The Dynaco Tube Audio Forum

Dedicated to the restoration and preservation of all original Dynaco tube audio equipment - Customer support for Dynaco VTA tube amp kits, all Tubes4hifi.com products and all Dynakitparts.com products


    EL 34 v. KT 88

    Share

    rwferr

    Posts : 16
    Join date : 2009-01-11

    EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by rwferr on Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:43 pm

    Bob what are the differences between using these two tubes in your amp? Is it just different sound presentation? Does the KT-88 increase the output?

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2377
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: Differences between EL34 and KT88 tubes.

    Post by Bob Latino on Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:27 am

    rwferr wrote:Bob what are the differences between using these two tubes in your amp? Is it just different sound presentation? Does the KT-88 increase the output?

    Hi Richard,

    The difference is really just sound presentation. The EL34 tends to be more "tubey" and the KT88 tends to be a little more linear from top to bottom. The KT88 tends to have a little more output at the frequency extremes. When you have an upgraded transformer, as you do, you can use either tube in your amp. In fact in your amp you can use 6L6, EL34, KT66, KT77, 6550 or KT88 tubes.

    KT88's will also last longer in an ST-70. They are designed to look at 475 - 500 volts on pins 3 and 4. In your amp they only see about 425 - 430 volts. The down side is that KT88's cost much more than EL34's - $100 to $200 a quad.

    You won't gain any more power by using a KT88 or 6550 tube in an ST-70 but you will gain, as mentioned above, a slightly different sound presentation and longer tube life. To those with ST-70's which have a STOCK PA-060 power transformer > Do not use a KT88 or 6550 tube in your ST-70 amp to replace the EL34's. These two tubes will draw maybe 30% more current from an already over taxed stock power transformer and could bring about the demise of your power transformer. Those with a stock power transformer should try 6L6, KT66 or KT77's as alternate output tubes.

    Bob


    Last edited by Bob Latino on Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

    rwferr

    Posts : 16
    Join date : 2009-01-11

    Re: EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by rwferr on Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:58 pm

    Bob I have seen in some other threads that you prefer the KT77 in your amp to the KT-88 or EL-34. What are the differences to you? I have only used the KT-88 so far.

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2377
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by Bob Latino on Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:06 pm

    rwferr wrote:Bob I have seen in some other threads that you prefer the KT77 in your amp to the KT-88 or EL-34. What are the differences to you? I have only used the KT-88 so far.

    Richard,

    The JJ KT77's are nice sounding but have quality control issues. Many early samples of the JJ KT77's had smaller than normal sized pins which didn't fit the tube sockets well. I bought a quad about 2 years ago and had to send two tubes of the quad back because of this issue. One tube of the quad actually fell out of the socket (!) when I turned the amp upside down to take the bottom cover off. Now supposedly this issue has been addressed by JJ and the new quads have normal sized pins but there still lurks the possibility of some of the older stock still being on some dealers shelves. Genalex Gold Lion now makes a KT77 tube but I have not heard this tube so in all honesty I cannot comment on its sound.

    The ElectroHarmonix KT88's that you have in your amp are great sounding tubes for the money and a real good value.

    Right now IMHO the best tubes for the ST-70 either a stock amp or a VTA boarded ST-70 amp like yours are the Genalex Gold Lion KT66's. They are a little on the expensive side - about $140 a quad. I use them in my own personal ST-70 and really like the sound. I bias them at .450 volts DC per tube. The Genalex KT77's are relatively new and are as expensive right now as the KT88's - about $200 a quad. I don't think the extra of $60 for the Gold Lion KT77's or KT88's is really worth it at least in an ST-70 based amp. In a Dynaco Mark III or my ST-120, which are 60 WPC amps and have 475 volts DC on the plates of the Mark III and 495 volts on the plates of the ST-120, you NEED the extra durability provided by a KT88 or 6550 tube. The KT88 and 6550 tubes are designed to "look at" 475+ volts on pin 3 (plate) and pin 4 (ultralinear screen tap). An ST-70 amp only has 410 - 430 volts on pins 3 and 4.

    Bob

    VTA boarded ST-70 with Genalex Gold Lion KT66 output tubes.



    rwferr

    Posts : 16
    Join date : 2009-01-11

    Re: EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by rwferr on Sat Feb 14, 2009 7:57 pm

    Thanks for the info Bob.

    Richard

    jrethorst

    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2009-02-01

    Re: EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by jrethorst on Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:35 pm

    How much would you have to do to the power supply of a Mk 3 to run EL34's instead of 6550/KT88's? Would pentode/triode make any difference?

