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Old 1st November 2012, 12:34 AM   #21
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Two comments at random:

I think one reason is that expectations from 'modern' amplifiers are sometimes overrated. We fit all manner of boutique parts, e.g. exotic capacitors - which has no effect on audio. "If it is better it must sound better" - no; mercifully hearing has limitations. Above a certain quality (these days found quite commonly) the component will not affect the sound. So-called exotic components are there for more critical applications than audio (the medical field, measuring equipment etc).

Then the subjectivity of hearing - NO!, no debate invited over this (done to death elsewhere). Only kindly stop to ponder the following:

While researching for a series of articles on "Audio over the years" some 12 years ago, I came across the following amazing piece of information. The advent of electronics almost a century ago plus the almost simultaneous introduction of fm, widened the broadcast frequency response from about 4kHz to over 10kHz, apart from obvious higher fidelity. Surprisingly this development was initially rejected by the public with a majority of over 3:1! Astonishingly musicians rejected it with a majority of .... almost 15:1! That while the real thing i.e. live concerts existed for comparison.

This tells us ... what?
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Old 1st November 2012, 12:50 AM   #22
CBS240 is offline CBS240  United States
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Quote:
I have a hard time finding the words to express how much I despise SMDs.
I dissagree. Distance on a PCB costs inductance/resistance. If the distance is shorter (including component leads and bonding wires), the effects are less particularly with high frequency RF BW. This prototype stereo amp module that is self contained, thanks to SMDs, in a realitively small area, the output stages are driven by an error amplifier that must work at frequencies well above the audio ban so the shorter the traces the better. There is a lot going on, on that PCB.

This one is version 2, as a single 2 sided PCB with daughter boards attached and the minor errors worked out with a few improvements like the addition of relays. This makes it completely self contained and all that is needed is a 35VAC CT transformer, connect the input source, and connect the speakers. It will have 2 seperate channels, DC detection/protection, momentary push button to switch between standby and active mode, where standby mode turns off the output stages/bias. Also clipping detection, short circuit protection, and thermal protection/management with a DC fan control circuit and a thermal cutoff limit.....All thanks to those tiny SMDs.
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Last edited by CBS240; 1st November 2012 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 1st November 2012, 01:12 AM   #23
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The most common problem with SMD components is that some of them are so small that to troubleshoot or to replace them is a pain in the a$$! You must have Good eyes and steady pulse and do not mention those ic's that have so many legs the size of a hair...
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Old 1st November 2012, 01:57 AM   #24
cotdt is offline cotdt  United States
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I know lots of audiophiles and I've never heard any of them say they like old SS amps. Today's SS amps sound far better. Old tube amps sound great with a few capacitor upgrades, though.
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Old 1st November 2012, 03:14 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
I know lots of audiophiles and I've never heard any of them say they like old SS amps. Today's SS amps sound far better. Old tube amps sound great with a few capacitor upgrades, though.
I only know audio snobs who claim they don't like old SS amps. I'd bet anything that a double blind listening test would tell quite a story.
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Old 1st November 2012, 03:19 AM   #26
cotdt is offline cotdt  United States
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Originally Posted by AudioPackrat View Post
I only know audio snobs who claim they don't like old SS amps. I'd bet anything that a double blind listening test would tell quite a story.
Go ahead and do a blind test. The 1970s SS amps I've heard sound pretty terrible to me. People who couldn't tell it apart from a good modern amp (SS or tube, doesn't matter) needs to have their hearing checked.
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Old 1st November 2012, 03:22 AM   #27
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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What?
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Old 1st November 2012, 03:34 AM   #28
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Depends on how well it was designed and built, are we comparing 20 watts a channel consumer gear or "State of the Art" stuff meant for serious use by serious people. Certainly older better amps offer much better value for money than many current consumer offerings and the power supplies are robust and well built and quiet compared to cheap switch-mode crapola
I'd buy something like a mack if I could but until then i use the Rotel and my old Kenwoods.
There are some SS amps out there using a large double-die transistors that seem to have a definite "Sound" to them that many people prefer and when working well perform as well as anything reasonably affordable made in the last decade
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Old 1st November 2012, 03:42 AM   #29
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I fairness, most of the IC's in the '70s were pretty lame. Some of the IF strip chips were OK and the FM stereo decoders were better than the discretes but the audio opamps were quite bad.

The best power amp I heard back then was the Marantz 15 dual monoblock. At the time I thought it was the most transparent thing I'd heard. Every now and then one turns up on eBay and goes for a decent price. I guess I'm not the only one who likes it.

G
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Old 1st November 2012, 03:49 AM   #30
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Default Read up on the skeptic's views

Here is an excellent source of anti-psychotic for the music lover:
Why We Believe
Winer, and his recent book "The Audio Expert" (geared more to pro audio however) help debunk the many myths that plague our hobby. Consider that, in this whole thread, only one person mentioned "blind test." While it is of course possible that differences (measureable) exist, it does not mean that differences are audible in a fair (e.g. blind, double blind) test. If you do a search, you will find few, very few, fair tests where a consistent difference is heard. If such happens, then the reason why should be a cause for much investigation. Also this is not to say that technology won't improve. Most people can tell the difference between LP and CD sound. Much harder is to discern amp A from B (assuming fairly matched) in a fair test. Finally, valid for the hobby, but not maybe for sound quality, is the satisfaction of building, tweaking, owning, etc. certain type of equipment.
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