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My ARC Ref 5SE has developed a low level hiss and crackle in the right channel. It is volume dependent, but cannot be perceived at the listening position at normal listening level, only with an ear close to the midrange driver. I have removed the tubes and cleaned the pins and sockets with no change in the noise. So, I have a couple of old 6H30 tubes on hand that I can swap in and out of the four sockets in the preamp to try to identify a possible noisy tube. The four 6H30s installed are labeled V1, V2, V3, and V4 on the main circuit board. Does anybody know which pairs of tubes serve the right and left channels? I can easily change one tube at a time, but knowing the general circuit design would help with interpreting the results. Thanks in advance.
I would say the two tubes closest to the front are for the right channel. Follow the leads from both the inputs to right of pic and the output coupling caps to the upper bank of connectors at the top of the chassis. ARC always puts right on top of left.
I would have guessed 1 & 2 for one channel and 3 & 4 for the other. But looking at the input leads and the symmetrical traces on the right side of the picture, I see your reasoning. Will start swapping with 1 & 3 assumed to be the right channel. Thanks very much!
You'll note the same symmetry with both the REF6SE and REF10 albeit with more tubes. And it appears that the "front" side is likewise for the right channel.
Other than the absent hiss and crackle, I'm surprised to hear little or no difference in the general sound quality of the system with the "old" tubes swapped in. They came out of my previous LS25II, now sold to an audio nut in Washington state. The 5SE is running up on the hour limit recommended by ARC for installing a new tube set, and I may do that after the new year rolls over.
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