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Firebottle
02-09-2015, 16:05
My creative juices have been flowing again and I have made a prototype hybrid power amplifier.

It will be known as the Firebottle AXOLOTL

Here are the innards of the prototype:

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/tt97/Paramotorpilot/Firebottle%20Axolotl/P1050096.jpg

It takes the best of hybrid technologies with my 'super linear' triode amplification and MosFET output.

The circuitry isn't finalised yet but should offer 80W rms per channel, with a zero feedback approach.
Inspired by Croft but improved by Firebottle ;) and it is NOT a copy.

Just listening now and it trumps my OuTLaw OTL valve amplifier, just oodles of clarity, air, but with lots of 'heft' that some power on tap can provide.

:)

walpurgis
02-09-2015, 16:23
That looks interesting Alan. Valve MosFET hybrids have always seemed a good idea to me. Not tried one though, but I enjoy valve amps and have enjoyed MosFET amps, so the potential for the best of both worlds is rather appealing.

Looking forward to hearing about the finalised design.


Weren't the old Moscode amps this type of design? Seem to recall they were.

struth
02-09-2015, 16:25
Thats a bosker of a transformer...what does that put out?
Not convinced of the name tjough..

Firebottle
02-09-2015, 16:35
The transformer came included in the 'parts' deal I did with Macca, it is the correct output voltage but way over specified for the job in hand at 500VA :eek:

Geoff it does seems rather appealing to use the best of both worlds. Been listening for a while now and the attack and clarity makes instruments so realistic, plus the amp runs very cool, definitely not what I could say for my valve OTL amplifiers :doh:

walpurgis
02-09-2015, 16:46
I thought so. Moscode hybrids:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5JhcMhfuzo

Looks rather good.

Arkless Electronics
02-09-2015, 17:35
I'm checking for spy cameras in my workshop :) I'm working on something so similar I'll wager they're virtually the same....

Jimbo
02-09-2015, 17:57
Interesting Beast Alan. You can't stop tinkering :)

Haselsh1
02-09-2015, 18:17
Loving the concept behind this as I adore Croft amplifiers but find they do not have enough 'welly'. Also love the idea of zero feedback and what it does for 'air' and 'space'. I shall be watching this one intently.

Barry
03-09-2015, 13:05
Looks interesting Alan,

I have always thought the use of a valve driver with a MOSFET output stage to be a good one: high impedance input with good overload properties and a high current, low impedance output to match the speakers. The secret of a good valve power amplifier lays with the design and quality of the output transformer; so avoiding them is, IMO, a very good idea - though Anthony might disagree! :D Is it single ended?

Apropos the name: AXOLOTL, it's appropriate as your design is indeed 'output transformerless', but does it have the self-repairing capability of the Axolotl ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axolotl

Firebottle
03-09-2015, 17:13
but does it have the self-repairing capability of the Axolotl ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axolotl

Good one Barry, I'll have to build that in ;)

That said it is a very cool running amplifier and I have improved the bias stability to the output stage. It really is a fantastic match for the respective input and output tasks, ideal for being driven with whatever passive preamp you may prefer, or active as your prediliction dictates.

I don't know why I haven't researched this approach before, probably because of a 'tubes only' attitude previously.

I have been experimenting with the driver stage today and have achieved 100W rms with one channel driven with a stunning square wave response.
Previously I was tinkering with voltage doubling from the main transformer to power the driver stage but it performs better with a traditional transformer/rectifier.

Definitely the most transparent sounding power amp I have built to date.

:)

Ali Tait
03-09-2015, 17:25
Look forward to hearing it sonetime Alan.

Arkless Electronics
03-09-2015, 17:31
It was nice to speak to you last night Alan. Thanks for ringing. I like your technique for auxiliary windings on the toroid!

Firebottle
12-09-2015, 11:50
Now that I have the final circuit I have costed the design. In order to achieve good SPPV I have opted for a 'plain Jane' enclosure with an input level control.

This can always be set to maximum for straight power amplifier mode.

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NTQ3WDY0MA==/z/wDsAAOxy4YdTR2n5/$_12.JPG

I shall be producing one in the next few weeks to send out for trials. Initial purchase price 550.

:)

Macca
12-09-2015, 12:17
I am interested in this, Alan.

Zoidburg
06-10-2015, 10:43
If there is a trial version that can be "borrowed" for a week or 2 ala your phono stage I would be very interested in having a demo please Alan.

