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voltage and soundstage (Read 1578 times)
proud_indian
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voltage and soundstage
04/25/11 at 04:48:11
 
Well, I have moved to my new place and have been having a problem with the sound stage and the quality of play back. On checking  the voltage, I found it as low as 180 at times. At that voltage the DAC started to distort. So I put in a manual power stablizer and cranked it up.
What I  noticed was that the amp sounded best at 240 to 245v.
I had once earlier posted here on the 220 vs 240 issue but did not get much response. Can the electrically minded put in their views?
I have a guy who makes servo stablizers with RFI and EMI protection, sending me a test machine to check it out before I decide to buy it, so more insights will help.


shreekant Smiley
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Lon
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Re: voltage and soundstage
Reply #1 - 04/25/11 at 13:01:13
 
Congrats on your new place Shreekant! Well, I've no help to offer about voltages, but hope you can get your gear operating at its peak and settle in to enjoyment.
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Brett
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Re: voltage and soundstage
Reply #2 - 04/25/11 at 19:57:01
 
A change of 10 volts can mean the difference between good sound and great sound. Different amplifiers are more or less sensitive to this kind of variance. A zen is quite sensitive to voltage. 40 volts is a huge drop. It's no wonder the sound would be lacking.

A power transformer is made to step up or down the voltage of the main power coming in. In the case of a zen, it uses a universal power transformer to supply say 350 volts at the secondary winding using 120hz or 240hz mains power depending on rather the primary windings are wired in series or parallel.

Anything less than 240 volts at the mains will result in the operating points of the tubes being less than intended by design.

When we talk about our rectifier tube preferences for a 5Y3 verses a 5U4 or a 5AR4, what's really changing between types is the amount of voltage the amplifier is operating on as each rectifier tube will cause a different voltage drop of the voltage being supplied by the power transformer.

A SE84C or CS is designed around the 5U4 rectifier for proper power supply voltage. After trying all different types of rectifiers this is IMO the best tube for proper image and clarity. I like the RCA 5U4G. However my power comes in at exactly 120V.

So if you are unable to get your power up to proper voltage, one solution may be to try a 5AR4 as it has less of a voltage drop than a 5U4

Here's a list of rectifiers and power supply voltage changes that can be expected when changing from the 5U4.

5AR4 +30V
5V4 +10V
5V3 +10V
5R4 -15V
5Y3 -30V

That won't help the rest of your gear though which no doubt also likes to see main power at design voltage.
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« Last Edit: 04/25/11 at 20:04:58 by Brett »  
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proud_indian
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Re: voltage and soundstage
Reply #3 - 04/26/11 at 05:06:00
 
Thanks, Brett!! Thats what I wanted to know. I should have a power transformer in a couple of days. Of the tubes you mentioned, I only have the 5R4, which I am presently using and the 5Y3. Mine is the 84C version. I shall post, when I get the situation under control.

Lon,

the new place will have two systems... one in the living room, which has been installed ( diagonal set up) with the Lowthers and I am getting the  dedicated listening done at present. That will have the ZOB's  ;)

shreekant Smiley
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proud_indian
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Re: voltage and soundstage
Reply #4 - 04/29/11 at 05:05:34
 
Brett,

Got the power conditioner in place and it puts out 240v. The harshness etc has gone and the stage is good. May need a few days to settle down, but the improvement make it sound good.

Thanks for the inputs..... I am using the 5Y3 at present.
shreekant  :)
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Brett
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Re: voltage and soundstage
Reply #5 - 05/02/11 at 23:16:23
 
Glad to hear. I too just got a power conditioner and even though my main power voltage is acceptable the conditioner has helped a lot. Here's to settling in to your new home!

Also, I don't know if you have the SE84C+ or older style SE84C. The old style with only one switch in front of the input tube was designed around the 5Y3, whereas the newer one is made for the 5U4.

Cheers
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« Last Edit: 05/02/11 at 23:18:48 by Brett »  
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proud_indian
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Re: voltage and soundstage
Reply #6 - 05/03/11 at 15:16:42
 
I have the 84C, so that uses the 5Y3. While it does sound better, the bass has started to come in, so I guess the break in is reaching its end.
Regards,

shreekant Smiley
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