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Old 26th December 2006, 11:22 PM   #1
wixy is offline wixy  Australia
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Default What kind of amp for fullrangers?

I wish to start building a variety of different fullrange speakers, but am not sure what kind of amp to get to power them.

Would an 80w per channel class a solid state amp be overkill?

Should I just get a small tube amp?

Anyone have any suggestions for a general all round amp for fullrange speakers?

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Old 26th December 2006, 11:38 PM   #2
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What kind of amp for fullrangers?
Any that suits your tastes

Would an 80w per channel class a solid state amp be overkill?
Depends on the SPL efficiency of your speakers. If you have some 100dB FR speaker, then I'd say yeah. If you have something 84-86dB, give-'er.

Fullrange ratings are based on RMS power (unlike many designed for multi-speakers systems, which are more likely rated in peak for better numbers). So a 10W RMS FR could easily handle 30W or so music with a 50W transient. You'll probably run out of Xmax before power with FR's.
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Old 27th December 2006, 12:31 AM   #3
Geoff H is offline Geoff H  Australia
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Hi Wixy, my concern with your 80 watter is distortion at low level. Fullrangers tend to be very sensitive, and may show up problems with the amp.

Just watch the volume control if you are a-b testing. SET are the preference by most for true fullrangers. And some like the "t-amps"

Either way, I think when you are venturing into new territory, it's best to keep the variables to a minimum, and in your case, concentrate on the aspects of fullranging.

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Old 27th December 2006, 01:53 AM   #4
MJK is offline MJK  United States
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I have run my various full range drivers with 200 watt amps for years without incident. Full range drivers are not as delicate as perceived and I have had a few accidents with other people's amps producing surges/feedback without any ill effects. Your amp should work just fine.
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Old 27th December 2006, 02:33 AM   #5
m8o is offline m8o  United States
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wixy, I believe you'll be very interested in reading what's to be said in this thread:

At minimum make sure to read the 1st 5 posts, though don't stop there. I think in it you will find what you were looking for. While perhaps having the pentode amp utilizing the high impedance tap isn't something you immediately have access to, it should shed some light on just what transconductance amplification (aka constant current, aka variable voltage, aka variable gain, aka impedance follower ) can do for you and high efficiency fullrange speakers.

There are solid state alternatives to what is discussed in that thread. The First Watt F1 and F2 are that. The F1 schematic has been published for a long time, and F2 schematic is published under the Pass Labs Forum on this board (in the F2 clone thread). Here is Nelson Pass's watershed work on the subject:
Anyone with full-range speakers should give that a read IMO.

Wanting more power and flexiblity then the First Watts, being a total nOOb and needing something approachable to this noob, and wanting something I can experiment with the gain and level of constant current-ed-ness of (meaning, I want to be able to vary and "dial-in" the amount of impedance follower -type gain I end up with), I happen to be designing and will be building 3 stereo Gainclone amps to tri-amp my Horns in my Klipsch La Scala speakers using 6 LM4780s. ...which via its 1ohm floating ground of the circuit and feedback taken off between the negative of the speaker output and floating ground resistor resulting in the variable (voltage) gain behaviour, I'll have a very high power impedance follower amplifier to drive my hi-efficiency horns (using active x-over of course).

I'll start a thread on it one of these days I imagine.

Enjoy whatever you decide on.
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Old 27th December 2006, 09:44 AM   #6
Geoff H is offline Geoff H  Australia
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Hi m8o, I've looked at the feedback approach you mentioned, as a means of a constant current amp. Got bogged down checking required SAOO on output devices. Bit more complex than traditional designs.

I will be interested in your progress.

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Old 27th December 2006, 02:30 PM   #7
m8o is offline m8o  United States
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Not to go too OT, I will start a thread and we can discuss. But for one short OT tangent, what's the acronym SAOO? Like SOA of the LM chips (safe operating area) ; Safe Area Of Operation? Yes, I've come to the realization my initial design's didn't utilize enough gain. Reworking them. Should start breadboarding in the next few weeks. Thanx for the warning.
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Old 27th December 2006, 06:02 PM   #8
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Location: Wisconsin....what did you expect?
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One possibility that's very well rated for low-power use is the 41hz Amp4. 30 watts per channel at 0.007% THD+N - that's neary unbeatable!

As a side note, it's also very inexpensive - the kit's $50. Some people like to use them with a passive preamp (I.E; just a potentiometer or attenuator); others prefer to buffer the inputs and the output to the amp (which is most necessary for potentiometers - attenuators have a near-constant input impeadance.)

It's also very, very efficient - power draw at five watts per channel is about fifteen watts with an inexpensive SMPS power supply. This is very handy in summer - nice as the Pass amplifiers are, I don't want a space heater in my room in August!
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