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  1. Have you heard of Gallium Nitride? Have you heard what it is doing for class D amps? If so, cool, welcome fellow interested personage. I'll do my best to keep you entertained for a while. If not, let me provide you with a 2-and-a-half line summary. Gallium Nitride is a semi-conductor, much like silicon, that has slightly more favorable electronic characteristics. Electricity can move through it faster, enabling transistors made from it to switch faster. GaN (as it is becoming increasingly abbreviated to) class D designs can supposedly switch twice as fast as old school MOSFETs. Several companies are dipping their toes into the GaN pool. Panasonic, Peachtree, Java Audio and Orchard Audio all have GaN based power amp offerings on the market (or at least Peachtree should by now) but not a lot of people have heard them. They aren't that popular... yet. I have an Orchard Audio Starkrimson amp (and DAC for that matter) that I am running in at the moment and it is very good indeed. It is clear, clean and powerful while also being resolving, delicate and non-fatiguing. I suspect I can get it to sound even better again as I haven't yet gotten around to trialing it with different speaker and interconnect cables. I also have some Purify 1ET 400A modules on hand which I plan to assemble into a power amp just as soon as I can get my hands on a case and power supply. I'll share my thoughts on the amps, their sound and performance as time goes on but for now I'd like to hear from others. Have you heard a GaN design? If so, do you have any comments you would like to share?
  2. Hello, I'm Karl. I have a Biema Q250 stereo power amplifier working in only one channel. When I power it up, the fan for the B-channel amplifier immediately comes on, the protect lights both light up, but the B-channel protect light remains lit. The two internal fuses on the power supply board are OK, and I can't see any obvious damage. The toroidal transformers are both putting out the correct voltage. Does anyone have any ideas about what could be wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  3. I have a Marantz CR611 that is powering my B&W 685 S2s. I'm hopeful to get a 2-3K tax return in a few months and am wondering if a Power Amp would help things? Ideally, I'd like a Power Amp that would support two zones if there is such a Power Amp. These are to power my outdoor speakers. What are your thoughts?
  4. Who knows how to activate the power amp input? I ask this question is because i have 2 Roksan M2 integrate amplifiers, wondering to use as bi-amp. As long as the power amp input can be activated. Some messages have been sent to the dealer and distributor for help, but nothing comes back. See if anyone have any suggestion for that. Thanks, Beier
  5. Ok, now that I've had my Wavebourn Edelweiss-3 for a few months and it's nicely burned in it's time for me to prepare writing my review of it which I'll post here over the coming month. I'll post my impressions and experience purchasing this wonderful amp from Anatoliy Lisovskiy, who will be releasing the production series of the Edelweiss-3 power amp, an integrated amp and separate preamp over the course of this year. As I understand it the current production version of the power amp and integrated will all be EL34 though allow and pin compatible tube to be used right through to KT120, possibly even KT150. My own amp on the other hand uses WW2 vintage CV1127 radar sweep tubes. The reason I initially started looking into a lower powered amp was that 6 months ago I built my first pair of DIY speakers. A pair of shallow cabinet open back speakers which share the performance characteristics of U frame open baffles. Unfortunately the copy darTZeel NHB-108B power amp I was running at the time was far too powerful making my 101db sensitive speakers too loud for regular use so I started investigating lower powered tube amps. While looking into various solutions someone on AudioKarma pointed me in the direction of Anatoliy's Wavebourn amps and I got in touch via the Wavebourn facebook group. Over the next month or so I had an interesting discussion with Anatoliy about his amps, and their suitabillity to drive my DIY speakers (Lii Audio FAST-10S full range, Aurum Cantus G3Si ribbon, Skar Audio VX1ST bullet & Lii Audio W-15 woofer) and this led to discussions of his amps variable damping factors allowing suitabillity with a wide range of speakers. A feature which I believe may well be unique to the Wavebourn amps. Overall details of the amp are as follows: Input: 0 dB (0.775V) RCA, 50K stereo. Outputs: low ohm for 4-6 Ohm and high ohm, for 8-12 Ohm load. Power: at least 6W for <1% total harmonic distortions. Soft asymmetric saturation (inaudible clipping), negative output resistance for damping of woofers (servo-control of speakers). Bandwidth: 10 Hz-90 KHz -3 dB, from 20 Hz full power. Tubes: Raytheon VT127 (CV1127) radar sweep power tubes. 8CB11 driver/preamp tube (twin video pentode – filament powered from rectified DC for zero audible hum. VR150 / Russian SG4S voltage regulator (purple glow). VR tube and solid state MOSFET voltage regulation. The “Edelweiss” series derives it’s name from this. A beautiful flower which grows amongst hard mountain rocks. Selectable speaker damping In order to support different speaker design types such as open baffles, horns, closed and ported boxes, there’s a damping factor switch that controls output resistance of the amplifier. Position 1 is the first on the left. 1. High output resistance (like pentode output with no feedback), sometimes referred to as "Current driving mode". 2. Similar to SET with no feedback. 3. SET with some feedback. 4. Negative output resistance for active servo-damping of woofers. with a little experimentation I soon found that I prefer the negative output resistance setting, which is actually Anatoliy's own preference. Probably the least tube like sounding setting giving tight, accurate bass where other modes seem a bit looser. This is what I've continued to use since the first week I received the amp.
