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Thread: Life is good

  1. #1

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    Default Life is good

    My new office rig has a few new pieces...........and

    Who would have thought a moderately priced tube pre-amp mated to a DIY (hot rodded) gainclone chip amp running FLAC files thru a 10 year old DAC into modded 23 year old Polk midsized Monitors using DIY Canare speaker cables and Signal Cable I/C's would sound so fricking fantastic. A few years ago.......................not I.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  2. #2

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    You're killing me bro. :D

    Edit: BTW...The new Dared has settled down a bit and sounds a little better now. Just like the Yaqin. Looking forward to rolling some NOS tubes in the next couple weeks.
    Last edited by Keiko; 08-07-2009 at 12:11 AM.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    My new office rig has a few new pieces...........and

    Who would have thought a moderately priced tube pre-amp mated to a DIY (hot rodded) gainclone chip amp running FLAC files thru a 10 year old DAC into modded 23 year old Polk midsized Monitors using DIY Canare speaker cables and Signal Cable I/C's would sound so fricking fantastic. A few years ago.......................not I.

    H9

    I am with you all the way with every component up to the chip amp. To date I have not heard one that I cared for yet. What type of modís does yours have ?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by lakesailor View Post
    I am with you all the way with every component up to the chip amp. To date I have not heard one that I cared for yet. What type of mod’s does yours have ?
    I will say I have been very skeptical of the "chip amp". I've always felt discrete components were the best (I still do). So instead of speculating, originally I was going to build one, instead I found a superbly built DIY unit for a lot less than I could build one.

    The key to a very nice sounding chip amp is to keep it very simple and pure. Many commercial versions have Zoebel network, snubber power supply, speaker protection circuit, power rail protection, etc and those can really influence the final sound. The other key is using a beefy power supply and proper heat sinking. Each board (L&R) has (2) caps and (4) resistors. The powers supply board has (4 pairs) or rectifiers and (2) very small caps (2) medium caps.

    My unit has the basic power supply board a 300V torrid transformer. Black Gate type "N" caps on the chip board as well as Riken and Caddock resistors. The power supply caps are std. Black Gates. Kimber cable as well as very nice teflon coated input terminals are used inside. Proper grounding is very important as well.

    As for the sound.................I'm still experimenting but keep in mind this is for a secondary rig. It sounds pretty damn good. The clarity and the bass and sound stage are what have me scratching my head. I have only put it in my main rig once, for about an hour, but as I have more time I'll be using the main rig to evaluate further. It's amazing how much "life" this chip amp has LM3875 gainclone.

    If you believe resistors and caps can make a big difference then the Riken/Caddock/Black Gate combo might be what sets this unit apart from other "standard" gainclones. I don;t have a std gainclone to compare it to.

    Final analysis is still pending, but so far I'm impressed with the type of sound you can get from a little I/C chip.

    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 08-07-2009 at 08:29 AM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    Refresh my memory, H. Which chip-amp did you settle on? Got a few DIY projects coming up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lightman1 View Post
    Refresh my memory, H. Which chip-amp did you settle on? Got a few DIY projects coming up.
    http://www.audiosector.com/lm3875.shtml

    The LM3886 is the most current version and is said to drive 4 ohm loads a little better. You need to decide on the speakers first as that will determine what size power supply to use. A 4 ohm load usually requires a bit less rail voltage as well as a larger torrid (300-350V) works out great. Don't skimp on the power supply.

    GV#27 and Strider and Face are all more experienced with these gainclone DIY amps than I am. I'm just having fun with it and am very surprised how good they can sound.

    This is an awesome thread started by Peter Daniel of Audiosector. Very, very informative. It's a long thread but I read thru it all before buying. Even asked a question and got an answer from Peter about my gain issue when using a pre-amp.

    http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...hreadid=123003

    H9

    P.s. Here's the other popular and well known company

    http://www.chipamp.com/
    Last edited by heiney9; 08-07-2009 at 09:47 AM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  7. #7

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    You are a valuable source of info, H. Thanks again, buddy.
    Firin' up the solderng iron as we speak!

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    Forgot to ask... Who makes a good power supply that won't kill the bank account? Something that will work with a 4 ohm load????

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    Quote Originally Posted by lightman1 View Post
    Forgot to ask... Who makes a good power supply that won't kill the bank account? Something that will work with a 4 ohm load????
    This would work except the secondary voltage at 25v is about at the maximum for running a "true" 4 ohm load at full output. For a 6-8 ohm load this would be great as the higher current rating 330VA is very good.

    http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=122-640

    This would be a better choice for a "difficult" 4 ohm load but note the lower current rating of 260VA vs. 330VA compared to the first link I posted.

    http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=122-620

    Either would work just fine.

    Also note the link I gave in the previous thread to www.chipamp.com, you'll see their design, while very similar, has almost double the parts. Personally, based on what I've read the Audiosector is a "purer" design as it has minimal parts. Either choice should be excellent however.

    These are just 2 that I was considering based on what I've read. I've done a ton of reading on these.

    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 08-07-2009 at 10:24 AM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  10. #10

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    Here's a great thread an the power supply section of a gainclone

    http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...hreadid=128561

    and

    http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/nuukspot/...clone_psu.html

    All the links I've posted should keep you busy Russ and out of Tom's bushes for awhile.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  11. #11

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    Looks like the 330VA is the one for me. I'm going to use 14ga wire, point to point. I didn't see any guide for wire size for the output. Thanks for the links.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lightman1 View Post
    Looks like the 330VA is the one for me. I'm going to use 14ga wire, point to point. I didn't see any guide for wire size for the output. Thanks for the links.
    It's all in the Peter Daniel thread as well as a couple of the guides posted at the Audiosector site and Chipamps site. All the info is there, just have to hunt for it.

    GL
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    It's all in the Peter Daniel thread as well as a couple of the guides posted at the Audiosector site and Chipamps site. All the info is there, just have to hunt for it.

    GL
    Found it.... I have ADD... focus is a problem for me

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    My new office rig has a few new pieces...........and

    Who would have thought a moderately priced tube pre-amp mated to a DIY (hot rodded) gainclone chip amp running FLAC files thru a 10 year old DAC into modded 23 year old Polk midsized Monitors using DIY Canare speaker cables and Signal Cable I/C's would sound so fricking fantastic. A few years ago.......................not I.

    H9
    Glad your enjoying it. I had a similar rig a while back, cept the speakers were LSi7s and the dac was a newer NOS.

    If you ever feel the need to step it up a notch you can check out the BPA100/200/300 amps. I had a BPA200 for a while and found it a decent step up form the 3886 I had.

    Or I've heard the SKA amps are even better, but no personal experience.

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    Thanks Gaara, haven't decided if this is a long term keeper yet. My next choice is a single Monarchy SM70. So if you ever decide to sell your's let me know. It seems they always sell in pairs and lately I haven't seen any up FS.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Thanks Gaara, haven't decided if this is a long term keeper yet. My next choice is a single Monarchy SM70. So if you ever decide to sell your's let me know. It seems they always sell in pairs and lately I haven't seen any up FS.
    You'll be the first to know, though I don't plan on selling so long as I still have my Rothscilde A2s. The synergy is just to great.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post

    Also note the link I gave in the previous thread to www.chipamp.com, you'll see their design, while very similar, has almost double the parts.
    In fairness the extra parts are mostly power supply related and are not directly in the signal path.I prefer his use of the large 10,000uf filter caps and his PS board is bigger to accommodate them.
    Either choice should be excellent however.
    Agreed

    btw.the guy did a very nice job on yours.

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