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The Stax Thread III - Page 130

post #1936 of 3282
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude_500 View Post
 

Just a random though, are people who have their Stax lose balance or other strange issues using NOS DAC's? Last week I had a non-band-limited noise tone from a faulty grounding out of a PC sound card going through my headphones at reasonably good volume for about half an hour before I noticed (didn't have them on at the time), and they went completely unstable and the charge balance was totally weird for the whole night but they eventually returned to normality by the next day.

 

I've only used a NOS DAC with all Stax gear I've had and currently have ... a MHDT Labs Stockholm ... running via optical out from a PC ... 

 

Nothing but love ...

 

Good luck (not likely that it's related to NOS vs. Oversampling DACS ... can't imagine why, anyway.

post #1937 of 3282
Quote:
Originally Posted by dripf View PostNo evidence to indicate the ED-1 wouldn't effectively compensate the 307.

 

Besides, thirty years have passed. Computers are now ubiquitous, and PEQ is free, lossless and offers complete control. It surprises me that so few people use it. Everyone seems to prefer buying and ebaying endlessly.

In linear terms, anyway. Nonlinear distortion is another beast but electrostatics seem to operate so well in those dimensions that it isn't as big of a deal as with dynamics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dude_500 View PostYes, an amplifier will get more and more distortion as it gets closer to railing output. So an amplifier running with +-300V rails with a 500Vp-p output will have more distortion than the same amplifier running with +-400V rails with a 500Vp-p output. But as a result, most designs are just going to run at the maximum reasonable voltage for that topology, so this ultimately just becomes a distortion figure at a desired level. 

 

In essence, just because an amplifier has high voltage rails doesn't mean it has less distortion than an amplifier with lower rails. For instance, a Woo WES has more voltage overhead (I think +-600v rails) than a Blue Hawaii, but a Blue Hawaii has WAY less distortion than a WES just because of its topology. 

 

So in conclusion, anyone who says "that amp has more voltage overhead so it'll have less distortion" doesn't know what they're talking about. The ONLY time this is valid is if topologies are identical i.e. person x made a Blue Hawaii with +-400v rails and said it has less distortion than someone else's identically constructed Blue Hawaii who used +-300v rails.

OK, thanks. I'm curious to test this in practice. I've played with some fair orchestral and opera recordings and would like the validate any presence of audible distortion before considering anything greater.

 

I'm not really a fan of tube designs so I tend to stay away from them (I feel the same way with power amplifier topologies). It seems the only suitable transistor-based "upgrade" would be a KGSSHV but I did not observe a confident improvement when I sampled it, even with demanding material.

 

For clarity, I am not in search for an amplifier that performs the best as far as amplifiers can perform (i.e. in theory). I am interested in the most affordable amplifier that performs the best as far as I can hear (i.e. in practice).


Edited by 3X0 - 4/3/14 at 1:51pm
post #1938 of 3282
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post

 

OK, thanks. I'm curious to test this in practice. I've played with some fair orchestral and opera recordings and would like the validate any presence of audible distortion before considering anything greater.

 

I'm not really a fan of tube designs so I tend to stay away from them (I feel the same way with power amplifier topologies). It seems the only suitable transistor-based "upgrade" would be a KGSSHV but I did not observe a confident improvement when I sampled it, even with demanding material.

 

For clarity, I am not in search for an amplifier that performs the best as far as amplifiers can perform (i.e. in theory). I am interested in the most affordable amplifier that performs the best as far as I can hear (i.e. in practice).

 

Realize that the BH (and T2 if you want to go that route) is for all intents and purposes a solid state amplifier. The tubes are convenient output stages, but given the topology it doesn't express the characteristics of a typical tube amp (that is, there are no warm lush 2nd harmonics out of a blue hawaii).

 

Except in extreme situations, it is unlikely you will be able to perceive the difference in rail voltages for reasonable selections in any double blind test. Instead, you'll probably want to use a spectrum analyzer if you really want to see the differences.

post #1939 of 3282
Quote:
 Let me say that my first-hand experience with the KGSSHV was less than revelatory.

Interesting. I see you run the SR-007s Mk1 or Mk2? and a Stax 323.

