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Old 17th July 2003, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Are Discretes Better Than Chip Amps?

"Any day, Any Time, the time honoured 2N3055 designs are better than chip amps." My friend tells me this; and people and prophets from the 70s seem to agree with this. How much of this is the prejudice of a generation? Do graphs, bode plotts, and all such instruemnts under the solar system corroborate? Is there some truth in this?

The cognoscenti are coaxed for a reply!?!!@@##$$%%^^&&**
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Old 17th July 2003, 06:46 PM   #2
UrSv is offline UrSv  Sweden
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Now that is a very easy question to answer:

It depends. They can easily be. They very often are not.
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Old 17th July 2003, 07:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Are Discretes Better Than Chip Amps?

Quote:
Originally posted by r_s_dhar
"Any day, Any Time, the time honoured 2N3055 designs are better than chip amps."
Having built more than a few SS amp and a couple of vaccum amps, and played with the stk's and tda of yesteryear, my experience is that the majority of chip amps suck, the stk's in particular, .

with a SS amp, you have more freedom at its design, and you can easily add or subtract building blocks to suit your own needs: more power? higher voltage; want to drive low-impedence speakers? use more output devices or beefier transistors, etc.

you don't have that with a chip amp. for the most part anyway.

however, chip amps are a lot easier to build, and presummably have better internal consistencies: I rarely match my transistors for my SS amps.

so to me if your application doesn't call for high power and super high performance, go with a chip amp.
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Old 17th July 2003, 07:39 PM   #4
moamps is offline moamps  Croatia
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Default Re: Are Discretes Better Than Chip Amps?

Quote:
Originally posted by r_s_dhar
[B]"Any day, Any Time, the time honoured 2N3055 designs are better than chip amps."
Hi,

2N3055 is very old transistor.
IMHO, can be better against my HGC only in some class A configuration.

Regards
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Old 17th July 2003, 07:52 PM   #5
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I kind of like 2n3055 because I have amps that sound good that I built from years ago utilising them and never a failure yet!
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Old 17th July 2003, 08:11 PM   #6
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I go for Solid State amp instead of Chip Amps, as you have the possibility to control and select each component....
Chip Amps does not offer much freedom!
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Old 17th July 2003, 09:00 PM   #7
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Default Halve a truth is of no use....

Konnichiwa,

Quote:
Originally posted by r_s_dhar
"Any day, Any Time, the time honoured 2N3055 designs are better than chip amps." My friend tells me this; and people and prophets from the 70s seem to agree with this.
Well, even in the 1980's this was not any longer quite true. Chipamps have specific issues. Due to thermal issues they tend to be problematic if you really push power. On the good side, IF WELL IMPLEMENTED (LM3875 is a good example) they can offer perfomance comparable to ANY discrete, though power remains limted by the small case.

Given the choise between a "cooking" 2N3055 Amp or something with the LM3875 (and a few other qualifying chips) I would not even have to think, assuming the Chip was well implemented of course.

In the last decade at least for both small signal and medium power circuits I would be VERY HARD pressed to find an Audio application where I could materially (sonically and measured) better the best Chips with a discrete solid state circuit. It's possible, but increadably hard work, work IMHO better applied to get the best from the chips.... ;-)

I had a nice exchange with Walt Jung on this topic, around the time he was running his "Walts Tips" column in EDN and published on "Op-Amp" audio.... Worth a serious read.

Sayonara

BTW, most most monolithic integrated Amp's (op or power) when used for audio are utter dreck, as are most discrete circuits, but that should go without saying (STURGEON'S LAW: Ninety-five percent of everything is dreck.)
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Old 17th July 2003, 09:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Halve a truth is of no use....

Quote:
Originally posted by Kuei Yang Wang
BTW, most most monolithic integrated Amp's (op or power) when used for audio are utter dreck, as are most discrete circuits, but that should go without saying (STURGEON'S LAW: Ninety-five percent of everything is dreck.)

that especially goes for those early STK's (they are hybrid or thick film chip amps where the power devices are actually co-packaged transistors).

Not sure where they are today. I thought Sanyo made most of those STKs.
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Old 17th July 2003, 09:09 PM   #9
fedde is offline fedde  Netherlands
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I own an old Technics amp with a STK???? module. I personally fried the module once by playing errr... too loud.
The modules were not available anymore. Now I don't care anymore, because I'll built a nice (and free!) gainclone with it. It has a 2x25 V transformer and a large heatsink. I have some old resistors, caps and OPA541's laying here. Let's see if I can build a good sounding amp under $10

'Love this hobby...

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Old 17th July 2003, 09:31 PM   #10
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I remember they being used in a lot of large screen (20"+) TVs and portable stereos back in the 80s.

That reminds me of something else. Wasn't there a chip amp with MOSFET power devices? possibly a TDA.
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