Firebottle
06-10-2015, 11:15
Hi Ben,
I'm in the process of building the first 'proper' version then Macca is going to have the first trial.

I'm reluctant to make one as a loaner that will be passed on by post as the weight is already up to 5.7kg and it's not finished yet :eyebrows:

:)

Firebottle
13-10-2015, 15:16
I have decided that the name Axolotl is too long so have rechristened the amp the Firebottle AIR.
It has been pointed out that is now sounds like it might be something from the Apple stable but as I have nothing of that ilk I am unconcerned.

The first example is complete and will be taken along to a bake off this Saturday.

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/tt97/Paramotorpilot/Firebottle%20Axolotl/Firebottle%20AIR/P1050189.jpg

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/tt97/Paramotorpilot/Firebottle%20Axolotl/Firebottle%20AIR/P1050187.jpg

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/tt97/Paramotorpilot/Firebottle%20Axolotl/Firebottle%20AIR/P1050188.jpg

Internals for those that have desire:

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/tt97/Paramotorpilot/Firebottle%20Axolotl/Firebottle%20AIR/AIR%20internal.jpg


This build has an input level control in order to be matched to a variety of source equipment but I think I will replace it with just a mute switch.
This is a zero feedback design so I was a little unsure of the final gain but it has worked out well.

Sensitivity is 0.75 volts (rms) for 100W into 8 ohms.

:)

Jimbo
13-10-2015, 17:17
Looks very well built Alan - must be very expensive:)

CageyH
13-10-2015, 17:26
Add me to the list of people looking forwards to hearing this.

CageyH
18-10-2015, 06:21
Having heard this amp yesterday, all I can say is those going to NEBO are in for a treat.
I think you are going to be a busy man.

RichB
18-10-2015, 08:45
Having heard this amp yesterday, all I can say is those going to NEBO are in for a treat.
I think you are going to be a busy man.

+1

Going to be a really impressive line up..

Amp looks great Alan. With each version you do the looks and design improves. I look forward to hearing it.

anthonyTD
18-10-2015, 09:46
Looking good Alan. :)
A...

Jimbo
18-10-2015, 10:00
+1

Going to be a really impressive line up..

Amp looks great Alan. With each version you do the looks and design improves. I look forward to hearing it.

Wait till you hear the Firebottle KIN preamp Rich, Alan has his new phono stage incorporated into this new kit and it sounds superb.

CageyH
18-10-2015, 10:51
The KIN AIR is certainly a nice combination.

CageyH
22-10-2015, 05:29
After hearing the Firebottle AIR in action with my speakers at the recent bake off I have been thinking about it all week. Even though my wife is probably going to kill me, I have asked Alan to build me one. I really liked the sound of this amp.

Gazjam
22-10-2015, 12:23
Naughty naughty :D

looking forward to to hearing one at NEBO.

CageyH
22-10-2015, 12:27
It will be my Christmas present.
Looking forwards to hearing some feedback from NEBO on it, as there seems to be quite a line up of different speakers.

struth
22-10-2015, 12:36
After hearing the Firebottle AIR in action with my speakers at the recent bake off I have been thinking about it all week. Even though my wife is probably going to kill me, I have asked Alan to build me one. I really liked the sound of this amp.

You could get it made in the shape of a handbag:eyebrows: nice pressie...lucky you!

CageyH
22-10-2015, 12:54
Why make it easier for the wife to hit me with it?
It will very likely cost me a handbag.

brian2957
22-10-2015, 13:16
Aye and the rest , and she'll probably hit you with it anyway :lol:

Ray
23-10-2015, 23:29
After hearing the Firebottle AIR in action with my speakers at the recent bake off I have been thinking about it all week. Even though my wife is probably going to kill me, I have asked Alan to build me one. I really liked the sound of this amp.
Ahh so your getting number One!
I'm getting number Two,,, but my wife is not going to kill me !

Audio Al
24-10-2015, 03:04
I don't have a wife and I'm not getting one ;)

CageyH
24-10-2015, 06:08
I told the wife, and she didn't kill me.
I am not sure if I am getting number 1, as the model I listened to already exists, as does the prototype.
That does not really bother me though. The sound quality is the important thing, and this has it.

It worked really well with the Frugels. I can't wait to see what it does with my other speakers.

