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Old 29th March 2011, 05:15 PM   #1
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Default Which design sounds best

I'm new to the forum and am inexperienced in terms of building amps, though I have revised my Quad 303 and 405-2 using upgrade kits.
I am a musician (violinist) with a small recording studio and have an idea of building my own amp but feel rather confused by the different types mentioned here such as the Gainclones some of which i have seen on Per-Anders Sjöström site, and the DXblameST-TMC to name a couple.
In terms of sound i would rather have a warm sound than a sterile over analytical one, but obviously a warm detailed one would be great. I know in a studio that the tone of an album can be determined by the turn of a nob. In other words the ones mixing the record don't always know what they are doing, so i need a very musical amp to be able to listen to even bad recordings, a really top all rounder!
I like my quad amps very much, but am intrigued to see if i can build a very high quality amp that is just as musical and non fatiguing to listen to, or hopefully much more so. I use Harbeth speakers. Thanks for any help.
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Old 29th March 2011, 05:55 PM   #2
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If you have a small recording studio, you probably have an equalizer. For warmth use the 160-200 Hz potentiometers. For definition use the 6k3-8k potentiometers.

Solid state or chip amps should not show significant warmth or detail, because that would mean their frequency response is uneven. These amps should not favour certain frequency ranges over others, but give a level performance all over. In that case the speakers and their room interaction determine the sonic result.
Of course there are differences in quality and a chip amp is a good starting point. For a studio it is probably better to use an amp with a bit more muscle, e.g. ~100 W, because you need a certain sound pressure level to judge the quality of your recordings. Chip amps usually work in the range up to 60 W, so in your case a solid state amp seems a more promising choice.

For amps that have a discernible sound of their own you should have a look at tube amps. They tend to sound warm, lively or detailed, depending on their design and their interaction with the speakers.
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Old 29th March 2011, 06:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I don't actually have a graphic. I do any mixing via software, and have not really found a need for one. I take on board what you say about the power. I think anything above 50w should be ok, I generally don't listen so loud. In terms of valves, for the studio its not really an option as things need to stay on all day, and it gets warm in here! Sometimes i also forget to turn things off. Its more the absolute quality i'm after, and whether that is achievable by each type of amp?
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Old 30th March 2011, 06:37 PM   #4
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the only one that has a nice warm sound is the tube.
so maybe you should consider to test a tube pre-amp and a gainclone, and same gainclone with an opamp pre-amp.

I think -even if others may not agree- that tube pre-amp is for you.
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