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  1. Measurements...not a problem. I've got a pair of homebrew chassis stands that let's me prop this thing vertically to make mods, fully test and all plugs in well. (A pair of 'T'-legs that utilizes the chassis mounting holes...suspending it control-side down. (scroll up the posts and you'll see my chassis on the stands) The parts have arrived. (It's also awesome to be within 30 minutes driving of Parts Express if need me.) :) I've actually ordered what i need to near replicate the BadCat Hotcat 30 output section. I'm also going to park a modified L-Pad at the output, too. In the late 70's, I had an original '72 Orange 120W head that would just sing when you saturated everything and hung an Altair Power Attenuator off of it to pad it. (Yes, I'm trying to keep my tinnitus levels to NOT increase more than what they are.) So, planned weekend mods, changeout the Cath resistor, blockers, etc., install a 5AR4. The tubes I grabbed were Rubys. They were cost effective to experiment with. If I like the changes, I'll likely go grab Mullards & drop in. I don't play it enough to not get a long time out of them. Cheers! ...will report back after the changes! BradM
  2. Yes, that was a difficult thing for me to find. I actually found a really good article (it was late...lost it ...will post a link later) where the discussion was that...yes, you can pull out a rectifier tube and reduce the load by 10-15 watts of consumption based on a given tube. But, the other losses where great enough with the elevated B+ that you ended up with more actual heat dissipation in the power supply due to the conversion to SS diodes. I should have a 5AR4 and a pair of EL34's awaiting me when I get home this eve. :) We shall see how they sing! BradM
  3. Basically, I'm referring to the rectifier tube's heater consumption for it's own operation. I.E. ... has it's own heater that is consuming power from the PT. Much more than diodes would consume. If I pop in diodes, I'm not wasting power from the PT for the tube rectifier's heater. All that contributes to load on the PT. As the B+ goes up due to the diodes (no tube rectifier loss), the I^2*R losses will reduce overall, too. I'm hoping I'll like where the B+ sits and the tone of the EL34's. If not, I'll pop a 5AR4 back in (replacing the 5U4GB I have in there now). The 5U4GB draws a little more heater current than the 5AR4. The silicon diodes add no extra heater load. That is the load I'm recovering back for the PT.
  4. Well, I ordered a pair of EL34's & diodes today. Also, a 5AR4 to test, but feel the diodes might keep the drain on the heater supply at an acceptable level. Will report what I find!
  5. ...well...I got mine a month ago so all this is new to me. :) Pyotr has been great with some email correspondence on the amp. He affirmed that the transformers were the same as the SoCal....it gives a 4K load. He wouldn't change any of the resistors unless tweaking...should work straight up with EL34's without changing them. Now, I did read up a bit about typical Miller capacitance and blocking resistors. One school of thought is to take them up to 15k-45k to get that 3db reduction cutoff freq down into the 35KHz-45KHz range. And further helps eliminate blocking issues. I may try that. I also popped my 6L6GC's back in it. Eh...clean just makes for more overhead vs. the 6V6's...I can't really hear a diff. But, I may like the OD a bit more. So much that I'm now convinced I'll push this to EL34 territory and sort of BlackCat it...moreso like the HotCat 30 since it's close. BradM
  6. I've plugged it in...will never switch it though. I may bypass it if i find I want to add an MV there. So, yes, I just toggle the Power switch only. Actually the 1960's gray glass spec for the 6V6GT's by RCA were a design max of 350V and 14W. Mine drops 342 across the tube. The tone is fabulous on them. But, now that I've fine tuned the OD channel, I'll likely drop the 6L6's back in that I have. (Yes, my 5AR4 was arcing when I got the amp (used), too). I've been emailing Pyotr about the model I have (black circuit board vs. green ). The 5U4GB drops that B+ down by 45-50 V from what the 5AR4 provided. What I may do is...go solidstate so I can remove the rectifier tube and make sure I don't exceed the extra heater current needed should I go with EL34's. Yet, running the other direction might mean tweaking a bit more in the preamp. In all likelihood, I may not fuss anymore with it at all. But, may pursue some decent 6L6 or 5881's to pop back in...that 6V6S is a bit interesting though. BradM
