Posts Tagged ‘valve matching’

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

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.

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Tube Amplifiers Used For Professional Performers

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Tube Testing – A common requirement for tube amplifiers used for professional and stage purposes is that there should be a high percentage of confidence that one or more tubes will not fail during the performance. Tubes are often thought of in the same manner as light bulbs, in that they are most likely to fail catastrophically at switch on. This means that the moments just after the switch on point constitute the most stressful and potentially damaging periods in the life of the equipment.In an attempt to guard against this possibility, it is common practice to do one of two things on a regular basis.

1/ regularly remove the tubes and have them commercially tested;

2/ replace the tubes with new stock on a regular basis.

These two methods may give the operator a degree of confidence ///but in fact, it can be shown that the faith placed in both methods is misplaced.

It is a known fact that removal of a tube from its socket results in a number of potentially damaging mechanical stresses on the metal to glass seals around the pins. Each insertion of an all glass tube will cause micro-cracking of the glass around the pin. This will invariably cause a small leakage of air into the tube, causing ‘gassing’ and eventually leading to its demise.

Removal for testing will also break the intimate contact between the holder and the tube contact pin, resulting in a poorer contact on re-insertion.

Many tube testers apply unreasonable electrical stresses to the valve internal electrodes and it is not uncommon for a known good valve to be damaged during the test. Tube testers can also give erroneous results depending on the way they perform the tests, possibly allowing faulty tubes to show ‘good’ and the good valves to be rejected as ‘bad’.

The second method of ‘blanket replacement’ with new stock on a regular basis can also lead to problems because if the failure distribution curve for tubes is analysed, it can be seen to follow the classic ‘bathtub’ failure curve. This inevitably means that an amplifier which is regularly ‘re-tubes’ will inevitably be considerably more likely to fail during the first hundred hours service than one which has been left untouched.

TubeSync overcomes these problems by performing an ‘in circuit’ test on the tubes every time the amplifier is powered up. The mutual conductance (gm) of the tube is measured by monitoring the cathode current of each valve whilst adjusting the grid bias in fixed steps. The results are tabulated and the new value is compared with previously stored values. A decision is then made on how far the tube has decayed in emission since the last test. Outputs from the device inform the user of the predicted remaining life of the tube.

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

TubeSync DIVO A Brilliant Idea From The UK That Could Be The Way Of The Future For Valve Amp Design

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Checkout the TubeSync DIVO review in the April 2011 Guitarist Magazine.

”TubeSync DIVO works perfectly and does an excellent job of keeping even the most wayward valves on the straight and narrow. If you want to get the absolute best out of your amp and improve its reliability, DIVO is almost an essential – it’s a real innovation”.

orange-divo-main-460-80

TubeSync At The UK Northern Newcastle Guitar Show

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Come and see TubeSync / DIVO in action at the Northern Newcastle Guitar Show:

lespaul

Northern Newcastle Guitar Show

The Lancastrian Suite, Federation Brewery, Lancaster Rd, Dunston, Gateshead, NE11 9JR

on Sunday 6th  March 2011

With Blues Guitarist : Mitch Laddie

TubeSync_225TubeSync-DIVO-300x119

Aston Electronics Becomes A TubeSync Service Point. Guitar Amplifier Repair and Mods and Custom Amplification Services

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Volt Amps

For over 30 years, Geoff Pugh has been providing the musicians’ community with vital repair services. We repair, modify and produce high quality valve amplifiers. Our services extend beyond that of just valve amplifiers and therefore we are highly skilled in repairing and modifying other products such as effects pedals, solid state amplifiers, hi-fi amplifiers, etc.

Aston Electronics is the home of Volt Amplifiers. Volt Amplifiers are a range of high quality hand made amps built on demand. Specific features and requirements can be provide you with the ultimate amp of your choice.

Aston Electronics is also the home of the Darktone pedal series. These high quality hand made pedals provide you with a huge range in tone and depth which can be vital to a players live setup.

We are proud to annouce that Aston Electronis is now an approved installer of TubeSync.

To find out more visit : http://www.voltamps.co.uk

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

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….

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