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2377
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by Bob Latino on Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:01 am

    Personally I wouldn't use EL34's in a Mark III. You COULD do it but IMHO the EL34's would have a short life. The EL34's of today are not designed to look at voltages of 475-500 volts DC on pins 3 and 4 as is found on the Mark III. 6550 or KT88's are a better choice in a Mark III.

    Bob

    jrethorst

    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2009-02-01

    Re: EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by jrethorst on Thu May 07, 2009 3:04 am

    Bob Latino wrote: Personally I wouldn't use EL34's in a Mark III. You COULD do it but IMHO the EL34's would have a short life. The EL34's of today are not designed to look at voltages of 475-500 volts DC on pins 3 and 4 as is found on the Mark III. 6550 or KT88's are a better choice in a Mark III.

    Bob

    Would running the Mark III in triode mode make any difference? Especially, would EL34's last longer than they would in pentode mode?

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2377
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by Bob Latino on Thu May 07, 2009 6:27 am

    If you run EL34's in the triode mode in a Mark III you do take about 475-500 volts off pin # 4. By doing so you *may* increase EL34 tube life a little in the Mark III but again the EL34's of today are not designed to look at that kind of voltage for long periods of time. IMHO forcing an EL34 to look at this kind of voltage will shorten tube life. The precursor to the Mark III, the Dynaco Mark II which came out in 1955, did use EL34 output tubes and ran about 460 - 470 VDC on pins 3 and 4 to get about 50 watts per monoblock. When the Mark III came out in 1957 they upped the B+ high voltage to 475 - 480 VDC but, more importantly, they now recommended (and shipped with each amp) KT88 output tubes.

    Bob

    jrethorst

    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2009-02-01

    Re: EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by jrethorst on Fri May 08, 2009 4:09 am

    Running in triode, what kind of tube life could you expect in a Mk3 from a KT88, and from an EL34? Are we talking six years? Six months?

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2377
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by Bob Latino on Fri May 08, 2009 6:28 am

    jrethorst wrote:Running in triode, what kind of tube life could you expect in a Mk3 from a KT88, and from an EL34? Are we talking six years? Six months?

    It is hard to determine how much time these tubes will last in terms of months or years because we don't know how much they have been used in this time period. "Hours On" is probably a better yardstick with respect to tube life. From what I have seen in my own tube systems is that most output tubes in Dynaco amps when run in pentode ultralinear mode can provide good sound for maybe 2000-3000 hours of playing time. The tube, if it is well made, may last much longer than that but sound quality starts to degrade in a subtle manner. When you run the tube (KT88 or EL34) in triode you only produce 55-60% of the power in pentode so the tube is not being asked to work as hard. As such, it *should* last longer. As to how much longer an output tube will last when run in triode vs. pentode? > I can't really answer that question because I'm not sure. As to your EL34 vs. KT88 question > a KT88 is more durable and will handle higher output than an EL34 and should last longer than an EL34 in any application where both could be used.

    Bob

    jrethorst

    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2009-02-01

    Re: EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by jrethorst on Mon May 11, 2009 11:45 pm

    What wiring changes are there to run EL34's in a Mk3? In addition, are there other changes in addition to:

    http://dynacotubeaudio.forumotion.com/basket-f2/run-your-dynaco-st-70-mark-ii-mark-iii-or-mark-iv-in-triode-mode-photo-t41.htm?highlight=mk3+triode

    to run in triode mode?

    Thank you.

    jrethorst

    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2009-02-01

    Re: EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by jrethorst on Thu May 14, 2009 4:52 am

    How much is a little for the bias?

    GP49

    Posts : 718
    Join date : 2009-04-30
    Location : East of the sun and west of the moon

    Re: EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by GP49 on Thu May 14, 2009 11:22 am

    Ohm's Law:

    V = IR

    Voltage at Biaset point = current multiplied by the cathode resistor value.

    In a typical stock Mark III the cathode resistor is 11.2 ohms.

    If you want 40mA of current in each tube, which others on this list have recommended for current production EL34, that makes a total of 80mA for two tubes.

    So:

    0.080 x 11.2 = 0.896 volts. Call it 0.9.

    Substitute other values of desired idle current and cathode resistor if desired and/or needed. For reference: in the Mark II, Dynaco ran EL34s at 65mA but those were original Mullard tubes that were more rugged and long-lived than current Russian, Eastern Euro and Chinese EL34s. In the Mark III, Dynaco ran 6550s at 70mA.

    jrethorst

    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2009-02-01

    Re: EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by jrethorst on Thu May 14, 2009 9:50 pm

    Thank you.

    Sponsored content

    Re: EL 34 v. KT 88

    Post by Sponsored content Today at 2:50 am


      Current date/time is Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:50 am