  7. So, the new standby-not-using switch came in today. Here's a summary of my issue with the amp, solutions & mods done: 1 - Hum & crackle issue when I got it, yet worked. Swapped tubes, same fireworks. Culprit? Toasted (severely pitted) standby switch. Epiphone sent me one as a courtesy (thanks!!!), but the same model as the failed one. I installed it and will just remember for now to continually leave it on. Amp is restored to pristine quiet. 2 - Pulled the original 5AR4 and installed a 5U4GB and installed a vintage pair of RCA Black 6V6GT's. Measurements are as follows, 6V6GT plates - 362 V Cathode resistor drop - 20.7 V, 20.7/250 ohm = 82mA or 41mA tube current at idle including the screen current. Thus, the tubes are dropping 341V - so far, no redplating noticed with the lights out and playing for 5 minutes. More careful watch to follow. 3 - At this point, all operations are fine. Time to do mods. Using a Strat with a Duncan Hotrails at the bridge for "shrill" testing. - C5 clipped - ice pick is gone. Clean channel has good tone swing, but the OD channel is too sterile. - R15 - wow! - factory mistake! No wonder my tone sucked. This 2006 model has a 10K cathode resistor for R15 (NOT 2.2K or 1.5K). The other preamp cathode resistors were already 1.5K from the factory. I just had a pair of 4.7K's so those paralleled with the 10K parked it at 1.8K. Unbelievable difference. That gain boost brought some fire into the tone. Gain was nicely saturated & balanced. The 6V6GT's are one's I'll likely keep in this. May pop in 6V6S' next for comparison. Chimey clean and smooth bite in the OD channel. Nice chord definition. Wrapped it back into the case...stock Lucky Lady speakers. Not a bad tone. I'll keep it this way. I did make a pair of chassis supports to make working on this fairly easy. I used what was on hand...nothing fancy (see the image attached). Thanks to all of you that have given me so many areas to pursue modding! My total mod time spend came down to about 2 hours. (Eh, with about 8 hours of various days of "what-if's" pondering all the options. I'm guessing I could make this work well with EL34's if I removed the reverb tubes & swapped in a GZ34...might have a nice current balance then...? Will explore that later... Cheers All! BradM
  8. Here's a peek at my bad standby switch...note the pitting from arcing, lol, also note the missing posts as they pulled right out. (really poor switch!) :) BradM
  9. Ok - back into the garage tonight to troubleshoot. I haven't received my replacement standby switch, but it will not get reconnected. The old leads pulled completely out when removing them. I patched the wires together & fired it up with some vintage RCA 6V6GT's and a 5U4GB rectifier. The B+ at the plates dropped to 362V with 21V dropped across the cathode 250 ohm resistor. Total screen/plate current per tube is 41mA at idle. So I'm dropping about 341V anode/cathode. So far...so good. These tubes are holding up. All my previous hum is completely gone. If you have hum...suspect the contacts pitting in the standby switch. Epi is sending me a new one as a courtesy, but I'll leave it non-functional. I will, in all likelihood, mod this for EL34 use this Fall. Love the 6V6GT tone so much I'll likely leave them in and use it as an acoustic amp. I'm never likely to push it. Might pop 6L6's in, but I'll grab a new rectifier before I try that. Don't really want to leave the B+ low and push the current up. Anyways...thanks for the hints, mods, helps, advice. I was going to gut it...now I'll just mod it a lil. :) BradM
  10. BTW, did I miss them? Or, does anyone have some inside chassis shots they wouldn't mind sharing?
  11. NICE on the handles! If I keep this amp (and likely will), I may do this. If I do, I can cut out and insert a screen in the top for convection and toss out the fan. Really, my fave tubes are EL84's so, ultimately, I'm not sure where I'll take this. A lil BadCat clone might be in order, too. :) What brand 6V6GT's did you use? Brad
  12. This is my first post to the forum. And, this has been a great thread for me. I've just acquired a BC-30 that has some hum issues, but it was a freebie. :) I'm also a 30+ year tech so I'm not opposed to mods. I've loved all the input this thread has offered for tweaking tone out of this lil monster. That said, I've taken a different approach. I did see one individual (different thread/forum) that popped in a 5YG3 rectifier & some 6V6GT's and has worked. Peeking at what I have in the spare parts bin, I ended up popping in a 5U4GB and a pair of 6V6GT's (old RCA stock). Given the extra voltage drop the 5U4 gives over the 5AR4, it brought the B+ close to the design max for a 6V6GT. No immediate problems...tone was AMAZING. but, I still need to reassess the differences and maybe tweak the power supply circuit to run a bit more efficiently & avoid any extreme plate voltages. Overall, I like it. May go with the ElectroHarmonix 6V6EH (475V tube) or JJ's 6V6S to ensure I don't see any red plating. Anyone else ventured to 6V6 land in here? The amp does suffer from hum I need to troubleshoot. But, I know at least one source of a bright buzz is a bad standby switch (confirmed). Overall, it's a nice lil amp & nice for tweaking...ouch, but SO heavy!!! :) Cheers! Brad
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