Author Topic: Steve, great post!  (Read 5919 times)

Offline Brap

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Re: Steve, great post!
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2018, 09:45:42 AM »
Dread the day I have to move my 1950's Jensen Imperial which is on the 2nd floor. Mahogany is heavy stuff
Fritz Carrera 7 Be
VTA ST-70
Parasound Halo P5
Oppo 105
Rega P3
Ortofon Quintet Bronze
Cambridge CXN streamer
Teac 3340S
Anticables 3.1
Masterbuilt reference/Kimber Cable IC

Offline steve

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Re: Steve, great post!
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2018, 10:45:10 AM »
I hear you all. My speakers are ~80lbs, can't get them down from the 2nd floor either. Luckily the monoblocks are only 25lbs or so each, 11A is 15lbs (NO chokes used! See my White Papers http://www.sasaudiolabs.com/sasaudio.htm ).

Dbe, good luck on your newer venture of smaller etc. At least you'll be able to carry the equipment to someone who can update those, if that is necessary.

Nick, yikes 80lb TT. Anyone know a good hernia doc?  :rofl:

cheers

steve
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 11:03:17 AM by steve »
Steve Sammet (Designer/Owner, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
"V" 40pf 1 meter 6N Pure Copper Wire ICs,
SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamplifier
SAS 25 W Near Perfect Reference Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way test Spkrs, 28hz -3db,  - 20khz

Offline tmazz

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Re: Steve, great post!
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2018, 08:56:12 AM »
Remember, it's all about the music........

Nola Boxers
Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
McIntosh MC 275
ARC SP-9
VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Soundsmith Carmen Mk II ES
Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC/Rasp Pi Roon Endpoint
DigiBuss/TWL PC&USB/MIT Cables

Offline rollo

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Re: Steve, great post!
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2018, 11:03:37 AM »
  I have learned over the years that simple not simpler is better. Once I decided that sound stage scale was not  one ofmy most important criteria my system has evolved to single driver 102db efficient speakers with built in sub to 18HZ.
  This allows me more choices in amplification from flea Watt to Mega Watt. I agree that an active preamp is key as it is the heart of the system. However lately some integrated designs have altered by view.
  Nelson Pass's research of Lowther type drivers has gone against common acceptance that voltage rather than current best suits that driver type. Hence the First Watt F7.
  No engineer here just ears incorporated. To my ears he may just be correct. Then I put in a Lamm SET ML2 [ 32W] and now rethink everything.
   Who is right who is wrong ? Let your ears determine that.


charles
contact me  at rollo14@verizon.net or visit us on Facebook
Lamm Industries - Aqua Acoustic, Formula & La Scala DAC- INNUOS  - Rethm - Kuzma - QLN - Audio Hungary Qualiton - Fritz speakers -Gigawatt -Vinnie Rossi,TWL, Swiss Cables, Merason DAC.

Offline steve

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Re: Steve, great post!
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2018, 03:57:10 PM »
  I have learned over the years that simple not simpler is better. Once I decided that sound stage scale was not  one ofmy most important criteria my system has evolved to single driver 102db efficient speakers with built in sub to 18HZ.
  This allows me more choices in amplification from flea Watt to Mega Watt. I agree that an active preamp is key as it is the heart of the system. However lately some integrated designs have altered by view.
  Nelson Pass's research of Lowther type drivers has gone against common acceptance that voltage rather than current best suits that driver type. Hence the First Watt F7.
  No engineer here just ears incorporated. To my ears he may just be correct. Then I put in a Lamm SET ML2 [ 32W] and now rethink everything.
   Who is right who is wrong ? Let your ears determine that.

charles

I think I understand, especially with so many different brands, designs, and advertising. How does one find the best for them without auditioning so many components/systems. I have to admit I really feel for the public since all manufacrturers claim the best. But which ones fulfills the desires of each individual. How do we each arrive at that position.

I just heard some expressions, that some like all the instruments to blend together, such as in a live audience hall. Another expresses he wishes to "see" around each instrument and voice. If the instrument to appear brighter, while another likes fuller. Some like the inner detail of the studio/venue to shine through, while another likes it to sound as if the instruments are in the room, so not so much actual inner detail in the recording venue.

I, like you, have heard the phrase, simple but not too simple. To me, I think it means a system needs to be as simple as possible, but if made simpler than one desires, starts to lose quality, or options, that one wishes.

I agree the preamplifier is most important since it has to handle so many sources, and handles the lowest signal levels (except the phono stage) Rectification effects of different contact materials affect the signal quality more than at higher signal levels.

