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Grid choke on Se84 selected? (Read 7405 times)
Ludo
Ex Member



Grid choke on Se84 selected?
05/04/05 at 09:54:04
 
Hi

Have anyone tried a grid choke on the inputtube, instead of the 100k pot or resistor? I have a pair of Lundahl 1670 laying around, and would like to try it. But if someone have tried it and found it not satisfying, I'll skip it Smiley (http://www.lundahl.se/pdfs/datash/1670.pdf)


Cheers
Bjorn
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« Last Edit: 05/04/05 at 11:19:20 by Ludo »  
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Ludo
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #1 - 05/07/05 at 18:02:10
 
Since nobody had tried the gridchoke, I had a go at it. And the result is unconditional good. The singers and the instruments have more air around them. The roomfeeling is better, and the whole preformance is more airy. Details is better revealed and it gets a better tone. It stays in Smiley

It migth not be room for a gridchoke in the original chassi. I have made a bigger chassi and theres plenty of room.

Cheers
Bjørn
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Yoda
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #2 - 05/08/05 at 00:59:14
 
Can you describe how a gridchoke works, and how you installed it into your Zen?

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Ludo
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #3 - 05/08/05 at 13:02:46
 
Hi Yoda

A gridchoke is connected on the input of tha amp. Connected from + to - on the signalwire. That way it will be connected between the grid on the inputtube and earth. You remove the pot or the resistor you allready have there, and replace it with the gridchoke.
I'm not 100% sure how it works, but it makes a inductive resistanse on the signal, so it's not shrtcut to earth. But somhow it removes noise, and tidy the soundstage.
I got the tip from a guy at a norwegian forum. He had tried gridchoke on different amplifiers (audionote kit ++) and the same thing always happened. More room and quiet background. Overall better. The choke I use costs like 80$ a pice from Lundahl in Sweden. It's worth a try Smiley

Cheers  

bjorn
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« Last Edit: 05/08/05 at 13:03:41 by Ludo »  
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Obi-Vaughn Kentubi
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #4 - 05/08/05 at 18:06:33
 
Howdy Yoda,

A grid choke solves some of the problems inherit to grid leak resistors. A grid leak resistor helps to set the input impedance of the stage, and gives the grid a path to ground. All tubes have a small DC voltage created on the grid by the flow of the electron emission from cathode to plate passing through it. The grid leak resistor gives this DC voltage a path to "leak" to ground. The problem is that it also bleeds off a wee bit of the AC music signal, and more at some frequencies than others.  

On tube data sheets, you'll often see a "Maximum Input Resistance" spec that lets you know the maximum resistance value that can be in series between the grid and ground. The grid leak and grid stopper resistor values together make up the input resistance.

For power tubes, there'll often be two specs, one for grid (fixed or adjustable) bias, and one for cathode bias. This spec is not to be exceeded, as the path to ground becomes too resistive. The tube can't leak off the grid voltage fast enough, and if it's a grid biased power tube, can go into bias runaway. The grid leak resistor value can be larger with a cathode biased power tube than a grid biased one, since any increased conduction by bias runaway here will be countered by an increase in bias by the cathode resistor, therefore decreasing the conduction.

A grid choke offers a low impedance path to ground for the DC voltage when compared to a sufficient value grid leak resistor. Inductors pass DC, but block AC on a logarithmic curve according to frequency. The grid choke value is high enough to be an infinite impedance all the way down to the lowest AC signal frequencies. It easily passes the unwanted DC voltage to ground, but blocks 100% of the AC signal, as Ludo noted. So, the input signal loss is zero with a grid choke, and any hash, noise, or harmonics present in ground return currents in the ground system cannot get into the tube stage.

Eddie Smiley
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nubz69
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #5 - 05/08/05 at 19:24:38
 
What type of choke should we be looking at for my zen select if I wanted to do this?
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Ludo
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #6 - 05/08/05 at 20:18:18
 
Thanks Eddie. Nice explanation.

nubz69, you can use the Lundahl 1670 listed in the first post.

bjorn
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Obi-Vaughn Kentubi
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Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #7 - 05/08/05 at 23:18:35
 
A Hammond 156C is relatively cheap and is adequate to replace a 100K grid leak resistor.

Eddie Smiley
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« Last Edit: 05/08/05 at 23:20:02 by Eddie_Vaughn »  
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Eli Duttman
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #8 - 05/09/05 at 00:10:49
 
UPSCALE from the Hammond part Eddie gave is the MagneQuest BCP16.  It comes in 2 "flavors", Permalloy (Ni) and M6 (Silicon steel), for the lamination stack.  The BCP-16NI is $150/pair, while the BCP-16M6 is $99/pair.  With Ni lams the inductance is a WHOPPING 4800 Henries, while the M6 lams yield "only" 1000 Henries of inductance.

