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11-06-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 26
Post ID: 12162
Reply to: 12161
Debugging the Placette
fiogf49gjkf0d

Rony,

Actually I did try to drive Melquiades from different source. My old tube buffer, my phonostage and any other not DC-coupled source were not able to drive it. The 6-ch Melquiades is pain in as to drive. It has around 5K input impedance and the impedance is active like hell – I have 6 filters sitting right from input. As soon I put any voltage dividers before the amps then all Sound got “dropped”. The only souses that were able to drive Milq were the DC-could Bidat, Pacific and Lavry. They all around 40R output impedance that is comparable to 11R output impedance of Placette.

It is interesting that you have such a positive result with a custom made tube preamp. I very much doubt that it might have fuller and deeper bass and any advanced in dynamics.  I think if your type preamp does not do any unintentional EQ (many of them do) and if it has advantage over Placette in bass and dymick then it might indicate some kind of bug in playback or in evaluation.  I do not treat Placette as some kind of references but from what I know the properly working Placette shall not loss to in bass and dymick to anything. What is your source that you use to drive Placette or your custom tube preamp? It your sourced is a powerful enough to drive you amps directly then try to do the bypass test and compare how your tube preamp and Placette compare not against each other but against a front-end output and direct bypass. Let discard the “haze across the entire spectrum” and the “emotional attachment” and juts to pay attention to what happen with bass and domains.

Rgs, Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-07-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,157
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 27
Post ID: 12166
Reply to: 12160
Uber-Placette and Cables
fiogf49gjkf0d
Glad to hear you finally went and did IT!  Now let's see (hear) how buffered per-channel level-set resistance works with the per-channel curves, and how easy this is to tune and integrate per total (stereo) side. It seems like this pretty much "has to work", since it's how the recordings themselves are done (for the most part) in the first place, after all.

And the loop is the bomb for monitoring, too.

What will you be doing for cables now?

I think I mentioned somewhere quite a while back that Guy also does (or did) cables, which to my knowledge he never advertised or marketed in any way.  I had a pisser of a time finding cable to use between my step-up tranny (Ortofon T-3000) and the K&K.  I wound up settling for a thin and non-descript shielded pair of Guy's cable not because they are "good" but because they are a "non-factor".  I just don't think about them.

Caveat, shoppers: use of these cables will NOT improve anything.

Best regards,
Paul S
11-25-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
RonyWeissman
Lyon, France
Posts 138
Joined on 05-29-2004

Post #: 28
Post ID: 12350
Reply to: 12162
Placette question
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy, would you say that placette is especially sensitive to electricity to function at it's best(sensitive in relation to other equipment I mean)? My unit is 110v and I am in 220v world, so I am using a step-down transformer on the unit.  I have had very good results using this step-down with other equipment so the problem is not the quality of the transformer.R Weissman
11-25-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
scooter
Posts 161
Joined on 07-17-2008

Post #: 29
Post ID: 12352
Reply to: 12350
Hz
fiogf49gjkf0d
Hi Rony,
I assume you're stepping down to 110v at 50hz. I specifically asked Guy about this issue for a move to Europe.
While Guy may be ok with the unit running at 50hz but I am not entirely convinced that the Placette runs the same versus the 60hz it was benchmarked at. Getting yourself to 110v at 60hz might be an option worth exploring.
Best,
S
11-26-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 30
Post ID: 12354
Reply to: 12350
Placette and the damn Electricity
fiogf49gjkf0d

 RonyWeissman wrote:
Romy, would you say that placette is especially sensitive to electricity to function at it's best(sensitive in relation to other equipment I mean)? My unit is 110v and I am in 220v world, so I am using a step-down transformer on the unit.  I have had very good results using this step-down with other equipment so the problem is not the quality of the transformer.

Well, this is a very complicated question, so complicated that I do not have not only a definitive answer but even a definite opinion on the subject. Let talk about it.

