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    M125 WS1 SS rectifier

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    FearOfMusic

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    Post by FearOfMusic on Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:18 am

    I have a pair of M125’s that have been running WS1 solid state rectifiers since pretty much day one. To my ear I always had a slight graininess to the top end. Nothing too dramatic but enough to offend my ear which is very sensitive to high end. I rolled the tubes in my phono pre. Tweaked the turntable carriage alignment. Played with speaker placement. Then Swapped the SS rectifier for a 5AR4 and The grain was gone. It was a subtle change but enough to satisfy my sensitive ears. That being said it did also loosen up the bass just a tad. Does anyone have any thoughts this? Would the WZ34 be a better fit? I would love to find a happy medium. A silky top end with punchy bass is my goal. Granted I can roll other tubes elsewhere in the signal path but I’m currently focused on the best case solution for the rectifier. Thanks.
    corndog71
    corndog71

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    Post by corndog71 on Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:58 am

    Are you sure it's not your speakers?
    Peter W.
    Peter W.

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    Post by Peter W. on Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:10 am

    OK - I am going to go down the road to heresy here.

    This *may* be one of the few times a scope would be useful. Look at the wave-form from the Weber as compared to a tube rectifier. There should be no difference. This would identify a possible defective tube or WS.

    Now, cutting to the chase:

    There is a 1 V voltage drop across the WS1
    There is a 17 V voltage drop across the WZ34
    There is a 10 V voltage drop across the 5AR4.
    There is a 37 V voltage drop across a GZ37.

    There are those who swear by/at a GZ37. Thanks to DP, I have had the privilege of trying them - and they are just fine. On my vintage OEM 70 and my Scott LK 150 (takes two).
    I have used Webers (WZ34). I have not noticed any grainy sound - but then, I have not listened to them for any extended period of time, and, they have a voltage drop between the 5AR4 and GZ37.  But, I suspect that the voltage drop accounts for your perceptions. Accordingly, you might try a WZ34 even though they are not recommended for Audio applications. They are more than capable of handling the load and provide that drop.  Weber will also add a thermistor on request to provide some B+ onset delay.
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    FearOfMusic

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    Post by FearOfMusic on Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:12 am

    I have Tannoy revolution 8 XTf’s. They are on the verge on being a little edgy in the top end but for the most part they are nice and revealing. They walk the line between edgy and revealing. It only takes a little bit to push them from awesomely revealing to just a little edgy. That’s just the voicing of that speaker. It’s a subtle difference but enough to matter to me. That being said the mid range of these speakers is amazing so the picky top end is worth it for the price I paid. All of my tube rolling is focused on a silky top end first. Thanks.


    Last edited by FearOfMusic on Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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    FearOfMusic

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    Post by FearOfMusic on Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:14 am

    I have a scope. When I get a free moment I will take a look at them. Thanks.
    corndog71
    corndog71

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    Post by corndog71 on Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:29 am

    FearOfMusic wrote:I have Tannoy revolution 8 XTf’s. They are on the verge on being a little edgy in the top end but for the most part they are nice and revealing. They walk the line between edgy and revealing. It only takes a little bit to push them from awesomely revealing to just a little edgy. That’s just the voicing of that speaker. It’s a subtle difference but enough to matter to me. That being said the mid range of these speakers is amazing so the picky top end is worth it for the price I paid. All of my tube rolling is focused on a silky top end first. Thanks.

