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Orange's New Valve Testing and Biasing Units

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by P-oddz, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

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    Sorry mods if this should be in a different thread, but seeing as they pertain to tube maintenance I thought AMPS would be okay:

    Just found out about these yesterday - released by Orange at NAMM this year.

    The Orange VT1000 valve tester (looks cheaper and easier to DIY test and match your tubes).
    http://www.orangeamps.com/products/accessories/amplifier-management/vt1000/

    And the DIVO 0V4 which automatically adjusts power tube bias to keep them running at their full potential and extend their life.


    Discuss....
  2. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

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    You can pick up valve testers that do a full range of valves for £150-200 on ebay easy enough, wonder if this will be competitive. It is handier, but much less cool without all the dials and switches.

    "Exclusive preserve of people who have a valve tester, and can read a 3 page manual + a chart."

    Edit: Assumes all amps run at the same voltage. Doesn't differentiate between halves of the preamp valves (Somne Orange amps only use one half of a preamp valve, so you can get away with a half dead one). No test for microphonics or intermittent faults (you have to tap them for that), my valve tester has a headphone socket for purpose.
  3. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I suppose.
    Never having used a valve tester - I will say that the testers of yore are quite intimidating looking for just some Joe Schmo who wants to know if some tubes he has lying around are still good or matched properly. So for ease of use, it looks like it could have a market, but if it won't tell you other specifics that you CAN find on a cheaper machine, I guess it might be a harder sell.

    The DIVO however, does look like it could be a fairly useful tool (at least for tube configs. that it will fit). Helping to protect your current set of tubes while also letting you mix and match. Not sure how applicable the "mix and match" in power tubes would work for the AD200B, but I'm assuming probably just the same as some of the guitar amps he was going through to give your amp a slightly different tonal character.
  4. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

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    That won't stop it selling, long time since Orange have been about selling a quality or useful product. It will be marketed much slicker than stuff that was made too well to break 30 years ago putting the makers out of business.
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies

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    It doesn't test all of the tube types I use. That makes it a deal breaker no matter how slick it looks.
  6. christw

    christw Always searching for the right Ric... Supporting Member

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    $500 for such a limited device? I could buy an analog tester for less than that. I'm not sure what this guy really does anything for matching tubes either... :eyebrow:

    This kind of advertising scares me. (Link.) Why wouldn't someone want to understand the technologies they use, especially when they carry potentially lethal voltages?
  7. seamonkey

    seamonkey

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    It's brilliant on Oranges part to market a tube tester that is easy to use.

    Every brick and mortar store should have one.

    Microprocessor controlled it does several tests, high and low voltage.
    Not only does it test, but it also rates. People might end up in tube swaps to match tube ratings. People can also tell if they like tubes that aren't up to ratings, which is likely the case for many who insist tubes last forever.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    I miss the days when every drug store had a tube tester. And tubes.
  9. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    I will give the same opinion I did last time this came up. 19 VDC single rail supply @ 3.4 amps it looks like a typical limited tester dressed up to look nice and give a nice ad copy. Snake oil claims but somewhat useful within it's limitations.
  10. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

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    This is very true - back in the day folk would hold up a drug store to get their tubes. Now they have to make do with drugs!!
  11. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

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    Are you referring to the numbered response the VT1000 gives?

    It seems like it measures the tube's gain and quantifies it on a scale of 1-15. Not being familiar with analog testers, I'm not sure if that is a common identification or is strictly Orange's proprietary measurement.

    After watching some more video on it, it seems like it would be more of a useful tool for someone who wants to alter their amp's tone, more than really diagnose specifics about their tubes. At least more than just good or bad or what their current gain rating is.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    LOL!
  13. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

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    Are there actually still tube diagnostic machine manufacturers for Orange to put out of business? Every machine I see available on the interwebs appears to be decades old.
  14. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    The problem is the gain measured at a relatively low plate voltage may be meaningless at full plate voltage which also varies with design. If they managed to get even 100 VDC from the 19 VDC supply, it could mean little in the amp running at 600 VDC on the plate supply.
  15. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    Yes there are but Orange's effort offers little competition.
  16. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

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    I'm honestly curious about this subject and trying to educate myself more (being a new tube amp owner), who are some of the companies?
  17. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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  18. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the info, B-String.
    It does indeed look like (at least these manufacturers) offer a more robust product, not really putting Orange in direct competition with that market, IMO.

    Either you want to pay the higher price for a tester that will be a better diagnostic system or the cheaper Orange price for a machine that does a portion of the diagnostics. Two different targets if you ask me.
  19. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

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    So then, how do you classic tube guys feel about the DIVO OV4 system?
    A useful tool (depending on price) to prolong tube life, protect from complete tube failure or to mix and match tubes for different amp character (while auto-biasing), or a marketing gimmick? :smug:

    Discuss...
  20. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

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    There are products for people who do not know how to operate tube amps. They are known as solid state amps.

    Much like Orange amps, you can get better cheaper by going vintage.

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