AAW Black Amp impressions thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Erroneous, Feb 2, 2021.

  1. BarryT

    BarryT MOT: Austin Audio Works

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    As you may know, I have been doing a short production run of Black AMPs and Black Swans. I just took the machined chassis from the powder coating shop to the laser engraver and I have finished stuffing and soldering and am starting the PCBs through test. It is my schedule to have both products in stock in the two week although the Swans are all spoken for at this time and I will be begin a second short run of them next week.

    If you are interested in a new Black AMP I will have a few for sale, I would suggest that you let me know of your interest now.

    I would like to have a couple of you who were in on the first tour re-examine the upgraded production version to see what you think.

    Up until now I have not put any energy into marketing the units, I have sold off the pre-production units to pay for parts and vendor services and used my own money and free time to get this far.

    At this point in my growth each of you who buys a unit is in a strong way an investor in my dream of building quality audio products as an art.

    I want to both thank and encourage you to join me in this odyssey. I am setting up a blog to begin to document the process and events as I go forward and am open to advice and aid in curation of this line of thinking. I have no idea where this can go but it is too much fun to stop now.

    Thanks, Barry
     
  2. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    I would not mind hearing the updated unit ('Black Amp A2' for a name). However, I liked the sound of the loaner and did not feel it lacked "slam" or bass nearly as much as most here at SBAF so I might not be the target audience. That said I am curious to hear what your design does with ortho's such as D8000 (60 ohm) and the upcoming LCD-5 tour (14 ohms).

    There is a blog section here at SBAF, though you being an manufacture/vendor (MOT) your thoughts might be placed in the MOT section...
     
  3. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

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    I'm very interested in the V2 (or A2 for crenca) loaner. I did hear a lack of slam in the V1 but it didn't bother me. I'm also curious how it powers some orthos that I didn't have before. Coordinating with the LCD-5 would be nice but possibly more hassle than it's worth for timing.
     
  4. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    ditto with interest on an A2 loaner
     
  5. bilboda

    bilboda Florida boomer

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    Listening now to the Black Amp original with Meze Empyreans. Ararat Prayer, Stefano Battlaglia Trio on Qobuz, HQPlayer used 44.1k to DSD 128. Jazz, bass, piano, percussion. Bass is quite strong, not a slamming song to be sure, no pounding going on but far from bass light. Macro and micro dynamics apparent with the resolution. Still wanna know what slam is.
     
  6. BarryT

    BarryT MOT: Austin Audio Works

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    A short note on my work on the Black AMP. While working on the technology of auto-transformer based volume (level) controls and the philosophy of their operation along with resulting better performance than voltage dividing potentiometers I had an epiphany as to how this thinking could be applied to the Black AMP. Could I keep the feature of the volume control and bypass its sonic issues? This would directly apply to the higher power versions (if it works I will modify the prototype of the 50-watt Concept AMP built a while back.

    After a week of playing with simulations, searching my old and cluttered memory, and reading up more on current mirror theory I got an idea which last night I completed a working model of.

    It worked, I could alter the current gain-stage of the AMP creating an adjustable gain with a variable resistance with a range of +20 to -50 dB that did not alter the amplifier's performance. Distortion did not change with gain level (still had the same even-only harmonic distortion at all frequencies), bandwidth did not change, none of the properties of the amplifier changed but the gain. The gain could be changed without stability issues by one resistor, not two as in a voltage divider as used in feedback circuits. Thus there is no 'Information Entropy' as displayed in standard voltage dividing networks. I went to bed happy.

    I am now altering a Standard Black AMP into this new topology for listening and will run it by my helping 'ears' for critical evaluation before I decide to change more. I think I found a way to get auto-transformer performance without the auto-transformer.

    --
    Barry
     
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  7. MisterRogers

    MisterRogers Ethernet Nervosa

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    Thanks for the update Barry - glad to hear you're ok and still at it!
     
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