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Thread: Ker pow!!!

  1. #61
    Join Date: Oct 2016

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    I'm Andrew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shovel_Knight View Post
    Maybe Iím missing something, but amplifiers using the same topology will be similar to each other.
    I disagree. They may appear very similar at a glance, but dig into the details and you see where the differences are. Take for example a "straightforward" transistor power amp based on the classic Lin topology. BTW, that's Lin as in the chap who designed it, not anything to do with Linn. The front end maybe has a "long tail pair", but does it have a resistor or a current source as the tail? Does it use a current mirror? Does it use any emitter degeneration? What kind of current source is used in the second stage? What method is used to ensure stability into reactive loads? What method, if any, is used to protect the amp from short circuits?
    All of these design details could easily be overlooked in a quick glance at a circuit diagram, and someone with no knowledge of electronics who is being sold the amp on the basis of "an over-sized power supply" would be oblivious to them, but they're there and can make a huge difference. And the Lin amp is only one type of transistor amp - there are plenty of other ways to use transistors to make an amp.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shovel_Knight View Post
    In some extreme cases, you have just a couple of valves and a handful of passive components per channel. If you replace those passive components with unobtanium resistors and magic dust capacitors, you will not suddenly get a new and vastly superior amplifier design.
    I agree with that entirely!

  2. #62
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shovel_Knight View Post
    Maybe I’m missing something, but amplifiers using the same topology will be similar to each other. In some extreme cases, you have just a couple of valves and a handful of passive components per channel. If you replace those passive components with unobtanium resistors and magic dust capacitors, you will not suddenly get a new and vastly superior amplifier design.
    Well, as ever in audio, nothing is rarely so simple and straightforward.

    I agree with where you're coming from, but if a good designer has access to better components in the first place (read as being more accurate, or measure within closer tolerances, and then by judiciously implementing them in key parts of the circuit), chances are he'll be able to build a better amplifier, than one without access to such.

    It's really as simple as that, although we could debate the efficacy of it until the cows come home, and still not agree, so best not bother

    And as I mentioned already, nothing stops you from using the same exotic passive components in a solid state design
    No, but you will then be faced with the inherent problems/limitations of SS, as outlined earlier by Anthony. Nothing is perfect!

    And no matter how good your coupling capacitors and output transformers are, they will always be worse than no coupling capacitors and no output transformers
    Yes, but that doesn't take into consideration other aspects of the circuit involved. You have to compare like with like, and as I said earlier, consider the context in which something is being applied, or not applied, in this case.

    What I personally don’t like about tube amplifiers is that to get them to really sing, you have to use them with certain speakers...
    Yes, of course, but why should that automatically be a problem?

    It isn't if you use the right ones, which can easily be sourced, and then simply live with them and bask in the joys of valves (done well). Unless you're a serial box/speaker swapper, it's not an issue to relax and enjoy a settled system.

    Also, SS amps themselves aren't devoid of speaker matching problems. As ever, you pays money......

    ...and even listen to certain kinds of music. This seems a bit limiting to me.
    That simply doesn't happen, when the right valve amp and speakers are used. Ask anyone who knows me just how diverse my music tastes are, who's also heard my system, and they'll tell you that the music I listen to is certainly not being dictated by my choice of amp!

    Like Dennis, you clearly need to hear a really good valve amp, partnered with speakers able to maximise its potential, in order to 'update' your opinions on valves.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  3. #63
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: cheltenham

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    I'm matt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    ...or moreover a convincing and accurate (if not as loud) portrayal of voices and instruments.

    The key here is to successfully differentiate between what sounds 'correct', musically, but simply quieter, and similarly 'correct', musically, but simply louder. It's not about bass or treble, or anything like that. However, at least someone *gets* where I'm coming from!!

    However, Matt, you make it sound as if such a system is 'unusual' or outside of the norm, hence your "pleasantly surprised" remark. IMO, it shouldn't come as any surprise, if a) the constituent components of a system are of the requisite quality, b) they compliment each other well, and c) the system owner knows what he's doing!

    For me, ALL systems should sound good at low volume. If not, something's not right. "Good", however, doesn't necessarily mean 'best'.

    Marco.
    Sorry Marco, I'm not the best at describing things.

    Reading back what I said It does sound like I was talking about just bass and treble but It's not just that. Vocals should project out of the speakers and sound just a lifelike as when the system Is turned up.

    With my old Tannoys I was more than happy to listen at low levels, In contrast, my old Linn Kans (don't laugh) were dead or flat at low levels and had to be turned up to enjoy the music. Bass and treble controls would not have helped.

