Tube rolling mishap with my Lampizator.

keithc

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Dec 31, 2022
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Pacific with 4 PT14.jpg

Recently I had the experience of rolling NOS tubes in my Lampizator Pacific 2 which, based on the investigation, points to it as probably causing electrical damage to the dac. This is one of those posts which I would never wish to write, but after mulling on it and discussing with a few WBF members, decided the benefits outweigh the discomfort. And first of all, I must acknowledge how Lampizator Poland and LampiNA/Fred Ainsley has repeatedly taken care of me and quickly repaired my unit, and in gratitude for Lukasz and the entire Lampi family, feel this post may help prevent similar incidences for other customers.

This past summer I bought an upgraded balanced Pacific 2 w/ VC, and based on forum recommendations decided to buy the NOS Phillips PT14 tubes. I sourced initially two PT14 from one of the WBF-recommended sources -- who we will refer to as Seller B. At that time, he was not yet making PT14->300B adapters, so I bought a pair of adapters from another gentleman who has been making adapters for a while, Seller A, and ran the pair of tubes in SE mode. It sounded great, and so I ordered another pair of tubes to complete a matched quad, and this time ordered 2 adapters along with those tubes from Seller B. The configuration was:
- Right front (R negative) and Left rear (L positive) = PT14 w/ Seller B adapters
- Right back (R positive) and Left front (L negative) = PT14 w/ Seller A adapters

PT14 and both AB adapters.JPG
(Adapters from seller A, right, and seller B, left)

The music was fine for the next two months, except for two odd observations:
1. The analog input left channel was dead for both SE and XLR. I use this with my phono preamp and clearly it was at the DAC level.
2. The right front anode tube ran colder than the other tubes. I use 2 + 2 C3G (with adapters) in the two anode slots, and the right front ran ~38C, while the left front was about 42C, and the two rear anodes ran 55C. I thought this was odd, but even swapping the C3Gs front/back, the same pattern occurred.

Due to the issue with the analog input, I finally sent it in to Lampizator for repairs. During this period, I lended my 4 PT14s w/ their attached adapters to my friend @Polygonhell who ran his Pacific in SE fashion, and when he plugged in 2 of the tubes, he had no sound. :oops: Since the 4 tubes were labeled in their positions and w/ which adapters, we found out that the two adapters from Seller A were fine, and the two from Seller B had no sound. Serendipitously, I had one adapter from each seller in each channel, and therefore only 1 of the 2 tubes in each channel were working... this was masked in a balanced system so there was no apparent sign of issues.

So was it the tube, or the adapter? We swapped the tube from the seller B adapter and put in seller A's, and there was sound. So my friend used a digital multimeter on both adapters, and lo and behold, we found out that the two mismatched in their wiring -- the adapters they did not work had the grid and anode pins reversed. This explains the low temperature in the left front anode tube. At this time, Lampizator Poland diagnosed my unit and reached out with the following (see below). He confirmed that the anode circuit received >3x the current limit:
IMG20240105133845.jpg Diagnosis from Andy1.jpeg

Fortunately my friend's DAC did not get damaged from borrowing my PT14s.
In discussing this with a few other WBF members, I heard that @highstream also had an experience with Seller B's PT14 adapter resulting in no sound. His adapters were sent to me for evaluation, and with help from @Polygonhell I made the following video explaining the wiring differences among these two adapters:

Wiring diagram.jpeg

So in summary:
- Seller B's adapters were incorrectly wired, with the grid and anode connections reversed, and did not have sound but this was masked in a balanced system.
- The right negative section of the Pacific was damaged due to excessive current likely due to improper tube usage, and coincidentally this is where Seller B's adapter was.

I have disclosed all the events to Seller B but so far he is not acknowledging fault for what happened; I am sending my adapters and Highstream's original adapters back to him for his own evaluation. At this time I have decided to leave the two sellers anonymous as they are here on WBF, but this may change depending on how he chooses to take responsibility for his adapters which he claims could not have cause DAC damage, but surely swapping anode/grid pins with high DC voltages is probably not a good idea. My guess is that Lampizator owners care deeply about their investments and would not want to take such risks lightly, and I hope this post helps to prevent such harm from affecting other customers.

Final reflections:
- Commonly in tube rolling I rely on a trust of a tube or adapter supplier, and have never put a multimeter to it before installation. Is checking first prudence, or paranoia?
- Balanced systems can hide symmetrical issues. With new quads, try each pair as SE first if possible.
- Even though it's no fun shipping a 99lbs crate back to Poland, thank goodness Lampi came to the rescue.
 
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keithc

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Dec 31, 2022
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Reserved.
 
