Author Topic: I think my System is virtually, finally finished  (Read 34344 times)

Offline steve

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Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #45 on: October 22, 2020, 02:13:25 PM »
One more improvement I made, for musical stability purposes, is to exchange a couple of typical single turn potentiometers with 15 turn potentiometers. Too much shaft play in a typical pot for stability, and I need to adjust down to 1/16th turn on the 15 turn pot. Imagine trying that with a single turn pot.

cheers

steve
« Last Edit: December 28, 2020, 02:15:22 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (Owner, Electron Eng, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
SAS "V" 39pf/m 6N copper ICs,
SAS Test Phono Stage
Acutex 320 STR Mov Iron Cart
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamp
SAS 25 W Ref Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way Floor Standing Test Speakers

Offline steve

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Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #46 on: December 17, 2020, 04:58:50 PM »
Some may be wondering why I started this string. For a few reasons.

The first is that as NOS tubes evaporate, there eventually will be none left. It is true that
just about every manufacturer designs around NOS but installs newly manufactured tubes.
So either one settles for second rate sound due to lack of funds for NOS tubes, or at some
future point NOS will become unavailable and all will have to settle for second rate musicality
anyway.

Being futuristic in nature and understanding the developing problem, I decided over 30 years
ago to design specifically around newly manufactured tubes. Those who know me understand
I am a perfectionist and will not stand for second rate musical reproduction. Read the string for
the lengths I will go to obtain the best musical reproduction.

https://www.audionervosa.com/index.php?topic=6954.0

The first area I started with was the line preamplifier. I developed the 11A Line
Preamplifier which is so accurate to the source that one can only match its performance, not
usurp it.

What is amazing is that the 11A, with new tubes, was consistently judged better than
those preamplifiers using NOS tubes, whether indirectly heated or directly heated triodes.
I also did the same with my monoblock triode amplifiers (Ultra-Linear switchable).

Every stage of the preamplifier and monoblock amplifiers utilize a separate power transformer
for each DC plus and for each minus power supply voltage to eliminate musical interactions between
active stages. From the link above, one can see the fanatical attention to every fine detail.

Another example is the 11A uses 6 filter stages and eliminates up front/ac artifacts, isolates the power transformer and recdtifier, as well as an adjustment for differences in amplifier input impedance which affects the bass response.
 
The overall point in my strings is that it is possible to reproduce the very very best musical
quality by using new tubes and other newer parts vs NOS. It was a tough R&D process, but it
can and has been done. Don’t let anyone claim it cannot be done.

I have some reviews if anyone is interested. I will post a couple.

“SAS 10A Tube preamp. (Jon L)

"I must thank Steve once again for giving us the opportunity to audition this wonderful preamp.
My experience closely reflects what's been said in Bound For Sound and Eric, so I will be brief and just emphasize a couple of impressions.

THE strength of this preamp IMO is its sheer ability to communicate music in a way that makes you not even care about how it's doing it.

Let me explain. From pure audiophile point of view and in direct comparison to my EVS Ultimate Nude attenuators, I can nitpick and point out that the upper-midrange is a tad softened compared to dead neutral. The very low bass does not quite have the sheer granite slam of some humongous SS preamps. I'm talking about subtle degrees here, nothing that stands out.

What IS amazing is the fact the treble is just as extended, pure, grainless, and detailed as my EVS. This is an extremely difficult thing for any active preamp to achieve at any price, let alone a tubed preamp. What is even more amazing is that even though EVS does seem to pass more information, I actually enjoyed music more through 10A despite that knowledge. This is a feat that even a Bent silver TVC couldn't achieve against my EVS.

My sense is that there are very limited number of tube preamps out there that actually achieve what a "good tube preamp should do," which is to lend a sense of harmonic completeness, bloom, dimensionality, and plain musicality while NOT sacrificing objectionable amount of detail, extension, neutrality, bass definition/slam. You'd be surprised how many pricey, perhaps even famous, tube preamps do not meet the above definition. SAS 10A IS a "good tube preamp" in all its glory.