Ray
24-10-2015, 09:01
Kevin,

I'm getting the AIR to run a pair of Frugels with a Beresford Caiman MK2 feeding the amp.
Haven't got the speakers built yet but hopefully I'll have them finished with a few hundred hours on the drivers before the amp arrives,, even if I only have them clamped together.
I toyed with getting the 7-3 paper drivers but I know the AIR is said to team well with the 7.3 metal driver so I think I will play it safe for the moment.

Ray

Ray
24-10-2015, 09:03
I don't have a wife and I'm not getting one ;)


A wife or an AIR?

struth
24-10-2015, 09:17
A wife or an AIR?

...or a G-String:eyebrows:

Ray
24-10-2015, 09:35
...or a G-String:eyebrows:
Not enough support in those things!

Dauntless
24-10-2015, 16:03
Not enough support in those things!

Bragging or complaining?

Ray
25-10-2015, 00:56
Bragging or complaining?

Yes !

Audio Al
25-10-2015, 04:15
A wife or an AIR?

Both until I change my mind :)

Ray
25-10-2015, 12:28
Both until I change my mind :)

Allen

My mates wife insists that his hi fi stays in the conservatory!
It has a stone floor, no curtains, not even a mat, and two leather settees.
The speakers sit facing each other on the diagonal to best accommodate the settees and her plants.
To say that the sound is a confused mess is an understatement,, I wedged two pair of socks into the bass ports just to let him see how it cleaned things up a little,,, the wife objected.
He contacted me last week asking my advise on a pair of Monitor Audio GR 20's he seen.
I advised that he get them as long as he was prepared to make a few minor changes to the room, The thickest carpet and underlay he could find on the floor dump the leather settees fully curtain the windows wall to wall ceiling to floor and he could consider carpeting the ceiling as well because the little conservatory can't cope with the lower frequencies of the little boxes you have at present.
Apparently his wife laughed,, but she doesn't realise I was serious.

DON'T CHANGE YOUR MIND, wives and decent sound rarely mix well !

Gordon Steadman
25-10-2015, 13:09
DON'T CHANGE YOUR MIND, wives and decent sound rarely mix well !

Gawd, how many times am I going to have to say this???


Get yourself a proper wife!

CageyH
25-10-2015, 13:16
A proper wife can be very expensive!

Gordon Steadman
25-10-2015, 13:22
A proper wife can be very expensive!

Nonsense, Ronnie was the cheapest date I ever had. Practical, down to earth and considers the sound more important than the looks - of hi-fi that is of course!!:eyebrows:

The 'cold, dead hands' comment regarding the Quads sums up her attitude. Even with me gone she would still rather have the 57's than some tall, thin, interior design and wifey friendly product like the ......oops:o

Thought I'd better add a smiley just in case!!:)

struth
25-10-2015, 13:26
Nonsense, Ronnie was the cheapest date I ever had. Practical, down to earth and considers the sound more important than the looks - of hi-fi that is of course!!:eyebrows:

The 'cold, dead hands' comment regarding the Quads sums up her attitude. Even with me gone she would still rather have the 57's than some tall, thin, interior design and wifey friendly product like the ......oops:o

.and a good looking woman too...cant be bad:)

Gordon Steadman
25-10-2015, 13:42
.and a good looking woman too...cant be bad:)

Not bad for almost 64!!
https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8605/16732203425_8e37175c3f_z.jpg

struth
25-10-2015, 13:48
Indeedy! Doing better than me.lol

walpurgis
25-10-2015, 15:25
A proper wife can be very expensive!

Inflatable ones are quite good. Low maintenance (apart from the odd repair patch) and they pack down small when not required! :D

Ray
25-10-2015, 16:32
A proper wife can be very expensive!
So is proper audio equipment,,, but you can pull the plug out you become fatigued.

CageyH
25-10-2015, 17:43
That is he thing with the AIR power amp.
It gives fantastic value for money with regards to sound quality and musicality.

Audio Al
25-10-2015, 21:43
Allen

My mates wife insists that his hi fi stays in the conservatory!
It has a stone floor, no curtains, not even a mat, and two leather settees.
The speakers sit facing each other on the diagonal to best accommodate the settees and her plants.
To say that the sound is a confused mess is an understatement,, I wedged two pair of socks into the bass ports just to let him see how it cleaned things up a little,,, the wife objected.
He contacted me last week asking my advise on a pair of Monitor Audio GR 20's he seen.
I advised that he get them as long as he was prepared to make a few minor changes to the room, The thickest carpet and underlay he could find on the floor dump the leather settees fully curtain the windows wall to wall ceiling to floor and he could consider carpeting the ceiling as well because the little conservatory can't cope with the lower frequencies of the little boxes you have at present.
Apparently his wife laughed,, but she doesn't realise I was serious.