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plasmod3

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Aug 28, 2020
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And yes we all know who seller b is. Personally he has sold me dead tubes and make a huge ruckus on wbf when I refused to pay him for dead tubes. The moderators know. I just wished ppl like that were kicked off the forum before more damage is done.
 

Golum

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Jun 7, 2018
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Sorry to hear/read this @keithc...real crap
 

christoph

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Dec 11, 2015
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Keith, I'm so very sorry to hear this.

Thank you very much for your time and effort to investigate the issues and to write this alarming thread to warn fellow Lampi users and certainly also other tube lovers.

I REALLY hope this unfortunate situation can be resolved in a gentlemanlike and decent manner.

Maybe "Seller B" can offer his side of the story to bring more light to this nightmare?

I keep my fingers crossed for a satisfactory ending to this tale of woe.
 

keithc

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Dec 31, 2022
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I REALLY hope this unfortunate situation can be resolved in a gentlemanlike and decent manner.

I keep my fingers crossed for a satisfactory ending to this tale of woe.

Thanks @christoph. I agree 100% and hope as well.

I do appreciate these tube adapters are often handmade in small runs, and understand that mistakes can happen. All manufacturing has defects and variations, and this was bad luck. In my work environment there are mistakes everyday, so a culture of accepting errors and process improvement is the only way forward. I hope that Seller B can agree the wiring mishap happened and take steps to show future customers that they won’t have such mishaps occur to them.

The spirit of exploration in audio gear and tube rolling brings us and the larger community such joy, and I support having many tube collectors and experts who allow such opportunities. It would be a shame if this results in us having less avenues to do so.
 

Carlsbad

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Dec 11, 2022
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Not sure I would send the defective adapter back to the vendor as this is your evidence if you want to try to recover your loss. that said, your loss probably isn't enough to pursue.

Thanks for sharing the experience. I damaged an amp using a tube that I thought was an EL84 when instead it was a Soviet tube with different pin-out. fortunately I repaired it myself for the cost of a $2 resistor.

Best of luck
Jerry
 

plasmod3

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Aug 28, 2020
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We have been getting a few emails asking who this seller is. Understandably Keith is still sorting it out so without any implications on Keith, the person in question here is

His name is Marco
On this forum user mark tubes

He sells on eBay as

Zetopak
Wege high tubes
Vintage fivre

He sells from Verona in Italy

He sells dead or weak tubes as new and throws a huge fuss when you tell him it is received not working. He has a lot of wierd tubes that are hard to test and takes advantage of that when selling. He is not beyond blackmail as he has done personally to me
 
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keithc

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Dec 31, 2022
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!!!!!

I did not volunteer to reveal any names as of this point. @plasmod3 's opinion, whether accurate or not, was not involved during my event.

I have sent the adapters back to Seller B for his decision on how to move forward.
 

plasmod3

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Aug 28, 2020
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!!!!!

I did not volunteer to reveal any names as of this point. @plasmod3 's opinion, whether accurate or not, was not involved during my event.

I have sent the adapters back to Seller B for his decision on how to move forward.
Hi Keith I understand you are hoping to get your money back and compensation for your dac. I agree you shouldn't send your adaptor back to Marco, he will just keep it and that's your evidence. We have talked about this in private chat.

I have taken the unusual step here for the good of the community. I do not wish anyone else from the forum to be burnt here. Just me and Keith is enough. A community message
 
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highstream

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Nov 16, 2013
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I can attest to the first pair of PT-14 adapters I received from Seller B putting out little volume (I'll honor Keith's request for now, but it is helpful to find out about the other experiences; in addition, someone in Europe recently selling me a well-spoken of tube at a very reasonable price commented about the high prices being charged out of B's country). I then sent the adapters and tubes, also from that seller, to Blake, who kindly verified the problem being with the adapters -- he also has a GG3 and another pair of PT-14's. He then sent them onto Keith with my permission. In the meantime, the seller's tech was out of commission for a month, after which he made up another pair that worked. Although now that I think about it, after the music stopped, there was often a light breaking up sound from the left channel (ATC SCM 50 active) and the hum level increased significantly on both channels. Adapters or tubes, I'll have to check -- and some TP adapters are on the way. In any case, it's not happening with WE300B's.
 
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Designsfx

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Sep 26, 2023
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@keithc
Reading this series of events makes me bummed- but I have to say you are handling it in a totally professional manner and as we all can see from these posts it is appreciated.

Your sketch shows how easily this mistake was made when one does not pay attention to the details of the data provided. It also seems that these were not thoroughly tested prior to being shipped.

