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Firebottle
08-01-2016, 11:09
There is an AIR power amp that is currently in Scotland, with wee tee cee, that is available on a try before you buy or just a loan status.

Please pm wee tee cee if you are interested in trying it out.

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

Zoidburg
12-01-2016, 20:07
There is an AIR power amp that is currently in Scotland, with wee tee cee, that is available on a try before you buy or just a loan status.

Please pm wee tee cee if you are interested in trying it out.

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

I'd be interested in a loan please, will pm wee tee for details.

wee tee cee
12-01-2016, 21:00
PM replied to...

awkwardbydesign
13-01-2016, 14:34
I would also like to try this. Will there be a loan list, like the phono stage?

Firebottle
13-01-2016, 16:31
Looks like there might have to be.

Small problem is the postage is going to be more as it's somewhat heavy, about 6.5Kg.

awkwardbydesign
13-01-2016, 17:09
Still worthwhile to audition it, at least for me.

wee tee cee
13-01-2016, 18:20
All going well I will get it off to Ben Friday/Saturday morning.

mikeyb
13-01-2016, 19:43
Collect+ won't be too expensive

Zoidburg
13-01-2016, 19:52
Happy to post it onwards after a demo of a week or two. Looks like it's Richard after me so will contact by pm closer to the time.

awkwardbydesign
13-01-2016, 20:40
Yay!

wee tee cee
17-01-2016, 16:35
Posted the Air to Ben Saturday morning, so he should get it around Tuesday.

Enjoy chaps, its a cracking bit of kit.

CageyH
17-01-2016, 16:57
Enjoy chaps, its a cracking bit of kit.

+1

:carrot:

Elephantears
17-01-2016, 19:06
Very interested in trying this Alan, as I said last year. Glad to see it is now available.

Zoidburg
19-01-2016, 14:04
Amp has arrived at my offices today, will get it home and fired up this evening.

Big thanks to Tony for the swift postage too.

mikeyb
28-01-2016, 20:39
Any update on how it sounds?

I'm tempted to try it with my TQ Claymore as a pre.

Mike.

CageyH
28-01-2016, 20:44
It sounds great.
I bought the first production model after hearing it last year.

mikeyb
07-02-2016, 13:46
Hi,

Just realised this is the loan thread lol.

Can I be added to the list please.

Thanks

Mike.

Firebottle
07-02-2016, 14:27
OK Mike, it's with Zoidburg at the moment.

List is now:
Awkwardbydesign
Elephantears
mikeb

:)

awkwardbydesign
08-02-2016, 12:20
It arrived this morning, and is working. Which is a good thing!

awkwardbydesign
14-02-2016, 19:03
Ready to post it on now. Managed to not break it. :D

awkwardbydesign
15-02-2016, 13:38
Posted to Elephantears today.

Elephantears
18-02-2016, 21:41
Received, thanks very much. Clearly Alan has worked some magic again; it's an impressive little box.

Jimbo
19-02-2016, 07:26
Received, thanks very much. Clearly Alan has worked some magic again; it's an impressive little box.

Then you ought here his KIN preamp, there is certainly some magic in that.

Elephantears
19-02-2016, 09:40
Then you ought here his KIN preamp, there is certainly some magic in that.

Yes, I'd love to, as I've been saying for some time, but sadly no loaner available.

anthonyTD
19-02-2016, 12:06
Looking good Alan,
Clean and Simple. :)
There is an AIR power amp that is currently in Scotland, with wee tee cee, that is available on a try before you buy or just a loan status.

Please pm wee tee cee if you are interested in trying it out.

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

Marco
19-02-2016, 12:23
I've heard it in my system, Anthony, and it sounds superb, too! :)

Marco.

Ali Tait
19-02-2016, 12:25
Yep, a good amp indeed.

Firebottle
31-03-2016, 07:14
This is available for loan if anyone wants to try it.

PM mikeyb with your details :)

WESTLOWER
01-04-2016, 09:33
HI I am very interested in your Firebottle Phono Stage.
Is there a way I could hear it? I am in North London / Barnet.
Best Regards

Simon_LDT
01-04-2016, 09:50
Would love to give this a go in my system. Can I be added to the list please?

Firebottle
01-04-2016, 10:37
Simon, just send a pm to mikeyb and he will send it to you :)

Simon_LDT
01-04-2016, 10:48
Will do, thanks Alan.

Never had/used a valve amp before and I know it's a hybrid but eager to hear how having a bit of valve in the design will sound in my system.

mikeyb
01-04-2016, 14:21
Will do, thanks Alan.

