Tubelab SimpleSE

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wushuliu

Tubelab SimpleSE
« on: 9 Mar 2011, 05:03 am »
Just fired her up. My first DIY tube amp. Aside from some basic duh wiring errors and slicing off the tip of a finger, this was a pretty easy build :roll:. The kind that having done it once, I know I could do another pretty quickly. I am really fascinated by tubes, both aurally and historically. Will be a few days before I'll be able to try it out proper. Not very attractive for now, but whatever.




Pez

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #1 on: 9 Mar 2011, 06:32 am »
Another SSE builder.  :thumb: Not going to ask about the thumb :scratch: but suffice it to say I managed to shed some blood with my builds but after completion it was well worth it.

I see from the board that you are using the solid state rectification. Might I suggest grabbing a octal tube socket and get yourself a Sovtek 5AR4 and just go with tubed rectification. The sound is so smooth and wonderful. You might get a bit more power from solid state rectification (I'm getting 8 watts @ 5% THD in SET, so I doubt it) but the more tubes the better.

Also give the UL option a try it's not quite as wonderful sounding IMO, but you will get 15 watts possibly a bit more.  :thumb:

Also looks like you're using 6550s, give some KT88s a try.

wushuliu

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #2 on: 9 Mar 2011, 06:41 am »
hey pez. the transformer doesn't come with 5v rectifier winding but that's okay i'll explore all that later, flipside is it fits in this enclosure easier than an edcor would. i wanted to start very basic and then go from there, add choke, cfb, ul switch, etc over time...

Pez

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #3 on: 9 Mar 2011, 06:53 am »
That's the great thing about the SSE, it's very flexible and allows so much experimentation. I definitely was able to dial in my tastes based on the plethora of options.

As far as the Edcor PT they are big and expensive. Give this one a try: https://www.alliedelec.com/search/productdetail.aspx?SKU=2270013

It's actually a Hammond PT that has been relabeled Allied and is beyond superb. I ended up using it instead on the Edcor because of both price and performance.

wushuliu

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #4 on: 9 Mar 2011, 07:44 am »
That's the great thing about the SSE, it's very flexible and allows so much experimentation. I definitely was able to dial in my tastes based on the plethora of options.

As far as the Edcor PT they are big and expensive. Give this one a try: https://www.alliedelec.com/search/productdetail.aspx?SKU=2270013

It's actually a Hammond PT that has been relabeled Allied and is beyond superb. I ended up using it instead on the Edcor because of both price and performance.

thanks! looks like it just might fit inside too... and no 6 week wait...

Pez

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #5 on: 9 Mar 2011, 07:49 am »
Haha ya, Edcor isn't exactly prompt, yet another great thing about the Allied. You'll get it within days most likely.

Glad I could help. :)

nodiak

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #6 on: 10 Mar 2011, 04:10 pm »
I'll be interested in your experiences with the SSE. Was going to build one once. Hope you can compare it to classd etc, and are you using a B1 with it? Always liked tubes in the system and have heard this is a good one.

Ericus Rex

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #7 on: 10 Mar 2011, 04:48 pm »
I'll be interested in your experiences with the SSE. Was going to build one once. Hope you can compare it to classd etc, and are you using a B1 with it? Always liked tubes in the system and have heard this is a good one.

Check out Pez's original SSE thread:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=73713.0

nodiak

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #8 on: 10 Mar 2011, 11:23 pm »
Got a SSE board and parts when George first provided them, ~ 3 years ago (?), I think. Couldn't get time to build. Have read most SSE threads on diyaudio, and Pez thread.
Wush, when you have time on it hope you can provide thoughts and comparison to other amps. And if SSE mates with B1 ok. Tubes have a spaciousness and life imo, worth at least trying tube amp or pre.
I ran el84 amps and ob speakers for a few years, might end up there again, but interested in octals next time.