DON'T CHANGE YOUR MIND, wives and decent sound rarely mix well !

Show your mates wife this

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5755/21689430152_cdc3209832_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/z3BZWh)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/z3BZWh) by Allen Wells (https://www.flickr.com/photos/134779142@N03/), on Flickr

Wife or hifi :hmm:

hifi wins :D

Wakefield Turntables
25-10-2015, 21:45
Fucking hell! :respect:

Audio Al
25-10-2015, 21:47
Fucking hell! :respect:


Thats only half of it :lol:

Wakefield Turntables
25-10-2015, 21:59
Thats only half of it :lol:

Don't leave a man perplexed, show me the other half, fnarrrrr........!

Ray
27-10-2015, 10:00
I used to have an attic room in my parents house like that,, except I didn't have the shelves and it was a little more Bohemian in it's organisation!
I sorted quite a few people out with a we system when I bought my first apartment.
Thing is I would love it all back to play with,,, theres just something about tinkering!

Audio Al
27-10-2015, 11:03
Don't leave a man perplexed, show me the other half, fnarrrrr........!


The rest is in various locations around the house ;)

Dauntless
27-10-2015, 13:47
The rest is in various locations around the house ;)

So Allen, what are you using for your listening at this moment?

agk
27-10-2015, 14:40
Oh man!

struth
27-10-2015, 14:43
Seen poorer stocked shops:)

nuff
27-10-2015, 16:04
Whoa! You've got a problem but fear not!! I can help....all you need to do is send half to the address in the PM I've just sent you :trust::rfl:

FairPlay that's some nice looking gear in your collection :youtheman:




Show your mates wife this

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5755/21689430152_cdc3209832_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/z3BZWh)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/z3BZWh) by Allen Wells (https://www.flickr.com/photos/134779142@N03/), on Flickr

Wife or hifi :hmm:

hifi wins :D

CageyH
27-10-2015, 17:03
And not a Firebottle AIR to be seen in shot. :eek:

AoS thread drift at it's best.

wee tee cee
27-10-2015, 17:13
PM Sent

DSJR
27-10-2015, 18:54
I have a pal who had a similar museum. Racks and racks full of gear plus a load more all boxed up in a spare room, where I still believe my 401 is buried, probably never to be seen again :(

I can't talk though - and I'm under pressure to sell on some of it...

struth
27-10-2015, 19:08
I have a pal who had a similar museum. Racks and racks full of gear plus a load more all boxed up in a spare room, where I still believe my 401 is buried, probably never to be seen again :(

I can't talk though - and I'm under pressure to sell on some of it...

Doing no good buried in a room being unused... I am actively selling things I dont use or really need.. its difficult for a magpie like me but it is therapy too.:eyebrows:

Audio Al
27-10-2015, 22:42
So Allen, what are you using for your listening at this moment?

Depends on my mood and artist requirements

Some Otari ( Joan Armatrading )
Or vinyl on my Braun system
Or 8 Track on my Akai
Or maybe cassette on one of my 20 cassette decks
Also put on the 1210 and Ortofon SUT into the Albany Ap11 pre into the Albany M608 through a choice of speakers
Or Quad 11 valve amps and a Croft valve pre into either 57 or 63 electrostatics

All Good Fun :D

Audio Al
27-10-2015, 22:43
Oh man!


Oh man cave :lol:

brian2957
28-10-2015, 08:30
I suspect many of us would secretly like to go down the same road as you have Al .

Audio Al
28-10-2015, 08:36
I suspect many of us would secretly like to go down the same road as you have Al .

:lol: ;)

brian2957
28-10-2015, 08:43
Yup , I've got a wife too :) Can you tell :lol:

She keeps me on the ''straight and narrow'' BTW :D

Macca
28-10-2015, 08:48
The straight and narrow sucks....

Back on topic I am expecting a sample of this power amp to arrive any day now....

brian2957
28-10-2015, 08:53
Nah Martin , can't be bothered with all that '' duckin an divin '' any more . I found out years ago that it was easier to do the right thing than to do the wrong thing . I'm at an age where I just want a bit of peace in my life . See a bit of the world and enjoy some of the good things in life without looking over my shoulder constantly :D

Anyway , back on track . Hopefully the Firebottle will be at Nebo on 14th of November . I would love to hear Alans gear .:)

CageyH
28-10-2015, 09:14
Alan's gear sounds superb.
The combination of the KIN and AIR (the one on it's way to Macca) was superb with my FH3s, Gordon's Bitsas speakers, and his Quad 57s. Very musical indeed.