Never had/used a valve amp before and I know it's a hybrid but eager to hear how having a bit of valve in the design will sound in my system.
If the parcel I'm waiting on arrives before the post office closes I'll get it posted today.

mikeyb
01-04-2016, 19:08
Posted as promised :)

Simon_LDT
02-04-2016, 15:15
Arrived today, thanks Mike. Big thanks to Alan for the loan unit. :)

I've managed to plum it in and currently playing a couple of things. First impressions are very good. I'll need to do some A/B'ing against my Arcam mono's but I swear I can hear more through the Firebottle. It just sounds more 3D/real and I'm getting tighter, yet deeper bass. How is that possible?

Will do some A/B'ing over the next few days/week.

I do have 1 small issue though, getting the dreaded hum through the speakers (toriod hum it sounds like). Never got this from the Arcam's so it must be the AIR causing it. Would putting my DC blocker in front help at all?

Firebottle
02-04-2016, 15:54
Hi Simon,
Glad you are liking it. The AIR is earthed on the signal side so the hum maybe caused by an earth loop from other kit.

The DC blocker will stop any mechanical hum from the toroidal transformer.

:)

Simon_LDT
03-04-2016, 17:06
Is that different than earthing the chassis? I'd like to try figure out the problem if possible as my Arcam's don't hum and the system is exactly the same, the only thing different is I've taken out the P1's and plummed in the AIR - same cables, etc.

Is it worth me just unplugging everything except the amp and then seeing if the hum is still there or not - would that eliminate the ground loop issue if the hum remains?

I will try the DC blocker tomorrow - haven't had chance today as I've been busy. It works wonders on the P1's though as those tended to play up with loud hum at times and now it's just a low level normal hum.

Firebottle
03-04-2016, 17:40
Is that different than earthing the chassis?
No

Is it worth me just unplugging everything except the amp and then seeing if the hum is still there or not - would that eliminate the ground loop issue if the hum remains?
Yes



:)

Simon_LDT
03-04-2016, 17:43
Will try that tomorrow Alan and report back - gotta nip off the bed now as on shift tonight.

Had a good 4-5 hours listening yesterday afternoon and I'm very impressed. I'm actually chomping at the bit to throw more music at it tomorrow!

mikeyb
03-04-2016, 18:19
It was definitely nice and quiet in my system.

Simon_LDT
04-04-2016, 12:03
Alan, just tried that (amp and speakers only) and it doesn't make any difference. I've even tried the DC blocker and it lowers the hum from the actual transformer (when putting ear near it it's slightly quieter) but not what is transmitted through the speakers. The hum gets noticeably louder (especially from the tweeter) when the mute knob is turned to 'on'. I can hear it a good 2ft away and although listening position is much further away than that (1.5m) it's a niggle for sure.

Obviously, not too worried about it for the time being with the demo unit, but do you know what could be causing it?

Firebottle
04-04-2016, 15:36
Are your speakers particularly sensitive?

When you say the mute knob 'on', do you mean in mute mode, with the knob turned clockwise to the right?

Simon_LDT
04-04-2016, 16:22
I believe the speakers are around 87-88db sensitivity.

I'm not sure about the mode. When I turn the AIR on there is a hum, turning the knob I believe it's left makes the hum louder as I assume the mute is then turned off? Am I supposed to be hearing hum when the speaker output is muted?

Basically it hums in either position and is louder when not muted so that the music comes through. Make any sense? If it's not a ground loop - what could it be?

Shadow Moses
07-04-2016, 18:58
Would love to have a loan of this and try it in my system

alcarmichael
06-06-2016, 19:35
Or maybe I should be asking on this thread....

Firebottle
06-06-2016, 20:25
Would love to have a loan of this and try it in my system

Did you see my pm I sent 3 weeks ago?

Firebottle
06-06-2016, 20:26
Or maybe I should be asking on this thread....

Hi Alex, PM Simon LDT with your details and he will send it to you.

alcarmichael
07-06-2016, 08:34
Done :D

Simon_LDT
13-06-2016, 12:59
Just to update the thread - The unit is now on the way to Alex and should arrive tomorrow morning.

Want to say a big thanks to Alan for the loan unit, a cracking amp!

hifinutt
13-06-2016, 13:21
did you manage to fix the hum problem ?

Firebottle
13-06-2016, 13:45
I believe the hum problem is down to earthing issues. The AIR amp has the signal circuitry connected to earth so the problem could arise depending on the associated equipment.
With my setup I get zero hum.

Simon_LDT
14-06-2016, 08:14
did you manage to fix the hum problem ?

