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Old 24th August 2003, 09:16 AM   #1
sss is offline sss  Israel
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Default hi end costy amps

hellow everybody

does anyone know where can i find schematics for some of the commercial expensive amps , i want to know what they put in there that makes those amps so damn expensive , are they using special made transistors , parts ...... ?
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Old 25th August 2003, 07:12 AM   #2
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I think there is nothing special except that they use expensive capacitors, which DIYers also have access to. I found some complex circuit, but the main circuit is standard, mostly use paralleled MOSFETs (also in Accuphase). Only in Audio Research I have seen bipolar. So I think (may be) the damm high price is coming from the patent? But accurate component values and matching can be part of an expensive system too.

In general, the price is a function of demand, not "quality".
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Old 25th August 2003, 08:16 AM   #3
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i also found a chematic that looks normal but with many
paralleled output transistors , so , theres nothing special i guess
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Old 25th August 2003, 09:19 AM   #4
r0cket- is offline r0cket-  United States
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Default Re: hi end costy amps

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Originally posted by sss
hellow everybody

does anyone know where can i find schematics for some of the commercial expensive amps , i want to know what they put in there that makes those amps so damn expensive , are they using special made transistors , parts ...... ?
For the most part, there's nothing really special in most equipment. I don't know what's in some of those $40k sealed monoblocks that I've seen reviews of, but for most 'reasonably' expensive hi-fi stuff, there's nothing too special.

A lot of the cost comes from design and manufacturing. Somebody has to design a circuit that sounds good, measures well, and uses few enough components, or, at least, the right components, that it can hit the price/performance ratio necessary for the company to be able to sell the product.

Additionally, there may be some cost involved in ensuring that the circuit doesn't make unlawful use of anyone else's IP. So you have a couple engineers and a couple lawyers getting paid before a single product even ships.

The equipment needs to be tested, as well. So add the cost of a suitable testing ground, a wide variety of associated components (speakers, interconnects, preamps, sources, etc), measurement equipment, etc. And labor costs will probably be high for anything made in Europe or North America.

If a warranty is offered on the equipment, the cost of it (cost to replace/repair unit multipled by rate of failure over warranty period) will be added to the price tag.

And add to all this the cost of parts, out-sourced manufacturing of PCBs and chassis, marketing, customer service/tech support, whatever fees are involved to get the device certified for use in the countries it's sold in, insurance, facilities, etc. And finally, enough profit to make the whole effort worthwhile.

And this is basically why DIY can be so great--you find yourself a design that has a good reputation, you shop intelligently for the components, you build the thing in your spare time, and eventually, you have a high-quality, relatively low-cost amplifier.
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Old 25th August 2003, 10:52 AM   #5
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Default Why the high prices?

I think we should also take into consideration that some of the best amps are really also works of art. The whole assembly is a pleasure to look at. That takes lots of time - expensive time. In addition to all this it would have taken a lot of time to audition the design and evaluate its performance so that the end user gets a really good sounding amp. That again takes a lot of expensive time. Eventually all the months of design and development will have to be charged for as if it were a cash investment. That will be inflated by the ex factory costs - distribution , advertising , dealer margins etc. So as the units are usually made in small numbers they end up being expensive.
Now I am talking about the people who are really dedicated to bringing you good sound.

Unfortunately the market is such that it is not very difficult for not so 'fanatic designers' to make pretty products for enormous prices. Their margings are higher as they do not go through the time and trouble that the dedicated chaps go through.
You will have to study each product well before you buy it. Those who spend less money on the outside and more of it inside the product , generally make better sounding products.
The moral is that it is very hard to determine the "value" of a product by looking only at its component parts. The major costs are invisible but "audible" !
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Old 25th August 2003, 12:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why the high prices?

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Originally posted by ashok
In addition to all this it would have taken a lot of time to audition the design and evaluate its performance so that the end user gets a really good sounding amp. That again takes a lot of expensive time. Eventually all the months of design and development will have to be charged for as if it were a cash investment.
I have just read the Gainclone vs Discrete debate initiated by DrG. As a knowledgable person in electronics, he really had a point. But I know from experience that average or most DIYers are not even close to his capacity.

I often proud of myself of being able to create a good sounding system. I know that the same amp circuit with the same source and the same speaker can be tweaked differently to achieve a good sounding system. It is very easy to tweak chip based amp to achieve a good sound. Basically it is an effort to fight oscillation to employ small (unity) gain and to design suitable speaker. But tweaking (not even designing) a discrete is a real headache...

I usually am not afraid comparing my optimized system with many higher end systems. This is not a bull-sheet knowing that I usually have expensive gears I left unused (or untweaked). If only you could agree that a single "wrong" cap at the wrong place can ruin all the system performance, and right components at right places can deliver a good sounding system... Too often I heard bad sounding expensive systems simply because the owner wrongly match the component brands. What will you say if a top class amplifier and source is fed to an expensive speaker, but you can hear a "grunge" as if the amp crying for more current? Or you hear a resonance of the speaker cabinet?

So you know the price of my system. It's not the components used in the system, it's my time dedicated to the system. (A waste of time that brought me a bad career, and a 9 years in universities... )
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Old 25th August 2003, 12:49 PM   #7
Jay is offline Jay  Indonesia
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I just remember now how much effort I had given to tweak my Bride Of Zen from noises.
I blamed myself from not having oscilloscope and pittied my ears from not able to work
independently against power supply noises and distortions...

Only yesterday (after I discontinued the BOZ for a long time) I found that the ALPS pot
used in the pre-amp introduced terrible noises!
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Old 25th August 2003, 12:57 PM   #8
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Good topic!

The answer is simple: The market can take the price regardless of the content.

Some products have high production costs and some have not.

All products have small production series though.

Some products are worth the money and some are just rip-offs (Gaincard, production cost small, development cheap).
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Old 25th August 2003, 06:41 PM   #9
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Default A high end that many pros consider worth the money

http://www.bryston.ca/schemprod.html

The warranty is clearly one of the best I've ever seen, for any product in any industry. Speaks volumes about the manufacturer's confidence in their product.

:)ensen.
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Old 25th August 2003, 08:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Speaks volumes about the manufacturer's confidence in their product.
Great and reliable design indeed. If only it could also play music...
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