go and see the artists play. Therefore, neither party will be particularly chuffed if an amp tube goes in the middle of a performance. Many travelling pro’s use the services of a backline rental company to take care of their equipment, however many tube guitar amps have problems which cannot be avoided by even the best tech.

iStock_000006400704XSmall

So yes, the pro musician or backliner probably carries a spare amp or three just in case, not to mention a box full of matched tubes!

Peace of Mind

TubeSync gives the backline tech and 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. Best not to fiddle around too much, then. Better still, let TubeSync do what fiddling there needs to be done. Tubesync sits within the circuitry and ensures that the pairs remain matched throughout, and micro-adjusting the biases when necessary. Four LEDs display the status of each tube, in a 100W head for example, if a failure occurs 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.

Crowd at the rock concertWhy Choose TubeSync

•    Performance peace of mind
•    Greater efficiency due to reduced maintenance back at the workshop
•    Can be configured to work with any fixed bias tube amp
•    Logs how the long the amp has been driven with audio
•    Records faults seen by the amp – Gives the tech full diagnostics
•    No need to purchase tubes in matched pairs anymore, TubeSync takes care of the biasing
•    Save money, better tube life / only need to change the defective tube
•    Reduces quiescent power consumption
•    Detects tube failure and prevents catastrophic damage to amp
•    Switches out faulty tubes and runs amps at half power until tube can be changed

and there’s much more….

Bias Runner Software

Improving amplifier biasing methods, servicing and fault diagnostics

Interfacing with Bias Engine hardware, the Bias Runner software has been designed to allow 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

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.

Please click here for your free information pack

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

Guitar Amp Users – Get TubeSync Fitted!

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

With TubeSync fitted in your amp there is no need to match output tubes. Drop in any combination of makes OR EVEN TYPES!!! (EL34, KT77, KT88, 6L6 etc) and 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! You can even run a 2 X EL34s and 2 X 6L6s in your 100W head simultaneously, alternately you can use the half power mode and switch between  6L6s or EL34s at 50W output power, now that’s cool!Rock Star

Read on to find out how you can get TubeSync fitted into your amp

TubeSync can only be installed by accredited engineers via ‘TubeSync Service Points’. To find the nearest TubeSync Service Point near you, please click on the image blow

TubeSync Service Point

TubeSync Bias Engines Roll Off The Production Line

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Due to popular demand the TubeSync Bias Engine is now in volume production!

TubeSync

For order enquiries please email sales@tubesync.co.uk

German Based Bulldog Amplification Approves TubeSync

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Bulldog Amplification builds handcrafted tube amps in Germany to meet  the ever demanding needs of musicians in terms of tone and reliability. Years of experience in repairing and modifying tube amps has lead to an exclusive line of guitar amplifiers. These instruments are built to produce the best possible tone. Most of today’s amps offer many different sounds and functions, but the guitar signal has to pass through various paths of electronic circuitry until it reaches the speaker, consequently the tone is weakened. Tone and bullet proof reliability are the most important things for Bulldog Amplification and that’s why Bulldog is delighted to announce that TubeSync will become standard within their The Jack 66, Jack 18, Black Bert 1, and Den Lachs amplifier models.

bulldog

The ‘’Jack 66’’

‘’The combination of TubeSync with short signal paths and other high quality components make our amplifiers world class and due to this, Bulldog Amplification is becoming a preferred choice by professional artists and serious guitar players’’.

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The TubeSync ‘’Bias Engine’’

‘’ Robust, bomb proof reliability, with enhanced functionality and perfect tone is what we want’’ – says Ingo Bührmann from Bulldog Amplification. Ingo goes on to say…

‘’Cheap poorly designed products from China are fast becoming unacceptable to guitar players especially within Germany, where high quality engineering is embedded within our culture’’ You would buy a car if the drive was terrible and it broke down when you needed it the most, well would you? ‘’ I believe the same philosophy applies to guitar amplifiers, high performance and reliability is paramount’’.

Bulldog Amps are currently used by a number of high profile bands such as the massively popular German band Guano Apes and Livingston. Bulldog amps with TubeSync will soon be appearing on a stage near you!

Guano Apes

Guano Apes

Liv

Livingston

For more information on TubeSync email:

UK: info@tubesync.co.uk

Germany: info@bulldog-amps.com

Hayden Amps New MoFo 100 With TubeSync

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Hayden amps launch the new MoFo 100 with TubeSync during Messe Frankfurt 2010

Hayen Mofo 100

The new Hayden MoFo 100 with TubeSync

Guitar Amp Tubes / Valves The History Of .. EL34 s etc

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Until the introduction of the germanium transistor in the late 1950’s, there was no alternative form of high quality audio amplification to the thermionic valve (American terminology was always ‘Tube’). The 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s saw a steep decline in the usage of valves for all purposes except audio amplifiers, to the point that, with a few exceptions, they were almost entirely replaced by transistors and integrated circuits. However, since the late 1980’s, valve amplifiers have experienced a renaissance which has, in the last decade grown rapidly year on year.