Nope. Tried everything I could. Very much doubt it's an earth problem (and if it is, it must be something to do with the amp and speakers only). Even got out my old Marantz integrated (pm7001) and no hum there, no hum on my current Arcam mono's either. Tried just the amp and speakers and still the hum. Doesn't sound like an earth loop hum either - it sounds like the exact hum (pitch) of the toroid and even with a dc blocker in place the same hum. Same equipment/cables - the only thing I was changing was the power amp.

Still - it does sound tremendous and I concluded that it beat my Arcam's for sheer musicality. Lovely weight to the sound, nice grunt but at the same time really easy to listen to. The midrange is really, really nice on the Air.

Firebottle
14-06-2016, 08:53
Simon, thanks for going to so much trouble with the setup to try and find the solution to the hum. I guess you could hear it because of the sensitivity of your speakers.

I still think it is due to the audio circuitry having an earth connection, but more to do with the way the valve heater is wired. I have an alternative scheme in the prototype and this doesn't give any hum.
I can/will change the arrangement in the AIR.

:cool:

Simon_LDT
14-06-2016, 09:01
Alan, if it helps further (think I already mentiond this but not sure which thread it was) the hum was very quiet when the amp is initially turned on (acceptable level) but soon as the knob on the front is turned to 'on' the hum gets much, much louder.

alcarmichael
14-06-2016, 17:23
Just to confirm I have today received the amplifier :)

Only now do I have the realisation that with football currently on daily my opportunities to listen through it are minimal :doh:

hifinutt
14-06-2016, 17:59
well thanks , good that various folks get to try it and try and iron out these issues of hum

mikeyb
14-06-2016, 19:35
Didn't hum when I had it

Firebottle
14-06-2016, 19:55
I'm getting to the bottom of it, it depends on the gain and sensitivity structure of the system as to whether it is heard or not.

I've now lowered it dramatically with an example I have here, cheers.

mayebaza
16-06-2016, 21:13
I have acquired a Music First Audio Classic Copper Passive. Pre, is it OK if I try it your power amp.

walpurgis
16-06-2016, 21:24
I can't think why not. Just keep the volume down to start off. But you could always try it into an integrated amp or a preamp feeding the power amp first.

The Music First should be a nice sounding unit.

alcarmichael
18-06-2016, 11:30
Just a quick update; I've managed to get round to connecting the amp up just now, currently streaming Spotify and it sounds very good. Amazing in fact. I'm very impressed.

alcarmichael
18-06-2016, 13:49
I love this amplifier, I've just sat for 2 hours listening to Spotify, this has never happened before! Since discovering vinyl, digital music often loses my attention.

Female vocals are absolutely stunning, the soundstage is great with precise instrument placement. The midrange is sublime, there's more drive here, it seems more 'meaty' than I'm used to and I like it. The treble seems much brighter too, this is possibly why I lost interest in digital music, I often felt it wasn't detailed enough compared to my vinyl set-up.

It's just ticking overly quietly while I watch the Ireland v Belgium game and then I'll play some vinyl, I'm excited.

Firebottle
24-01-2017, 13:16
Just resurrecting this thread as I am just updating the loan unit to a Mark 2 build, which will provide a 'dual mono' performance.

Next to trial it are:
REXTON

Cheers,
Alan

CageyH
30-01-2017, 12:17
"Dual mono" sounds interesting. The Air was already good, and I guess this will build on the performance?
It would be interesting to see a picture of the internals when it is finished.

Firebottle
30-01-2017, 12:51
The look of the internal arrangement isn't that different.
There is still one low voltage toroid transformer but the rectifier/smoothing capacitor scheme is now spit into two, thus providing separation of the two channels output stages.

The driver stages have a very good power supply rejection ratio (PSRR) so no improvements are needed in this area.

:)

CageyH
30-01-2017, 12:57
Ah, subtle changes in layout.
I would like to hear the Mk2 at some point.

andy335touring
24-06-2017, 16:20
I'm interested in trying/loaning this amp please ?

Is it still 100wrms in the mk2 version ?

How much does it cost to buy and do you have the dimensions please ?

Cheers

Andy

Firebottle
25-06-2017, 10:33
Hi Andy,

The AIR is 90W per channel and is 32cm wide, 8.5cm tall and 29cm deep including front panel knob and rear connectors.

The price is 650.

Cheers,
Alan

andy335touring
26-06-2017, 09:49
Thanks for that Alan, it's a fairly compact size so it'll fit OK.

Can i arrange to try the loan amp please ?

Firebottle
26-06-2017, 10:25
Drop me a pm Andy with your details.

Firebottle
08-07-2017, 16:23
This unit is now SOLD, so there isn't a loan unit anymore.

Bigman80
08-07-2017, 17:10
Well done Andy, that's a great decision. You'll really enjoy that amp.

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