neonmagic

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About neonmagic

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  1. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    yeah, I had a quick look tonight. My suspicion is that things will be cheaper in the UK.
  2. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    Update: swapped the AC power cord between the 2 amps - no change. Left channel does not power up. Now, I had adjusted the bias pot all the way counter-clockwise before I'd tried the amps last night, so thinking that perhaps that has something to do with my problems, I adjust it roughly to where it was before. Left amp still does not power up. I then returned the AC power cables to their original amps. I swapped over the 845 valves. The Right channel (with the 845 from the Left), powered up AOK. So, the Left 845 valve is AOK. The Right 845 (which worked fine in the Right monobloc) did NOT power up in the Left amp. This would make me logically think that something has gone bust in the Left amp. Question: if the 5687 or E88CC valves were either damaged, or not seated fully properly, would they stop the 845 and amp from working? Both driver valves feel well seated to me. I did mention, earlier on in this thread, that the 845 base in the Left channel felt "loose", so I wonder if it's not somehow set right, which means when the 845 is seated in it, it is not mating electrically correctly. I am not game to go prodding lol. I think I have exhausted all troubleshooting avenues, and done enough logic troubleshooting to point the blame at the amp itself, and not the power outlet, power lead, power board, AC power cord or 845 valves themselves. edit: my voltmeter buzzed in buzz test mode when I tested the fuse for continuity (at least, I hope I tested it right). I will ring Jaycar in the morning (where I purchased the voltmeter from, and clarify that I have tested the fuse correctly). 2nd edit: I'm going to plug the probe into the Left channel and test it with my voltmeter to see if anything is indeed live. Have I missed anything, troubleshooting wise? Any other suggestions? How much would you expect it to cost to have the unit troubleshooted and repaired (presuming it's a bad capacitor or something similar, rather than an OPT)? Sending the unit back to Opera Consonance in China is out of the question - freight alone is prohibitive. Then, there's dealing with Australian customs, which is about as pleasant as having your teeth pulled via pliers.
  3. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    it's not a bad idea and easy enough to do and can't do any harm to try. It's 5pm here, have had a full on day, still doing chores around the house before I can even think of sitting down for the evening. Will post later after I've tried a few things.
  4. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    What a day...dog tired, have had a night terror during the night, now I have had to get up early cos of a variety of circumstances in the household. I can't see it being a power cable chain issue - I've replaced the AC power cord, fuse is good, swapped out the power lead, swapped out the power board, and even tried a new power outlet (with the new power lead, board and AC power cord). I've eliminated and swapped everything...without success. The pull out tray only has 1 fuse. I can take a photo of it if you want. My preamp (8000C, Audiolab), has a fuse holder that can carry 2 fuses. But, not the Cyber 845 units. Good idea though!
  5. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    Yes! But now I will really go to bed. I am 2 and a bit hours past my normal bed time and very tired! PS it'd be so nice to live in the UK - beautiful weather (I hate the Australian heat) and lots of lovely British hifi manufacturers to drool over! Plus, lots of cool audio/hifi shops to visit. Australia has far less options sadly, and our local retailers/distributers tend to price rape us...BADLY.
  6. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    Of course. I accidentally got a 240 AC shock when I was around 10 years old. That, and ongoing drummings from my late father mean that I treat electricity with the utmost caution (unplugging AC cord, waiting usually half an hour before doing anything and never pulling apart electronic circuit boards etc. I know my limits and I stick to them like mud to a windscreen. OK : swapped out the power board, no change, neither amp powered up. swapped out the AC power cord on the Left channel amp to the new power board - amp did not power up. swapped out the power cord that goes from the power outlet to the (new and old) power board to a completely different power outlet for both amps - neither amp powered up. Disconnected all the new power lead/AC power cord/Power board and reconnected everything up as it originally was. Decided on a whim to try both amps - Left channel still dead, suddenly the Right channel is now powering up (all 3 valves lit up like normal). Weird. The only thing I changed was the Right channel amp's AC power cord was plugged into a different socket on the old and original power board. I'd be hard pressed to believe that a socket on the old and original power board is dead. I know it's possible, but I'd have to be unlucky lol...I can easily test the Right channel by trying the other free sockets on the power board. This still doesn't explain why the Right channel failed to start up with the new power board...weird! So, that logically tells me that the valves in the Right amp are potentially AOK - I will do more repetitive testing for the Right channel amp to see if it is now consistent in powering up tomorrow. If the Right amp is all good from now on, my next logic testing step will be to swap the 845 valves over between the 2 channels. If the Left channel then lights up, but not the Right channel, this points to a dead 845 valve. note: 4.5 years ago, I had an issue with the Left channel not powering up. I swapped the 845 valves around like suggested above and it showed that the original 845 valve in the Left channel was dead. I got another 845 valve from a friend who had a spare and the Left channel amp started working again. I still have the original 845 valve packed away in a spare room, so may try and find it and swap them over to see what happens. Hopefully, the Right channel stays consistent now, and the Left channel is just down to a bad 845 valve. *fingers crossed*!
