Introducing Seductor, our latest amp!

Doc B. · 17998

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Offline Doc B.

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on: September 05, 2014, 12:38:45 PM
Those of you who have been following the Smash preamp thread may have seen discussion of an upcoming amp designed to mate with Smash. Well, we got the prototype finished and we're ready to begin production.

Seductor is a stereo single ended EL84 amp. Tube complement is 2xEL84 and 2X6AU6. Power output is 4 Watts per channel at 10% THD. Gain is 15.5dB. Sensitivity is 0.9V for 3.5W output (5%THD). S/N is -94dB. Input impedance 249K ohms. Speaker output taps are 2,4,8 and 16 ohms. The photo below is of our functional prototype. The production model will have very slightly different layout and venting.

Why Seductor? I am going to let PJ explain that -

Quote
What is SEDCTR?
SEDCTR stands for Single Ended Direct Coupled TransResistance. It is a 2-stage tube amplifier technology that uses pentodes or beam tetrodes.
Local feedback is used to make the output tube act as a transresistance device, with current input and voltage output. The driver stage is a transconductance device (a pentode) with voltage input and current output. The stages are direct coupled and each stage has its own local feedback. There is no global feedback.

How do SET amplifiers differ?
In an SET both driver and output tubes are voltage in, voltage out devices. The output tube has a lower internal resistance than the load it drives, and the best triodes are highly linear, so they can be used without feedback. SET amps also have very graceful overload characteristics, which is not possible when an amp has a large amount of feedback. We believe SETs to sound the best, but they are costly and (due to a modest damping factor) match well with relatively few speakers.

How does SEDCTR differ from typical pentode/beam tetrode amplifiers?
Feedback must be used in any pentode/beam tetrode amplifier to obtain a damping factor suitable for driving loudspeakers, and to achieve an acceptably low distortion.
Typical pentode/beam tetrode power amplifiers use global negative feedback from the output transformer secondary to the input stage to produces low output impedance and low total distortion. However, too much of the distortion is in unpleasant  higher-order products, and the wide variation in phase response of the complete amplifier makes instabilities of various sorts common.
In SEDCTR amplifiers, almost all the feedback is around just the output tube. There are no coupling caps in the loop, and only one bypass cap. This very simple phase response produces a stable circuit in spite of the large amount of feedback. The compact loop also reduces high-order distortion products.
Because of the linearity of the output stage produced by this local feedback, the driver dominates the distortion character. The driver stage is operated into a low load impedance, which causes it to produce predominantly second-harmonic distortion, similar to that of triodes. There is a small amount of current feedback local to the driver stage to reduce that distortion. The output transformer is outside the loop entirely.

Why is Bottlehead using SEDCTR?
There are few highly linear power triodes, and they are expensive. They are made in small numbers, to high mechanical precision. Power pentodes and beam tetrodes are made in much larger numbers since most tube amps and guitar amps use them. They are not very linear but are widely available and much cheaper that triodes. By using these tubes, we can make amplifiers that are significantly less expensive for a given power output. And with SEDCTR technology, we can make them sound a lot like SET amps.
We can also obtain a lower output impedance and higher damping factor than is possible with no-feedback SET designs. This means the amps can successfully drive a wider variety of speakers, since almost all speakers are designed for high-damping amplifiers.

And so you see that what we have in mind is a very bang for the buck tube amp kit that still retains single ended goodness. You could buy two, strap them each into an 8 watt monoblock and add a Smash preamp for less than the price of a pair of our premium 8 watt per channel Paramount 300B amps. The retail price of Seductor is $569, but we have decided to offer special pricing on the first ten orders, of $499. We are working on getting the web page up for this kit, so in the meantime if you would like to be sure to get one of these specially priced first kits you can call us at 206-451-4275 or contact Eileen at queen at bottlehead dot com. The guys will be working on the assembly manual in the next week or two, and delivery of the first kits is estimated to begin in mid to late October.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2014, 11:20:29 AM by fullheadofnothing »

Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.


Offline Stedes

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Reply #1 on: September 05, 2014, 01:23:44 PM
Woohoo...

Email sent to the Queen. Fingers crossed.




Offline Doc B.

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Reply #2 on: September 05, 2014, 01:26:58 PM
Thank you! Nine left.

Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.


Offline Flyin_V

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Reply #3 on: September 05, 2014, 02:16:50 PM
OK Doc, the big question is how does it sound compared to the Stereomour?

Lary



Offline Doc B.

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Reply #4 on: September 05, 2014, 02:59:14 PM
Stereomour is $849. Seductor is $569 and needs a preamp. I would say that one is a straightforward and elegant solution to great sound and one is great way to experiment with combining different pieces of gear to get a great sound. The iron is very similar so the differences are more about the circuit and tubes.

