Anaview AMS0100-2300 build - diyAudio
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Old 11th February 2015, 08:35 AM   #1
ssmith is offline ssmith  Kenya
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Default Anaview AMS0100-2300 build

I love my diy Mini Aleph Class A amp, but it's a bit brutal on the electricity bill, so have been meanin for quite some time to do a good Class D build. In the past I've only dabbled in Tripath 2020, which I liked alot but it was a bit underpowered (curiously my Mini Aleph, which is around 10wpc, never felt lacking).

After some hesitation between the Hypex ucd180/400hg hxr modules and other options (nCore a bit too expensive), I decided to go for the new Anaview AMS0100-2300 modules -- http://www.profusionplc.com/pro/gex/...o=AMS0100-2300 -- and get a pair to use in BTL mode.

They are being built into a Hammond 1550j case.
At the moment I'm testing them with balanced inputs, direct from a Teac UD-301 dac, attached to a PC running JRiver media centre.

The input impendence on these amps is low: 2.5k-12.5k SE, and 1.39k-12.5k balanced. The Teac DAC has an output impedence of 200ohms.

I'll also be incorporating input buffers -- have ordered a set of Per-Anders' Sjöström Super Buffer - I'll get those boards in a few weeks, so at some point will be able to test the Anaview with a good input buffer stage. These buffers have an Input impedance of 1M ohms, and an output impedance of 2.5 ohms. I've left plenty of space in the cases for the buffers+psu.

Tested the amps first without any input capacitors -- no pops or anything nasty. Then remembered I had a load of Black Gate NH 150uf 350v in my parts bin which I've used as coupling caps in the past and they seem to me to be totally transparent, so I've popped a couple in this build just for testing.

Have some crackling/distortion/static noise at high volume, though that could be because of the clip leads all over the place. Will solder them up next and see if that fixes it. Will comment on sound too once this issue is resolved.

Some pictures below.
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Old 11th February 2015, 09:36 AM   #2
ssmith is offline ssmith  Kenya
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Wired/soldered up properly one of the amps now with the BG coupling caps, and still had crackling/distortion/static noise at high volume... however turns out this was because of the JRiver output settings, which was outputting everything to 2x DSD. Anyway turned this off and the amp is quiet as a mouse and very clean.
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Old 11th February 2015, 12:18 PM   #3
ssmith is offline ssmith  Kenya
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Both wired up and working perfectly. Just leaving them playing and will reserve making any definitive subjective comments until I can get accustomed to them and then start doing some direct comparisons with the Aleph. All I can say at this point is that they sound really very good. The bass is amazing -- very tight and detailed, no flab at all. They seem to grip the speakers like nothing else. Detail is exceptional.

Still need to test more with/without input caps, and then, when I get the boards from P-A, with/without input buffers.

As for the modules themselves, they are super easy to work with -- very much plug and play and the diy work is chassis/connectors. The boards seem very high quality and well made. Given the efficiency of these amps, they'll be the 'always on' amps in the house.
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Old 13th February 2015, 09:46 AM   #4
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Hi, ssmith,
Nice build! Waiting for comparision and your subjective impressions.
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Old 15th February 2015, 03:59 PM   #5
ssmith is offline ssmith  Kenya
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After a couple of days of listening, I can give some initial impressions based on listening comparisons between the Anaview and the amplifiers that I can actually do a comparison with. Obviously some people will be keen to know how the Anaview sounds compared to Hypex UcD or nCore... sorry, can't be of any help.

Compared to a Marantz PM17 (this is a push-pull, solid state, 60wpc integrated amplifier. Very well made, very reliable. About 16 years old). The sound of the Marantz can be described as warm, if not a bit muddy and mushy. Bass is a bit flabby. Fatiguing/harsh with full range speakers. Good with two-ways. Not a bad amp, but not a great amp either. In comparison the Anaview has significantly tighter bass, feels far more powerful, has more detail, and throws out a bigger soundstage. The difference in detail is incredible. Night and day. Hardly surprising though -- the Marantz is an integrated that has A LOT in the signal path. So this comparison was just for the sake of it.

Tripath 2020 (DIY board by autocostruire.com): The Tripath has some of that Class D detail but a bit of (reputedly) "tube warmth" (woollyness?) too. Sounds terrific with full range speakers with certain sources. On the downside it's also a bit dry, just doesn't have the muscle to drive 2-ways, and can be bit harsh on the highs too. Anaview has significantly better bass and control over 2-way speakers, and sounds similar to the Tripath with full range speakers, only far more detailed (and less forgiving of poor sources). The Anaview is better on the highs, no glare. The Anaview throws out a bigger soundstage.

Compared to Nelson Pass-design based Mini-Aleph amplifier (based on BrianGT's boards, with overbuilt PSU and quality components. About 10-15wpc. Class A). I love this amp. It's been my favourite for several years, but it's not really an "always on" amp because of the power consumption, even for this low-powered variation. It sounds great with full range and and 2-ways, has a very lush midrange and seems to make every source sound good. It works well with passive and active preamps. In fact to my ears this amp is just about perfect. At my listening volumes I've never found it under-powered.
In comparison the Anaview has more grip over the speakers, tighter and more detailed bass - the difference on this is very big. In the midange and highs, the Anaview is detailed and transparent where the Aleph is lush... The lows sound better on the Anaview, the mids are perhaps slightly pronounced on the Aleph. The highs are all there in all their glory (or not) on the Anaview, and smoother on the Aleph.