I hope you guys get to hear the pre/power combination at NEBO?
If so, I will be interested in your thoughts.

wee tee cee
28-10-2015, 16:29
Pulled the trigger on an Air. I run Frugels and 57s/sp1s...they deserve better amplification. I heard a Rega amp in my set up this morning courtesy of Brian-the extra grunt over my tube mono blocks really brought the 57s alive,just losing that lovely valvey majik.

I reckon this amp could be right up my street.....

The order book grows....get yer neb in!!! ( Scottish for-if you fancy one,it might be conducive to give Alan your business before he gets back logged )

struth
28-10-2015, 16:39
Whats ya been using as monos Tony? Take it theyre single ended....sure youll love the kin

wee tee cee
28-10-2015, 16:53
Kel 84s monos that a man from the kingdom sold me to let my statics sing...a fine pairing-just that a good SS amp plumbed in this morning really threw the 57s round like an empty tracksuit.

Cant help but think the coupling of the two technologies might be something special....

struth
28-10-2015, 16:59
Didnt know you could use push pulls like that.... Ive got an el84 myself but am now using a mighty Sony...hard to beat a powerful unit... Good luck with this..the statics will be a joy

Ali Tait
28-10-2015, 17:48
Grant, they were monoblock copies of the KEL 84, built by Duncan.

struth
28-10-2015, 18:02
Grant, they were monoblock copies of the KEL 84, built by Duncan.

ah, that would explain it Ali.. Dunc is the man:)

Ali Tait
28-10-2015, 18:09
Aye, they are good amps.

Ray
29-10-2015, 10:38
The straight and narrow sucks....

Back on topic I am expecting a sample of this power amp to arrive any day now....

What power amp would that be?

Macca
29-10-2015, 12:44
The subject of this thread - Firebottle power amp

Macca
30-10-2015, 12:46
A parcel has arrived....more later/tomorrow after I've had a listen.

struth
30-10-2015, 13:15
Brown paper and unmarked:eyebrows:

Macca
31-10-2015, 13:08
My initial impressions of the Firebottle AIR hybrid power amp are here if anyone is interested:

http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?27683-Macca-s-Lash-Up/page35

Firebottle
01-11-2015, 06:19
Thanks for the great critique Martin :)

Considering the control of bass and 'heft' and possible power supply size, the perceived performance is due to the zero feedback design.
This gives the AIR the great transparency that you noted but bass control is always going to be totally dependent on the speaker/amplifier synergy.

Fitting a larger power supply will not alter this, there is already a 300VA transformer fitted :eyebrows:

My guess with the *possible* distortion artefact is also speaker related, perhaps a peak in the speaker impedance near one of the crossover frequencies.

Macca
01-11-2015, 09:48
Alan, thanks for the explanations. I've several sets of speakers as you know so I will swap another pair in for comparison. The IMF have a four way x-over and correct for phase too so the x-over is big and complex and the speaker is insensitive too which is why I've been using the XTZ and not one of my better sounding amps.

The bass control thing is not really a major issue, I didn't want to give that impression. It is just that the AIR was not quite as effective in that regard as the XTZ, on the other hand the sound was more balanced with the AIR, rather than being a little bass-heavy. There is no shortage of bass with the AIR, nor is it boomy or out of time. I'll say a bit more next week after I have had a few extended sessions.

CageyH
09-11-2015, 07:21
Well, I am getting excited now.
Alan e-mailed me last night to say that my amp is almost ready to be shipped. :carrot:

brian2957
09-11-2015, 08:34
Ooh! That was quick . :eek: This will be interesting , particularly since I've already heard your fantastic Frugal speakers at Tonys place . Please keep us posted on this Kevin :popcorn:

CageyH
09-11-2015, 09:12
What were my speakers doing at Tony's? :lol:

brian2957
09-11-2015, 10:20
Cheeky :D We had a quick listen to them to make sure they were suitable to be sent to France :lol:

CageyH
10-11-2015, 17:54
It's in the post. :cool:
I had better sort out some suitable speaker cables. :eek:

brian2957
10-11-2015, 17:58
Aye because we all want an instant report :)

CageyH
10-11-2015, 20:34
You will hear it at the weekend. :ner:

brian2957
10-11-2015, 21:09
Aha ! Forgot about that :lol:

CageyH
14-11-2015, 14:44
It's arrived.
Extremely well packaged - double boxed and bubble wrapped. I am just sorting out my cables, then I will be letting it run in a bit before winding the wick up a bit to remind myself what this wonderful little box can do.

r100
14-11-2015, 15:00
cool ! let us know ;-)

wee tee cee
14-11-2015, 17:23
Majik....look forward to reading your initial take on it. Dare say it will need a couple of hundred hours to settle down.

