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mwhouston

Hybrid Systems

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For me and my system tubed preamp and Class D power amp is a killer combo. Had some Melbourne Audio Club members here a few nights back for a classical night and from one member (who also DIYs) his comment was best he had heard my system and I’m to stop changing it.

 

He had not heard the tube pre/Class D/horns combo before and made a number of good comments. 

 

Probably one of the stranger combos; tubes/Ds/horns. 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, mwhouston said:

Which board was it you tweaked?  

Hi mwhouston,

 

It was a TPA3116.  The one with the most through hole components.

Every through hole component forward of the IC has been replaced.

The Inductors were desoldered and replaced with items coilcraft items and bootstrap snubbers were added on the underside (both made a big difference).

Using oscons in the decoupling positions allow for a 10A ripple at 2cm from the chip.

 

Voice with choice of signal caps and solder ... and add a well bolstered power rail.

 

Its reasonably cost effective, low powered and probably not everyones cup of tea.  To my ears, it has a control of the music which i find compelling.  Time aside it owes me about $70 each (?) not including power.   (the parts had to be bought in some quantity for matching and divided over a few builds).

 

I had help from the forum guys who had done the heavy lifting.

https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=122011.1120

 

The link has brief a write up of the amp driving a pair of Altec Model 19s which might be relevant for matching with horns. 

 

Back then, a lot of the guys were driving the amps with 13.8v linear supplies and the reviews reflected it.  Its better with a higher supply rail (> 20v).

 

TPA3116_2.0_3-800x800_0.jpg

p/s:  This board, sold by yuan-jing uses the design by a diyaudio forum member.  There are other commercial ventures which have subsequenty modified the board with addition of a LED and others with extra SMD pads etc.  I dont know how those boards sound / take to modification.  There are copies upon copies upon copies.  :D

Edited by keinesorge

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4 hours ago, keinesorge said:

Hi mwhouston,

 

It was a TPA3116.  The one with the most through hole components.

Every through hole component forward of the IC has been replaced.

The Inductors were desoldered and replaced with items coilcraft items and bootstrap snubbers were added on the underside (both made a big difference).

Using oscons in the decoupling positions allow for a 10A ripple at 2cm from the chip.

 

Voice with choice of signal caps and solder ... and add a well bolstered power rail.

 

Its reasonably cost effective, low powered and probably not everyones cup of tea.  To my ears, it has a control of the music which i find compelling.  Time aside it owes me about $70 each (?) not including power.   (the parts had to be bought in some quantity for matching and divided over a few builds).

 

I had help from the forum guys who had done the heavy lifting.

https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=122011.1120

 

The link has brief a write up of the amp driving a pair of Altec Model 19s which might be relevant for matching with horns. 

 

Back then, a lot of the guys were driving the amps with 13.8v linear supplies and the reviews reflected it.  Its better with a higher supply rail (> 20v).

 

TPA3116_2.0_3-800x800_0.jpg

p/s:  This board, sold by yuan-jing uses the design by a diyaudio forum member.  There are other commercial ventures which have subsequenty modified the board with addition of a LED and others with extra SMD pads etc.  I dont know how those boards sound / take to modification.  There are copies upon copies upon copies.  :D

The board above is about 40W into 8ohms?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, mwhouston said:

The board above is about 40W into 8ohms?

 

I think its 30w into 8ohms... 50w into 4ohms.

 

I have to mention that this amp board has been well and truly superceeded with the TPA3255 / 3251 boards.

The newer stuff has more grunt and the overall take on them seems to suggest that they need next to no tweaks to sound good.  The TPA32xx boards also have an opamp input stage... which isnt for me.

 

The newer stuff might also have provisions for PFFB implemented (post filter feedback) to remove any non linearity of the output filter.

Edited by keinesorge

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8 hours ago, keinesorge said:

 

I think its 30w into 8ohms... 50w into 4ohms.

 

I have to mention that this amp board has been well and truly superceeded with the TPA3255 / 3251 boards.

The newer stuff has more grunt and the overall take on them seems to suggest that they need next to no tweaks to sound good.  The TPA32xx boards also have an opamp input stage... which isnt for me.

 

The newer stuff might also have provisions for PFFB implemented (post filter feedback) to remove any non linearity of the output filter.

From experience i found the Tripath more power full modules 150 and 180W into 8ohms sound better than lower powered modules.   

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Posted (edited)
On 20/07/2019 at 9:19 AM, eman said:

Trying to upgrade the opamp if Burson would decide to deliver the bloody thing instead of lying about where it comes from.

Hi Eman,

 

Whats the story on the Bursons ?

