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Old 12th July 2006, 11:21 PM   #1
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Default Just a listeners observation, nothing important...

Somebody on this forum said something like:

Quote:
"when it gets loud, you've run out of clean power."
Since I got my UCD 180's running I've become a believer. I've had to redefine my idea of what amp ratings mean.

Man, SPL isn't everything. The UCD's aren't as loud as other power amps I've owned but they are most defintely the most pleasing (with the possible exception of the NAD C270 - which I rate, over time, as the listenable amp I've ever heard).

Well, there it is.

UCD's are just plain lovely, even right out of the box. Bruno is a genius.

All you guys who mod (with skill) are so fortunate to be able to do that because improving this is something! The Mona Lisa with tweaks!

No wonder the CI amps go for such a pretty penny...

Regards,
Tom
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Old 12th July 2006, 11:39 PM   #2
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I suspect your UcDs output all the watts you paid for. Cleaner music is easier to listen to louder. For instance, how loud does an AM radio playing @ 93dB subjectively seem? Way too loud!
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Old 13th July 2006, 12:29 AM   #3
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Default Maybe it has something to do with age

I would have never gone for a 'chip amp' in my youth. It was always about SPLs and frequency extremes back then.

I think as I got older I taught myself to listen better. I notice way more nuances in music now, even on material I'm overly familiar with. No, this didn't just come about with the purchase of a T-amp. I think it started when I became interested in nuances in general. Like when I listened to an old boombox at one of my jobs, in a large wharehouse, with all kinds of noise around, I could still enjoy the music coming from that old boombox, but put that same old boombox in my living room; it sucked. And mind you, these nuances I was picking up on at work weren't being heard on my main rig.

To make a long story short, investigating psycho-acoustics on the internet lead me to fullrange/single driver theory, t-lines and Voigt pipes. Soon after, I was buying up every Radio Shack 1354 (5.25") driver I could find. It wasn't until a few months ago that I became interested in a little amp I saw on E-bay, the Sonic Impact 5066.
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Old 13th July 2006, 10:48 AM   #4
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Hi,

I'll proudly take full credit for having said that. Words to live by when it comes to high end audio.

What roll would age play exactly? I think it varies. Some people can appreciate the finer things in life at a younger age. Older folks tend to dislike "loud", I honestly can't say they'd also dislike clean power, since so few have it.

Now in my view, I'm not all that old at 28, and my interest in quality audio is not all that new, going back at least 12 years. This is perhaps why I realized that class d was the only real answer, because they have the potential to be at least as good as class A in terms of linearity, if nto better, yet at far greater power levels, and I love SPL... clean power, what it's all about!~

Also I think it's important to realize that those little nuances you hear on better amps that you could never make out before, are not at all guaranteed to be there simply by having clean power, but the cleaner it is the more you'll hear. So at what point does it cross over from clean power to loud? It depends, some are so loud at even low volume it seems loud, the little AM radio was a good example, but it hasn't reached painfully abusive yet. The real threshold of loudness in my view is the point it begins hard clipping.

What irks me is when people who don't, or pretend to not know any better try to show off a system by cranking it up well beyond what it can do cleanly, and it's not all that clean in the first place..These days, I've reached a point where I tell them to turn it the hell down because it's a piece of **** and I don't mind saying so.

I admit to being entirely spoiled by my current system, compared to what most people have, and I do love SPL, but I will never turn it up beyond clipping. Spoiled by it as I am I also realize what a rarity clean power really is. You start to be amazed with how people are so conditioned to think that clipping=loud=good times .

A fine example if not an extreme one is going to your usual cinaplex, the THX cert. ones, where they think the audio is a part of the experience everyone paid for (because it is being THX and all) and often crank the cheapest possible system they could get away witht well beyond what they can do cleanly. Usually this sounds like speakers of 110dB efficiency on a 15W amp that's trying to run at 30W. You hear the distortion in the voices, and the LFE are just a blurbling mess. Makes me want to leave, and it makes most people want to not go back, or stay home and download

I brought this up before and some have informed me not all places are this bad, but I'm willing to bet the vast majority can relate to that experience.

