Question Integrated amplifier advice please

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knaithrover

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Morning. There's a Vincent 227 MK on EBay now. Asking a bit too much for me though. I love the look of them. Got a 70's thing going on. I'm always drawn to the big glowing vintage amps like Sansui and Marantz, although not sure if they would sound good.
I've seen the Vincent, it's a beast and will sound brilliant. It's a lot of money though if you haven't heard one before
 

James83

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A needlessly sensitive input can clip on a loud signal, which is what the author of that post was getting at. Many older amps are too sensitive for CD players, and it’s a historic thing. When I was a lad, tuners and tape decks were the only source besides record players. They typically produced around 250 to 500 millivolts maximum. Then CD arrived with players required to output 2 volts at maximum volume. Four times the output meant two things:
1. The input could be overdriven - clipped.
2. CD sounded more impressive.
A consequence was that some volume controls were no longer much good, because only their lowest settings were any use. So this spawned a mini industry in attenuators, such as Rothwells.

As amplifiers were updated, their line inputs were made less sensitive. And sometimes relabelled CD instead of Aux, to show it

Back to the quote: the author implies all amps sound the same unless there’s a problem. And he used an outdated example of input clipping to demonstrate that. Frankly, it’s pretty spurious, imo. Naim amps aren’t neutral, especially not the lower priced ones. That’s all there is to it!
Top man. Ta.
Added nicely to what I had been learning! We shall employ you as a teacher!

What surprised me a bit, was I saw similar descriptions for the Uniti fleet.
Unable to turn the volume control up much, and clipping.
So whether this is still a problem for Naims, I don't know.

As for the comment. I remain sitting somewhere in the middle.
Not least because, some people are seemingly sitting in a perfect world, but in reality, little is perfect.
 
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nopiano

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What surprised me a bit, was I saw similar descriptions for the Uniti fleet.
Unable to turn the volume control up much, and clipping.
So whether this is still a problem for Naims, I don't know.
We can take a look if you can find the quote. Re Clipping, it takes several forms. Above we talked about input clipping or overload. Commonly, clipping is used to describe amplifier output overload, when the volume is turned up too high and the amplifier distorts excessively. That may be what you’ve seen about Uniti?
The newer kid on the block is digital clipping which I’m hesitant to explain, other than the general point that quite often analogue stages can overload with some ‘grace’, but digital tends to ok or terrible - a bit like the reverse of insufficient signal, you either get the signal or it crashes. (We see and hear that on many news broadcasts currently with so many home WiFi links etc).
Naim may still have some unusual inputs on their traditional range, just as a few years ago their output stages relied on a certain loading from speaker cables - the latter isn’t a problem any more, perhaps to avoid too many warranty claims.
 

James83

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We can take a look if you can find the quote. Re Clipping, it takes several forms. Above we talked about input clipping or overload. Commonly, clipping is used to describe amplifier output overload, when the volume is turned up too high and the amplifier distorts excessively. That may be what you’ve seen about Uniti?
The newer kid on the block is digital clipping which I’m hesitant to explain, other than the general point that quite often analogue stages can overload with some ‘grace’, but digital tends to ok or terrible - a bit like the reverse of insufficient signal, you either get the signal or it crashes. (We see and hear that on many news broadcasts currently with so many home WiFi links etc).
Naim may still have some unusual inputs on their traditional range, just as a few years ago their output stages relied on a certain loading from speaker cables - the latter isn’t a problem any more, perhaps to avoid too many warranty claims.
Yes, what I've seen seems to describe output clipping, plus looking again, it is only when mentioning the headphone output.

The Unitis do have a high output impedance though. Which from my reading, will probably cause more of the signal to be lost.

Perfect? Certainly not. But hey, it's all in the ears.
 

nopiano

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The Unitis do have a high output impedance though. Which from my reading, will probably cause more of the signal to be lost.
High output impedance from an amplifier doesn’t cause any signal to be lost, it’s more about the way the amp interacts with the speaker.
The relevance is that the output impedance of the amp as a ratio of the speakers impedance gives the figure known as ‘damping factor’.
If your speakers are 8 ohms, and the amp has an output impedance of 0.8, then the damping factor is 10. (that is = 8/0.8). A DF of 10 or more is often considered enough, though over 100 isn’t uncommon.
An issue arise can with some valve amps which can have output impedance of over 1 ohm, because that can cause the frequency response of the speakers to vary. That arises because the nominal 8 ohm ( or 6, or 4ohm) rating is nominal, but in practice the impedance varies over the audio range of 20Hz to 20 kHz. You can see this by looking at Stereophile’s reviews of valve amps. But it needn’t detain us with Naim, though they don’t major on high damping factor which probably makes their bass a bit more excitable.
 
