Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

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Omsong
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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby Omsong » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:15 am

While researching home brew tube amps a number of years ago, it was recommended that a step down xformer be used, since some AC mains can fluctuate between 108 and 125 VAC (or more). I picked up a used power xfmr with a secondary winding that was around 95% of the primary which works perfectly. A variac is an even better solution, but they can be pricey. (When my employer closed, they dumped quite a few variacs in the dumpster - I can still kick myself for not permanently borrowing one of them!)
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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:46 am

Omsong wrote:While researching home brew tube amps a number of years ago, it was recommended that a step down xformer be used, since some AC mains can fluctuate between 108 and 125 VAC (or more). I picked up a used power xfmr with a secondary winding that was around 95% of the primary which works perfectly. A variac is an even better solution, but they can be pricey. (When my employer closed, they dumped quite a few variacs in the dumpster - I can still kick myself for not permanently borrowing one of them!)


I bought a variac used off the bay about a year ago. Came in smashed up. I got a full refund, seller didn't want it back, and I was able to get it working properly, so I have a free one. Knowledge is power! But they are really simple devices. I have it around to test questionable circuits, or bring up old amps that haven't been powered on in a while. It makes life easier on the capacitors. Normally, the only thing to repair on them are the brushes, and maybe a fuse (if someone overloaded it enough).
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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby spudmunkey » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:51 am

Also, "dirty" (varied, fluctuating, "spikey") power can cause more damage than long-term use of "clean", steady power. Even a UPS can help smooth out your power a lot. When my fridge kicks in, the lights in my room dim...but not my amp. It used to before, but not since I have added a UPS. It's not even a good one...got it used/cheap. I'm not needing to power the amp through a power out tage, but just use it to clean up the voltage/current. Seems to be doing the trick.
Last edited by spudmunkey on Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:02 am

spudmunkey wrote:Also, "dirty" (varied, fluctuating, "spikey") power can cause more damage that long-term use of "clean", steady power. Even a UPS can help smooth out your power a lot. When my fridge kicks in, the lights in my room dim...but not my amp. It used to before, but not since I have added a UPS. It's not even a good one...got it used/cheap. I'm not needing to power the amp through a power out tage, but just use it to clean up the voltage/current. Seems to be doing the trick.


Also smart. I have a little APC Line-R 1200 that I bought before the variac to help condition the power. It's not bad, but doesn't start adjusting power until 125v+, or until about 105V on the low side. Too wide for me, so I run the variac to get a precise voltage to the amp. It's very quiet with both the conditioner and variac to the amp (in that order). I've run my V16 in a room full of fluorescent lights with no noise. Now I use LED to help further.
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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby Doctor Turn » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:17 pm

UnexplodedCow wrote:About the odd standby/on/off switch. I'd wonder if the sudden switch from off to on, along with turning an amp off while in standby (considered a no-no by many amp builders due to built-up charge in the amp) could cause problems in the future. Most switches are also not meant to handle the standby volts. Plus there's the off/on inrush...just not a fan of that part. However, with that said, it's a little easier designing the power supply for a class A amp due to the steady dissipation.


I'll ask Steve Carr for you. I'll copy this in, he's pretty responsive with me. I'll print in his answer here for you.
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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:39 pm

Doctor Turn wrote:
UnexplodedCow wrote:About the odd standby/on/off switch. I'd wonder if the sudden switch from off to on, along with turning an amp off while in standby (considered a no-no by many amp builders due to built-up charge in the amp) could cause problems in the future. Most switches are also not meant to handle the standby volts. Plus there's the off/on inrush...just not a fan of that part. However, with that said, it's a little easier designing the power supply for a class A amp due to the steady dissipation.


I'll ask Steve Carr for you. I'll copy this in, he's pretty responsive with me. I'll print in his answer here for you.


I don't claim to be the most knowledgeable on amps, but would love his reasoning on it. Also, pretty cool if he's willing to respond to a nobody's question/supposition.
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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby Doctor Turn » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:07 am

Hey gents! I haven't been around for a few days, but Steve actually responded 4 days ago.

TBH I don't think he took the question all that seriously (since we're essentially talking about the act of turning the amp "on" being a danger to the amp.. but in reality it's just switching from Standby to Full On), but here's the response in its entirety:

Hello [***]

Good to know folks are interested in all facets of amp design!

I like simplicity and this is a nice space saving setup. As far as
possible problems - we have not had any with this design.

Best

Steve


Needless to say, all of his amps continue to set the standard for the very best of the world of hand-made boutique amps. And it's that simplicity of the circuit that--in the case of the Merc--plays a huge part in it sounding the way it does.
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...and other gear.

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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby Cynical » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:58 pm

...How does that layout save any space vs. doing it Bogner-style, with "off" being down, "standby" being in the middle, and "on" being up?