Anyway I just want to make the point very clear that you can in fact have what most might consider to be insane SPL, and of extreme quality, but it only comes in the form of clean power. Loud is a vulgar word, having no relation whatsoever to quality sound. May this become the gospel truth!

I very much enjoy the high efficiency of my speakers, and the cleanlyness with which the UCD powers them. I don't usually enjoy it unless I feel it thumping in my chest, and the level that happens you can still talk to a person across the room without a raised voice. Turning it up beyond that becomes an amazing experience.

There's one song I like to freak people out with, by Hans Zimmer, called beneath alrischa. With the right setup (a very efficient set of 15" UCD powered) it's a complete assault on the senses. Given a virtually black noise floor and dynamic range of hell, I can turn it up to what I know is just on the verge of clipping, and let it play out. No one expects what's in store. I've seen people jump a foot out of their chair from it, while others know enough to expect anything from me and are still shocked.

You dont' normally ever hear or feel the kind of bass it hits with unless it's with a type of music where clearity is a non issue, and maybe in an SPL on wheels fast and furious type jukebox. Certainly, never intermingled with orchestral music, on a system of such audiophile caliber. The orchestra building up on top of an unearthly brown note, you instantly see how holographic, tightly imaged, clean and fully controlled it is.

That's just the UCD for you, doing it's thing, stunning such as it is. It's one of the first and certainly still the finest example of what class d is capable of.

Because it is so clean and natural, it really doesn't seem loud at all even though everything around you is dancing around all over the place. From what I gather of a quick search it seems there's strong correlation between perceived loudness and distortion.
Regards,
Chris
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Old 13th July 2006, 11:09 AM   #5
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Thank you. I think you have just convinced me to develop my big speakers as opposed to my cute and surprisingly capable for what they are little ones.
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Old 13th July 2006, 11:14 AM   #6
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Hell yeah, go for it! Mine don't exactly blend in with the surroundings, take up a good amount of room, and are a total pain when they need to be moved, but when it comes to "feeling" the music.. I seriously enjoy taking it that step further.

No need for a sub though
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Old 13th July 2006, 11:54 AM   #7
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I knew it was the right way to go, just needed a little encouragement. That was the final push
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Old 13th July 2006, 01:23 PM   #8
ghemink is offline ghemink  Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally posted by classd4sure
Hi,

I'll proudly take full credit for having said that. Words to live by when it comes to high end audio.

What roll would age play exactly? I think it varies. Some people can appreciate the finer things in life at a younger age. Older folks tend to dislike "loud", I honestly can't say they'd also dislike clean power, since so few have it.

Now in my view, I'm not all that old at 28, and my interest in quality audio is not all that new, going back at least 12 years. This is perhaps why I realized that class d was the only real answer, because they have the potential to be at least as good as class A in terms of linearity, if nto better, yet at far greater power levels, and I love SPL... clean power, what it's all about!~

Also I think it's important to realize that those little nuances you hear on better amps that you could never make out before, are not at all guaranteed to be there simply by having clean power, but the cleaner it is the more you'll hear. So at what point does it cross over from clean power to loud? It depends, some are so loud at even low volume it seems loud, the little AM radio was a good example, but it hasn't reached painfully abusive yet. The real threshold of loudness in my view is the point it begins hard clipping.

What irks me is when people who don't, or pretend to not know any better try to show off a system by cranking it up well beyond what it can do cleanly, and it's not all that clean in the first place..These days, I've reached a point where I tell them to turn it the hell down because it's a piece of **** and I don't mind saying so.

I admit to being entirely spoiled by my current system, compared to what most people have, and I do love SPL, but I will never turn it up beyond clipping. Spoiled by it as I am I also realize what a rarity clean power really is. You start to be amazed with how people are so conditioned to think that clipping=loud=good times .

A fine example if not an extreme one is going to your usual cinaplex, the THX cert. ones, where they think the audio is a part of the experience everyone paid for (because it is being THX and all) and often crank the cheapest possible system they could get away witht well beyond what they can do cleanly. Usually this sounds like speakers of 110dB efficiency on a 15W amp that's trying to run at 30W. You hear the distortion in the voices, and the LFE are just a blurbling mess. Makes me want to leave, and it makes most people want to not go back, or stay home and download

I brought this up before and some have informed me not all places are this bad, but I'm willing to bet the vast majority can relate to that experience.