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James83

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High output impedance from an amplifier doesn’t cause any signal to be lost, it’s more about the way the amp interacts with the speaker.
The relevance is that the output impedance of the amp as a ratio of the speakers impedance gives the figure known as ‘damping factor’.
If your speakers are 8 ohms, and the amp has an output impedance of 0.8, then the damping factor is 10. (that is = 8/0.8). A DF of 10 or more is often considered enough, though over 100 isn’t uncommon.
An issue arise can with some valve amps which can have output impedance of over 1 ohm, because that can cause the frequency response of the speakers to vary. That arises because the nominal 8 ohm ( or 6, or 4ohm) rating is nominal, but in practice the impedance varies over the audio range of 20Hz to 20 kHz. You can see this by looking at Stereophile’s reviews of valve amps. But it needn’t detain us with Naim, though they don’t major on high damping factor which probably makes their bass a bit more excitable.
Ok, not worded as well on my part. I should have mentioned as well what you call the damping factor.
So adding more detail to what I have seen.
Your damping factor of 10 would cause a 10th of the signal/ musical energy to be lost.
Your damping factor of 100 causes 1/100th of the signal/ musical energy to be lost.

Taking into account the impedance of speakers can fluctuate to as low as possibly 3 ohm.
The Naim is right there at a damping factor of 10.
Whereas other amps I have seen would give a damping factor of 100.

Are we closer to agreeance now? Lol
The difference being you call it a damping factor. Whereas what I have seen it described as, is signal/ musical energy being lost.
 

nopiano

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The difference being you call it a damping factor. Whereas what I have seen it described as, is signal/ musical energy being lost.
I am afraid that signal or energy loss is a completely spurious description as far as I’m concerned. By all means refer me to its source because I’m not too old to learn but I’ve been reading journals and books on audio for over 45 years (not to mention a part time job selling the stuff for 15 years) and that’s not something I’ve ever seen.
 
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James83

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I am afraid that signal or energy loss is a completely spurious description as far as I’m concerned. By all means refer me to its source because I’m not too old to learn but I’ve been reading journals and books on audio for over 45 years (not to mention a part time job selling the stuff for 15 years) and that’s not something I’ve ever seen.

Specifically the following:

"Here’s what’s important: whatever you are trying to ask the output amplifier to drive must be at least 10 times higher in impedance and preferably 100 times or more. Why? Because you don’t want to lose any of the musical energy being sent to the receiving device and you don’t want to stress out the amplifier that’s sending the music in the first place.

So here are some practical examples. If the input impedance of your power amplifier is 10k then the output impedance of your DAC or preamp feeding it must be at least 1k and better if it’s 100 Ohms or less. If it’s 100 Ohms you’ll only lose a tiny amount of signal at the junction between the preamp and the amp – 100th of what you are sending, just for understanding sake (not entirely accurate but you get the idea).

Here’s another example: a loudspeaker. Let’s say your loudspeaker is an 8 Ohm speaker whose impedance dips as low as 3 Ohms at its lowest point (speakers don’t have flat impedance). That means the output impedance of your power amplifier should be at least 0.3 Ohms and probably better at 0.03 Ohms to really have very little affect."

Either way, it's been an interesting discussion. Ta muchly.
 
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rainsoothe

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Specifically the following:

"Here’s what’s important: whatever you are trying to ask the output amplifier to drive must be at least 10 times higher in impedance and preferably 100 times or more. Why? Because you don’t want to lose any of the musical energy being sent to the receiving device and you don’t want to stress out the amplifier that’s sending the music in the first place.

So here are some practical examples. If the input impedance of your power amplifier is 10k then the output impedance of your DAC or preamp feeding it must be at least 1k and better if it’s 100 Ohms or less. If it’s 100 Ohms you’ll only lose a tiny amount of signal at the junction between the preamp and the amp – 100th of what you are sending, just for understanding sake (not entirely accurate but you get the idea).

Here’s another example: a loudspeaker. Let’s say your loudspeaker is an 8 Ohm speaker whose impedance dips as low as 3 Ohms at its lowest point (speakers don’t have flat impedance). That means the output impedance of your power amplifier should be at least 0.3 Ohms and probably better at 0.03 Ohms to really have very little affect."

Either way, it's been an interesting discussion. Ta muchly.
I'm not tech savvy, but damping factor in itself isn't everything. Imo, Naim amps sound more dynamic than Hegel, even though Hegel amps have a huge damping factor.

Just out of curiosity, have you ever heard Naim amplification?
 
