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How to make a SS amp sound like a Class A?

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Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
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chebby said:
Macspur said:
A word of caution on the Totems PP, they too have a metal tweeter . I tried them and didn't like them at all... ProAc are superb and do try and get a demo of Harbeth when the time comes.
Harbeths have SEAS aluminium dome tweeters.
I know... just shows how good they are, to include such a component without ever sounding harsh, just beautifully detailed and natural.

Mac
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
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Electro said:
PP ,

Have you considered trying some acoustic treatment such as wall panel absorbers or diffusers ?

Do you suffer from flutter echo in your room , an easy test is to clap you hands loudly once and listen for a fluttery echo a split second later .

If you are suffering from this effect then it might be the cause of the inconsistent mid range performance of you system but unfortunately no change of equipment or speakers will cure it , but strategically placed acoustic wall panels can really help.

Gik Acoustics are very good at sorting this sort of problem if you have one :)

http://www.gikacoustics.co.uk/
Not cheap though are they!

There must be a cheaper DIY to make bass traps, and hanging drapes on walls to reduce echo.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
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I couldn't realistically get those panels past the OH without WWIII breaking out.

Anyway, I'm currently playing 'Splendor Solis' by The Tea Party and it sounds stunning. My system really seems to go from the sublime to the unfathomable.
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
43
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It might be worth running a 20hz to 20khz frequency sweep on your system to see if you have any nasty midrange peaks that are setting off narrow frequency reverberations in your room , the sweeps are found on some test discs or can be downloaded .

If you have a nasty peak it will only show up on recordings that have sustained energy at that frequency hence why some recording are fine and some less so .

Definitely worth a try even if it is only to answer the question as to why the inconsistency in sound quality :)
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,673
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Electro said:
It might be worth running a 20hz to 20khz frequency sweep on your system to see if you have any nasty midrange peaks that are setting off narrow frequency reverberations in your room , the sweeps are found on some test discs or can be downloaded .

If you have a nasty peak it will only show up on recordings that have sustained energy at that frequency hence why some recording are fine and some less so .

Definitely worth a try even if it is only to answer the question as to why the inconsistency in sound quality :)
Nods politely...

How does one measure hz and khz? Is there such a thing as a khz meter?
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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There maybe another valid reason for this slight sonic discrepancy: Perhaps I'm expecting too much from a £600 speaker.

Currently playing Experience Hendrix 'The best of Jimi Hendrix' and the 3rd track "The wind cries Mary" sounds awesome: The snare drum has a slight echo; the bass is strong and tight but no heavy bloom, while Hendrix's voice is packed with presence and realism.

It's almost like my system has too much transparency to the presentation, if that's possible.

Anyway, a hi-fi free afternoon. :)
 

Covenanter

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Jul 20, 2012
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plastic penguin said:
There maybe another valid reason for this slight sonic discrepancy: Perhaps I'm expecting too much from a £600 speaker.

Currently playing Experience Hendrix 'The best of Jimi Hendrix' and the 3rd track "The wind cries Mary" sounds awesome: The snare drum has a slight echo; the bass is strong and tight but no heavy bloom, while Hendrix's voice is packed with presence and realism.

It's almost like my system has too much transparency to the presentation, if that's possible.

Anyway, a hi-fi free afternoon. :)
I've got that CD so I played "The wind cries Mary" and had a careful listen. It is "awesome"! I'd never thought about it before but it is a brilliant recording and I'm increasingly of the opinion that what you are hearing could just simply be the difference between good and bad recordings.

I wonder what else you have that you think sounds outstanding or not so good.

Chris
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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SteveR750 said:
Not cheap though are they!

There must be a cheaper DIY to make bass traps, and hanging drapes on walls to reduce echo.
I knocked up a panel as an experiment. Works a treat and much less expensive than buying ready made panels. You also have a much greater choice in covering materials to suit decor.
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
43
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plastic penguin said:
Electro said:
It might be worth running a 20hz to 20khz frequency sweep on your system to see if you have any nasty midrange peaks that are setting off narrow frequency reverberations in your room , the sweeps are found on some test discs or can be downloaded .

If you have a nasty peak it will only show up on recordings that have sustained energy at that frequency hence why some recording are fine and some less so .

Definitely worth a try even if it is only to answer the question as to why the inconsistency in sound quality :)
Nods politely...

How does one measure hz and khz? Is there such a thing as a khz meter?
Absolutely no meters of any type required :)

Simply run a frequency sweep track from a test disc , I use one that came as a free gift with HiFi news, or you can download one and burn it to a Cdr .

http://www.audiocheck.net/testtones_sinesweep20-20k.php

Start the sweep and listen ,if the pitch rises evenly an the volume stays roughly the same then the room is reasonably flat but if the volume seems to rise or fall sharply for short periods at certain points in the sweep then the room is adding or subtracting certain frequencies .

The sweep will find the resonant frequency of certain objects in the room and they will vibrate in sympathy causing them to rattle and vibrate so this is a good time to stick a small blob of blue tac under the offending objects and eliminate some of the strange sounds that these things can cause .