 

I also use the SR-007 MK2.5s with a SRM-717, but I feed it from my Audio Note pre-amp out and run

the Stax without it's volume i.e. flat out at Class A. The sound I am getting is a lot more dynamic and

lively than direct from my DAC into the Stax amp with it's volume control switched in.

 

I can listen very loud if I want, with no audible clipping, so I wonder if the stories of the SR-007s being

difficult to drive is so accurate?

 

I have tried the system with Delta-Sigma DACs but I found I preferred None Oversampling tubed based types

fed by a server with good SPDIF conversion outboard.

I would recommend trying a NOS DAC if you can. The front end is key to getting a great sound on the Stax, as if

ruthlessly reveals everything. It would be cheaper than going for a mega amp like a KGSS or BHSE.

post #1940 of 3282
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude_500 View PostRealize that the BH (and T2 if you want to go that route) is for all intents and purposes a solid state amplifier. The tubes are convenient output stages, but given the topology it doesn't express the characteristics of a typical tube amp (that is, there are no warm lush 2nd harmonics out of a blue hawaii).

 

Except in extreme situations, it is unlikely you will be able to perceive the difference in rail voltages for reasonable selections in any double blind test. Instead, you'll probably want to use a spectrum analyzer if you really want to see the differences.

That's very interesting -- I was under the impression that tubes in the output stage are what might contribute significantly to the "tube sound." From my experience with power amplifiers I was under the impression that a very good valve amplifier would sound similar to a very good transistor amplifier. I believe "lesser" tube implementations (allegedly WES?) introduce too much voluntary distortion and randomness to the sound for me to chance it.

 

The bold is precisely what I wanted to know; thanks for sharing your expertise on the matter. I might arrange for a properly controlled test between the 323S and the KGSSHV when I have the chance (perhaps also the BHSE if I'm lucky enough to borrow one). But I imagine I'll be sitting pretty for a bit until I feel like breaching practical performance limits (maybe when I'm in my 30s or 40s or something).

post #1941 of 3282
Yes, the Wes is very very colored. I somewhat like its sound but from a purely technical standpoint many consider it to be a very poorly designed amplifier. If you don't like lush tube sound most definitely avoid the Wes. It is true that a well designed tube amp sounds quite similar to solid state. The BH just takes it a step further by adding global feedback and a solid state input stage.
post #1942 of 3282
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude_500 View Post

 

Realize that the BH (and T2 if you want to go that route) is for all intents and purposes a solid state amplifier. The tubes are convenient output stages, but given the topology it doesn't express the characteristics of a typical tube amp (that is, there are no warm lush 2nd harmonics out of a blue hawaii).

 

What about distortion caracther of 6DJ8/6922/ECC88 input stage on the T2?

post #1943 of 3282
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgazal View Post
 

 

What about distortion caracther of 6DJ8/6922/ECC88 input stage on the T2?

 

It might distort a little, but it's a very well designed input stage. It might account for the ever so slightly laid back tonality of the T2 compared to the BH (or so they say, I've not heard a T2). In general, I don't understand why the T2 is better than the BH. It's got the same output stage and a seemingly unnecessary tube input stage.

post #1944 of 3282

The designer perhaps was very fond of that input stage when he drew it. :bigsmile_face:

post #1945 of 3282
Quote:
 the characteristics of a typical tube amp (that is, there are no warm lush 2nd harmonics out of a blue hawaii).

Hmm, that might be relevant in 1960 but any well designed tube amplifier with tube regulated power supply and tube output will

be so linear and clear, you might just think it is SS topology!

 

Modern tube amplifiers give full bandwidth and low distortion we all expect from Modern hi-fi components, but avoid

the pitfall of many SS designs as transistors are not linear and require lots of extra circuit trickery to make them so.

It is this that changes the sound in my opinion. 

 

I have lived with Krell and McIntosh (SS) varieties, and lost interest in music from RedBook. Tubes brought me back.

 

Yes, an 18W SET power amp won't drive huge inefficient speakers, which are designed for bigger output SS amps,

BUT find a good speaker of 92DB efficiency and the sound will hook you in.

 

My 2 cents. Each to their own, but don't sling none facts around please....

post #1946 of 3282
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post
 

Interesting. I see you run the SR-007s Mk1 or Mk2? and a Stax 323.

