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My new Line Magnetic 216IA Integrated Tube Amp

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Erocka2000, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. naru1980

    naru1980 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Ok I'm running new Mullard EL34s now and they sound better in comparison to the Gold Lion KT88s on these speakers. I've been listening at lower volumes lately (with a new baby) and the 34s help bring out the midrange more than the 88s. Acoustic guitars sound particularly amazing. Rock and distorted guitars sound great too. Not as much bass as the 88s, but that's fine with me on this setup. Someday, when my son's older, I'll bring the Veritys back out, turn them up to 11, and do some A-B tube comparisons with him.

    I do have a question about the bias setting though. The EL34s don't seem to tune the same as the KT88s. If I crank up the bias all the way, the dial doesn't reach the middle notch on the LM display. Is that normal? Anyone know what the bias setting should be for the EL34s?
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  2. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    I don’t think you’re supposed to use EL34s in the LM216.
     
  3. naru1980

    naru1980 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    After looking at the manual, it appears you are correct sir. That would explain the tube bias problem.

    I'm not tube savvy (obivously). What affect can using incompatible tubes have? Damage to the amp? To the tube? Both?

    I feel like an ass for not reading the manual first.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  4. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    I’m not sure what the ultimate damage will be, I just know you should remove them from the amp immediately.
     
    souladdikt likes this.
  5. souladdikt

    souladdikt Forum Resident

    You are putting tubes in that the amp is not designed for and cannot properly bias. Directly copied from What Is Tube Amp Bias? - Andertons Blog :
    • Run the valves too hot (Under-biased) – This means you’ll cook and saturate the valves very quickly. This can cause massive problems for your amp because you’re allowing far too much power through the power amp circuit. At best you’ll get an overly saturated tone with a much shorter valve life than normal. At worst you’ll melt other components in the amp further down the line or even cause an electrical fire.
     
  6. e.s

    e.s New Member

    Location:
    IL
    Hello everyone
    I purchased the 216 a few weeks ago and I would like to get recommendations for replacing TUBES. I understand that some have been using the amplifier for several years now. I want to improve the MID area mainly but also want to get suggestions about TUBES reliability and which ones you found suitable for the amplifier.
    Thanks in advance
    EFI
     
  7. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I put some EL34's in my KT88 based Rogue M-150 monoblock's to try, a few years back.

    These amps have a manual bias adjustment for each tube.

    I found that when I switched to the EL34's, I had to completely turn the bias adjustment screw completely around the other way. This is one of those bias adjustment things that turn multiple turns in either direction and I had to really turn it completely around from the proper bias setting for the KT88's.

    I'm not sure that all amps that are set up for KT88's should be converted to EL34's even though they are pin compatible.

    KT88's an run with more power and that could be a disadvantage if moving to EL34's.
     
  8. Omnio

    Omnio _ _ _ ____ ____ _ _ _

    Location:
    L.A.
    Well, I got magnetized. I'm the proud owner of a new 216IA. Can't wait to fire it up tomorrow. At the moment I will test and see how the stock tubes perform. Exciting times.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
    james and ThorensSme like this.
  9. Omnio

    Omnio _ _ _ ____ ____ _ _ _

    Location:
    L.A.
    Update: I'm thoroughly enjoying my 216ia; however, it seems that my Sierra2 bookshelf speakers are too ineffective for this amp, as clipping has occurred every now and then. I'm wondering if I can use KT120 tubes with this amp? I saw someone doing it, I'm just unsure if it's safe for the amp. Can someone please confirm?
     
  10. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I don't know if you can or not. But realize that the power of the amplifier has already been determined by its design.

    Putting a "more powerful" tube in your amp will not increase its power.

    A KT-120 tube is designed to provide more power, when used in a more powerful amp that was designed for it.

    KT-120 power tubes are pin compatible with KT88's, though their heater's will draw more current.

    The Sierra's are not that efficient and you may end up wanting to change them out for a more efficient speaker's or upgrading your amp to something like a Rogue Cronus Magnum with KT-120 power tubes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
    Omnio likes this.
  11. Omnio

    Omnio _ _ _ ____ ____ _ _ _

    Location:
    L.A.
    Got it, thanks. The Primaluna dialogue was "advertised" by Kevin Deal in one of his youtube videos that if you want more power, you can even use the KT150 powertubes. That's what made me think if I can switch on KT120 on my LM216ia.
     
  12. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I had one of the PrimaLuna Prologue Five power amplifier's from Upscale Audio.

    It runs with KT88 tubes standard. But it is a 36-Watt power amplifier.

    You can replace the KT88's with KT-120's or even KT-150's, but it won't give you any more power.
     
  13. SIGNMUPNOW

    SIGNMUPNOW Member

    Does anyone know if you just switch a fuse, you can swap between 120v & 220v? There are a lot of use Line Magnetic amps out there, but they are mostly set in 220 voltage.
    Can anyone remove the fuse holder from the back of their inlet & see if it has space for two fuses, one for North America voltage & another for European voltage?
     