It can be a real eye opener or should that be ear ? :)
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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plastic penguin said:
Overdose said:
Electro said:
It can be a real eye opener or should that be ear ? :)
And also a can of worms opener, when trying to solve the peaks that were hitherto undiscovered. ;)
Depends which way the worms wiggle. :grin:
On a sensible note though, a frequency sweep test tone is a good way to see if you have in your system (room included) any particular frequency 'humps', 'troughs' seem less easy to detect. I used one such test tone when I was trying to integrate a sub and found that I was sitting in a null point for the bass. I simply couldn't hear any noticeable bass, until that is, I stood up. It was an eye opener to how much speaker placement and listening position can affect the sound and also where the frequency peaks are in the system.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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Overdose said:
plastic penguin said:
Overdose said:
Electro said:
It can be a real eye opener or should that be ear ? :)
And also a can of worms opener, when trying to solve the peaks that were hitherto undiscovered. ;)
Depends which way the worms wiggle. :grin:
On a sensible note though, a frequency sweep test tone is a good way to see if you have in your system (room included) any particular frequency 'humps', 'troughs' seem less easy to detect. I used one such test tone when I was trying to integrate a sub and found that I was sitting in a null point for the bass. I simply couldn't hear any noticeable bass, until that is, I stood up. It was an eye opener to how much speaker placement and listening position can affect the sound and also where the frequency peaks are in the system.
Understand - I think it's pointless, due to the crumby design of the bungalow, if there is any deficiencies I can't make any significant placement changes. It is pretty much cast in stone, unless we move...
 

Overdose

Well-known member
Feb 8, 2008
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DIY acoustic panels are a worthwile exercise, even if to discount the need for them. There are a few threads on the forum about such topics.

It does seem though, that the solution you are looking for is speaker related. Acoustic panels do seem to make the sound more 'focused' if that makes sense, but I wouldn't know if they made the sound more 'class A'. I don't know that amps make that much difference to the sound presentation anyway (assuming they are capable of providing the required current/volts under demand), particularly when compared to speakers.

Whenever I have changed amps, I've usually been underwhelmed by any differences, if any were detected. Speakers on the other hand seem to have much more variation in presentation, as I'm sure you are aware.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
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Fully concur that additional help with 'panels' can make a difference, but short of padding the walls I'm not sure whether any noticeable improvements could be made.

As I pointed out earlier, expectations may just be a tad high, allied to bad recordings.

After playing a number of cds this morning my system does seem to embrace the 'rockier' type of music. Any of the robust styles like Hendrix, Costello, Tea party, Roxy music it sounds pretty natural, whereas it struggles, generally, with the well crafted or considered tracks like Joss Stone etc etc.

When I played Weller's 'Wild Wood' album I found the drumming to sound a little boxy, although the title track was fine.
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
511
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18,895
Overdose said:
SteveR750 said:
Not cheap though are they!

There must be a cheaper DIY to make bass traps, and hanging drapes on walls to reduce echo.
I knocked up a panel as an experiment. Works a treat and much less expensive than buying ready made panels. You also have a much greater choice in covering materials to suit decor.
I'd really appreciate the details of what you made?
 

Covenanter

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2012
63
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plastic penguin said:
There maybe another valid reason for this slight sonic discrepancy: Perhaps I'm expecting too much from a £600 speaker.

Currently playing Experience Hendrix 'The best of Jimi Hendrix' and the 3rd track "The wind cries Mary" sounds awesome: The snare drum has a slight echo; the bass is strong and tight but no heavy bloom, while Hendrix's voice is packed with presence and realism.

It's almost like my system has too much transparency to the presentation, if that's possible.

Anyway, a hi-fi free afternoon. :)
I have wondered why you have spent so much on an amp and so relatively little on speakers (if I have the prices right). IMO you should spend at least as much on speakers as on an amp and in fact rather more. Speakers have the most difficult task, turning signals back into sound. Amps have the easiest task, all they have to do is make the signal bigger, and again IMO they have the smallest impact on the final system. Good source, good speakers, neutral amp should be your mantra IMO.

Chris
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,673
119
19,870
Covenanter said:
plastic penguin said:
There maybe another valid reason for this slight sonic discrepancy: Perhaps I'm expecting too much from a £600 speaker.

Currently playing Experience Hendrix 'The best of Jimi Hendrix' and the 3rd track "The wind cries Mary" sounds awesome: The snare drum has a slight echo; the bass is strong and tight but no heavy bloom, while Hendrix's voice is packed with presence and realism.

It's almost like my system has too much transparency to the presentation, if that's possible.

Anyway, a hi-fi free afternoon. :)
I have wondered why you have spent so much on an amp and so relatively little on speakers (if I have the prices right). IMO you should spend at least as much on speakers as on an amp and in fact rather more. Speakers have the most difficult task, turning signals back into sound. Amps have the easiest task, all they have to do is make the signal bigger, and again IMO they have the smallest impact on the final system. Good source, good speakers, neutral amp should be your mantra IMO.

Chris
Yeah, no big secret. I originally had a pair of RS6s with my Arcam A65+ amp. Sold those two to finance the Leema and used my old Wharfedales during the interim. Not satisfied with the old Wharfies, I snapped up this pair of RS6s (as I know the speaker well) as a stop gap speaker. Eighteen months down the line they're still in place. If I had kept the Wharfedales for an extra 3-4 months, non of this would've been an issue.
 

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