Belles 21a preamp

13

Comments

  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 9,185
    My bet is those are old stock Mullards. Military issue, probably go for a couple hundred a pair. If so, they will blow away any new production tubes. I could be wrong but that’s my bet. I’d be counting my blessed stars
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 365
    dr1978 wrote: »
    Any drawbacks to connecting the balanced output from the Belles to the balance input of my svs? Seems like that might do the trick. I'm using the unbalanced connections for pre to power amp and Marantz to svs.

    It works! I stopped at the local guitar shop and picked up some cheap Hosa Technology cables to try it out, and sure enough, I caught another break and the Belles is able to send signals out of both Main outputs. I'll be on the lookout for another pair of XLR's in the near future, but for now I'm in audio heaven. Loving the sound, and have multiple options to play with going forward (swapping in the B&K, tubes, cables).
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 9,185
    I would pin down what tubes you have in there before rolling tubes. If those are NOS Mullards, it would be a waste of money to roll in anything but other top shelf tubes, and even then I would enjoy the Mullards unless you eventually wanted something other than the Mullard sound. My guess is the guy who had an Auricap Belles also knew his tubes and gave you a pair of quality old stock tubes with the unit. Your system is deserving of quality cables - I don't know what you have but if that is a weak link I would consider some upgrades there.
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 365
    Oh I don't think I'll be purchasing any tubes, at least not for a long time. I was referring to the pair of radiotechnique 6189w that the seller threw in. Assuming those were his backup pair, seems like your thought that the installed tubes are real deal mullards makes some sense.

    Regarding cables, my spending spree is (hopefully) over now, after I just bought a pair from Marvin.
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • markinthedarkmarkinthedark Posts: 4
    edited March 1
    dr1978 wrote: »
    Here's the whole thing..

    e8fzenukgfg7.jpg

    See the four tan resistors next to the tube heat sinks? After I sent my 21A back to Dave Belles for a selector switch relay repair 15 years ago, he replaced them with bigger fatter blue ones, I assume higher wattage. I think he said the old ones were showing evidence of getting hot. Also see the brown coloration on the board.
    ijobcrnl92kq.jpg
  • JayCeeJayCee Posts: 1,086
    @markinthedark, first post and stopping by to help someone out. Very cool.
    Speakers: Polk1.2tl's (Uber Mods) Pre/Amp/DAC: PS Audio BHK Signature & 250, DirectStream Cables/IC's: MIT S1Bi-Wire/S1 Balanced +Avel Lindberg 1000VA "Dreadnought" Power Conditioner: PS Audio P15 Power Plant Power Cords: Core Power Technologies Gold, DH Labs Power Plus DIY w/Neotech NC-P301 & P311ends Streamer: Roon ROCK on wifi'd NUC & Uptone EtherREGEN⟿Ω☯☥☮⟿🔊♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬
  • daboyzdaboyz Posts: 5,145
    JayCee wrote: »
    @markinthedark, first post and stopping by to help someone out. Very cool.

    Agreed. Very cool of you!

  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 3,186
    edited March 1
    See the four tan resistors next to the tube heat sinks? After I sent my 21A back to Dave Belles for a selector switch relay repair 15 years ago, he replaced them with bigger fatter blue ones, I assume higher wattage. I think he said the old ones were showing evidence of getting hot. Also see the brown coloration on the board.
    ijobcrnl92kq.jpg

    Nice cap upgrade ;) . Welcome to Club Polk.

    My resistors are blue also but not as big as yours. I'll have to look up an upgrade for those also.
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
  • markinthedarkmarkinthedark Posts: 4
    edited March 2
    dromunds wrote: »
    My bet is those are old stock Mullards. Military issue, probably go for a couple hundred a pair. If so, they will blow away any new production tubes. I could be wrong but that’s my bet. I’d be counting my blessed stars

    Just thought I'd bring up this anecdote, since you jogged my memory. About ten years ago, I had been using a pair of ebay Mullard 12AU7's successfully in my Belles 21A preamp for about five years. One day, suddenly and for no reason at all, this happened, and it took out both 7-inch Scanspeak mid-woofers in the left channel of my Meadowlark Blue Heron speakers. The sound was like what you would imagine if you plugged a speaker directly into a wall outlet. I don't really know how you put this information to use or have any advice though. Be careful maybe?