  7. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    OK...just tested One the fuses with my voltmeter, and checking to make sure that I tested it correctly. Red probe lead to Positive terminal on voltmeter. Black probe lead to Common terminal on voltmeter. Set the unit to "buzz" (which as far as I understand, is for testing continuity) put One probe on One end of the fuse, and the other probe at the other end. Is this correct? When I do this, my voltmeter buzzes, which as far as I understand, means continuity, i.e. the circuit is unbroken, i.e. the fuse is AOK. I have not checked the other fuse (yet), but if this fuse is AOK, and said amp doesn't power up, then logic would dictate that it's not the fuse at issue, and testing the other fuse is probably pointless. Since I am still up, I might as well go and test and swap the power board and AC adaptor and see what happens.
  8. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    I'll just add that apart from my pet rats, I have had on and off again issues with wild mice in my room (it's impossible to stop them from entering my room). I haven't seen a mouse in my room in 14 months though. I guess it is possible that they could have gotten inside the amps (I am not sure if the base/bottom of the units is sealed or open or not). Rodents tend to go for cables that have live power going through them (they can sense the electrical field). If there was no power going to said amps, they wouldn't touch internal cables etc (no electrical field to attract them). The One pet rat that does get onto the floor to free range, has only been doing so for the past Six months, and I watch her like a hawk when she is on the floor. She gets onto the top of the amps, but I have never seen her try and get under the amps (there's not enough clearance for her to do so anyway - she's a fatty lol!). Both amps worked up to the night of the power failure (I had them on and working a few hours before the power failure occurred, without issue).
  9. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    All good. I would have thought it'd be possible to somehow test continuity via the valve pins (I'd need to know which pin outs are what, etc of course, which I don't). I would NEVER even remotely try to attempt to diagnose the innards of the amps themselves. No sir. I might be a bit dense, but I am not that stupid! If someone explains to me how to test the heater continuity on the valves themselves (NOT the amps!!!!) and does some in a clear and concise manner, I think I could follow the instructions. Both units would have been plugged into mains, but not powered up when the power failed. There's prolly another 30 items that were plugged into AC mains at the same time and not a single One of those items died. Surely, I'd have be very unlucky to have both amps die! Yes, I can access both fuses in the amps and test them with my voltmeter - but it is near midnight here now in Australia and time for bed. I will test them sometime tomorrow. Our AC power cords typically do not have fuses in them. I do have spare AC power cords, so I can swap them over (process of elimination). I come from a long background in IT, so I am a rather logical person, used to logic troubleshooting. The amps are dead. No hum. No glow from either the 845, 5687 or E88CC valves (although the latter 2 are typically very faint). What are the odds of just the 2 power outlets on the power board that the amps connect to dying (and the other 3 outlets still being good)? I did not swap the plug into another outlet on said power board, but probably should do this just to make sure. I will also try another power board tomorrow. Yes, that is the plan that I had decided upon. I will (tomorrow): a) swap power board with a new and unused unit b) swap AC power cord with a new and unused unit c) test fuse for continuity d) swap fuse with a new 5am slow blow fuse that I purchased earlier tonight I was very gentle with the big 845 valves when cleaning them, as to avoid (as much as possible) any jolting that may potentially damage the innards of the 845s. Still, it is possible that both were somehow damaged, despite my best attempts to be very gentle. As I understand it, if the 845 valves are dead, then the circuit will not be complete and the 2 driver valves will not power up and glow. Yes, the rears of the amps are identical between the original 845 units and the newer 845S units. The above images are of the newer 845S units btw. I can most certainly slide out the fuse holder(s). Give that I now know that fuses don't have a +/-, it is logical to assume that it does not matter which way you put the fuse in the fuse holder. Many thanks for everyone's replies, greatly apprecated.
