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Modulus-686: 380W (4Ω); 220W (8Ω) Balanced Composite Power Amp with extremely low THD
Modulus-686: 380W (4Ω); 220W (8Ω) Balanced Composite Power Amp with extremely low THD
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Old 7th January 2019, 11:28 PM   #981
asuslover is offline asuslover  Romania
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Modulus-686: 380W (4Ω); 220W (8Ω) Balanced Composite Power Amp with extremely low THD
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomchr View Post
Unfortunately, offering the SMD-only boards also increases cost for everybody and drives up the number of support emails. I do enjoy providing support, but it takes me away from growing my business, so I have to do what I can to limit the number of support calls. Also, when someone spends good money on a partially assembled board, they need the rest of the build to come together smoothly. The fully assembled modules facilitates this, thus, help me continue my business.

Tom
This is the time when you could think about neurochome.com/blog....
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Old 8th January 2019, 12:18 AM   #982
tomchr is offline tomchr  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asuslover View Post
This is the time when you could think about neurochome.com/blog....
For the support questions or more for my business musings?

It's indeed been interesting to go from hobby to business. The scaling appears to be rather nonlinear.

Tom
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Old 8th January 2019, 01:24 PM   #983
Connex is offline Connex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomchr View Post
That said, I should also mention that while I used to recommend the Connex supplies, I've grown to be considerably less enthusiastic about them following a recent bulk order with them. The quality of some of the components is hit-and-miss depending on which batch you get. I was fortunate that my bulk order came from a good batch.
Strange to say that from two orders only. Though would be fair to admit that the quality is steadily increasing.
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Originally Posted by tomchr View Post
My initial order of two SMPS300RE arrived with rather cheap mains inlet connectors which I crushed just by turning the screws. I was prepared to have to replace the connectors on all the ones in my bulk order, but thankfully they came from a different batch. I've also had one SMPS300RE (ordered years ago) that needed rework as one of the quick connect terminals pulled out of the board. Neither of these things are show stoppers, they're just not quite production quality.
I've seen destroyed connectors and ripped off parts from boards few times before, and I was just wondering why would someone had to torture a board to achieve that. I don't think connectors or other parts simply fall of just by touching them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomchr View Post
In addition, Connex's customer service has always been a bit lacklustre and appears to have taken a turn for the worse. For example, I ordered my supplies configured for 120 V mains. They arrived configured for 230 V mains. This is likely due to a misunderstanding as I had asked if this was possible to do on my initial order of two supplies. I clearly specified that I wanted the supplies in the bulk order configured for 120 V. So I now have to spend a couple of hours soldering in wire staples. Again, not a show stopper but just not a production flow.
You were asking for a version capable to be used both with 120V and 230V mains, and you also said that you prefer to solder wires to a switch instead of a jumper on a PCB. I explained you again in the oct. 26 email and you said that you forgot about it. Next, if they were 230V version as you claim they wouldn't work at all with 120V with or without jumper. Do I have to explain again why ?
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Originally Posted by tomchr View Post
I could also swear they committed to a two-week lead time, yet spent nearly two months building my order with several promises of "shipment this week" along the way. I'm not asking for much. All I expect is that people follow through on their commitments. That's all.
That said, they were able to deliver the supplies in a 100x100x25 mm form factor, which I have not found elsewhere, so that's good.
I could swear 3x that you asked to use capacitors which I told you we have to order them and will take at least 2 weeks to arrive, because we have to import them and with the current trade war situation there is no definite time. I kept telling you the status from when we ordered them till when arrived and when we assembled the boards.
If you order customized boards and expect to fit your requirements, please be reasonable and don't complain about longer lead time or the fact that they don't look exactly like the non-custom ones. Or just don't order custom ones.
Shipping was done as soon as they were all tested, not this week or that week, and after we posted them we got the tracking info and sent it to you. You have to understand that it takes time for custom made boards, because they aren't made with the rest of the batch in the same time. There is no benefit for us to make a couple of customized boards, definitely not for few $ more because there is a lot of extra work / each board compared with the overall work on a large (200-500pcs ) batch. Not to mention if they are sold with discount.
Just curious, did you even check your emails or commitments before making these allegations ?
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Old 8th January 2019, 06:22 PM   #984
tomchr is offline tomchr  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Connex View Post
Strange to say that from two orders only. Though would be fair to admit that the quality is steadily increasing.
Three orders, actually. I ordered an SMPS300RE about 4-5 years ago while I still lived in the US.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Connex View Post
I've seen destroyed connectors and ripped off parts from boards few times before, and I was just wondering why would someone had to torture a board to achieve that. I don't think connectors or other parts simply fall of just by touching them.
I didn't rip anything off the board. The two boards you sent back in October (or so) used the blue leaf spring type of mains connector. It cracked when I tightened the screw. For my prototyping, I had to connect/disconnect 2-3 times and by the end the connector had cracked in multiple places. At that point I concluded it wasn't safe to use it, so I replaced it.
The green terminal blocks (rising cage type) you used on the bulk order are much better.