Im looking at January for mine....must admit to being a tad excited!!!

DSJR
14-11-2015, 18:38
Couple of hundred hours? You lot will have got bored and passed them on for the next big thing by that time ;) :respect:

Firebottle
14-11-2015, 18:40
I don't think that the AIR will need anything like a couple of hundred hours to settle down.

As I said to Kevin the build sounded bad at 10 minutes in but rapidly improved from that time.
The design is specifically aimed to negate any irregularities in the performance of the valve gain stage and is one of the most transparent sounding circuits I have come across.

:)

CageyH
14-11-2015, 18:53
It's sounding pretty good right now.
So much so, I may be selling my monoblocks.

CageyH
21-11-2015, 22:07
Ok, so it's a keeper.
I have not yet had time to do a back to back test with my Proprius monoblocks, but I have been thoroughly enjoying what the AIR does with my FH3s.
The AIR has a really transparent sound to it. There is good separation between instruments, imaging and soundstage are really good, with instruments appearing to come from way beyond the speakers.
It also seems to have more grip on the bass, and it's taught and punchy. From memory, it also seems less bright, but this could be down to the additional stuffing I have placed in the FH3s, the "Rockin' Rollers" or just the amp.
At the "Bake Off" it was just a change in amp that highlighted this. This is what I want to investigate further to confirm.

It's a great match to the FH3s, and I am tempted to try my other speakers to see what it can do with them.
Now I am wondering how much better a KIN will be than my Project Pre Box RS. :scratch:

CageyH
22-11-2015, 16:34
Here is a picture of my AIR, with the blue power button LED that I asked Alan to fit for me so that it would match most of my other boxes.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5735/22584578044_453c94e758_z_d.jpg

Ray
11-12-2015, 10:07
My Air amp arrived yesterday.
First it just feels solid and quality,,, and I was not disappointed when I turned it on:)!
I got it plumbed in and from the moment I switched it on I was in love.
I just put on one of my sailing playlists and let it go (11 HOURS) ,,, I like Beth Hart but the realism and emotion it brings to her voice it stunning,,, the track "Tell Her You Belong To Me" came on and all tools were dropped as I stood there even more in love,,, it seems to be something to do with the grip it has on the vibrato in her voice. Christine Collister was another that grabbed my attention also the sound of Saxaphones and Oboes have a magic that is enchanting.
At this stage I will not go on about weight air treble mids and bass as I am doing a full renovation on the house and I am unable to work with positioning speakers and damping, much of the house is into the brick at this stage, and I just do not have luxury of time to sit listening for hours a the moment,, it is all a very temporary setup at present really.
The amp does however to my ear sound very natural with nothing over emphasised.
Sometimes music playing in the background would start to grate and I would have to turn it off, but it was playing until bedtime last night and I can say I really enjoyed what was pouring out and I had a strong feeling of not wanting to turn it off,,,,,,,,, just yet !
This is only a quick impression and I do need to spend time with it but to quote Kevin "it's a keeper" but I got a white LED on the power button.
I am using it with a pair of Markaudio 10.3a drivers in a small enclosure (built for the boat) I am familiar with what the speakers do and have tried them with various amps.
I do have a pair of FH3 in the pipeline but they will have to wait on getting a house completed.

Ray

Gazjam
11-12-2015, 11:10
So the Air has landed in Scotland...
Had a few days with it before I passed it on to another Scottish Mafia member.

Bottom line?
I really enjoyed it and it sounded very good.
Not in the market for one having recently went back to valves, but if I was, I'd be looking at this.

Some observations:
* It does this thing of plugging the music directly into your head, it carries a tune really well and lets you hear the "point" of the song.
* Its a very "organised" sounding amp, but not in an artificial way.
* Music is naturally spread out, everything in its right place.
* Its quite detailed sounding too, noticably so actually, but not at the expense of overall flow of the music.
* Midrange is particularly good as well, very open and transparent.

