smegger68

Weber Copper Cap Rectifier: 5U4GB

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Some of you may remember my review of the PSvane 274B rectifier tube that I used to upgrade the cheap Golden Dragon item my MingDa MC-7R Preamp came supplied with:

http://www.hifiwigwam.com/showthread.php?82389-PsVane-274b-Rectifier-Tube

I found this tube to be a reasonable upgrade to the Golden Dragon for the money. More space in the presentation, a feeling that the soundstage was bigger and the ability to better follow individual instruments. I was happy.

Of course, this was not to last. A random post on a forum somewhere mentioned the existence of a solid state replacement for tube rectifiers and after a bit of investigation I came upon the Weber website and their page of 'Copper Cap' replacement rectifiers.

http://www.webervst.com/ccap.html

I couldn't quite believe how cheaply these were being offered! Since I had read elsewhere that tube rectification was actually rather poor and largely responsible for the soggy bottom end a lot of old tube amps were saddled with, I ordered the 5U4GB rectifier (the correct replacement for the 274B) immediately.

A couple of weeks later it arrived and I inserted it into my preamp:

Weber_zpsa2fc6277.jpg

After the large (and gorgeous) 274B, the little Weber looks rather unimpressive. Undeterred I turned the amps on. Encouraged by the lack of expensive bangs, I let everything warm up and settled back for a good listen.

Well.

I generally don't like to come out with statements like 'night & day difference' or 'quantum leap in performance' but honestly, I was blown away by just how MUCH of an immediate improvement I could hear. The change is very similar to what I heard when I went from the Golden Dragon to the PSvane rectifier, but about 3 times as much. Soundstage has grown hugely, clarity of individual instruments is now actually startling. And the BASS. Oh my, the BASS. I was certainly not lacking bass in my setup, but now it has almost organic texture and become even more extended. Honestly folks, I can't really get over to you just how profound a change this was to the sound. I guess it will be very dependent on your individual amp, but I doubt you won't notice any benefit.

So. If you are running tube rectifiers anywhere in your system.... get rid of them. If Weber don't actually make a plug in replacement for your amp, they make a module that can be wired internally to replace your tube.

THOROUGHLY recommended :)

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Hmmm...

On your review and recommendation, I got the Psvane 274B for my Icon LA4mkIII and heard improvements. Now you say this Weber is much better. Well, I have to follow you and try one too! Thanks.

Hope it does what you say. If not, I will have an extra buttplug to play with.:P

SS

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Bloody hell, when I had one of these, the biggest pain was the gain, the second biggest was a but like my yorkshire's, soggy bottom. It would seem both problems are bodgeable. May have to think about revisiting the ming thing.

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So basically a couple of solid state diodes in a fancy case. Bass is better because the SS diodes are much lower impedance than the tube rectifier.

Yep. The impedance thing was mentioned in the forum post I read. Works great :)

- - - Updated - - -

Hmmm...

On your review and recommendation, I got the Psvane 274B for my Icon LA4mkIII and heard improvements. Now you say this Weber is much better. Well, I have to follow you and try one too! Thanks.

Hope it does what you say. If not, I will have an extra buttplug to play with.:P

SS

Let us know how you get on, very interested to hear if this effect is repeatable in different setups :)

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I've been using 274Bs in my LA4 but the manual says it is also compatible with GZ34/5AR4 types.

The Weber sites offers caps for both GZ34 and 274B

WZ34 GZ34/5AR4 17V 225ma

WU4GB 5U4GB 50V 275ma

Those are the voltage drop figures.

I'm a toob tech luddite. Based on those figures, which of the two options is more beneficial for my amp?:?

SS

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I think I'll give one of these a try in my Ming M7R. It will have to be very good to better the Psvane WE replica 274b which I've found to be a superb (if costly at £145) replacement for the std Psvane rectifier

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I've been using 274Bs in my LA4 but the manual says it is also compatible with GZ34/5AR4 types.

The Weber sites offers caps for both GZ34 and 274B

WZ34 GZ34/5AR4 17V 225ma

WU4GB 5U4GB 50V 275ma

Those are the voltage drop figures.

I'm a toob tech luddite. Based on those figures, which of the two options is more beneficial for my amp?:?

SS

Being as it's a preamp I doubt it'll matter too much, both will be well over spec.

I think I'll give one of these a try in my Ming M7R. It will have to be very good to better the Psvane WE replica 274b which I've found to be a superb (if costly at £145) replacement for the std Psvane rectifier

Excited to see how you get on Keith :)

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Anyone else got their Weber yet?

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I've postponed mine for now. My LA4mkIII is nearing its first birthday and I'm planning to get it souped up for more performance. After the mods are done, I'll try the old tubes first and have a play with the Weber for comparison.

I'm on a quest to stockpile the choicest ECC83s and 12AX7s available, and that's not cheap.:nerves:

cheerSS

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Moderator

As with all such mods, very much depends on the circuit into which they are put.

Not by any means a universal panacea, but an interesting alternative in some applications.

Bear in mind, however, that a competently designed power supply has already taken into account the inherent factors of a tube rectifier. IME this is another case where 'different' is not necessarily 'better'.

YMMV. Unlikely to do any harm and in some circuits may well do good. However, in others it may not. Increased bass due to a lower impedance power supply might initially sound different, but that does not necessarily mean it is better. Personally, I prefer less bass and better-controlled bass. Each to their own, of course.

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Nice. Another wammate tries on the Weber, and it's Sodders no less!

Now I'm really curious to try one myself. Not hoping for a day and night difference compared to the 274b, but like Sodders said, it makes for one less blown tube to obsess about. The stock Shuguang 274b that came with my Icon pre got noisy in less than 6 months.

cheerSS

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Glad to hear it's working for you Sodders. I expected that the effect would be very circuit dependant and this seems to be the case. Still, for what they cost it's certainly worth trying. Made such a difference to my preamp, certainly recommend them for anyone else with an MC-7R :)

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Interested to see how this works out for you Steve :)

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I ran out of accessories to buy for my other kit and have now purchased this Weber Copper Cap. My order has been already mailed within two days of placing.:^

I am prone to OCD:nerves:, so... to reiterate... I ordered the WU4GB which is Weber's equivalent for the 5U4GB. It will be replacing the 274B rectifier in my LA4 mkIII preamp. It's alright, yes? Does the WU4GB have a notch in its centre dumb pin to ensure proper alignment of the four pins?

What's the worst case scenario that could happen in case of incompatibility? There's not going to be copper shrapnel flying across the room, is there?!!:shock:

:sofa:

SS

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