Thursday, September 22, 2016

Renovated EL156 Single Ended Amplifier

Telefunken EL156 seem like a king of pentode tube that many people want to taste.

My friend also bought a pair of mono-block EL156 single ended amplifiers

with all Tango transformers from ebay.

But he need new enclosure, tube rectifier and use Western Electric components.

So these are what we did with those requirements.


Original enclosure of EL156 mono-block with EF80 driver.



Wiring inside / diodes bridge rectifier.


Hirata-Tango FW-50-5S output transformer.


Hirata-Tango NN-6 "Permalloy core" input transformer.


Hirata-Tango MS-360 power transformer.


Schematic of renovated EL156 amplifier.

All main components mounted.


Bottom view, wiring with Western Electric cloth wires.


Top view / Mirror.






WE418A as a driver and WE 288A coupling capacitor with WE KS9929 interstage transformer.




#83 mercury vapor full-wave rectifier tube. 






Will update later with pictures when using in owner system.

Cheers !!!

Monday, August 8, 2016

McIntosh MX110z Tuner & Pre-amplifier Modification

Jeff's Place from Jeff Day is one of most inspirational blog for many people including me.

After he's got many suggestions from Mr Shirokazu Yazaki and he's wrote articles in his blog.

I've got many great ideas from him and Yazaki-san to improve my own works.

One of equipment that he always prefers is McIntosh MX110z ; Tuner & Pre-amplifier.

It is famous tube pre-amplifiers from McIntosh like C22, C20, etc.

I've sent information of MX110z's modification from his blog to my friend who has one.

So he's interested too much and brought this to me for modify with "Real Sound" concept.



McIntosh always care about pilot lamp intensity. ;)







Bottom view before modified. So many types of signal coupling capacitors.


2W carbon composition and 5W cement wirewound resistors in power supply section.


Tube's filament power supply for 12.6V and 6.3V tube types.



Electrolytic capacitors also leak and should be replace too.


Some of components for modify MX110z.

My friend want to try 3 types of Arizona Capacitor, so let's do it. :)


"Red Cactus" seldom seen type from Arizona Capacitor.


Bottom view after modification with better parts and mainly consider for "Real Sound".


2 of STTH6112V2 diodes replaced 4 selenium diodes in bridge rectifier position.

Use Ohmite "Brown Devil" & another good quality wirewound resistors in power supply 

for adjusted until high voltages near values in schematic.



Also tube's filament power supply too.


All of signal capacitors replaced.



Western Electric PIO capacitors for higher value capacitance and limit space.


Many tube's stages and many coupling capacitors too.


After finished modify MX110z and bring it back to owner, he really like it.

Better sound from all sources and too sure tuner!

But should be "run in" for a couple months and will tell later for real character of this.

Cheers !!!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Harman Kardon Citation I with "Real Sound" Concept

Harman Kardon Citation I pre-amplifier was a one of top quality in it's era.

Great phono-stage with "Turnover" and "Roll-off", very usable features.

4 tube's stages passive equalizer per channel in phono-stage

with high quality capacitors in equalizer too.

And the most surprise for me is a filter choke in power supply !!!

Many of famous tube pre-amplifiers in that time like Marantz 7c, McIntosh C22 or Fisher 400CX

did not use any of filter choke, only resistors in rectifier section.




Very usable features in phono-stage.


Backside with different design.


Top view for inside.


This is only 1 channel with 9 of 0.1uF Sprague Bumblebee capacitors

and 3 of green 0.47uF/10V ceramic disc capacitors in signal path.


Many of capacitors in equalizer section.


Bottom view for another channel and power supply.


Filter choke on left side of photo.


"Bass" and "Treble" components in selectors for each channels. 


Rectifier section.



Loading resistors for "Phono 1" & "Phono 2" inputs.


Time to modify with "Real Sound" concept.

18 of 0.1uF Arizona "Blue Cactus" Capacitors and use 0.5uF PIO capacitors from WE

for replace 0.47uF ceramic type.


Top view after finish modified.



Bottom view for channel A.




Replace rectifier components with Ohmite "Brown Devil" resistors, Ultra Fast Recovery diodes

from ON semiconductor and decoupling capacitors for each high volt points 

with Obbligato film capacitors.


Replace "Phono 1" loading resistor with 2W Allen Bradley resistors.


After "Run in" time for 20 hours, more transparent and good sound quality from bottom to top range.

In my opinion, it's a high quality pre-amplifier with a half or quarter price of more famous brands.

Worth a try and you will find a new sound.

Cheer!!!