As far as amplifiers, I have somewhat of an advantage in that I can run special listening tests to obtain output the same as input. So then I just need to work on my test speakers (4+ years now) to satisfy my sonic desires, which I am very close. Of course there can be compromises, like 86-87db/watt sensitivity, but the rest of my goals are met.

Some day I would like to design a transformerless head phone amplifier using small signal tubes. If nothing else, just to see how it turns out.

Kind of ranting on,,, about it for now.

steve
Steve Sammet (Designer/Owner, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
"V" 40pf 1 meter 6N Pure Copper Wire ICs,
SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamplifier
SAS 25 W Near Perfect Reference Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way test Spkrs, 28hz -3db,  - 20khz

Offline P.I.

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Re: Steve, great post!
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2018, 05:51:11 PM »
Yep, I'm with you, Steve.  I very much am in the simple is better camp, but first simple has to do the job it is intended to do. There is a point in design processes that we come to - does it that sounds great, but with them caveat of... is it the best it can sound or what if I can improve it with 'X'?  If the "what if" doesn't sound better then the last iteration is the best.  Simple designs need to be revisited when superior components become available, just to see (hear) what they may bring to the table.

I'll 'fess up.  I'm a triode gain stage into an SET kind of guy.  Gotta be the "right" components, though. m I've had more than enough hyper detail to last me 3 lifetimes.

"A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument." - Hilmar von Campe

Offline steve

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Re: Steve, great post!
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2018, 05:49:00 PM »
Yep, I'm with you, Steve.  I very much am in the simple is better camp, but first simple has to do the job it is intended to do. There is a point in design processes that we come to - does it that sounds great, but with them caveat of... is it the best it can sound or what if I can improve it with 'X'?  If the "what if" doesn't sound better then the last iteration is the best.  Simple designs need to be revisited when superior components become available, just to see (hear) what they may bring to the table.

I'll 'fess up.  I'm a triode gain stage into an SET kind of guy.  Gotta be the "right" components, though. m I've had more than enough hyper detail to last me 3 lifetimes.

I stumbled on to a venue that causes the FR to be really good down to the deepest bass. I think a description might be helpful to those who wish to build a room mostly devoid of deep bass resonances. Not perfect, but I think pretty good. Paneling all around inside the apartment.

My actual listening room has a weak wall, not much there, then a bedroom/concrete/wall/outside. The other side has a concrete wall, then hallway. Behind the speakers, the wall is concrete block with outside beyond. The opposite end also has a block concrete wall. Remember, paneling on all inside walls. Below my carpeted floor is a long garage which is also below the other apartment. Above my ceiling tile is an A frame roof. The concrete blocks do not go above the ceiling tile, so the A frame is rather large.

With this physicality, the upper bass, mids, highs "see" typical walls and reflections. However, the mid to low bass sees three concrete block walls of the room, then adjacent room (with concrete wall/outside). The ceiling sees an A frame space. The bass passes through the floor to the long garage. The losses appear to be just about right to not only lower any resonant frequency, but also absorb some of the energy. The bass seems pretty flat with no "one note boom".

It is interesting that if I open the bathroom door, the bass lessens noticeably. Closing the simple door is enough to increase the bass, but not any boominess.

If I understand you correctly, I think we agree that the electronics can make or break a system almost, or even just as much as a speaker. I found, through special listening tests, that electronics can be as far off as speakers, from specialized listening tests, just as much as speakers.

cheers

steve
Steve Sammet (Designer/Owner, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
"V" 40pf 1 meter 6N Pure Copper Wire ICs,
SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamplifier
SAS 25 W Near Perfect Reference Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way test Spkrs, 28hz -3db,  - 20khz

Offline steve

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Re: Steve, great post!
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2019, 10:14:43 PM »
Hi All,

One year from my last post. It has been a year of still more improvements that I thought simply were not possible. As mentioned above, the interconnect cables, preamplifier, amplifier have been set. Sources are my modified NAD 521, Modi 2, and computer.

My 10A and 11A preamplifiers have been around for decades. The amplifier I use now has been the culmination of 40 years of research.

First, I started with SET designs.

Then I designed an OTL amplifier rated at 200 watts output in triode mode. Bandwidth was 1,2 mhz at ~ -3db. Harmonic distortion was .7% or less at maximum power output.

What was interesting was that I was able to get the push pull amplifier to sound more accurate and natural than my OTL amp or SET amplifier. One huge problem with the OTL amplifier (actual monoblocks) waw it drew 850 total watts just idling. The output tube's filaments drew 250 watts. Needless to say, I did not need a furnace in the winter time. Forget the summer time.

The last amplifier was the push pull amp using KT88s. I was able to obtain the near perfect accuracy, naturalness, imo better than either the SET or OTL. That was finished years ago.

