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Old 14th August 2014, 04:00 AM   #1
BRSHiFi is offline BRSHiFi  United States
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Evanston, IL
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Hello All,

I just graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a Degree in Electrical Engineering Technology, basically an equivalent to a traditional EE degree, only with more lab work and less theory. I was born and raised in Evanston, IL in a family of musicians. That probably helped elbow me into the sonic utopia of tube audio. I currently am looking for work in the Chicago area. My specialty is mixed analog/digital applications. I love to work in both worlds, thus my specialty. Any assistance will be appreciated in helping me locate work.

For digital, I work with FPGA's, DSP's, Microcontrollers, and any kind of embedded system application. I can program in and easily learn any computer language. C is my favorite.

For analog, working with tubes is my favorite passion. Realistically, in my line of work, I deal with instrumentation amplifiers, op amps, data converters, and all kinds of sensors to interface the clean predictable digital world to the cold cruel analog world.

Tubes are old, outdated, and are far from reliable compared to the modern IC's out there. They drift, wear out, are extremely inefficient, and require huge clunky expensive components to operate. Lastly, they are dangerous due to high voltage and heat. I taught myself the analog world with tubes. Dealing with their issues made me a better engineer. Here is why:

That is, one learns everything "analog". This means performing proper circuit analyses, ground loop and current flow planning, proficiency in advanced math, and generally a more thouough understanding of electronics. If any of this is not practiced in tube electronics, bad results are guaranteed. The SS world is far more forgiving. Therefore, when a "battle hardened" tube engineer works with the modern world, his craftsmanship crosses right over. Most of my peers graduated not knowing how to design right off the top of their head simple comparator circuits. How dumb has the modern SS world made us?

One thing I was unable to fully accomplish was explaining to my professors why tubes are superior in audio. I do my best and tell them this:

- Tubes are naturally more linear than BJT transistors and thus require less or no feedback to linearize when used in a system. Generally, SS systems use gobs of feedback.
- Even though distortion and power output are inferior in tube systems, they probably sound better because they never actually cut off (just exponentially decay), unlike even a fully linearized solid state system. This makes tube systems more "peak music power" friendly. For guitar, more harmonic rich.
- Most current generation mosfets are designed for switching, thus the linear operating range is made as small as possible. Good luck fining a linear FET that has not been obsoleted. Same goes for JFETs.
-Finally, when the tech talk has failed, I just tell them to listen side by side to each. They then just tell me they can only hear up to 10K. That is really beside the point because the power spectral density of most music is polarized right in the midband.

Perhaps you all can help me be a better "lawyer" here.

Anyway, I will share my thoughts and ideas with you all here. For those of you in the Chicago area, I possibly may request that we hook up.

Over and Out,
Ben
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Old 14th August 2014, 07:56 AM   #2
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRSHiFi
Even though distortion and power output are inferior in tube systems, they probably sound better because they never actually cut off (just exponentially decay),
Valves can cutoff too.

Note that there is a separate forum area for initial greetings, so the technical discussions do not get swamped.
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Old 14th August 2014, 10:20 AM   #3
BRSHiFi is offline BRSHiFi  United States
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Evanston, IL
Quote:
Note that there is a separate forum area for initial greetings, so the technical discussions do not get swamped.
My bad, I did not notice that. Feel free to move it if you are a moderator.
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Old 14th August 2014, 10:58 AM   #4
SY is offline SY  United States
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He's not, but I am, and will be happy to do so.

If you don't have a copy of "Valve Amplifiers" (especially the 4th edition), I'd strongly recommend it. Although the author tries to keep it on more of a basic design level, there's a lot of great material in there even for engineers. The Radiotron Designer's Handbook 4th edition is deeper, terser, and more rigorous, and is also highly recommended, but due to its age, there's a lot of stuff in there that's out of date.

Delighted to have you here on the forum! I'm up in the Round Lake area and my wife hails from Western NY State- please drop me an email if you'd like to spend some time in the lab here, though my schedule has been a bit brutal recently.
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Old 14th August 2014, 01:44 PM   #5
BRSHiFi is offline BRSHiFi  United States
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Evanston, IL
What is your lab like? At present, I have an HP Infinium scope from around Y2K with 500 Meg bandwidth, a few PC based scopes, and a B&K.

I need to save for a proper benchtop multimeter. At RIT, they are starting an audio program next year, and bought audio analyzers and hired a new professor to help teach it. They focus on class D amplifiers for the power amps course. I wonder how well that technology will advance? I am prejudiced, I admit, and think tubes will always kick the pants off of it.
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Old 14th August 2014, 02:05 PM   #6
SY is offline SY  United States
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The usual. Scopes, spectrum analyzers, DVMs, wave analyzers, distortion analyzers, SPL meters, tube testers, test mikes, piles of tubes... It's in a perpetual state of cheerful disarray.

I've done a few articles on Class D recently- there's some interesting stuff going on in that world.
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Old 15th August 2014, 11:14 AM   #7
SY is offline SY  United States
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Ben, you've been posting under two different identities, which is against forum rules. Choose one and I'll merge the other identity into it.
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Old 15th August 2014, 03:00 PM   #8
BRSHiFi is offline BRSHiFi  United States
Previously known as kingden
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Evanston, IL
I will be completely honest here . I was posting under two identities.

There are a few reasons why I did that:
  • I have been posting here on and off since 2008, what I was very new to the hobby and a student. There was no way I could find to remove or overhaul the old ID so I basically abandoned it.

    I am now a professional (soon to be technically) and wish to start communicating and identifying myself as such. Besides, i never properly introduced myself back then anyways

    My intent was not to break the rules, just compensate for the workings of the underling software of the forum. Welcome to the world of engineering

Anyway, if the old identity has to be merged, just move the old one into BRSHiFi.
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Old 19th August 2014, 07:10 PM   #9
Speakerholic
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I'll do the honours.

Perhaps you can refresh yourself of the rules before making decisions like that. You see I'm not near as nice as SY, so when I catch persons breaking the rules I usually just push them into the alligator pond.
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Old 19th August 2014, 08:47 PM   #10
BRSHiFi is offline BRSHiFi  United States
Previously known as kingden
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Evanston, IL
Do you specialize in loudspeaker design?

Last edited by BRSHiFi; 19th August 2014 at 09:03 PM.
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