• 06-11-2004, 10:24 AM
    kexodusc
    Just noticed you actually own the a-48B...cool.
  • 06-11-2004, 10:48 AM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Just noticed you actually own the a-48B...cool.

    Well and that arguably does make me biased. I give credit to Bryston because THEY are the ones who turned me onto High end audio in the first place. And When i bough the Sugden Used I went in hoping to find a Bryston 2BLP that I could run from headphone amp(which would serve as a preamp). But they had no used Brystons. Interestingly when I bought my J's last Friday they had a 2bLP for $275.00Cdn. So if the timing were different I would have bought the 2BLP most likely. So, I'm in no way a disliker of Bryston. I recommend them almost anytime someone is looking for a SS amplifier or have speakers that would require some power. And if I had money to improve my second system a used Brystom power amp would be first on my list.

    The A48b is a 70 watter - probably quite close sounding to the 2BLP and thus the B60. Both are a bit warmer. The B60 though is better built and has a remote - and a great warranty. I would take the B60R over my Sugden in absolute terms possibly - I would need to do a side-by side.
  • 06-12-2004, 10:17 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by benil
    you have an idea what exact SEAS woofer models are used for the AN-E and AN-J? how about the foster tweeters? my brother-in-law will be arriving in a couple of weeks from Illinois and i could have him ship some drivers from madisound.com.

    while i still have plans to get the used pairs of AN-J, am thinking of a US$300 DIY project on either the type-J or type-E. while i expect driver-matching problems peter Q mentioned with this experiment, guess its worth the risk. should i fail to get close to the AN sound, i can sure use them for HT front, surround or even center speakers :D

    cheers!

    Sorry it took so long to answer this:

    All i could find was this:

    "We use a custom version of a SEAS 8 inch paper cone woofer and a custom version of a Foster 1 inch dome tweeter.

    Peter Qvortrup"

    The custom job involves re-wring and removing any and all damping substances such as ferro-fluid which according to Peter slugs up the sound. You may be able to ask SEAS and Foster directly to see if you would be able to purchase drivers directly - or go through Audio Note - their prices are not too bad but shipping from Britain could be high. However, they will be starting up In Canada and kits are already available in Canada and the US.

    Personally I would just get the kit of the E and build your own cabinets - the Kit is very cheap considering the price. I mean if you do what 920511 with quality Birch ply you would get one terrific full range speaker. With the bass I've been getting from my J/Spe already at 25hz from my Sound and Vision test disc I have no doubt you would get 16hz from the larger E. My Wharfedale's which are three way 10 inch woofers and 3 times the size of the J's(in overall volume) can't produce the bass depth and certainly are not up to it in the distortion department. The other nice thing I'm finding is the ability to play full range at very very low volumes - my wharfedales you have to turn up a bit before the bass kicks in - not so with the Audio Note.

    The level of bass response from the E properly set-up in a corner should do justice to any and all recorded music presently available. Must be properly set-up because the speakers use the corner as re-enforcement - and thus toe in out etc and treatments might need to be looked at - though I have not found a treatment necessary as of yet.

    If you're in Britain ask to drop by his house and give his system a listen:

    I had to laugh at the exchange about bass response from a guy who has not even listened to them - and probably bases everything off of a review he read. http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/spe...es/163956.html

    Anyway good luck to your do it yourself project - when I get back from Japan I will try an build an amp kit I think - and maybe a set of E's if I have a much larger room room by then. Go to the AN Kit forum if you need help on the drivers too they may be able to find you some cheaper options. http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/au...ekits/bbs.html
  • 06-30-2004, 12:06 AM
    benil
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WmAx
    Your statements seem to me, to convey that you do not attempt to isolate the actual variables causing the different 'sound'.

    (1) It is true that more then measurable parmeters are involvded. It seems like you have ignored possible psychological influences.

    like what influences?

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WmAx
    (2) It is true that many SET amplifiers will sound different from amplifiers that meaure well, even in controlled comparisons. It is not unusual for SET amplifiers to have measurable differences that are within known JNDs of human subjects. SET amplifiers typically have a high output impedance resulting in signficnat frequency response variations at impedance swings on a load, such as around the resonant spikes of the bass alignment and at the impedance swings at crossover points. Additinally, most SET amplifiers have levels of harmonic distortion(though, even order primarily) that can detectably effect the sound of the music. In this regard, it could be said that a solid state design that measures good could be considered to be missing something that a SET does not: audible harmonic distortion components.