Anyway I just want to make the point very clear that you can in fact have what most might consider to be insane SPL, and of extreme quality, but it only comes in the form of clean power. Loud is a vulgar word, having no relation whatsoever to quality sound. May this become the gospel truth!

I very much enjoy the high efficiency of my speakers, and the cleanlyness with which the UCD powers them. I don't usually enjoy it unless I feel it thumping in my chest, and the level that happens you can still talk to a person across the room without a raised voice. Turning it up beyond that becomes an amazing experience.

There's one song I like to freak people out with, by Hans Zimmer, called beneath alrischa. With the right setup (a very efficient set of 15" UCD powered) it's a complete assault on the senses. Given a virtually black noise floor and dynamic range of hell, I can turn it up to what I know is just on the verge of clipping, and let it play out. No one expects what's in store. I've seen people jump a foot out of their chair from it, while others know enough to expect anything from me and are still shocked.

You dont' normally ever hear or feel the kind of bass it hits with unless it's with a type of music where clearity is a non issue, and maybe in an SPL on wheels fast and furious type jukebox. Certainly, never intermingled with orchestral music, on a system of such audiophile caliber. The orchestra building up on top of an unearthly brown note, you instantly see how holographic, tightly imaged, clean and fully controlled it is.

That's just the UCD for you, doing it's thing, stunning such as it is. It's one of the first and certainly still the finest example of what class d is capable of.

Because it is so clean and natural, it really doesn't seem loud at all even though everything around you is dancing around all over the place. From what I gather of a quick search it seems there's strong correlation between perceived loudness and distortion.
Regards,
Chris

Wow, that was a long story, fun to read. Fully agree with everything said about "loud". I wish I had a listening room where I could generate chest pounding bass as in the old days when I went to rock concerts every now and then, not a good thing to do if you want to keep your ears in resonable shape :-)

If I turn things up pretty high, just my room starts to generate distortion. The room I have my speakers in is now quite small. And everthing is wood (Japanese anti earthquake wood construction :-)) so all kind of panels/doors etc start to resonate creating bizarre amounts of higher order clipping like distortion.

Hope to have a better room someday.

Gertjan



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Old 14th July 2006, 03:48 AM   #9
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Default I don't mean to overpost but now I'm mad!

My ENTIRE library of nearly 7000 MP3's is now useless!

Useless!! The damn UCD's have somehow magically rendered them all NASTY! And you're all guilty for this...

Especially you C.



If I'd just never built this thing I'd still be... Well wait a minute, where was I before I could actually hear this stuff?

I let all the magic blue smoke out of my first set but it's still CLEARLY in the new set.

LOL.

Seriously though - I have a wonderful DAC on my big-fast computer - an Onkyo 24/196 - clean as a whistle and sweet as anything. Same as their consumer electronics. Only available in Japan, real hard to get.

The big iso rips are immaculate but most sources are just unlistenable. The 320 sources are still nice but anything below - to my ears - forget it.

Still...

Anybody with a huge digital library who's thinking of building a UCD to play it ought to think about it seriously. Be stupid, fat, and ignorant and forget it. If you do this thing - your library is wrecked. (I'm joking - but wouldn't go back on a bet!).

Trust me...

Wow, anybody know where I can buy a decent turntable?

Regards,
Tom
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Old 14th July 2006, 04:50 AM   #10
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Chris,

Most interesting.

"Anyway I just want to make the point very clear that you can in fact have what most might consider to be insane SPL, and of extreme quality, but it only comes in the form of clean power. Loud is a vulgar word, having no relation whatsoever to quality sound."

So you're saying loud is not a function of SPL, but of the speakers being overdriven and/or the amp clipping.

What about your ears? I know a guy built a system using pro drivers, B&C 15HPL75 with BMS 4552ND compression driver on Eighteensound XT1086 horn/waveguide.

He thought they had found their limits, but when he backed far away enough from the speakers the sound was crystal clear - his ears had gone into breakup.

Not that I'm against your philosophy, I'm working on a system similar to what I just described Same top end, but Eighteensound 12ND710 for the woofers.

Where can I find a description of your system?

Thanks
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