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Chip Amps Amplifiers based on integrated circuits

Lack of bass with LM3886
Lack of bass with LM3886
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Old 28th April 2011, 10:13 PM   #21
maillard is offline maillard  France
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I am not using the optional Ci cap to obtain stronger bass. Am I wrong ?

The small blue decoupling caps of the kit have been replaced by MKP Wima of the same value.

Here is a picture of my temporary trial :


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Old 29th April 2011, 02:28 AM   #22
digits is offline digits
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heatsinks way too small mate, if your chip fries, so does your speakers.
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Old 29th April 2011, 02:46 AM   #23
wintermute is online now wintermute  Australia
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Lack of bass with LM3886
Hi Mailard, the optional Ci cap does not increase bass, it will actually reduce it at lower frequencies, if it is too small in value the rolloff will start too early potentially lowering bass output.

It is used for protection purposes, As a capacitor will not pass DC it will cause the amplifier to have unity gain at DC therefore if you have say 20mv DC on the input it will give 20mV dc on the output. Without Ci if you have 20mV dc on the input you will get 640mV dc on the output (the gain of this amp is around 32 times).

As you don't have a coupling cap on the input, this is a big concern, you must only connect components that you know to have very low dc on their output.

However we can discount Ci as being the source of your lack of bass.

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Old 29th April 2011, 05:40 PM   #24
Redshift187 is offline Redshift187  Canada
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Could it be SPIKE kicking in during stronger bass and reducing the output because of the small heatsinks.
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Old 29th April 2011, 06:17 PM   #25
analog_sa is offline analog_sa  Europe
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Originally Posted by maillard View Post
I was about to upgrade the caps of the PSU to Munsdorf 15000 microF/18mohm instead of the Panasonic 10000 microF/36mhom.

While the Panasonics are definitely not my favourite caps, they do not appear bass-shy. As for the 3886, opinions vary. I have heard tolerable bass using very sympathetic speakers but with others bass has been clearly lacking. Not at all sure if any changes in the components will have sufficiently big effect. Paralleling may. Getting less bass than an anemic 3020 is indeed disheartening.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 09:22 PM   #26
maillard is offline maillard  France
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Since the last post, I have used larger heatsinks. The result is significantly better, the sound being now well balanced.

Thank You for the help .

I'd like to experiment two modifications to see if I can obtain more :
1) 20000 F / rails,
2) 10000 F / rails + LM338 regulated PSU

What do You think ?

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Old 24th May 2011, 04:37 AM   #27
gootee is offline gootee  United States
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What size bypass caps do you have directly across the chipamps' power pins? You might try experimenting with the sizes and types of those, especially with some electrolytics. They act as a point-of-load power supply that doesn't have the inductance of the supply rail conductors to slow down the response to the chip's need for changes in the current drawn, and to generate rail voltage dips and spikes when a chip's current draw tries to change.

I see that you haven't twisted together the wire pairs. You might have all types of strange things going on, in that case. Twist every pair of wires tightly together. Also add some RF filtering (even just 220 pF directly across the + and - signal input pins of each chip).
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Old 24th May 2011, 06:16 AM   #28
ByronInPortland is offline ByronInPortland  United States
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Originally Posted by maillard View Post
The transfos are 2X24v AC which gives +/- 35 V DC. After one hour, the heatsinks became a little hot (I will says 40 C max).
According to the ChipAmp instructions, your secondaries of 24V with +/-35VDC are at the upper limit of the ideal rail voltage for 8 ohm speakers, and above voltage recommended for lower impedance speakers. This is consistent with your finding that increasing heatsinks improved the sound. I very recently finished the same kit, only I'm using a single power supply. I also did not get creative, but did everything according the the instructions (I opted for Ci) but I'm only using 2X18v secondaries, and I'm getting excellent bass from 4 ohm speakers.

It's probably not worth the effort because you seem to have solved your problem, but with other projects consider lower rail voltages with this chip.
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Old 24th May 2011, 07:31 AM   #29
maillard is offline maillard  France
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Hello Gootee,

I have 100 F panasonic FC + 100nF MKP Wima. (values of the kit)
I can easily make a try with 100 F more of the same type.

For the RF filtering, you mean 220pf in parallel with the (100F + 100nF) ?

Thank You.
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Old 24th May 2011, 12:05 PM   #30
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Spike and some of the other protections built into the National chipamps are designed to vary their limits depending on chip temperature.

Increasing the dissipation capability of the assembly will reduce on chip temperature and could lead to less intrusive limiting.
This may give the impression of less treble content which your brain interprets as more bass in the balance.

I wonder if conjecture has any basis in the science?

I run my chipamps cool and follow my own advice to using double the dissipation that National recommend as the minimum.
I find that the 3886 plays adequately well using 88dB 8ohm speakers at background and average levels.
The sound deteriorates rapidly as SPLs are increased above average. I suspect the cool running Spike and protections are limiting the transients creating this horrible louder noise.
regards Andrew T.

Last edited by AndrewT; 24th May 2011 at 12:09 PM.
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