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Dave the bass 25th May 2006 09:03 PM

Re: Newbie guide to SE Vs PP
Just to follow on, do any of you know of any good websites explaining the history of various valves and their back grounds? I know the 300B and 2A3 are held in high regard as they were specifically designed for high quality audio reproduction.

Any suggestions were I could learn/browse more in depth info on this new fangled 'netterweb':rolleyes:


pre65 25th May 2006 09:14 PM

Re: Newbie guide to SE Vs PP
Hi Dave-i am so fed up of not understanding how valves work that i have just ordered the two books by Morgan Jones,from Amazon.
So this time next week i will be an "expert":D :D


Paul Barker 25th May 2006 09:44 PM

Re: Newbie guide to SE Vs PP
Dave, history of 2a3 started with 45. 45 is half a 2a3 in original form. They wanted more power than 45 but couldn't make a biggere more powerful valve so they stuck two 45 structures inside the same glass envelope parrallel connected it all out at the base. These are now known as dual plate 2a3's. Then they managed to obtain those characteristics reliably with a single structure, this became known as the mono plate 2a3. These type of valves were commonall garden table top radio valves.

I think 300b, which is a souped up version of the above was aimed at the bigger commercial sector like theatres, Westeren Electric theatre amps.

In the UK Western Elec are known as STC (Standard Comunication and cables). All WE valves are available as stc equivalents with a prefix 4 to the number.

List member Darren D had a pair of STC 4300a's. These are the forrunners of the 300b, the Japanese pay an absolute fortune for this valve. Darren and I played them, they were quite good, but give me a balloon px25 any day.

300b's often got used as series pass regulators because of reliability.

45's used by US military as fuses.

45's are still very available very cheap, go figure. They sound better than 2a3 and 300b, but power output limited.

Cheapest route into this is the 6.3v variants of 2a3 structure, 6a3 and 6b4g (IO base). Also Svetlana 2a3 is a bargain.

British similarr valve is px4, Europian Ad1, both mono plates. Indirectly heated version 6a5g, r120, will cost you more than a dht version because of rarity, sound very good I have two 6a5g's, wouldn't part with.

We made the 300b as a 4300.

Our px25 has not been copied, it isn't like a 300b in any way shape or form.

Mesh plate valves have always been made, and do sound better. The Chinease and others have cottoned onto this they make current production punched sheet metal anode valves to try and emulate the mesh plate. They call it a mesh plate. These do generally sound quite good, but are more expensive.

There's a little history of useable dht's. There are lower powered ones, and higher powered ones but those are the common useful range ones.

Paul Barker 25th May 2006 09:51 PM

Re: Newbie guide to SE Vs PP
Philip Morgan Jones is a nice bloke and writes brilliant books but he is heavily in the pp camp. Just worth bearing in mind whilst reading, nothing much there for scratch build se.

vt52 website used to be best resource for se but it's hardly changed ever.

Basically those of us into se keep it to ourselves, we're board with all the discussions and just quietly get on with doing it.

Greg. 25th May 2006 10:16 PM

Re: Newbie guide to SE Vs PP
Hi Paul,

Thanks for the breakdown above which has enlightened me. I notice you didn't dis the 300B this time although I think you've previously said that you're less anti 300B with some of the more recent offerings. The meshplate thing is worth talking about. There is a perception that a meshplate option of a 300B is the way to go, and I'm not talking about the punch plates you refer to as with the Chinese Valve Arts option. DIY Hi-Fi Supply (and others) provide a true meshplate version as made by TJ. These sound exceedingly good, but from research, they don't like optimum dissipation. 40W is a non starter and actually the sellers recommend for longevity 18W which is significantly lower. Frequently the affordable Electro harmonix 300B Gold has produced very acceptable sound with dissipation around 30W on test. I and many others are settled with this valve in our amps.

Best wishes,


Paul Barker 26th May 2006 07:56 AM

Re: Newbie guide to SE Vs PP
My early experinece of the 300b was tainted with my lesser ability to build a good amp, but it is a very difficult valve to make sound linear. They may be making them better too. I still generally avoid it, some prejudices are hard to shake. Push pull treatement seems to find a way round it's faults, as does the AIkido. Maybe it's more susceptible to power supply problems which is why it can be *rap in SE.

Dave the bass 26th May 2006 09:42 AM

Re: Newbie guide to SE Vs PP

Originally Posted by Paul Barker
Basically those of us into se keep it to ourselves, we're board with all the discussions and just quietly get on with doing it.

Sorry I didn't mean to re-start any long longstanding feuds:o I'm just a newbie with a thirst for knowledge.

Looks like maybe I should buy the Morgan Jones books Philip Pre-65 mentioned, I don't want to be responsible for starting a 'scrap' on a forum I've only just joined;)


James D 26th May 2006 10:37 AM

Re: Newbie guide to SE Vs PP

You won't start a scrap here, we're almost civilised here :) Or rather there are some very mature and civilised grown-ups here who keep a lid on the rest of us opinionated, egotistical knowalls..

A brilliant source of old valve books is Pete Milletts. Your a techie so you'll like it :)

And ask away - someone will know the answers or how to get them


Oh I use a H&K BassForce XXL (15" + piezo horn) and a homemade 2*12tc.

I play a Dean NT Razor as I like small, light bases :)

Dave the bass 26th May 2006 10:51 AM

Re: Newbie guide to SE Vs PP
Another bassist...on a Hi Fi Forum.

No wonder I've developed a taste for Thermionic Audio, its genetic:D

...its useless to resist the power!!!

Ta for the website tip off. Thats just what I need, some of the techie stuff is way beyond me, I need to start off at the beginning hence my request for website pointers on the history of key valves used in audio reproduction.

Cheers again,


JerryT 26th May 2006 08:47 PM

Re: Newbie guide to SE Vs PP

I can understand that lead guitarists will be too deaf to appreciate decent sound and drummers too challenged ;) - but are the only musicians in this thread really bass guitarists (no offence intended). How odd:confused: ? No woodwind or brass - both really interesting tonaties to reproduce. Are we further from nirvana than we hope? :o

Otherwise I share Dave's curiousity about valves, and wonder if anyone will suggest a real reference.


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