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Chip Amps Amplifiers based on integrated circuits

Amber Series 70?
Amber Series 70?
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Old 17th April 2019, 01:49 PM   #1
jahshines is offline jahshines  United States
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Default Amber Series 70?

I'm know just enough about electronics engineering to get myself in trouble, but I own this amplifier and it's been sitting for years as I have moved from solid state to, first Tripath and now higher powered Sure Electronics boards. I will never go back, however, I do have a question for those far more educated than myself.
This amplifier(Amber) is based on the Lm391 chip, and sounds wonderful, is this amplifier a direct precursor to the gainclone or exactly where does it fall in the progression toward where we are now in regards to 'chip-amps'?
Second question, in regards to this chip not having thermal overload tracking, would fitting a basic heatsink on the IC be a logical upgrade?
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Old 17th April 2019, 01:50 PM   #2
jahshines is offline jahshines  United States
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Manufacture date 1979 btw
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Old 18th April 2019, 03:34 AM   #3
PRR is online now PRR  United States
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LM391 was a dead-end. It is a minimal implementation of stuff that was done with discretes, often better. As you say they totally blew the thermal compensation (and no, heatsinking the DIP is no help). There's a fix, Amber did not do it. The LM3886 used in Gainclone is a significantly more sophisticated complete power amp.

If it "sounds wonderful" why are you messing with other lovers?
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Old 18th April 2019, 04:27 AM   #4
jahshines is offline jahshines  United States
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Cause it ain't got that magic
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Old 18th April 2019, 05:20 PM   #5
chrisb is offline chrisb
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That’s 40yrs ago, and while not all areas of audio electronics design have advanced at the same pace during the interim, I’d dare say that chip amps certainly have. As PRR notes, when implemented within the manufacturer’s guidelines, the LM3886 is certainly among that cohort. Note that it’s at least as easy to design a mediocre sounding and perhaps failure prone amp using op-amps/ monolithic chips as an excellent one, and that “magic” is mostly voluntary acceptance of well executed sleight of hand.
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Old 19th April 2019, 12:45 AM   #6
jahshines is offline jahshines  United States
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Chris, two thoughts. Firstly to clarify, the Amber is a suberb amplifier punching way above its weight, was a tiny boutique manufacturer that made an innovative product that still holds up to this day, you may know this already. If I had another, I would run them both bridged, with efficient drivers, Amber's suberb model 17 preamplifieran exceptional preamplifier on par easily with Yamaha Cx or Apt-Holman. I would never explore another SS setup.
So, aside from the Amber 70s trouble with heat when driving into 4ohm or lower loads, it is a great sounding amp, with obvious compromises/shortcomings.

As to your last point, don't I know it brother. Under the psycoacoustic spell of the dark arts, my soul wanders, vulnerable and human, from one harmonics dealer to the next, like a little baby with a checkbook.
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