Where's NwAvGuy?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by mtoc, Nov 19, 2015.

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  1. mtoc

    mtoc SBAF's Resident Shit-Stirrer

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    He gone? I just waiting NwAvGuy's super O2 which can drive he6 extremelly good in the price of less $150...(hope this will come true.)
     
  2. kapanak

    kapanak Canucklehead - Friend

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    He's been gone for three years now. I think he realized this fight against the industry took too much effort and just left to live his life normally. I still like his blog a lot, despite the heavy dose of objectivism, he does have some very useful condensed information available.
     
  3. Judeus

    Judeus Almost "Made"

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    Although I disagree with him for the most part on "if it measures the same, it sounds the same" as to any experienced listener this isn't the case at all.

    Despite this, he has a lot of good info and I think he did a great job to shake up the industry and get all the headfi zombies to take off their jude goggles
     
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Already invented. Those are called GainClones.

    The O2 is really two CMOYs in series with a cap in between. No idea how he was able to market it as an amp from the Vorlons.
     
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  5. Claritas

    Claritas Friend

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    Everyone knows it was just Tyll's straight-laced alter ego: if Tyll doesn't do certain unique things (wear Hawaiian shirts, be in Montana a certain number of consecutive days, ride his motorcycle often enough, &c.), he morphs into an anal dweeb whose name is mix of capital and lowercase letters. It's frightful! The only remedy is drinking three beers in three minutes three days after the new moon. Fortunately, Tyll's stayed Tyll now for quite a while.
     
  6. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    NwAvGuy had an agenda, and that was to direct people away from the bigger, more expensive amps down to something smaller and more affordable.

    He succeeded. Marketing campaign is a huge and resounding success. There was no need for "NwAvGuy" as a character to exist anymore, but hosting and other fees for the websites are still apparently paid... why? Because there is a need to rope more sheep into the bandwagon.

    As Marv said, the O2 is essentially 2 cmoys put in series. Or... I'll elaborate. The whole topology is basically one cmoy at max volume, connected in series to two more cmoys in parallel. The two cmoys in parallel are responsible for "delivering power" to the headphone, while the one cmoy at max volume was to prevent the source device from "acting up", thus achieving the numbers he quoted. It is essentially double amping, but its measurements look so good because it's using battery power, with a textbook example of a good power supply with decent regulation. Most amps around its price don't do power supply regulation, and especially on battery to cut costs, and because people think the op amps will just take care of all of that (obviously not). So it's no surprise O2 measures better than most of those, and similar to something else that's more expensive (thing is, the more expensive amps also have better power supply filtering and regulations).

    With that said, an O2 that can drive HE-6? That's simple. Just parallel more of the output op amps used in the O2, so instead of just 2 for each channel, try... 32.

    No, seriously...
    https://www.elektormagazine.com/magazine/elektor-201010/19460
     
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  7. Klasse

    Klasse Friend

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    I think it would be much better if NwAvGuy were here among us.
    Prepared to be often right and often wrong, like most of us.

    We all have differences and this is what's all about.
    Sharing views, experiences, discussing, learning.

    I think he should appear if he can.
    He's probably a myth now but also someone useless for the community.

    Beyond his philosophy, he shared his time and knowledge with other people, as many of us do, and that's much more valuable than his current silence.

    I think he probably gave up too soon. I think there's plenty of room for objectivism these days.
    I mean to push the frontiers of objectivism.

    "It measures better, but it sounds worse"
    Wrong measurement? Wrong target? We need self-critic objectivism.

    We need to use objectivism to address the enjoyment problem.

    For instance, why the hell the Asgard 2 sounds different than the Magni?
    And why the hell the Ragnarok surely sounds different than the Asgard 2?
    Objectively speaking...

