Voltage regulation for Joule amps

I am wondering what if anything others are using for locking the AC voltage for their Joule amps. Based on the built-in voltmeter, my AC varies substantially, when I have the variac set for 89 volts and then the output tubes biased at 27-28, I find that it can be down as low as 82 volts as short while later, with the bias dropping down to 22-23!! I do not have the amp on a dedicated line and can try that next, after the XMAS lights are gone, but I'm betting it is a problem with the power delivered to my house. The difference in price between a Monster 2000 and an Exact Power 15a is almost $1K!! Any thoughts? TIA and Merry Kwanzachristmakah>
I have one or those Monster avs2000 for sale at videogon. great price. It should do the job.I love that it tells the curent draw and the amount of correction. Sorry for the shameless plug.---But, it sounds like you do need one of these--- mine or somebody elses don't matter. I should have mentioned---contact Judd, I'm sure he will tell you what you should or shouldn't have.
What am i missing here? Why are you using a variac? Why are you setting the voltage to 89 volts? Is this standard procedure with Joule products?

Out of curiosity, what is your standard line voltage? When it fluctuates, how far up and down does it vary? If there is a big swing in voltage, you may need to contact your power provider and have them assess the situation.

As a side note, i just went through this at my shop last summer. The voltage used to hover right around 118 but was sagging down to 104 at times. A new business just opened up and they had a machine that would pull 400+ amps at turn on. Needless to say, every time that they turned it on, the voltage would bottom out. After calling the power company and providing them with detailed reports, they replaced the pole transformer. All has been good since then. Only problem is that the voltage is now up around 125 volts all the time, which is a bit on the high side.

Same thing was happening here at my home a few weeks ago. When watching a movie on my HT system, my Pre-Pro started glitching and the lights on the amps were flickering during loud passages. On the next loud passage, the lights in another room started to blink. This told me that there was a problem with either the AC mains in my house or the power provider was having problems.

Not wanting to expose all of my equipment to potential damage, I ran downstairs and shut down the box feeding the AV systems. I then went to see if the neighbor was having problems or if it was just in my house. While walking over to the neighbors house, i saw that the AC pole transformer feeding my house was on fire. Needless to say, i ran back in and called my power provider and the fire department.

Believe it or not, they came out and repaired the problem in a matter of less than 45 minutes. Since then, my AC has been much more consistent and noticeably quieter.

Sorry to go so far off topic, but given my past experiences, you might be in a similar situation. You might want to monitor your AC and keep a log. The more documented info that you can provide for your power company, the more likely you are to get results.

In case you didn't know, the Monster AVS2000 produces audible clicking sounds during normal operation. I'm not familiar with the ExactPower unit. Sean
The Joule amps all have built in variacs.
Sean- As noted, the Joule amps outboard power supply module IS a variac and 85-90 v is the recommended power as per the manual. Thanks for the tip, Sean, I did not know that the AVS 2000 produces a clicking sound; that does not seem to be what I want! I will contact Judd at Joule after the weekend, but just wanted to see if any of 'youse guys' had any ideas for me.
Brian: Thanks for the clarification.

"Swampy": There's an easy way to get around this. It is called a regulated power supply and would work with ANY voltage that was above appr 95 volts or so. This approach may be more costly than a high current variac with the need to disippate more heat, but it would have surely been a FAR less clumsy and more convenient way to do things. That is, as far as the end user is concerned.

As far as the AVS2000 goes, the clicking is audible, but not real loud. The more that the voltage or current draw varies, the more clicking that you would hear. Sean
I read the review when this avs2000 came out. I have never heard a tiny peep out of mine.(even if my head were on top of it) But it did emit the odor;at first.
I know that they commented about this in Stereophile during the review. I've seen these units many times since the review and i've always heard the "clicking" that they spoke of. I was also just looking at these units in a local dealer December 17th. The clicking was easily audible several feet away. Given that all of my experiences match those of the comments made in Stereophile, i assumed that all of these units made that noise. Maybe some are quieter than others, i don't know. Sean
Sean, I know that I am not technically knowledgeable to go around making changes in this unit, if what you are saying is that a "regulated power supply" would be a replacement for the variac. esp. since the variac is connected to the main amplifier by two different power cords with different terminations (one male and one female, IIRC). That is the reason I was looking for something like the the Monster AVS 2000 of the Exactpower since I think what I need is something that would supply a constant voltage. The fluctuation at the amp (downstream of the variac) is about+1, -5 volts. I just double checked the manual and the indicated range is about 83-87 volts. It generally seems to sag more than go up, both in the magnitude of the change and the frequency of the change (i.e., it most frequently reads below the initial nominal setting). This causes the bias on the output tubes (6C33C-Bs) to drop from 27/28 to 23/24, and compromises the sound. The variac is near a warm air outlet and the amp itself is on an outside wall. Of course, it runs quite hot and I am sure alters the ambient temp around itself by several degrees. The variac is about 2-3' away and slightly lower down, but as I said, close to a warm air duct. Could these temperature fluctuations be having an effect on the voltage the variac delivers? As you can see, my knowledge of things electrical is quite limited. TIA. I will, of course, contact Judd at Joule tomorrow.
"I will, of course, contact Judd at Joule tomorrow."

