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Old 24th April 2001, 10:04 PM   #1
lohk is offline lohk  Europe
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Hi,

as a new active member of this list I want to be possibly nasty and start another (?) thread about the "gaincard" amplifier.

Has anybody tried to make their own "clones" or whatever?

This little controversial beast (the orginal one of course) is AFAIK not available here in austria, so I have no real experience with the sound - although the hype is/was a little too much maybe.
(I think at least I can make a few more small amps for my sound studio ...)

Any comments?

Klaus
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Old 24th April 2001, 11:06 PM   #2
Geoff is offline Geoff  United Kingdom
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Klaus

Have you seen the write up on the Gaincard in the Editorial article at the ESP Audio Pages? ( http://www.sound.au.com )

You will see that this device is nothing more than a couple of power op-amps. It would be very easy to replicate, but who wants to!

Geoff
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Old 25th April 2001, 01:18 AM   #3
lohk is offline lohk  Europe
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Yes I've seen that, and others (which are pretty similar of course).

But what still puzzles me is the fact, that this PowerOPs are in many relativly cheap MIDI setups and hifi gear of that kind, and never sound really astonishing special.
But also serious Hifi Brands like Linn or Rowland and Pro Brands like Rane use them too (the MAJIK f.e.).

The Gaincard semm to have a different sound (due to the "weak" supply ?)
Geoff, have you listened to it already?

greetings
Klaus
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Old 25th April 2001, 01:41 AM   #4
Geoff is offline Geoff  United Kingdom
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Klaus

Sorry, no I haven't listened to it, so I shouldn't really pass comment. However, it is probably similar in concept to an amp sold here in the UK at an exorbitant price (the Final) which uses power ics and a battery supply. The batteries have to be zinc-carbon standard cells (they sound better than rechargables or alkaline cells according to the sales blurb). I worked out the cost of using the amp for two hours a day, and the cost in batteries over a year was nearly as much as the amp itself!

I suggest that the main difference between the Midi setups and the Gaincard (if it does in fact sound any better) is in the power supply and in the quality of the ancilliary components.

Geoff
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Old 25th April 2001, 01:53 AM   #5
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Iohk, are you familiar with the the Gainclone website? If not, the check out

http://www.interlog.com/~cfraser/Gainclonehome.htm
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Old 26th April 2001, 10:06 PM   #6
lohk is offline lohk  Europe
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Hi all,

I agree fully with all who critisize the price policy of some hifi/highend products. All I know about the Final Amplifier seems really strange to me or at least funny.
But I remember the time when I was in retail (selling and repairing LINN and NAIM, ION/Nytech, Heybrook and Creek, etc.). We always regarded a certain part of the customers as "patients", possibly ill and infected by the music and hifi virus. I had a good feeling with the treatment I could offer, but some other medicans are probably charlatans...
But that ist another thread.

But I know that the price calculation of the production of audio amplifiers is much more complex than just to add up the prices of the parts. (Although I can understand at least some of Rod Elliot's anger ...)
I remember reading an interview with Stan Curtis of Cambridge Audio fame) about the wake of the NAD3020. They once asked him to construct a good sounding transistor amp but it had to cost no more than 17$ in production. He succeded, created a myth and the people at NAD earned quite a lot of money with the 3020 and all its numerous successors.
But this is again another thread.

BTW: Using dry batteries in MC Pre-pres makes some sense,
for amplifiers I (and others of course) would suggest car batteries.
I once used a big high quality 24V accu setup with my NAIM NAC42.5 (slightly modified), which semms to transform the sound into another class.
But this is another thread again.

Back to the Gaincard:
Recently (before I discovered all the fuss about the GC in the net) I bought a few TDA2945s and LM1876s, for a extended surround production amplification. But these ICs are AFAIK not the ones used in the Gaincard amp.
But I think I will try some experiments with those chips.

Geoff, dont you think it must be at least interesting to find out what the rumour and breathless reviews are all about. At least quite a lot of people regarded this little beast on par with the AudioNote ONGAKU, one of the best
(tube-)amplifiers I ever had the pleasure to listen to !
- Maybe I should transfer this thread to the tube forum, because many of the Gaincard convertits semm to be tube lovers in their earlier life :-)

One thing more: I was fascinated and amused at the same time, when I heard about an amplifier with just ONE transistor. That surely must have been a joke.
But the L'Audiophile / Jean Hiraga NEMESIS was a serious amp, not to mention the ZEN once more.
So since then I am always open to strange wonders, new developments an so on.
Last year I read an article (in the german magazine STEREO) about an amplifier made by Yamamura-Churchill, but I
- dont laugh - lost the mag in the train, an then the dammed article did not go out of my mind.
Recently I found the website but the infos are poor.
Another amplifier with a single input for 4000+$. Maybe another amp with powerOPs too, who knows ?

I know, I am a little bit in the "middle earth" side of electronis sometimes, but it is nice when it has a certain thrill ...

Sorry for the long post.

Klaus

ps: thank you for the gainclone link !





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