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Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound (Read 625 times)
GroovySauce
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Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
10/26/22 at 14:35:08
 
In the MKV development thread, Steve mentioned that having all the bias switches on vs. having them all off had a sonic impact. Itís a very noticeable difference.

Last night I played around for only a few minutes. In the weeks to come Iíll get a better handle on whatís going on. The amp is still in the aggressive seasoning stage so the sound is changing still.

With all the bias switches on. The amp gains a touch of the UFO SET sound. Togetherness and creaminess while keeping the control of the bass. All the switches off it leans towards the Torii MKIV sound more open, expansive and airy.

What happens when we split the difference? Front tubes meter on, back tubes off? (or vice versa) It isnít quite an even split, maybe 60-40. 40 being the UFOness, 60 being MKIVness.

Is there a difference depending if itís the front tubes or back tubes that are ďonĒ? I havenít played around enough to get a sense of it.

Iím going to get some hours with all the switches off. It could be a burnin phenomenon and the switches are going from more burned in to less burned in.

Anyone else play around with this?
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GroovySauce
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #1 - 10/26/22 at 14:48:33
 
If anyone is like me and wonders what happens when only the left or right channel has the bias meters on. Or if the back tube and front tube are the ones on. Yes, yes it does change things.
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tempest62
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #2 - 10/27/22 at 02:29:41
 
Nigel, Iím glad you finally received your long-awaited MK 5.

Iím very curious as to what you like about it over the MK 4?

I havenít explored much on the meter switches just yet.

Brad
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GroovySauce
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #3 - 10/27/22 at 14:48:13
 
Brad,

From a practical, measurable perspective. I rebuilt the crossovers for my speakers. I wanted to try a speakerformer in place of the resistors to attenuate the Voxativ. The MKIV interacts with the load in a way the MKV doesn't. On the sales page or somewhere else Steve talked about how he designed the MKIV to intentionally do that. While it does have its benefits it also has its down sides. One of the downsides is that the speakerformer didn't play well with it.

The speakerformer plays very well with the MKV.

Oh man! The speakerformer is amazing! Resistors turn excess voltage into heat. The speakerformer (autoformer) turns excess voltage into current preserving the energy. Sounds more Zen to me than a resistor.

I did wait a week before adding the speakerformer to get a sense of how the amps differed.

The Torii MKV has a lot of the same characteristics of the Torii MKIV. The MKV takes on a bit of the UFO SET characteristics. It's not a straight line difference. Almost a right angle triangle that scoots towards the UFO SET sound.

This means the MKV still has the control, power, shimmering highs, expansiveness and X factor that the MKIV has. It adds in the togetherness that I really love about the UFO SET.

I did wonder if I would get the MKV roll a bunch of tubes and then go back to the MKIV. I listed the MKIV for sale yesterday.

I'm at a place with my system that I don't want to be analytical with it. I just sit back and am mesmerized and in awe. Why would I want to get all analytical when I have that going on?

I do have 4 QDA-13 diffusers coming and 4 ACDA-12M modules coming. I then hang my ceiling treatment. It's already so good... what will that bring?


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jec3504
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #4 - 10/29/22 at 22:52:15
 
Interesting Nigel,

Always had the switches in the up position. Just put some new GL KT77s in today. I'll give it a try in a bit once these tubes get some burn time. Are you still running the stock tubes from Decware?


Glad your enjoying your new Torri.

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GroovySauce
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #5 - 10/30/22 at 15:10:46
 
I ran the stock tubes for a few days. Really enjoyable.

Currently running

EML 5u4g
Westinghouse 0A3
GL KT77 (My favorite tube in the MKIV and I tried a lot!)
EH Gold pin 6922 (input)
Cryotone ECC88 (inverter)

Minus the Cryotone ECC88 and add a RCA 0C2 and that is the same tube compliment I was running in the MKIV.

Having dialed in the tubes I like with the MKIV they translate to the MKV in a very similar way. I have no desire to try different tubes.

Once my brother gets his new speakers I'm going to let him try some of my power tubes in his ZMA to see if he wants any. Then I'll be thinning out my tube collection. I've a bunch of quads with 100 or less hours on them.

This is starting to get really off topic... I have a feeling that the larger fuses 6.3 x 32mm vs. 5 x 20mm sound better. With my MKIV I could easily pick out some of the stock fuse characteristics. After 20ish hours with the MKV I was blown away with how it sounded like it had a specialty fuse.

