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EML solid Plate 45 vs. EML mesh Plate 45 .........better for SET ?

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Posted on October 31, 2016 at 18:54:42
drummerwill
Audiophile

Posts: 809
Location: St Louis Mo.
Joined: January 7, 2003


Now considering trying a pair of EML 45;s for my 26-26 DC 45 stereo amp.

I've got plenty of old stock Globe and ST 45's , so I want to try an EML.

I have a pair of EML 2A3 Mesh Plates , and I run those in my 45 amp.
I must say they do sound very good, much better than any 45, ST or Globe.

So I'm at a point where an EML 45 pair appears to be in my future...
.. The question is which EML... The solid plate or the Meshie......I already mesh plate biased after hearing my 2A3's.......


Can someone make an argument to turn me toward the Solid Plate EML 45's .?

Have fun !

Willie

 

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RE: EML solid Plate 45 vs. EML mesh Plate 45 .........better for SET ?, posted on November 1, 2016 at 03:08:33
Frihed89
Audiophile

Posts: 15125
Location: Copenhagen
Joined: March 21, 2005
I sold a pair of EML mesh plates and bought a pair of the solid plates, based solely on internet information. I thought the mesh plates had an unreal sounding treble, too thin, not enough body, too extended for so little body. I never did an AB comparison. My ears and brain say the solid plate is better balanced, has a more likeable mid-range and the his have the body with the extension I like.

Go read what others say.

 

RE: EML solid Plate 45 vs. EML mesh Plate 45 .........better for SET ?, posted on November 1, 2016 at 04:25:34
SETdude
Audiophile

Posts: 3787
Joined: January 20, 2000
When I had a Korneff 45 I preferred the EML solid plate.

 

RE: EML solid Plate 45 vs. EML mesh Plate 45 .........better for SET ?, posted on November 1, 2016 at 13:04:25
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 468
Joined: December 25, 2014
I've not compared the 45 solid and mesh, but i have done for 2A3s. Assuming the characteristics translate to 45s, this is what I experienced in my system:

Meshies are resolving across most of the frequency range: nuanced, airy, with great depth and lovely treble. The I did not find them to be lacking body, but they are more distant. Not as linear in the bass (in my system). Perhaps more mid to tail of note.

Solid plates are robust, dynamic, very linear and balanced sounding. A closer presentation; more palpable. More traditionally HiFi through the upper mids and treble. Perhaps more front of note.

The solid plates are excellent all-rounders, but the meshies have some magic for the right system and music. I suspect that an amp built specifically for the meshies would be superior to an amp built specifically for solids... for me.

I like both, and I found I could easily adapt to either, but it took longer to get used to the solids after running mesh... But I now run solids due to their higher rated dissipation, which may not be an issue for you and 45s.

Cheers,
91.

"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

I too ran both mesh and solid plate 2a3s . . ., posted on November 1, 2016 at 15:02:39
Larry I
Audiophile

Posts: 2106
Location: No. Va.
Joined: June 28, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
June 28, 2000
in my parallel SET Audio Note Kageki amps. The mesh plate tubes sounded much more airy and threw a larger and more enveloping soundstage. But, in a way, this presentation was a bit "phasey" sounding (a bit like the two channels are out of phase with each other). I sort of preferred the mesh plate, but, I can see how someone might prefer the more "solid" sound of the solid plate tubes.

 

RE: EML solid Plate 45 vs. EML mesh Plate 45 .........better for SET ?, posted on November 1, 2016 at 15:43:06
smart845
Audiophile

Posts: 656
Location: East london
Joined: May 24, 2000
Hi Willie,

I've been using EML solid plates for over 7 years and chose these over the mesh due to concerns about them being noisier, more hum or rush.

The solid plates have a great balance throughout the extended frequency range and are far superior to any NOS. I had Cunningham and RCA globe 245s, 45s and Sylvania, National Union and Arcturus. Sold all my old stock.

I'm currently using a rare EML globe pair of solid plates and love them. I'm also trying an even rarer pair of EML globe V4 tubes that are showing great promise.

So, thumbs up to solid plates.

Smart845

 

...Thanks all...., posted on November 2, 2016 at 17:12:07
drummerwill
Audiophile

Posts: 809
Location: St Louis Mo.
Joined: January 7, 2003



Well, there appears to be a consensus about the Solid Plates......much to my amazement.

From what I've heard from my 2A# meshies , I would have thought more people would be enthused by the airy presentation of the meshies....

This is good info !

Thanks again, Have fun!