    -Chris

    can't speakers with flat and very high impedance curves (in room) handle those resonant spikes you mentioned?

    audible even order harmonic distortion components sure reads like a negative technical term to most people because of the word distortion. i guess some ears including mine, prefer to hear music with such distortion :)
  • 06-30-2004, 12:12 AM
    benil
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Sorry it took so long to answer this:

    All i could find was this:

    "We use a custom version of a SEAS 8 inch paper cone woofer and a custom version of a Foster 1 inch dome tweeter.

    Peter Qvortrup"

    The custom job involves re-wring and removing any and all damping substances such as ferro-fluid which according to Peter slugs up the sound. You may be able to ask SEAS and Foster directly to see if you would be able to purchase drivers directly - or go through Audio Note - their prices are not too bad but shipping from Britain could be high. However, they will be starting up In Canada and kits are already available in Canada and the US.

    Personally I would just get the kit of the E and build your own cabinets - the Kit is very cheap considering the price. I mean if you do what 920511 with quality Birch ply you would get one terrific full range speaker. With the bass I've been getting from my J/Spe already at 25hz from my Sound and Vision test disc I have no doubt you would get 16hz from the larger E. My Wharfedale's which are three way 10 inch woofers and 3 times the size of the J's(in overall volume) can't produce the bass depth and certainly are not up to it in the distortion department. The other nice thing I'm finding is the ability to play full range at very very low volumes - my wharfedales you have to turn up a bit before the bass kicks in - not so with the Audio Note.

    The level of bass response from the E properly set-up in a corner should do justice to any and all recorded music presently available. Must be properly set-up because the speakers use the corner as re-enforcement - and thus toe in out etc and treatments might need to be looked at - though I have not found a treatment necessary as of yet.

    If you're in Britain ask to drop by his house and give his system a listen:

    I had to laugh at the exchange about bass response from a guy who has not even listened to them - and probably bases everything off of a review he read. http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/spe...es/163956.html

    Anyway good luck to your do it yourself project - when I get back from Japan I will try an build an amp kit I think - and maybe a set of E's if I have a much larger room room by then. Go to the AN Kit forum if you need help on the drivers too they may be able to find you some cheaper options. http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/au...ekits/bbs.html

    thanks RGA i'll consider the kit option again.

    saw your discussion in AA with the apogee-fanatic who hasn't even heard any pair of audio note speakers yet. it's funny how some people can comment on the basis of specs alone and even criticize gear they haven't even tried listening to. :rolleyes:
  • 06-30-2004, 04:25 AM
    skeptic
    For better or for worse, from a design point of view, SET single ended triode non feedback amplifiers are the earliest most primitive form of amplifier we have. They harken back the the invention of the vacuum tube triode itself. Every one of the countless developments in the last approximately 75 years of amplifier design has had the goal of overcoming in one way or another, the inherent shortcomings of the SET amplifier and its successors. This is not an opinion, it's an historical fact.
  • 06-30-2004, 07:57 AM
    RGA
    Yes SS is the techniological superiority. SET is the more primitive and simple signal path no question of it. "For better or for worse" -- well the AN SETs are for better - SET's in general? can't say. Audio Note is considered the best SET maker in the world so before people knock SET they may want to listen to the best that SET has to offer. Judging SS off of a Krell is more fair than a Yorx - both are SS.
  • 06-30-2004, 08:29 AM
    skeptic
    You could almost say that the electronics era begins with DeForest's invention of the vacuum tube triode and the triode amplifier. An electronics design engineer of say 1930 should have no problem understanding the circuit design of a modern SET amplifier. Except for some of the smaller details, it is essentialy the same as the circuit he was most familiar with himself. To say that SET is still the best choice for audio systems you would have to draw at least two conclusions;

    1. That every advance from class AB operation to negative feedback to transistors and all of the thousands of other ideas that differentiate a modern "state of the art" amplifier of any other stripe which overcame the limitations inherent in SETs such as getting greater power, wider flatter frequency response, lower measured distortion, greater stability, greater reliability, etc. all pay a heavy price by compromising performance in some other way that makes them unacceptable. Furthermore, that the price that they pay cannot be measured. That every electronics engineer from then up until now has not figured out how to build a better mousetrap.

