Oblivion | UltraSonic Studios
Dec 26, 2019 at 3:45 PM Post #241 of 1,415

MrCurwen

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Test transients with modern music, say one song I actually also like to listen to for fun is Die Antwoord - I Fink U Freeky.

Or, in a less musical fashion, Bangarang by Skrillex. There's some nice looking waveforms for you if you do the scope thing.


Of course, just using a beat up old vinyl is one way to go. The scratches are transients. The less you notice the scratches, the better the transient recovery is.

Using the same design methods, a superb RIAA corrector could also be made. I've done a few in my time, none put together currently. The old records became 'descratched' thru that corrector.
 
Dec 26, 2019 at 3:47 PM Post #242 of 1,415

UntilThen

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I left these Axis Voicebox S monitors back in Canberra. I think I will go back and get it in the next few days. I want to see if Oblivion will drive it. It's 85db, 5ohms and capable of handling the same power as the LS88 floorstanders.

In this picture I'm driving it with the big Sansui au-alpha 907mr amp.

IMG-2887.JPG
 
Dec 26, 2019 at 4:22 PM Post #243 of 1,415

SonicTrance

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I left these Axis Voicebox S monitors back in Canberra. I think I will go back and get it in the next few days. I want to see if Oblivion will drive it. It's 85db, 5ohms and capable of handling the same power as the LS88 floorstanders.

In this picture I'm driving it with the big Sansui au-alpha 907mr amp.

Another 7h trip then! :wink:

Oblivion will drive them but not as loud as the more sensitive speakers.
 
Dec 26, 2019 at 5:42 PM Post #244 of 1,415

UntilThen

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7 hours could be put to better use. :) Today I'll start the comparison between Studio Six and Oblivion. Will step through a repertoire of songs. Source is the common Tidal HiFi at 44.1 khz sample rate fed into Yggdrasil and headphone is ZMF Verite Open. I expect to do this for a day. :)

IMG-4613.jpg
 
Dec 26, 2019 at 6:30 PM Post #245 of 1,415

UntilThen

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It's a matter of space. I can't fit both speaker outputs and pre-amp outputs in the same amp.

Does Redgum have balanced inputs? If it does you can use the speaker outputs or even the headphone jack to feed Redgum.

All outputs on Oblivion are balanced so there needs to be a balanced input for this to work.

Edit: I realized that if I have both the speaker outputs and pre-amp outs on the same switch at the front, and there's only one set of input jacks, I could fit both speaker-, pre-amp outs and impedance switch on the same amp.
Just thought I'd mention that.

My Sansui au-Alpha 907mr is a balanced amp but to connect Oblivion speakers out to the xlr balanced input of the Sansui means I need a cable with those terminations on each end.

However that is not a priority at the moment - to use Oblivion as a preamp because this battle of tone between Studio Six and Oblivion is getting really interesting. I've not heard 2 headphone amps sounding this lovely with Verite. Besides there's no one home today... which means I'll be taking Oblivion out to the lounge to drive the floorstanders later. I want to go through more of my LPs. It goes without saying that with stereo speakers listening, you get real soundstage and not headstage. :)
 
Dec 26, 2019 at 7:09 PM Post #246 of 1,415

UntilThen

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Off the speakers go because this is the battle of the headphone amps. :) I will state here that these amps are not of the lush, bloomy variety. They are fleet footed, fast transients, speed, bass is tight and taut, varying degrees of midrange sweetness, varying impact of mid and sub bass. Varying degrees of treble extensions. Soundstage varies obviously. None of them are fatiguing or glaring. No space to include the Woo Audio WA22. Besides Yggy can only output to 3 amps.

IMG-4616.jpg

This is what I mean tight and taut.
9eaa794b988435feb964170160fe6cb0.jpg
 
Dec 27, 2019 at 4:05 AM Post #247 of 1,415

SonicTrance

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My Sansui au-Alpha 907mr is a balanced amp but to connect Oblivion speakers out to the xlr balanced input of the Sansui means I need a cable with those terminations on each end.

However that is not a priority at the moment - to use Oblivion as a preamp because this battle of tone between Studio Six and Oblivion is getting really interesting. I've not heard 2 headphone amps sounding this lovely with Verite. Besides there's no one home today... which means I'll be taking Oblivion out to the lounge to drive the floorstanders later. I want to go through more of my LPs. It goes without saying that with stereo speakers listening, you get real soundstage and not headstage. :)
You can take a (cheap) XLR cable and cut the connectors off on one side and use the bare wires to connect to the speaker jacks, and then XLR on the other end to the Sansui. Not very elegant perhaps but it would work. But, like you say, not a priority just thought I'd mention it.
 
Dec 27, 2019 at 5:06 AM Post #249 of 1,415

baronbeehive

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Test transients with modern music, say one song I actually also like to listen to for fun is Die Antwoord - I Fink U Freeky.

Or, in a less musical fashion, Bangarang by Skrillex. There's some nice looking waveforms for you if you do the scope thing.