  6. Hi everyone. I was just wondering if anyone has had any experience with the Emotiva range? I'm looking at 2x XPA 100, XPA-2 or possibly the XPA-5 (depending on the stereo quality compared with the stereo and mono's). Also I'm looking at the XDA-2, USP-1 or UMC-200 (if i went with the XPA-5) to drive them. The biggest deciding factor for me is sound quality for stereo. Surround sound in the same unit would be handy for the future but stereo is my focus for now. For now it will be powering a pair of KEF LS50's and a pair or AXIS HTLS (floorstanders) but in the near future will be upgrading to something that can take advantage of the extra power. Also if there are any other suggestions around the same price range that would be great too. Thanks
  7. I built this transformer only valve amp back last year (March 2013). It has no capacitiors or resistors in the audio path but simply uses a Hammond Nickel core interstage transformer and a Edcor 5W OPT. Bias is provided by 4 X 9V batteries. The bias is permidiently on but the batteries virtually have no drain on them. The PS uses a step down tranni into a step down tranni backwards to generate about 200VAC. The amp runs on 180V and uses 2 X UX -171A RCA nichel plate 1920's tubes. The rec. tube is a 1940s "80" and the base is a 1940's plant box. The amp only produces 0.5W RMS into 8ohms but drives my Fostex FE206 based speakers (96 db efficient) to better than moderate volume levels. I do have to use a specially built tube preamp with a Pass B1 buffer to get the best from the amp. What I am looking for is any schematics of simple valve amps which only use trannies in the signal path. Can anyone post a link to (or a schematic of) this type of amp. Mine sounds excellent particularly with voice. I called the amp "Intermezzo" The scheamatic should show -40V (-36V in my case) negative bias for 180VHT.
  8. Recently I have been experimenting with my cd players once again. I have 2 marantz cd5000 in which sits the venerable Philips TDA1549 which is a dac chip as rare as hens teeth. In this Philips based cd player sits a digital volume control and normally a standard ic op amp for analogue stage. A couple of years ago I upgraded and modified these Marantz cd players with discrete op amps and jantzen capacitors in the analogue stage as well as new capacitors in the digital power supplies. This brought a marked improvement over an already great sounding stock player and I was happy to compare it with some great high end cd players as it seemed to hold it's own. After Lukas Fikkus's suggestion that this DAC chip has enough voltage out to drive an amp I by passed the analogue stages and I connected the dac chip up to the RCA outputs via Jantzen silver caps. Wow what a difference, I run the output directly to the modified version of a Marantz pm7000 power amp section only by passing the pre amp section entirely and use the cd players digital volume control to vary the spl. I am amazed at how much better it sounds and to be Honest I kind of like it better than my Musical Fidelity a3cr pre amp and power amp setup with an Audio GD dac being fed by a digital only Pioneer avi989 dvd player as the transport.(removed the analogue stage and power supplies) very clean, great bass control and crystal clear midrange and treble. very happy to say that I will not be looking for an upgrade in the future and am now considering bypassing all the pre amps in my systems with this method. I also have a Sony cdp308 esd that has been clocked and discrete op amps and jantzen poly caps in the output stage. The Sony is a different kettle of fish and must run through the analogue stage but it also has a remote volume control and variable output and direct into a power amp brings this tired old bird to life once again. A tube stage may add some benefit to the Sony but with the Direct DAC to power amp of the Marantz cd5000 I am in heaven. regards Jonathan