  14. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    I don’t think the transformers that are used are capable of changing voltage. You’d need an amp specifically for 220v.
     
  15. naru1980

    naru1980 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    After another look at the manual, the 216IA is indeed compatible with the EL34s, so I might buy another set.

    Thanks for this info! I'll give it a try.
     
  16. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    I think the manual is misprinted. I really wouldn’t put EL34s in the 216. If you want to use EL34s, try to buy the 211. If you’re still unsure, email Jonathan Halpern to confirm which tubes can and can’t be used. But I think you’d be endangering your amp if you put those tubes back in. Also not sure why you’d want to use EL34s over the KT88s, as I always liked the KT88s more.
     
  17. naru1980

    naru1980 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Looking further into it, the 216IA manual posted online is the one that doesn't have EL34s listed as compatible, but the printed manual that came with my unit does. In fact, it has it listed as the primary tube, with KT88 under the list of compatible tubes. Very strange.
    I'll look up Halpurn and see if he can verify. Thanks.
     
  18. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I can't say for the LM 216iA, but in general, the EL34 and the KT88 are pin compatible and usually you can substitute on for the other without any issues. If your manual says that you can, then you can. You should also be able to use KT77's.

    I don't really care to much for modern EL34's, preferring KT88's myself, even over tubes like the KT-120's.

    But I would recommend to naru1980, to try some NOS RFT EL34's, that you can buy online through seller's on eBay, for around $280 for a quad.

    I had KT77's in my Line Magnetic 211iA and the 518iA SET uses the large 845 power tubes.

    But, I have a Audio NOte Kit amplifier, where I removed the stock modern manufacture EL34's and replaced them with the NOS RFT's and I am very impressed with the NOS RFT's.

    So much, in fact, it is my favorite sounding class A/B amplifier, only being bested by the two other single ended amps I have bought. This is out of ten tube class A/B amps all together.

    In most cases, of the large NOS power tubes are cost prohibitive. But the RFT's are very reasonable in price.

    Keep in mind, the NOS power tubes will typically last twice as long (or more) than modern manufacture power tubes. If you factor this into the price equation, the NOS tubes are not really not all that much more expensive to run.

    The NOS RFT's have that lush beautiful midrange that modern manufacture EL34's just don't seem to have.

    Which is one of the reasons for opting for KT88's instead. Another reason for opting for the KT88's is that they have much better bass reinforcement than modern EL34's do.

    But, for some reason, unexplainable by me, the NOS RFT EL34's have a huge amount of bass. I would have never thought it. EL34's are famous mainly for their magical midrange, which renders vocal's ever so realistic, but they are not known for their bass. The NOS RFT's not only have bass, but they have a nice lush bass.

    I don't hesitate to encourage you to give the NOS RFT's a try, if you are going to check out the EL34's in your LM 216iA.
     
  19. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Also, think about it, if the 216 accepted EL34s, they would have never made the 211 integrated.
     
    IanL likes this.
  20. Omnio

    Omnio _ _ _ ____ ____ _ _ _

    Location:
    L.A.
    Wonderful advices, I am toying with the idea to obtain those NOS EL34 tubes. I sometimes wonder, how come current tube manufacturers can't replicate the magic NOS tubes often have? With all the technical advancements one would think it'd be easy to do so...instead, we have to hunt for those old items and oftentimes shell out considerable amounts of dough.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  21. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Watch this old video about how vacuum tubes were made in the Mullard Blackburn Factory. You will see why.

    Mullard - The Blackburn Vacuum Tubes Factory



    The way they used to make tubes back then was a tremendous undertaking which involved hugh factories and highly proficient people to hand assemble the tubes.

    Also, if you wanted to stay in business and be competitive you had to offer a quality product that , would have a long working life.
     
    Omnio likes this.
  22. naru1980

    naru1980 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Couldn't find any info on Halpern. Could you PM his email?
     
  23. Art K

    Art K Forum Resident

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Tone Imports

    Using the contact link should get you where you need to be.
     
  24. Omnio

    Omnio _ _ _ ____ ____ _ _ _

    Location:
    L.A.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
    SandAndGlass and Art K like this.
  25. Dream On

    Dream On Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    It will depend on the amp as well. In an Audio Space Galaxy 34, for me at least, the RFT EL34 easily bettered the stock EL34 tubes (no surprise). But I prefer the sound of the stock KT88 tubes in my Cayin CS-55A to the RFT's in that same amp. Maybe the Cayin just sounds best with KT88 tubes.

    It would have been interesting to hear the Audio Space with the RFT's vs. the Cayin with the KT88 tubes. Think I'd prefer the RFT in that scenario but it's been too long since I had the Galaxy to say for sure. But that amp sounded awesome with the RFT's and NOS RCA 6SL7 and 6SN7 tubes for the preamp section. I inquired with Audio Space once about trying KT88 tubes and they did not recommend it.

    Given that the 216 is designed for KT88 tubes I would assume it will sound best with that tube.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.

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