Well... I doubt if Die Antwoord would sound good on any amp frankly…. I'm joking MrCurwen!

One of my clients eventually gave up my balanced amp because he enjoyed seriously loud volumes with no-so-effective-speakers. The design makes 1 watt go a surprisingly long distance, much longer than most would think, but there are physical limits.

Mainly, the Ia thru the output tubes. The sensation of audible power would be enhanced if there were more current swing capability. But, that opens up a bunch of other problems, which is why I personally just resigned to using the amp as it is, with it's limitations. I use my amp with big full sized speakers every day, but with moderate volume. At moderate volumes the sound is 'perfect' to my personal tastes, comparable to headphones (with obvious limitations).

I agree what is the point of excessively loud, furniture rattling volume levels for normal listening.


I did some things to try and go around this, they worked, but created a world of new problems. In the end I personally (I think Sonic agrees as well) think it's better to just accept the limitations and use the amp at moderate listening levels.

I appreciate your current design philosophy - low, stable power, low parasitics - open loop - transient recovery - components well within their operating parameters - the right components for the right job - hyrid design, and so on, but was wondering in view of what you said if you ever designed a higher power amp in the past such as the 3.5W Miniwatt which I know you view as overkill.

I was interested in UntilThen's impressions of his main amp in comparison to the Oblivion, because of the differences that SS amps and open loop tube amps can show in sound characteristics such as soundstage, bass performance and such like. He has already alluded to some of these differences and they are pretty much what I would have expected.
 
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Dec 27, 2019 at 5:36 AM Post #250 of 1,415

baronbeehive

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Off the speakers go because this is the battle of the headphone amps. :) I will state here that these amps are not of the lush, bloomy variety. They are fleet footed, fast transients, speed, bass is tight and taut, varying degrees of midrange sweetness, varying impact of mid and sub bass. Varying degrees of treble extensions. Soundstage varies obviously. None of them are fatiguing or glaring. No space to include the Woo Audio WA22. Besides Yggy can only output to 3 amps.

That's fine, I'm probably speaking for most of us here, we like the transparent sound. Personally I like a touch of sweetness too.

Can't wait for your impressions! Several of the albums mentioned previously are well produced and would sound great on the amps I'm sure.
 
Dec 27, 2019 at 11:01 AM Post #251 of 1,415

UntilThen

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@UntilThen
Here's a somewhat different question. What's your opinion about the pilot light? Is it too bright, not enough bright or just right? It's something I've been tinkering quite a lot with believe it or not :)

I don't look at the amps when I'm listening to music. I've a L-shaped office desk in my study. The monitor is on the other side. It's where I interact with Tidal, JR River. On the other side, is Yggy and the 3 amps.

A orange light to match the glow from the tubes might be better. It's a white light now - similar to the Yggdrasil on the right. Either way it's a moot point for me.
 
Dec 27, 2019 at 11:17 AM Post #252 of 1,415

UntilThen

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That's fine, I'm probably speaking for most of us here, we like the transparent sound. Personally I like a touch of sweetness too.

Can't wait for your impressions! Several of the albums mentioned previously are well produced and would sound great on the amps I'm sure.

At 2 am on the 28th of Dec 2019, I got up and listen to Endless River by Pink Floyd and Fear in A Handful of Dust by Amon Tobin. Some songs I repeat through each of the 3 amps. Eventually after an hour I settle down to enjoy the music on Oblivion. Tomorrow morning I leave with my wife for a beach house up the coast for the weekend with some friends. I'll return on Sunday night and spend another 2 days listening before writing my impressions on New Year's Eve. It's the start of the new decade. A momentous point in time. :)

There are no bad amps here. I would have been happy to settle down with any one of these amps if I were to have only one amp but Oblivion stood out for a number of characteristics that makes listening to music holographic, even surreal.
 
Dec 27, 2019 at 1:42 PM Post #253 of 1,415

SonicTrance

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I don't look at the amps when I'm listening to music. I've a L-shaped office desk in my study. The monitor is on the other side. It's where I interact with Tidal, JR River. On the other side, is Yggy and the 3 amps.

A orange light to match the glow from the tubes might be better. It's a white light now - similar to the Yggdrasil on the right. Either way it's a moot point for me.
Ok fair enough. I think a lot about aesthetic details like that. Of course sound is more important but nevertheless :)
 
Dec 27, 2019 at 1:52 PM Post #254 of 1,415

cskippy

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I'm curious how bright the LED is compared to Schiit products. I find Schiit LEDs to be a tad too intense and I frequently use LightDim stickers to attenuate the light. I say, as long as you can tell it's on in daylight that's bright enough.
 
Dec 27, 2019 at 2:04 PM Post #255 of 1,415

UntilThen

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Oblivion's pilot light is brighter and bigger than Schiit's lights. I can't look at it directly. It will hurt the eyes. Tone it down would be better if you can't change the colour. :)
 

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