Pez

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #9 on: 10 Mar 2011, 11:37 pm »
I have a Tubelab SE board just sitting in a file somewhere. :duh: I like the Simple SE so much I never bothered building it. I also couldn't get over the fact that it uses a rare tube choice with the input tube(5842). I have owned tube amps before that use rare tubes and I learned a lesson about finding new ones. This to me may be a fatal flaw in the design.

wushuliu

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #10 on: 11 Mar 2011, 07:32 am »
Got a SSE board and parts when George first provided them, ~ 3 years ago (?), I think. Couldn't get time to build. Have read most SSE threads on diyaudio, and Pez thread.
Wush, when you have time on it hope you can provide thoughts and comparison to other amps. And if SSE mates with B1 ok. Tubes have a spaciousness and life imo, worth at least trying tube amp or pre.
I ran el84 amps and ob speakers for a few years, might end up there again, but interested in octals next time.

Hey nodiak, I did connect to my speakers tonight for a half hour or so. Speakers are only partially set up and consist of 4" Mark Audio EL70 full range sealed. Minidsp and woofers are offline for the moment. That said: G-DAMN! SOUNDS FKNG AWESOME! F@%K YEAH! If it sound this good NOW, sheeeeeeeeee@t. Oh man, I mean aside from the Onix and the Miniwatt and some brief listening to a fellow audiophile's Almarro 205, I don't have much tube exposure so what I'm hearing I'm hearing is nothing new to a lot of people, but I get it now I really, really get it. Whole new level for me. The realism and dimensionality and, it's man, just so different from what I've heard til now. I recall the Almarro being somewhat like that but I only spent a few minutes with it really. The others for sure didn't. Compared to this it's like they're facsimiles. Oh man, the realism of the instruments and effortless flow...

Comparing to the classdaudio is really apples and oranges, 250w vs. ~6w!!! Like comparing lightweight and heavyweight boxers. Ali vs. Sugar Ray? Not really fair, but no the CDA/SDS has not done for me what the SSE did tonight (the DCB1/CDA-254 comes close, but it's an altogether different presentation and my speakers were conventional 2-way with 10lb of crossovers. Each.).

I forgot to mention I'm running the SSE w/:
Cheap Shuguang EL34s, 445v B+
Antec Power transformer
$18 Edcor OPTs (w/ slightly beefier ones on the way)
JJ electrolytics
Obbligato Oil cap in PS (that thing is ridiculously big. sheesh.)
Organic Polymer Caps (similar to Os-con)
Mundorf Silver/Oil for bypass
Takman Metal resistors (I prefer to their carbon)
Neotecch UPOCC wire and Gold/Silver/Copper Alloy wire
Cardas Copper Binding Posts
DH Labs Copper Chassis RCA jacks

Already had the enclosure, posts,  jacks, wire, so I think I spent around $350.

I was running straight from DAC, no pot, using my PC software for volume control. One thing that has me worried is it seems like there is way too much gain, but we'll see when I get a pre installed.

Lastly, the SSE made the EL70s seem far larger, far more alive than with the previous amps. Definitely a match. Like new speakers. Can't wait to build the dual version. Also, despite the tiny Edcors I get some real darn good bass out of those sealed ELs, cleaner and more prominent than with the Onix. Go figure.

And what 2nd order distortion. According to Tubelab sims, should be roughly 9%. Sounds as clean as the other amps. Oh so slightly warmer. Slightly. Maybe the SS rectification adds some leanness, in which case I like it.

Frickin' sweet

 :smoke:





wushuliu

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #11 on: 11 Mar 2011, 07:45 am »
I have a Tubelab SE board just sitting in a file somewhere. :duh: I like the Simple SE so much I never bothered building it. I also couldn't get over the fact that it uses a rare tube choice with the input tube(5842). I have owned tube amps before that use rare tubes and I learned a lesson about finding new ones. This to me may be a fatal flaw in the design.

Shoot, I am going to do my bestest to ignore the SE. Luckily I would be restricted to the 8w 300B  most likely, can't get away with 2w so that makes it less appealing on top of the input tube issue. Still it would be cool to have half a dozen multimeters running at the same time while dialing it in.

Well, actually that's kind of disturbing.

Pez

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #12 on: 11 Mar 2011, 04:11 pm »
Quote
G-DAMN! SOUNDS FKNG AWESOME! F@%K YEAH!

