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Author Topic: paramour repair and upgrade  (Read 6506 times)

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Offline matt99eo

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paramour repair and upgrade
« on: January 09, 2010, 05:24:35 PM »
Hi, 

I too have a paramour amplifier that is outputting at a much lower volume than the other.  I found the post below and will begin checking my values as soon as I can find or get a replacement manual.

As I repair this amp I would also like to upgrade the caps and transformers.  I found the old document for updgrading the paramour but am wondering where to find the ICW clarity caps and if the upgrade transformers/chokes that magnequest has listed here for the paramour are correct.  Can someone confirm? http://magnequest.com/products.htm

Thanks.

Matt

Offline Len

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Re: paramour repair and upgrade
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 06:44:13 PM »
If it's an original Paramour (Y2K), then the first iron upgrade was different from the paramour upgrade kit that you see. But PJ, Doc and other knowledgeables can definitely point you in the right direction.

As for the clarity caps, I think Doc had gotten a great deal on them and passed the savings onto us. If you are doing it from scratch, I would go with auricaps instead.
Paramours
Paraglows
Excites
Heavily modded Soul Sister and Groove Thang
Quickie modded to active low pass filter
Quickie modded to headphone amp
Lots of Bottlehead parts used for building other stuff

Offline Paul Joppa

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Re: paramour repair and upgrade
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2010, 07:06:59 PM »
Stupid forum ate my post again!

The current MQ iron upgrade fits the old Paramour just fine, in fact better than the old upgrade. Use a larger parafeed cap, around 10uF. Just be careful to insulate the terminals on the output transformer which is mounted topside on a Paramour I.
Paul Joppa

Offline matt99eo

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Re: paramour repair and upgrade
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 06:56:18 AM »
Paul,

Do you have a copy of the paramour 1 manual?  I take measurements and figure why one of my amps is putting out at such low volume.

Also,  i love my paramours but am juggling between upgrading them with nice iron, caps, etc. or building up a pair of paramounts.  Could you advise me on the pros /cons to each scenario??

W.R.T the magnequest iron,  could you describe the sonic differences between nickel striped and straight up nickel transformers?

Thanks for your time and what up from Hood River!

Offline Paul Joppa

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Re: paramour repair and upgrade
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2010, 08:35:44 AM »
You'll have to ask Eileen for a manual copy. But meanwhile, just measure the DC voltage from each tube socket pin to ground (skip the heater pins since both tubes are glowing).  This will tell us most of what is needed to start the diagnosis.

Of course the Paramount is a better amp - we've learned a lot over the last decade. The layout is cleaner and more solid mechanically, the shunt-regulated driver sounds a good deal better, the 300B provides more than twice the power, the DC heaters reduce the hum 20dB, the Schottky rectifiers eliminate reverse-recovery buzz, etc. The stock Paramount iron is not Magnequest, but it is much closer to MQ than to the original Paramour stock iron, especially in terms of frequency extension and distortion.

That said, the biggest sonic compromise in my opinion between a stock Paramount and an upgraded Paramour I is hum from the AC filament power in the Paramour. That is usually only a problem with very high efficiency speakers.

I should mention that we are nearly ready to build the production prototype of the Stereomour, a stereo Paramour integrated amp with new iron, similar in quality to the Paramount iron. Just to complicate the choices...  :^)

I have not done careful listening to the pinstriped transformers, so I don't feel I can comment usefully. The pinstripes are in between nickel and M6, just as you would expect. I like the all-nickel cores better than M6 because they seem smoother, more liquid and transparent. A number of careful listeners prefer M6 because it has a bit more "grunt" - impact on transients especially. I think rock fans are more likely to prefer M6, classical fans nickel, jazz fans on the fence depending on exactly what kind of jazz floats their boat.
Paul Joppa

Offline ssssly

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Re: paramour repair and upgrade
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2010, 04:38:27 PM »
Paul, first off I would like to thank you again for helping get my Paramour back up. I am currently waiting for parts to get the C4S straightened out (living in Okinawa can have its drawbacks).

I am also debating upgrading my Paramour vs. buying a Paramount. I am looking at the nickel stripe MQ package along with VS' 2MV hum, DRP, and other way to parafeed mod. in this configuration what is your opinion compared to the Paramounts?

Does the shunt regulation add that much more? 

What are suitable upgrades for the rest of the iron? Debating building the new 'mours totally from scratch and keeping the originals for experimentation.

Don't mean to jack your thread Matt. Thought you might be interested as well.

Be well,

Brooker

Offline Paul Joppa

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Re: paramour repair and upgrade
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2010, 05:29:33 PM »
>> I am also debating upgrading my Paramour vs. buying a Paramount. I am looking at the nickel stripe MQ package along with VS' 2MV hum, DRP, and other way to parafeed mod. in this configuration what is your opinion compared to the Paramounts?

