High-End Solid State Amps : Overview & Roundtable
Sep 15, 2009 at 4:38 PM Post #77 of 114

m1abrams

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Quote:

Originally Posted by linuxworks /img/forum/go_quote.gif
high end, to me, is when you can't really complain about the sound. I think I'm at that point with the gamma2 and m3. I can't find A SINGLE THING to complain about. that's saying something
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Glad to see this comment because that is what my current plan. I have the gamma2 built and a 24V sigma11 built, just need to build the M3. Fundage has kind of dried up as of late due to every appliance in my house decided it was time to die. This month I have replace my fridge, washing machine, dishwasher and riding lawn mower.
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Sep 15, 2009 at 7:43 PM Post #78 of 114

dsavitsk

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Quote:

Originally Posted by linuxworks /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I just built an 'op amp based' M3 and its every bit as good sounding as the b22 I also have. in fact, the m3 has a lower (noticeably) noise floor..


I find it a little amazing that either of these has a noise floor that is audible at all. I'd take that to mean, hopefully, that something is operating out of spec. I've built a number of amps in my life, and if I can tell an amp is on from the noise floor, it goes back on the bench to fix it. That's unacceptable, particularly with headphones.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 8:04 PM Post #79 of 114

tomb

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LeMat /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It's a good question (but why only rudistor ?)... but watch out for the answers wich can be biased because of its DIY nature. I mean, if I was able to achieve such a project, I would probably be proud enough to skew my judgment and favor my own realization
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Likewise, don't be swayed by a commercially "pretty" package with outstanding casework and machining. It may be possible that the circuitry underneath is sub-standard compared to current DIY designs. Some DIY amps can't be built in a commercial setting because they'd be too expensive.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 12:27 AM Post #80 of 114

linuxworks

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dsavitsk /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I find it a little amazing that either of these has a noise floor that is audible at all.


the way I'm 'testing' things is to run the amp at full gain (no local pot volume control) and instead vary the digitally controlled analog volume (PGA chip) until I hear noise. then compare the direct reading db levels to see where they seem to be about the same.

both can go to 0db with no discernable noise. it would have to be really late at night (no outside noise, no neighbor noise, not even cars driving by outside) to hear issues.

but then I'll crank the volume up a bit past 0db (admittedly using gain at the PGA chip) and see where I start to hear noise.

the b22 noises out earler than the m3. not a huge amount but its not zero in terms of diff, either.

Quote:

I'd take that to mean, hopefully, that something is operating out of spec.


I don't think so. its not a 'wow, this is noisy' kind of thing; like I said, its above 0db where I finally *start* to hear noise. all else being equal, the m3 stays noisless longer up in the range compared to the b22 (2ch b22).

note that I also have the b22 gain set to 5 (somewhat low) and I think my m3 gain is a bit higher; so if anything, the m3 should come in slightly noisier. but it doesn't.

I would say the same about my ppa-v1. its almost noiseless, as well. using the same 3 (exact same 3, swapped out) ad8610 chips. I love that chip! its soooo good!
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 2:54 AM Post #81 of 114

johnwmclean

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Quote:

Originally Posted by linuxworks /img/forum/go_quote.gif
the thing can sink serious current into spkrs and not break a sweat. the only thing missing is the ground buffer that you get when you run balanced OR 3ch mode. I'm not a big fan of stereo separation (I listen to speakers that sit in a real-world room and have natural crossfeed; getting 1000db sep is a red herring, imho, and is totally unnecessary).



its design is superior but I'm not sure the sound is.

to me, beyond a certain level, throwing 'more' at a problem does not solve the problem any more. once its solved, its solved
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the b22 fully solves the problem but so does the m3, for phones.

I know that MOST of diy is about over-over-overkill. tangent said it pretty well, something to the effect of 'professional products often are designed to JUST meet their needs but DIY often just goes 'farther than needed' to ensure that you've covered you bases'. rather than knowing how much 'overkill' you need, DIYers just throw the whole kitchen sink at the problem. that way they know they have overdesigned things but its not really the *elegant* way to solve the problem.

is it elegant to drive a sherman tank to the supermarket to pick up groceries? sure, it will work and you'll get there and back, but its a bit obscene in how overblown that solution is.

I sometimes (hmm, often) feel that way about diy approaches.

I don't hear any problems when I listen to my b22 (other than some slight floor noise level) but with the m3, I have ZERO complaints. I just can't find a single thing to complain about on the m3, especially the noise. I'm gobsmacked how clean the signal is from this supposed mid-fi amp.

high end, to me, is when you can't really complain about the sound. I think I'm at that point with the gamma2 and m3. I can't find A SINGLE THING to complain about. that's saying something
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Well you have me intrigued, my opinion was completely the opposite. I said goodbye to my balanced M3 once the Beta22 was built and had no regrets, to my ears the Beta22 blitzed the M3.

I now know what my next project, a nice M3 (not balanced). Thanks for the throwing the bait out there - I’m a lot poorer for it - dam you.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 3:03 AM Post #82 of 114

linuxworks

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just to be clear, its only when I put my ears in 'test equip' mode that I can tell the diff.

there IS no noise in normal listening (I tend to keep the vol control at -14db or so, not even getting to a 'full' 0db often at all). and its only beyond that point that I can tell any real noise at all.

so, this is not affecting normal listening. for all practical purposes, they are both noiseless when I'm actually using them.

part of what I like about the m3 sized amps (ppa series included) is that they meet the need and don't go overboard.

the b22 I have does a *great* job powering my speakers. so it seems appropriate to use it for that. the m3/ppa series would not do as great a job with spkrs but it does more than it needs to for phones. the practical person in me likes that.