IMO, the place to use BCP16s in a SE84 is as replacements for the SV83 grid leak resistors.  All of the benefits Eddie outlined obtain and the net gain of the 1st stage increases.
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nubz69
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #9 - 05/09/05 at 06:50:42
 
Is this a definate upgrade or just a "different" sound?  Are there any drawbacks?
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nubz69
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #10 - 05/09/05 at 07:25:22
 
Also will these chokes fit in the zen select chassie?  Is there a real reason to use the more expensive chokes?  The hammonds are realatively cheap.
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nubz69
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #11 - 05/17/05 at 04:05:05
 
eddie will that hammond fit in my select or will I have to "modifiy"?
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crazy bill the eel killer
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #12 - 10/28/05 at 14:16:48
 
OK guys,
this one looks fun and easy, so I'm going to do it. Couple of questions from a layman.

1). In the input stage, is it worth the extra cost for the Lundahl or Magnequest. I'm willing to spend if there'a a sonic improvement over the Hammond 156c recommended by Eddie. But if the Hammond does its thing sonically as well as the others, why waste the money. From what I've read, take out the 100K pot and replace with the grid choke. I would think the 1k grid stopper needs to stay as is. Can I still use the front input, or does the input signal need to develop across the grid choke. Also, can I put the pot back in place before the grid choke to have volume control. If I can, do I place the pot directly before the grid choke with the wiper feeding the positive leg of the choke, with the grid stopper between the choke and the grid, OR, do I place the grid stopper in series with the wiper before the positive leg of the choke. Also, does the value of the pot stay at 100k, or does it need to be changed because of the choke.

2). Eli's post got me thinking that two may be better than one here, and that I should replace the 330k grid leak resistor on the SV83 with a grid choke. If the performance will improve with both stages grid choke loaded, I will do it. Since this is not a 100k but a 330k, can the same chokes be utilised, or do thay need to be different.

Size doesn't matter, as a new chassis will be constructed. The only issue is performance. Any comments or thoughts will of course be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,                   Bill

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« Last Edit: 10/28/05 at 14:17:48 by Crazy Bill the Eel Killer »  
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nubz69
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #13 - 02/04/06 at 22:48:19
 
ludo could you poast a pic of the inside of your amp for us to see how you did this mod?
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Ludo
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #14 - 02/05/06 at 13:53:52
 
Hi

I have just built a clone, so it's different from the original design.

It looks like this:





Inside:


The chokemod:




It doesn't look pretty, but it works Smiley

Cheers
Bjorn

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Hotsauce
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #15 - 04/19/06 at 01:23:18
 
A pair of the BCP-16 nickel chokes arrived yesterday, and I installed them in my SV83 monos.

I did only one first.  In fear that I might want to undo it, I only unsoldered one end of the resistor.  The choke is small, and easily fits in the mono chassis right by the input jack,  I JB welded it into the case.

The immediate impression is that its quite a bit louder.  The resistor it replaces was draining some signal off.  The choke is essentialy inert to AC(signal) at audio frequency, but easily passes DC to ground.  

Now, a day later I have both done and I'm very impressed.  Theres more air, more finger sound on strings, but suprisingly more bass too.

I did wait 2 months for these chokes to arrive, so order well in advance.

John C.

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Yoda
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #16 - 04/20/06 at 01:38:38
 
That seems like a really interesting upgrade.  I guess there's a way I could more permanently bridge my amps so that I'd only need one pair of chokes (vs a pair each)?

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crazy bill the eel killer
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #17 - 04/20/06 at 02:03:57
 
Hello Yoda,
A grid choke presents an infinite impedance to AC, so there should be no reason I can see why you couldn't strap the grids of both sides of the 6922 and use one grid choke for each channel. However, since I'm new to this stuff, I may be wrong and would stand humbly corrected if so.

John C, Yoda, and others,
I had a long talk with Jack Elliano at Electra-Print yesterday, and Eddie today, and learned a few things about grid chokes.

First, because of the way they are wound , they  suffer from high capacitance, which is directly coupled to the grid of the tube and there is absolutely no way to do anything about it.; So if that high capacitance will raise issues, you're stuck with it(hopefully it won't raise issues, which appears to be the case for John C. and Bjorn judging by the sonic reports).