    2. That there is some reason why the cost increase between the SET of 1930 and the SET of 2004 which is probably the greatest increase of any electronic device in history other than perhaps the increase in the tube preamplifier which matches it is in any way justified.

    You will pardon some of us who are skeptical of this notion and who feel that the people who make these devices started their electronics education with a 1950s beginners how to book of radio theory and decided that it contained all the theoretical knowledge they ever needed to know. The only word most electonics engineers could ascribe to this amplifier circuit no matter how well executed is conceptually primitive. I'm not going to flat out say that it isn't true that it is still the best out there although personally I don't believe it, but for many electronics engineers, accepting these assumptions is a stretch too far for them to make.
  • 06-30-2004, 08:34 AM
    benil
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by skeptic
    For better or for worse, from a design point of view, SET single ended triode non feedback amplifiers are the earliest most primitive form of amplifier we have. They harken back the the invention of the vacuum tube triode itself. Every one of the countless developments in the last approximately 75 years of amplifier design has had the goal of overcoming in one way or another, the inherent shortcomings of the SET amplifier and its successors. This is not an opinion, it's an historical fact.



    What historical fact? You seem to be implying that SET amps are obsolete when you referred to them as being primitive. I agree that expensive transistor, solid-state amps have dominated the market for high-end amplifiers. That they have made SET amps obsolete is not a proven historical fact at all.

    Can you categorically say, for example, that the developments you mentioned succeeded convincingly in overcoming the shortcomings of SET amps without foregoing anything? For example, even the most advanced solid state and push pull tube amps today still do not seem to have overcome the inherent flaws of negative feedback.

    Sure SET amps have shortcomings. It’s easy to demonstrate this when they are matched with the wrong equipment. For example, one sure way of discouraging someone to buy or build a SET amp is to hook it up with any of today’s very inefficient “mainstream” speakers. The music will sound very compressed, bright, lean and will likely make the amp clip. Matched with the right speakers (like Audio Note), however, SET amps have a lot to offer that many of today’s megabuck amplifiers don’t seem capable of producing.

    I suggest that if you want to talk about the history of developments in amplifier technology that you research on why SET amps lost its popularity and dominance in the amplifier market. I heard it had something to do with the birth of stereo reproduction. Convenience was supposedly what drove innovators to replace SET with push-pull pentode amplification rather than the quest for better sound quality.

    Having two huge speakers with two huge separate amps simply required too much space and became very unpopular for those who wanted to listen to stereo with SET amps. Demand for smaller, less efficient speakers grew requiring more powerful but not necessarily better sounding amps.
  • 06-30-2004, 09:14 AM
    92135011
    why argue when you guys can just go out and do an A/B test?
    Hey, whatever floats your boat.
  • 06-30-2004, 10:56 AM
    skeptic
    "What historical fact? You seem to be implying that SET amps are obsolete when you referred to them as being primitive."

    The historical fact IS that the SET amplifier is the first and oldest amplifier design. There is no dispute of that. Tetrodes were designed to overcome the problems of triodes, pentodes were designed to overcome the problems of tetrodes, and beam power pentodes were a later development yet. The 6L6 was invented by RCA in 1936. I don't know where you get your history or electronic theory from but if I were you I'd study a textbook, not advertising copy. Here's a good one I used myself; Analysis and Design of Electronic Circuits by P. M. Chirlian Published by McGraw Hill. Too complex for you? Try RCA Receiving Tube Manual. I have the 1964 edition in front of me right now. The front of the book has an elementry primer on how vacuum tubes and tube electronic circuits work. The bulk of the book has data for all of the popular tubes RCA manufactured then on the market (virtually everything you'd ever see in a consumer product.) The back has schematics for different projects. You can build a class A 1 watt amplifier using a 35W4 rectifier tube and a 50EH5 pentode power output tube which has only about a dozen parts including the tubes and output transformer (page 593.) It's the first amplifier I ever built. Want a little more power and flexibility in a triode amplifier? Try building the 8 watt unit using a 6L6GC output tube, a 6EU7 and a 6AV6 for preamp tubes and a 5Y3GT full wave rectifier which only needs about 45 parts, mostly resistors and capacitors and of course 2 transformers (page 592.) These were considered primitive designs for beginners 40 years ago. For low output SET amplifiers, all that changed between the 1930s and 1960s was better parts, not the design philosophy or the circuit topology. The design of low powered vacuum tube audio amplifiers hasn't interested many people since. Except for this niche market, nobody really cares today either. There are NO new tubes, NO new circuit designs, NO new anything except for higher and higher prices. They are lucky there are people eager to pay them. I never would have thought so.
  • 06-30-2004, 11:24 AM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by skeptic
    You could almost say that the electronics era begins with DeForest's invention of the vacuum tube triode and the triode amplifier. An electronics design engineer of say 1930 should have no problem understanding the circuit design of a modern SET amplifier. Except for some of the smaller details, it is essentialy the same as the circuit he was most familiar with himself. To say that SET is still the best choice for audio systems you would have to draw at least two conclusions;

