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What causes grainy sound
What causes grainy sound
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Old 19th September 2019, 09:57 AM   #11
anti is offline anti  Slovakia
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Mostly I agree with VladimirK - but nobody asked about your source? Is perhaps your source already sligthly 'grainy' and this translates along the way ... with all of your amps?
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Old 19th September 2019, 10:13 AM   #12
abraxalito is online now abraxalito  United Kingdom
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Location: Hangzhou - Marco Polo's 'most beautiful city'. 700yrs is a long time though...
A couple of reasons for graininess to mention, not exhaustive. Noisy power supplies in conjunction with insufficient PSRR - often the PSU noise is a result of classAB amplification. Common-mode noise - ultrasonic hash fed into the ground pin of an unbalanced input.
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Old 19th September 2019, 10:40 AM   #13
Ramcres is offline Ramcres
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I have my own theory, although it has not been proven.

And it is the use of transistors inside the circuit that work within
a small current range.



This is normally associated with small signal transistors in early stages,
here again feedback does not help.

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Old 19th September 2019, 11:31 AM   #14
analog_sa is offline analog_sa  Europe
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What causes grainy sound
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramcres View Post
And it is the use of transistors inside the circuit that work within
a small current range.

Don't get it. A small current range is what class A is about. Or even zero current range. You see a problem with class A operation?
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Old 19th September 2019, 12:30 PM   #15
anti is offline anti  Slovakia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analog_sa View Post
... You see a problem with class A operation?
Oh yes.
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Old 19th September 2019, 12:36 PM   #16
cumbb is offline cumbb
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Grainy;-)
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Old 19th September 2019, 01:31 PM   #17
skem is offline skem  United States
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Source must be close to grain free since with XA25 it sounds flawless. They’re all class A. The M22 is more grainy in the bass region and the F5 is more grainy in the vocal/treble/presence region. I’ll check idle current on M22 (all caps are upgraded and there are no electrolytics close to the audio path). There does seem to be a correlation to age and grain, with older sounding worse—but I hesitate to make an extrapolation from three data points.

My guess is, as was said, this gets into the proprietary knowledge domain that nobody has formalized in writing. I hope one day this changes. Maybe Nelson Pass will write up such insights in his memoirs.

Thanks guys.

Last edited by skem; 19th September 2019 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 19th September 2019, 01:47 PM   #18
Ken Newton is offline Ken Newton  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skem View Post
I’m wondering what causes some solid-state amps to be more grainy in presentation than others.

I’m not referring to a defective amp sound. Rather, think vocals and how silky smooth vs. grainy they sound.

I ask because I have 3 good amps, two by Nelson and one vintage Pioneer M22, and they all have different levels of graininess. They all measure with incredibly low distortion <0.005% THD. The worst of the three has third harmonic at -118dB and higher harmonics are buried in the noise floor. It doesn’t seem to be harmonic distortion.

Could grainy sound be some character or degradation of transistors? capacitors? resistors? (rather than topology)
Your question is part of a much larger one. Which is, why do electronic components, that all feature objective measured performance supposedly well below the threshold of human detection, still seem to sound different from each other? We use terms such as grain, liquidity, sweetness, warmth, etc., to subjectively describe the differences some of us believe we hear. Yet, there seemingly remains a disconnect between the objective measurement and the subjective experience. The objectivist explanation for that seeming disconnect is that, we do not actually hear any difference, it's all psychological. Meaning, it's all self-delusion. There is undoubtedly truth to that notion in cases, but not all cases.

I often wonder how many true objectivists have purchased pre and power amplifiers that are more costly than an equivalent mass-market A/V receiver or integrated amplifier from Far East manufacture. To have purchased anything more pretentious does not seem logical for a true objectivist, because mass-market amplification routinely features objectively unimpeachable measured performance, as far as human perception is supposedly concerned. So do digital sources, for that matter. Objectively, we have indeed had 'perfect sound forever' since 1983. Subjectively....? Hmm

Last edited by Ken Newton; 19th September 2019 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 19th September 2019, 04:08 PM   #19
cumbb is offline cumbb
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Differentiate "audio-measurement" and "video-measurement"-)
These are different ...
...or represents an oscilloscope in cubic meter and in color and so on;-?
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Old 19th September 2019, 05:38 PM   #20
skem is offline skem  United States
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I don’t wish to unleash the subjectivist vs objectivist debate! I’m simply looking for tips on what to experiment with in my amps. :-). My reason for mentioning the measurements was simply to prevent someone from guessing that it was merely odd order distortion or higher harmonics. PSU noise is on the list to fix anyway. I’ll see how that goes and report back if I find anything really interesting.
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