Willie

 

RE: ...Thanks all...., posted on November 3, 2016 at 00:40:28
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 468
Joined: December 25, 2014
It is not the airiness that draws me to meshies - it is the nuance and sense of graduated touch that is (much) less evident in solids.

I prefer the meshies, but don't run them in my present amp because 1) it runs my tubes a little hard for meshies, and 2) I think they need a well thought out design to realise their best.

Solids are more forgiving in that they have few overt weakness in most SET designs - they sound balanced and bold in 'most any system... they suit American listening preferences. Meshies can sound magical, but have some "weaknesses" in many systems; they deserve (demand) a system built for them.

My next build will be an effort in meshie maximisation. Though I am already dreaming of 1605s.

Cheers,
91


"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

RE: ...Airiness may not be the right ...., posted on November 3, 2016 at 12:45:39
drummerwill
Audiophile

Posts: 809
Location: St Louis Mo.
Joined: January 7, 2003


... phrase to use. ...
When using my EML 2A3 Mesh Plates in my two other 2A3 DC stereo amps , has already convinced me on how good a EML mesh plate can sound.

My wanting to hear what others thought on the two contrasting sounds is what drove the question.

91 .... I think you just made me think again about why I designed the amp ..... Thanks

Willie

 

That's what I wanted to hear....... Thanks ....nt, posted on November 3, 2016 at 12:49:59
drummerwill
Audiophile

Posts: 809
Location: St Louis Mo.
Joined: January 7, 2003

 

it's right..., posted on November 4, 2016 at 03:04:02
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 468
Joined: December 25, 2014
No, you were right to use that word. Airy is certainly one of their charms, it is not that which had them in my system for as long as they were... But airiness did not hurt for listening to Stars of the Lid, Brian McBride, Harold Budd, Dead Texan, Yui Onodera, Loscil etc.

Interestingly, I initially thought they might be microphonic or phasey, but after extended listening I don't think they are... They seem too resolved and not fuzzy...

I bet your amps would be wonderful with meshies on board. Still, it is nice to have solids around for a different flavour.

Keep at it Willie - you might inspire me to get moving on my build again... I have over 4K in parts sitting on the shelf. Crazy.

Cheers,
91.
"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

Even Better ..., posted on November 4, 2016 at 05:51:35
matthewJ2
Audiophile

Posts: 14
Location: Midwest
Joined: March 7, 2014
If you can manage to find a pair, the limited edition EML 45 Globes are sublime.

 

RE: That's what I wanted to hear....... Thanks ....nt, posted on November 4, 2016 at 16:11:22
tube wrangler
Manufacturer

Posts: 1636
Location: USA
Joined: January 29, 2007
Hi Willie. There's much more to this:

First of all, most NOS 45's, 2A3, 300B, etc., have a rectangular
plate structure, and usually a rectangular grid structure.

So far, so good. Now, what happens when we insert a non-symmetrical
part into this desirable arrangement-- we place into it a filament structure that is made like a cheap toaster-- a folded-up filament
mess that is "M" or "W" shaped.

This kind of tube can be euphonic (W.E. 300B), NOS 45, standard 2A3's, etc.

While there may very well be some desirable characteristics, such
tubes cannot ever accurately reproduce the signal put into them.

They always sound sick to me in some way or other with no exceptions.

ENTER EML-- and the original RCA Single-Plate tubes which welded separate
filament strings onto a horizontal top and bottom filament bar.

This process, while expensive, made the tube into an accurate reproducer.

Now about meshies: there are phony ones out there where the plate merely has
holes in it. While these "premium" types can sound barely acceptable,
again, they will not accurately reproduce the input signal, but the EML
INTERWOVEN mesh plate WILL. Again, it's more expensive to build.

TRUE mesh plates will not necessarily outperform solid plates in an
amp that was voiced around any non-true mesh plate tube.

But, if the amp is voiced for an EML mesh-plate tube, no other tube
can equal it overall.

I used JJ 2A3-40 solid plates at RMAF 2016. (See Stereophile's 2 reviews on it).

This happened because I had a new amp design, and had voiced it for the JJ tube, and didn't have time to do likewise for the EML Mesh-Plates until after the show.

The JJ 2A3-40 is a very interesting tube. Although it's cheap to
manufacture, it was designed by real engineers. The rectangular plate and grid structures are matched up with a rectangular filament structure!

The cheap way to do this was to eschew all the welding of 8 or 11
separate parallel filaments onto bars, and simply run a single
filament, keeping it vertical. How? Simply by running some of it across the top and bottom of the support structure, and then keep running it truly vertical where
it's facing the grid and plate structures.