    1. That every advance from class AB operation to negative feedback to transistors and all of the thousands of other ideas that differentiate a modern "state of the art" amplifier of any other stripe which overcame the limitations inherent in SETs such as getting greater power, wider flatter frequency response, lower measured distortion, greater stability, greater reliability, etc. all pay a heavy price by compromising performance in some other way that makes them unacceptable. Furthermore, that the price that they pay cannot be measured. That every electronics engineer from then up until now has not figured out how to build a better mousetrap.

    2. That there is some reason why the cost increase between the SET of 1930 and the SET of 2004 which is probably the greatest increase of any electronic device in history other than perhaps the increase in the tube preamplifier which matches it is in any way justified.

    You will pardon some of us who are skeptical of this notion and who feel that the people who make these devices started their electronics education with a 1950s beginners how to book of radio theory and decided that it contained all the theoretical knowledge they ever needed to know. The only word most electonics engineers could ascribe to this amplifier circuit no matter how well executed is conceptually primitive. I'm not going to flat out say that it isn't true that it is still the best out there although personally I don't believe it, but for many electronics engineers, accepting these assumptions is a stretch too far for them to make.


    Firstly I would not argue with you on any of the technical terms you ascribe to them - flat response distortion etc etc. Never have argued the technical merits and many reivewers who are also professional acostic engineers don't claim it either.

    All of this is really not the issue however. What is the issue is how it sounds - and you may want to listen to the Audio Note Oto which is one of Audio Note's least expensive units - it the bline level matched panel of listeners it was chosen as the best amplifier amongst some SS counterparts. This is in the $1000+pound range.

    I am not really interested in the technical superiority if it doesn't result in the real world of listening to music. It's really that simple - listen to the J or E it with a Meishu and then some $7k SS amplifier or a $70k SS amplifier for all I care. If that SET is supposed to be so lousy compared to any and all SS amplifiers - then give me more lousy.

    Audio Note SETs are new circuit designs not based on any other design - Audio Note SETs are not all low watt designs 27 watts is not low power.
  • 06-30-2004, 12:21 PM
    psonic
    "Audio Note SETs are not all low watt designs 27 watts is not low power."

    it is if it's powering my dynaudio pair! 8)
  • 06-30-2004, 05:33 PM
    benil
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by skeptic
    "What historical fact? You seem to be implying that SET amps are obsolete when you referred to them as being primitive."

    The historical fact IS that the SET amplifier is the first and oldest amplifier design. There is no dispute of that.

    won't argue with that. just don't use the word primitive. its derogatory.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by skeptic
    Tetrodes were designed to overcome the problems of triodes, pentodes were designed to overcome the problems of tetrodes, and beam power pentodes were a later development yet. The 6L6 was invented by RCA in 1936. I don't know where you get your history or electronic theory from but if I were you I'd study a textbook, not advertising copy.

    a history of electonic theory and technology is exactly that: history of theory. That may have little to do with the commercial aspect of amplifier history. Can you categorically say that the emergence and popularity of tetrodes and pentodes and their dominance were a purely technical phenonomenon and had nothing to do with economics or commercial history? New technology is not necessarily better technology.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by skeptic
    Here's a good one I used myself; Analysis and Design of Electronic Circuits by P. M. Chirlian Published by McGraw Hill. Too complex for you? Try RCA Receiving Tube Manual. I have the 1964 edition in front of me right now. The front of the book has an elementry primer on how vacuum tubes and tube electronic circuits work. The bulk of the book has data for all of the popular tubes RCA manufactured then on the market (virtually everything you'd ever see in a consumer product.) The back has schematics for different projects. You can build a class A 1 watt amplifier using a 35W4 rectifier tube and a 50EH5 pentode power output tube which has only about a dozen parts including the tubes and output transformer (page 593.) It's the first amplifier I ever built. Want a little more power and flexibility in a triode amplifier? Try building the 8 watt unit using a 6L6GC output tube, a 6EU7 and a 6AV6 for preamp tubes and a 5Y3GT full wave rectifier which only needs about 45 parts, mostly resistors and capacitors and of course 2 transformers (page 592.) These were considered primitive designs for beginners 40 years ago.