This past year, I have been able to improve the speakers even more than I ever thought possible. I am now crossing over at approximately 170 hz. I have been able to rid of the zobel network. Although using modest drivers, individuals have been amazed with the lifelike accuracy, reproduction of bass kick drums, as well as just about any program material. To me, there is just a difference between large boxes and "subwoofers". The speakers cost less than $500.00 in parts. Labor, well that is another story. All that is left is to cover the cabinets.

What started out as tinkering around has turned into something I never thought possible in my wildest dreams.

I have auditioned some very good systems. They include Altec 19s, Hales Revelator 3s, Luxman mono, ST-70s, LS3/5As, Harbeths, Von Schweikert Unifields, Anniversary 5s, and systems at audio shows etc etc.

I have had some visitors, Dan, Steve, Steve, Bernie etc etc and at least two are bringing over their entire, expensive audio systems to compare to mine this week. A lot of work, but that is how excited they are. This should be a very interesting week indeed.

By the way, I replaced the polyester capacitors, and modified the power supply in the Modi 2.

I am basically finished, except I do have two controls on my speakers, in which I can still tweak if need be.
 
Cheers

steve
Steve Sammet (Designer/Owner, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
"V" 40pf 1 meter 6N Pure Copper Wire ICs,
SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamplifier
SAS 25 W Near Perfect Reference Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way test Spkrs, 28hz -3db,  - 20khz

Offline steve

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Re: Steve, great post!
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2019, 09:03:59 PM »
Another update concerning my system improvements etc.

First, one of the gents had to have a hernia operation, so he could only bring his $4,000.00
Lampizator DAC. He loved the system with the Lampizator, so the Modi 2 needed some
more modding. Such has been done, and is much improved.

Besides the power supply caps being replaced (one is not polypropylene), and output
capacitors (originals are polyester/mylar) to polypropylene, I replaced the stock jacks
with Vampire all copper jacks. All three made a substantial improvement. Near world class dac.

Dan came up and loved my system. We are now looking for an output capacitor
since the one's I am using have not been available for some time. Looking at two brands that
could be promising to modify his possible Modi 2 as well.

So the weakness in my system was the source. The computer, NAD 521bee with analog section
bypassed still doesn't make it. But the modi 2 is really beginning to sound world class.

Maybe I will get more into the NAD and see what else can be done there.

cheers
steve
Steve Sammet (Designer/Owner, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
"V" 40pf 1 meter 6N Pure Copper Wire ICs,
SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamplifier
SAS 25 W Near Perfect Reference Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way test Spkrs, 28hz -3db,  - 20khz

Offline rollo

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Re: Steve, great post!
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2019, 09:22:37 AM »
  Source, let me help. Innuos Zenith mk3 server. Aqua La Scala tubed [12AT ] DAC. 


charles
contact me  at rollo14@verizon.net or visit us on Facebook
Lamm Industries - Aqua Acoustic, Formula & La Scala DAC- INNUOS  - Rethm - Kuzma - QLN - Audio Hungary Qualiton - Fritz speakers -Gigawatt -Vinnie Rossi,TWL, Swiss Cables, Merason DAC.

Offline steve

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Re: Steve, great post!
« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2019, 08:12:36 PM »
  Source, let me help. Innuos Zenith mk3 server. Aqua La Scala tubed [12AT ] DAC. 


charles

Since my last post, I made one more tweak, and the Modi 2, in E position, is now world class,
simply amazing. I agree, the standard Modi 2 is crap, but the costs were kept way down.
I inspected the photos of the Aqua and frankly, I am not interested in the tubes (almost as
low of current as a 12AX7 types), and I am not familiar with the quality nor ufd values of
their capacitors. I have also been able to audition the $4k Lampizator and found the Modi 2
to be close, but that was before my last tweak. I would rather stick with what I either design
or modify. So far, ~$600 vs $6,000.

Dan has auditioned my modified Modi 2 and he is amazed as well, and thinking of making it
his reference. Problem is the caps I use have not been available for some time. So we are
checking capacitors to ascertain if there are any that meet my high sonic standards.
So far, none, but I have a few yet to test.

Dan is running two systems, with LS3/5A, and Harbeth speakers, Pro Musica modified
Luxmans with 8045 output tubes, modified AR SP3 preamplifier, can't remember the other pre etc.
He has been around for decades, so has a lot of experience with what is out there.
Of course, below is a list of my own lab designed, and special listening tested, components that
I use to enjoy. I can also test sources for sonic accuracy as well.

Cheers
steve
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 11:45:43 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (Designer/Owner, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
"V" 40pf 1 meter 6N Pure Copper Wire ICs,
SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamplifier
SAS 25 W Near Perfect Reference Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way test Spkrs, 28hz -3db,  - 20khz