There's one thing I must complain about, however, which is the lack of IEC inlet to allow power cord swapping. (I include the jack now.) I am an admitted power cord junkie, and I can think of a few power cords that will minimize the upper midrange softness and add kick to low bass. For example, VH Audio cords will do exactly that for little investment. If I owned the 10A, I would definitely either DIY an IEC inlet, or hardwire a VH cord into the preamp. This combo will be scary good without question.

If I didn't have a system that was purpose-built around passive preamp (EVS), with whopping digital output voltage and 95dB sensitive speakers, I would own the 10A (with VH cord). It's just so musically engaging that this tube-rolling junkie didn't even try to roll any different tubes. FYI, That has not happened for any other tubed equipment that I've used ever..."

NOTE: All my preamplifiers now incorporate an AC IEC Jack, Standard. This allows for rolling power cords. My 10A also has an active stage of gain.

Second quick reviewer, (Earlmarc)

"First up, the SAS 11A preamplifer. Personally, I didn't think it was possible to better the 10A's performance. The 11A took it to another level. The degree of improvement is not in my opinion dramatic but is apparent. All the things I said in previous post about the 10A apply to the 11A, only the 11A increased the real factor to as close to live music as I have ever heard. Everything was more indentifiable and believable. The 11A is truly a reference preamplifier that I believe will stand toe to toe with the best of the best.

Second, the SAS Push/Pull KT88 mono amplifiers. Wow, what can I say. The best sounding amplifiers I've heard, especially when it comes to midrange magic. The palpability of images, the liviliness of voices, the air between notes, etc. I could go on and on about how shockingly real these amps sounded...."

I hope all continue to strive for excellence, as it can be obtained, so don't give up.

Caveat: I have been retired for some 8 years. I may start selling my “V” non shielded interconnects with 6n copper wire and gold plated, all copper RCA plugs again.

Please feel free to reply with questions.

Cheers

steve
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 09:58:54 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (Owner, Electron Eng, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
SAS "V" 39pf/m 6N copper ICs,
SAS Test Phono Stage
Acutex 320 STR Mov Iron Cart
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamp
SAS 25 W Ref Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way Floor Standing Test Speakers

Offline Nick B

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  • Posts: 4187
Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #47 on: December 17, 2020, 11:01:37 PM »
Some may be wondering why I started this string. For a few reasons.

The first is that as NOS tubes evaporate, there eventually will be none left. It is true that
just about every manufacturer designs around NOS but installs newly manufactured tubes.
So either one settles for second rate sound due to lack of funds for NOS tubes, or at some
future point NOS will become unavailable and all will have to settle for second rate musicality
anyway.

Being futuristic in nature and understanding the developing problem, I decided over 30 years
ago to design specifically around newly manufactured tubes. Those who know me understand
I am a perfectionist and will not stand for second rate musical reproduction. Read the string for
the lengths I will go to obtain the best musical reproduction.

https://www.audionervosa.com/index.php?topic=6954.0

The first area I started with with the line preamplifier. I developed the 11A Line
Preamplifier which is so accurate to the source that one can only match its performance, not
usurp it. What is amazing is that the 11A, with new tubes, was consistently judged better than
those preamplifiers using NOS tubes, whether indirectly heated or directly heated triodes.
Thus I have obtained my perfectionist goal long sought after. I also did the same with my
monoblock triode amplifiers (Ultra-Linear switchable).

Every stage of the preamplifier and monoblock amplifiers utilize a separate power transformer
for each DC plus and minus power supply voltage to eliminate musical interactions between
active stages. From the link above, one can see the fanatical attention to every fine detail.
Another example is the 11A uses 6 filter stages and eliminates up front/ac artifacts.
 
My overall point in my strings is that it is possible to reproduce the very very best musical
quality by using new tubes and other newer parts vs NOS. It was a tough R&D process, but it
can be done. Don’t let anyone claim it cannot be done.