  10. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    OK...let me try to clarify...if I unplug the 845 valve from the amp and it is standing alone (the actual 845 valve itself), by itself, where does it get any power (AC or DC) to present an issue? This doesn't make sense to me. This is like me unplugging a kettle's AC cord from the power point and testing the pins for continuity...sorry, but I'm just not seeing logically how a valve that's got no power going to it can present a health issue? I'm well aware that if the amps are connected to mains power, but turned off, there is still an electrical hazard. I'm well aware that caps store energy, even for a particular time after being powered off. I've been building my own computers for 20+ years without issue.
  11. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    If I unplug the 845 valve from the amp, surely it is safe to test the pins on the base of the valve itself? I wouldn't be trying to test the amps actual circuity (I'm not that stupid lol!). If there is no power provided to the 845 valve, and it is not plugged into the amp, how can it be dangerous? I'm in Australia, but I am not working and there is zero chance of me being able to afford for an engineer/tech to look at them...
  12. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    OK, an update and it's not good news I'm afraid. Neither Cyber 845 monobloc will seemingly power up. I plugged One of them into a different power board, nothing. I plugged a small desk fan into the original power board and it powered on straight away. So...this leads to more questions on my part... given that they haven't been powered on for a few years, would the valves perhaps take several minute before they'd start go glow? (I don't think so). It's possible that the fuses have gone (both of them though, what are the odds of that!). What do you guys think? Should I test the fuses for continuity, to see if they are still good? How do I tell which end of the fuse is positive and negative? I do have spare fuses for them (bought them tonight). I guess I should swap out the AC power cord to eliminate the current AC cords, but what are the odds of both AC power cords failing...I suspect I'd have a far better chance of winning 1st price in Lotto than that happening! Is there a way to test the valves themselves (E88C and 5687 and 845) via their connection pins to see if they have a fault using my voltmeter? If so, how? I''d need very specific instructions on how to do this for all 3 valve types, images best (dummy here!). Speaker cables for both amps are firmly plugged in at both the speaker and 845 amp ends. Interconnects from monoblocs to preamp are also plugged in. So, there should be a load presented to the amps. edit: all valves seem to be seated correctly - just triple checked tonight. Some extra information on the power issues that occurred at my house - neither 845 unit was powered on when the power failed. A fuse blew at the electrical box, as well as the safety switch. Both had to be replaced by an electrician, but One of the 2 safety switches was turned off by the electrician as something was causing the safety switch to short (i..e a short somewhere in the house that ultimately led back to the safety switch in question). No other devices in the household were damaged by this power failure. I would find it odd that only the 2 845 amps were damaged by the power failure, even though they weren't on, and nothing else was damaged. Again, that'd be akin to winning Lotto imho...edit: this issue left half the house without power - power from the street terminated to 2 of the safety switches, each of them powering roughly half of the house and One of them (the problematic One) was turned off by my electrician. Guess who's half it affected...as it didn't affect anything that my late mum used, she refused to get the problem seen to by an electrician, and I was not working, so couldn't afford to do so myself. Nor should I have had to do so, since I did not own the house. Since then, my mum passed away, and the electrical problem was looked at in January 2018 and the issues identified that caused the power issues. There was 2 years of non usage of said amps between the original issue and January 2018 when the issue was identified and fixed. Yes, I know I should have gotten them up and running back in January 2018...I'm a procrastinating guy at the best of times... As you can imagine, this is rather upsetting...