What all of the above does is let the amp get out of the way...your listening to the music not the kit its being played through.

Only one thing I'd mention?
We found it took a while to show its true colours, maybe half hour or so after being powered up.
Not an issue at all, sounded good right away but we did notice it got better with some time on it.
Like all equipment though, its about how it interacts with the rest of your system, so its great that Alan is letting folk hear it giving them the opportunity to check if it works with their own system.

Its a great amp at a good price, well done Alan.


Ps: If its not black with a red LED its just not right :)

struth
11-12-2015, 11:53
So the Air has landed in Scotland...
Had a few days with it before I passed it on to another Scottish Mafia member.

Bottom line?
I really enjoyed it and it sounded very good.
Not in the market for one having recently went back to valves, but if I was, I'd be looking at this.

Some observations:
* It does this thing of plugging the music directly into your head, it carries a tune really well and lets you hear the "point" of the song.
* Its a very "organised" sounding amp, but not in an artificial way.
* Music is naturally spread out, everything in its right place.
* Its quite detailed sounding too, noticably so actually, but not at the expense of overall flow of the music.
* Midrange is particularly good as well, very open and transparent.

What all of the above does is let the amp get out of the way...your listening to the music not the kit its being played through.

Only one thing I'd mention?
We found it took a while to show its true colours, maybe half hour or so after being powered up.
Not an issue at all, sounded good right away but we did notice it got better with some time on it.
Like all equipment though, its about how it interacts with the rest of your system, so its great that Alan is letting folk hear it in their own systems giving them the opportunity to check if it works with their own system.

Its a great amp at a good price, well done Alan.


Ps: If its not black with a red LED its just not right :)

How did it compare to your set Gary?

Ali Tait
11-12-2015, 12:22
I thought it compared well, though it doesn't quite do the air and space in the treble that the 300b does. Given that the 300b is several times the price it's no criticism though.

Had this since NEBO, so had the chance for a good listen in my system, though I wanted to try it in Gary's so I could hear it driving a full range speaker - it was only driving from 200Hz up in my active system.

I really liked the midrange and soundstaging of this amp, which I thought were it's outstanding strengths. Not to say bass and treble were poor, far from it. In my system it was compared to my Monarchy Audio SM 70 Pro. I thought the mid of the Air bettered that of the MA, but the MA edged it in the treble. A great result given the Air is about half the cost.

I also thought detailing and channel separation were particularly good, as was the sense that this was an amp on the smooth side, but in a good way - no loss of detail, but easy to listen to all day. Gary also commented on this when we played it in his system. He also commented that it was considerably better than the Brio R - which retails around the same price.

As Gary said, it does take a while to warm up, bass was a bit soft at first, something we both commented on, however this improved and was deep and tight after about half an hour.

This amp is a bit of a bargain IMHO, way better than anything commercial I've heard at this price.

struth
11-12-2015, 12:29
So its about 500 pounds then... Or is the brio more than that?

Anyways sounds like i would like it so best i dont try it lol

Ali Tait
11-12-2015, 12:32
Yes, I think it's selling for 500. I think you'd like it. :-)

brian2957
11-12-2015, 12:52
Get thee behind me ..... temptation :uhho:

Firebottle
11-12-2015, 13:03
The introductory price on the first 5 is 550 Brian.

If you would like to try the one that is in Scotland at the moment I'm sure that could be arranged :)

CageyH
11-12-2015, 14:10
Just try it Brian.

You will regret it though.....
It will cost you 550

:lol:

brian2957
11-12-2015, 14:43
Probably Kevin but shortage of funds means the wife will hit me over the head with it and they tell me it's heavy :donk:

mikeyb
11-12-2015, 15:55
The introductory price on the first 5 is 550 Brian.

If you would like to try the one that is in Scotland at the moment I'm sure that could be arranged :)
Hi,

I'm tempted to try it and see how it would sound using my TQ Claymore as a pre.

What postage costs on top of the 550?

Do you still have it Ali?


Thanks,

Mike.

Macca
11-12-2015, 15:56
It isn't that heavy, you could probably survive a couple of blows with only minor brain damage....

It's a risk/reward situation

wee tee cee
11-12-2015, 15:58
Brian you could smuggle in under your jumper!!!!

Grant if you fancy a listen to it let me know-can get across to you fer a shuftie....

brian2957
11-12-2015, 16:04
It isn't that heavy, you could probably survive a couple of blows with only minor brain damage....