  4. #64
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by RothwellAudio View Post
    I disagree. They may appear very similar at a glance, but dig into the details and you see where the differences are. Take for example a "straightforward" transistor power amp based on the classic Lin topology. BTW, that's Lin as in the chap who designed it, not anything to do with Linn. The front end maybe has a "long tail pair", but does it have a resistor or a current source as the tail? Does it use a current mirror? Does it use any emitter degeneration? What kind of current source is used in the second stage? What method is used to ensure stability into reactive loads? What method, if any, is used to protect the amp from short circuits?
    All of these design details could easily be overlooked in a quick glance at a circuit diagram...
    As ever, the devil is in the details!

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyTD View Post
    If the quote below was truly the case, I would have given up on Valve amplifiers years ago!
    Lol... Indeed! Oh how the ill-informed can jump to silly conclusions!!

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    So there are a lot of cheap, compromised valve amps around giving the whole lot a bad name...
    Word, bro!

    And it don't have to be so.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  7. #67
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Anthony, did you see my post #57? If you could answer that when you get a chance, I'd appreciate it

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  8. #68
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    Hi Matt,

    Quote Originally Posted by fatmarley View Post
    Reading back what I said It does sound like I was talking about just bass and treble but It's not just that. Vocals should project out of the speakers and sound just a lifelike as when the system Is turned up.

    With my old Tannoys I was more than happy to listen at low levels, In contrast, my old Linn Kans (don't laugh) were dead or flat at low levels and had to be turned up to enjoy the music. Bass and treble controls would not have helped.
    Precisely! And I know exactly where you're coming from with Tannoys and Linn Kans. I'm not a fan of speakers that need driven to within an inch of their lives before they 'wake up' and play music!

    Ditto, I'm not a fan of the uber-powerful amp/low-efficiency speaker approach, as it smacks both of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, and also rather of 'locking the door long after the horse has bolted'.... For me, it's all too 'arse about face'.

    Far better, IMO, to design speakers that don't need such 'nannying', and sound good with any suitable, well-made, reasonably powered amplifier - problem is, it costs much more (and is harder to achieve) making speakers sound good, which are also efficient, than it does to make amplifiers that are powerful!

    Also, in terms of Tannoys, with their horn tweeters [wink, wink], consider the point that Geoff made earlier, and how that influences matters, in terms of what you've outlined above.......

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  9. #69
    Join Date: Apr 2011

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    I'm matt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shovel_Knight View Post
    And as I mentioned already, nothing stops you from using the same exotic passive components in a solid state design.
    I've tried film caps loads of times In various solid state amps and It doesn't usually work. Upper mids sound far too forward and lower treble thin.

    Films caps worked nicely In my Onix OA21 when I used 4-pole caps In the PSU but I removed them (the 4-pole caps) because I wasn't happy with the bass.

  10. #70
    Join Date: Mar 2017

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    I'm Dennis.

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    Marco I think you have little ground on which to pursue your attack on me in your post responding to my last one, and I stand by what I stated as true, and those who know me would verify this to be true.

    This leads me to believe that your attack is ad hominem, there being no ground on which to base it, and therefore you are necessarily questioning my integrity by doubting my assertions, this questioning my character.

    I ask you please to express clearly and coherently what the phenomenon is that you are alluding to in what to me has been a rather vague way so far in this thread.

    Far from being dogmatic, I am able to live with unresolved issues, and you may remember me mentioning a book on the psychology of just this some weeks ago, you responding at that time that you would look out for it.

    I live by four moral principles; Honesty, Integrity, Sincerity and Authenticity, and have had major debacles in my career because of my adhesion to these, some resulting in my dismissal. In this context it is rather irritating to have it suggested that I am living with dogma, and that my stated position is in fact false.

    You are right that I currently have active speakers, though I still have my own build passives, and hence could compare a valve amp with my ATC SPA2 using them. Perhaps you think that my psychology is such that I would deny to myself any perception of a better sound from a valve amplifier, this of course representing a defended and erroneous dogmatic belief overruling actual reality.

    I have worked at the function of ontological security, peer group pressure, (Asch and Milgram) as my specialist area allied with the four principles stated above for decades, mainly because as a species we are dominated by them rather than truth itself.

    Incidentally the concept of damping factor is very poorly understood in general; the numbers given are divorced from the actual ccts in which they are applied, and damping factors in the 100s will be brought down to the order of 20 or so by the reality of the implementation of the amplifier.

    Quoted damping factors are merely the ratio of the O/P Z of an amp to the I/P Z of a, (usually theoretical), speaker Z.

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