    Didn't I tell you i'm not a techie person. All i know is that my favorite topology for a SET amp is the 300B tube amp which has a pair of 6sn7 driver tubes, 5u4G rectifier and a superbly designed output transformer. By the way, did the book ever use the term primitive?


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by skeptic
    For low output SET amplifiers, all that changed between the 1930s and 1960s was better parts, not the design philosophy or the circuit topology. The design of low powered vacuum tube audio amplifiers hasn't interested many people since. Except for this niche market, nobody really cares today either. There are NO new tubes, NO new circuit designs, NO new anything except for higher and higher prices. They are lucky there are people eager to pay them. I never would have thought so.

    Oh yeah? You don't seem to that informed after alll. SET amps don't have to be expensive. Didn't you say that you yourself had a SET amp project in high school that i bet didn't cost you much.

    One can actually build a SET amp based on ones budget constraints. Very recently, for example, a group of audiophiles in our area offered a US$200 kit (including the tubes) for a great sounding 3wpc 2A3 amp. The designers offered an upgrade path for transformers (e.g. tango, tamura, james, audio note), capacitors (auricaps, blackgate) resistors (tantalum) and other parts for those who can afford them.

    As for tubes, have you not heard of Eastern European and China made tubes? For example i use a pair of TJ/Sophia mesh plate 300B tubes made in China which are not even 1/3 the price of NOS 300B tubes Believe it or not, there are even less expensive brands from Valve Art, Golden Dragon, Sovtek Svetlana that compete pretty well with rare NOS tubes.

    Again, the loss of interest in low powered vacuum tube audio amplifiers was probably not because it is inferior but it had less commercial viability in market that wants to try something new but not exactly better.

    Demand for multi-channel 24-bit digital home theater is strong and AV receivers are taking over two-channel systems pretty fast. Its new, yes but does it sound better?
  • 06-30-2004, 05:36 PM
    benil
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 92135011
    why argue when you guys can just go out and do an A/B test?
    Hey, whatever floats your boat.

    i can't agree more. technical information has its limitations after all. those branding audio note as hype probably haven't even heard them yet. :rolleyes:
  • 06-30-2004, 08:06 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by benil
    i can't agree more. technical information has its limitations after all. those branding audio note as hype probably haven't even heard them yet. :rolleyes:

    Hype doesn't have legs to last 30 years going back to Kondo - since they don't advertise and don't have product literature and don't ever pay for reviews(errr give gifts of appreciation), you don't last that long on hype - since most people have never heard the product even me 2 years ago. Heck most have never even heard OF them so it is a word of mouth company and more importantly a listen to it against anything and everything else company - and see what you end up with. (Which does not mean AN is perfect by any stretch of the imagination - the best statement is that they "choose their compromises artfully"). Well balanced would be a great term. There is not too much of one thing at the expense of something else - because that advantage in one area can be a dsitraction later.

    There are plenty of good systems that are total opposites from what AN is doing that I do like as well - but IMO there is room for both. What I've heard from an all AN set-up was amazing - nevertheless even the reviewers do call the sound of a lot of their products somewhat coloured. I dislike the term because I don't get what they're really talking about - I am perceiving a greater sense of decay - a lot of slim line speakers and high power amps seem to kick everything at you with impressive initial attack but I get the sense I'm missing the piano's full body and full tone. If that "body" you're not used to then I suppose some will think it's colour? Distortion? The numbers don't support distortion though, so I'm not sure what the reviews mean when they throw that in sometimes.

    Paul Messenger of Hi-fi Choice makes inconsistant statements about the E/LX speakers. He makes note that some may be put-off on the level of coloration the speaker exhibits when one "first" listens - and that the coloration doesn't go away - but mentions how strong it is in realism and dynamics compared to others.

    Well of course the speaker must sound fairly different from slim line speakers currently available if my and other raves are going to hold water - it must sound wildly different to sound wildly better.

    However, later he states while listening to Radio 3 that

    "I found myself sucked in by the sheer realism of the singers' voices. Speech is also imbued with a healthy dose of realism, so that although voices are quite laid back, even slightly shut-in, they remain very expressive, and individual accents are particularly clear."