I was considering them for an DAC some time ago but nothing came of it (what i meant to say is that i probably ran out of hifi development funds:D

Edited by keinesorge

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1 hour ago, keinesorge said:

Hi Eman,

 

Whats the story on the Bursons ?

I was considering them for an DAC some time ago but nothing came of it (what i meant to say is that i probably ran out of hifi development funds:D

Claim of parts come from Melbourne but actually posted from Hong Kong.  Currently taken a month and still no sign.

Trying to sort out previous purchase involved no reply to messages until I got ebay /Paypal involved .

Seriously not impressed. Only perservering because parts recommended.

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3 hours ago, eman said:

Claim of parts come from Melbourne but actually posted from Hong Kong.  Currently taken a month and still no sign.

Trying to sort out previous purchase involved no reply to messages until I got ebay /Paypal involved .

Seriously not impressed. Only perservering because parts recommended.

Hi Eman,

 

Thanks for the heads up.

I was considering the Bursons and had sourced replacement enclosure for my DAC to cut some rectangular holes into, as it doesnt have the vertical height clearance.

Sorry to hear about the wait.  I hope the opamps get to you ASAP.

 

---------------------------------------------------

 

I tried this tube pre.  It comes with a pair 6J1s and a switched mode supply.  It also has LEDs. :D

Powered with a linear supply, this thing sounds pretty good.  It has a surprisingly strong following on another forum so i decided to give it a try.  I know nothing of tubes so i went with the "popular" route and replaced the tubes with some GE JAN 5654W items.

 

The pros:

It genuinely sounds pretty good with a linear supply (even with the stock tubes).

Its got a quality feel to it.  The switch and volume rotation feed solid.

 

The cons:

The gain is abit on the high side for my system and with its single amplification stage, the output is inverted.  The speaker cables can be swapped at the amp's output to remedy this.  It also isnt as quiet as my passive setup.

 

If my system was built around this, i could see how it could be enjoyable as part of a rig.  My current setup has had too many hours of tuning / voicing / meddling for this to be a perfect fit.  I might add it into a future build.

FEIXIANG-FX-AUDIO-TUBE-01-bile-preamp-tu

 

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43 minutes ago, keinesorge said:

Hi Eman,

 

Thanks for the heads up.

I was considering the Bursons and had sourced replacement enclosure for my DAC to cut some rectangular holes into, as it doesnt have the vertical height clearance.

Sorry to hear about the wait.  I hope the opamps get to you ASAP.

 

---------------------------------------------------

 

I tried this tube pre.  It comes with a pair 6J1s and a switched mode supply.  It also has LEDs. :D

Powered with a linear supply, this thing sounds pretty good.  It has a surprisingly strong following on another forum so i decided to give it a try.  I know nothing of tubes so i went with the "popular" route and replaced the tubes with some GE JAN 5654W items.

 

The pros:

It genuinely sounds pretty good with a linear supply (even with the stock tubes).

Its got a quality feel to it.  The switch and volume rotation feed solid.

 

The cons:

The gain is abit on the high side for my system and with its single amplification stage, the output is inverted.  The speaker cables can be swapped at the amp's output to remedy this.  It also isnt as quiet as my passive setup.

 

If my system was built around this, i could see how it could be enjoyable as part of a rig.  My current setup has had too many hours of tuning / voicing / meddling for this to be a perfect fit.  I might add it into a future build.

FEIXIANG-FX-AUDIO-TUBE-01-bile-preamp-tu

 

Is this FX-1 ? Only one input then? Bit of a drawback.

Have wondered how it would go with a Topping TP60.

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19 minutes ago, eman said:

Is this FX-1 ? Only one input then? Bit of a drawback.

Have wondered how it would go with a Topping TP60.

I'm not sure if its named something else.  I am aware that there exists a few boards which are similar.

This one has a single input. 

With 26db gain on my amp board - i found the overall volume curve to be a tad urgent, with the system getting quite loud by the 10 oclock position.  If the topping TP60 has more gain, it might be tricky with the volume control.

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Posted (edited)

Hybrid works for me, 

 

Current combination of components most listened to in my main digital system;

 

Consonance Droplet CDP

PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium HP Integrated

Music Fidelity 550K Superchargers

VA Beethoven Concert Grands

 

It wasn’t until I took a gamble and added the MF 550K Supercharger SS inline amplifiers into what was previously just about an all tube system that my sound system really came alive and delivered its true potential, now the VA’s really deliver a far bigger and impressive sq than I thought possible from a speaker in this price range, while the system overall has not lost that excellent tube based sq that is so pleasing to listen too. 

 

Tubes and SS for me anyway work really well together.

 

cheers Terry

 

Edited by TerryO

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