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Class D Switching Power Amplifiers and Power D/A conversion

Tube buffers, and Buffers for Class D amps
Tube buffers, and Buffers for Class D amps
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Old 2nd June 2018, 02:25 AM   #1
Flaxxer is offline Flaxxer  United States
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Default Tube buffers, and Buffers for Class D amps

Can we please make this thread, everything tube buffers and buffers, for class D intended usage? I searched, and the most recent one I was able to find was several years old. I like the extremely clean, low distortion sound from Tripath Class D. But I do find it can be a bit "sterile" sounding to me. I have considered the Pass clone buffer from Jim's Audio for $184 shipped, But I found a seemingly simple solution to volume control ( gain setting for me ), but with the ability to roll tubes, for a bit less "sterile" sound. So I have decided on the FX Audio Tube Buffer for approx. $60 for the buffer and better tubes.

Amazon.com: FX Audio TUBE-01 6J1 Tube Buffer HIFI Preamplifier (Black): Cell Phones & Accessories

I was going to post a photo, instead of the link. But my internet is too slow. I will replace the link at a later time.

What buffers of any kind do you prefer or dislike, for pairing with Class D amps ?

Last edited by Flaxxer; 2nd June 2018 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 2nd June 2018, 03:28 AM   #2
DUG is offline DUG  Canada
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I prefer a low impedance (differential ) source for differential class D amps.
I prefer a low impedance SE source for SE class D amps.

Lower noise pickup mainly...discussed many times.

I buffer pots if a pot is needed.

This:

TPA3116D2 Amp

was started 5 years ago ( how time flies )

There are a few posts in there about source impedance, noise, pots, pre-amps.

Good luck with the pre-amp. Let us know your opinion of the sound when you get it.

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Old 2nd June 2018, 05:17 AM   #3
nigelwright7557 is offline nigelwright7557  United Kingdom
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For sterile valve or solid state amps I add a soft limiter circuit.
It can add varying amounts of fuzz via pot to the original signal at a fraction of the cost of a valve solution.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 2nd June 2018, 07:17 AM   #4
hkknudsen is offline hkknudsen
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I'm loving a Kuartlotron with both TPA3255EVM and Icepower 50asx2. However it is very transparent and won't color a thing. I don't know if DRC could be an alternative to adding warmth with tubes?
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Old 5th June 2018, 02:01 AM   #5
cjkpkg is offline cjkpkg  United States
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Something like this perhaps
ACF-2 Aikido Cathode Follower Kit
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Old 5th June 2018, 03:13 PM   #6
Flaxxer is offline Flaxxer  United States
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Yes, cjkpkg. Al of my researching, and I never came across that one. The other tube buffers were rather Spartan looking, compared to that kit. Seems to be nice. But I'm not an EE either. I know less about design and circuits than anyone into DIY should be allowed, LOL.
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Old 5th June 2018, 03:15 PM   #7
cjkpkg is offline cjkpkg  United States
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I have built many of John broskies kits...they are top notch.
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Old 5th June 2018, 03:19 PM   #8
Flaxxer is offline Flaxxer  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUG View Post
I prefer a low impedance (differential ) source for differential class D amps.
I prefer a low impedance SE source for SE class D amps.

Lower noise pickup mainly...discussed many times.

I buffer pots if a pot is needed.

This:

TPA3116D2 Amp

was started 5 years ago ( how time flies )

There are a few posts in there about source impedance, noise, pots, pre-amps.

Good luck with the pre-amp. Let us know your opinion of the sound when you get it.

Thanks for the link, DUG. I started reading last night ... but over 1000 pages! Thought I would ask before keeping on reading ... does anyone know if an external gain pot can be added to the Sure amps which do not have them? Can they be unsoldered, and a circuit added in for each channel?

Lack of gain control is a problem on an amplifier this powerful, without a proper preamp set up. Which I didn't want to use.
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Old 27th June 2018, 06:32 PM   #9
Flaxxer is offline Flaxxer  United States
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I would like to make a purchase today. But I am unsure, due to ignorance in circuitry and buffers in general. I wanted to go ahead and purchase this one, for approx. $170 , ACF-2 Aikido Cathode Follower Kit

But it is sold out. I could visibly see it using high end capacitors, and allowing for several tube styles to be used. But it is out of stock, with no return date info. There are a myriad of $50 tube buffers, which use the 6J1 tubes, and are all probably the same thing inside. Reviews are fairly good. Negative reviews seem to be about non working units, and not sound quality issues.


I've set myself a $200 limit. Any advice here would be most welcomed. Thanks
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Old 27th June 2018, 09:23 PM   #10
tapestryofsound is offline tapestryofsound  Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaxxer View Post
There are a myriad of $50 tube buffers, which use the 6J1 tubes, and are all probably the same thing inside. Reviews are fairly good. Negative reviews seem to be about non working units, and not sound quality issues.

I've set myself a $200 limit. Any advice here would be most welcomed. Thanks
I have the AudioFX Tube 01 buffer. The stock tubes are not very good, too much emphasis on treble for my western ears. Instead I am using a matched pair of NOS Russian Voshkod tubes, paired with a cheap Class D Nobsound power amp, and I can listen to music all day long - beautiful sound. The Audio FX Tube 01 is cheap, so I have another as a spare.

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