I have some reviews if anyone is interested. I will post a couple.

“SAS 10A Tube preamp. (Jon L)

"I must thank Steve once again for giving us the opportunity to audition this wonderful preamp.
My experience closely reflects what's been said in Bound For Sound and Eric, so I will be brief and just emphasize a couple of impressions.

THE strength of this preamp IMO is its sheer ability to communicate music in a way that makes you not even care about how it's doing it.

Let me explain. From pure audiophile point of view and in direct comparison to my EVS Ultimate Nude attenuators, I can nitpick and point out that the upper-midrange is a tad softened compared to dead neutral. The very low bass does not quite have the sheer granite slam of some humongous SS preamps. I'm talking about subtle degrees here, nothing that stands out.

What IS amazing is the fact the treble is just as extended, pure, grainless, and detailed as my EVS. This is an extremely difficult thing for any active preamp to achieve at any price, let alone a tubed preamp. What is even more amazing is that even though EVS does seem to pass more information, I actually enjoyed music more through 10A despite that knowledge. This is a feat that even a Bent silver TVC couldn't achieve against my EVS.

My sense is that there are very limited number of tube preamps out there that actually achieve what a "good tube preamp should do," which is to lend a sense of harmonic completeness, bloom, dimensionality, and plain musicality while NOT sacrificing objectionable amount of detail, extension, neutrality, bass definition/slam. You'd be surprised how many pricey, perhaps even famous, tube preamps do not meet the above definition. SAS 10A IS a "good tube preamp" in all its glory.

There's one thing I must complain about, however, which is the lack of IEC inlet to allow power cord swapping. (I include the jack now.) I am an admitted power cord junkie, and I can think of a few power cords that will minimize the upper midrange softness and add kick to low bass. For example, VH Audio cords will do exactly that for little investment. If I owned the 10A, I would definitely either DIY an IEC inlet, or hardwire a VH cord into the preamp. This combo will be scary good without question.

If I didn't have a system that was purpose-built around passive preamp (EVS), with whopping digital output voltage and 95dB sensitive speakers, I would own the 10A (with VH cord). It's just so musically engaging that this tube-rolling junkie didn't even try to roll any different tubes. FYI, That has not happened for any other tubed equipment that I've used ever..."

NOTE: All my preamplifiers now incorporate an AC IEC Jack, Standard. This allows for rolling power cords. My 10A also has an active stage of gain.

Second quick reviewer, (Earlmarc)

"First up, the SAS 11A preamplifer. Personally, I didn't think it was possible to better the 10A's performance. The 11A took it to another level. The degree of improvement is not in my opinion dramatic but is apparent. All the things I said in previous post about the 10A apply to the 11A, only the 11A increased the real factor to as close to live music as I have ever heard. Everything was more indentifiable and believable. The 11A is truly a reference preamplifier that I believe will stand toe to toe with the best of the best.

Second, the SAS Push/Pull KT88 mono amplifiers. Wow, what can I say. The best sounding amplifiers I've heard, especially when it comes to midrange magic. The palpability of images, the liviliness of voices, the air between notes, etc. I could go on and on about how shockingly real these amps sounded...."

I hope all continue to strive for excellence, as it can be obtained, so don't give up.

Caveat: I have been retired for some 8 years. I may start selling my “V” non shielded interconnects with 6n copper wire and gold plated, all copper RCA plugs again.

Please feel free to reply with questions.

Cheers

steve

Steve,
The mention of your amps made me wonder if Marty DeWulf or Richard Weiner ever reviewed them. I looked for your website, but it doesn’t appear to be active. If you have any pics or literature on the amps, maybe you could post.
Thanks,
Nick
Orchard Starkrimson Ultra amp
Hattor Big preamp
JMR Voce Grande speakers
Holo Cyan2 dac
Holo Red streamer
Hapa Aero digital coax
WyWires Silver cables
TWL Digital American II p cord
Audio Envy p cords
Roon, Tidal, Qobuz
PI Audio UberBUSS

Offline steve

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Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #48 on: December 19, 2020, 07:35:31 PM »
My goal has been realized; that it is possible to design components with new stock tubes that can blow out NOS tube upgrades or NOS tube designs.

