Posts Tagged ‘valve failure modes’

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

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

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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.

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Checkout the cymbal sliced into the door frame

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Leaky Tubes / Valves Can Blow the HT Fuse In Guitar Amps, TubeSync Can Avoid This!

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

An interesting phenomenon that some ‘leaky’ tubes, removed from conventionally biased amps, appear to improve when run with TubeSync. The reason may be that when the tube gets hot, g1/cathode leak causes a current increase, but it is automatically biased ‘back’ to compensate, which allows the tube to cool down again and thus reduce leakage et al. After a while the leak sometimes reduces or disappears completely – we surmise that the getter  gets a chance to mop up stray gas molecules or the metallic deposit gets ‘boiled off’ the mica supports.  This type of fault in a conventional amp would normally blow the HT fuse, however TubeSync can avoid is and rectify the problem! Cool eh?

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Hiwatt Amplify Their Success With TubeSync

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

IT TAKES more than sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll to make a guitarist sound great. John Hill meets North East amplifier makers at the cutting edge of technology.


Hiwatt & TubeSync

ANDY Fallon and Colin Arrowsmith are not guit- arists. Their affair with the valve amplifier isn’t born of a youth spent practising solos or arguing over kit specifications next to the counter of their local guitar store.

In fact, Andy’s experience lies in automotive and military engineering, while Colin is an expert in microelectronics.

However, their contribution to a piece of kit beloved of the White Stripes, The Who and Black Sabbath has attracted the attention of major international amp-makers.

Andy and Colin are co-founders of KBO Dynamics, a Consett company created to market technology designed to improve audio and guitar amplification.

They are the men behind TubeSync, a “tube management system” which monitors the performance of valve amplifiers to avoid meltdowns while maintaining sound.

The product won the innovation award in the Durham and Wearside heat of the nebusinessawards 2009, run by The Journal and Evening Gazette.

KBO co-founder Andy said: “We were looking for a niche market. Neither of us plays the guitar, but we did a lot of brainstorming.

“Colin worked with microelectronics, but he’s also an expert with valve technology. We realised very quickly that the biggest application for valves was inside guitar amps.”

The valve amp isn’t exactly a rapidly advancing technological product. The technology was developed between the world wars and uses a series of vacuum tubes to regulate a signal. It was present in items from TVs to radios, but fell out of favour in the 70s.

The resurgence of such equipment has been prompted by high-end users in the audio and guitar amp market, who praise its natural sound.

Andy said: “There’s a warmer, more rounded tone to it. Anyone who’s serious about playing a guitar would only use a valve amp.”

When they developed TubeSync, the pair didn’t set out to change the sound. Instead, they set their sights on the downside, the problems that plague valve amp users looking for that special sound.

He said: “The closest you can compare it to is an engine management system on a car. It’s like having a maintenance technician looking after your amp 24/7 without you noticing it. It’s continuously monitoring the circuit, looking for faults.

“We got a market research report from Think M in Newcastle. It conducted a series of live interviews with OEM companies and guitarists.

“We looked at the problems people were talking about, but we didn’t change the sound.

“It can detect faults. It can disconnect a pair of valves if it finds one is faulty. You normally have to buy valves in matched pairs and you need to take the amp to a technician to tweak it, but with TubeSync you only need to buy one valve if one fails and it can tweak the system for you.

“One faulty valve can blow up the output transformer. TubeSync can detect this and prevent catastrophic damage.”

KBO had support from a number of North East backers. It won £90,000 from NorthStar Equity Investors’ Proof of Concept fund, developed its prototype with help from Business Link and got £20,000 from the North East England Investment Centre. The process was then advanced by a grant of £20,000 from One North East.

In all, Andy estimates the product has taken 18 months and around £200,000 to develop.

He said: “We built and developed it from the bottom up. We tried to use components that were available in the marketplace and we created our own unique algorithm.

“We don’t think there’s a similar product to this on the market and we’re hoping to receive a patent in the next couple of months.”

Right now, KBO is on the hunt for buyers. The team has just returned from the international Musikmesse instrument trade show in Frankfurt, where they saw a live band perform using TubeSync technology for the first time.

He said: “It was being used by a band playing Pinball Wizard by The Who. We’re expecting to see the technology on stage properly some time this year.

“The lead time on the product is about eight weeks so it could well be appearing in the summer.”

British amp manufacturer Hiwatt, whose users include Arctic Monkeys, The Killers and The Kooks, has incorporated TubeSync into its amps and Andy says that others, such as fellow Brits Orange, are keen.

