KenTripp

A Night with Hugh Dean, Aspen Amplifier Designer

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Posted (edited)

A Night with Hugh Dean, Aspen Amplifier Designer

8pm Wednesday 15th March, visitors welcome.

Willis Room, City of Whitehorse Offices
Maroondah Highway (Whitehorse Road), Nunawading
Melway Map 48 Ref G9
Contact: 9437 1249

 

The name Hugh Dean is synonymous with the Aspen amplifier range. His kit form amplifiers have won many hearts among audio enthusiasts who appreciate a very high standard of sound.

 

The Maya 200 and the SAKSA 85 amplifiers are a culmination of over twenty years innovative design, starting in 1974 with the Glass Harmony. The Maya was conceived in 2015 with a topology breakthrough, which Hugh will attest has brought huge improvements in speed, bandwidth and clarity. This 200W per channel amplifier comprises four discrete stages: Input stage including a feedback node, Voltage Amp stage, Driver stage, and the Output stage which uses a pair of very large 480 watt MOSFETS.

 

Hugh's primary aim in his amplifier design is very low odd order harmonics. The MAYA avoids phase issues with extremely linear first and second stages. With very low THD, less than 0.025% into 200W and very low noise, the Aspen amplifiers have none of that solid state glare.

 

The amplifiers can be bought as a DIY build from a pair of tested and assembled PCB modules, starting at $930 plus GST for the SAKSA 85, and $2200 plus GST for the MAYA 200. Both units can now also be purchased with purpose built full enclosures.

 

An OPPO 105 multi-disc player will be playing the music, while a pair of classic KEF 105/3s will entertain us with their sound. The 105/3 was the first Reference Series Loudspeaker from KEF to incorporate Uni-Q technology. This four way floor-standing speaker embodies several advanced and unconventional design features for its time. Its bass section drivers are mounted within the cabinet in a double coupled-cavity configuration. The combined output of the two woofers is radiated through a front mounted 6" inch diameter port. The D'Appolito array on the front panel is shared with a pair of midrange drivers and a KEF Uni-Q driver, with a concentric 6-1/2" inch cone and a 1" inch tweeter.

 

Midrange bloom, solid state glare, lifeless sound? None of that with Aspen Amplifiers.

 

Nick Karayanis

Program Co-ordinator

 

Ken Tripp
Wise and Wonderful Webmaster
Melbourne Audio Club, Inc.

http://www.melbourneaudioclub.org.au

Edited by KenTripp

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Posted (edited)

I will be there with my latest Maya 200 in the new enclosure with lots of bling, an Oppo 105 with a 3TB HDD of good music, and a Kef 105/3S.

Should be a good, if not hot, evening.

I can guarantee entertainment on amp design, the nature of the business, and I believe the best sound quality any audiophile has ever heard, tube or SS.

Whitehorse Shire Willis Room, Nunawading, Wed 15th at 7:30pm for a great night.......

 

Hugh

Maya200JR-8.jpg

Edited by AKSA
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If we're hot Hugh ( @AKSA ) it will only be because of all that foot tapping :D

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Any follow up on this evening?

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Any follow up on this evening?

Was an excellent evening - I was seated centre at far back wall and the Willis room is notoriously difficult to get the acoustics right.
The Maya amplifier acquitted itself admirably with a good range of musical genres - very dynamic and natural sound recreating what was recorded .
The Kef speakers had a bit of bass bloom from the room and don't plumb the depths bottom end wise with a rated 50hz range limit so within their limitations a very good performance.
Most I spoke to were highly impressed by Hugh's Maya and he gave an interesting insight to his methodology and painstaking tweaking circuit design wise to arrive at his amps preferred sonic signature .


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Yup, those were beautiful sounding amps. Hugh gave his usual spiel about the Hiraga-like decreasing distortion curve of his amp, and tried to explain how it sounded more natural than amps that had a very low THD. I suspect that the message was lost on the majority of MAC members, as evidenced by some of the questions. For the record, I agree with Hugh. 

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13 hours ago, Keith_W said:

Yup, those were beautiful sounding amps. Hugh gave his usual spiel about the Hiraga-like decreasing distortion curve of his amp, and tried to explain how it sounded more natural than amps that had a very low THD. I suspect that the message was lost on the majority of MAC members, as evidenced by some of the questions. For the record, I agree with Hugh. 

 

Go Hugh! More info for those interested on decreasing distortion curve from Hiraga and others

http://www.audioxpress.com/article/Musicality-and-Distortion-A-Conversation

regards Ian

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Thanks Ken, Evil C, Keith, and Ian!

The night was good and the amp worked beautifully, but I was disappointed with the speakers, not large enough for the room, and somewhat indistinct at low frequencies.  Midrange was very good however, and top end OK.  They were 20 years old, and in this period speakers have hugely improved.

I did try to explain what makes an amp sound good, but I agree, I think most either did not understand, or believe it was not true.  I should not try to explain anything;  my speech issues make it hard for me, and confuse the hell out of the customers.......

The Maya is my best amp yet, in 23 years.  I began with the Glass Harmony in 1994, and have designed, built and sold a lot since, but this is the best.  The only amp that offers my standards of unmatched sound quality with huge reserves of power and drive - and looks the best yet.........

I thank MAC for the chance to display my wares! 

 

Hugh Dean

Aspen Amplifiers P/L

Rosanna, 2017

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Having met you, Hugh, I doubt your speech 'issues' had anything to do with audience comprehension - I would NEVER have known you had any serious health issues leading to you having to completely relearn to speak in just the last few years.

I'd be more inclined to think it would be to do with some of the audience being completely brainwashed by the marketing of numbers - higher power = better, lower distortion = better, no exceptions.

 

In other news, I've still got a Naksa 70 sitting in my study waiting to get hooked into my system. New pre/DAC should be here within the next week or two and then all systems go. Can't wait :)

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...Not all of us are brainwashed.  Some of us can still think for ourselves.

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...Not all of us are brainwashed.  Some of us can still think for ourselves.

I agree with everything you say - Redmond

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Posted (edited)

What is the price of the Maya 200?

Edited by soundfan

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I sell the modules for $2200 plus GST, and the entire plug and play amp is sold for $4,600 plus GST.

I strongly suggest to anyone that they should hear an amp before buying;  and usually offer a cooling off period  in Oz less shipping.  But I'm not a quantity producer so a wait is sadly inevitable.

 

Red, what did you think of the sound, taking account of the old speakers?

 

HD 

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I heard the Maya this morning at Hugh's place. Nothing short of outstanding in my humble opinion and I will make room in my future plans for one. - AJ


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6 minutes ago, A J said:

I heard the Maya this morning at Hugh's place. Nothing short of outstanding in my humble opinion and I will make room in my future plans for one. - AJ


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

good to hear.

What was the rest of the setup?

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Thanks Andrew......  very glad to have met you!

The other system:

Oppo 105 with attached 3TB Western Digital holding a large Music Library

VSonics, my own speaker, two way, 2600Hz 3rd order xover, Transmission Line and SEAS 200mm with Peerless soft dome tweet.

Kaplan cables and absurdly messy rumpus room with anti-room treatment.

HD

 

 

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