Is this as good as 8 or 11 separate welded-on elements? We know that
there is a longer distance for the voltage differential between the two ends of the filament structure. (some may argue that a longer filament length has less voltage differential per inch, and that could be good....
maybe so, maybe not so...)..?

In the case of a 300B, that would be 5 volts. In the case of a 45 or 2A3,
2.5 volts, which isn't nearly as bad to manage due to the universal law of squares.

Did the somewhat compromised JJ 2A3-40 sound like real music? Well it's not too bad!

Will it, under any circumstances, equal an EML Mesh-Plate in an amp that was set up for the EML Meshie?

NO.

Keep up the good work, Willie! Since you're experimenting into things, why not
splooge and get some EML mesh and then re-voice until every kind of music "socks-in"-- that is, until it just sounds right in every way.

Use good recordings!

Don't pay attention to any single "improvements".. Work for total accurate
rendering of the actual music being played.

---Dennis---


 

RE: So glad you chimed in...., posted on November 4, 2016 at 17:12:41
drummerwill
Audiophile

Posts: 809
Location: St Louis Mo.
Joined: January 7, 2003


..As always, you give good sensible advice..

Thanks Dennis

 

Thanks Dennis., posted on November 4, 2016 at 19:08:10
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 468
Joined: December 25, 2014
My next build will be around EML's 2A3M. Nice to get some confirmation that I am not totally on the wrong track!.. even if my approach takes me down a path a little different to yours.

I appreciate your contributions here Dennis. Thank you.

Cheers,
91.

"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

RE: EML solid Plate 45 vs. EML mesh Plate 45 .........better for SET ?, posted on November 7, 2016 at 11:14:54
banpuku
Audiophile

Posts: 927
Joined: January 19, 2006
Drummerwill - I see you have read my post on the 2a3 Mesh V4 tubes regarding the center tap for filament supply. What are your thoughts on this and should it help combat the bit of hum that I currently have? My real desire regarding the V4 tubes is to get rid of the filament's cathode resistor and cathode bypass cap. Everytime I remove the bypass cap, the sound opens up nicely, but I get reduced output and hum. I am hoping the V4 cap will allow the tube to operate at normal output levels and minimize hum by getting rid of the cathode resistor / bypass cap and use the V4 pin to ground. Thought on this?

Pat

 

RE: EML solid Plate 45 vs. EML mesh Plate 45 .........better for SET ?, posted on November 7, 2016 at 19:19:49
drummerwill
Audiophile

Posts: 809
Location: St Louis Mo.
Joined: January 7, 2003


Yo ban

Yes I enjoyed your take on the EML 2A3M V4. ..... As another member stated and as shown on the EML site. You still have to use a Cathode resistor and Bypass cap. Or maybe it would work better if you used filament Bias per andy Evans.

I have no problem with hum from my output tubes. I use short lengths of wire from each leg of my 2.5vct Filament tranny, to the 2A3 pins and use a short length of wire from the tranny center tap ,to the Cathode /Bypass cap to ground....( better yet short piece of solid Silver wire).

On this build I don't see an advantage for a V4 version.

No hum issues!
Have fun!
Willie

 

RE: EML solid Plate 45 vs. EML mesh Plate 45 .........better for SET ?, posted on November 9, 2016 at 19:04:02
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 468
Joined: December 25, 2014
"My real desire regarding the V4 tubes is to get rid of the filament's cathode resistor and cathode bypass cap"

A V4 tube (octal base) is no more able to do this than an UX-4 based tube. In cathode-biased ac-heated circuit terms, the V4 has a centre-tapped filament, whereas with a UX-4 based tube you need need to derive the centre-tap either using resistors (and perhaps a hum pot) or by using a centre-tapped filament transformer. Using a V4 tube allows you to dispense with the two centre-tapping resistors, NOT the cathode resistor and bypass cap

Just curious, what cathode resistors and capacitors are you using? If you would like to dispense with them, filament or active bias are your options; however, probably best to leave either of those alone until you well understand how to implement them.

Cheers,
91.

"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

RE: EML solid Plate 45 vs. EML mesh Plate 45 .........better for SET ?, posted on November 10, 2016 at 05:56:43
banpuku
Audiophile

Posts: 927
Joined: January 19, 2006
91, Thanks for the input and education. I am currently using a Mills wirewound resistor and a ClarityCap TC. When the cap is removed, things really sound better, except for lack of low end control and lack of dynamic punch. But the mids and the highs are the best I have heard.

I have tried Filament bias, but the output level goes down considerably and once again, lack of low end control and dynamics. I am not familiar with active bias. Please tell me, why does the output level go down when the bypass cap is removed?