    Reading this carefully makes almost no sense - how can voice be laidback and shut-in but very clear and expressive and REAL - all the while you say there is also colour?

    Peter Qvortrup noted the inconsistancy on another forum that all of those statements are a result that people find it hard to put into words what they're actually hearing(and what they're using to run the speakers with and the room) - regardless of whatever anyone reads in to this review from Aug 2004 Hi-fi Choice about the speaker's weaknesses(they all have them) they awarded it their top rating in the $2500.00GBP range and Mr. Messenger has not returned the speaker. So all the things not right about the design might be very true, but it is right enough for him to have him actually keep the speaker and listen to music on apparently. And Hi-fi choice did not shy away from talking about its weaknesses.

    And when so many reviewers from so many magazines use the same brand(and mastering studios and interestingly other manufacturers) as their own speaker/amp/system etc should at least indicate you might want to give them a try. That is different from just a positve review - it would have to be absolutely hideous to get a negative review - but the reviewers are basically saying that yeah all these are good but I want the Oto and the E or J or DAC 5 etc etc in my home to listen to music. Is music not the point - or is the one that has bass that can kill you or a tweeter than can shatter every poiece of glass in your home?

    The inferior SET design the inferior speakers with wide baffles and hard corners and PAPER woofers - this is all wrong, two drivers - can't possibly get bass - no damping must create terrible colourations(well maybe pleasing colouration???) or as AN claims doesn't damp out the life of music while damping out distortion - how would the speaker know what it is damping out? It has to damp out some of the good while getting rid of the bad.

    In the end the technology is being blathered about - I could care less whether it's tube or SS or SET or digital or whatever - I don't care about the brand name the look or the price - I was going to buy a very pretty ASL or Jolida tube integrated which LOOK stunning - I walked out with a used ugly Sugden that had no tube FUN FACTOR - Audio Note sounded best when I auditioned - simple as that. Compared directly against the top competition and it was even more evident to me that the their system knew something about music that was lost for whatever reason on the other systems. Is it expensive yes, but you could pay a lot more from others and get a lot less.
  • 06-30-2004, 11:33 PM
    benil
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    There are plenty of good systems that are total opposites from what AN is doing that I do like as well - but IMO there is room for both. What I've heard from an all AN set-up was amazing - nevertheless even the reviewers do call the sound of a lot of their products somewhat coloured. I dislike the term because I don't get what they're really talking about - I am perceiving a greater sense of decay - a lot of slim line speakers and high power amps seem to kick everything at you with impressive initial attack but I get the sense I'm missing the piano's full body and full tone. If that "body" you're not used to then I suppose some will think it's colour? Distortion? The numbers don't support distortion though, so I'm not sure what the reviews mean when they throw that in sometimes.



    In my opinion, the dominant or mainstream audio reviewers or commentators consider amps with good technical measurements as their reference amps. Once they get used to the sound of these reference amps, they are able to call or classify other amps as either "neutral" sounding if they sound like their reference amps or "coloured" or “musical” if they sound different or fail their measurement standards.

    Those of us who like our music with body, tonal and timbral accuracy, warmth etc. do not believe or agree with the use of the terms “neutral” or “coloured”. Personally I find what they refer to as “neutral” gear to sound very lean and clinical however low their “audible harmonic distortion is”.

    What I liked about my friend’s AN-E is its lively and very, very involving and it really makes the SET amps bloom. I have heard quite a number of crossoverless/ single-driver speakers and I find them to be very deficient in some areas like midbass, where they seem to have a very audible suckout. I’ve heard a few super high-sensitivity horn speakers hooked up to SET amps too. They are superb in the area of dynamics but are not as involving as the AN-Es.

