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I bought an ICepower class D amp and didn't know it


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Really wasn't sure where this post fits.    Anyway, I have had an interest in class D amps for hifi for a long time, and I have some Tripath and other cheap Asian class D amps, but like reading about Hypex, Purifi, and Icepower, etc.  

 

Then I realised what I had hidden in the back of the latest guitar amp I bought.  Fender have been quietly using class D in their latest modelling amps (Mustang GT GTX range) and Tonemaster modelling amps.  My GT 100 has this ICEPOWER 100AS1  in it. The GT 200 has the  ICE100AS2.  The tonemasters I think  have  ICE POWER 200AS1 and ICE POWER 200AS2  in them.     

 

No wonder these amps are so loud and so light.  btw.  the computer modelling in them is no slouch either - sounds just like the great valve amps of yesteryear.  These pics from this thread https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/the-official-fender-mustang-gtx-amp-thread-2020.2113060/  show the layout.

100AS1_scale.png

 

Mustang-GT-100-Inside.png

Edited by aussievintage
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had to happen - glad you like the sound 👍

Should also be much cheaper than a valve amp, and more robust...no delicate glass thingies inside the amp

 

As a singer in a band, helping the guitarists lug their heavy valve amps around is hard work - who'd be a roadie?

Light guitar amps that sound nearly as good/as good as a valve amp = winner!

 

Then it's just the bloody subs/foldbacks/FoH speakers that kill my back :(

 

 

Mike

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2 minutes ago, almikel said:

had to happen - glad you like the sound 👍

Should also be much cheaper than a valve amp, and more robust...no delicate glass thingies inside the amp

 

 

Took five minutes in the shop, just set it to '65 Twin Reverb,  and the sound was so spot on, I bought it.

 

3 minutes ago, almikel said:

As a singer in a band, helping the guitarists lug their heavy valve amps around is hard work - who'd be a roadie?

Light guitar amps that sound nearly as good/as good as a valve amp = winner!

 

I used to cart a tiny 30 watt Roland Cube around because I got tired of the big monsters.  It's "models" were nothing like this though.  You can even swap speaker cabinets between amps.

 

 

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I don't know if it's class D and I can't even play guitar, but I have a Vox with the old school look but new school tricks. It supposedly has 90 odd combinations of sound effects. You can pick a particular vintage Vox amp, and/or a style of music and/or other effects. It's pretty cool, too bad I can't make it sing.

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1 hour ago, Esoterica said:

I don't know if it's class D and I can't even play guitar, but I have a Vox with the old school look but new school tricks. It supposedly has 90 odd combinations of sound effects. You can pick a particular vintage Vox amp, and/or a style of music and/or other effects. It's pretty cool, too bad I can't make it sing.

Yeah, Vox released a modelling amp too.   Modelling has progressed a lot.  Started as just some basic filters, tone-stacks, gain staging etc,  to full on computer modelling of everything.  Now, you can choose models of all sorts of effects pedals, reverbs etc, to go with real models of amplifiers, and real models of speaker cabinets, and you can mix and match them, then play with parameters, such as varying the valves bias levels, and rectifier sag, etc.

 

What some guitarists took some time to come to grips with, is that all these models need clean hifi-like amplification and speakers to partner with.  No longer is the guitar amp characterised by the way it's designed and the brand and type of speakers and cabinet.  The amp is a hifi amp - hence the Icepower class D amp,  and the speaker is a full range speaker.

 

The Mustang I have has a 6 channel ADC and DAC, all computer controlled, to mix the guitar input into the  modelled amps together with the auxiliary inputs and output with or without speaker cabinet simulation to it's own internal amp. or external DI inputs.

 

btw.  Vox are one of the coolest looking amps ever IMHO

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I had a friend that was raving about it. Unlike me, He is a very good guitarist. He played through it and it sounded sick.

 

I just thought it was a cheap gimmick amp, but for a guy wanting to learn to play like myself, it was a chance to get an amp that could do a lot of cool stuff besides just amplify. So when a seasoned guitarist actually rated it, I was amazed. They do look cool hey. 
 

I googled to try and figure out which model I have (instead of getting off my fat arse lol) and think it's the VT20 Valvetronix. The new ones look different though. Mine has faux ivory (I guess) knobs in a very cool style. Oh, you can also memorise combos you find that you like. I should really get back into it!

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On 23/10/2020 at 7:59 PM, aussievintage said:

 

Took five minutes in the shop, just set it to '65 Twin Reverb,  and the sound was so spot on, I bought it.