  9. Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie. All Australian made Miniwatt tubes (at least 50 years old) on a Murbue base. Black Lace was always going to be a very Ozzie build. All tubes: 6V6, 6SN7 and 5U4 are Ozzie made. The 6V6s are black glass and spent 40 years under a house nearby uncovered. To keep with the old school feel carbon film resistors are use throughout except for the cathode Rk which are 5W wire wounds. The PS is split at the Russian 4uf PIO first cap. Two 5H Hammond chokes split the PS to pass through a C-R-C filters. 100uf-6.8ohms (carbon film)-100uf. Even at the driver tube the PS is split in two for two drop down resistors each with a 47uf snubbed electro for storage and further filtering. Two 5H Hammonds handle each stream of HT. So as you can see a dual PS stream right from the first cap all the way through. Most filter electros are snubbed with 0.1uf high voltage polies. Only with my ear pressed hard into the bass cone can I hear the very slightest hum. From 1m nothing. Russian PIO caps are used for inter-stage. All hook-up wire was off-cuts from the power tranni and OPTs. The solder was from the 60s or 70s - lead, tin and copper. The sockets are a resin style, no ceramics around here! OPTs Edcor strayed black. The bypass caps on the 6SN7 are bypolar and the bypass caps (Ck) on the 6V6s are low ESR electros. The black lace the amp (Black Lace) has been photographed on will be cut to for a dust cover when the amp is not in use and will be weighted down with clear and emerald glass beads. A great job for my 85 year old mother who loves doing this sort of thing and is good at it. Tomorrow I get the whole day to listen to the amp. All tubes should be run in but all other components are new. The sound for now playing laid-back jazz is crisp, fast and uncoloured. Tomorrow's hard core listening may reveal other characteristics. Now for some images.
  10. Just a quick question to the more technically minded out there. I notice that my Halcro gear has both voltage and current outputs on the pre and current and voltage inputs on the pwr amp. The only thing mentioned in the manuals is that using the current inputs can eliminate ground hum and some similar issues but I was wondering... Is there any difference in the effectiveness of using current instead of voltage? Is one method potentially superior or inferior to the other? Or is there no real difference to talk about? Just one of those things that might otherwise have kept me awake a little longer at night, so I thought I might as well ask the minds that know.
  11. I just had a potentially expensive idea but I have to ask more practical minds than mine. If I were to buy two Myryad Z162 power amps, could I bridge them (or have someone else bridge them, a much more likely scenario) to get a pair of more powerful mono amps? I only ask because the Myryad Z series amps sound so good to my ears that I am wondering if I can go that one step further and get a more powerful version of the Z series sound. Anyone?
  12. Well it’s been a long time in coming but it’s finally here. Part of the reason it took so long was that it’s difficult to start a project like this because that first amp is both evaluated and stipulated at the same time. So if I give amp number 1 a seven for its bass performance then I’m saying that it has very good bass performance and that every amp that follows will be compared to that level of bass that is now stipulated (ie: set in stone) as a seven. You could say that I’ve declared that level of bass as a seven rather than evaluated it as a seven. In a way you have to listen to several amps to get an idea of the level of variety you expect before that first amp can actually be evaluated. Anyway, I have managed to wrap my oblong noggin around the concept so here we go with the very first Power Amp entry. 1. Burson PP-160. This is an amp I quite enjoy listening to, I’ve described Burson gear in the past as sounding crisp, snappy and airy and this amp is no exception. I should probably add detailed to that list as the performance of this amp is very good. It is not an amp to puff up its chest and announce its presence so at times it does seem to be a bit lazy because when the music dies down the music really does die down, but when called on it gives an excellent performance with nicely extended, airy highs (with a very nice “twinkle†effect on the triangle and piano), snappy mids (with transients in between that are very pleasing to the ear) and nicely defined deep and clean bass. What’s