Tightening a screw should not be torture for any terminal block that requires the turning of screws to operate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Connex View Post
You were asking for a version capable to be used both with 120V and 230V mains, and you also said that you prefer to solder wires to a switch instead of a jumper on a PCB.
I asked if it was possible to deliver the boards like that. In my email of November 2, 2018, I listed my specs for the bulk order as:

Output voltage: 36 V
AUX voltage: 12 V
Mains voltage: 120 VAC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Connex View Post
I explained you again in the oct. 26 email and you said that you forgot about it. Next, if they were 230V version as you claim they wouldn't work at all with 120V with or without jumper. Do I have to explain again why ?
You are correct that I had forgotten I'd asked if it was possible to have the boards 120/230 V switchable. The reason I forgot is that you never answered my question. You just delivered boards configured that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Connex View Post
I could swear 3x that you asked to use capacitors which I told you we have to order them and will take at least 2 weeks to arrive, because we have to import them and with the current trade war situation there is no definite time.
It is entirely possible I misunderstood your email then. I'm sorry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Connex View Post
I kept telling you the status from when we ordered them till when arrived and when we assembled the boards.
That wasn't my experience. I followed up 15 days after ordering (Nov 25th) asking how the production was coming along. You didn't actually answer my question. Rather, you raged about a $40 address change fee that you claimed I had caused. I have provided my correct address with every order. This address is also my confirmed Paypal address. Somewhere between you and I, two letters were dropped off the address, which caused DHL to be unable to find it. So they called me and I provided my address. I do agree that charging $40 for that is outrageous, but that's not something I have control over.

At least the bulk order came to me without incident.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Connex View Post
If you order customized boards and expect to fit your requirements, please be reasonable and don't complain about longer lead time or the fact that they don't look exactly like the non-custom ones. Or just don't order custom ones.
Then please be upfront about your delivery schedule. A statement such as, "It will take 2-4 weeks to order the caps. Once the caps get in, it will take another 2-4 weeks for us to build and test the supplies." would have prevented my anxiety regarding the lead time.

Even if you did feel like you had already provided all the necessary information regarding the lead time, why didn't you just let me know the lead time (again) in your email of Nov 26th? Sometimes customers forget, get stressed out, or what not. In those cases, I find it helpful to provide the information, even if I feel like I'm over-communicating it. And let's face it. Sometimes I do think I've told somebody something when in fact I haven't. I invite you to ponder whether that might be true for you as well.

You had another opportunity to communicate your delivery schedule on December 7th when I followed up again. In your email of Dec. 8th, you said the supplies were built but that you needed to test them. That they'd ship "next week" (which I interpreted as the week of Dec. 10th).

I followed up on Dec. 17th, which got a tracking number generated. That was my last communication with you.