Referring to Dr. Weiner's list of preamplifiers (and more not mentioned), I think it is interesting to note that when Dr. Weiner first auditioned my 10A, it was the first time he had ever heard the recording studio wall reflections in a particular violin recording. He even asked his wife to confirm such.

That is true inner detail, revealing the backround of the venue, not harmonic distortion masking as inner detail.

I found a review from Earlmarc. Here is a portion concerning the 10A, 11A Line Preamplifiers, and 25PPT 2 stage monoblock amps.

"First up, the SAS 11A preamplifer. Personally, I didn't think it was possible to better the 10A's performance. The 11A took it to another level. The degree of improvement is not in my opinion dramatic but is apparent. All the things I said in previous post about the 10A apply to the 11A, only the 11A increased the real factor to as close to live music as I have ever heard. Everything was more indentifiable and believable...."

Second, the SAS Push/Pull KT88 mono amplifiers. Wow, what can I say. The best sounding amplifiers I've heard, especially when it comes to midrange magic. The palpability of images, the liveliness of voices, the air between notes, etc. I could go on and on about how shockingly real these amps sounded....."

More from my old 11A webpage. My website is down as my server has retired, but I might bring it back.

"Graham: "I took the B11a into a shop in Auckland. I know the owner fairly well, and we agree that Shindo make some wonderful pieces of kit. (I wasn't looking for a change!) Almost immediately we started listening, he said "That's really fast!" We also agreed that the B11a was much clearer, making the Shindo Aurieges sound slow, muddy, and coloured."

Terence: "I have been using the 11A since I received it but I didn't want to be premature in my assassment, although my initial assessments were favourable. Now, I must say that the 11A is certainly the best preamp I have ever owned, and the best I have ever heard-ss or tube. Thank you for a wonderful product, Steve."

Charles Phd, does musical reviews for PBS, Florida: "I just saw this post and you know I have to chime in here. After three years of preamp auditions I just pulled the trigger on the SAS 11A preamp. It was an unknown product to me but Marty Dewulf over at BFS (and who knows whats going on there these days, by that I mean it seems that Marty has slipped into retirement - forgive me Marty if I am wrong) Anyway he always said wonderful things about the preamp! So having no mind of my own I bought the preamp from Steve at SAS audio. The reason I bought the preamp is that I did not want to do the crazy audiophile thing of always upgrading. Buying the SAS preamp was the best thing I could have done. It's wonderful! Clear, fast musical and very truthful to the source. And more importantly it works well with both tube and solid state amps (i.e. Pass 30.5 & Audio-space 300b mono-blocks).

Bernie: "I have also tested the 11A in terms of comparing the sound from my excellent cd source directly to amps versus inserting the 11A pre between. I could detect no difference whatsoever.... So, my two cents: the SAS preamps are stellar – with my 11A I hear no compression or any other alteration of the originating signal."

George: "Steve,, this pre is "top shelf",, I currently have it thru odyssey mono se's to a pair of Carver Amazings,,, it's gonna be difficult for me to box it up and ship it on to Weez,,, organic, man,, organic,,, as soon as I receive the address, I'll ship it on,, I've got it "dialed in",,, it's so good,,it's scary---thanks for the opportunity to let me/us audition such a fine piece of gear---- george (George tested the 11A on tour.)

Charlie: "Steve,The overwhelming Majority of comments regarding the 11A during the tour have been very favorable. Everyone at Woodsyi's with the exception of Doug S who seemed to have prior issues with you because of you refusing to offer the 10A with a remote volume thought that the 11A was by far the best sounding pre of the bunch. DaveG sat there with Scotty and myself and fully agreed that the 11A was clearly the superior preamplifier out of the group."