Some initial thoughts:
The Anaview modules have exceptional power and grip, incredible detail, incredible bass (I think this is their strongest point), and are certainly the most detailed/clear/neutral amps I've ever heard. Perfect for studio/mastering use.
Bear in mind I've been testing the Anaview amps with digital and analogue sources, with a passive pre. Given their low input impedence, they may benefit from an input buffer stage, which I will add at some point.
I like these Anaview modules. They've plenty of power and run cool, are very easy to build, and are stone quiet. I think for accuracy and detail, it would be hard to do any better -- although accuracy and detail do have their downsides. One thing I've learnt in DIY audio is that system synergy is a complex thing, as one is essentially dealing with any number of combinations. In the home environment, they can feel a bit unsubtle and overdetailed, and very unforgiving of poor sources. When playing compressed online radio streams, for example, you can hear all the compression artifacts in all their horror. Maybe a tube pre would deliver the best of both worlds?
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Old 16th February 2015, 03:00 PM   #6
ssmith is offline ssmith  Kenya
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Another update: I rewired the amps into single ended mode (with a toggle switch to changed between balanced and SE) and this means I can use a preamp in the chain. I have an Audio Note M-One preamp, which is a single-ended class A tube preamp, which I happened to get on ebay a while back at a great price.
With the Aleph I found this preamp was a bit "too much" -- it seemed to make things a bit mushy, so it was hardly used.
However with the Anaview it really adds everything good and nothing bad: the Class D bass and overall exceptional detail is still there, but the midrange is at least up to the level of the Aleph now.
Am very, very happy.
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Old 17th February 2015, 06:51 AM   #7
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Thank you for your thoughts and comparision! Sounds promising.
Have you tried stereo vs BTL mode?
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Old 17th February 2015, 07:23 AM   #8
ssmith is offline ssmith  Kenya
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No, sorry, so far I've only tried them properly in BTL mode, with balanced and unbalanced inputs, with and without coupling capacitors in the signal path. When I had the modules on the bench for testing (to check they work OK) I wired them in stereo mode for a few minutes, but didn't do any critical listening.

I wanted to have a bit of headroom, and the specs show THD vs power (into 6Ω) in BTL mode is 0.003% at 50w and 0.01% at 100w. In stereo mode, THD vs power (into 8Ω) is 0.003% at 10w and 0.01% at 20w. I think for 250 euros, two modules wired up in BTL are terrific value. For a smaller amp for a smaller room, I wouldn't hesitate to get one of these modules and wire it up in stereo. Still terrific value I think.

Just to repeat what I've said earlier, these modules are shockingly accurate. With a passive pre they really show poor mastering on digital. I've been enjoying comparing different digital releases -- SACD, 24/192, 24/96, 16/44.1 rips -- and am convinced these modules would be fantastic in a studio mastering environment as there are things on recordings (good and bad) that I've just heard for the same time. But for me though they really come to life with my tube preamp -- I feel I'm getting the best of both worlds.
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Old 17th February 2015, 07:45 AM   #9
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Thanks for info! Maybe I will try them in my active 4way system.
The output impedance of my eight channel Exasound e28 DAC is 200 Ohms. Do you think I will need caps? Have you listened with and without caps and heard a difference? I would like to connect DAC straight to the amp.
What do you mean by "best of both worlds"? Is Anaview too bright/harsh or you simply need some warmth to "mask" harshness of bad recordings etc.?
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Old 17th February 2015, 08:53 AM   #10
ssmith is offline ssmith  Kenya
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No problem!

1) The output impedence of my DAC is about 200 ohms, and it seems to match the Anaview modules without any problem -- although the input impedance of the amps is quite low (see the sepc sheet). The Anaview modules may or may not benefit from buffers at the input, and I'm waiting on some Diamond Buffer boards to build and install, at which point I'll update.

2) I'm using caps at the input of the Anaview modules because there are no caps on the output of my preamp, and there is a tiny bit of DC on its outputs which give the woofer a bit of a pop and a tiny bit of hum without caps. I've tried with and without caps -- the caps eliminate the pop and slight hum from my tube preamp without any noticable degradation on sound quality (to my ears at least). When connected directly to the DAC, the amps get no pop or hum without caps, and I also could not detect any loss of quality with them in, so I've just left them there. The caps I'm using are some old BG 150uf 350v I had around, which are overkill for the task. I also tried some Sonicap 22uf in the same position, and could not tell the difference. Whether or not you need caps on the input probably depends on the output of your DAC, which if well designed (it looks like it is) should probably be fine without.

3) I wouldn't say the Anaview is "bright" or "harsh" -- it seems to me to be very well balanced and extremely detailed. It's a double-edged sword: with great recordings it sounds terrific (and it sounds superb with vinyl), but on bad digital recordings it can show them up as such and as a consequece sound a little thin and flat. The tube preamp however seems to add a little midrange bloom and some extra body. It's a question of taste and source material I think.

I also think that with an 8 channel DAC and an active system, the opportunity for playing with DSP and room correction is enormous, and you should be able to find a formula that works well. I plan to experiment with that next. Hope that helps in some way!
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