more Burson gear tends to keep this sound across a wide range of components that it is paired with, I think it may be partly due to the fact that it has a very even representation of the entire frequency range (so it does not emphasize highs, mids or bass). The PP160 is a stereo power amp with 70 watts per channel into 8 ohms and only one RCA input. It does have a booster amp function so that a lowish (sub 25 watt) valve amp can be plugged into it via a pair of “speaker in†binding posts but mine has been disconnected internally so I can’t test that function out. Test Rig. The Burson was fed from a Consonance CD120 via LBP Parapiao ICs into a Burson PRE-160 and then via Ribbonflex ICs into the PP-160. Then via Ribbontek speaker cables into my Lenehan S2Rs on their matched stands. Power was fed to all source and preamp components via a Consonance PS1 power filter board and to the PP-160 via a PS3 power board. Detail Highlights. Highs: Nice twinkle on triangle and piano, less air than there was when used with the Osborns. 7.5 Mids: Good snap, not as crisp as on the Osborns, excellent transients and nice airy space in between each instrument. 7.0 Bass: Deep and clear with distinct impact, depth and decay evident on drum strikes. 7.5 Vocals: Accurate and clear with female vocals clear in top end. F: 7.0 M: 6.5 Average: 6.75 2D and 3D Soundstaging: 7.0 each, instruments nicely separated and placed within the stage. Overall Performance Integration: Doesn’t excite in the short term, but if you stick with it you come to realize just how capable this amp is. An excellent listening amp that does not over emphasize any one part of the performance. It took a swap to another amp to make me realize just how good this one actually is, an excellent listening amp but not really a party amp. I would describe it as subtly brilliant and I’m giving it an 8.0! Ability to Emote: 6.5 Let down by a slight dryness in the mids, it believes it is up to you to enjoy the music, not it to make you enjoy the music. Electric Guitar Test: 7.5 Very good, very accurate, if it just had a tiny bit of agro energy (and I mean a very, very small bit) it would be a 8.0. 80s Rock Test: Everything is as it should be, including the tape hiss in the background (which is a bit of a mixed blessing). 7.0 Total Score: 71.75 I think this was an excellent amp to start with, it sets the bar a bit high but why not, right? Pics will be added just as soon as I find the charger for the camera. Edit: And I did. At rest. And ready for action. And in the interest of full disclosure. I am a Burson fan, every piece of Burson gear I've heard has been what I would call "above average" in performance and very well built. I have made every effort to conduct this evaluation in a fair and impartial manner. Though not necessarily in a mature one. The chair in use was a recliner of acceptable comfort level with adjacent shelving that is frequently used as a drink stand. The air conditioner was not in use for the review and I suspect this is the reason that the ice in my Pepsi melted long before I was finished. My long haired cat was strangely absent for the review so it worked out well that the room heated up a little as my feet would have been a bit cold otherwise. Scale: 1 to 3 means a performance below par with one being somewhere in the vicinity of fingernails on a blackboard while a poorly tuned AM radio shrieks out static in the background and 3 being just bearable but still rather messy. 4 to 6 is average, listenable but nothing noteworthy, 4 being a bit messy or harsh and 6 being pretty good but nothing to write home about. 7 to 9 is better than you would expect them to be, with 7 being a good performance, 8 being an exceptional performance and 9 being the best you are ever likely to hear. And it is pretty damn unlikely that I will ever award a 10 because that would mean it is the best of the best of the best. (Add them all up for a final score out of 100, and remember from 30 to 60 you can go from an absolute stinker to an amp that is pretty good at what it does, anything above 60 is likely to be something worth investigating) Next up is a stalwart of the power amp industry, the Rotel RB1070 which have on loan from ellrots.
