Audio research reference 600mkIII owners - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-18-2009, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,just a question for owners and previously owners of Audio research reference 600 monoblocs on how reliable were they?My amps seem to blow up something up every 4 to 6mths and need repairs,they make up for it when listening to music etc.
So do ultra high powered tube amps need be unreliable or is 6mths good?
Regards Victor.
my system.http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1136036
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-18-2009, 03:35 AM
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Define "blow up something."
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-18-2009, 04:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharsk View Post

Define "blow up something."

In tube power supply high voltage rectifiers replaced from 600volt to 1000volt after 1 failed.In the last wk 3 capacitors blown (at same time) and 1 blown of board melting caps below with 2 flames out top of 1 amp.So when I say blow up I mean parts literally,usually capacitors.
owners are your experiences the same?regards victor.
amps.http://www.audioresearch.com/ref600.html
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-18-2009, 02:19 PM
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Reading your link, do you somehow have a Krell hooked up simultaneously?

Who is doing your repairs?

Have you researched other users of that amp who also have the ML's? No reason it shouldn't work but it is an unusual combination.

What tubes are you using and from where are you sourcing them? Who does your biasing as I know it is not a job for amateurs on that model.

Are you using any sort of power conditioning on them?

I'm a CJ owner. I've had absolutely no problems other than an annual tube change for several years service. The circuit on the AR's is far more complicated and I would expect them to have a few more problems. It is not uncommon to have a catastrophic failure in these designs that will take out other components that had nothing to do with the failure itself. However several in a row definitely points to the likelihood that something is abnormally stressing those amps.
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post #5 of 19 Old 05-18-2009, 03:01 PM
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Are you doing any sort of bi-amping with these amps?
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post #6 of 19 Old 05-19-2009, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrypt View Post

Reading your link, do you somehow have a Krell hooked up simultaneously?

Who is doing your repairs?

Have you researched other users of that amp who also have the ML's? No reason it shouldn't work but it is an unusual combination.

What tubes are you using and from where are you sourcing them? Who does your biasing as I know it is not a job for amateurs on that model.

Are you using any sort of power conditioning on them?

I'm a CJ owner. I've had absolutely no problems other than an annual tube change for several years service. The circuit on the AR's is far more complicated and I would expect them to have a few more problems. It is not uncommon to have a catastrophic failure in these designs that will take out other components that had nothing to do with the failure itself. However several in a row definitely points to the likelihood that something is abnormally stressing those amps.

Hi,
For 2 chanel prodigy,s run full range not bi amped krell TAS runs only centre for HT and L,R, C for TV viewing. Ref 600mkIII in HT run RIGHT and LEFT full range using 4ohm tap.
pre amp,BAT vk-5 balanced.
Not running power conditioning,as use full 10amps at 240volt,on 20 amp 240volt circuit each amp.
Room is aircondition 20kw unit for room,temp approx 25c in summer or winter please note for HT 4 amps(2 tube monos,2 SS) running and 3 pre amps 2(tube).
Resistors seem to blow,3 this time in different places next to output tubes 16 6550c per monobloc.
Thankyou for the help,regards victor.
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-19-2009, 02:37 AM
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What does Audio Research have to say about your issues?
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post #8 of 19 Old 05-19-2009, 12:27 PM
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Victor, I'm confused. You say that the Krell TAS is driving the center (in all listening modes) and the left and right speakers for TV watching. For HT, you are using the 600mkIII on the left and right channels. Are you physically swapping out cables, using some sort of switch or do you have both connected to the speaker at the same time? If you have both amps connected to the same speaker then that can cause major issues.
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-19-2009, 02:27 PM
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Yes, I don't get it either. I think there may be a language barrier here. It sounds like he has two different amps hanging off the two sets of taps of the speakers. This is definitely a no no and likely the root of his problem.
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-19-2009, 04:59 PM
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Hello

I ran a VT130SE six hours a night for four years, moderate output levels into ServoStatik Ones, loved the sound and zero problems.

.

--------------------
Tim at E-Tech ooo ehometech@earthlink.net ......your Marquee Pro Shop!
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post #11 of 19 Old 05-20-2009, 02:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post

Victor, I'm confused. You say that the Krell TAS is driving the center (in all listening modes) and the left and right speakers for TV watching. For HT, you are using the 600mkIII on the left and right channels. Are you physically swapping out cables, using some sort of switch or do you have both connected to the speaker at the same time? If you have both amps connected to the same speaker then that can cause major issues.