I have been using Placette for a while and was trying to answer the question how the electricity that powers the output buffer affects sound. In some cased I have seen that it affects hugely and other case it was less affective. The reason for this I think that any given days the reason why the electricity sound bad is changes day by day, location by location etc. For instance a have in my closet an army of regenerators, isolation transformers, filters, resonator filters etc. When electricity was bad I was trying to use them on separate elements of on the selected group elements. In some case I had truly phenomenal success. For instance when electricity has a very bad day and you take some kind isolation transformer or regenerator, connect it to you phonostage or to your Placette and have a fantastic improvement then you presume that your phonostage or your Placette is very sensitive to electricity. However, the next day the sound turn bad and the location of your isolation transformer or regenerator are not effective anymore. Even worse: you have better elective day and you realizes that your isolation transformer or regenerator sound words then the phonostage or Placette driver directly from your walls. I have what I described above many-many-many-many times and I even had a Excel spreadsheet where I was trying to mark the results and to catch a patter. I was not able to as it was totally random pain in ass behavior – at least at my location.

A couple years back I asked Guy to beef up the Placette’s Power supplies. I do not remember exactly what we did, I think we put Schottky diodes in there and big ass caps. If I am not mistaken we pout in Placette 4 by 220.000uF capacious – the biggest that I was able to find for the size that could fit in the box. I feel it did affect the sensitive of my Placette to electricity. It did not resolve the problem but it changed the non-existing patter to have slightly better odds against electricity. Then I went with APS that have changed my ways of dealing with electricity. The APS has its own perks, which is not the subject of this thread, but the odds with APSed Placette are way in different coordinate scale.

I do not know what the general situation with electricity in your place. Hey, it is even a different continent, not only the different country! Whatever you it looks like you have two series transformers in there – one from 220V to 120V and another is the Placette’s internal from 120V to 12V.  First of all I think that Placette’s internal transformer might have two primaries and you can switch them. In any case, the internal transformer that Placette uses is very small and very common- it shall not be hard to replace them to 220V – those blue PC-mount transformers are $25 each and shall be widely available. If you keep the Placette as it as has a separate step down then it might be a good idea to make the step down transformer as an isolator transformer, implementing in there the double Faraday shields and etc. It might be effective but there is a bitch in this – you will not be able to recognize when your isolator works well when it screw up sound. I would have a few steps down of deferent type and would see what works and if the effectiveness of them will wary.

Probably Guy himself will be the best person to evaluate what you might do but there is a problem in Guy’s advice.  I have no problem with Guy listening expertise but when I was looking at Google map then looked like Guy’s house is located right next to a large Idaho mountain massive.  The whole town of Boise where Guy lives is located between Boise Mountains and Owyhee Mountains – that is beautiful rural district that has not a lot of people in there and not a lot of industrial polluters.  Not to mention that Idaho and the neighboring states of East Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Wyoming are not the most populated to begin with. Look at the shot from the space:

http://members.cox.net/wmckinney1/wallpapr/USatNight.jpg

….there is not a lot light density where Guy lives. So, I might only presume that the electricity situation in Guy’s home is VERY different from the downtown of Boston or downtown of Paris. 

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-19-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Steradian
SoCal
Posts 5
Joined on 02-19-2010

Post #: 31
Post ID: 12979
Reply to: 12354
Placette input impedance
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy,Does your Placette have a custom input impedance of 42K ohms rather than the stock 18K ohms input impedance?
02-19-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 32
Post ID: 12981
Reply to: 12979
Placette input impedance: probably....
fiogf49gjkf0d

Steradian,

I do not remember how much input impedance of my Placette is. I think I did ask to make it higher then 18K but I do not remember now, can measure if I were home…. In most of the cases the 18K is plenty but it very easily could be increased to any value one might wish. I do feel that 30K-50K is more reasonable number then 18K and it would also all those high-impedance tube front-ends with capacitance coupling to drive the preamp more confidently.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-10-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 33
Post ID: 24928
Reply to: 957
My preamps revision: New Placette gain buffers.
After 13 year of using of my active Placette my preamp now is undergoing a modification. My knew listening room is rather on larger side (acoustically) and I am driving the whole system from super Milq, no help of SS amplification at the lower knee. So, I sometime feel a need to have a few more DBs of gain, particular running video over my main playback or listening CD recordings with low dynamic compression. The subjects of having enough power is a bit more complicated and I would like to live it aside of the conversation for now as I am care about the gain at this point. The Placette at full unity gain is not enough for me as time and I was wondering about the solutions. The aftermarket line-level gain stages are horrible, not that I tried all of them but a few that I did were a joke.
 