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nopiano

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Other amps you don't hear much of, are Nord Amps.
Seemingly using innards from a firm called Hypex.
In the U.K. they are pretty much a one man band, run by Colin, who used to post here many moons ago. Hypex are world renowned component designers and manufacturers that he assembles into nice cases. I don’t think they have any retail dealers.
The Hypex modules are used in many more famous brands, such as Marantz.
 
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James83

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I'm not tech savvy, but damping factor in itself isn't everything. Imo, Naim amps sound more dynamic than Hegel, even though Hegel amps have a huge damping factor.

Just out of curiosity, have you ever heard Naim amplification?
Nope, not as yet. Although that will no doubt change when I get round to trying out the Star.
Note I'm not saying they are bad. Far from it. Just that they seem to be a lot more than a simple- straight wires with gain.
 

mistercus

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Ok the Spendor SP1's have arrived. Very excited! Need to wait until the kiddies go to bed before I can unveil them. I've not got any stands yet, so it will have to be a selection of books for now.
 
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MUSICRAFT

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Imo, Naim amps sound dynamic
And it's partly down to Naim Audio amps having also having healthy current. One of the items I've taken home from the store during the current lockdown is Naim Audio's SuperNait 3. The SuperNait 3 @ 80w is gripping, driving and energising speakers more effectively then some amplifiers I've had at home rated up to three times the power of the SuperNait 3.

Like I've said before it's best to have current rich power rather then current starved marketing and brochure impressive but ultimately weedy 'paper' watts.

No guts. No glory (y)
 

James83

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And it's partly down to Naim Audio amps having also having healthy current. One of the items I've taken home from the store during the current lockdown is Naim Audio's SuperNait 3. The SuperNait 3 @ 80w is gripping, driving and energising speakers more effectively then some amplifiers I've had at home rated up to three times the power of the SuperNait 3.

Like I've said before it's best to have current rich power rather then current starved marketing and brochure impressive but ultimately weedy 'paper' watts.

No guts. No glory (y)
Unfortunately it is one of the important figures that's rarely advertised. But so easy to add in.
'X watts plus Y amps per channel'.
 

nopiano

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Unfortunately it is one of the important figures that's rarely advertised. But so easy to add in.
'X watts plus Y amps per channel'.
It isn’t something you add exactly, as there’s a defined maximum current (in amps) that’s available. In turn the current enables various watts per channel ratings into different loads (impedance, in ohms). The higher the current, the more power that will be available into lower impedance.

Here’s a extract of a recent review in another journal:-
“It's certainly very comfortable driving 8 and 4ohm loads where its 60W specification is bested to the tune of 2x73W and 2x106W, respectively, and there's a useful amount of headroom to sustain 108W/8ohm and 196W/4ohm under dynamic conditions (all <1% THD). But with just a pair of output devices per channel, and modest power supply, current-limiting restricts its output to 79W/2ohm and just 6W/1ohm.”

That’s an amp with just 7 amps available. It’s why the output falls away into 2 ohm loads - thankfully very rare in most speakers. In most cases it’ll work very well. It’s a Hegel H95, £1500.
 

James83

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It isn’t something you add exactly, as there’s a defined maximum current (in amps) that’s available. In turn the current enables various watts per channel ratings into different loads (impedance, in ohms). The higher the current, the more power that will be available into lower impedance.

Here’s a extract of a recent review in another journal:-
“It's certainly very comfortable driving 8 and 4ohm loads where its 60W specification is bested to the tune of 2x73W and 2x106W, respectively, and there's a useful amount of headroom to sustain 108W/8ohm and 196W/4ohm under dynamic conditions (all <1% THD). But with just a pair of output devices per channel, and modest power supply, current-limiting restricts its output to 79W/2ohm and just 6W/1ohm.”

That’s an amp with just 7 amps available. It’s why the output falls away into 2 ohm loads - thankfully very rare in most speakers. In most cases it’ll work very well. It’s a Hegel H95, £1500.
Not sure if it was obvious what I was trying to say.
The current available is rarely, if ever, advertised.
The power per different loads often is. But rarely the current.
 

nopiano

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Not sure if it was obvious what I was trying to say.
The current available is rarely, if ever, advertised.
The power per different loads often is. But rarely the current.
Yes, it’s only in reviews with detailed measurements like Hifi News and Stereophile where I’ve seen current stated.
 
D

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I'm little late to the party,

The Sudgen a21 sound like it will certainly have the sound you seem to be looking for and would certainly keep an eye out for one.

I own the a21sig but you may want the a21se as it has just a little more power than the standard and will work with a few more speakers but cost a little more.

But the bass is defo fatter and music has a flow that's hard to describe if you like naim you'll like Sugden similar virtues as a brand. But I much prefer the Sugden character. Get the speaker right and you'll be sonic heaven.

Pro arc is a known thing with Sugden.

hope that helps.
 
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