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Old 15th March 2012, 03:40 AM   #3461
FrankWW is offline FrankWW  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SY View Post
From an engineering standpoint, no. From a marketing standpoint, certainly.
Looking backwards, optimization looks easy. But when a person is in thick of things when does he say, "That's it. If I'm going to do better I have to start with a clean slate."

I don't think that's always so easy to know, whatever the creative activity is.
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Old 15th March 2012, 03:45 AM   #3462
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Frank well put, this in a nutshell is my conundrum, and I often ask myself that question.
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Old 15th March 2012, 04:01 AM   #3463
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benb View Post
With the last sentence in mind I wonder why active speakers (in which each amplifier can be designed for a specific driver, and the crossover done at line level instead of for high power) aren't as popular among hifi and especially high end as they are in recording studios. Is this due to the same bias for "separates" and against "integrated receivers" that has existed since probably the dawn of hifi?
Whatever the reason is, one thing's for sure - it isn't engineering-based. I've heard no reasonable engineering justification though I have sought one for what seems like a very long time... I figure it comes down to fashion.

Quote:
Active speakers have lots of advantages over separate amp-and-speakers (with the rather trivial exception of each speaker needing both audio and power cords). Why haven't I seen more of these compared to separate amp-and-speakers, or even generic (not designed specifically for the speaker it's connected to) monoblocks-and-speakers?
Its a very good question. Flexibility about upgrading must be part of it - having to sell on a box of electronics in conjunction with the speakers perhaps? The fact that few companies in the business have a good reputation for making both speakers and electronics?
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Old 15th March 2012, 08:14 AM   #3464
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcarso View Post
Not clear to me what you mean by "back-to-back". Schematic perhaps?

...
I meant that 100% literally, but in physical terms. You simply put two TO-92 plastic package tranistors with their flat sides one against the other, having added some thermal compound. Then you fix them to stay so joint - I've seem many methods used, from plastic straps, to copper rings.

Thus, physically joined also means thermally coupled.

@Wavebourn, Sy

Have I not made myself clear enough? I am severely limited in my choice of parts because of a small local market, which is ruled by one thing only - price. This means I am doomed to Chinese parts. "Doomed" is the EXACT term - a friend bought several nominally high power Motorola transistors, rated at 250W and like 250V, which died at just 30V and say 1W. He returned them and got his money back, but now has to order them from abroad.

But we face the problem of fakes day in, day out. We NEVER know what we actually got and have to test out each and every one piece.

Fun, huh?
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Old 15th March 2012, 08:35 AM   #3465
SY is offline SY  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankWW View Post
Looking backwards, optimization looks easy. But when a person is in thick of things when does he say, "That's it. If I'm going to do better I have to start with a clean slate."

I don't think that's always so easy to know, whatever the creative activity is.

In a sense, that's a symptom of losing the big picture. If the goal is high quality reproduction of music, then the good engineer looks at the whole system rather than focusing on one link in the chain. When that link is made of hardened tungsten and other links are made from decomposing ground beef, the wise engineer stops worrying about the isotopic ratios of the carbon in the tungsten and works on turning the ground meat into something more solid.

The exceptions are hobbyists who just love tungsten alloys and want to play with them and old engineers who only know tungsten, played with tungsten throughout their careers, love to tell stories about the old tungsten mines, are reduced to selling variations on the same alloys that were developed decades earlier, and growl at anyone who suggests that perhaps the tungsten links aren't really important anymore if the goal is to make a strong chain. And shamans who like to spin stories about how the tungsten needs to be made in mysterious and non-physical ways or the decomposing ground beef might corrode it.
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Old 15th March 2012, 08:44 AM   #3466
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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On Studer/reVox electronics:

What you gents are saying is pure symphony to my ears. Throughout the 60ies, 70ies and 80ies, Studer/Revox ruled all but unopposed locally - tape meant Studer/Revox. Anybody who wanted to be somebody bought theirs. Akai, Teac at al., were cosidered, well, acceptable, but really second class citizens.

In the early 70ies, I did own a Revox A78 integrated amp, and I was quite happy with it. To the best of my knowledged, it's still working happily somewhere.

Last year, I purchased their B 760 digital tuner, made in the late 70ies. On some list on Internet, I read that it is consedered to be No.8 on the 100 best tuners ever list, a list on which Day Sequerra is like No. 34. Whatever, it is an outstanding FM only tuner, and I can't wait to start refreshing it. Build quality like none I have seen so far, and I own three other tuners.

Studer's build quality is second to none, those people really knew how it should be done. They just work and work.

But I never owned a tape deck from them. On hearing only, I opted for Uher, a now defunct German compny, a part of Harman International, and I'm not sure they still make anything. It's mechanics were way behing the Revox A77, it was a single motor machine, but in my view, it had a better sound, or more precisely, I preferred its sound over the Revox. Revox always sounded a little detached to me.

That Uher Royal de Luxe, at the time their top model, cleanly took me from 1970 to 1981, when I purchased a Philips N4520, a 60 lbs behemoth. It was a rather advanced machine at the time, Philips' top of the line model, with many nice things built in - wind speed control, bias adjustment, 3 speeds (9.5, 19 and 38 cm/s, top speed with selectable NAB or IEC eq.), automatic electronic tape tension, 2.3 kg (5 lbs) flywheer, rubber belt drive, quartz locked, digital counter, the works. I really loved that machine, and it took me all the way to 1998, when I finally gave up on open reel tape.

