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Gradual sound degradation due failing rectifier? (Read 1889 times)
Fireblade
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Gradual sound degradation due failing rectifier?
11/16/12 at 21:18:55
 
Ever since my left hand channel rectifier (EZ81) collapsed, I've been speculating that, around that time, I started having sound issues from my rig, in terms of its quality, and even remember having in a couple occasions to increase the left hand channel volume as it was not at the same level of the right hand channel's.

At the time, I thought my room conditions (being somewhat assymetrical) in certain recordings may have produced this situation, and never obviuosly suspected a possible gradually failing rectifying tube.

I have a question for the technically savvy members on this community, as to whether this hypothesis of mine may have been behind the sound issues described.  Can a rectifier tube 'fade away' like Patton, or is it a dramatic on-off condition?

This is important to me, because I've been remembering the more recent listening sessions when I try to analyse what may be missing in my rig's sound in order to further improve it.  But now I have a suspicion that it may have been the rectifier contributing to some of those deficiencies.

All this time, I've also assumed that I was getting used to the high quality of sound from my Decware units, and concluded that I was becoming more demanding as I wanted more of a good thing.  But, it could well be that I was actually experiencing the issues from that rectifier and thus the sound was loosing quality, gradually.

All this sense of lack of transparency, and slightly warm tone, with less openness than desired may have been in part a product of the failing rectifier.  If this is the case, replacing it would restore the original sound and my recent sound memory replaced by the new experience and possibly finding out I don't really have that much of a real sound issue to improve.  Or, maybe the sound shortcomings would acquire a different profile from the most recent memories.

Maybe this is just wishful thinking, so I pose the question to you guys.  Thanks kindly for your thoughts on this.
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« Last Edit: 11/16/12 at 21:23:11 by Fireblade »  

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Lon
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Re: Gradual sound degradation due failing rectifier?
Reply #1 - 11/16/12 at 21:48:48
 
I think it's very possible that the sonic imbalance you were hearing in the left channel were in fact related to a failing rectifier. Rectifiers can develop sound changes before failing altogether. It's most likely that with a new matching rectifier or a new pair of rectifiers those particular differences between channels will no longer be audible.

Especially since you say that the imbalance was a lack of transparency and a warmer presentation for that channel. . . those are sonic attributes I've heard in worn and dying power tubes and rectifiers.
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JD
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Re: Gradual sound degradation due failing rectifier?
Reply #2 - 11/16/12 at 23:57:50
 
Had the exact same issue and changed rectifier's and power tubes.  I believe the power tubes are still fine so I would follow Lon's advice and start with the rectifier.  If it persists try the power tubes.
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Fireblade
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Re: Gradual sound degradation due failing rectifier?
Reply #3 - 11/17/12 at 00:33:37
 
Thanks, guys.  

I just want to clarify that the warmth and lacking on transparency was something I perceived for the total system, not just in the left channel.  The volume drop on that channel was specific to it, though.

As I remember it, these SQ issues may have been caused by that rectifier on the left channel, but affected the sound of the whole system.  At least, I wasn't aware of differences in quality among the channels, but definitely a decrease in SQ overall.

I wonder if more people have had this issue.  Let's hope SQ gets back to it's reference level once those new rectifiers are in.  Thanks!



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Lon
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Re: Gradual sound degradation due failing rectifier?
Reply #4 - 11/17/12 at 13:39:52
 
It's possible that you weren't completely satisfied with the signature of that rectifier with the input tube, or the input tube, or. . . . Tube-rolling should give you differing perspective sounds and hopefully you can find one that lets you have that "ah!" period of listening.
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Fireblade
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Re: Gradual sound degradation due failing rectifier?
Reply #5 - 11/17/12 at 17:17:47
 
It could be, Lon, and so I want to go ahead with that tube-rolling experiment.  Nevertheless, the point is I now suspect the recent SQ issues I was hearing may have been related to that failing rectifier.  

The reason I'm almost convinced now is that I don't remember having that complaint, say, a few weeks before.  

BTW, Lon, Formula 1 is in your town this weekend!  I'm watching those two events (today's classification and tomorrow's GP race) on cable, as I'm a big fan.