 

RE: EML solid Plate 45 vs. EML mesh Plate 45 .........better for SET ?, posted on November 10, 2016 at 14:33:06
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 468
Joined: December 25, 2014
Hi Pat,

Not sure why filament bias would do this - I have not looked into it.

Removing the cathode R bypass cap allows cathode-current feedback, which decreases gain, increases plate impedance... and decreases distortion. Some of the improvement you are hearing could be due to the reduced distortion.

A different capacitor could help (via a different mechanism) tune the sound to your liking. I have noticed differences between Mundorf's M-Cap and Evo Oil capacitors of the same value. My girlfriend noticed it too without being aware I had made the change to the system. Mundorf capacitors are not for me, me thinks. I will be using a Clarity MR in the cathode of my next build.

Cheers,
91.

"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

RE: EML solid Plate 45 vs. EML mesh Plate 45 .........better for SET ?, posted on November 10, 2016 at 15:06:44
banpuku
Audiophile

Posts: 927
Joined: January 19, 2006
FYI regarding caps. I have tried a few, not Mundorf. Here is what I hear.

1. Clarity MR is very clean and has a non-natural sheen to the sound. Plastic-like for lack of better words.

2. Russian k40 is very natural and tonally colorful. Not as solid in the bass as the very best, but still very good in the bass. I really like the tone of this cap and use it in several places.

3. Jupiter Copper Foil Oil - very very neutral and natural. No tonal anomalies anywhere. It is a bit dry and certainly not as colorful as the Russian, but it also has no extra techni-color. I suspect it is as neutral as possible.

4. Duelund Cast PIO - I just put these into my amp recently. Only about 50 hours on them. Hard to say how much they differ from the Jupiter's. I think they are similar, but the Duelunds might have a bit more texture and color. TBD.

Hope this helps in your decision. FYI: I have some Russian, Clarity MR and Jupiter caps for sale (used). Just in case you want to try something for 50% off. Just offering.

 

RE: EML solid Plate 45 vs. EML mesh Plate 45 .........better for SET ?, posted on November 10, 2016 at 17:16:55
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 468
Joined: December 25, 2014
Thanks for the info - could be helpful!

I don't know if cap "sound" is the same in each location, that is, does a cap sound the same in screen bypass as cathode bypass as coupling? I suspect not, but your feedback will be added to my notes.

The M-Cap was kind of dull but grainy; the Evo Oil is more "dramatic", but highlighted from the upper mids up, which seems to be typically Mundorf.

I have thought about Rike's new S-Cap 2 (not sure about Alu as a conductor tho) or if I win the lottery, multiple Audyn Copper Max... ouch. I need > 20uF and ~400V - not easy.

Thanks,
91.

"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

RE: EML solid Plate 45 vs. EML mesh Plate 45 .........better for SET ?, posted on November 10, 2016 at 17:35:05
banpuku
Audiophile

Posts: 927
Joined: January 19, 2006
I have tried Riken as well. Similar to claritycap with very little coloration. Good dynamics.

I too am looking for 70 to 100uF and so, if you have any ideas please let me know.

 

RE: EML solid Plate 45 vs. EML mesh Plate 45 .........better for SET ?, posted on November 16, 2016 at 09:18:01
Ed Sawyer
Audiophile

Posts: 2532
Joined: November 3, 2000
Some good thoughts here. I too prefer the solid plate ones. I have several pairs of the original EML 45 globe versions, those I like the best, but the regular ST-shape solid plate 45 is very nice too. I agree, better than all the old-stock 45s I have tried (note to self: unload those someday soon.) I had a few pairs of the EML 45 mesh but they may have changed somewhat since I had them. But the ones I had had issues with hum and lower-output that seemed an artifact of the mesh versions - the solid plate ones didn't exhibit those issues. Jac took care of it for me in any case though.

-Ed

 

RE: That's what I wanted to hear....... Thanks ....nt, posted on December 23, 2016 at 20:43:40
Tre'
Industry Professional

Posts: 12031
Location: So. Cal.
Joined: February 9, 2002
" First of all, most NOS 45's, 2A3, 300B, etc., have a rectangular
plate structure, and usually a rectangular grid structure.

So far, so good. Now, what happens when we insert a non-symmetrical
part into this desirable arrangement-- we place into it a filament structure that is made like a cheap toaster-- a folded-up filament
mess that is "M" or "W" shaped. "

What is the shape of the electron cloud?


Tre'
Have Fun and Enjoy the Music
"Still Working the Problem"

 

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