John Curl's Blowtorch preamplifier part II - Page 2789 - diyAudio
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Old 27th September 2012, 08:42 PM   #27881
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Quantity does not completely reduce the cost of fabrication. It just doesn't, and it is not realistic to imply that it is so. Other compromises must be introduced as well.
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Old 27th September 2012, 09:35 PM   #27882
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john curl View Post
Quantity does not completely reduce the cost of fabrication. It just doesn't, and it is not realistic to imply that it is so. Other compromises must be introduced as well.
Very true.

When people grew up with the advent of microelectronics, "Moore's Law" became practically a mantra. When some of them got involved with audio there was often an attempt to apply this notion of "progress" to everything, including loudspeakers. And there was a lot of frustration expressed when these people were told that speakers were a pretty mature product, and that specific materials costs were not that elastic with volume. And, that as well, moving air was always going to take material and energy, even though one could suppose incremental progress would continue, as indeed it has.

This inconvenient truth used to spawn other management fantasies when someone would come along with something that purported to do away with old constraints, and by virtue of using some new technique be claimed to obsolete traditional designs in no time flat. The NXT panels and Elwood Norris's ultrasonic heterodyne stuff were among the offerings. There were also some rather naive power amp approaches, I won't enumerate them here but suffice it to say they have not taken the world by storm.
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Old 27th September 2012, 09:52 PM   #27883
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An issue not often dealt with at the hiend of audio is that manufacturers have to pay royalty/patent fees to numerous people/corporations in a single product. I have been told by asian mfr that the limiting cost of a product is often the fees added to the product cost and not parts costs. Even if parts and labor were free, it would still cost the consumer a good chunk of change because of all the fees attached to the product. In many hi-tech products the fees contribute more than the costs to build/assemble it. -RNM
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Old 27th September 2012, 09:57 PM   #27884
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The big growth in the future for audio will be that of understanding of the need for refinement, not major "advances". As said, the iPod generation, and many of the previous ones as well, are all about numbers getting bigger, more impressive, and that's just not going to do it in the area of music replay.

My fiddlings and experiments have demonstrated to me that the inherent quality in nearly all electronics, half reasonable and above, is quite adequate to produce spectacular results, if the right attitude and philosophy is brought to bear upon the exercise.

It's not "progress" that's needed, it's understanding where the weaknesses are, knowing that these are what are undermining the potential of what you have acquired or designed, and then carefully, precisely eliminating them, ie, the problems ...

It is really like debugging a piece of powerful, but flawed computer sofware ...

Frank
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Old 27th September 2012, 10:03 PM   #27885
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You're right fas42! It is not just that something measures within spec is NOT enough. You HAVE to know or be able to guess where the 'weaknesses' are.
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Old 28th September 2012, 01:58 AM   #27886
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We are still moving forward with 'exotic' audio measurements. It is still important to find the KEYS to why different electronics sounds different, when conventional measurements don't show much. The instrumentation will be different than what we are using today.
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Old 28th September 2012, 10:46 AM   #27887
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At a certain level of refinement the sound subjectively becomes very sensitive to the slightest disturbances in the environment, typically quite obviously electrical in nature. The measurement regime needs to be sensitive to those subtle variations, and I certainly don't what sort of measurement techniques, conventional in nature, that will precisely point to where the damage is being done to the sound in these situations. A reasonable guesstimate of a test with perhaps some value, is of a multitone, that comprises 2 elements: a set of frequencies which stresses the system overall electrically, say high level bass and midrange tones, and a second pair of low level, high frequency treble tones, selected so that they are completely unrelated harmonically to the "exercising" tones. Then, all the measurement focus is purely on what harmonics and IM interaction of those treble tones is spawned ...

Frank
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Old 28th September 2012, 01:25 PM   #27888
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Old 28th September 2012, 09:04 PM   #27889
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We are still trying to know what is still unknown as to WHY some amps sound ok, yet measure lousy, and visa-versa. '-)
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Old 28th September 2012, 09:22 PM   #27890
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Produced in high quantity things designed on computer and never breadboarded are very cheap, especially when they made as cut and paste from datasheet examples. Similarly, produced in high quantity copies of some known designs. But how much will cost say an unique headphone amp for unique headphones? A fortune. You never know how much time is needed to design something unique and exceptional. And it requires unique skills that are not cheap.
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