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Les Lammers
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Re: Gradual sound degradation due failing rectifier?
Reply #6 - 11/17/12 at 17:39:07
 
It's the rectifiers...and psycho-acoustics...your mind is playing tricks on you. You will see when the package arrives. I can't believe it is taking so long. I sent a camera lens to Mexico, same shipping method, and it took less than a week.
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Lon
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Re: Gradual sound degradation due failing rectifier?
Reply #7 - 11/17/12 at 17:41:27
 
Yeah, it's made traffic in this town even more of a mess than it normally is. For a decade now our infrastructure has proven to be insufficient for the size the town has grown to, and traffic here is worse than in many other big cities. And this event has brought hundreds of thousands here to the city, every hotel room is full around here and the traffic this weekend has been maddening in key areas. Not fun out there. Three people have told me that their daily commute yesterday was three times longer than usual. In one case that meant five hours in their car going and coming from work.

As much as I like machines moving at speed I prefer to experience that myself, never been much of a spectator. I'd rather they built that F1 track somewhere else.

Hope you get some tubes in hand soon! I've been doing a lot of tube-rolling this week and I'm actually sick of it. . . but it's necessary right now.
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Fireblade
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Re: Gradual sound degradation due failing rectifier?
Reply #8 - 11/17/12 at 20:00:09
 
Ok, Les, so which of the two is it (the rectifier or the psycho-acoustics)?  A little bit of both?  

I tell you, I'm sure there was something deteriorating in the SQ on my few last sessions.  This made me wonder about my DAC and so forth.  Then, the volume on left channel decreased ... and a couple of sessions later it went off.

I still need to improve the warmth and transparency issues, I'm sure, but I bet is going to be less of a task with the new tubes in place (hopefully).

I warned you about the local postal service.  What I find incredible, is that package is supposed to be still on your side of the Rio Grande.  For Sandy reasons maybe?  Northeastern cities may be involved in the delivery hub network from the USPS.  I really don't know.

Is there some way you can find out with USPS if there has been a problem explaining this delay?  Thanks!
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« Last Edit: 11/17/12 at 20:01:29 by Fireblade »  

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Fireblade
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A.L.Tennyson

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Re: Gradual sound degradation due failing rectifier?
Reply #9 - 11/17/12 at 20:06:34
 
Lon,

I'm sorry for the traffic inconveniences.  About being a speed sport spectator, I'm not, but I have two exceptions: F1 & MotoGP. What I find exciting about these is the talent of the people involved and the state-of-the-art technology.

As you can see, I can't do much without that stash of tubes arriving.  Enjoy your new ZP3!
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« Last Edit: 11/17/12 at 20:08:34 by Fireblade »  

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Les Lammers
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Re: Gradual sound degradation due failing rectifier?
Reply #10 - 11/18/12 at 00:07:11
 
Is there some way you can find out with USPS if there has been a problem explaining this delay?  Thanks!

After 30 days I can ask the P.O. to trace it...I think. I know it went to Miami. What is the best and most secure way to send a parcel to Panama?

The rectifier should be fine. It may die but it's too new to be degraded.

The psycho-acoustics reference was not a joke. Somedays my rig sounds great and sometimes not so good. It's me, not the system.
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Fireblade
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Re: Gradual sound degradation due failing rectifier?
Reply #11 - 11/18/12 at 03:26:52
 
What is the best and most secure way to send a parcel to Panama?

Hard to tell.  I personally never use the local postal service.  It depends on who you ask, as I've got different stories from people with no problems and others complaining.  Truth is, most parcels are moved through courier services in Panama.  There must be a reason for this other than a speedy delivery.

Registered mail may help, certainly, but the cost may be too high depending on the value being shipped.  Now, I may have been here for the last 2-3 years, but I was living overseas for at least 12 years before that.  And on and off before, so I'm not exactly up to date with a service I never used.

Let's see what happens in the next few days, as it may still come after all.  We can't do much until those 30 days expire.  Actually, that's evidence they think it could sometimes take that long?

The rectifier should be fine. It may die but it's too new to be degraded.

I'm not sure I follow you.  I know nothing about tubes, but If it is about to die, due to an anomaly, I suspect it could also start acting gradually funny before that.  A tube may loose continuity through a broken link/path or something, but this could start with gradual deterioration, affecting the specific currrent flow untill it breaks totally.

How else could we explain the only thing I'm certain of, which is a drop in volume on that channel?  

Anyway, we'll find out soon enough (hopefully)  :)  Thanks!  
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« Last Edit: 11/18/12 at 03:29:15 by Fireblade »  

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