I ordered a pair of Audio Magic M-1's before I received the amp. I didn't realize it was the larger fuse so I needed to exchange them. I put the M-1's in a day ago. The MKIV with the 5 x 20mm was a dramatic difference with an aftermarket fuse. MKV not so much. Thing is, the MKV is still changing its sonic character so I'll revisit fuse difference later. I am curious about changing the rectifier fuse to see what kind of difference that makes. That's a pricy experiment though.
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jec3504
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #6 - 11/02/22 at 00:52:42
 
Nigel,

Brad had me take a peek at the fuses on the Torii before his was delivered. He mentioned Steve make a post about the rectifier fuse no audible change if replaced. He wasn't sure where. I recall a post something like that. Already blew a fuse. Two packs of five fuses $12.
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GroovySauce
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #7 - 11/02/22 at 13:03:50
 
Thanks for the insight. I'm still curious. I have 3 units that use the larger fuses. Problem is 500mV would only have a use for the rectifier. It won't be any time soon if I do try other fuses.

Any observations on the bias switch positions?
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jec3504
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #8 - 11/02/22 at 21:12:19
 
Moved them around last night before I shut it down. Noticed an audio switch (shift) not quite a pop. Something going on for sure. Just put new tubes in hearing a noise with them. This constant overmodulated voice telling me I'm playing these GL KT77 to loud. She's not buying the whole breaking in new tubes explanation. Could also be the playlist.

After I get 50 hours on these tubes I'm going to investigate more.

Very interested on your thoughts with the fuses. Keep us updated.

Joseph
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GroovySauce
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #9 - 11/02/22 at 21:48:29
 
The pop through the speakers when flipping the switches happens on mine too, I'm guessing it's normal. The UFO25TH makes a really aggressive pop when switching between hi/lo bias.

Are the meters dancing? If not the tubes are not being played too loud.

What noise are you hearing with the KT77s?

I give the tubes 5ish minutes before I play any music through them. After that I'll let it rip. I rarely play loud though.

In two or more weeks I'll try swapping back to the stock fuses. The packaging says 125 hours burn in needed.

I should have named this thread Torii MKV general discussion. † Grin
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jec3504
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #10 - 11/03/22 at 04:45:14
 
Quote:
What noise are you hearing with the KT77s?



The noise was my wife yelling it was getting too loud. Playing some rock (Stone Sour and Black Label Society). Just exploring the new KT77. Maybe getting a little carried away. †Had her sit down and listen. Put on Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac. Turn it up a little more. Funny the noise went away. It was replaced with a big smile. †

Quote:
I should have named this thread Torii MKV general discussion.


Maybe? I'm usually guilty of changing topics.

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GroovySauce
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #11 - 11/03/22 at 13:07:39
 
Grin gotcha!

There is a natural ebb and flow to conversations leading to changing topics. It's all good in my book.

I'm preferring all 4 switches off vs. on. Over the next few days I'm going to see if I prefer the inner or outer switches on leaving the others off.

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GroovySauce
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #12 - 11/03/22 at 13:13:46
 
Joseph, What is the meter reading with KT77s?

Here is mine:

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jec3504
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #13 - 11/03/22 at 14:29:29
 
Nigel, it changes with rectifiers. The Mullard GZ34 same as your pic. The type 80 I just put in drops the needle two units. If I was using the 5AR4-WC my guess it would move up two units from your pic.
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jec3504
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #14 - 11/04/22 at 17:20:13
 
Nigel,

Picked a good time to try out the meter switches. Just took down a post I made in the KT77 thread. Basically commenting on KT77 using A type 80 rectifier. My thoughts were how juicy and wet they sounded with a smaller sound stage compared to A 5AR4. That's with the switches up. Switches down things got drier and definitely opened up. So now I'm like WTF.

This some kind of GroovySauce mind trick?
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GroovySauce
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #15 - 11/05/22 at 11:18:16
 
I figured it would change with rectifiers.

It's wild isn't it? Need to try 2 on 2 off now.   Cheesy
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jec3504
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #16 - 11/05/22 at 14:35:20
 
Did some blind A/B testing last night. Everyone could easily identify up vs down.
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tempest62
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Re: Tube Bias Meter Switches and the Change of Sound
Reply #17 - 11/06/22 at 15:38:39
 
Quote:
Everyone could easily identify up vs down.


ďThere is no left and right. There is only up and downĒ - Ronald Reagan 👍
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