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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby Doctor Turn » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:50 pm

He means versus the separate standby switch. I'm 99% sure you're joking, but on the off chance....
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1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby Cynical » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:21 pm

I wasn't joking. I don't think it really matters much in the grand scheme of things (especially with low-wattage amps, which tend to be more forgiving of "not using best practices"), but the Bogner-style switch alleviates Unexploded Cow's concerns without taking up any more room on the amp.

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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:43 am

Cynical wrote:I wasn't joking. I don't think it really matters much in the grand scheme of things (especially with low-wattage amps, which tend to be more forgiving of "not using best practices"), but the Bogner-style switch alleviates Unexploded Cow's concerns without taking up any more room on the amp.


I don't actually use standby switches due to the concerns of switching a (example) 500V B+ on an EL34 powered amp on a switch that has a max rating of 250V. With that in mind; I've never had a tube blow, any kind of transformer issues, no resistor or cap problems.

The theory that I've repeatedly seen is that standby protects the filtering caps from high volts (beyond spec) when turning the amp on (inrush current). That makes sense....but only if the capacitors aren't up to the task anyway. The only times I've seen something like that happen was in a Fender amp, but I have limited experience (and reissue Fenders seem to have higher rated filter caps). Carvin, for example, (uh oh, I mentioned their name), uses components that are definitely rated for such a spike. This spike is mostly in the cases of solid-state (diode) rectifiers to my understanding. Tube rectifiers have a softer start by nature.

My only other thought would be to use a separate transformer for those kinds of voltages, and make the standby switch off on the AC side. This would take up more space, add more weight, complexity, and cost.

I just ignore the standby switch otherwise. No chance of internal arcing/melting if it's always connected. I won't even get into the whole idea of cathode poisoning, which is very real with the standby swtich on. I think it's kind of expected now in tube amp design. Just one person's idea(l).
We are entitled to our own, wrong, opinions.

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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby Doctor Turn » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:18 am

Thank you for your input gentlemen.
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1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby Omsong » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:17 pm

My original thought was that a standby switch would reduce the idle power consumption of the amp and prolong the life of the electronics. Apparently, a false assumption. The other advantage would be to eliminate the possibility of unwanted noise from the guitar, a kicked out patch cord or the crash of a bumped reverb tank. Turning down the volume knob on the amp would do the same (as long as one remembered to turn it back up!).
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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby Doctor Turn » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:01 am

The only function I've ever perceived a standby position or switch for is just warming up the tubes. As far as soundless intervals between songs onstage or while recording I've always just reverted to the volume knob on my guitar. I have a couple of guitars with old fashioned kill switches--literal on off switches unlike modern day stutter buttons--but they're not stage guitatrs. They're old and I just use them for recording.

As far as everything else in the thread is concerned, I just didn't want to offend anyone, we all have our right to express ourselves . . . but needless to say the amp is just immeasurably superb. It's one machine I own where everything about it is so tightly and perfectly conceived, that it lives up to its hype AND its price tag. And I'd expect the Telstar to be no different.

Cynical eventually I'll get around to providing you the sound samples of the Merc V you were asking me for a couple months ago (I don't want you to think I'm ignoring you). I'm so backed up at this point with my own stuff, it's getting almost comedic.
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby Doctor Turn » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:34 pm

Gorgeousness. . .

…And now for something completely different!!

The Telstar blends the sinewy harmonic assertion of EL84s with the deep full control of 6L6s in a new and unique push pull recipe. You may have a 6L6 amp or an EL84 amp but not an amp that uses both types in harmony for a new pallet of expression. The Telstar sound can easily range from haunting rich cleans to creamy overdrive. Our Lean/Lush switch tailors the body of the tone while the 53/58 switch changes the overall gain structure and the frequencies the Tone control emphasizes. Sonically treading the years from early Fullerton 50s roundness thru late 50s proto British bite

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ4Omky0zaU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0j7z2YdgBTk

And with a Vader:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baVyjGSV3MU

The harmonics in this thing are gorgeous.
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby Cynical » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:40 pm

I had to google that, because I thought for sure it had to be a typo. A big-bottle push-pulling with a little-bottle?!?! What the heck?!?!

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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby Doctor Turn » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:14 pm

Very unique little beast he put together there.
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Doctor Turn
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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby Doctor Turn » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:09 pm

WTH happened with the embed coding for the YT vids of the telstar above???
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby spudmunkey » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:14 pm

I'm going to blame YouTube for this one. I looked in some other threads, and all of the embedded YouTube videos are showing the same behavior... But not embedded videos from dailymotion.com, facebook.com, or instagram.com.

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Re: Carr Telstar (Coming Soon***)

Postby Cynical » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:25 pm

Yeah, Youtube is down right now. Going to their homepage, it's blank.

Also, I'm seeing this amp described as a "Class A push/pull" amp. How is that even possible? Push/pull means it's either class A/B or class B by definition.


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