It's a risk/reward situation
Hah ! She thinks I've got a damaged brain already :lol:

Firebottle
11-12-2015, 16:05
Is it anywhere near Fife?


Hi Mike, it's with wee tee cee in Glasgow at the moment, not quite sure of the distances involved.

Cheers,
Alan

mikeyb
11-12-2015, 16:16
Hi Mike, it's with wee tee cee in Glasgow at the moment, not quite sure of the distances involved.

Cheers,
Alan
Ah ok, good bit away then. Never mind was hoping it might have been with Ali.

Mike.

wee tee cee
11-12-2015, 16:19
Whereabouts are you Mike?

montesquieu
11-12-2015, 16:26
Whereabouts are you Mike?

KY is probably a giveaway ... next to the jelly factory?

mikeyb
11-12-2015, 16:34
KY is probably a giveaway ... next to the jelly factory?
Lol, best customer me [emoji6]

wee tee cee
11-12-2015, 16:35
I was thinking more along the lines of Fife somewhere!!!!

Some peoples minds.....

struth
11-12-2015, 17:05
Lino more like.

Gazjam
11-12-2015, 18:10
How did it compare to your set Gary?

Hi Grant,

As Ali says it compared well, but the 300B WAS better.
Given though its 5 times the price I'd be bothered if it wasn't! :eek:
Its not 5 times better, which is the important thing I think.

The SET needs a lot more time on it though to let it open up properly, given the new output transformers and components, so will be a different amp with a few hundred hours under its belt.

struth
11-12-2015, 18:18
Hi Grant,

As Ali says it compared well, but the 300B WAS better.
Given though its 5 times the price I'd be bothered if it wasn't! :eek:
Its not 5 times better, which is the important thing I think.

The SET needs a lot more time on it though to let it open up properly, given the new output transformers and components, so will be a different amp with a few hundred hours under its belt.

Sounds like its pretty good if it stood up to the big set mate... nice work Alan :)

Gazjam
11-12-2015, 18:25
Sounds like its pretty good if it stood up to the big set mate... nice work Alan :)

You should let Tony bring it round Grant, I think you'll like it and we all know how you enjoy swapping your kit about! :)

struth
11-12-2015, 18:29
I'd just get depressed again mate... I am on a happiness run and dont want to spoil the vibes :) The big Sony will do me now, and loving playing with the new deck

http://i1265.photobucket.com/albums/jj505/struthsbowler/20151210_160217.jpg

Gazjam
11-12-2015, 18:39
Cool, a turntable with a built in drum machine!
Love it Grant.

Happiness runs are also very cool. :)

struth
11-12-2015, 18:56
Tis good with drums;) PSU needs some work but its a nice deck; doesn't move when I accidentally fall on it lol

Bigman80
04-01-2016, 17:43
Heard the AIR and the Firebottle KIN today...........amazing. quite brilliant infact

mikeyb
07-02-2016, 13:43
Hi,

Where is the Air at present, I've just found out that my speakers have the punch/welly I like when I connect them to my Claymore 2 (100w), it's heading to Colin for a service/upgrade this week, so I'm keen to try the Air and just use my TQ Claymore as a pre to try it.

The TQ is better/more precise than the mk 2 but the mk 2 kicks more, I can hear the music pushed more into the room, so the Air might just do the business too.

Can I be added to the list for a loan of it.

Thanks,

Mike.

Simon_LDT
08-04-2016, 00:02
Managed to sneak in another session of listening yesterday. Sound is very good with the AIR in place, very easy to listen to and with enough ''Ooomph''.

Did a quick comparison with my P1 mono's. The most obvious thing I hear is that the AIR has much better low end bass and lower mids. It sounds more fuller, more weight and presence. Switching to the Arcam and bass sounds weaker, less thump from the bass drums. Bass is still tight. The Arcam seems to shine more in the upper mids and treble, it's actually a tad more bright in general, yet the sound is slightly anaemic and lacks power. I do think the Arcam has a wider soundstage, but it's very close. I was trying to hear if the AIR loses any detail and/or clarity compared to the monoblocks but I found it hard to distinguish it if so.

I need to do a fairer comparison as currently the AIR is plugged directly into the wall when in use, but the P1's are plugged into a surge block as I don't have 2 sockets spare and don't own a basic no-frills extension. I will be wiring both mono's to 1 plug once materials arrive so will give a fairer comparison then, hopefully in a few days.

alcarmichael
06-06-2016, 19:30
Is this still available to loan?