Rich (Audio Circle): "I've been listening to a lot of preamps this week and even with the problems, it is evident to me that the 11A is in a different league. I'm glad I heard it first, because it set a high mark for the others to follow. The only other pre that sounds naturally musical so far is the Minimax with vintage 12AU7s. They are just too tubey though. But at least the sound is natural and tone is not all screwed up.....

Thanks Steve.
Rich"

Ray: "your prees are somewhat legendary in their reviews."

Jack: "My 10A is going to the grave with me, it's my favorite piece of audio gear. The 11A is better but they rarely come up for sale." (Jack auditioned the 11A at his venue.)

Bob: "Hey guys. . .if anyone's interested, I'm selling my Tram 2 preamp since my SAS B11A is so awesome...." (Tram 2 uses 45, 2A3s)"


My goal has been realized; that it is possible to design components with new stock tubes that can blow out NOS tube upgrades or stock designs.

Cheers

steve

« Last Edit: August 05, 2021, 07:16:23 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (Owner, Electron Eng, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
SAS "V" 39pf/m 6N copper ICs,
SAS Test Phono Stage
Acutex 320 STR Mov Iron Cart
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamp
SAS 25 W Ref Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way Floor Standing Test Speakers

Offline steve

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Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #49 on: February 11, 2021, 01:01:02 PM »
steve, you shouldn't tease us like this, and then remind us you're retired.  you need to start making these again.

doug s.


It has crossed my mind Doug, but not strongly. I am currently testing one manufacturers capacitors. I could use
the 10A black chassis, but it is not the best, but it would keep the price down some.

How to label the knobs in front as my silk screener is retired. Of course there are only the selector, two volume controls, and the power switch. But no lettering in front or back, including warnings of shock inside?

The 11A would be the design I would wish to start again if I decided to.

cheers

steve

ps. I just compared two upgraded DACs and player to a Monarchy 24 tube DAC.

https://www.audionervosa.com/index.php?topic=8173.msg100860#msg100860
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 07:34:03 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (Owner, Electron Eng, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
SAS "V" 39pf/m 6N copper ICs,
SAS Test Phono Stage
Acutex 320 STR Mov Iron Cart
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamp
SAS 25 W Ref Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way Floor Standing Test Speakers

Offline steve

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Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #50 on: June 10, 2021, 08:12:19 PM »
Well, I have made a couple of more tweaks to my monoblock tube amps over the past week or so.

1. The first was to add another filter stage to my negative power supply rail in each monoblock. This was to increase isolation between the signal stage and the power transformer, line cord, AC power etc. I needed to use a 4" wire on one capacitor lead. Little did I know I was to perform another experiment. Point two.

2. One capacitor lead was just not long enough, so I used a 22 gauge 4" wire to connect the poly cap to ground.  Sounded incredible. Then I got the bright idea of replacing the wire with a 20g wire. The sound became too full, lost depth, transparency, too full etc. So I swapped back to the 22g wire and amazingly, the sound was back. I continued the back and forth swap during this week. The sonic difference was quite apparent.

This experiment was under "lab" conditions. So the criteria of building such a component is, every single wire and connection needs to be very carefully performed to obtain optimum results.
Degradation is so so so easy.

Cheers

steve
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 08:16:20 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (Owner, Electron Eng, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
SAS "V" 39pf/m 6N copper ICs,
SAS Test Phono Stage
Acutex 320 STR Mov Iron Cart
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamp
SAS 25 W Ref Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way Floor Standing Test Speakers

Offline Nick B

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Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #51 on: June 10, 2021, 09:17:36 PM »
Well, I have made a couple of more tweaks to my monoblock tube amps over the past week or so.

1. The first was to add another filter stage to my negative power supply rail in each monoblock. This was to increase isolation between the signal stage and the power transformer, line cord, AC power etc. I needed to use a 4" wire on one capacitor lead. Little did I know I was to perform another experiment. Point two.

