A common theme of our age, run. We keep running, but not physically only. Our minds are constantly interrupted, like an CPU IO interrupt. Well, sort of. You get the gist. We run from home to work, from there to here, from here to nowhere. The reality is though, we are always on the move. Do we really like that? Hey, probably no, but that’s the way things work these days.

I have a hectic life myself, no doubt. As so probably you. Either way, the most precious moments in life – at least in the XXI century – is to unwind, stop and enjoy a bit of the slow movement. Slowly put the needle on that record, slowly sit down on your comfy sofa and slowly pour that single malt.

The rest is your imagination that I will so much struggle to put into words


UV4 PTFE sockets

Looking to build a new 01a Gen2 preamp shortly. This time will be for the rare UV-201a valves. They need a special socket UV4 rather than the usual UX4. See width difference of both filament pins. In the UV4 all pins have same size as below:

image2 Weather they have brass or bakelite bases, the new UV4 sockets produced by Luciano Bandozzi (Jakeband) are of supreme quality. I highly recommend them:

image1I already reviewed these and you can see more info here. I hope to post some pictures of the new preamp shortly


SiC MOSFET Follower Driver

How many more times

Led Zeppelin wrote a fantastic song on their first album: how many more times. You may not be a rock fan, but hey: what a great song. How many more times do I want to get back to this “slew rate” theme? I don’t know, as much as I have to. Plenty of comments out there of bad designs with wimpy drivers attempting to take the 300B/2A3 or even 45 valves to full tilt with disappointing results. Either way, they always blame the valves.

I came back to revisit the driving of capacitive loads effectively as I’m working on a new 4P1L PSE amplifier. Slowly, but getting there. Previously I looked at adding a buffer to the 01a preamp as a result of slew rate limitations found in Tony’s implementation of this preamp.




The circuit design

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Building gyrator boards

I’ve been on some business travel so haven’t had much time to work on stuff, however I did get a set of gyrator boards for a friend and a customer:

  1. BF862 configured for 4P1L preamp
  2. 2SK170 configured for 01a preamp

4P1L preamp with BF862 gyrator

Many have asked me about this preamp with gyrator load. Here is the latest implementation which I preferred most in terms of sound. The mu resistor is 470Ω which is a nice compromise between BF862 transconductance and distortion. I adjusted it on test. I use a 100nF for C1 so R6 is 10MΩ. R4 can be either 300KΩ, 330KΩ or even 390KΩ. Difference would be only on the voltage range for the CCS. I found running it at 25mA to be perfectly fine, some BF862 can even do J310. I prefer this SMD compared to the J310. It performs much better even at high frequency:



4P1L gyrator boards

4P1L gyrator boards

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Tony’s 01a Preamp

IMG_3291I went to see my friend Tony today and helped him to fix his 01a preamp implementation. Time ago Tony used a prototype version of my gyrator PCB to build the Gen2 preamp with the addition of an output follower to address the slew rate limitations he had on his system due to the larger capacitive load.

Luckily we found the fault easily and it was a bad solder in one of the smoothing HT chokes. Once fault was rectified, we proceeded to take some measurements of this preamp.

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