    There's room for you NwAvGuy and still plenty of interesting stuff to work on.
    Why don't you just join in?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
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  8. T.Rainman

    T.Rainman Acquaintance

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    An O2 (with a real ground as you probably found out by now) running on mains (an AC wall wart, NOT a DC wall wart) does not run on its batteries and does not have 'super regulation'.
    A lowly 7812/7912 with a diode in series increasing impedance.
    Also the batteries have a diode in series and those diodes have a MOSFET in series on top of that.

    A Chu Moy amplifier is just an opamp that powers a headphone directly.
    As the input opamp in the O2 is NOT powering a headphone directly but a rather high impedance volpot it is NOT 'basically' 2 C'Moys in series.
    By that theory every circuit with an opamp NOT powering headphones directly is a C'Moy.
    It's an amplifier with voltage gain and current gain separated with double the output current of a 'normal C'Moy using NJM4556.
    It has about 3 to 4 x the output current capabilities of 'standard' C'Moys like the UHA6 mkII for instance.


    Let's assume the O2 is running on mains.
    The output voltage (under load) of the NJM4556 will be 9Vp (18Vpp).
    The current needed to drive 53 Ohm (HE6) = 170mAp
    Each opamp can deliver 70mA peak so you need 2.4 Opamps in parallel to drive the HE-6 to the maximum output voltage.

    7Vp = 130mAp
    So running on batteries the O2 CAN already drive an HE6 to maximum output voltage.
    Of course most will agree that 5Vrms is not enough to 'drive' the HE6 properly.

    Purrin is correct... a Gain clone is the closest approximation of a 'high power' O2.
    Just add some batteries ...
     
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  9. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    I credit NwAvGuy for getting me to seriously dive in and take a look at what amps and dacs were for. I used to think amplifiers were meant to make crap louder. I used to think dacs all did the same thing basically the same way.

    I understand measurements and objectivity more than subjectivity. Once I read his various articles, I understood why we needed better audio gear if we wanted better sound (while previously I basically felt that as long as something wasn't implemented super poorly, it would just sound the same, right?).

    I owned an O2 + ODAC (and ODAC revB) and subjectively believed that it did indeed improve my audio experience over what I'd owned previously. It subjectively beat out a number of other setups I tried when I decided to throw money at audio gear. I initially ended up with a Creative Titanium HD -> Objective2. It was more musical and engaging than the first gen Modi + Magni stack that I bought, and I even preferred it to the Vali.

    It wasn't until a year or so later that I dove back in and tried to find better sound. It took more than twice the cost of the O2 + ODAC for me to find something I subjectively preferred to it.

    I tried a bunch of stuff in a similar price range. AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Meridian Explorer (v1), JDS Labs C5D, Fiio E10k, Cayin C5, and on and on.

    The O2 + ODAC doesn't suck. It's still a reasonable value. The Modi 2 Uber + Magni 2 Uber almost certainly trounces it for the price these days because the O2 + ODAC has barely evolved (the former because it can't, while the latter has improved a little). It's still an objective and subjective improvement over most of the crap we have on our computers, and is a nice gateway drug to the hobby.

    Sure, he might have helped spin off some bad things (and, ironically, is partly responsible for us spending thousands on gear for its measurements), but he also contributed greatly to the evolution of the hobby and helped light a fire under the ass of many audio companies.
     
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  10. meloman

    meloman Acquaintance

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  11. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Huh?

    Please tell me how you can get "true ground" out of something with only 2 prongs... each for the positive and negative swings of the AC voltage.
     
  12. HitmanFluffy

    HitmanFluffy Hoping to see real genitals someday! - Friend

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    Your other posts are fine, but where on earth do people learn to post like this? Line breaks for rhetorical effect? On an online forum? I'm genuinely curious here, I've been seeing stuff like this crop up elsewhere.

    As for the actual thread, his spirit lives on in the edgy teenagers on /r/headphones. Deep respect for @OJneg moderating it.
     
  13. Chris1967

    Chris1967 Friend

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    I also bought the objective story.

    Got O2 and ODAC... The O2 on a super 50VA trafo, even put a Salas shunt on the ODAC (there is thread in Changstar)...