2. One capacitor lead was just not long enough, so I used a 22 gauge 4" wire to connect the poly cap to ground.  Sounded incredible. Then I got the bright idea of replacing the wire with a 20g wire. The sound became too full, lost depth, transparency, too full etc. So I swapped back to the 22g wire and amazingly, the sound was back. I continued the back and forth swap during this week. The sonic difference was quite apparent.

This experiment was under "lab" conditions. So the criteria of building such a component is, every single wire and connection needs to be very carefully performed to obtain optimum results.
Degradation is so so so easy.

Cheers

steve

Hi Steve,
How interesting regarding the difference with the 20 vs 22 gauge wire. Am curious what solder you like to use.
Nick
Orchard Starkrimson Ultra amp
Hattor Big preamp
JMR Voce Grande speakers
Holo Cyan2 dac
Holo Red streamer
Hapa Aero digital coax
WyWires Silver cables
TWL Digital American II p cord
Audio Envy p cords
Roon, Tidal, Qobuz
PI Audio UberBUSS

Offline steve

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Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #52 on: June 11, 2021, 03:15:05 PM »
Well, I have made a couple of more tweaks to my monoblock tube amps over the past week or so.

1. The first was to add another filter stage to my negative power supply rail in each monoblock. This was to increase isolation between the signal stage and the power transformer, line cord, AC power etc. I needed to use a 4" wire on one capacitor lead. Little did I know I was to perform another experiment. Point two.

2. One capacitor lead was just not long enough, so I used a 22 gauge 4" wire to connect the poly cap to ground.  Sounded incredible. Then I got the bright idea of replacing the wire with a 20g wire. The sound became too full, lost depth, transparency, too full etc. So I swapped back to the 22g wire and amazingly, the sound was back. I continued the back and forth swap during this week. The sonic difference was quite apparent.

This experiment was under "lab" conditions. So the criteria of building such a component is, every single wire and connection needs to be very carefully performed to obtain optimum results.
Degradation is so so so easy.

Cheers

steve

Hi Steve,
How interesting regarding the difference with the 20 vs 22 gauge wire. Am curious what solder you like to use.
Nick

Cardas Quad, but I also made a special blend for certain components such as ics (interconnect cables).

By the way, simply using a gas tight crimp type wire/plug connection will NOT result in an accurate musical
signal "transfer". This via specialized listening tests over years.

cheers

steve
« Last Edit: June 13, 2021, 08:57:25 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (Owner, Electron Eng, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
SAS "V" 39pf/m 6N copper ICs,
SAS Test Phono Stage
Acutex 320 STR Mov Iron Cart
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamp
SAS 25 W Ref Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way Floor Standing Test Speakers

Offline steve

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Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #53 on: August 10, 2021, 03:48:56 PM »
hey!

i just now saw this, and i'm pretty sure it never happened!  while it's true that a preamp w/o a remote is not on my shopping list, i would never make a sonic judgment about it because of that.  and i certainly NEVER had any issues w/you, steve; for this or any other reason!?!  why would i ever have issues w/someone who's made a design choice about his product, simply because i'd prefer something else - seriously?!?  (i might consider using my diy paradise eva with it, if i heard it and liked it enough - heh!)

while i've been to rim's and enjoyed his system on quite a few occasions, (not lately, tho; he seems to have written me off since i've been banned from a well-known site run by someone who always had it in for me), i actually don't ever recall hearing hearing one of steve's preamps there.  and, while i am getting up there a bit in age, my memory is still pretty sharp.

i do recall hearing a modwright tubed preamp there that sounded solid-state and i wasn't too crazy about it; i don't remember the model, and maybe it was even w/a remote!  it certainly wasn't an sas preamp. maybe the modwright is what charlie was thinking about?  everyone there certainly knew it wasn't my cuppa...

just wanting to set the record straight...

doug s.

