UCD180 st or UCD180 hd ? - diyAudio
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Old 3rd August 2008, 04:15 PM   #1
Davy is offline Davy  Scotland
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Default UCD180 st or UCD180 hd ?

Hi all,
I've had a notion for some time to build a stereo poweramp using UCD180 modules.
Im no electronic expert but i've built some kit's before and want to exercise my soldering iron once again, probably a winter project now though.
Before i go any further i've a couple of questions id like answered if possable.
I previously looked at these modules but i see they now have upgraded versions, the HD with increased cost as standard.
Is the extra cost for the HD version worthwhile, does it make an easily noticable difference - or is it a waste of money in a mid range system?
Also i used to own a tripath amp made by britt company sonneteer, i sold it after only two months as i found it quite uninvolving, great detail but no emotion/atmosphere.
I've since used valve amp's mainly but would like an alternative which doesnt serve as a room heater during the summer.
Will i find the UCD modules better in the boogie factor or should i forget about them and stick with the glowing bottles?
Sorry if this has been previously discussed to exhaustion and i've missed the relevant posts.
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Old 3rd August 2008, 09:49 PM   #2
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They are the same except the HG (high grade) model have the ability to add extra voltage regulators.
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Old 3rd August 2008, 10:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tekko
They are the same except the HG (high grade) model have the ability to add extra voltage regulators.
Is this right? I thought they had different op-amps.
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Old 3rd August 2008, 10:36 PM   #4
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A look at this site ( in fact I prefer it to Hypex own one) may shed some light.

http://www.bmm-electronics.com/Produ...groep_A_ID=193
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Old 4th August 2008, 12:45 AM   #5
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That site is more of a midnight madness blowout bonanza picture fest that seems to lack the technical expertise at Hypex. It might be OK to shop there but if you're after real information you should always look towards the source.

I was looking for a link in this forum to the post Jan Peter of Hypex made which detailed a few of the differences but it seems to have been moved.

The HG version has a choice assortment of high quality and very good sounding audio grade electrolytic capacitors. They use the LM4562 OPA with higher quality resistors. The base regulator is modified and improved over former revisions of the 400 and there is the further option of additional HXR regulators for either module.

AC coupling is done at the input with the same quality film caps as used in the output filter, rather than the output of the op amp with unbiased electrolytics as before. There's beefier power rail decoupling for better unimpeded current flow at audio frequencies.

The 180HG has an upgraded filter coil, and in conjunction with improved mosfets they allow for a higher current limit which Jan-Peter stated now makes it something more of a true 200W module. The modulators are upgraded on both modules and the 180 now offers the DC offset adjustment as well. All pots are Bournes.

There's further refinements, but they all add up to a higher grade and better sounding implementation of the tried and true UCD concept. The increased cost of the higher quality components is reflected in the price, but dwarfed by a priceless performance.

I can't tell you it's got any more "boogie factor" than the source that feeds it, which to me is a good thing as I don't prefer an amp that shouts over the band.
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Old 4th August 2008, 10:32 AM   #6
Davy is offline Davy  Scotland
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Thanks for the detailed reply, i looked but could'nt find much info re the improvements, does anyone else here find the modules bass light?
I use floorstanders so i dont suppose it would be a problem here but id like to know as i read a post slating the bass performance, that said i hate loose soggy bass anyway so it may be ideal in my setup.
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Old 4th August 2008, 02:49 PM   #7
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Classdphil, I have visited Hypex site(s) many times and many times I have been disappointed by the way they inform us. So we do not agree about were to look.

There were a group test of Class D amps in the spring of 2008 in an English magazine probably Hifi News. The conclusion I made when reading was that although Class D amps have developed their sound quality in later years they (the ones that do not cost a fortune) are not superior to linear amps. I try to be diplomatic here because some members are sworn knights of the Class D throne.

I read a discussion at Audiogon and opinions were diverse to say the least. How can opinions differ that much? Seems like love or hate.

Itīs difficult to form a personal opinion on amps because itīs so much about synergy and listening environment. And for diy itīs even up to the implementation and thus the skills of the builder.

I reckon the problem; by seeking information on (primary) the web you try to estimate if a product is a good one for you. But there are a lot of bias and the best thing is "try at home" which of course isnīt always possible.