  13. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    Ahh...now I get it. Thanks for clarifying! OK, took my voltmeter into the store where I purchased it from...*sigh*. It does have batteries (2 x AA plus a 9v battery). The AAs were badly corroded. Batteries were replaced, but the unit wasn't doing a buzz test at all (no sound, LED not lighting up) and it wasn't displaying the right output voltage on the meter for both a 9V and 12V battery that they had around to test...so, I had to buy another voltmeter, which I can barely afford...at least I know that the unit uses batteries and why I wasn't getting any reading last night with the units off... So, tonight, after it has cooled off (we're having a lovely heatwave here - please note that I'm using extreme sarcasm when I say lovely!) I aim to test the SACD and preamp (headphones) and then sort the amps out (hopefully without any issues). My audiolab 8000Ms should be powered up too, they haven't been used in like in probably 5-6 years...with my luck, prolly both the 845s and 8000ms are cactus...
  14. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    The Cyber 845s come with a probe that has negative/positive tails, which I have attached to the negative/positive testers of my voltmeter and then insulated with electrical tape. The 845S amps (newer version of my amps) has an inbuilt bias meter to make life a bit easier, so all you have to do is adjust the bias pot and watch the inbuilt meter(s). I'm surprised that Icon Audio makes bias setting so difficult (at least, in my eyes). Yeah, the online PDF manual says 4.8v now (it used to save 4.3v years ago). Greg [Osborne], the Australian distributor for Opera Consonance has personally advised me to set them to 4.5v. Yes, I have the 0 to 10 vDC range selected. Good to know that it doesn't need batteries. I would test the voltmeter on a 9 vDC battery that I have lying around (it's new), but I'm loathe to remove the Opera probe from the voltmeter's tester cables etc. But, I may just have to do that... 1. Yup. I have set the bias for these amps before (4 or so years ago). Opera provides a probe with positive/negative connectors that can be (obviously) connected to the voltmeter tester/probe cables 2. Good to know. I wish the manual would state this. Is it normal for voltmeters to not have an on/off switch? That seems rather alien to me! 3. Ah...I swear someone said that I could set the bias to 0 with them turned off as a safety precaution before even turning them on. Then let them idle at 0 bias for Ten minutes and ONLY then, if stable, set the bias to it's proper level (4.5 vDC). I'll re-check the thread just to make sure that I haven't misunderstood someone or gone looney lol! edit: 2nd post in the thread (George 47) indicated to set bias to 0 with the units turned off..which someone else after him also agreed with. So, what is it...what is right? Can I change/set bias with the units powered off, or cannot I not do this...this is how newbies get confuzzled 4. This is good to know. If there are issues with the valves or circuit, then I am stuffed I have biased the amps once before, what is making me nervous is my lack of knowledge about electrical stuff, and the fact that the amps haven't been powered on for just over 3 years.
  15. neonmagic

    Valve amp questions...

    OK, I have finally worked up the courage to try and set the bias to the amps to 0 (whilst powered off) but something isn't right...I'm not really electrically inclined (that was my father)... I don't see an on/off switch for my voltmeter. I don't see a battery compartment. The crappy manual that came with it isn't much help. Is this normal? If I tilt the voltmeter Left/Right, the needle moves a bit on the scale. Is this normal? (I presume not, but it is a cheapie voltmeter - for the amount that I'd use it, I couldn't justify an expensive unit). Here is what the voltmeter looks like (see attached). If I understand correct, I want the DCV A line (2nd from top). And it reads 0 on the Left side of the scale and goes to 10/50/250 depending on what I have the DCV rotary dial set to (I believe I should set it to 10 VDC) on the Right hand side of the scale. When I plugged the probe into the Left channel monobloc (power currently turned off), the meter stays at ZERO. I would have expected it to move to 4.5 (nearly halfway along on the 10 scale that i'm currently using), as that was what it was last biased to. So..this leads me to several questions... a) is my voltmeter stuffed? (hasn't been used since the last time I biased the amps, roughly 4 years ago) b) is it possible that the amps bias would have drifted to zero (0) since the, especially when they haven't been used? c) said amps won't show any bias reading UNLESS they are powered on (which contradicts what was said earlier on in this thread). Help! (a very non-electrically inclined normal user). I am now very confused...