Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Direct Reactance Drive

A long overdued post. You might have already seen the pics at my picassa albums.

This project actually started out in June/July 2004, and was my first attempt to build a tube based amplifier. On hind sight, it was a little ambitious to build a 300B mono block as a first tube project. Nonetheless, there are people who did it. Me, I only got it right on the second attempt.

Inspired by Sakuma san and Josh Stippich, I wanted to make use of those nice mercury rectifiers in my circuit. The RCA83 was bought locally at a rather high price. Netting these tubes on ebay would cost a fraction of what I paid.

I did lots of reading about tubes, and also got some online education of such stuff at DIY Audio. The Net is such a wonderful tool... I even attempted to create a DRD calculator in excel that helps calculate the resistor values and B+ required when certain inputs such as driver and power tube operating points are furnished. I was suggested to use the Siemens c3g as a driver for the 300B tube.

Suffice to say this this first pass project did not pass with flying colours. With a pair of inefficient (87db/m?) Totem 1 bookshelves, hum was evident even at 1.5m away.

I rebuilt this amplifier around Oct/Nov 2006. This was also partly due to reading the success of Luis Gascón with his DRD using d3A/300B on diyaudio.com. I built my version with d3A as the driver, but using LED biasing.

Testing this on my Mitsubishi Diatone PM610MB speakers (around 93 to 94 db efficiency), hum was only evident when my ears are around a feet away from the driver. All heaters are using AC for this build. Needless to say, I am very happy with my DRD amplifiers. ;)

More pics here.

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