For what itīs worth hereīs a tale of an "over kill" implementation of the Ucd 700 modules.
http://www.nodecorporation.co.uk/hyp0001.htm
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Old 4th August 2008, 07:16 PM   #8
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Sure, the direct emergency line doesn't ring so often, nor does the UCD bat light don the night sky much anymore, but if the AES paper, two master class papers, half a dozen application notes, the early attempt of a faq website (where you got your latest link from), the pushing for the creation of this forum by Bruno, along with his having taken the time to fill it with answers, or the more specific hundreds of direct responses regarding the modules in this forum as seen in the ucd180, ucd400, and many other threads, is "poorly informing" you, I kindly suggest the failure to be informed rests squarely upon your shoulders.

They've done more to inform than anybody else combined, open your eyes. In my reply I told you nothing that Hypex didn't tell you or anyone else on this forum already. It's hard to find now as it was moved where nobody will look for it, which doesn't serve us well.

A class d amp enjoying an equally refined topology and implementation could only be better than an equally refined amp of any other class in terms of possibly size, weight, and efficiency. At that level sonic differences will amount to the preference of slight variances brought on by passives. Very, very few class d amps are at that qualifying level, and amps of other classes that are, cost a world more, which is why we're here.

Culling your conclusions from magazine gospel is a dangerous way to get (mis)informed, for example having the assertion that a class d amp should be better than one of any other class to begin with is an indication of marketing poisoning at some point. The main guy stating the opposite, would be Bruno himself.

Forum discussions also aren't the best source for an opinion, specifically if you have difficulty in applying a weighting factor to their level of inexperience, lack of reason, third party conclusions, or outright deceipt.

You can't form a personal opinion without personal experience. It's not really difficult comparing amps either. They aren't all equal, they don't all sound alike, speakers and room interractions come last in the chain and remain constant. Differences in amps, further up in the chain are readily discernable. You should already have a solide understanding what you like in an amp and what an amp should be. If your preference is for a mess of euphony, you'll always be lost in a slew of options in incompetent designs, marketing, and indecision, never short of another option.

That's not to say that a hobbyist or even professional reviewer isn't beyond damming or poisoning the river entirely at some point, negating any differences that should be there. Rarely will they ever seek answers for they are more interested in supplying them, and lack the brass to print retractions as it would put their weighting factor or celebrity into question.

Obviously with diy modules in the hands of the public at large you'll see every kind of opinion differing from the next, as every single variable changes, including expectations, level of reasoning, and skill, but it wouldn't be acceptably diplomatic to bring such things into question. I find you can expect very little consensus at large under such circumstances.

Some users have reported the modules being bass light. One such recent report stated as much while his initial opinion, seen some posts prior, was that it wasn't a conclusive comparison to make as he'd DC coupled his previous module and so they weren't on equal footing. That made sense up to that point.

Later he changed his mind, suddenly equating a film cap to a piece of wire because it can't be as bad as an electrolytic, therefore the module must be bass light. Rather than asking "what did I do wrong, this is exactly the setup and what I did", it was an assertion void of detail "are there any others out there with my same experience", to lend my conclusions validity?

Help was offered to identify any weak areas in the setup, and went unaccepted, so it amounted to nothing more than a fishing expedition.

That's like thinking gourmet cake mix will bake you a gourmet cake all by itself and after pulling a brick from the oven, asking if there might be others that can't follow the directions on the box for their experience to see if it might be a bad cake mix, and maybe chocolate just isn't there yet.
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Old 4th August 2008, 08:40 PM   #9
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The fact remain ; the Hypex site I have visited is or was IMHO not the best organized that I have come across. The link to BMM- electronics provided some information in the case and this and to me seemed sufficient at the moment. If AES papers were the relevant issue I would have pointed at them.

But this is a bit off topic, as are the many hypothesis you make about me and my experiences that you apparently know very little about. I think Bruno is a clever man!

Iīm not going to participate in a heated debate 4 sure!

Sometimes we want to find a person that represent much of what we disagree to or even dislike. But we might miss reality if we are guided by negative sentiments.

Quote;"..... the early attempt of a faq website (where you got your latest link from)," In fact not. You made a lot of assumptions

Best regards

Håkan
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Old 4th August 2008, 10:27 PM   #10
Davy is offline Davy  Scotland
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Thanks all, im quite enjoying this wee debate. It's just as well we dont all agree on everything or it would be a very dull life indeed.
Im still tempted to try the modules but im unsure how they compare to the tripath based amp i previously had.
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