Solid-State Power Amp Adventures

Discussion in 'Power Amps' started by purr1n, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,217
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I used dual trannies with monolithic rectifiers for my SIT amp , the capacitor bank and CRC filter was good enough to bring the noise levels down to not think about it.

    @pechelman how are you enjoying the Aleph?

    ..dB
     
  2. pechelman

    pechelman Acquaintance

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2019
    Likes Received:
    58
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I really only have a few hours listening so far, 2 of which were on junk speakers placed on my garage workbench while I sat on a bucket to make sure things were all good before hooking up to nicer ones. Also I'm not the best person to evaluate gear because I'm new to the hobby in general and my other amp is the first real power amp I've ever owned which is a flea watt deal with 2wpc from 45's made by dennis had of old cary audio.

    Right off the bat though, it's clear that the aleph reaches both higher and lower. Highs are a bit more present and intentional, sparkling without being harsh or fatiguing, whereas the 45's seem a little more rounded and gentle. The aleph presents much more impact on the bass as well as better definition, similar to what I experienced when adding in a Gungnir Multibit/pi2aes to the chain instead of using a handheld DAP as the source (don't laugh at me too much). Presence of vocals is slightly reduced and flattened compared to the 45's which are pretty magical to me even without having good/many points of reference like most on this forum. Soundstage is still good but again maybe it is flatter and wider vs the 45s which presented more of a rounder enveloping bubble of a stage of having the singers be right there in the room with you.

    The one frustration so far is that the increased power of the aleph does make some preamp hum more audible. The aleph itself is fortunately very quiet/silent for me thus far; was very worried about this given how densely packed the 4U chassis is right now. Also the turn off thump is so so so gentle even with 98db speakers. Glad I didnt bother with a soft start or speaker protection board.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  3. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,844
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Home Page:
    I hadn't really taken much notice to the JL Hood Amp @purr1n had mentioned, mainly because I wasn't in the market. Well things have changed and loosley on the hunt again.

    Well colour me shocked to see the vast selection the JL Hood replicator' store has! So many pieces of interest and look pretty well built all things considered!

    https://hifi-exquis.aliexpress.com/...2.444717d09Cna4G&origin=n&SortType=price_desc

    Namely:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32645108208.html?spm=2114.12010615.8148356.27.6b616189nu9UCD
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32842302749.html?spm=2114.12010615.8148356.54.36fd5293KsGIXG
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33025495245.html?spm=2114.12010615.8148356.51.6b616189nu9UCD
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33021133942.html?spm=2114.12010615.8148356.18.444717d09Cna4G

    But wow. If the amp Marv reviewed was decent especially given the price, some of these other replicas may also be a steal...An Accuphase rep that doesn't suck for like 1,000....
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  4. uncola

    uncola Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    536
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Oahu, Hawaii
    hah I've had a couple of clones from china.. a krell ksa-5 clone headphone amp with speaker outs.. and a goldmund mimesis speaker amp clone.. they were both only ok. The goldmund clone was nicer of the two. I wouldn't buy again, I don't think they sounded like the originals.

    On the other hand I had a Firstwatt clone from thailand that was incredibly good, I'm 99% sure it sounded just like the real one. I only got rid of it because it ran too hot to use on my desk in my bedroom
     
  5. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,844
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Home Page:
    Who did you source that clone through?
     
  6. uncola

    uncola Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    536
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Oahu, Hawaii
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  7. pechelman

    pechelman Acquaintance

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2019
    Likes Received:
    58
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Finally have what I feel is enough time listening to the aleph j (AJ) to give any meaningful opinion about it, at least as compared to a 45 tube amp around 2wpc and a couple of headphone amps.

    Initial impressions were that both highs and lows definitely reached further into their range. This is definitely the biggest long-term difference for me. This could be insufficient power of a 45 tube to produce low end on my 98dB speakers or an artifact of some rolloff in its circuit, I dont know.

    The overall impression of the AJ, based on my limited hi-fi experience, is an amp that gives a somewhat relaxed presentation with good impact\speed and clear, well defined highs, ones that aren't at all fatiguing. Cymbals/tamborines are not in anyway splashy all the way from the beginning of the note through sustain. Vocals are somewhat less present in the room for me compared to the 45, the AJ stage is definitely wider and deeper. The 45 stage for me was narrower, but rounder, almost with depth to the vocals, fleshy? This is the one area that the AJ definitely is not as engaging, but it has other strengths. What I wasn't expecting with the AJ was something that seemed to need to break-in over the first week, was has now become an amazing amount of air and space in the music. At first it sounded like I had a bit of water in the ears, though in a much less extreme manner. This has stabilized to add the depth to the music and separation between sounds on stage, or noises off stage, like in Jazz at the Pawnshop recording. At first this made things sound distant or attenuated now it feels like what I imagine listening inside a treated studio room from "that couch over against he wall" might be like (based on time inside an anechoic chamber for school/work). It gives everything room.