I have not heard the DrP mod, but if you upgrade the iron any low-frequency problems will be moved to the subsonic and less audible. So I don't expect a big effect - of course, I've been wrong before (see below) and probably will again...  The 2MV hum mod applies to the original SRPP driver; the C4S upgrade is a better solution and (IMHO) mandatory for all Paramours. The upgrade iron is normally installed per the other way to parafeed; it's not safe with the original iron or we would have done that from the start.

>> Does the shunt regulation add that much more?

I first suggested the shunt reg driver as a brainstorm, some way to use the "wasted" triode when the C4S mod appeared. John Tucker was the first to build it though - I never expected that much effect, it was just a thought I had. Within about 10 seconds of hearing JT's modified amp (one modded, one original) I was on the floor turning it over to see for myself - I was having a hard time believing so small a change would have such a big effect.

>> What are suitable upgrades for the rest of the iron? Debating building the new 'mours totally from scratch and keeping the originals for experimentation.

The PT-2 Bottlehead power transformer, built to my specs, is the best power transformer for this amp. Please apply the usual grain of salt! - I'm proud of my baby, even if it is out of production now. If you have that, you're set. The Hammond, also built to my specs but earlier when I knew less, is still pretty good except for one run which had some problems - I think the bad ones have all been replaced by now. The PT-2 can support a shunt reg driver, copied from the Paramount - anyone who wants to do this should probably wait for the new Paramount driver board with time delay and other goodies; the upgrade kit will be available - might as well convert to the 5670 driver at the same time.

Mike's Paramour II upgrade package is about the best available for this amp. If you are building from scratch with a new power transformer, you could drop the plate voltage to 275 (from 300); increase the current to 55mA, use an EXO-003 plate choke, and go for a TFA-2004Ni output transformer. That would be about the best available iron package for a 2A3, bar none. Of course you are still left with the AC filament power unless you build a DC supply ...
Paul Joppa

Offline ssssly

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Re: paramour repair and upgrade
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2010, 06:35:36 PM »
I have a pair of Hammond 369AX power transformers laying around someplace that I never got around to using. Would Those be a suitable replacement for the PT-2? Unless you have a couple of PT-2s on a shelf someplace that I could take off your hands.

I have the C4S and have the hum reduction installed. Definitely seemed to improve the hum. Does this cause any problems that you know of? Didn't come across anyone who had issues with it in the forum.

So if the 369AXs will work, and I pick up the TFA-2004NIs and EXO-003s, any other suggestions?

When will the Paramount shunt boards with the delay expected out?


Offline matt99eo

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Re: paramour repair and upgrade
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2010, 07:21:20 PM »
Okay finally got to my measurements. 

A1  30.5 VDC
A2  387.6 VDC
A4 30.06 VDC
B1  0VDC
B2  0 VDC
B3  0 VDC
B6  112 VDC
B8 1.2 VDC

I swapped the 2A3 tube from my one working amp to the one with the above values and got A1 and a4 up to ~54VDC.   Turned it on and listened with the tube swap and that definately made a big difference (problem seamed to have swapped amps).  So I think I got a bad 2A3.  Anyone concur?

If I am ordering a new pair of 2A3 what is the best tube out there to get?  I have seen a bit flying around about the TJ mesh matrix  2a3.  is that one to get??  ANy help here appreciated

matt

Offline ssssly

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Re: paramour repair and upgrade
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2010, 10:14:27 PM »
The TJs are very nice sounding tubes. In that price range I would also consider some RCA blackplates. One of my favorites.

I also enjoy the EH mesh plates, though they are not everyone cup 'o tea.

Offline Grainger49

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Re: paramour repair and upgrade
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2010, 12:19:02 AM »
Bang for the buck, you can get a Chinese pair of 2A3Cs for about $100.  They were almost as good as the RCA Blackplates I have.

Offline matt99eo

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Re: paramour repair and upgrade
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2010, 06:02:44 AM »
Sophia electric Princess 300B Meshplates  @ 2.5V. 

What do you guys think about these tubes?  Are they a good match for the paramours?  THe plate voltages is rated for 300V. 

Is worth the $450 or should I stay with the sovteks and drop the cash on iron upgrades??   

Offline Paul Joppa

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Re: paramour repair and upgrade
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2010, 07:34:18 AM »
I have a pair of Hammond 369AX power transformers laying around someplace that I never got around to using. Would Those be a suitable replacement for the PT-2? ...

When will the Paramount shunt boards with the delay expected out?
No, the 369AX has the wrong voltage and no 2.5v winding. Actual choice depends on whether you plan to use a solid-state or tube rectifier, and whether (and how) you want to put DC on the filaments.

The new boards have another new feature, adjustable or servo bias on the driver to set the driver plate voltage. The servo requires a cathode bypass capacitor, so we have to build some both ways and do some listening tests - we're not willing to take a step backwards in sonics, even to get convenience. After we've made that choice, then the PC boards can be finalized. So it may be a month or two.
Paul Joppa

Offline matt99eo

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Re: paramour repair and upgrade
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2010, 08:01:12 AM »
Paul,

Am I right on replacing the 2A3 with measurements listed above?