 

 

I used to cart a tiny 30 watt Roland Cube around because I got tired of the big monsters.  It's "models" were nothing like this though.  You can even swap speaker cabinets between amps.

 

 

Wouldn't it be great to be able to do that with a HIFI Amp ? Turn a knob and dial up  the exact harmonic content to model an EL84 tube .. Turn the knob again for the next song and model the correct harmonics for a kT88 tube, Dial up a Pass Labs  or an Arcam amp or anything you desire with a rotary control. Model Tube 'Sag'  everything...  These modeling amps in blind tests are spot on.  Only a matter of time before it's done with HIFI.

 

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33 minutes ago, bryansamui said:

Wouldn't it be great to be able to do that with a HIFI Amp ? Turn a knob and dial up  the exact harmonic content to model an EL84 tube .. Turn the knob again for the next song and model the correct harmonics for a kT88 tube, Dial up a Pass Labs  or an Arcam amp or anything you desire with a rotary control. Model Tube 'Sag'  everything...  These modeling amps in blind tests are spot on.  Only a matter of time before it's done with HIFI.

 

 

 

In a small way, I can do that now.    In my raspberry Pi digital phono preamp, I can dial in a variable amount of harmonics, and alter the 2nd, 3rd order mix.

 

I have to say, I definitely like the added "tube" warmth.

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My experience of straight D Class hifi integrated amp (no modelling) had me using tubes on the input sources.

If that sounds ironic integrated version II is getting a tube in the preamp section.

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4 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

 

 

In a small way, I can do that now.    In my raspberry Pi digital phono preamp, I can dial in a variable amount of harmonics, and alter the 2nd, 3rd order mix.

 

I have to say, I definitely like the added "tube" warmth.

I wouldn't mind experimenting with  a 2nd harmonic  generator... Nelson Pass has a variable one (Rotary Knob) on his First Watt SIT 2  amp...  You has dial more or less holograhic  3D with it. He also designed one for the DIY community called the "H2" (google that)... At the end of the day, it's that 2nd harmonic distortion that gives SET amps "The Sound' They don't measure great at all, but sound fantastic because of that 2nd harmonic distortion... The Caveat is of course the sound becomes messy on large orchestral or busy recordings because there is Harmonics flying all over the place! But great on smaller recordings.

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7 minutes ago, eman said:

My experience of straight D Class hifi integrated amp (no modelling) had me using tubes on the input sources.

If that sounds ironic integrated version II is getting a tube in the preamp section.

Tubes on the input will give you some lovely harmonic content which is pleasing to the ear. 

Every time 'A New World Record ' is set with a new amp delivering the lowest distortion ever measured,  NEVER has that amp either sold well or become a Classic (To Quote the Great Nelson Pass) Bring on the 2nd Harmonics (either Tube or SS )

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32 minutes ago, Ian McP said:

Hugh Dean has long put forward the idea of small amounts of 2nd harmonics in his designs

http://www.aksaonline.com/

 

Absolutely, Ian!  :thumb:  That's why his amps sound so good.  :)

 

(In addition, his later amps also have a monotonically decreasing harmonic profile.)

 

Andy

 

Edited by andyr
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1 hour ago, bryansamui said:

I wouldn't mind experimenting with  a 2nd harmonic  generator... Nelson Pass has a variable one (Rotary Knob) on his First Watt SIT 2  amp...  You has dial more or less holograhic  3D with it. He also designed one for the DIY community called the "H2" (google that)... At the end of the day, it's that 2nd harmonic distortion that gives SET amps "The Sound' They don't measure great at all, but sound fantastic because of that 2nd harmonic distortion... The Caveat is of course the sound becomes messy on large orchestral or busy recordings because there is Harmonics flying all over the place! But great on smaller recordings.

I have an H2 board built up somewhere, just never got around to playing with it.

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19 minutes ago, Batty said:

I have an H2 board built up somewhere, just never got around to playing with it.

Fire it up Batty!... Love to hear your thoughts.

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5 hours ago, Batty said:

I have an H2 board built up somewhere, just never got around to playing with it.

 

You should.  As I was saying, my digitally induced 2nd harmonics sound really nice.   Yes you can go too far.  I use the control about halfway.  Any more and it gets squishy sounding  ( yes I am going to copyright that new audiophile term :) ) 

Edited by aussievintage
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Here is a few pics, the reverse is so you can rib me over my soldering, yes I know I need to clean it.

 

You can guestimate the size from the USB ports on top of my PC.