    If you can pull the crossovers out you could try swapping the cap/s on the tweeter circuit.  Sonicap Gen 1, with a Gen 2 bypass in parallel might help smooth that out.
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    FearOfMusic

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    Post by FearOfMusic on Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:20 pm

    Very interesting idea. I’m going pull off the back panel later on to see what the cross over looks like. Thanks for giving me a rabbit hole to go down!
    tubes4hifi
    tubes4hifi
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    Post by tubes4hifi on Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:41 pm

    I can tell you for SURE, from nearly 30 years of listening to tube amplifiers and preamps, that a solid-state diode will always have some "hash" that it adds to the sound quality.
    One of my HUGE design practices is to NEVER ever use anything but a tube rectifier in a preamplifier. In an amplifier, many people may not notice the difference that much,
    but with decent ears and decent speakers it is immediately obvious, and that is exactly the difference that you heard.
    That said, if you are running four output tubes in an M125, unless you've got $100 for a GZ33 or GZ37 rectifier, you're going to want to use a WZ34 or WZ68 rectifier rather than a GZ34.
    Either that, or keep half a dozen spare GZ34s on hand, since running those at max current spec they won't last long, and hopefully when they do give up they won't take out some other tubes
    or worse, take out your power transformer.
    Tubes4ever
    Tubes4ever

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    Post by Tubes4ever on Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:53 pm

    tubes4hifi wrote:That said, if you are running four output tubes in an M125, unless you've got $100 for a GZ33 or GZ37 rectifier, you're going to want to use a WZ34 or WZ68 rectifier rather than a GZ34.
    Either that, or keep half a dozen spare GZ34s on hand, since running those at max current spec they won't last long, and hopefully when they do give up they won't take out some other tubes
    or worse, take out your power transformer.

    Or you can use a 5V3A tube. It is rated at over 350mA and will be quite reliable. Pretty easy to get off of Ebay. Heater current is the same as a 5U4. 3 amps.
    GreggW
    GreggW

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    Post by GreggW on Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:35 pm

    Agree on the 5V3A. Easy to find on eBay for $20 or less.
    tubes4hifi
    tubes4hifi
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    Post by tubes4hifi on Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:15 pm

    I see quite a few 5V3 on ebay, but I don't see many 5V3A.
    the 5V3 draws 3.8A, almost twice as much as a 5AR4.
    the 5V3A draws 3A, still alot, but a better sub.
    The similar 5AU4 tube (many are marked as 5V3/5AU4) also draws 3.75A filament.
    Just FYI
    GreggW
    GreggW

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    Post by GreggW on Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:08 pm

    Maybe I bought a few too many 5V3As. I have 18 spares.....
    Tubes4ever
    Tubes4ever

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    Post by Tubes4ever on Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:52 am

    GreggW wrote:Maybe I bought a few too many 5V3As. I have 18 spares.....

    I think maybe you did! Very Happy
    LeGrace
    LeGrace

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    Post by LeGrace on Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:44 am

    FearOfMusic wrote:I have Tannoy revolution 8 XTf’s. They are on the verge on being a little edgy in the top end but for the most part they are nice and revealing. They walk the line between edgy and revealing. It only takes a little bit to push them from awesomely revealing to just a little edgy. That’s just the voicing of that speaker. It’s a subtle difference but enough to matter to me. That being said the mid range of these speakers is amazing so the picky top end is worth it for the price I paid. All of my tube rolling is focused on a silky top end first. Thanks.

    Tube rolling can quickly get expensive for very little return IME.  Oh well, maybe I lack golden ears.

    Nice towers, have similar Dimension D700's in my system. I’ve run them off both SS and tubes.  Overall I like the tubes better, but high end sparkle was definitely better when fed a SS diet.

    Luckily many Tannoy models, including yours and my Dimensions, are biamp capable.  So decided to give it a whirl. Setting it all up was a simple 5 minute affair. Disconnect the bridge between the speakers taps, run a speaker cable from my Marantz SS integrated over to the high freq taps of the Tannoys, and plug the M125s into the low freq taps. M125’s get their signal from the Marantz preouts so all amp sections scale together from the Marantz's volume control, so no balancing issues.

    The high end sparkle is back! Combined with a lush mid range compliments of the M125's. On hearing the results cannot see me ever reverting back to a single amplifier regime. Thank you Tannoy for giving us this flexibility! PS I now also would never buy speakers w/o this capability.

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