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Old 6th November 2012, 01:42 PM   #101
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Audio has always been built out of the parts bin, it used to be the military market, now its tablets. Many of the best components are not made anymore, especially transistors and capacitors. What we have are parts really made for mp3 players and switched mode power supplies.
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Old 6th November 2012, 02:28 PM   #102
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SMPS caps tend to be very good though!
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Old 12th November 2012, 11:00 PM   #103
NH4012 is offline NH4012  United States
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Default Sometimes justified, sometimes not

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmsandy View Post
i have seen many talk about the vintage Marantz 170DC or Pioneer 1980 etc

what is so unique of those amps that someone cant build such stuff these days?

I have even seen ceramic and mylar caps in those which are generally not encouraged in audio ckt.

but why does they sound that great that one eventually calling me many times that do you have any old amp like them....

we can get better toroidal these days better caps but whats wrong...

i sometime see the polystyrene capacitors in the old amps is that one of the strong reasons why they sound good?
ofcourse design is one aspect but example...

people say Rotel was good few decades ago but now its not as good as old...

i understand the cost and features competetions but is there anything apart from that what makes them so unique...
Some vintage amps have superior build quality and decent specs so they sound good but some are no better than modern amps. Unfortunately, the range of choice today is a small fraction of what was offered 30 years ago.
Many of the well known hi-fi manufaturers have either gone out of business or stopped making stereo products and moved to multichannel surround receivers where the public buys based on watts and dollars ONLY in too many cases. Those new receivers often have BASH amplifier designs to minimize cost and power supply size and 0.7-0.9% distortion is considered OK. Amps like the Pioneers from the 1970's were much more expensive than today's receivers and except for the bottom couple of models in the line, were very well built and had very good specs. They also look and feel like quality products. Few makers even offer integrated amplifiers today and those who do often price them out of reach for all but the 1%. I always recommend 1970-1980's integrated amplifiers and some receivers from companies like
Sansui, Pioneer, Denon, etc. Of course, if you don't connect them to serious modern speakers it's all for naught.
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Old 18th November 2012, 07:11 PM   #104
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Interestingly, older pro amplifiers, etc. usually have components that were great for their age and designs that top-notch. My Biamp EQ-210 has a kick-*** PCB layout and plenty of ventilation room inside the chassis. Grounding, etc is superb.

The only major problem with old tech (1970's) is that design quality is more or less matched by the archaic nature of components from the era. My Biamp really only shined after I upgraded the 4558 op-amps to lm4562's (then stabilized the circuit), upgraded its resistors to metal film types and its ceramic capacitors to C0G versions.

In short, with a little love it's hard to beat "old" audio.
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Old 18th November 2012, 07:33 PM   #105
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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I'm finding the same. In fact, it's so much work to build a good amp from scratch that I don't expect to do it very often - but re-building an old amplifier is an excellent way to get a good result with less work and often with a more professional finish.
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Old 18th November 2012, 08:06 PM   #106
Trebla is offline Trebla  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by nigelwright7557 View Post
I would suggest there is quite a bit of nostalgia associated with older amplifiers.
I have a couple of 1980 Maplin 50 watt amplifier modules. This was my first amplifier project in 1980 and so holds a lot of good memories for me. What was incredible for me was it worked first time ! I also built a Maplin 225WRMS amplifier for a mobile disco and that worked well for many years despite on road use.
Despite the 50 watt amp being old I do like the sound of it. I cant tell the difference between it and a modern class d amplifier.
It just happens i've been given a Maplin 50w amp in need of some minor repair.
Just got it working this morning, and i have to say i'm astonished by its performance.
It would be easy to right these off as old junk, or at the very least, assume it to be very run of the mill.

Here's a typical example of an amp with electrolytic input caps. Yet the amp sounds as detailed as my Tripath amps, and as easy to listen to as my tube amp. It has a wonderful presence in the upper mid band, which gives music a live feel, and yet never sounds tiring.

I admit i was expecting to use it for spares, but it's been running all day and i don't feel the need to switch it off just yet. Probably as enjoyable as any solid state amp i've owned.
One of those unlikely hidden gems.
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Old 18th November 2012, 08:24 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trebla View Post
It just happens i've been given a Maplin 50w amp in need of some minor repair.
Just got it working this morning, and i have to say i'm astonished by its performance.
It would be easy to right these off as old junk, or at the very least, assume it to be very run of the mill.

Here's a typical example of an amp with electrolytic input caps. Yet the amp sounds as detailed as my Tripath amps, and as easy to listen to as my tube amp. It has a wonderful presence in the upper mid band, which gives music a live feel, and yet never sounds tiring.

I admit i was expecting to use it for spares, but it's been running all day and i don't feel the need to switch it off just yet. Probably as enjoyable as any solid state amp i've owned.
One of those unlikely hidden gems.
Is that the mosfet amp?
I had a couple of those and built some very sturdy PSUs for them, and yes they did sound very very good! I put the output mosfets on a different PSU to the rest incidentally.
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Old 18th November 2012, 09:03 PM   #108
Trebla is offline Trebla  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by Globulator View Post
Is that the mosfet amp?

No, it's this one.

50W HiFi Power Amplifier LW35Q Maplin Kit

I've heard somewhere that the Mosfet amps were better, which is why i was surprised how good this was.
This one's been built exactly as the instructions, so it will be interesting to see if i can improve it, without destroying its qualities.
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Old 18th November 2012, 09:12 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trebla View Post
No, it's this one.

50W HiFi Power Amplifier LW35Q Maplin Kit

I've heard somewhere that the Mosfet amps were better, which is why i was surprised how good this was.
This one's been built exactly as the instructions, so it will be interesting to see if i can improve it, without destroying its qualities.
Article here on the 50 watt amp.
50W HiFi Power Amplifier LW35Q Maplin Kit
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Old 19th November 2012, 11:38 AM   #110
regal is offline regal  United States
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I'm a headphone guy but occasionally listen to my speaker setup. Found this thread cause I was considering building an amp for my home theater rig (thats the best term I can give it

But I don't have the time right now and it would end up costing quite a bit (I've got about a $500 budget.)

I was hoping by now digital amps would be competetive by now just because I like small and efficient, but I'm tired of waiting. Looking at the DIY efforts they just don't make sense yet.

For the money I don't think anything could beat a used $350 Adacom GFA so thats what I'm going to buy.

Last edited by regal; 19th November 2012 at 11:42 AM.
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