The company is talking to manufacturers about fitting it in amps this year and down the line it may create variants of the product that could be fitted by amp technicians or even end users.

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Orange Amps Test TubeSync At Messe Frankfurt 2010

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Orange amps test out TubeSync within Orange’s Thunderverb all-valve “flagship” amp head, during Messe Frankfurt 2010

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The History Of Orange Amps

Orange was founded in 1968 by Clifford Cooper of London, and started as a recording studio. The studio featured an IBC mixing console originally owned by Joe Meek of the The Millionaires.

In autumn 1968, Cliff placed an order with the Huddersfield-based company Matamp (named after founder Mat Mathias) to make some 100-watt`valve amps for Orange to Cooper’s design. The manufacturing plant in the United States signifies that only the US-distributed Oranges cabinets are made in the States; currently, valve amps are manufactured in England, Korea and China.

Orange amplifiers are primarily mid to low-gain valve/vacuum tube amp heads, designed to be coupled with a matching speaker cabinet. Their most popular guitar amplifiers were the OR120, usually referred to as the “pics only” model for its use of pictures instead of text to indicate each knob’s function, and the later OD120 overdrive model which was equipped with a master volume control. Most Orange guitar amps were based on output circuitry which used EL34 tubes (as did other popular British amp makers such as Marshall and Hiwatt), and were available in the separate amp head and speaker cabinet format.

In the 1970s, Orange also made ‘hybrid’ PA amps that coupled a solid state mixer stage with a tube (valve) power stage. In recent years, Orange has also produced guitar combo amps (speaker and amplifier in one assembly), as well as amplifiers for bass guitar and other audio products.

In the late 90’s and early 00’s, Orange also made a range of very successful all-tube combos, such as the AD 15/12 and the AD 30R. The AD 15/12, a Class A, single speaker 15 watt model, is now out of production and highly sought after.

Orange introduced the Solid State ‘Crush’ series in 2001, and in 2004 they introduced the new Rocker series. This series consists of five different amp models. These are the Rocker 30, which features a classic British rock sound, 2x EL34 power tubes working in Class A and today being the only amp available as a 1×12 combo. The Rockerverb uses similar circuitry, but has an extra gain stage and much more modern voicing. They also feature a reverb. The Rockerverb comes as a 50 watt head (featuring 4x 6V6 power tubes) and a 100 watt head (featuring 4x EL34 power tubes, but these can be switched to 6L6 or 6550 power tubes). In 2006 Orange introduced two new amps- the small and portable Tiny Terror, which has received big popularity for its ease of use, excellent tone and low price and the Thunderverb 200, which is a guitar/ bass amp with 200 watts of power (6 x 6550 power tubes) and an inbuilt attenuator, aimed more at modern sounds. Orange also revealed a smaller version, the Thunderverb 50, which has a 50 watt output.

In 2008 Orange released a re-make of the ‘Pics only’ head. There were 40 of the custom shop OR50’s to be released, each with a different circuit and girls name instead of a serial number. There is also a non-custom shop version of the OR50 which is in full sale, and not limited amounts.

In 2009, Orange unveiled the two channel Dual Terror at the NAMM Convention in Anaheim, Ca. The first “Tiny Terror” channel features the same circuitry as the Tiny Terror amp. The second “Fat” channel has a similar sound but with more gain and a more prominent low end. The Dual Terror features 30 watts of power delivered by four 12AX7 preamp tubes and four EL-84 power tubes. The amp is switchable down to 15 watts and 7 watts via a half/full power switch on the front of the amp and a 4 power tube/ 2 power tube switch on the back. The Dual Terror is also physically larger than the Tiny Terror.

TubeSync For Valve / Tube Amps What am I ?

Friday, March 19th, 2010

About me:

I am a revolutionary new amp component, enhancing amp performance resulting in pure valve magic. My superior amp technology overcomes many of the problems associated with conventional tube amplification. With a little help from me there is no need for bias current matching, I can increase tube life and take your valves to their optimum temperature as soon as you power up. I can be easily integrated into any guitar valve amplifier. I take care of the detail, so you can concentrate on becoming a master of the strings . . . You can find a lot more about me on my main website www.tubesync.co.uk

The TubeSync Bias Engine

The TubeSync Bias Engine

Eliminates the need for bias current matching of output tubes

Increases manufacturing efficiencies

Micro-adjusts the bias on each tube to ensure its full potential is realised

Maintains optimum performance

Increases tube life

Assures reliability

Reduces quiescent power consumption

TubeSync

TubeSync

Innovation Winners Attracts Famous UK Guitar Amp OEMs

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

KBO Dynamics are making their mark in the international music industry. They will be showcasing their technology with a number of major customers at the high profile international music fair, Musikmesse in Frankfurt this March. Hiwatt is just one of the world’s most prominent guitar amp manufacturers and KBO Dynamics are delighted to have TubeSync technology incorporated in their latest amp designs.