I don't know the capacitance values for the Magnequest units, but I do know that Lundahl uses a double C core which will keep the capacitance very low, but also doesn't give the crazy high inductance values of the Magnequest units.

So I guess it's a tradeoff. I will try and find out the capacitance of both units and report back. Right now I'm leaning towards the Lundahl units unless Jack can wind me comparable units with low capacitance. I'll let you all know.

Cheers,              Bill                 Cheesy ??? ???
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« Last Edit: 04/20/06 at 02:06:59 by Crazy Bill the Eel Killer »  
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Yoda
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #18 - 04/20/06 at 18:17:30
 
Thanks, Bill.  Let me know what you find out and what kind of sources  / pre-amps work well.  It would be particularly interesting to know how this might work when driven by a CSP...

If the above works out and you have Jack making two for you, I'd be interested in having two made for me.

Matt
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« Last Edit: 04/20/06 at 18:18:38 by Yoda »  
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Ludo
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #19 - 04/20/06 at 21:10:13
 
I got a tip from a well known constructor. He looked at the schematics for the SE84SC and commented on the gridresistor on the 6922. He recommended to lower the 100k to 50k due to millereffect. Migth be something to concider for those of you still using resistor?

Cheers
Bjorn
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« Last Edit: 04/20/06 at 21:11:03 by Ludo »  
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Rap
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #20 - 04/20/06 at 23:10:32
 
I thought Miller effect in an amp would depend on 3 things
a) input impedance
b) amount of gain in the tube
c) capitance of tube, grid to plate.

The input impedance of the sorce in question can play a big role in were the high frequency roll of would ocure ??? (ring a bell why amps like low imput impedance) ???

I think that running one stage of amplification over a tube with low internal capacitance and low amplification like in the Zen will moves Mr Miller comfortably out of the audible spectrum ???
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crazy bill the eel killer
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #21 - 04/21/06 at 02:25:33
 
Hello Ludo,

I'll be talking to Jack again in approx. one week, and I'll send Magnequest an e-mail requesting some numbers so we can compare.

FYI, I'm still vacillating between the grid choke and an input transformer. I'm not decided yet on which route to take. The final decision will rest on whether I decide to do balanced cabling. I'll figure it out soon.     ???  ???

In your case, when you implement the grid chokes (one for each channel should be fine), I would still keep both grid stopper resistors, one for each side of the 6922. Don't do a single resistor there.


Cheers,                        Bill                           Cheesy       Smiley

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Ludo
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #22 - 04/21/06 at 06:16:34
 
Hi Bill

I'm not using any gridstopper on the 6922.  ;D

Bjorn
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Rap
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #23 - 09/29/06 at 12:40:17
 
Just did the same upgrade on my mono´ed selects. Works very nicely and the Lundahls fit perfectly inside the standard chassis.



I can´t see how this would be classed as a mod, as it doesn´t change the scematic or operational points of the amp. It´s just a parts upgrade.

But this upgrade makes a wonderfull amp sound just a bit better. Smiley

Rap.
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« Last Edit: 09/29/06 at 14:05:58 by Rap »  
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chrisby
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #24 - 10/02/06 at 15:48:56
 
[quote author=Rap  link=1115200444/15#23 date=1159530017]Just did the same upgrade on my mono´ed selects. Works very nicely and the Lundahls fit perfectly inside the standard chassis.



I can´t see how this would be classed as a mod, as it doesn´t change the scematic or operational points of the amp. It´s just a parts upgrade.

But this upgrade makes a wonderfull amp sound just a bit better. Smiley

Rap. [/quote]


Gee Rap, I dunno - if your upgrade consists of adding parts that didn't exist on the original schematic (or changes to any original part values), then I'd call that a mod not a "tweak".

For example, more than a few folks have modified power suppy filter stage of their  Zen amps to include chokes and or Solen etc poly film caps, or even upgrading cathode bypass cap.  Carefull twiddling of downstream component values would ensure that final operating voltages/bias currents remain unchanged, but few would have trouble hearing difference in sonic performance of the amp.
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« Last Edit: 10/04/06 at 17:46:15 by chrisby »  
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Rap
Ex Member



Re: Grid choke on Se84 selected?
Reply #25 - 10/02/06 at 16:41:20
 
Hmm then I guess using other tubes than stock qualifies as a mod ??? a gz32 has more impact on the voltage specs than the choke, which is just passing Dc curent to ground, but you say tomato and I say tomayto. Smiley

Hmmm maybe it is a mod, I dunnow.
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« Last Edit: 10/02/06 at 19:02:34 by Rap »  
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