The unique character of the ‘Tube Sound’ has once again attracted both amateur and professional interest in the areas of High Fidelity (HiFi) amplification, Musical Instrument (MI) amplification (notably the electric guitar) and Audio amplification. The dominance of digital technology now, means that the valve amplifier is seen as new to younger people and as nostalgic to the older generation. Please note it is estimated, that the electric guitar amplification market consume as many as three out of four of the world’s production of audio tubes.

EL34 Valve

EL34 Valve

Many arguments have been put forward as to why tube amplification ‘sounds’ better than digital. Some differences can be proved using measuring instruments, whilst others are down to the nuances of the human ear. Whatever the reason, evidence shows more and more listeners appear to prefer the sound of a tube amplifier.

The demand for tube amplifiers is rapidly growing, with products ranging from a few hundred pounds to several thousand pounds, depending on quality and output power, with tube sales worldwide currently standing at over $100,000,000. Today vacuum-thermionic devices hold sway over the US $100 million worldwide guitar amp business. One rough estimate shows a 10-percent-per-year growth in demand for tubes used in MI instrument amplifiers and high-end audio since the late 1980s, with no apparent slackening.

However, the problems with existing tube amplifier technology is that the circuits used are based on ‘classic’ designs developed in the 1940’s and 50’s and, although more modern technology has occasionally been applied, this is usually confined to regulating the power supplies. One of the principle disadvantages of existing tube amplifiers is that they are very inefficient in converting electrical power into audio power. This is largely due to the ‘classic’ methods of controlling them. All analogue high power amplifiers require a system known as ‘Biasing’ to be applied to them. This controls the output devices and prevents them from ‘Thermal’ overload and eventual destruction. It does, however, incur a heavy cost in loss of output power and increased heat dissipation. In addition valves also need to be used in ‘Matched’ pairs, in order to control distortion of the output signal. This process is time consuming and expensive when carried out on a commercial basis.

THE SOLUTION IS ……..

EL34

EL34

What People Say About TubeSync

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
What I like about TubeSync is that gives us the opportunity to create our own features which enables us to have our own unique USPs.

(Marketing Manager)

Not changing the sound is very important to us because the sound is the main reason why customers buy our amps. TubeSync offers a long list of benefits without changing the sound. Amplifier reliability is a big one for us as some of our order designs have design problems which can result in field failures. Failures are very costly and results in a large amount of hassle for both us and our customers especially when an amp output transformer blows up! The TubeSync reliability features is what we like best, it saves time, money and of course our reputation.

(Lead Development Engineer)
TubeSync does what it says on the tin! We are looking to incorporate it into our next generation of amps!

(Technical Director)

Not matching tubes that’s a big one – it’s a pain in the neck – it’s key to getting a successful tube amp ‘fantastic’. if you don’t need to use matched pairs and there’s no need to bias, then that’s amazing, the efficiency savings on the factory floor will be a awesome. Who needs a Six Sigma Black belt!

(Amplification Product Line Manager)

You’re saying all of the things that we hear on a regular basis, i.e. ooh, tube longevity – these are things that crop up that keep me awake at night. I’d say it’s pretty unique

(Marketing Manager, Guitar Amplifier Manufacturer)

We are currently going for the ISO 14001 environmental accreditation. The energy savings resulting from TubeSync will be part of our continuous improvement plan. If everyone does their bit, the world will be a much greener place.

(Operations Manger, Guitar Amplifier Manufacturer)

There is only so much power a tube can throw out before it dies. So it’s an efficiency thing? It gives you more power for less heat? Useful, yeah

(Lead Development Engineer)

TubeSync can optimise the running temperature of the tube down considerably, and as a function of that, the life of the tube increases. And that’s something that’s far more interesting than putting more power through it.

(Technical Director)

Thermionic Tubes & Tube Amplifier Operation

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Thermionic tubes

Thermionic tubes are very tolerant if their specified operating conditions are temporarily exceeded; unlike most semiconductors which tend to suffer from ‘catastrophic’ failure (defined as a failure mode which causes instantaneous and irreversible damage).Unlike semiconductors, tubes do however, ‘wear out’, which means that they have a finite operating life.

NN-M-EL34Operating them under unfavourable conditions or beyond the manufacturers working specification, usually results in a reduced lifespan, although this may not be audibly apparent in their operation. In audio applications, the majority of seriously damaging problems lie in the power output stages.

Introduction to Tube Amplifier Operation

The majority of amplifiers use at least two output tubes in a circuit configuration known as ‘Push-Pull’. Basically, this means that the audio signal is split into two halves by preceding circuits. Each of the two ‘Split’ signals now drives one output tube.

The signals then undergo power amplification by the output tubes and are re-combined by a special audio grade transformer which also drives the loudspeaker.  Please note that, although there are many different types of tube for various applications, the vast majority operate on the same basic principles.