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Chip Amps Amplifiers based on integrated circuits

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Old 16th February 2005, 10:24 AM   #1
rick57 is offline rick57
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: dry ol Melbourne Australia
Default “King” of the DIY amps?

Yes they produce significantly different wattages, by very different methods;
but if either produces enough watts for your purpose (sometimes more watts giving more headroom and or better bass control),
with as far as possible same quality power supplies and needed intimal components

- Which sounds better, the gainclone or the UcD180 (www.hypex.nl)?

Who's heard both?

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Old 16th February 2005, 12:04 PM   #2
rick57 is offline rick57
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: dry ol Melbourne Australia
Anyone heard both??

The personal question that triggered the broader question, was my need to drive two Peerless XLS 12s per channel in (nearly complete) SL Phoenix woofers.

SL says (www.linkwitzlab.com/faq.htm#Q39) that each woofer channel is easily served by a 50 W amplifier.
A number of Phoenix owners use an amp per driver.
So any suggestions as to one 50 W gainclone (LM3886) per driver, or one UcD per channel?

I think the general question is more interesting.

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Old 16th February 2005, 07:17 PM   #3
Kevin Haskins is offline Kevin Haskins  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Monroe, WA
I have both. This is a very general question though. Chipamp can refer to a number of different designs and the cost & output of the two different amps are not similiar.

But... just for those inquiring minds. ;-)

I did a comparison with a pair of LM3875s ala Brian's boards (1500uF capacitance) and the Hypex was much more powerful and detailed. It also had a better stage & it sounded much better on both a set of line arrays with a complex crossover (but easy load) and a single driver speaker we used. The National based amps tend to be more sensitive to load. The Hypex digital amps don't seem to care much what kind of load they are driving so you get more consistant results across a range of speakers.

The National amps tend to have more warmth. The latest LM4780s I've built with more capacitance but no wiz-bang tweako parts is much closer to the Hypex unit. Less warmth (which may be good or bad) & tends to have MUCH less difficulty in driving more complicated loads. The LM4780 has zobel, & supply bypass & much more capacitance than does the LM3875s I was using so that may have a lot to do with the subjective impressions. Overall for the cost difference unless you need the power I'd personally use the LM4780 based amp. The differences would only be noted on A/B comparison and then in blind testing I'd bet that it would be a statistical dead heat. That is assuming you don't need the power. If you need more power or have a difficult load and the budget isn't a consideration then the Hypex unit is the MUCH better choice.

Cost difference is huge though.... the LM4780s I'm building cost me about $35 in volume of 100 units. That is including the heatsink, PCB, LM4780 & all parts excluding transformers for a two-channel amp. Having the PCBs populated will probably cost me another $10-$15/board. The Hypex units cost many multiples of that per channel.
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