So.... You like it?  :lol:

I'm glad you are happy with the way it sounds.  :thumb: I truly think the sse is one of the best amps I have ever heard period. Keep us posted on what you think about the other configurations.

nodiak

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #13 on: 12 Mar 2011, 08:29 pm »
" G-DAMN! SOUNDS FKNG AWESOME! F@%K YEAH! If it sound this good NOW, sheeeeeeeeee@t. Oh man,... but I get it now I really, really get it. Whole new level for me. The realism and dimensionality and, it's man, just so different from what I've heard til now. "
 
:lol: :thumb:

That's good news wush! A good tube amp just kills as far as emotion goes. Keep the thread up with any news as you go.
EL70's have ok treble? That's been the losing end of the widerangers I've tried.

wushuliu

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #14 on: 12 Mar 2011, 09:01 pm »
" G-DAMN! SOUNDS FKNG AWESOME! F@%K YEAH! If it sound this good NOW, sheeeeeeeeee@t. Oh man,... but I get it now I really, really get it. Whole new level for me. The realism and dimensionality and, it's man, just so different from what I've heard til now. "
 
:lol: :thumb:

That's good news wush! A good tube amp just kills as far as emotion goes. Keep the thread up with any news as you go.
EL70's have ok treble? That's been the losing end of the widerangers I've tried.

In this case I would say it's more than emotion. The Onix and Miniwatt also had that quality, musicality, pull you in etc. Same with the CDA/SDS depending on the pre. It's the clarity and accuracy of timbre and tone that I hear with the SimpleSE that is wowing me. Like I'm that much closer to the Master Tapes of whatever's playing. Or maybe really good vinyl. Can't wait to get my vinyl back into play, because I think I'm going to have my mind blown.

EL70s exhibit terrific top end, I do not miss a tweeter. Clean, not ragged. Never even think about it. Remind me of the 27TDFC tweeters I used in several 2-ways - so it's not just that the ELs negate any need for a tweeter, they negate the need for a *good* tweeter. But YMMV and all that. Some people like a lot of sizzle, in which case the Alpairs may be a better choice as they hit 30khz. Can't say enough good things about the Mark Audio drivers.

poseidonsvoice

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Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #15 on: 12 Mar 2011, 10:25 pm »
Wush,

Welcome to tubes :-)

Anand.

nodiak

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #16 on: 15 Mar 2011, 05:23 am »
"It's the clarity and accuracy of timbre and tone that I hear with the SimpleSE that is wowing me. Like I'm that much closer to the Master Tapes of whatever's playing. Or maybe really good vinyl. Can't wait to get my vinyl back into play, because I think I'm going to have my mind blown."

Good description, I know what you're talking about. My audio path got interrupted last year. Then I decided to build a simple system that could be powered off grid, so strayed from tube amps. The ss lateral mosfet amp I'm working on is said to have some tone and harmonics similar to tubes, and then maybe a Dodd battery tube buffer might bring those attributes you mentioned together. Will see later.
Sounds like you're really closing in on something sweet! Going for mltl cabs or adding bass driver with separate amp?

Tyson

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #17 on: 15 Mar 2011, 05:52 am »
The Simple SE is awesome.  Makes me wish the designer had done work on a DAC or a preamp, they'd probably blow away a lot of other gear.

wushuliu

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #18 on: 15 Mar 2011, 06:20 am »
"It's the clarity and accuracy of timbre and tone that I hear with the SimpleSE that is wowing me. Like I'm that much closer to the Master Tapes of whatever's playing. Or maybe really good vinyl. Can't wait to get my vinyl back into play, because I think I'm going to have my mind blown."

Good description, I know what you're talking about. My audio path got interrupted last year. Then I decided to build a simple system that could be powered off grid, so strayed from tube amps. The ss lateral mosfet amp I'm working on is said to have some tone and harmonics similar to tubes, and then maybe a Dodd battery tube buffer might bring those attributes you mentioned together. Will see later.
Sounds like you're really closing in on something sweet! Going for mltl cabs or adding bass driver with separate amp?

Off-grid. Impressive. No room for mltl though that would be ideal. Building tall monitors w/ 2 drivers per side. Going to see how they hold up by themselves bass-wise, then add in the separate woofers I have with MiniDsp.

I have decided recently to kind of throw everything at the wall and then methodically sculpt away leaving only the components that impart the body of sound I am looking for.

wushuliu

Re: Tubelab SimpleSE
« Reply #19 on: 15 Mar 2011, 06:22 am »
The Simple SE is awesome.  Makes me wish the designer had done work on a DAC or a preamp, they'd probably blow away a lot of other gear.

Freakin' A.