The tubes

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The tubes

Postby SkinnyWhiteBoy on Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:51 am

I'm going to get some new tubes for my beloved electribes. I've been reading a lot of posts regarding the tubes, and decided on the ones everyone seemed to get. I went to eurotubes.com and found ecc803s with goldpins, but then confusion struck:

ECC803S Gold Pin
ECC803S Gold Pin with Matched Triodes
ECC803S Gold Pin with Balanced Triodes
ECC803S Gold Pin Matched and Balanced

These are the options I get, I haven't got a clue as to which ones to choose!! Once again, could someone explain/help/do something :)
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Re: The tubes

Postby Blue Monster 65 on Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:02 pm

Honestly? The way the circuit is constructed, it's not going to matter much, but I'd say for peace-of-mind, get a matched pair.

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Re: The tubes

Postby StellarJay[aka Ruso] on Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:40 pm

You know one time I bought some non-matched tubes, and one tiem I bought matched... the non-matched had different volume levels.

A few things to consider aswell.... when korg builds their units, they configure them.... one of the things that they do is calibrate the tubes. This procedure is described in great detail in the EMX-1 service manual.

This leads me to believe that it's not necessarily true that korg puts in matched tube of any kind into their machines..... if they do that and calibrate every machine's tubes than it is entirely possible that even when you do get matched tubes the levels will be off...

I dealt with the problem by mixing and matching my new tubes until I got two machines producing equal levels.

As a good practice I would still recommend getting matching tubes. Even if they are not perfect in the end the difference will probably not be audible.

One thing to stay away from is messing with the two potentiometers next to the tube... which are thought to control the volume in mismatched tubes.... they actually seem to control tube gain or tube mix I am not sure but the end result is analogous to compression amount.

Hope that helps
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Re: The tubes

Postby StellarJay[aka Ruso] on Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:44 pm

Now I guess you could potentially calibrate the tubes yourself.... BUT it requires you to obtain a special smart media card from korg (as the manual states).... you might be able to get away calling korg posing to be a repair center. Also it would require you to construct a special cable which is used for these purposes.

Anyway I never got to this point....

Here's a link to the service manual: http://audio-ruso.com/EMX1_Svc_man.pdf

The cable is illustrated on page 14 and the procedure follows. And clearly states that you gotta run the smart media provided by korg.


Best of luck.
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Re: The tubes

Postby Blue Monster 65 on Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:47 pm

Sorry - should have been more specific. Essentially what they are asking you to do in the service manual is take a non-matched set of tubes and then bias them correctly.

If your tubes are matched ahead of time and you don't muck with any of the settings, then you should be able to just pop 'em in and away you go.

If you don't have a matched pair, then you're going to have to bias them, which you can do either via Korg's method or the old tried 'n 'true with a meter.

And your method of swapping out tubes works, too!

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Re: The tubes

Postby StellarJay[aka Ruso] on Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:31 pm

And I don't think you got what I'm saying :)



If korg originally put in two random tubes... which chances are they did because they specifically implemented this function... not to mention that I highly doubt they have two matched tubes bundled up from the factory (specifically because they are meant for guitar amps and NOT stereo groove boxes)...

Than chances are, the electribes come off the factory calibrated to two unmatched tubes..... so it doesn't matter if you put two MATCHED tubes.... because the machine is not calibrated equally on both channels.

Now there is a very small chance that I might be wrong on this.... but I the odds are against it... especially since when I put matched tubes into my ESX the two channels had ever so slightly volume differences.

Also since someone posted either on here or on korgforums that for example JJ DOES NOT provide matched tubes from the factory. Therefore it's actually Eurotubes that has to do the matching. Which means chances are KORG would have to do the matching on their EH tubes and that makes no sense because they specifically built tube calibration into the ORIGINAL process for getting the machine up and running.
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Re: The tubes

Postby SkinnyWhiteBoy on Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:01 am

So what you're saying is get these: ECC803S Gold Pin Matched and Balanced
I would prefer not to have to calibrate the tubes (or do anything else for that matter,besides plugging them in). Is there a possibility that there's going to be noticeable volume differences? I would love to get new tubes, but if changing tubes means a lot of frustrating problems occurs, I don't think I want to do it. But if it's just a matter of plug and play, I'm definetely getting some.
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Re: The tubes

Postby Blue Monster 65 on Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:21 am

You're right, Ruso - I'm just flying through this as I attempt to get other things done! Sorry 'bout that.

Anyway, considering one doesn't normally match preamp tubes (which is what these are generally used for), I assumed their supply is pretty close anyway. Stick 'em in, see how they sound, then tweak away.

Matching, by the way, is easily enough done, though: stick 'em on your tester and see what they read. It's just time-consuming.

If matched preamp tubes are offered, I'd take 'em. That way you know you're starting from a reasonably "equal" output. This would be a new thing to me (only have ever bought matched output tubes), but why not try it?

And yes, SWB, you may have to tweak a bit to get your desired results. Or you may not. You'll have to try it to find out.

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