  13. So, I succumbed. I found a power amp in here for sale at a reasonable price that I feel will be all I ever need in terms of amplification. It is an ME85, thank you for asking. It looks in good nick (had the top plate off, gave all the surfaces a wipe down, including the cooling fins, checked for raised capacitor tops and applied a quick and gentle Dysoning). It all looks the biz! I have a cable I could probably use as a trigger - just a stereo jack at either end. It fits at my Arcam Alpha 10 end, so it's likely to be the same on all amps, right? Nope! I should have known, really... Can't have standards in an industry, why anyone could then DIY. The ME appears to use a banana plug speaker-type binding post, it seems; possibly logical, but nonetheless a pain. Still, no worries, cut the phones off an old pair of ears that have ceased to be used and plug the one end into the Arcam trigger socket. Bind the bare wire to the ME85, et voila! Doddle... Nope - not a sausage. Tried both the left and right channel wires, both individually and together, but the ME85 just does not seem impressed by this approach. Well, that's ok, I have some spare speaker wire kicking around that I can make use of... But how to get a (presumably mono) jack plug, the ubiquitous 2.5 cm type by the look of it, onto one end of the cable? No idea. I have just hit a brick wall (two sleepless nights with flu does that to me). So I once more throw myself upon the mercy of some amp gurus who know what a trigger cable should look like and could perhaps post a pic or two to give me clues, guide me as to a possible solution, Please...! Forgot to mention, the trigger cable is going to make my better half's life much easier. She wouldn't like to bend down to switch on a completely separate box after we spent money on a universal remote... It might just save my life.
  14. Check this new Timekeeper Virtuoso out. http://www.bursonaudio.com/products/timekeeper-virtuoso/ Now hands up everyone who went weak at the knees when they saw the size of the torroidal transformer. I know I did.
  15. I wanted to head this "pure Class D" because of so many Class A amps claiming they are genuine Class A amps. "Robusto" because this amps should have a big capacity. The Sure Class D module is marketed as 2 X 500W amp. But this is into 3omhs at better than %10 distortion. So let's be realistic. I think this module will produce about 300W into 4ohms. I'm going to feed the module about 48V. To generate a total of 600w (both channels driven) I'll have to supply about 12A! That is a lot of current. In fact the PS I'm building will deliver 16A at 48V. It's one thing to have two massive trannies capable of delivering this sort of current but the rest of your wiring has to be up to the task also. I have 4 X 10,000uf\63V Nippon caps. These, a 35A rec.bridge and two huge trannies should deliver sufficient current and voltage to power this monster. Most of the enclosure is complete. While I'm waiting for the module to arrive I will continue working the enclosure and PS. I don't need 500W or even 100W into 8 ohms but I did find with the 100W version I built (see other post) when you turn these amps right up they distort real quick. I want to be able to turn up this amp with distortion figures staying under %1. Here are some images of the PS so far. Lots more to do. The 40,000uf of caps are wired with 2 X 1mm pure silver wire. According to one chart this should handle 40A. I only need it to handle no more than 16A. I added brass washers under the wire for a better grip. The two trannies are rated 300W each. Easy to see this amp can deliver no more than 600W total (trannies in parallel\series). Still waiting 500W Sure module.
  16. I have just ordered a $32 100W Class D stereo power module to build into a power amp. I usually build SE and UL tube power amps so a big change. Just wondering if others have built a Class D amp and their comments.
  17. Hi guys, I've had a pretty keen interest on Conrad Johnson gear over the past couple of months and I'm wondering if there are any owners here on SNA that would be happy to give some insights into their gear. Special interest goes to Premier gear. 2's, 4's, 8's, 12's etc. I know this gear is extremely rare in Australia and I'm resigned to idea that any responses may be minimal. Look forward to reading the contributions. Thanks!
  18. Grabbed a second hand Sony TA-N330ES Power Amp last weekend. Lovely unit - I rather like it. Never owned Sony before, so makes a nice change. Also this is my first ever power amp. I don't have a pre-amp. I don't have a multimeter. http://www.thevintageknob.org/sony-TA-N55ES.html The TA-N55ES and TA-N330ES seem to be the same unit as far as I can tell. Mine has a switchable voltage (120, 220, 240v), and one input. It has an 'attenuator' on the front, which is a pot which works like a volume control. It has a 'notched' central point at 12 o'clock which you can feel when turning. PC -------usb------> Firestone Audio Fubar MkII DAC --------rca------> TA-N330ES -----speaker cable-------> horrible old big box freebie speakers TA-N330ES service manual states: TA-N330ES user manual states: I can't find the exact specs for the Firestone Audio Fubar MkII DAC, http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/183-firestone-audio-fubar-ii-usb-dac-review/ but a post from the former US distributor on a blog states: It all sounds ok and works well. I use the attenuator as a volume control, set between 7 and 10 o'clock. If I set the attenuator to the centre position, it would probably blow the speakers. What's the problem? It sounds a little thin, and lacks the bass that I expected. the TA-N330ES provides less bass than the low end tripath chip amp that it directly replaced. Do I need a pre-amp? Thanks! Edit 1: I always have source PC software volume set at 100% as a general rule. With the above setup, if I reduce the software volume to about 25% it allows me to set the attenuator at 12 o'clock. The sound possibly has more depth and bottom end with these settings, and sounds closer to what I was expecting. That could be listening bias.
