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abraxalito abraxalito is offline

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About Me

  • About abraxalito
    Biography
    Ex professional- and consumer audio designer. Prior to working in audio I was in embedded systems.
    Location
    Hangzhou - Marco Polo's 'most beautiful city'. 700yrs is a long time though...
    Interests
    Maximizing dynamics and soundstage depth for the least money with multibit DACs
    Occupation
    English teacher, disruptive innovator with ARM Cortex M-series
    Country
    United Kingdom
  • Signature
    When irony first makes itself known in a young man's life, it can be like his first experience of getting drunk - Robertson Davies

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  • Last Activity: Today 02:38 PM
  • Join Date: 19th September 2007

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Latest Blog Entry

Posted 28th August 2015 at 04:38 AM by abraxalito Comments 0
Posted in Uncategorized
Since acquiring and modding my Taobao headphone amp I've been enamoured of creating a much more portable headphone solution to deliver aural nirvana but on the move. Whereas transformers are a very practical solution for a desktop amp, steel and copper is not only bulky but also jolly heavy and hence a no-no for anything pocket-sized.

How else to get the dynamics I'm seeking though? For these amps I'm toying with different solutions to getting better PSRR, particularly in the all-important bass region which tends to suffer in commercial portable amps. The OPS (output stage) is what needs most attention in any classAB amp - the signal stages can all be classA but for efficiency (and hence battery life) the output stage can't be conducting all the time.

A fully discrete output stage where the output devices are cascoded looks to be one solution but initially I'm looking for a simpler, more cost-effective solution with lower overhead on the supplies if possible....

Posted 19th July 2015 at 10:00 AM by abraxalito Comments 0
When browsing Taobao I can't resist the temptation to try the very cheap stuff. This little TFcard player really takes the biscuit for the lowest price of a digital audio source - 9.9rmb. So I ordered up three, I might just order more soon.

First powering up I tried some FLAC files, these don't work but wav and mp3 work fine and it even finds files below the root directory. Power supply is nominally 12V but its using an EF fed by a zener diode, not an IC reg so almost anything from 6V will probably work. I haven't managed to find the technical blurb for the chip so far so a little reverse engineering was needed. It incorporates a 3.3V regulator to power the IR receiver and the TFcard - I have fitted an additional regulator for the first mod because I wondered if the low-level noise I was hearing was due to interference from the flash card's power draw. Turns out no as when playing .wav files this noise disappears.

Incidentally the 9.9rmb cost includes the remote...

Posted 2nd June 2015 at 05:44 AM by abraxalito Comments 2
When I found this on Taobao a few days ago I could not believe the price wasn't a mistake, or that it was just for the case with nothing inside. But it turned out to be real, so I ordered one - it arrived just now so I'm taking it apart before having a listen. The case oozes quality and the volume control feels silky smooth.

Here - 莱曼(lehmann) 耳放 莱曼构架的好声耳放,全铝机箱,一体耳放-淘宝网

When I've had a listen (gotta search for my 1/4" adapter) I'll get into modding.... Incidentally for those on 110V, it does have a mains voltage selector switch. Amazing.

I traced out the circuit (still haven't listened) and found its pretty much as shown on the Taobao page. 78/79 15V regulators feed BD139/140s and a TL072 sits between the volume pot and the discrete OPS. This stage resembles a diamond, but instead of the more familiar current sources to the rails, it has 1500ohm resistors. LTSpicing this arrangement (schematic shown) reveals its...

Posted 25th May 2015 at 07:00 AM by abraxalito Comments 2
Here's an interesting post by Charles Hansen (of Ayre fame) about his preference for diamond buffers in amp output stages - http://audioasylum.com/forums/amp/me...18/185962.html

He's saying that diamond buffers sound better but that he has no idea why this would be.

Simulating the PSRR of the diamond vs a traditional EF2 reveals a significant difference - about 6dB better PSRR for the diamond. Could this explain the SQ improvement? Charles designs his amps without GNFB so you'd tend to think that his OPS PSRR is really rather critical.

Since making this discovery I've been on the look-out for opamps with diamond buffer OPSs - OP260 was one I found (courtesy of Esperado) but there are a few from Linear Technology which I've ordered up a few of. In particular, LT1886 and LT1723 look very interesting as potential amp/buffer stages in DACs. LT is fairly unique in that they publish a simplified internal schematic in all the DSs I've looked at...

Posted 16th April 2015 at 01:28 AM by abraxalito Comments 6
I asked this question of Yahoo and didn't find anything much - a few people mentioning the PSRR of their C-multipliers but no simulation results and no algebra. So I fired up LTspice for myself to take a look. The transistor models are the usual Gummel-Poon ones LTspice provides (one up from hybrid-pi) which look to be decent enough for this purpose.

I went for two EFs (sometimes called EF2) as that's probably a more practical arrangement in an audio amp. Some designers even prefer EF3 to get much lighter loading on the VAS/TIS. The EF load I made independent of the bias current so I could learn more about biassing. I used AC simulation to have a look at how the PSRR varied over the audio band.

Turns out the PSRR depends on at least three circuit details and one inherent characteristic of the EF transistor used. In no particular order the circuit aspects which matter are the source impedance seen by the base of the EF, secondly the load impedance seen and finally...
Recent Comments
Yeah I'd recommend investigating...
Posted 27th August 2015 at 12:58 AM by abraxalito abraxalito is offline
Interesting, perhaps...
Posted 26th August 2015 at 03:46 AM by Destroyer OS. Destroyer OS. is offline
Sure - all these TDA-series...
Posted 22nd August 2015 at 11:10 PM by abraxalito abraxalito is offline
So does it run balanced...
Posted 22nd August 2015 at 12:45 AM by Destroyer OS. Destroyer OS. is offline
It might work depending...
Posted 17th August 2015 at 11:40 PM by abraxalito abraxalito is offline
Hide this!Advertise here!

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