Charlie: "Steve,The overwhelming Majority of comments regarding the 11A during the tour have been very favorable. Everyone at Woodsyi's with the exception of Doug S who seemed to have prior issues with you because of you refusing to offer the 10A with a remote volume thought that the 11A was by far the best sounding pre of the bunch. DaveG sat there with Scotty and myself and fully agreed that the 11A was clearly the superior preamplifier out of the group."

No harm taken Doug. You have always been a straight shooter and I appreciate that. My posts have to be approved by the moderator on that forum. Frankly, I agree. I never liked the Mod either, not accurate, sterile, not natural at all. 

cheers

steve
Steve Sammet (Owner, Electron Eng, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
SAS "V" 39pf/m 6N copper ICs,
SAS Test Phono Stage
Acutex 320 STR Mov Iron Cart
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamp
SAS 25 W Ref Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way Floor Standing Test Speakers

Offline steve

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Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #54 on: August 19, 2021, 10:14:30 PM »
I believe you Doug. No sweat.

Arg, I found two metal oxide resistors in the speaker crossovers from years ago. They look close to metal films.

I have to parallel resistors, include very high ohmage ones as my 0.5% accurate Tektronix resistance/capacitance meter just cannot measure to the accuracy necessary. So I use a small 26 turn Vishay bulk foil variable control in series and pink noise to match speakers. We are talking 1 part in 100,000 minimum on the bass control.

Anyway, I replaced the high ohmage metal oxides with metal films and what only I can describe as something I did not believe was possible occurred.

ps. In general, a bad sonic part becomes more important to sonics, the music, as the number of poor parts is reduced.

I have not mentioned it in a while, but the system is a grand lab experiment to see what the ear is capable of, and to see how live the recording can sound with some of the better recordings.

Of course, the experiment is virtually impossible to copy. But I think it is valuable information, as knowledge is  power and helps in making decisions, and what is simply marketing tatics. 

cheers

steve
« Last Edit: August 24, 2021, 03:47:00 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (Owner, Electron Eng, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
SAS "V" 39pf/m 6N copper ICs,
SAS Test Phono Stage
Acutex 320 STR Mov Iron Cart
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamp
SAS 25 W Ref Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way Floor Standing Test Speakers

Offline steve

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Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #55 on: August 27, 2021, 01:28:18 PM »
A little while back I noticed the sonic/music become more full. So I started performing some experiments with the tightness of the speaker wire nuts on both the amplifier and speaker.

For newbies, the tighter the nuts, the more contact pressure, and the lower the contact resistance.

I think this aspect has been extremely neglected, having never seen a post mentioning the problem over the decades on any forum.

That is, the sonics will vary with the contact resistance of the speaker wires at both the amplifier and speakers. I am able to alter the sonics on my system by simply adjusting the contact pressure on either the speaker or amplifier connections.

Finger tight is not enough. I noticed a musical difference at every session.

First, I cleaned the connectors on both amp and speakers with a cleaner that leaves no residue. I cleaned the speaker wire ends as well. 
Next, use either a wrench or worst case pliers and tighten more, until extremely tight. This should provide some consistency in musical reproduction if one notices the sonic qualities seeming to change from session to session.

Will everyone notice a musical difference? No. If the system has masking problems, too full, a sonic difference may not be noticed.

If ok, I would like to post this same post in amps and preamps, as I have never seen this aspect presented in any forum.

cheers

steve
« Last Edit: August 27, 2021, 01:41:23 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (Owner, Electron Eng, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
SAS "V" 39pf/m 6N copper ICs,
SAS Test Phono Stage
Acutex 320 STR Mov Iron Cart
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamp
SAS 25 W Ref Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way Floor Standing Test Speakers

Offline Nick B

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Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #56 on: August 27, 2021, 01:40:27 PM »
A little while back I noticed the sonic/music become more full. So I started performing some experiments with the tightness of the speaker wire nuts on both the amplifier and speaker.

For newbies, the tighter the nuts, the more contact pressure, and the lower the contact resistance.

