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Old 1st August 2013, 07:25 PM   #11
PMI is offline PMI  United States
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@jcx: The point about distortion audibility is well made, I pretty much agree with that, and it is good to be reminded that crossover distortion is more audible at low listening levels, etc.

My point was not very well made.

It is true that the average speakers (and room) contribute more distortion on top of a typical consumer power amp or receiver. However, one should not use that as an argument to start improving a sound system from the speakers backwards. That is a salesman's argument, not and engineer's. Like buying a car with a nice interior and a poor engine.

You need to start at the source, because if the source of the signal is poor, or if the sound is distorted in the amplification process, you will not even be able to choose speakers that suit your personal preferences.

In any case, to the best of my knowledge, you can't solve the speaker/room issue for under £400. You can however build any one of a dozen power amplifiers in this forum for much less than that, and outperform a typical consumer system (at low-moderate single-room listening levels).

aside, and off topic: The Bob Carver challenge is an excellent example of what I stated above, if you control the test, you control the outcome. That does not make his amplifier bad by any means, not my point. He was one of the best engineers of the time who was also an excellent salesman. Go to the Carver web site, or read some of the descriptions of how the "tests" were done... as an engineer, and a EE, not as an audiophile...

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Old 2nd August 2013, 01:29 PM   #12
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Ive got a old rotel RMB 1048, connected to a miniDSP to build some 4way active speakers.

I also want to build a single ended valve amp to power some Mark Audio small full range speakers.

What speakers are you powering, will you use a no crossover, a passive one or a active digital one?

I have been watching these Elekit (active on this forum i believe) Under £200 DIY
Click the image to open in full size.
ELEKIT TU-870R 6BM8 Tube Power AMP (Kit) | eBay
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Old 2nd August 2013, 02:02 PM   #13
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I'm looking just at a stereo power amp at the moment, possibly later I will add a decent quality dac/pre, then if there is benefit I will add a dedicated seperate PSU.

I will always be powering a speakers with passive crossovers, though they may be augmented by a DIY bass bin depending on if anyone replies to my other thread

I'm not a fan of bi-amping, digital active crossovers though i DEFINATELY like, especially the kit on this forum somwhere.

From the responses, given that a lot of the cost will be psu/case/protection circuits and other sundries, is it logical to have a selection of power amplifier modules within the case for comparison? i.e. naim clone, blameless, and a decent digital amp?

Last edited by nannoo; 2nd August 2013 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 02:07 PM   #14
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Ive got the miniDSP 2x8, only just up an running. Purchased it with all the bits, DigiFP and Vol FP along with a Mic.

This allows digital and analogue in, with a physical volume and source switch control as well as operation through (almost) any remote control. And active crossover. And with the mic and REW you can do room optimisation.

Not many products can get you this at that price. You could buy some good second hand amps for the change or build some simple chip amp ones. Just one option. Havent had mine long enough to get it fully working, I know the DAC's onboard aren't the best, but still seems like a great product.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 09:16 PM   #15
jcx is online now jcx  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PMI:
That only proves that if you control the test conditions, you can control the outcome of the test
clearly we have a completely different world views, understanding of the meaning of controls in listening tests

I refer to controls as in experimental controls
for audio listening comparison 0.1 dB level matching, frequency response matching over audio frequencies is required
any sensory perceptual experiment, relying on reporting of conscious sense impressions, has to be Blinded - preferably Double Blind

lossy audio CODEC development has tested these principles/limits, the statistical resolving power of listening tests very thoroughly across many thousands of subjects – see Hydrogenaudio, MP3' Tech - Technical papers


Quote:
The Bob Carver challenge is an excellent example of what I stated above, if you control the test, you control the outcome...
I really don't see how it can be claimed Carver somehow controlled the Sterophile reviewers - they were in their listening room, using their choice of "good" amp, their speakers, their source, music selection, listening for any difference their experience as professional audio reviewers could find

the only “controls” I see claimed were the level matching and Blinding after Bob nulled the output terminal electrical response between the amps with a small handful of parts added to his SS amp to tweak its response to match Stereophile's selected tube driving their selected speaker
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Old 2nd August 2013, 09:28 PM   #16
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannoo View Post
Hi guys,

Like a lot of people I thought I knew a lot about audio engineering before I started this hobby, months later after building my own speakers I've really learnt to appreciate how much work goes into the design process, and how much knowledge is needed/used in design (and is available on this forum).