IMG_0001.thumb.JPG.9434f68996c8869c6cda1fb483239fca.JPG

IMG_0002.thumb.JPG.c73ebeabbaae31e9099dd4f2fc15882d.JPG

IMG_0003.thumb.JPG.dcdf0dafd5012ad91880ae5949071793.JPG

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1 hour ago, Batty said:

Here is a few pics, the reverse is so you can rib me over my soldering, yes I know I need to clean it.

 

You can guestimate the size from the USB ports on top of my PC.

 

 

IMG_0003.thumb.JPG.dcdf0dafd5012ad91880ae5949071793.JPG

 

A fair enough little circuit he has devised.  As I suspected, just a little FET amp, easier than using triodes.  This effect was the reason, back when junction FETs first came out, we all hoped it would mean solid state amps might finally start to sound right :)  

 

As for soldering, I will not criticise, that board looks OK to me, but I might make suggestions.   I once read, or was told (can't remember) that when trimming component leads, you should not bight into the solder blob with the cutters.  The idea is that you should trim the lead just above the solder.  Apparently  it puts less mechanical stress on the now-solid joint. 

 

Also, making this easier,  we should always use the very minimum of solder, so the 'blob' should be a concave meniscus wicking up onto the lead, not little bulbous thingy squatting on the copper trace lands.

 

As for cleaning flux spatter etc, that's for appearances only IMO.  

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1 hour ago, aussievintage said:

 

A fair enough little circuit he has devised.  As I suspected, just a little FET amp, easier than using triodes.  This effect was the reason, back when junction FETs first came out, we all hoped it would mean solid state amps might finally start to sound right :)  

 

As for soldering, I will not criticise, that board looks OK to me, but I might make suggestions.   I once read, or was told (can't remember) that when trimming component leads, you should not bight into the solder blob with the cutters.  The idea is that you should trim the lead just above the solder.  Apparently  it puts less mechanical stress on the now-solid joint. 

 

Also, making this easier,  we should always use the very minimum of solder, so the 'blob' should be a concave meniscus wicking up onto the lead, not little bulbous thingy squatting on the copper trace lands.

 

As for cleaning flux spatter etc, that's for appearances only IMO.  

I must admit I was not sober when I soldered this, that is why I forgot where it was until mentioned here lol.

 

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3 hours ago, aussievintage said:

 

You should.  As I was saying, my digitally induced 2nd harmonics sound really nice.   Yes you can go to far.  I use the control about halfway.  Any more and it gets squishy sounding  ( yes I am going to copyright that new audiophile term :) ) 

As a Musician, I can explain this. All musical instruments are full of these harmonics in the real world. The only one that doesn't is a silent/ broken one (Haha) OR a Pure Sine wave. So before all the 'Purists' get on their high horse, Harmonic distortion occurs  ( in abundance) in the real world in every sound created. So imo it's okay to add a bit here and there to improve the listening experience. 

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1 hour ago, Batty said:

I must admit I was not sober when I soldered this, that is why I forgot where it was until mentioned here lol.

 

 

Been there. :)       What I would do, is  fix the board in a vertical position, then reheat each joint with the iron held sloping down away from the joint.  Watch it reflow (you will see many problems if they exist), take the iron away and wipe excess solder off the tip.   Some joints may show up as having a need for a bit more solder,  but most times you will just  drain away the existing solder leaving a nice amount, and relieve any stresses.  The reheating with reactivate residual flux and possibly remedy any potential dry joints. 

 

Due to the many warnings about not overheating components, most people starting out, end up not applying heat for long enough, and use too cold a temperature as well.  I have often just reflowed each joint on a board and avoided many problems.  

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I'll just use the desoldering station and start again.

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1 hour ago, Batty said:

I'll just use the desoldering station and start again.

 

Yeah...  seldom really necessary.  I don't even use solder wick unless I want to remove a component.  Letting the excess solder just flow onto the iron's tip leaves a nice amount around the component lead most times.

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On 23/10/2020 at 7:27 PM, Esoterica said:

I don't know if it's class D and I can't even play guitar, but I have a Vox with the old school look but new school tricks. It supposedly has 90 odd combinations of sound effects. You can pick a particular vintage Vox amp, and/or a style of music and/or other effects. It's pretty cool, too bad I can't make it sing.

1st time I knew Vox existed was when I saw a photo of the Velvet Underground in front of Vox amps...RIP Stirling Morrison and Lou Reed...I got to see Lou live twice,  but never the Velvets :(

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