Bearing that in mind, Stereomour has the full sonic refinement of a DHT amp, because it is one. Seductor sounds a lot like a DHT amp. It has its own character in that it is a little more tolerant of speaker alignment differences. Though when driven hard Seductor will not go into distortion as gracefully as a DHT amp will.

In some sense Stereomour has more influence over the sonic signature of your system because it is an integrated amp. So the music signal doesn't get influenced by a preamp before it gets to the Stereomour. The Seductor mates beautifully with the Smash, and will work great with the BeePre and Quickie too. But how the music sounds can be a little different with different preamps. That can be a plus, you can do more tailoring of the system sound and in a sense have more leeway in "growing" your system.

If you have a less efficient speaker you might get away with overdriving (i.e. playing a little louder than the setup is really designed for) the Stereomour a bit more often than the Seductor (unless of course you buy two Seductors and strap them into monoblocks). If on the other hand you have a fairly efficient speaker that is designed to work with SS amps with a high damping factor the Seductor might be a really good choice. And if you really want more power and don't want to lay out the price of a Paramount kit, two Seductors is a great solution. Also there are lots of different tubes that can be rolled thru a Seductor for a broad range of prices.

Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.


Offline Doc B.

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Reply #5 on: September 05, 2014, 03:14:04 PM
And we now have 7 kits left at the introductory price.

Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.


Offline johnsonad

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Reply #6 on: September 05, 2014, 03:20:23 PM
Congrats Bottlehead team!

Aaron Johnson


Offline Stedes

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Reply #7 on: September 06, 2014, 04:31:24 AM
Those of you who have been following the Smash preamp thread may have seen discussion of an upcoming amp designed to mate with Smash. Well, we got the prototype finished and we're ready to begin production.

Seductor is a stereo single ended EL84 amp. Tube complement is 2xEL84 and 2X6AU6. Power output is 4 Watts per channel at 10% THD. Gain is 15.5dB. Sensitivity is 0.9V for 3.5W output (5%THD). S/N is -94dB. Input impedance 249K ohms. Speaker output taps are 2,4,8 and 16 ohms. The photo below is of our functional prototype. The production model will have very slightly different layout and venting.

Why Seductor? I am going to let PJ explain that -

And so you see that what we have in mind is a very bang for the buck tube amp kit that still retains single ended goodness. You could buy two, strap them each into an 8 watt monoblock and add a Smash preamp for less than the price of a pair of our premium 8 watt per channel Paramount 300B amps. The retail price of Seductor is $569, but we have decided to offer special pricing on the first ten orders, of $499. We are working on getting the web page up for this kit, so in the meantime if you would like to be sure to get one of these specially priced first kits you can call us at 206-451-4275 or contact Eileen at queen at bottlehead dot com. The guys will be working on the assembly manual in the next week or two, and delivery of the first kits is estimated to begin in mid to late October.

Hey Doc

Just wondering whether you can post a picture of the bottom of the chassis?? Just curious to see how complex it looks...



Offline Doc B.

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Reply #8 on: September 06, 2014, 05:13:42 AM
I'm out of the office until Tuesday so I will work on something next week.

Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.


Offline Paul Birkeland

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Reply #9 on: September 06, 2014, 06:19:50 AM
Just wondering whether you can post a picture of the bottom of the chassis?? Just curious to see how complex it looks...

I can say that this amplifier has a pretty high number of electrical parts, but the build is roughly as difficult as building a SEX amp. 


Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man


Offline JamieMcC

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Reply #10 on: September 06, 2014, 06:32:27 AM
Looking forward to seeing some builders feed back and pics interesting amp

Shoot for the moon if you miss you will still be amongst the stars!


Offline aragorn723

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Reply #11 on: September 07, 2014, 02:57:49 PM
Is 4 watts from the Seductor enough power for Definitive Technology BP6B's?  The power requirement is 20-175W, and they are 8 ohm, 91db sensitivity.  Thanks,

Dave



Offline Paul Birkeland

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Reply #12 on: September 07, 2014, 04:42:54 PM
91dB is pretty high, but the manufacturer hasn't included an impedance curve, so it's hard to know if the 8 Ohm impedance has any low dips that might be of concern.

-PB

Paul "PB" Birkeland

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Offline Flyin_V

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Reply #13 on: September 08, 2014, 07:37:53 AM
Thanks for the thorough reply Doc. I really liked the Stereomour I had and was hoping this new amp was closer to the Paramount's performance.

Thanks again.

Lary



Offline Doc B.

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Reply #14 on: September 08, 2014, 09:25:00 AM
Still out today, but I did check and it looks like we have just four of the special price kits left.

Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.