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Old 14th September 2009, 07:33 PM   #1
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Default Why Is No-One Making Equibit Amps?

Hello Guys,

This is my first post.

I am curious as to why the only companies manufacturing amps based on the Texas Instruments Equibit are Panasonic and TacT?

I am really intrigued by the capability to be all digital through to the last stage and wish there were more options/choices.

Do you guys have any input why there are so few people using this technology?

Thanks,

James
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Old 15th September 2009, 07:02 AM   #2
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Maybe that is just a question of perception: There might be many companies out there using the chipsets from TI one is not aware of.
Otherwise I couldn't imagine how these could be available at such cheap prices.

Regards

Charles
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Old 15th September 2009, 02:23 PM   #3
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Charles,

My question is derived from the numerous amount of internet searching I have done over the past year. I am not a super technical guy and would never tackle a project such as building my own amp so I need to find one in production. The reason for my curiosity is that I currently have two of the Panasonic SA XR-700 receivers that I use for my 2 channel set-up. The sound is very nice in all digital mode but I feel it may need just a bit more power.

There is the option of modifying the Panasonics but it could be as much as $1000 per unit to do this and I am not even sure it would be any better than the current Tact offering OR even have enough wattage. My speakers require Bi-amping and the lower woofers would do well with at least 175 watts and preferably more than 250 watts.

So, does anyone know of any high power versions of the Equibit OR would someone be willing to build them?

Thanks,

James
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Old 16th September 2009, 05:52 AM   #4
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The power you are looking for can be achieved with TI's largest integrated output stage. But into 4 Ohms - not 8.
Therefore I assume that there must be finished products available in this ballpark.

It is not easy to make a discrete power stage for this topology (i.e. open loop) so I assume that there might not be too many companies being able to do it apart from TacT (Lyngdorf) and TI.

Regards

Charles
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Old 16th September 2009, 07:11 AM   #5
Steve M is offline Steve M  Australia
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The original poster's question is a good one and the answer to which is probably that manufacturers and DIYers use whatever digital chip is flavour of the month.

Having owned Bel Canto amps (Tripath chips); ICEPOWER 250A & 500A amps and Panasonic XR30/50/57/700 amps (Equibit), I think they all sound pretty good and have great clarity and detail. They seem to differ only in how the designer has voiced them to do different things in the areas of midrange projection and how the highs and lows are presented.

The Panasonics are superb value and provide five or six channels of high quality digital amplification @ 100w/ch - great for active speaker systems. At the price secondhand $100-500, its not worth contemplating DIYing such an amp unless you are a masochist and want to do it for the 'fun' of it?

Regards,

Steve M.
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Old 16th September 2009, 08:28 AM   #6
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Kenwood and KOSS seem to use this technology from TI as well. You have to watch out for "pure-path digital".

Regards

Charles
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Old 16th September 2009, 01:31 PM   #7
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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And I've used the stuff from DDX. Also sounds very nice. Now made by ST.
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Old 16th September 2009, 01:57 PM   #8
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maybe because the jitter requirement of 1bit conversion is on the order of 20picoseconds, for 16bit equivalent of perfomance . That speaks for itself, cause it asks for a digital front-end thats more expensive than the whole output stage : )) Also (to my understanding) this is also the only reason these modern "128x" delta sigma converter chips use multibit quantizer, eg. this lowers their sensitivity to jitter, also their builtin switched capacitor output stage does. You can t really use either with a straight 1bit converter, that is , what I personally find the preferable case too.

Last edited by tritosine; 16th September 2009 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 16th September 2009, 02:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
The original poster's question is a good one and the answer to which is probably that manufacturers and DIYers use whatever digital chip is flavour of the month.

Having owned Bel Canto amps (Tripath chips); ICEPOWER 250A & 500A amps and Panasonic XR30/50/57/700 amps (Equibit), I think they all sound pretty good and have great clarity and detail. They seem to differ only in how the designer has voiced them to do different things in the areas of midrange projection and how the highs and lows are presented.

The Panasonics are superb value and provide five or six channels of high quality digital amplification @ 100w/ch - great for active speaker systems. At the price secondhand $100-500, its not worth contemplating DIYing such an amp unless you are a masochist and want to do it for the 'fun' of it?

Regards,

Steve M.
Steve,

Thanks for your input, do you currently have the Panasonic 700? If not why did you get rid of it? Do you think it is worth selling my set-up and going with something ice-powered such as the Wyred 4 Sound? I really do not want to go this direction if it is just an equal (sound quality) move as I would have to get a nice DAC and Pre-amp in addition to the 4 channels. Currently I only have the 2 Panny receivers being feed by my sources' digital out. The price difference would be something like 4-5k if done right!! Those selling the Ice-powered gear say it will be no contest but I believe they are just trying to push their gear. Especially since so few have heard the Equibit.

Others have told me that the Panasonics REALLY benefit from a replacement of the current "captive" power cord with an IEC type. This is a somewhat inexpensive change- probably $300-$400 (each) with mod AND high quality power cord. The cord can always remain with me if the units are sold so it is more like $100 per unit that I would be out. Wayne at Boulder Cable used to do mods on the earlier generation units (XR-57) and said it would probably be in the range a $700-$1000 to upgrade the caps and power supply. At this level things are starting to get a bit more spendy! Especially for an "unknown" return. He was not even familiar with the XR-700 and so it would just be a "guess" as to what changes would occur with more expensive parts.

So, I am in a bit of a dilemma as to the direction to go. Do I try to stay with the "all Digital" topology or go with a DAC in the system? Honestly- if I change away from the Equibit topology then things are wide open and there is really no reason to stay with class D (Tri-path, Hypex, or Ice)

I realize that I am asking for something that is mainly subjective- ALL OF THIS AUDIO STUFF IS ANYWAY! What I would really love to have is a single chassis system with 4 channels of high power Equibit and a digital source selector with volume control. Oh yeah- it must sound great!!

Thanks,

James
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Old 16th September 2009, 02:39 PM   #10
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check this thread, this is the non plus ultra upgrade for those equibits, then use some boutique clock :

High Resolution Multi-Channel Digital Interface
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