Boy, i can already hear that conversation.... : )

The bias on most tube circuits will change due to both dynamic and thermal variations. As such, it is best to set them to where they should normally be and then re-adjust after the unit has thermally stabilized during NORMAL use. Better designs with tubes that are in better condition will remain within their nominal operating range once that is done. If the bias is all over the place during a normal listening session, the tubes aren't in very good shape, the circuit feeding them is unstable ( thermally or electrically ) and / or the voltage into the unit itself is far from regulated. Even if one has "good" tubes, a stable circuit and a regulated power supply, you'll still find that tube bias "wanders" just a bit. Tubes simply are NOT precision operating devices.

Other than that, i was not suggesting that you attempt to build a regulated power supply for this unit. To do so would be quite costly and require extensive electrical knowledge to do it right. This is probably most of the reason why we don't see precision regulation circuitry in most power supplies.

As far as temperature goes, i would be more concerned with the tubes & circuitry than the variac itself. So long as the variac isn't getting too warm, either through self-dissipation of energy OR your heating system blowing directly on it, don't worry about that.

I was looking for voltage fluctuations on the AC line itself, not after the variac. Due to the "step down" action of the variac, those variations will be reduced in significance, so we really need to see what is going on with the incoming power. Try measuring the AC voltage from the outlet feeding the variac with the system under load ( get some volume on it ) and then in another outlet or two around the house on other circuits. This will tell us if the wiring feeding your Joule is adequate and / or if the AC voltage is fluctuating from the provider. Sean
I understand that the bias on the tubes will wander and I'm not too concerned about that. What I am concerned about is if the voltage wanders and the bias wanders and they both wander in the same direction, I will either end up with the tubes dramatically under-biased, resulting in a too-laid-back presentation, or dramatically over-biased, resulting in (I think) premature wear and/or failure (which I am told can be quite dramatic on this OTL amp!).
I own the Rites. Like yours, my voltage drops as it is warming up. After my amps warm up the voltage stabilizes in a range that doesn't affect sonics.

Reading your post, my guess is that you have the VZN-160s? Great amp! I have a suggestion that will get the most out of your amps:

When the amps warm up, turn the voltage up to the top of the recommended range. For a VZN-100 I think that's about 65 volts and for mine it's about 130 volts.

Next, bias the output tubes to read in the 29 range. Getting them stabilized in the 29 range will take a few passes through the buttons. I stabilize mine 29.5-ish...

Next, turn set the bias for your driver tubes right around 124. The bias will move a bit, but get it around 124.

Finally, sit down and strap in. You should get maximum harmonics and transparency at the same time.

The bias points will move around when the amp is warming up, so ignore all this when you turn things on subsequently. Keep your focus on the settings when the amp is good and warm and just drop me an email if you want to touch bases about anything.

Hope this helps

Jsl- Rites? Not sure what that (those) are. My amp is a VZN-80, which I imagine is basically a half of a pair of VZN-160s. I am told it can be modified to a monoblock, but based on my room and ancillary equipment, I cannot imagine going any further up the line in terms of power!! The recommended voltage is 83-87v.
I'm sorry to be vague. I meant that I own the Rites of Passage monoblocks; the VZN-220s. I wasn't suggesting an upgrade, I guessed incorrectly.

The information in the previous post should still apply. Try setting the amp at the maximum recommended voltage and then set the bias points I suggested.

Best Wishes,

Thanks, J. I will give that a try when my amp comes back from a trip to SC.:-( Unfortunately, something appears to have given out. See my other thread for details.