In the meanwhile, a friend purchased a big Sony machine, I think the model was 765 or some such, and I have to say it - it had a superb sound, in my view better than Revox of old, but not having heard the current model 99 at that time, I can't compare them.

I have also heard a few machines I think sounded better than Revox, most notably from Germany, in shape and form of ASC 6004, and whatever anyone says, Grundig's TS1000 was another superb machine.

My biggest letodown ever regarding open reel was the gigantic Technics 1500 US machine. Imposing is an understatement, looks like a cool million, but I felt its sound was on the cold side. Admittedly, there was just that one sample, and one swallow doth not a spring make.

Regarding John's note that he designed some new electronics for the Studers, I must say that's no news to me, I did read somewhere about it. And while everybody around me said those Gringos are crazy, I remained silent because I saw the logic of it. There never was, or will be, any piece of equipment you cannot improve upon.

I swapped the recording and playback electronics boards in my Philips (thank God, it was very modular!) with the same, but with metal film 1% resistors instead of classic carbon 5% ones, with as tightly matched transistors as I could do at the time, and it did sound a little bit better - nothing drastic, but enough to be heard. And I just swapped - designing anew is whole new ball game, with far more opportunities.

Come to think of it, Nagra is the ONLY tape machine I have never ever read of anyone improving upon. Although, admittedly, it is a special purpose machine, with really only one competitor also from Switzerland, Stellavox.

Anyway, it seems that pnce you got into tape recording, you staid there. I did sell the Philips, but I did keep my Sony TC-K 808 ES cassette deck. I actually preferred that over its competing model from Nakamichi.
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Old 15th March 2012, 08:50 AM   #3467
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
Whatever the reason is, one thing's for sure - it isn't engineering-based. I've heard no reasonable engineering justification though I have sought one for what seems like a very long time... I figure it comes down to fashion.



Its a very good question. Flexibility about upgrading must be part of it - having to sell on a box of electronics in conjunction with the speakers perhaps? The fact that few companies in the business have a good reputation for making both speakers and electronics?
In my view, a good pair of active speakers will beat literally everything out there - but at a price. For it to be superb, you need a superb loudspeaker with some super amplifiers powering it, and costs tend to escalate.

How about a passive loudpeaker which is incrimentally upgradeable to fully active, using external amps?

Because that's what I did with my speaker. It has three pairs of binding posts at the back, and its crossover is split onto three hard cardboard blocks, each containing one XO section with point-to-point soldering.

So, you can take it to fully active in discrete steps, first the bass, then the mid and lastly the treble. Sure, there's fiddling to be done, it takes time, but it sure keeps your speaker in business MUCH longer.
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Old 15th March 2012, 08:52 AM   #3468
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post
Sanyo bought Motorola?
On Semi is Sanyo now? Boy, these acquisitions are going fast and furious.

I still remember when Texas Instruments, Burr Brown and National Semiconductors where three companies... And with the recent Nat Semi acquisition I expect another long list of nice and useful parts to be nixed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post
Not ready to plug and pray yet, as I think I can understand a little more. My basic instinct is that loop feedback is how you fix what you can't in each stage.
True, but there is nothing that you cannot fix in each individual stage...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post
I was playing in Spice with CCS's. Wow, not quite as constant as I had been lead to believe and way off a Spice model CCS. A thought occurred to me. Should not the CCS, and for that matter CM, be several times faster than the signal circuit? The other thing that surprised me was when doing AC analysis in the CCS, how it varied across the bandwidth a lot more than I expected.
And Spice Sim's are way too optimistic regarding semi-conductor performance, because often the models are not even as they could be in Spice (usually Gummel-Poon which has huge holes in it anyway).

I agree, current mirrors and current sources that use feedback (ring of 2 anyone) need to be "faster" than the main circuit. Of course, they usually are not.

Ciao T
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Old 15th March 2012, 09:04 AM   #3469
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThorstenL View Post
Hi,

On Semi is Sanyo now? Boy, these acquisitions are going fast and furious.

I still remember when Texas Instruments, Burr Brown and National Semiconductors where three companies... And with the recent Nat Semi acquisition I expect another long list of nice and useful parts to be nixed.
...
Hang on there, T.

Texas bought out Burr-Brown, which then became "The Tucson operation". That was some years ago.

What's this with National? Who bought whom out?

That Sanyo should buy out Motorola will happen when you buy an icecream in Hell. Motorola is neck deep in collaboration with the Pentagon, and nobody sells their strategically important companies.

True, these buyouts and/or mergers do happen, like when Philips' parts manufacturing arm of old, BC Components, was sold off to Vishay, but Philips then opened up a new parts manufacturing chapter. It's too lucrative a business to just give it up.
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Old 15th March 2012, 09:20 AM   #3470
SY is offline SY  United States
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Originally Posted by dvv View Post
Motorola is neck deep in collaboration with the Pentagon, and nobody sells their strategically important companies.
Their defense stuff was all sold to General Dynamics more than a decade ago.
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