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Thread: Pentode vs. Triode....Difference?

  1. #1

    Default Pentode vs. Triode....Difference?

    Can someone explain to me the difference between pentode vs. triode, as in the Blackheart amps? Of course, one wattage level is in pentode mode and another is in triode. I don't have a clue what these terms mean?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Duper Fretter tunghaichuan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TS808
    Can someone explain to me the difference between pentode vs. triode, as in the Blackheart amps? Of course, one wattage level is in pentode mode and another is in triode. I don't have a clue what these terms mean?

    Thanks in advance.
    The EL84 is normally a pentode, which means it has 5 elements inside the tube: anode, cathode, and three grids in between. Grid 2 normally has its own node on the power supply, but in triode mode, it is connected to the anode. This cuts the power, and makes the amp darker.

    I hardly ever use the triode mode on my LG head, I just prefer the pentode tone.

    tung
    I was just a regular guy. My only super power was being invisible to girls.
    - Dave Lizewski, Kick-A$$

  3. #3

    Default pentode/triode mode with EL84

    This is what I posted from what I found from modifing a Crate V5 that also has an EL84
    Driving the EL84 with a signal generator have calculated the capacitance from plate to control grid to be approx 2.2pf in triode mode with the Miller effect this becomes approx 30pf this in parallel with the 220pf has a slight effect on the high frequency roll off of the EL84 (20KHz in pentode mode 19KHz in triode mode)
    Some of the major changes between the two modes is output power 5 watts pentode mode and 1.5 watts in triode mode. Also plate impedance 38k ohms approx for the pentode mode 2k ohms in the triode mode the result the amplifier is more dampened in the triode mode closer to a solid state amplifier sound then in the pentode mode
    So triode mode not only drops power it reduce overshoot due to inductance, capactance and other effects relative to the speaker used over all it won't sound as bright as the pentode mode. If you surf the web you will see tube HiFi folks like the triode mode with some amps that have 800-1000 volts on the plate and 300 dollar tubes.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TS808
    Can someone explain to me the difference between pentode vs. triode, as in the Blackheart amps? Of course, one wattage level is in pentode mode and another is in triode. I don't have a clue what these terms mean?

    Thanks in advance.
    In simpler term, triode is half of pentode. When you flip the switch it cuts off half of the tubes.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiteman
    In simpler term, triode is half of pentode. When you flip the switch it cuts off half of the tubes.
    The tone is definitely not as brilliant as in pentode mode and does of course break up earlier. I like jumping back and forth between the two though.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by TS808
    The tone is definitely not as brilliant as in pentode mode and does of course break up earlier. I like jumping back and forth between the two though.
    Agreed, I use the triode mode a lot. It sound softer compared to pentode.

  7. #7

    Default pentode vs. triode mode effect

    I posted earlier what the changes were in the amplifier that I modified to have both pentode and triode mode. An analogy to what the triode vs. pentode mode is like would be dribbling a basket ball with the output transformer and speaker the ball your hand the output tube. In the pentode mode it is like bouncing a well inflated basket ball easy to bounce and will continue to bounce by itís self for a while when you stop (the bounce being the harmonics or high frequencies you hear). While the triode mode is as if you took air out of the ball, you have to work harder to bounce the ball and it stops quickly if you stop. So in the triode mode more power is lost across the output tube with less power to the speaker and the speaker is stopped quickly by the action of the tube (lower harmonics you hear as less high frequencies).
    Last edited by jim p; March 8th, 2009 at 04:45 AM.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jim p
    I posted earlier what the changes were in the amplifier that I modified to have both pentode and triode mode. An analogy to what the triode vs. pentode mode is like would be dribbling a basket ball with the output transformer and speaker the ball your hand the output tube. In the pentode mode it is like bouncing a well inflated basket ball easy to bounce and will continue to bounce by itís self for a while when you stop (the bounce being the harmonics or high frequencies you hear). While the triode mode is as if you took air out of the ball, you have to work harder to bounce the ball and it stops quickly if you stop. So in the triode mode more power is lost across the output tube with less power to the speaker and the speaker is stopped quickly by the action of the tube (lower harmonics you hear as less high frequencies).
    Very nicely explained!
    =-) PJ

  9. #9

    Default Triode mode also has better low frequency response

    Something I just started to look into is the effect of the transformer on frequency response. The low frequency response is set by the reflected impedance at the primary in parallel with the output tube plate impedance then that being in parallel with the primary inductance of the output transformer. Bottom line the greater the primary inductance of the transformer the lower the frequency response so in simple terms a bigger output transformer will give you more bass response. Also if you lower the reflected impedance you will increase the bass if you connect a 4 ohm speaker to the 8 ohm output the reflected impedance will half so 2500 ohms instead of 5000 ohms so if bass response was down to 100Hz it would drop down to 50Hz. What the triode mode does is change the plate impedance to 2k ohms from say 50k ohms so with 5k ohms reflected in the pentode mode you have 4.5k in parallel with the transformer impedance while in the triode mode it would be 1.4k ohms. So if youíre bass response was down to 100Hz in the pentode mode it would drop to 30Hz in the triode mode. So this is another reason the triode mode will sound darker.
    Another way to increase bass response is adding feedback to the amplifier. The triode mode is self inflected feedback because the control grid is not isolated from seeing the output plate as it would be in the pentode mode.

    Hope this does not muddy the waters of understanding whatís going on in your tube amp.

  10. #10
    Regular Fretter tot_Ou_tard's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kiteman
    In simpler term, triode is half of pentode.
    Shouldn't that be semidiode or whatever the latin for 2 1/2 is.

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