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Messages - Loudthud

Schematics and Layouts / Re: SUNN Stage Lead power issue
December 27, 2011, 08:55:40 PM
Quote from: markorock37 on December 27, 2011, 06:45:21 PM
A bit more testing I found about 10V at pins 11 and 14 from driver transformer to Q2. Pins 12 and 13 from driver transformer to Q1 is less than a volt. Sounds like the driver transformer is bad to me. Its a model 28-4300

10V is a little low. Pins 11 and 14 should be at half the supply voltage (+47). They should go to that voltage when Q1 and Q2 are removed and should be about the same when a good pair of transistors are installed. You can see that R128, R137, R136 and R139 form a voltage divider. Some current goes through R132 but not much. C1 could be bad, but it wouldn't affect the voltage when no speaker is connected.

These transformers develop shorts between windings. Disconnect 11, 12, 13 and 14 and then check that those wires measure infinite ohms to 15 and 16 and to ground. Mercury Magnetic$ makes the only replacement transformer available. If you find a short, there are two more windings on the transformer that were not used in this amp. They probably just cut the wires off. Any chance you can see them and maybe solder a wire to them? One pair is Red/Orange, the other is Yellow/Green.

Do you know how to check transistors out of circuit with an ohm meter? Basically you should see a diode between base and collector and another diode between base and emitter. Collector to emitter should show a high resistance or open.

Schematics and Layouts / Re: SUNN Stage Lead power issue
December 25, 2011, 10:25:52 PM
This should help. The schematic and layout from the Studio Lead which should be the same as what you have. What are the numbers on the power transformer? The Studio Lead used 28-1650.
Schematics and Layouts / Re: SUNN Stage Lead power issue
December 23, 2011, 08:21:09 PM
That amp (Stage Lead) is the same as the Studio Lead. The Studio Lead and Studio Bass use the same PCB, they just leave off the parts for the reverb. R140 and R142 should be 0.33 ohm 10W. If one or both are blown, you have a shorted output transistor, Q1 and/or Q2. Remove Q1 and Q2, power up the amp and check that the collector of Q1 (terminal 5 on the PCB) goes to about 25V. This will verify that the biasing resistors are ok and there is not a short in the driver transformer.
Schematics and Layouts / Re: SUNN Stage Lead power issue
December 20, 2011, 02:06:08 PM
The info I have says the Sunn part number of the speaker is 81-0116-00-90. A 10 inch 16 ohm speaker also used on Beta 410. Speakers might be stamped 0116 on the back if there is no Sunn label. Once in a while you'll see a Sunn speaker on Ebay.
Schematics and Layouts / Re: SUNN Stage Lead power issue
December 20, 2011, 01:00:16 PM
The Sunn Stage Lead is extremely rare. Probably only made one or two years. I'm a moderator on the Unofficial Sunn site and there are no known schematics. Let me know if you find one. Probably close to the Alpha or Beta series.
The bias seems to be set by Q3 and RV1. Probably not a big deal but that part of the circuit could be improved for better temperature tracking.

It is my understanding that Leo was not involved in the electrical design of these amps.
Tubes and Hybrids / Re: Triode Emulation X-Y plots
December 02, 2011, 07:06:18 PM
The circuit in my first post was just the beginning. I was thinking of a simple JFET source follower input buffer for a 1 Meg input impedance and with a clamp to simulate grid conduction. The problem is that would need to be AC coupled to the opamp. You have to be carefull where the signal is AC coupled to avoid baseline shift where you don't want it. The long range goal is to make a complete guitar amp. The first stop being something like a Tweed Princeton. I have a couple of class A power amps built. One about 5 watts and another about 15 watts. Man, do they get hot. The 5W runs off of a laptop power supply. A good project for the novice. No mains to touch.

I kind of gave up on zener diodes, they just weren't getting the curvature I was looking for. Posted below is where the idea reached a pause. Getting the bend due to grid current had me stumpted for a while, then I just put a clamp on the input and it looked pretty good. I'll need to do some more experiments to see if a resistor is needed in series with the J201s. Maybe two or three 1N4148s will make a better clamp. The Ge diode gives a nice gentle curve from the zero signal point (middle of the screen in the scope photos) and the 1N4148 adds additional curvature near where the tube cuts off. The gain is increased to around 10 which is about as much as can be expected with +/- 15 Volt rails. The signal is a little too linear between zero and about -1V on the input. I might add another Ge diode with a series resistor to give a little bend there.

