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Chip Amps Amplifiers based on integrated circuits

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Old 17th July 2003, 10:09 PM   #11
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I have 2 STK 4042`s sittin here...brand spankin new and I am going to waist my time building an amp with them and its going to sound terrible but what the Hell I`m deaf in one ear and can`t hear out of the other....I grew up with sub standard equipment and I thought it was good at the time..haha

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Old 18th July 2003, 12:26 AM   #12
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we all grew up with substandard parts. Which of us hasn't built a crystal radio?

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Old 18th July 2003, 12:39 AM   #13
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One aspect is overload behaviour.
Chip amps like the 3875 series sound bad when driven into clip or current overload.

TDA chip amps are better in this respect.
STK modules are variable according to the model.
Discrete amps can be anywhere in between.

Most modern amplifiers are close enough to perfect at normal levels, but IMO it is overload behaviour that more strongly distinguishes different amplifiers.

Eric.
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Old 18th July 2003, 01:51 AM   #14
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Hi,

Quote:
Most modern amplifiers are close enough to perfect at normal levels, but IMO it is overload behaviour that more strongly distinguishes different amplifiers.
And that's precisely where valves really make all the difference...

Seriously, Erik, with your interest in live amplification and related fields you should consider this feature.

Just telling you as a friend with your best interest in mind...
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Old 18th July 2003, 11:43 AM   #15
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Hi Frank,
Modern PA systems nowadays typically run oversize amplifiers such that clipping is avoided, or at least allowed to hit clip only momentarily.

It is considered very un-kosher to blow expensive high power drivers, and any live sound engineer who does usually has some explaining to do, and if it happens too often a bad professional reputation is the result.
Also nowadays many modern PA amplifiers incorporate internal soft limiting stages and this can help to idiot proof live systems.

Reasonable quality tube mic and instrument preamp stages are becoming more affordable and more available, and this is where tubes are most relevant for live sound.

FOH tube amplifiers are not an economic proposition for modern live music unfortunately - digital amplifiers are making quite strong inroads but I have heard differing opinions of these.

Perhaps tube amp mids/highs would be worth a try.
I can lend suitable 0.1% tube amps and Turbosound TMS-4's (105 dB/W) for the heck of it and try it out sometime.
The tube amp design that I speak of can be expanded out to 400 RMS - that might be some good loud fun.

Eric.
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Old 18th July 2003, 11:54 AM   #16
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Hi Erik,

Quote:
The tube amp design that I speak of can be expanded out to 400 RMS - that might be some good loud fun.
400W RMS for mids and highs only would surely make it into earbleeding levels...

If ever you'd try it out , pls let us know how it went.

Cheers,
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Old 18th July 2003, 12:28 PM   #17
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Default Sooner Or Later I'll Know.

350W version (sorry 400W info was wrong) has not been built and likely won't, but the design can be extended to this.
The existing version is conservatively rated at 60W RMS, but even this into 105dB/W will make a decent racket, but still not loud enough for serious PA usage.
Quote:
400W RMS for mids and highs only would surely make it into earbleeding levels...
I thought the benefit of tube amplifiers was no ear bleeding ?.
In the near future (a month or two) I will be making new crossovers for a whole bunch of TMS-4's (the originals have been BURNT) so this will be a good opportunity to give them a go with with a nice tube amp - I'll let you know what the result is.

Eric.
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Old 18th July 2003, 12:37 PM   #18
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one thing I really liked about (some of) the STK chips is the separation of output stage from the rest of the chips. If you want, you can hook up your own output devices and use the input, vas and driver stages of the chip. I wish National can do the same with its class ab chips - not to integrate the output devices on the chips - much like their Class D offerings.

That way, you just go find your own power BJTs and you have one wonderful, versatile, and powerful amp.

we can all dream, cannot we?
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Old 18th July 2003, 12:42 PM   #19
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Talking summarizing...

Guys, I assume this thread was started with a domestic point of view.
50 watts RMS is more than enough for your room.

Anyway, thinking of an ideal amplifier (when are we going to have a wire with gain? ), I will point out two main advantages of chip amps:

1. Short signal path.
2. Much less components.

These should theoretically make very hard for you to make a discrete design to be as good as the best chips.
In practice, since I first switched on the first GC I built, I've got a bug in my head.
My god, it's fantastic!
And it would be very hard for anyone to make a discrete design for a preamp with the technical specs and sonic excellence of an op-amp like the OPA627/37.


BTW, Kuei, your pre was reviewed in Hi-Fi World.
They say it's very good.
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Old 18th July 2003, 12:44 PM   #20
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Default STK Integrated Driver Stages Modules.

STK3082II and some others are driver stage only modules, and their specs are pretty good from memory, and economic too.
Precaution - good heatsinking is mandatory for reliable long term operation of these.

Eric.
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