As I student I can't afford much, at the moment I have a second hand denon AV amp (AVC A10SE) which was very cheap on ebay and does relativly well for what it is.

obviously one day (sooner rather than later if possible) I'd like to have a more high-end amplifier.

In the loudspeaker forums people recommend building an established design, are there established DIY amplifier designs that can be recommended?

What about the naim clone DIY module on ebay?
Or any of the digital amplifiers?
Am i right thinking that the blamelss modules are pretty much 'as good as it gets' for honest amplification?

I don't have a budget for this yet, but it'll most likely be in the £400 range for the completed amp, though I'd be happy to used a 'make do' PSU and build a much better one in the future if it would offer any advantages.

Also, if people could let me know what they think I should be 'expecting' from this kind of power amp compared to commercially available models.
Cheapest way is to buy used , DIY will cost more with uncertainties with performance , DIY is sbout the journey, unless you know enuff to build a first class amp , then Its cheaper to DIY ...
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Old 2nd August 2013, 09:35 PM   #17
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcx View Post
Geddes doesn't seem to think "transparent" audio electronics is hard to do, and good enough electronics can be had very cheaply

his waveguide speakers, selling for $3k each, were demoed with < 3% of a pair's price in his mass market consumer amp








basically if you're serious about improving audio reproduction with finite time and knowledge - don't build amps - just buy cheap adequate ones, spend the time and dollars on speakers and room
Good speakers are a must and so is the electronics, Low resolution speakers will mask details not so with a good pr of speakers, differences abound....
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Old 2nd August 2013, 09:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
Cheapest way is to buy used , DIY will cost more with uncertainties with performance , DIY is about the journey, unless you know enuff to build a first class amp , then Its cheaper to DIY ...
+1
You do DIY because you enjoy the DIY journey. It is not cost effective if all you want is an amp. You have to establish your real priorities. If you can fix amps, the fastest cheap path to a better amp is to buy a broken one and fix it. Next step over is to buy a broken one for the chassis and PS parts, then put new circuitry in. That can be a published design or one of your own creation. IMO the latter is risky until you've had some experience, but you have to start somewhere. You also have the advantage of the books by Doug Self and Bob Cordell, plus the 'net, that we never had back in the bad old days. If you want the ultimate challenge, build a high end amp with zero outlay, using just what you can find at the curb or at the dump. Laugh if you want, but it's entirely possible if you're clever.
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Old 3rd August 2013, 08:22 AM   #19
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the problem with buying second hand to repair is that a lot of the high end amps go for silly high money even when broken on ebay... I'm guessing there's a lot of people out there with more experience than me thinking the same thing. That said I picked up a certain AV amp that used to retail at £2000 for £28 and repaired it no problem...

Same with second hand gear, naim amplifiers (which I'm a massive fan of) seem to hold there price very well and stay well above the £400 mark.

I was hoping that even buying a turn key set up of pre-assembled models, such as the blameless amplifiers, would offer me better value for money. Is this not the case?
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Old 3rd August 2013, 02:11 PM   #20
PMI is offline PMI  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannoo View Post
I was hoping that even buying a turn key set up of pre-assembled models, such as the blameless amplifiers, would offer me better value for money. Is this not the case?
Personally, I believe that is true, especially as it relates to the guts of the amplifier. Total cost depends on how much you spend on a chassis and other small parts. It can add up quickly.

Repairing old gear is almost an art, and it can take more expensive parts, tools, and instruments to do it right than to build new. The high prices reflect nostalgia, not necessarily quality of the sound.
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