 

I also use the SR-007 MK2.5s with a SRM-717, but I feed it from my Audio Note pre-amp out and run

the Stax without it's volume i.e. flat out at Class A. The sound I am getting is a lot more dynamic and

lively than direct from my DAC into the Stax amp with it's volume control switched in.

 

I have tried the system with Delta-Sigma DACs but I found I preferred None Oversampling tubed based types

fed by a server with good SPDIF conversion outboard.

I would recommend trying a NOS DAC if you can. The front end is key to getting a great sound on the Stax, as if

ruthlessly reveals everything. It would be cheaper than going for a mega amp like a KGSS or BHSE.

Mine is the original SR-Omega (1993-1995). Are you sure the Audio Note pre-amp's inclusion in the circuit is not a function of differences in the final output level?

 

I'm not sure of the benefit of NOS DACs though I haven't done a proper level-matched comparison against Delta-Sigma designs. I don't see much of a reason to switch at present though. For one thing, oversampling doesn't introduce audible distortion...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post
 

Hmm, that might be relevant in 1960 but any well designed tube amplifier with tube regulated power supply and tube output will

be so linear and clear, you might just think it is SS topology!

 

Modern tube amplifiers give full bandwidth and low distortion we all expect from Modern hi-fi components, but avoid

the pitfall of many SS designs as transistors are not linear and require lots of extra circuit trickery to make them so.

It is this that changes the sound in my opinion. 

 

My 2 cents. Each to their own, but don't sling none facts around please....

I actually believe linear-performing valve designs were achieved as early as the 1930s.

 

There are still some tube designs that deliberately sound off/"tubey", evident even with simple linear distortion in the frequency response.

 

For example, here's a McIntosh MC275 power amplifier:

And here's a Hyperion HT-88 power amplifier:

The +-1.5dB variance in the FR of the HT-88 will be audible, whereas the +-0.5dB in the MC275 will likely not.

 

I believe it is cheaper to design a linear transistor amplifier that performs transparently, as Bob Carver had demonstrated on numerous occasions. A few years ago I used to think great transistor gear sounded like great valve gear, but I believe the reality is the other way around.


Edited by 3X0 - 4/3/14 at 3:37pm
post #1947 of 3282
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post
 
 
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
 the characteristics of a typical tube amp (that is, there are no warm lush 2nd harmonics out of a blue hawaii).

Hmm, that might be relevant in 1960 but any well designed tube amplifier with tube regulated power supply and tube output will

be so linear and clear, you might just think it is SS topology!

 

Modern tube amplifiers give full bandwidth and low distortion we all expect from Modern hi-fi components, but avoid

the pitfall of many SS designs as transistors are not linear and require lots of extra circuit trickery to make them so.

It is this that changes the sound in my opinion. 

 

I have lived with Krell and McIntosh (SS) varieties, and lost interest in music from RedBook. Tubes brought me back.

 

Yes, an 18W SET power amp won't drive huge inefficient speakers, which are designed for bigger output SS amps,

BUT find a good speaker of 92DB efficiency and the sound will hook you in.

 

My 2 cents. Each to their own, but don't sling none facts around please....

 

Tubes being technically better! What is this sorcery? :D :p 

 

Anyway, I dared pushing my T1 to 2 o'clock for some 30 seconds with fairly dynamic and peaky music. Used my sigma.. Did I hear any clipping? Well, I might have, though it could just as well have been my ears distorting or something like that. Point is, to push it into clipping I'd definitely need to go way past comfortable listening volume. Maybe I could tolerate bass that loud in a veeery dynamic recording. My mom even came to the door to hear what was going on.


Edited by davidsh - 4/3/14 at 3:35pm
post #1948 of 3282

Had the 2SK389 already been in fabrication when the T2 was designed?

post #1949 of 3282

2sk389/2sj109 came out sometime in early 1980's timeframe.

At least that is the oldest datasheet I have on those parts.

post #1950 of 3282
Just got noticed my sr009 shipped from japan. A lot faster than I originally thought would happen. Bhse on order. Need to get an amp ASAP. Don't want these sr009 sitting around too long without use. Might have to get woo wee and hook them up to this spare parasound a51 lying around.
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