    Sold them both, don't miss them... ok for the price i guess nothing special though.
     
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  14. chakku

    chakku Friend

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    I personally like the fact that he made the hobby seem more accessible to those who weren't willing to spend hundreds or thousands on source gear.. HF can scare off a lot of newbies. Also the fact that he seemed to null (a little) HF's habit of blaming headphone problems on source gear being inadequate and that there couldn't possibly be anything wrong with the headphone or that the listener's preferences didn't align with their own. Nothing worse than seeing a poor guy getting screamed at for having the 'audacity' to run a >$300 headphone from a source that costed any less.

    Plus his blog is a good resource for a lot of basic EE principles and how they apply with the interaction between headphones, DACs and headphone amplifiers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
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  15. hifi01170

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    somehow nwavguy saved me from the hifiworld voodoo!
    I think it was important to have his blog in order to have a kind of equilibrium with all the audiophoolery from other sources.
    Generally speaking we need these extremes in order to evolve and maybe find a middle-ground.... Tyll's approach or SBAF's general views on a bit of both!

    I'm convinced now that measurements do not explain all, and subjective listening experience is of prime importance as well. Heck even my views on blind testing are kind of evolving since reading "Bigsound"...

    in order to find the "greyish" path, the "black" path and the "white" path are both important.
    @HitmanFluffy, I'm sure you are going to be in awe with the above line! hahaha
     
  16. thune

    thune Friend

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    The view of nwavguy as a martyr and the gushing hagiography are enough to criticize without resorting to nitpicks on form, imo.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  17. T.Rainman

    T.Rainman Acquaintance

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    You seem to be SERIOUSLY lacking basic electronics knowledge and do not seem to fully understand reference / common nor how a single AC winding can still provide a positive and negative power supply voltage opposite a common (in this case 'ground')

    To help you along on the subject...
    http://www.play-hookey.com/ac_theory/power_supply/ps_rectifiers.html
     
  18. HitmanFluffy

    HitmanFluffy Hoping to see real genitals someday! - Friend

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    Those criticisms we've heard and know, but this bizarre arrangement is utterly baffling :confused:
     
  19. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    The big mystery about NwAvGuy is how he maintained the anonymity. Those who have been around head-fi/etc far longer than I have can confirm: he was posting there before his blog and the two products hot the world, right? Perhaps, like many, even though he was supposedly an electrical-engineering pro, me might have started out with a fairly casual relationship with the wider-public internet? Did he never give any passing clue as to who, or even where, he was?

    Most of us could be tracked down to flesh-and-blood people without too much trouble, but NwAvGuy maintained a seemingly cast-iron shield of anonymity. Before, during and after. He posted on forum(s); he published a blog; he designed/co-designed products, and yet even his collaborators are, apparently, unaware of who he is. An obsessional desire (or need, if, eg, he is actually employed by some high-profile audio manufacturer) for privacy is one thing, to be so good at it is really something else. Somebody always talks, right? But in this instance, nobody has.

    I think his work is an important part of audio history. It was very helpful to those of us who, at that time, were discovering that we could reach a certain point, at least, without spending vast amounts of money, or investing in certain assumed-obligatory buzzwords. His critics write as if he worked wearing industrial ear protectors, and designed by instrument readouts only. If I remember correctly, he listened too, but that is a fact that those who would prefer the bubbles to remain unburst like to sweep under the carpet.

    I could be wrong after many months, but didn't he refer to listening tests by others too? What did they do? Wear bags over their heads? How on earth did they manage the tea and biscuits?
     
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  20. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    I once read NwAvGuy's conversations on Head-Case, yes that forum. I used to visit HC once.

    He was received well though sceptically. He did not like any form of scepticism because "he thought he was always right." To be received well on HC is a feat in itself knowing what HC is about, a group of close friends. After that I knew enough, even if this guy is right I am going to ignore him and his disciples.

    I have no need for cults that suffer from tunnel vision and live off hype. Even if the O2 works, I do not want it.
     
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