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My Singlepower Supra Experience - Why mine almost blew up like a Hand Grenade (and yours might too)

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by tyson, Jul 30, 2009.
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  1. Spareribs
    The possible danger of Singlepower amps should be reported to all audiophile magazines/websites/reviewers if possible just in case a new customer wants an amp.
     
  2. Gvvt
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gundogan /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Just searched on youtube for 'exploding capacitor'.....

    Not a pretty sight if that would happen in your amp :x




    Take a look at some of these if you have any doubts; TINY capacitors -> BIG bang. Pretty cool as long as it's not in your amp...
     
  3. nikongod
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Skylab /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Ugh...should I have the same worry about my MPX3?



    I would not worry quite as much about the MPX3 as a Supra.

    The power transformer on the MPX3 is much lower voltage than the Supra and FAR less likely to present excessive voltage to the caps. This is of course assuming you have a stock MPX3: The supra transformer is a more expensive part so its not likely it "just got slipped in there" without being billed. to add to that, without the mods done to the PS the supra transformer would blow a stock MPX3 ps to the moon on the first startup.

    To those looking to crack their amps and poke about: There are caps in the SP amps that never discharge. They are the output caps. If you dont know how to find them based on that, dont crack your amp. Some of the other jokes of a circuit that we have on Head-Fi have the same problem so please dont point fingers... at least the output caps in most SP amps are 470uf.

    Depending on your (lack of) luck, the main PS caps may not actually have proper bleeder resistors either, and will consequently hold a charge as mentioned as well. If you are not prepared to properly discharge and double check every single part, with the possibility of finding 200-500V hanging out in a large cap, dont open the amp.
     
  4. Skylab Contributor
    Thanks Ari - that is a little comforting at least - yes, mine is a stock MPX3. Still not sure what I want to do with it, though. But I certainly have no plans to open it.

    I may be one of the few people on this board that has actually blown up caps in a tube amp. I blew them on a Chinese amp that I was rolling tubes in. Turned out that the caps used in that amp were not even up to the spec that was printed right on the circuit board! They blew up more like a pistol shot than a grenade, and while there was a loud bang and some smoke, since the caps were contained in the metal chassis, there was no flying debris. Still, was ugly.
     
  5. tagosaku
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nikongod /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I The supra transformer is a more expensive part so its not likely it "just got slipped in there" without being billed. to add to that, without the mods done to the PS the supra transformer would blow a stock MPX3 ps to the moon on the first startup.



    Will the same apply to Piltron also? I got Piltron upgrade a few years ago on my MPX and so far the amp has not done anything dramatic.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  6. nor_spoon Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IPodPJ /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I'll tell you exactly what it will do. This was told to me by an electrician who worked on high power lines which run at 480V. He said 120V doesn't often kill people because it will push/throw you away from it if you make contact with it. 480V will make you stick to it so that you cannot let go. I'm not sure why this is, but it is more confirmation that such high voltage can easily kill you.



    [​IMG]


    Sorry, I couldn't resist...

    I have to add that this is truly horrible news. I was on the fence regarding SinglePower and the amp I now have, and very fortuntately I made the right choice.
    I hope it sorts out in best possible way for those involved. This stuff seems to be really dangerous, and luckily there has not been any serious accidents happening yet.
     
  7. TreAdidas
    Ok so let's quell some of the speculation here. I understand the concerns of possible safety issues. These concerns are apparently warranted due to the people in the know posting up here. Unfortunately, I have seen no comments about this having actually happened. Now assuming this happened to someone and they were still alive to tell the tale, we'd have heard about it. I think we're teetering on mass hysteria with little more than horrendously bad wiring jobs and mismatched parts. I understand that mismatched parts and crap wiring jobs can cause very very serious safety problems, but as of right now I have not read that anyone actually experienced this.

    So I ask.....

    HAS ANYONE ACTUALLY HAD ANY PART OF ANY MODEL OF SINGLEPOWER AMP, BE IT A "STOCK" OR CUSTOM CONFIGURATION, ACTUALLY BLOW UP AND/OR SHOCK THEM?

    And just so we're clear - By blow up I mean the amplifier or some component thereof has produced some sort of violent hand grenade like blast (similar to this: YouTube - Exploding Capacitor). If the amp turned into a canon I want to hear about it! By electrical shock I mean the failure caused the user to experience an electrical shock, minor or otherwise. Either of these instances would have had to occurred without having opened the amplifier case.

    If someone opens the case and are all yeah I got shocked while I was toying around inside the amp, I would not necessarily fault Singlepower for that because it could have been caused by the person toying around in the amp. We've established here in this thread that only qualified technicians should be playing around with the amp's innards. If someone was listening to their amp and heard it fry and then went to touch the volume knob and was shocked, yeah total problem, totally Singlepower's fault, and I want to hear about it.

    Anyone?????????
     
  8. wfranklin
    Based on the small numbers of these amps that have likely been produced, the fact that none have yet created a safety hazard (if that is the case) does not mean one will not in the future. Would you want it to be your amp that was the first?
     
  9. moonboy403
    My Extreme didn't blow up, but the transformer gave out. Smoke came out of the chassis and took out one of my tube.
     