By Dec. 21st, the tracking shows the package being accepted by your shipping aggregator. They shipped to me the following day via DHL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Connex View Post
Shipping was done as soon as they were all tested, not this week or that week, and after we posted them we got the tracking info and sent it to you.
I obviously want you to test your products before shipment. You have my full understanding there. However, all this debacle could have been avoided had you been open about your delivery schedule up front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Connex View Post
Just curious, did you even check your emails or commitments before making these allegations ?
Of course I did. I also waited a few days to write to allow my head to cool. I wanted my critique to be fair rather than guided by emotion.

My approach is pretty simple:
- Under-promise, over-deliver.
- Say what you do. Do what you say.
- If you are upset, wait 24 hours before posting/complaining about it. If your issue is still relevant, then post/complain.

Tom
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Modulus-86, 186, 286, 286 Kit, & 686: 40-240W (8Ω) at <-120dB THD. HP-1: 3W/20Ω, -130dB THD, 128dB DNR.
Neurochrome : : Audio - www.neurochrome.com - Engineering : : Done : : Right
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Old 8th January 2019, 08:35 PM   #985
BrianL is offline BrianL  United States
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Modulus-686: 380W (4&#937;); 220W (8&#937;) Balanced Composite Power Amp with extremely low THD
Mr/Ms Connex

I don't want to get involved in a discussion between you and Tom. However, since you are monitoring this thread, I would like to point out the following about your SMPS products:
1 - They look promising for amps such as Tom's and similar DIY amps
2 - Your web site and product numbering make it difficult to determine which supplies are appropriate for an application. It would be wonderful to have a 'decoder ring' to allow one to easily distinguish between single-output vs +/- outputs, regulated vs semi-regulated, and older versions vs new/improved versions.
3 - Some of the pages for each supply have a link to a .pdf datasheet/manual and some don't. I find it difficult to make a decision on suitability of a supply with just a picture and a couple paragraphs' worth of description.
4 - In general, more detail on specs and measured performance would be useful to your customers. People are reluctant to buy without some confidence that the product is safe, reliable and performs as expected.
5 - Prompt and complete communication (even "over-communication") instills customer confidence.

My inputs for what they are worth...
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Old 8th January 2019, 11:37 PM   #986
chrisb is offline chrisb
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Small businesses like Neurochrome have far better things to do with their time than to conduct public bladder emptying contests such as these.
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Old 9th January 2019, 06:55 AM   #987
tomchr is offline tomchr  Canada
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+1
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Modulus-86, 186, 286, 286 Kit, & 686: 40-240W (8Ω) at <-120dB THD. HP-1: 3W/20Ω, -130dB THD, 128dB DNR.
Neurochrome : : Audio - www.neurochrome.com - Engineering : : Done : : Right
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Old 20th January 2019, 07:33 PM   #988
Enochrome is online now Enochrome  United States
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Default noob question

This amp looks really interesting.I have little electronic experience. If purchasing the fully assembled boards of both amp and power supply, can a beginner be able to construct? Also, is it one power supply board per mono 686 board?

P.S. The preamp looks very interesting as well. Have you considered making a phono stage?

Thanks
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Old 20th January 2019, 08:20 PM   #989
tomchr is offline tomchr  Canada
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One Power-686 will power two Modulus-686 modules. If you order the assembled versions of both, I can assemble the power supply wiring harness for you. In that case, it's plug-n-play once you've connected the power transformer. I provide instructions for how to do that with the Antek brand of transformers. Should you choose a different brand, I'll be happy to help via email.

I have considered a phono stage. I have yet to have time to work on one.

Tom
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Modulus-86, 186, 286, 286 Kit, & 686: 40-240W (8Ω) at <-120dB THD. HP-1: 3W/20Ω, -130dB THD, 128dB DNR.
Neurochrome : : Audio - www.neurochrome.com - Engineering : : Done : : Right
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