I think this aspect has been extremely neglected, having never seen a post mentioning the problem over the decades.

That is, the sonics will vary with the contact resistance of the speaker wires to both the amplifier and speaker. I am able to alter the sonics on my system by simply adjusting the contact pressure on either the speaker or amplifier connections.

Finger tight is not enough. First, clean the connectors on both amp and speakers with a cleaner that leaves no residue. Clean the speaker wire ends as well. 
Next, use either a wrench or worst case pliers and tighten more, until extremely tight. This should provide some consistency in musical reproduction if the sonic qualities seem to change from session to session.

Will everyone notice a musical difference? No. If the system has masking problems, too full, a sonic difference may not be noticed.

I would appreciate any posts that describe the sonic difference they notice.

If ok, I would like to post this same post in amps and preamps, as I have never seen this aspect presented in any forum.

cheers

steve

Steve,
It’s ok with me to post in those sections as well. I don’t recall having seen this presented elsewhere either. I can’t try this experiment as for the first time ever I’m using bananas.
Nick
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Offline tmazz

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Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #57 on: August 28, 2021, 01:20:16 PM »
I agree, finger tight just doesn't cut it. Fir many years now I have used ab Audioquest device called The Postman. It look like a screwdriver handle with 1/2 and 7/16th sockets sunk into each hand. With an open ended or socket  wrench on a ratchet handle it is too easy to apply too much torque and strip or even break  a plastic binding post. The Postman gives you the grip of a socket but without the leverage of a wrench, making it easier to control how tight you make the binding post.

It does a great job and in audiophile terms it is a bargain at less than $20 from Amazon or any of the online high end dealers.

Highly recommended

Remember, it's all about the music........

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Offline steve

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Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #58 on: August 30, 2021, 09:32:23 PM »
Unfortunately, my speaker jacks are round, otherwise I would use an inch pounds tork wrench to
tighten.

For newbies, over the years, I have found banana, spades etc to be inferior to direct speaker
wire connection. Bypassing the jacks and soldering the speaker wires to the OPT leads is probably the
best of all, but I have not proven it, and I need flexibility to remove the amps for testing purposes.

It is important that the surface be completely smooth, with no slight kinks or small, rough spots that
would reduce the contact area, increasing the resistance.
Increasing the resistance lowers the damping factor across the entire audio band.

cheers

steve
« Last Edit: September 22, 2021, 03:55:15 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (Owner, Electron Eng, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
SAS "V" 39pf/m 6N copper ICs,
SAS Test Phono Stage
Acutex 320 STR Mov Iron Cart
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamp
SAS 25 W Ref Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way Floor Standing Test Speakers

Offline steve

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Re: I think my System is finally finished
« Reply #59 on: October 21, 2021, 11:03:26 AM »
Question about how my system responds to the sonic differences between YouTube Premium and redbook?

Adjustments, controls on the speakers. I wish all speakers had touch up controls so as to optimize reproduction from both. Simply repositioning the speakers can help most of the time. But even with YouTube Premium, overall, I would not switch audio systems using Redbook. Maybe another venue for wider soundstage, but that is it.

The ear is incredibly sensitive to tonal changes/frequency response changes. Correlating resistance changes to -DB amplitude changes, 1 in 100,000 would equate to ~ -100db tonal balance/frequency response change. One in a million equates to ~ -120db change.
 
Since the damping factor between amp/speakers is only ~10, perfect correlation is not achievable. However, even within a db or three off demonstrates the extreme sensitivity of the ear.

That is why it is so difficult to obtain perfect input to output perfection with electronic components.

cheers

steve 
« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 01:03:53 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (Owner, Electron Eng, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
SAS "V" 39pf/m 6N copper ICs,
SAS Test Phono Stage
Acutex 320 STR Mov Iron Cart
SAS 11A Perfect Tube Preamp
SAS 25 W Ref Triode/UL Monoblocks
2 way Floor Standing Test Speakers