It sounds like you’ve been well taken care of on the equipment side of things and hopefully your communication within this community will help us all avoid this potential issue in the future.
 

keithc

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Dec 31, 2022
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Thank you to those who responded or reached out via PM. Just to close the loop on this, here is an update since the original post 2 weeks ago:

1. First, I sent my 2 bad adapters and @highstream's 2 bad adapters back to Seller B via expedited UPS. My hopes in all this was not to shame/denigrate any one person (in fact to allow him to maintain his reputation), but rather to allow him to have ample opportunity to acknowledge the problem exists and perhaps investigate how this occurred during assembly / passed testing such that future customers can feel assured. In other words, to take responsibility when bad outcomes occur, which we do as business owners, as well as allow him to provide his POV as @christoph suggested. But so far in my communications with Seller B it seems less and less likely that this will go to a proactive nor collegial outcome, despite having brought this to his attention on Dec 29.

2. However, on a POSITIVE note, I do want to fully endorse and acknowledge Seller A, who is of course @takacs75 Laszlo and his partner and tube genius Mr T.Pinter. Laszlo has always provided outstanding support for Lampi owners and tube enthusiasts, and it is a joy to see his uber quality work and true passion in his products and his helping our community. I am honored to have relied on his technical expertise and time/support during my Pacific ownership, and in joining with so many others here, suggest him as THE go-to guru for vacuum tube or adapter needs -- certainly he has my trust.
 

John T

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Feb 15, 2022
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In the future I will be more careful/believing scuttlebutt read on the forum or through PM. I heard stories in regard to seller B, Unfortunately I had bad information and had him as a victim in one story. I will definitely be more careful in believing what I read/hear...
 
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dminches

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Oct 22, 2011
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I test every tube before it is used. It may not be a 100% solution but it is pretty close.
 

Sampajanna

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Apr 1, 2021
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Thank you to those who responded or reached out via PM. Just to close the loop on this, here is an update since the original post 2 weeks ago:

1. First, I sent my 2 bad adapters and @highstream's 2 bad adapters back to Seller B via expedited UPS. My hopes in all this was not to shame/denigrate any one person (in fact to allow him to maintain his reputation), but rather to allow him to have ample opportunity to acknowledge the problem exists and perhaps investigate how this occurred during assembly / passed testing such that future customers can feel assured. In other words, to take responsibility when bad outcomes occur, which we do as business owners, as well as allow him to provide his POV as @christoph suggested. But so far in my communications with Seller B it seems less and less likely that this will go to a proactive nor collegial outcome, despite having brought this to his attention on Dec 29.

2. However, on a POSITIVE note, I do want to fully endorse and acknowledge Seller A, who is of course @takacs75 Laszlo and his partner and tube genius Mr T.Pinter. Laszlo has always provided outstanding support for Lampi owners and tube enthusiasts, and it is a joy to see his uber quality work and true passion in his products and his helping our community. I am honored to have relied on his technical expertise and time/support during my Pacific ownership, and in joining with so many others here, suggest him as THE go-to guru for vacuum tube or adapter needs -- certainly he has my trust.
You are a gentleman, Keith. Respect.
 

Zappadaddy

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Dec 27, 2020
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Sorry to hear your troubles. I too like to thank Laszlo T. for great customer service, putting trust at me and let me test few adapters and tubes before I buy it without paying any deposit upfront. Very very friendly and helpful. Thanks so much
 

John T

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Feb 15, 2022
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Thank you to those who responded or reached out via PM. Just to close the loop on this, here is an update since the original post 2 weeks ago:

1. First, I sent my 2 bad adapters and @highstream's 2 bad adapters back to Seller B via expedited UPS. My hopes in all this was not to shame/denigrate any one person (in fact to allow him to maintain his reputation), but rather to allow him to have ample opportunity to acknowledge the problem exists and perhaps investigate how this occurred during assembly / passed testing such that future customers can feel assured. In other words, to take responsibility when bad outcomes occur, which we do as business owners, as well as allow him to provide his POV as @christoph suggested. But so far in my communications with Seller B it seems less and less likely that this will go to a proactive nor collegial outcome, despite having brought this to his attention on Dec 29.

2. However, on a POSITIVE note, I do want to fully endorse and acknowledge Seller A, who is of course @takacs75 Laszlo and his partner and tube genius Mr T.Pinter. Laszlo has always provided outstanding support for Lampi owners and tube enthusiasts, and it is a joy to see his uber quality work and true passion in his products and his helping our community. I am honored to have relied on his technical expertise and time/support during my Pacific ownership, and in joining with so many others here, suggest him as THE go-to guru for vacuum tube or adapter needs -- certainly he has my trust.
One cannot go wrong dealing with @takacs75, Laszlo. Just a pleasure dealing with him. Straight shooter no BS/Nonsense...
 

christoph

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Dec 11, 2015
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I test every tube before it is used. It may not be a 100% solution but it is pretty close.
I would gladly do the same but I don't have the neccessary equipment nor the knowledge.
 

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