The return of the Siberian
I have a pair of 4P1L/4П1Л dated 1968 which are properly burnt in. I’ve used them lately in my previous preamp incarnation with great results.
The circuit doesn’t need explanation, I think I’ve covered this repeatedly for a long time. I will only point out the differences:
The main change was fitting a pair of Russian wirewound 27Ω resistors in parallel to get closer to the 15Ω used in this position. I found these Russian wirewound resistors to sound extremely well as filament bias resistors. I tend to be skeptical about the “sound” of some components in circuits, however, they do make a big impact in the cathode of a filament bias arrangement.
The gyrator has my preferred combination: IXTP08N100D and BSH111BK. I have now an upgraded PCB Rev07 which fits the BSH111BK and similar FET and I will offer them shortly.
The latter benefits from the 30mA idle current. The result is lower output impedance whilst providing a great frequency response overall.
M3 needs a proper heatsink, it does get hot with about 2W of dissipation.
How does it perform?
Well, this valve has the reputation of amazing performance and low distortion. The gyrator setup provides the best out of this valve in my view. You can get a flat response as well as great bandwidht from 10Hz up to 3MHz loaded with 100kΩ:
The distortion is very low and is lower than 0.05% below 10Vrms. Dominant H2 with a lovely harmonic profile characteristic of this valve.
How does it sounds?
i’ve been listening and using this valve extensively since 2011. I have to say that it sounds amazing. I never get tired of its sounds. Before I listened to a 4P1L-4P1L system and found a slight edge on the sound (probably due to its H3 component) which I don’t hear on my system. The drive, clarity and tone is amazing. It can drive the 4P1L PSE perfectly well and you get a strong and clear bass. Very powerful. My +600 hours 4P1L are very quiet in this setup, no microphonic noise. I don’t have even dampers in the 4P1L sockets!
Anyway, if you need 19dB (x9) gain in your system or you need a driver for your SE amp, then this is the valve to go. I Still can be found cheaply and is a great contender to the thoriated tungsten filament DHTs like 01a and VT-25.
Build this one and enjoy!