  10. PhilS Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wfranklin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Based on the small numbers of these amps that have likely been produced, the fact that none have yet created a safety hazard (if that is the case) does not mean one will not in the future. Would you want it to be your amp that was the first?



    Small number is relative. It's not like were talking about only 5 or 10 amps. Quite a few were produced relative the the degree of risk that is being claimed on this thread (which I'm not discounting). Look, no one wants their amp to "blow up," but many of the owners are trying to assess the risk, and consider what to do, and information regarding the number of amps that have actually had problems is very relevant information. [​IMG]
     
  11. Skylab Contributor
    Indeed, I have been thinking about this - we should avoid mass hysteria here, but quite honestly there is enough reason to be concerned that having the potential issues be known is very important. Any individual will of course be at his/her liberty to assess his/her own personal risk tolerance level.
     
  12. Jon L
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Skylab /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Any individual will of course be at his/her liberty to assess his/her own personal risk tolerance level.



    I would at least NOT leave SP amps powered-on unattended and make sure there's nothing flammable around the amp. It's one thing if something blows while you are there; it's quite another to have something fail or just burn up while you are not there. Remember that capacitors age over time, and ones that may be handling the voltages now may not be in a few more years.
     
  13. AudioDwebe
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tyson /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I don't mean to be hyperbolic, but these amps are dangerous and you need to get it checked. When I say explode like a hand grenade, I mean exactly that - the big power caps will burst and produce shrapnel at high velocities. That's one source of danger.

    The other source of danger is my amp had over 500 VOLTS of power in it, and was rife with parts not built to withstand it. If the parts fail, or a lead decouples from the right part (which is more likely since they are "floating" in the case), you could potentially have 500 VOLTS exposure on the case itself. Think about that. The AC coming out of your wall is only 120 volts (240 for Europe), and you don't stick your fingers (or metal objects) inside a live electrical outlet, do you? Why not? Cause it can kill you. If 120v or 240v is dangerous, imagine what 530 volts will do.

    Now, the question is, "Is your amp safer than mine is"? I cannot answer that. But given what I've seen inside of other Single Power amps, I personally would not be comfortable using any of the amps without getting them checked.




    Now, I understand your concern about these amps. Quite scary.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TreAdidas /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Ok so let's quell some of the speculation here. I understand the concerns of possible safety issues. These concerns are apparently warranted due to the people in the know posting up here. Unfortunately, I have seen no comments about this having actually happened. Now assuming this happened to someone and they were still alive to tell the tale, we'd have heard about it. I think we're teetering on mass hysteria with little more than horrendously bad wiring jobs and mismatched parts. I understand that mismatched parts and crap wiring jobs can cause very very serious safety problems, but as of right now I have not read that anyone actually experienced this.

    So I ask.....

    HAS ANYONE ACTUALLY HAD ANY PART OF ANY MODEL OF SINGLEPOWER AMP, BE IT A "STOCK" OR CUSTOM CONFIGURATION, ACTUALLY BLOW UP AND/OR SHOCK THEM?

    And just so we're clear - By blow up I mean the amplifier or some component thereof has produced some sort of violent hand grenade like blast (similar to this: YouTube - Exploding Capacitor). If the amp turned into a canon I want to hear about it! By electrical shock I mean the failure caused the user to experience an electrical shock, minor or otherwise. Either of these instances would have had to occurred without having opened the amplifier case.

    If someone opens the case and are all yeah I got shocked while I was toying around inside the amp, I would not necessarily fault Singlepower for that because it could have been caused by the person toying around in the amp. We've established here in this thread that only qualified technicians should be playing around with the amp's innards. If someone was listening to their amp and heard it fry and then went to touch the volume knob and was shocked, yeah total problem, totally Singlepower's fault, and I want to hear about it.

    Anyone?????????




    I used to own the MPX3 and loved the sound. But, once I got the ZD, there wasn't much of a comparison and off the SP amp went.

    I've got a three year old son who like touching things, and he's pretty fascinated with tubes and touches them frequently, most always by asking me first if they're hot or not. But I'm not always, 100% with him throughout the day.

    I guess my point is just because a SP amp hasn't hurt anyone (yet), doesn't mean that it won't at some point. And the potential voltage is what would concern me more than the possibility of the capacitor exploding.

    Had I still had my MPX3, I'd unplug it as soon as I got home today and off to the garage it would go (and stay). Not willing to risk my or (more importantly) my son's health.
     
  14. IceClass
    Beyond hysteria, it seems like people with SP amps have a potential danger sitting in the corner of their homes.
    As the owner of a SP PPX3, should I just junk it, retire it or keep using it but turn it off or unplug it?
    What would be smart?
    I would hate to leave the amp on and come home to a house fire.
     
  15. PhilS Contributor
    Did we ever come up with a list of people that could service these amps? I remember we started a Singlepower owners registry, with a view towards finding out how many people owned the amps and identifying people to service them, but the registry basically just lists some of the owners.

    I wonder if we should start a new thread with a list of people that could check out and service these amps? Maybe we could settle on one or two folks with experience who would agree to service them, which might be more efficient for all of us, given economies of scale, and the one or two repair places might make a little money from repeat business. Does this make sense or not?
     
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