    au943xxwky2v.jpg
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 365
    I've enjoyed learning about this piece almost as much as I've enjoyed listening to it. Well on second thought that's not nearly truthful, but I do appreciate all of the knowledge I've been handed. I have been itching to try out the Radiotechnique 6189W tubes that I have...your last comment, Mark, might just push me over the edge!
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • Gerres26Gerres26 Posts: 744
    I’m on the lookout for one of these 21a’s to come available and if you guys don’t stop talking so highly of them I’m never going to find someone willing to let one go :(
  • george danielgeorge daniel Posts: 12,114
    The Brimar is the Belles good friend
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 18,286
    Now does anyone know what Brimar stands for.
    Keep quite Doc ;)
  • Gerres26Gerres26 Posts: 744
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    Now does anyone know what Brimar stands for.
    Keep quite Doc ;)

    Excellent Tubes??
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 365
    edited March 2
    .
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 3,186
    Brits really improved my audiophile receiver
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 18,286
    The name Brimar was an acronym

    Bri=British
    M=Made
    A=American
    R=Range, Receiver, Radio.
    I've heard/seen all 3 as official who knows at this point.

    https://www.effectrode.com/news/the-brimar-valve-works/
  • I installed some new issue Brimar 12AU7's after the new issue Russian Tung-Sol's that had been in there many years became noisy and microphonic, but still working. That took care of the problem.
  • george danielgeorge daniel Posts: 12,114
    My favorite in my Belles was the Brimar 13D5,,, I miss that pre,,it was a 20A,not the 21
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 365
    dr1978 wrote: »
    Here's the whole thing..

    e8fzenukgfg7.jpg

    See the four tan resistors next to the tube heat sinks? After I sent my 21A back to Dave Belles for a selector switch relay repair 15 years ago, he replaced them with bigger fatter blue ones, I assume higher wattage. I think he said the old ones were showing evidence of getting hot. Also see the brown coloration on the board.
    ijobcrnl92kq.jpg

    Maaaan...Went to listen to some music a little bit ago, and...nothing. Belles wouldn't power up. Did some troubleshooting on power cords and everything checked out, so I started disconnecting it. As I'm in progress I start to smell a burning smell. Call my wife over "Hey, you know the smell you thought the dishwasher was giving off while I was at the store earlier? Smell anything like this?". Yep. Smell is definitely coming from the resistor area and they do look very beat up, and with the browning that you pointed out...

    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 365
    edited March 7
    c9jccsdhsjj8.jpg

    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 365
    oe6mc551w3rr.jpg

    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 18,286
    edited March 7
    My favorite in my Belles was the Brimar 13D5,,, I miss that pre,,it was a 20A,not the 21

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/13D5-12AU7-ECC82-VINTAGE-BRIMAR-NOS-VALVE-TUBE-/264238819005

    These the same ?
    Post edited by pitdogg2 at
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 18,286
    dr1978 wrote: »
    oe6mc551w3rr.jpg

    Those look cooked 😔
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 365
    Man so bummed
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • george danielgeorge daniel Posts: 12,114
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    My favorite in my Belles was the Brimar 13D5,,, I miss that pre,,it was a 20A,not the 21

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/13D5-12AU7-ECC82-VINTAGE-BRIMAR-NOS-VALVE-TUBE-/264238819005

    These the same ?

    I believe so
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 3,186
    edited 2:04AM
    I'd have the values checked on the inner resistors as well. Probably best to have them replaced as well. Do you know a competent tech in your area?
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
  • dr1978dr1978 Posts: 365
    I do not. I'm sure there wouldn't be anyone in my immediate area, but hopefully Greensboro (1 hr), Raleigh (1.5 hr), Lynchburg (1hr) or Roanoke (1.25) has somebody. I'll get googling, but I'm not exactly sure on how to find someone, so any search tips would be appreciated.

    Any guess on if the damage would just be limited to the resistors, or if it is likely to be more widespread?
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, B&K Ref 2220, AMC 2100, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
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