  19. Hi, I am slowly gathering bits and pieces for my Martin Logan HT build. I have a Sanders ESL to power the fronts, 2x Parasound Halo A23 to power the surrounds, but nothing yet to power the center speaker. The center speaker is a ML Stage X 70-22000Hz, max impedance drop to 4ohm. I am searching for another amp that matches the design quality as the Parasound and Sanders. Either a mono or stereo/mono with a reasonable price tag used or new. Still chasing and searching for another used A23 but wouldn't mind to hear other options.
  20. Was just looking at the Hypex website and noticed they're now selling their own NC400 kit form mono blocks. Rough estimate once posted and slugged with duties and tax I would guess these to be around $2500 landed. I've been using these same amps for over a year now and think they're fantastic value. Drives my Magnepan .7's with ease and some little power hungry Kefs I have too. Would be a perfect match for the LS50 me thinks. https://www.hypexshop.com/DetailServlet?detailID=7616
  21. I'm chasing some opinions and suggestions on a power amp to match to my Yamaha RXV-3900 and Cerwin Vega CLS-15 fronts. I've got a budget of under $2k. I'm looking for something that can be bi wired, good looking minimalist design , no disco lights and huge digital displays and at least 150w RMS, preferably more. So far the only thing I've found that I like is the Marantz MM7025, but I haven't looked too hard if I'm honest.
  22. I have an Onkyo 875 and was hoping to upgrade to a Dolby Atmos pre-amp. If I get a Dolby Atmos pre-amp, can I then use the Onkyo 875 as the Power Amp to power the speakers but not do any of the processing? This way I can save a few dollars until I am ready to purchase a proper Power Amp?
  23. Alright, this is probably going to be an area of at least some debate, but I'll pose the question anyway. As per my signature, my HT PJ room runs a 5.1.4 Atmos system comprising a 20+ year old pair of Spendor SP2mk2's ( LR ), a 10yo Krix Centrix, some Krix Equinox surrounds and 4 B&W in-ceiling speakers. A mixed bag collected over the years, to say the least. Amplification is provided by a Marantz SR6010 7 channel AVR , with my old Audiolab 2-channel powering the rear 2 ceiling Atmos speakers. Let me say that these days I don't do much 2 channel stuff, so we are talking movies/HT here. As per a couple of the recent speaker threads in the HT forum, I contemplated just upgrading my Centre speaker ( Budget up to say $2000). Then started leaning towards the conventional wisdom of having the same drivers across all 3 LCR speakers, and therefore replacing all 3 front end speakers. ( Up the ante on the budget to $4000 now). Now my local dealer has recommended that I would be better served keeping all my old,existing speakers and investing in a quality power amp. I am aware of the legend that is "Arthur" and an Elektra 7 channel has been proposed at RRP $4000. Decision,decisions. So let's say the budget is capped at $4000. ( Hope the wife isn't reading this) . Which way would you go and why? I know there are some passionate Elektra owners here, but can adding a power amp to 20yo speakers really be better than a moderate to high quality AVR powering $4k worth of 2017 speaker technology? Discuss.
  24. OK, earlier this year I had the Redgum monoblocks fail on me and cause much wailing, gnashing of teeth and stress induced panic. They shorted (somehow) and had to have the transistors replaced. Now I have, just this morning, had an Exposure Classic 28 fail on me and send a deep, intestine twisting, thrum through my much loved speakers. What I would like to know is: 1. What causes this? and 2. Could it be due to me doing something wrong? If it happens to be 2 then I'm going back to integrateds as of today. You don't have these issues with integrated amps, 50 (or thereabouts) integrated amps and not one bass note of death. I haven't even got to ten power amps and this makes two (three if you count the Redgums as 2 monoblocks) times that the Grim Reaper has dropped by my sound lounge to tune his Bass guitar. What is going on guys?
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