KBO Dynamics Win Innovation Award 2009

KBO Dynamics Win Innovation Award 2009

KBO Dynamics, winners of the Durham and Wearside Innovation Business Awards 2009, stated : TubeSync technology achieves unique benefits including vastly improved reliability and performance in tube amps.  Securing orders from Hiwatt and others is a significant achievement.

KBO Dynamics Power and Control Devices

KBO Dynamics Power and Control Devices

‘The scale of the companies that KBO Dynamics are working with is impressive. They have ambitious plans for growth and have been performing very well since receiving investment from us. KBO Dynamics is an excellent example of successful innovation coming out of the North East and is testimony to the region’s strong knowledge base,’ Dr Richard Exley, North Star Equity Investors.

­The company has also been supported with market research, manufacturer introductions and early product launch activity by think M., a leading strategic marketing and research agency specialising in technology and innovation.

Andy Fallon, KBO Dynamics, ‘think M.’s channel research played an important part in helping us to secure investment by providing the market evidence required to prove TubeSync’s growth potential. It helped us to refine our offering to amp manufacturers and was instrumental in getting us through the door at some really high profile organisations.’

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TubeSync

As KBO look forward to Frankfurt they already have further collaborations underway and anticipate generating more interest from manufacturers, amp technicians and musicians alike. If you would like any more information on TubeSync technology, please visit www.kbodynamics.com.

PIMP Your Guitar Amp With The TubeSync Bias Engine

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Pure tube magic – that warm, uncluttered sound powered by superior amp technology deserves the best. TubeSync takes care of the detail, giving unsurpassed performance from any tubes.

Plugging straight into the tube powered heart of your amp, in perfect harmony with its fine tuned circuitry, TubeSync’s Bias Engine eradicates the need for bias current matching, increases tube life and takes your tubes to their optimum temperature as soon as you power up . . .

and there’s more.

The result: a well honed tone tyrant with none of the problems hampering conventional tube amps; a streamlined orchestrator of analogue magic.

Ashdown Amp With TubeSync

Ashdown Amp With TubeSync

POWER UP HOT

The Bias Engine’s ‘Hot Anode’ cranks up the heat and has you running hot from the very first cord. It knows the optimum temperature for your tubes best performance and gets them there the minute you start playing.

JUST PLUG IN AND PLAY

The Bias Engine is easily incorporated into your amp’s systems at manufacture. It removes the need for bias current matching but still achieves the absolute best tone.

INCREASED EFFICIENCIES

Increased manufacturing efficiencies (due to reduced testing) are achieved by eliminating the need for bias current matching.

ROOTING OUT THE RENEGADE

Fear not the cherry red glow of a failing tube! The Bias Engine continuously monitors the performance of each tube during operation and searches for typical tube failure modes and trends. If the Bias Engine

detects a faulty tube, it can automatically ‘switch out’ the offending tube and run the amp, at half power, until the defective tube can be changed.

HARDER, BETTER, LONGER

Work your tubes at their full potential. The Bias Engine automatically micro-adjusts the bias on each tube to ensure its full potential is realised throughout its working life. The amplitude of drive signals supplied to the grids is dynamically measured and performance is optimised accordingly. Tubes work harder, better and for longer.

RAISING THE BAR

TubeSync revolutionises convention by completely replacing traditional testing methods. Every time you power up TubeSync runs an automatic ‘in circuit’ test and assures reliability.

MINIMUM POWER, MAXIMUM OUTPUT

Less power input, same big output. TubeSync reduces quiescent power consumption by an average of 20% compared to conventional amplifier biasing techniques.

Hiwatt Launches TubeSync at MUSIKMESSE 2010

Friday, February 19th, 2010

UK-based KBO Dynamics will be showcasing their pioneering technology with Hiwatt at Musikmesse this March. TubeSync® technology achieves unique benefits including vastly improved reliability and performance in guitar tube amps. Hiwatt have incorporated the innovation in new amp designs to further underline their already exemplary reliability.
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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.

Mark Lodge Hiwatt’s general manager stated ‘Our amps have proven their reliability year after year. Incorporating TubeSync technology has allowed us to raise the bar one step further. The benefits are of great value to us and our customers.’

KBO Dynamics look forward to more exciting collaborations this year. For more information on TubeSync, please visit www.kbodynamics.com

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