    In other words, its hard to get it right with SET amps but once you find the correct matching, all the hard work will be more than worth it.
  • 07-01-2004, 03:51 AM
    skeptic
    I'm the kind of person who likes to look under the hood and kick the tires before I buy something. I want to know WHAT I'm getting for my money, not just the fact that I like the way it works. I have to feel that any product I buy delivers real value for money. I will not pay any price just to get what I want or like. I'm not going to buy a speaker with two drivers I could buy for $150, a small wooden box, and a handful of coils and capacitors for $5000 a pair. I'm not going to pay $2500 for a power amp and another $2500 for a preamp which has about $300 worth of parts and took 4 hours to assemble by semiskilled workers. Having worked around real scientists for many years, I do not consider the creative tinkering most audio equipment manufacturers' so called R&D departments do "research." They don't rise to that level. And tweaking 20 to 70 year old designs isn't either.
  • 07-01-2004, 05:50 AM
    benil
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by skeptic
    I'm the kind of person who likes to look under the hood and kick the tires before I buy something. I want to know WHAT I'm getting for my money, not just the fact that I like the way it works. I have to feel that any product I buy delivers real value for money. I will not pay any price just to get what I want or like.

    sure. but you should, at the very least, look under the hood, kick the tires and do a test drive. :)


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by skeptic
    I'm not going to buy a speaker with two drivers I could buy for $150, a small wooden box, and a handful of coils and capacitors for $5000 a pair. I'm not going to pay $2500 for a power amp and another $2500 for a preamp which has about $300 worth of parts and took 4 hours to assemble by semiskilled workers.

    there is always the kit option which saves you about $4,000.
    click the link here:audionotekits.

    btw, such a socialized/discriminating pricing strategy only goes to show that audio note does not need to hype. I suppose if you have the money but don't have the time, going for the $5,000 factory-built pair may just be the logical thing to do.

    why don't you have your scientist friends build these speakers for you if you really want them done well? ...unless it will turn out to be more expensive given the high opportunity cost of such a project will be to your friends.



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by skeptic
    Having worked around real scientists for many years, I do not consider the creative tinkering most audio equipment manufacturers' so called R&D departments do "research." They don't rise to that level. And tweaking 20 to 70 year old designs isn't either.



    What' s so bad about old designs? My LPs still sound far better than most of the digital material i've heard thus far. I understand the skepticism against most R&D departments. This is why i support those who prefer to take the DIY route. However, as i mentioned above, I'm equally (or probably even more) skeptical about the notion that scientific research is all one needs to make or design audio equipment that sound good.
  • 07-01-2004, 07:46 AM
    skeptic
    I don't think I'd have a problem successfully building any well designed audio kit. I could probably reverse engineer it as well and build my own unless the manufacturer has used custom made parts to preclude just such a possibility.

    New designs usually come about because of the inadequacies of the old designs. There are exceptions such as special audiophile wire where some clever marketers saw a naive sucker market with delusions of sophistication to cynically exploit. As I said in my previous posting, class AB came about because class A couldn't deliver enough power, negative feedback came about because distortion of non feedback amplifiers was too high, frequency response too limited, and stable operation inadequate. Transistors came about because tubes were too hot, too inefficient, and too unreliable. Whether the advantages of these ideas have sufficient merit to offset the claimed disadvantages by their detractors is for the consumer to decide. I have said that it is up to the innovator to prove the worth of his new products to the satisfaction of his technical peers. Inventors of these innovations have proven their superiority in the areas claimed over the decades again and again. Now it is up to those who challenge them by saying that there is too heavy a price to pay for these advantages to prove their point, not in advertising copy or in the testimonials of customers, advertisers, and reviewers whose employers get paid to advertise the same products they review but by scientifically demonstrating their superiority to the satisfaction of other scientists and engineers. If this is possible, it takes real research to accomplish it, not tinkering. Yes, scientific documentation of superiority is one of the things I look for under the hood. If a 10 or 25 watt per channel amplfier is going to cost a few thousand dollars, there had better be more to recommend it than just the fact that it sounds better to some people under some circumstances. I expect a lot more for my money.
  • 07-01-2004, 08:31 AM
    92135011
    Dont forget that it may be that one of the reasons why innovation was brought about was to be more economically sound. It may be because it is just cheaper to build with transistors? I'm no expert on parts prices, but a possibility nonetheless
  • 07-01-2004, 09:25 AM
    GSI
    What I see under the hood of the most if not all SS amps is handfull of cheap standard computer grade parts inside - nothing exciting at all. $2500 or more for SS amp or even worse - for preamp is where I see real nonsense.
  • 07-01-2004, 09:37 AM
    skeptic
    There were and still are expensive examples of both types. Tube technology was well established. That means that the industry was "tooled up" for it. Production lines, parts vendors, assembly workers, design engineers, troubleshooters, were all familiar with the product. Transistors required an entire rebuild of the industry. That has to be amortized. For some, it was partially offset by other transistorized products they manufactured for the military and industry. Some engineers couldn't make the transition because they were unable to make the switch from thinking in terms of voltage to thinking in terms of current. There were many difficulties in learning how to bias transistors to prevent crossover notch distortion. There were a high failure rates. Early transistors were germanium, not silicon and didn't perform as well as later transistors. It took time for technicians to learn how to troubleshoot and service them, even learning how to solder and unsolder them without damaging them in the process. It was an expensive decade of transition but most manufacturers knew it was the wave of the future and if they wanted to survive, they would have to make this transition. Among the last of the tube holdouts of that era were Dynaco and McIntosh. They only produced solid state products when they felt that they had something better to offer, not just something new. Today, 35 to 45years later, it's a different world. Except for special tubes like klystrons, magnetrons, and CRTs, the age of the vacuum tube is over. The vacuum tube hi fi amplifier is a niche market comprising far less than 1% of all the audio amplifiers sold worldwide. Now it is the parts, labor, and knowhow of tube technology which is rare. Had vacuum tube technology survived in any meaningful way, vacuum tube amplifiers which cost $500 in 1964 would not cost $5000 but $50 or less today. Economy of scale, advanced production methods, and the antiquated nature of the technology would have driven the cost to produce and the price through the floor just as it has with much of its solid state counterparts. There is no rational reason why a solid state audio amplifier should cost $5000 either.
  • 07-01-2004, 12:20 PM
    RGA
    Tube amps in Asian countires never left never got left behind and are hugely popular. The reason is thatthe following technology, SS, didn't sound as good to them -- simple concept.

