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Old 11th August 2005, 03:49 PM   #1
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Default Gainclone sound quality versus commercial

Hi,

I am thinking of building my first Gainclone but need to know what its peers are in the commercial world before proceeding. For a start, I currently have a Musical Fidelity A3CR power amp. How does the Gainclone from http://www.specializedkits.com/lm3875.shtml compare to that.
Or Cyrus Smartpower etc. or other comparisons people have made.

Also, does anyone use a passive preamp into a Gainclone e.g Creek OBH-12, OBH-22.

Thanks for your views.

Jack
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Old 11th August 2005, 04:00 PM   #2
owen is offline owen  United Kingdom
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Commercially, it'll kick your MF amps pants.

It really is that good. I'd use a good active preamp to drive it, and you'll get dynamics to die for too.

You're in for a pleasant (or not) suprise!

Nuuks schematic on decibel dungeon for amp and pre are very good, and a great starting point - a high cap snubber'd psu, and you'll be laughing

Owen
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Old 11th August 2005, 04:14 PM   #3
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I was recently asked by Mr. Srajan Ebaen, the publisher of 6moons.com, to build for him a pair of monoblocks based on a circuit you described above. You can read about his listening impressions here: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/a...r/patek_3.html
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Old 11th August 2005, 04:14 PM   #4
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Owen, do you think, that all designers in commercial sphere are idiots ?
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Old 11th August 2005, 05:23 PM   #5
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Generic Gainclones are very good amps. Tweaked GCs can be excellent, matching with the best amps out there. But they are system/listener dependant. If they do what you like, then you may never buy another amp again. If not, then there are other good amps out there.

al/ currently running 4 GCs, Arcam Alpha 10 and KrellKlone.
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Old 11th August 2005, 05:33 PM   #6
SY is offline SY  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Upupa Epops
Owen, do you think, that all designers in commercial sphere are idiots ?
I think that the designers of the 3875 would be considered to be in the commercial sphere.
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Old 11th August 2005, 06:50 PM   #7
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Arrow Let me explain

Quote:
Originally posted by Upupa Epops
Owen, do you think, that all designers in commercial sphere are idiots ?
Owen just gave his oppinion, which I agree.
I worked on a Krell KAV-300iL, had it at home for two weeks.
This amp was around 6,000€ when new, some years ago.
It was a downgrade, when I installed it in my system for a listen.
Of course, it was returned back to his owner much better than it came, but still my amp was better.
The Krell has too many (and some unnecessary, which I removed) parts and too long a signal path to sound TRANSPARENT up to my standards.
I've seen mistakes there, as I see everywhere.
So yes, not 'all designers in commercial sphere are idiots', but most are.

The electricity bill at the end of the month was higher by around 30€ than average, just for letting the Krell turned on for two days.
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Old 11th August 2005, 06:59 PM   #8
Variac is offline Variac  United States
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Quote:
Owen, do you think, that all designers in commercial sphere are idiots ?
Quote:
I think that the designers of the 3875 would be considered to be in the commercial sphere.
My fantasy:

I like to think that at Nat Semi they had designed amp chips for years, to specificcations of power output, power consumption, cost, etc.
The engineers probably met all the requirements with crummy sounding chips

Then one day someone decided to add "sounds good" to the list of requirements. The clever engineers said "Oh, OK, has to sound good too.... " and the Overture series was born!
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Old 11th August 2005, 07:37 PM   #9
lgreen is offline lgreen  United States
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Default good question

Quote:
Originally posted by Upupa Epops
Owen, do you think, that all designers in commercial sphere are idiots ?

Good question. I think here at diyaudio.com you will find that many people think commercial designs are just there to give ok sound while realizing high profits. Many others here who like to tweek just can't stand anything till they modify it with fancy capacitors.

But, go to a stereo magaizine or AES and you will find just as many people who laugh at the DIYers as uninformed and misled tinkerers who foolishly think that they can make something as good as a commercial design.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle- some amps here are probably better sounding than some commercial designs. But some are not. It depends.

Me, while I try to include construction techniques that will lead to good sound, I'm just happy when my amplifiers work. Tremendous satisfaction.
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Old 11th August 2005, 07:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: good question

Quote:
Originally posted by lgreen
The truth is probably somewhere in the middle- some amps here are probably better sounding than some commercial designs. But some are not. It depends.
Yes, I agree.
The same goes for speakers.

Btw there are very good sounding commercial amps out there.
By coincidence (not for me), most are of the minimalist design 'school', and not very powerful.
Listen to the Lavardin IT, an excellent amp.
But as usual with commercial gear... expen$ive.

And btw2: A Pioneer A400, with some work on it, makes a quite good amp.
These can be had for cheap now, but it was never an expensive amp, anyway.

Quote:
Originally posted by lgreen
I'm just happy when my amplifiers work. Tremendous satisfaction.
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