    For me, overall, the 45 amp is a bit liking painting with a waterbush in at times with a sharper focus on center stage/midrange. It gives a lovely ambiance around the main instrument/voice. This description is maybe a bit extreme to say I'm talking in absolutes, but this is in comparison to the AJ where it's presenting the music how a ~1960s leica lens draws for those familiar. Sharp but with a bit of gentleness and soul. The AJ is definitely much cleaner and straight-forward, less-emotional?, but with a relaxed presentation that maybe isnt un-tube-like. The background is blacker, bass has impact and drive, air&space in the wider deeper stage, and clear non-fatiguing highs. I've heard fatiguing, shrill, bright, head-ache-inducing solid state, and this is anything but that.

    For me, in combination with the things it does better, the fact that I built this thing and have some personal investment, I'm definitely going to keep the AJ and sell the 45. The wife so far hasnt complained about the big giant box that's sitting on the shelf with the backpanel facing forward because that's the only way it fits, so maybe it's ok.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 4
    • List
  8. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    6,088
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    Interesting quote from Jason the other day on Head-Fi:
    Wonder if they’re looking at class G or H perhaps, or something more novel that Jason is cooking up.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  9. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,217
    Trophy Points:
    93
    @Vtory noticed the DarTZeel clone in the "Pictures" thread - would be curious on your impressions of this amp

    upload_2020-5-21_11-52-36.png

    perhaps you have already but I couldn't find it

    ..dB
     
  10. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,907
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  11. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    7,425
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Greater Philadelphia Area, PA
    @dBel84 Yeah, like @fraggler pointed out, that's Accuphase clone -- and mutated a lot since it copied the original design lol. Please take a look at my impressions in that thread. Later in that year, I got a chance to hear authentic old gen accuphase, they're meaningfully different but I could confirm important virtues (to me) cloned correctly. While all these done via sr1a, with the current elac vela speakers, I'd still stand by every sentence in the original impression. Some metrics got slightly better though.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  12. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,844
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Home Page:
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  13. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,844
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Home Page:
    Anyone have experience with the new integrateds from the likes of Yamaha vs. Luxman vs. Pass Labs?

    Window shopping quality Class A integrateds, and the front meters of the Yam/Lux have a sexy aesthetic appeal...
     
  14. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    6,088
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    Haven’t looked in depth, but which Yammys are class A? Thought they were all class A/B?
     
  15. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,844
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Home Page:
    Crap, you are correct. I guess that changes the question...oops!
     
  16. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    6,088
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    Well at least that narrows down the choices! Lol. The thing is, they 1200, 2200 and 3200 are all similar power output, which is a rather odd thing when the price escalates between models a fair bit. The build quality looks very high though.
     
  17. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,844
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Home Page:
    Yeah the differences aren't huge. There is a balanced vs. SE element, as well as toroid power supply upgrade in the 3000 model.

    Still, you're right in that they lack the Class A secret sauce. I guess that's one reason for the cost difference between Luxman and Pass. I'd throw Accuphase in there but it's stupid expensive in NA and I don't know how to change voltages on the transformers.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,031
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Grant Woods backyard
    So this isn't a "new " model, but my buddy has been using a Luxman Class A integrated (model unknown) for the last couple of years on Klipsch LaScala/Cornwall and home brew horns. It was a Japanese model Luxman. It has plankton but is still very smooth and has balls on horns. Has pretty meters, and a phono stage that doesn't suck. I'd say it's at least as good as an Aegir/Freya S, I would hope the more recent models have maintained the tradition.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  19. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,844
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Home Page:
    Bit of a shift but changing gears here and instead looking for a fully all in one unit. Changes in budget and a new requirement for tidiness in the living room means the least boxes the better.

    So I'm looking at things like Yamaha AS801, Marantz PM7005/7000n. Open to others. Haven't heard either so no idea how tonally warm that still has detail without being a total smear fest/Bose bass boost these are. Or ear gouging digititus...
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  20. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    6,088
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    Are you looking for just a basic integrated pre/power, or do you need anything else (DAC, phono, Balanced inputs, etc)?

    Edit: sorry you said “all in one” unit but could you qualify that a bit? Also what speakers are you looking to drive?
     

Share This Page