    America is the disposable society - people are not buying products for their quality or build construction - otherwise HTiB would not outsell everything else. As big as Bryston or Rotel are they are nothing compared ot the inferior junk Sony and their ilk is putting out.

    There is only one reason to put it - profit. Has nothing to do with technological superiority. And your point is ludicrous because ALL speakers have a cost to final price ratio - why for example you pick on Audio Note cost of drivers to final price - what about the Paradigm Studio 100 or B&W N801 or $70,000.00US Dynaudio Evidence Master - It's not like the Drivers combined are worth $1000.00 - they may sell then for more than that but Dynaudio may build them for $3.50 each.

    Audio Note relies on the cabinetry to creat a large section of the resulting sound. And as for their amplifiers - well they use the best physical parts in the world for their amplifiers - How does Krell, which you recommended way back, do to justify their price in a world where SS "SHOULD BE" dirt cheap. $80,000.US for two monoblock power amplifiers?

    High watt amps only came out because speaker manufacturers cheaped out and made low efficiency loudspeaker - better to high damp bad cheap wood than build with quality cabinetry with no internal voids - but this would COST more and reduce profits - much cheaper to use the worst wood and stuff it to death with Foam or dacron or whatever - or sand fill them. Then you need a 100+ watts to open them up because the driver is competing with the cabinet.

    Then you need more BIG drivers to get bass that one 8 inch woofer properly designed can not only do but provide DEEPER bass and clearer sound top to bottom.

    For a DIY you can build them dirt cheap - labour is the highest price part for small companies especially when that labour is from Britain - and when you have a 100% sampling for QC that adds to the cost. You have the option to bypass all of this. At least they have the option. Same with the amps - you want the best Audio Note transformer fine you want a cheap ass one that is fine too.

    Audio equipment is not the same as a car - more parts in an audio chain is worse unless it serves a purpose. AN is about the direct route as possible from source to speaker with no error correction of any kind - or as close to this as possible - done badly it is a disaster - done right it does not and cannot get better - no need to FIX errors with oversampling if your player does not make them in the first place.

    This comes at the price of power OK...but even power is only there to compensate for ineficient insenstive design - it is also AN ERROR correcting entity.

    I choose the system that needs the least error correcting. And those errors were only created because the manufacturers used CHEAP parts.
  • 07-01-2004, 12:53 PM
    RGA
    And also these tube/transistor debates are silly anyway - I tend to agree with this reviewer Ian White

    "While I prefer the sound of tubes to solid-state devices, I refuse to throw myself into the ludicrous "push-pull/single-ended" debate. I see no point to it. Does it really matter to you the reader if the amp that makes the most beautiful music in your home uses tubes or transistors? I believe that this exercise is about finding the amplifier that sounds the best to your ears in the context of your system. Some of you will choose solid state and others will choose tubes. Itís the end result that matters." http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/ian04.htm