I have a ppa-v2 board that I've not built but I have built the ppa-v1 and now, recently, the m3. I consider them both really more than enough to do the job.

what's funny is that I did have a commercial speaker amp (behringer a500) but the b22 replaced that, as I find the b22 sounds better and cleaner.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 5:32 AM Post #83 of 114

IPodPJ

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Quote:

Originally Posted by linuxworks /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I don't hear any problems when I listen to my b22 (other than some slight floor noise level) but with the m3, I have ZERO complaints. I just can't find a single thing to complain about on the m3, especially the noise. I'm gobsmacked how clean the signal is from this supposed mid-fi amp.

high end, to me, is when you can't really complain about the sound. I think I'm at that point with the gamma2 and m3. I can't find A SINGLE THING to complain about. that's saying something
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Then perhaps your B22 isn't functioning properly. Maybe it's not grounded properly, maybe there's a loose wire, maybe there's a bad part... but a properly functioning B22 should be extremely quiet. I've seen your pictures and it looks very well built, though.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 6:02 AM Post #84 of 114

johnwmclean

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Quote:

Originally Posted by IPodPJ /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Then perhaps your B22 isn't functioning properly. Maybe it's not grounded properly, maybe there's a loose wire, maybe there's a bad part... but a properly functioning B22 should be extremely quiet. I've seen your pictures and it looks very well built, though.


I agree a well built Beta22 is dead quite. The differences linuxworks is describing is leading me on the the belief that something was not quite right with my former balanced M3.
But from what I’ve experienced the differences were very obvious and stark, in favour of the Beta22. The M3 exhibiting a warmer tone, less bass weight and less headroom, opamps were 627s from memory and Tangent Young-Jung power supply.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 1:50 PM Post #86 of 114

linuxworks

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Quote:

Originally Posted by IPodPJ /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Then perhaps your B22 isn't functioning properly. Maybe it's not grounded properly, maybe there's a loose wire, maybe there's a bad part... but a properly functioning B22 should be extremely quiet. I've seen your pictures and it looks very well built, though.


I guess I have to repeat: it is *extremely* quiet. during actual use, I hear no noise.

its only when I want to test it and see at which point noise does occur (very very high up on the vol control range) that I can hear noise. same with the m3, but it seems a TAD bit quieter.

neither is noisy enough to CARE about. they are noiseless in actual play. but if I were to meaure them, its my gut feeling that the m3 would test *slightly* better in s/n.

that's all I'm saying.

I have no hum or grounding issues on either amp. I did layout the b22 at least 3 or 4 times before I got it to be a good clean orientation.

the diff might only be a few db of s/n. but I do think the m3 *tests* a little better; that's my gut feeling until I can actually verify it.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 3:09 PM Post #87 of 114

Yikes

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I believe that this thread is suppose to be an overview of High-End SS amps, not a debate about the relative merits of DIY amps.

And I'm puzzled that it seems like there are those here who somehow believe that the amount of noise is the only (or most significant) difference between amplifiers. As far as specifications go in my experience although noise floor is important it's Slew Rate/Rise Time and current capability that effect sound more than THD or even IMD.

I've also heard amps that measure relatively poor sound great and amps that measure really well sound mediocre. So the only conclusion that I can draw is that we haven't figured out how to measure everything, or even the most significant thing that leads to great sound reproduction.

I agree that a properly implemented B22 is an exceptional amplifier. I however use caution when weighing peoples opinions concerning their own DIY projects. The proud parent syndrome hits hard where DIY is concerned. As in a Parents Child is always the Smartest/Beautiful/Handsome Etc. It's human nature, when you pour your own blood sweat and tears into a product you are predisposed to a fairly extreme bias.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 3:20 PM Post #89 of 114

linuxworks

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Yikes /img/forum/go_quote.gif
And I'm puzzled that it seems like there are those here who somehow believe that the amount of noise is the only (or most significant) difference between amplifiers.


speaking generically or specifically? if you are referring to me (I assume you are) then I am ONLY speaking about specifics. and I stand by my observation; that both amps I mentioned are essentially 'wires with gain' with only the base noise level being the thing that would let *me* tell them apart. that's all I said; but I don't think you quite *got* what I said.


Quote:

however use caution when weighing peoples opinions concerning their own DIY projects. The proud parent syndrome hits hard where DIY is concerned.


equally as true when someone *buys* a device. proud parent just the same (or even worse, as a non-diy purchase is likely to be a higher cash outlay, when it gets to higher end, at least).

Quote:

As in a Parents Child is always the Smartest/Beautiful/Handsome Etc. It's human nature, when you pour your own blood sweat and tears into a product you are predisposed to a fairly extreme bias.


its less so as a builder compared to a designer. I didn't design any of the amps I built, I simply followed the BOM and soldered parts in place. really, that's all a builder is, at the essence of it
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so there's really a lot less ego involved in the sound of the thing. the look of the thing, *that's* where DIYers take things personally
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but the sound should be the about the same (give or take some sample variation or layout variation).
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 4:36 PM Post #90 of 114

wolf18t

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Yikes /img/forum/go_quote.gif
... I however use caution when weighing peoples opinions concerning their own DIY projects. The proud parent syndrome hits hard where DIY is concerned. As in a Parents Child is always the Smartest/Beautiful/Handsome Etc. It's human nature, when you pour your own blood sweat and tears into a product you are predisposed to a fairly extreme bias.


I totally agree but the same could be applied to people with their commercial gear. Don't have to be a builder to suffer of the fanboy syndrome.

I suppose the best opinion would be from people owning both type of gear.
 

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