Hi Greg,Yes I swap cables,ref 600mkIII left and Right for Ht,krell TAS does centre only,BAT vk 500 does rear left and right.
2 chanel,Mark levinson ref 31.5 transport,
DAC jadis Js2mkII,
Pre amp,bat vk-5(upgrading to REF 3 soon)
AMPS,AR REF600mkIII mono
speakers martin logan prodigy,s run range,
For HT I run 4 subs 2 x revel b15 front,2 x genesis 900 rear.
M L logos centre,
M L Requests rear left and right.
Blueray analog out,centre,rear LEFT and RIGHT to copland cva 306 (6 chanel tube pre) then to amps,
front left and right analog to bat vk-5 pre(tube 2 chanel only) out to A.R. monos,
Sub out put goes to Proceed AVP,then to subs.
So I HAVE 3 VOLUME controls and it is set -8 db from REF,as I cannot just turn up or down,must reset all volumes with test discs,But the sound even on BLUE RAY hd audio is sublime,regards victor.
FULL EXPLANATION OF SYSTEM,POST 8,http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1136036
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post #12 of 19 Old 05-20-2009, 03:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim in Phoenix View Post

Hello

I ran a VT130SE six hours a night for four years, moderate output levels into ServoStatik Ones, loved the sound and zero problems.

.

Hi Tim,
If I got 1yr I,d be over the moon,I have 3 other amps so Its OK,for when this happens but repairer on the way next wk,amps 180 pounds each so moving them is difficult etc,thankyou for some positive news,regards victor.
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post #13 of 19 Old 05-20-2009, 12:10 PM
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Had a similar setup but with Rowland MC-6 handling center and surrounds, Ref 600 Mk II on mains (JMlab grand utopias) so not a difficult load. Mainly a music system but integrated with theater. Ref600s blew up regularly - about once a year. One time there was smoke. Kept the Refs for three years even so. Fantastic sound, better than the Rowlands I replaced them with. However, pain in the butt to live with. Your situation is normal.
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post #14 of 19 Old 05-21-2009, 11:35 AM
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I would concur with cunim. ARC + Tubes = Trouble IMO. YMMV.

That being said the sound of ARC tube amps is glorious.

IGNORANCE IS A BLISS
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post #15 of 19 Old 05-21-2009, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cunim View Post

Had a similar setup but with Rowland MC-6 handling center and surrounds, Ref 600 Mk II on mains (JMlab grand utopias) so not a difficult load. Mainly a music system but integrated with theater. Ref600s blew up regularly - about once a year. One time there was smoke. Kept the Refs for three years even so. Fantastic sound, better than the Rowlands I replaced them with. However, pain in the butt to live with. Your situation is normal.

Hi Cunim,
Thankyou for the reply,from other ref 600 owners it does appear normal,I have spoken to the tech for AR in australia he,s not to concerned says its moisture on circuit boards plays havoc with tubes,resistors blow to protect tubes and output transformer this appears true in my case 3 times blown in standby warming up before turning to on.Weds he coming to repair,on site so hopefully music on weds night,when ref 600 are working, more than make up for any problems.Regards victor
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post #16 of 19 Old 05-21-2009, 05:53 PM
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VICTOR

ASK your tech if running bias setting apprx 10 to 15% under max recommended, would help to allieviate the problem. Tubes will be running cooler, and no where at max. Just a thought (you will still have plenty of power, just wont be pushing them at their max (recommened max).

CHEERS, TC
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post #17 of 19 Old 05-21-2009, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRJAZZZ View Post

VICTOR

ASK your tech if running bias setting apprx 10 to 15% under max recommended, would help to allieviate the problem. Tubes will be running cooler, and no where at max. Just a thought (you will still have plenty of power, just wont be pushing them at their max (recommened max).

CHEERS, TC

Hi MRJAZZZ,
Very good point,I think normal is 70ma centre on meter,but I run 60ma for that reason bias is very stable check every 1mth,on all 32 output tubes very easy to do and safe no opening up amp etc.Plenty of power as you said no need to push it,but still far higher class A output than any other MEGATUBE amp,and it shows in sound quality too,thankyou this important point,and good idea for all 400watt plus tube amps.Regards victor.
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post #18 of 19 Old 05-22-2009, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRJAZZZ View Post

VICTOR

ASK your tech if running bias setting apprx 10 to 15% under max recommended, would help to allieviate the problem. Tubes will be running cooler, and no where at max. Just a thought (you will still have plenty of power, just wont be pushing them at their max (recommened max).

CHEERS, TC

But it will change the sound quite a bit.
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post #19 of 19 Old 05-28-2009, 03:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrypt View Post

But it will change the sound quite a bit.

Hi Harrypt,reccomended bias is between 60ma and 70ma with 65ma the mid point.The Audio Research Tech in australia said that 60ma is best for longer tube life and never use 70ma.I was using 65ma he rebias all back to 60ma.
The good news is amp repaired now and the cause is dust in my case,4 fans in each mono suck in lots of air and dust unlike other tube amps with just 1 fan.The dust covers circuit traces and when a cool(amps) moisture in air jumps traces and resistors blow to protect tubes and transformer.He has reccomended to lift amps 6 inches or more of ground to lessen dust sucked in and to clean inside amps more often which I will do.Thankyou for help and advice and tech said he visits ref 600 owners at least 1 a year.Regards victor
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