This circuit is intended as a first stage. Since I would like to hit the second stage as hard the typical tube amp, the input of that stage needs to clip at somewhere around 200mV to 300mV. That will be more challenging.

I like bullet proof inputs so I added a 1N4148 to the -15 rail from the input of the opamp (not shown in the schematic below).

I'm trying to get set up so I can compare tubes and my circuit in real time like Steve Conner did in his thread. The stack of test equipment is getting bigger.
Tubes and Hybrids / Triode Emulation X-Y plots
December 01, 2011, 08:08:29 PM
This is a different take on the emulating triode tube distortion theme. First, a few acknowledgements are in order. Findeton's thread, is some fine work but I find it a little complicated. Certainly the math gives me a headache. I didn't look at Dimitri Danyuk's paper, I just figured it would be more mind numbing math. The Runoff Groove article is interesting but I need to see waveforms, not just equasions. The one problem I found in the article was the statement "The first valve stage of a Fender amp can withstand input voltages up to +/- 2.5V without noticeable clipping." We shall see that isn't true. Steve Conner's thread is more my style. I know Steve from Ampage, he is very knowledgeabe on tubes and solid state design. I hope to be able to present pictures as good as Steve's

The first method I will present is the opamp with diodes in the feedback path. As I mentioned at the end of Findeton's thread, the clipping stage of the TS-9 does not come close because in the non-inverting configuration, the input signal gets added to the distorted signal due to the +1 term in the gain equasion. That leaves inverting opamps and shunt clipping. A significant problem is that diodes clip at pretty low voltages so, to keep from having to attenuate the signal, you would need lots of diodes in series. I have overcome this obstacle with a circuit I call the Diode Multiplier.

When I was in high school, I was told that a silicon diode drop is 0.6 or 0.7 volts. That's true at around one milliamp. With a 100K input resistor, +/- 2.5V input signal, we would like to know what the voltage drop is at +/- 25 microamperes. I have curve tracer photos of a 1N4148, a germanium diode, and the gate of a J201. The germanium diode is interesting because it starts conducting right at zero volts. The J201 gate stays off for a significantly larger voltage than the 1N4148, that could be useful. Low voltage zener diodes are another surprise. They start conducting around 0.4V and don't reach full zener voltage until the test current of 20mA is reached. The 1N5221B is a 500mW zener rated at 2.4V (at 20mA).

The first circuit uses a TL072. One trimpot sets the gain, the other sets the amount of diode multiplication by attenuating the feedback appled to the diodes. This circuit does not address the grid current of a triode issue, that will be added later. The 10K trimpot was set to divide by roughly 17, 10.26K on the top portion and 724 ohms on the bottom portion.
This is an interesting topic but I'd like to offer a different point of view. Although the plate curves of a 12AX7 reveal lots of information, what is really of concern is the transfer function. An X-Y display of input verses output. The attached photo is of a generic Chinese 12AX7, 100K plate resistor, 1.5K cathode resistor with a bypass cap, and a 68K grid stopper. The B+ was 300V.

Note that the diode clipper stage of a TS9 can't emulate the curve correctly (with different diodes for + and -) because the input signal is added to the output by the +1 in the gain equasion. You need to use an inverting stage to get rid of the +1.
Amplifier Discussion / Re: discrete poweramp
November 23, 2011, 11:30:22 AM
An old Class A power amp design that works surprisingly well for guitar. Power isn't very high and you will need a huge heatsink and/or a fan. But, the basic circuit only has four transistors.

Kevin O'Connor's TUT2 book has a chapter on solid state power amps. You can basically roll your own by matching a front end to various power stages. Lots of other info on tube amps and tube/transistor hybrids.

Amplifier Discussion / Re: Speaker impedance matching
November 22, 2011, 09:49:39 PM
Weber sells a couple of impedance matching autoformers, the WZC-50 and WZC-100. They have several taps including some oddball impedances like 5.3 ohms for those 3x12 cabinets. Down near the bottom of the page at: