Solid-State Power Amp Adventures

Discussion in 'Power Amps' started by purr1n, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Aklegal

    Aklegal Almost "Made"

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    As far as I know they are. I don't know about the big H30 amp though.
     
  2. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    I too own an H360 and an Yggdrasil (fully updated to A2). Even with the H360 network input, I feel that the built-in DAC is too "polite," lacking the dynamics and instrument realism (micro-detail from brushes on cymbals, bowing and plucking of string instruments, breath in wind instruments). Highly dynamic orchestral works like any good recording of Stravinsky's "Le Sacre" are more impactful with the Yggdrasil. Small ensemble chamber or jazz have more detail that brings the players' handiwork closer in.

    Schiit have stated several times that they won't get into the software-heavy network streamer business. I don't blame them. Even Hegel has let their network components fall behind in software, for instance the H360 has no planned Roon upgrade AFAIK. I'd rather have a streamer that can be easily updated by the vendor (like products from Sonore, SOtM, or Ambre) or by an active open-source community (like products from Allo) who specializes in that.
     
  3. Aklegal

    Aklegal Almost "Made"

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    I'm not into streaming via Roon, Tidal etc. at all so the lack of software updates doesn't bother me. I just push FLAC files from a J-River server.

    You are right about the dac and I was a little too kind in my first post. I would only use it on very bad recordings when I want to hide some nasties.
     
  4. JohnBooty

    JohnBooty New

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    I've got a slew of $100-$500 commercial and DIY bookshelf speakers and the MB42x, while not awful, are definitely at the bottom of the barrel.

    I'm not saying that to trash what you're currently enjoying. I'm just saying you have something to look forward to next time you get some disposable income and the upgrade itch.

    Speaking of upgrade itches, I'm trying really hard not to buy a new amp. Such as the A-150 or A-300 or a Vidar. I've got a A-100 here and it's great.
     
  5. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    I don't know if it's the slightly smaller room they are in now, or the fact I have my new (to me) KEF Ref 3s hooked up in my very large living room and listen to them basically every day, but the Miccas now sound like shit comparatively. I'll be looking into some better bookshelves soon I think.
     
  6. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    I can be your bank and let you have your money once your itch is gone ;)
     
  7. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    Welp, I decided to go amp hunting, and actually found something. Problem is, its probably a huge piece of shit. With that being said I'm not too worried about sound quality right now. My goal is a temporary, low budget as possible, set up for the Susvara, and Diana Phi (more so the Susvara, being it is a bitch to drive.)

    Sonance Sonamp 260mk2.

    I have never even heard of Sonance before. I just knew it was cheap, so it fit the bill. $120CAD (90USD) later I've got an amp to use. I have no clue if I over paid or under paid, as again, I've never heard of Sonance before. Google seems to say I paid just about the right price, maybe a tiny bit over, or a tiny bit under depending.

    Anyhow, will report back later once I can find a pre-amp about how this yoke sounds.

    To be honest, anything will be better than no tunes at all, so I'm stoked!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. PTS

    PTS Friend

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    I feel there's a meme in here somewhere...

    $10,000 in headphones.
    $90 amp to drive them.

    Just kidding, look forward to reading your report.
     
  9. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    Yeah, my source gear is broken, and is away being fixed. I think it will take a couple months to get back to me due to the shipping and stuff to the UK. I needed a quick set up, and money is tight, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I know its weird to power the Susvara with such inexpensive gear, but hey, if it works and lets me enjoy my tunes, thats all I care about :)
     
  10. DigitalMaven

    DigitalMaven Acquaintance

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    I've got the a-100 and the a-300...The a-300 is in a whole different league power wise. With the a-100 you need really sensitive speakers and the base will still not be there like the a-150 or a-300. I just keep the a-100 in the closet for back-up duties now. Mo powa...
     
  11. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Don't mean to sway you, but I just got my Vidar today and I'm a happy camper. Worth every penny and then some.
     
  12. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Been trying decide where to post these, but in the end felt this spot was the best. @PTS had asked me to write some really quick impressions. Comparisons are relative to each other using the Yggdrasil 2 as the source and the JBL 4698b speakers. Not the most resolving speakers to discern resolution differences. They are more the type to kick back and enjoy rather than pick out everything in the recording. See here for measurements: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...98b-speaker-bwc-alert.7412/page-2#post-254866

    First up is the integrated amplifier, the BAT VK-3000SE
    IMG_20190614_154143.jpg

    Not bad, not bad a all. For typical used prices, we get a integrated and a ton of power - a good value. A lot of kick down low, although not quite the crispness of the Aegir and the separation of the PranaFidelity Class D deal. The preamplifier section seems stronger than the amp section. The amp section trailed the Aegir in microdynamics and nuance with a less deep more upfront stage. Tonally, the unit sounded even-handed, normal, but with a bit of glare. We didn't have much time, but I suspect the glare might recede with more warm up time.

    The best combination of the day was using this as the preamp and the x2 mono Aegirs as the amplifier (not pictured). The Freya+ (tubes) was quite nice, but were drier tonally. The BAT as a preamp has just a bit less holography of images, but had a warmer and fuller sound with less splashy timbre in the highs, so this was the overall winner for me. I didn't have time to roll tubes on Freya+, but I suspect the Tung Sol BGRP 6SN7s were partially responsible for the drier presentation.

    IMG_20190614_154155.jpg

    Lastly, there is the PranaFidelity purna/ma Class D monster with 700/400W into 4/8-ohms respectively. I don't know what the actual street price is on these, but I am a bit disappointed with the "Front-Plate Express" chassis on an amplifier that is near $10k retail. I believe this amp has the latest and greatest Hypex nCore Class D modules. I know many of you have requested that I get my ears on a good implementation of Class D and then decide if still truly feel if Class D sounds like ass.

    IMG_20190614_160208.jpg

    Well, tonally, the purna/ma is even-keeled, inoffensive, maybe on the polite side. It reminds me of the better (in terms of tone) digital amps, the Class T stuff from Tripath (I actually own x3 of them, stashed somewhere). It didn't have quite raw attack of the BAT, but heft and sustain in the bass, as well as separation (opposite of congestion) were excellent. The Aegir by comparison sounded more blended-in in the lows. The highs were like the that of the Sony ZX2, which I happen to like, but I know some others would find this too restrained, fuzzy, or tube-like.

    However, the overall presentation was rather insipid. Just kind of a flat and boring presentation that made me want to fall asleep no matter how much we cranked up the volume. I think it's just a matter of bad use case for the types of speakers that I run. I don't think I have used a speaker which had less than 93db efficiency in the past 14 years. The JBLs here are sort of 99db efficient (they cheat on the spec because the woofers are 4-ohms), and the ORIS / Lowther horns (in the other room) are 114db. These kinds of speakers don't need or don't do well with this kind of efficient power.

    Waiting for "cheap" 200W monoblocks in Class A with Ragaraok 2's Nexus tech.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
  13. murphythecat

    murphythecat GRU-powered uniformed trumpkin

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    insipid to describe good class d is right on!
    I have had 4 amp class d/t and yes, bass separation is excellent, treble lacks bite but not bad at all and mids are just fine and detailed... until you compare to a decent class ab or even cheap 80’s luxman mosfet and its obvious that class d technicalities/resolution are excellent but for sone odd reasons the presentation is boring. i always felt its a lack of transient speed or bite. I use my class d/t for kitchen system duties
     
  14. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    I'm guessing the differential JFET on Freya+ didn't hold up to the tubes. Wonder if Freya S with Nexus would have the same effect as using the BAT as a preamp.
     
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    I got Freya S too. Doing my own "Thunderdome". Winner goes on the loaner.

    A Nexus Class A with Continuity to stretch out the power to 200W should get the best of the BAT and Aegir. It does not exist. Not yet. Give it another two years.

    I didn't care for the JFET stage. Sounded more restrained and boring.

    Will need more careful listening with tube stage. Need to note how much was lost. The tube stage this time around seems to have better image localized. The prior Freya was more diffuse.

    Also Freya+ tube worked just dandy with the super efficient JBLs and Aegir monoblocks being fed differential outputs from the Yggdrasil. Will try SE to balanced and report back. I only have an SE phonostage.
     
  16. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    Sounds great.
    I have a some nice Tung Sol Round Plate 6SN7 tubes that I'm about to sell, if I get on the loaner, I can use them on the pre-amp.
     
  17. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    How are they btw.? Have you ever considered something different?
     
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Semi-long discussion with eventual measurements and thoughts on their design:
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/jbl-cabaret-4698b-speaker-bwc-alert.7412/
    Not really. I like efficient speakers. I used to run MTMs and MTs with small cones (8" or smaller) decades earlier.

    I still like back-loaded horns, this was a few years ago. I've since taken them apart as they are in the garage. I consider the single driver stuff somewhat freakshow'ish, but I wouldn't go any other way for small speakers.
    DSC_2176 (Small).JPG

    This is in my other room:
    IMG_20190624_103958.jpg

    I would consider these. Since some of the drivers don't exist, might build an OB re-interpretation.
    jpeg001.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  19. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    I never had the purna/ma for an extended amount of time, but in the two or three times I heard it, I wouldn't have described it as un-involving. To me, it had that elusive (at least for solid state) engagement factor. Maybe it's that we're in too subjective territory, or maybe @AdvanTech's is slightly different.

    This is hilariously spot on for me though.
     
  20. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

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    I think that synergy (or lack thereof) might be at play, here. The amp was definitely not designed for something like those JBLs.
     

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