I learned that Guy Hammel has a new active buffer that can provide 6dB and 12dB gain. We were discussed it a bit and I decided to try it. I still do not want to lose the original Placette active buffers as I feel that are a benchmark of transparency. So, I asked Mr. Hammel to install in my Placette parallel to the existing original Placette active buffers then new gain buffers and to make my Placette be able to be switched running original active buffers or new gain buffers. The new gain buffers have the same ultra-low output impedance that is mandatory for me to drive my Milq’s filters. So, I am very interested to hear the new Placette gain buffers.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-11-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,157
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 34
Post ID: 24929
Reply to: 24928
Op Amps?
So, how is the gain accomplished (without raising output impedance)?  Not tubes or OPT, right?



Paul S
07-27-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 35
Post ID: 25003
Reply to: 957
Placete Active … with gain!
The reads of my site know that for many years I am a huge fun of the Placete Active preamp. In my new listening room I faces a problem that I have not enough gains with some material. The room kind of big and it is integrated with video. Many video programs are not recorded at right level and my video DAC is not high output. It is impossible to find a very good quality line level gain devise, so I decided to bite a bullet and to ask Placete to make one foe me. To my surprise and please Guy Hammel informed me that he has a new product that does exactly what I need to do: an active buffer with up to 12dB gain. It is pricey, $1200 but according to Mr. Placete it is as transparent as his original Placete active pram and it has the same ultra-low output impedance that I need to drive my 6 channels with input filters. 

After some design negations on with Guy I decided that I do not want to compromise my current Placete and we went for dual architecture: it means that my Placete Active remains untouched but in case I put a button on my remote control I have my 12dB. It is done by removing the Placete Active unity gain buffer after the attenuator and substituting it with absolutely new active buffer with gain. So, effectively I will have 4 preamps operational but only 2 of them will be in signal path at any given time. 
 
Well, I have a beast sitting in my listening room now and last two days I have been listening it. It is interesting. I am far from my final judgment to confirm that the new buffers with gain is as spectacular and as transparent as the old unity gain. I think the new output stage is being broken in and I think the contestant is more than noble. It is a bit tricky to compare two preamps with different gains. At this point I realized that it would be nice if the high gains preamp is activated then the volume should be automatically dropped to it’s half. I did not ask it and it is possible that I would not need it in future. I am trying to figure out how to powers the thing. Both preamps have different power supplies, old one analog and the new one switching. I am looking into the isolation the switching and see how it makes any difference. 
 
I think it will be very interesting to hear how the high gains preamps will mature in my playback. The sonic benefits are very cool: push a button and I have extra 12dB. I do feel that at very strong signal and 12dB gains I run out of class A1 power wise but it is at very insane level of loudness, something that has no practical meaning. Anyhow, I am happy with my extra gain. The preliminary listening make me to feel that the Placete Active with gain was not wasted direction to go and it will be useable. Still, in my unlimited audio anal-retentiveness I do not believe that two completely different buffers with completely different topology must not sound identical. I am sure that one of them is better in “something” and since 95% of my listening might be done very comfortable with or without gain, then I would like to know what of the preamps will be my “reference”.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
07-27-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
anthony
Posts 193
Joined on 08-18-2014

Post #: 36
Post ID: 25012
Reply to: 25003
Please keep us informed
Good news so far Romy.  I have been wondering where things were at regarding introducing gain into the Placette. 
07-28-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 37
Post ID: 25013
Reply to: 25003
A few minor corrections
In the post below I made a few mistakes. 
 
1) The new Placete gain stage use analog PS, not switching and I mistakably said. The power cord come with computer style plastic box in the middle and I though it is the power supply. In reality the plastic box in the cord is just a rectifier and the rest of the regulation and filtration is in the main box. I presume Guy did it in order do not bring AL in the control unit. 
 
2) The new Placete gain stage I have is configured to have 6dB gains, not 12dB. The 12dB switch should be in the unit itself but I did not open it and I do not think I would need it. 
 
Rgs, Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Page 2 of 2 (37 items) Select Pages:  « 1 2
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Preamplifiers: keys to mystery. (Lamm L1, L2)..  In analog domain...  Audio Discussions  Forum     2  44702  11-14-2004
  »  New  HELP: I’m a line-level looser...  Further sonic humiliation....  Audio Discussions  Forum     22  115269  03-30-2005
  »  New  Lamm L1 vs. L2 preamp..  L1/L2 & Police Breathalyzer...  Audio Discussions  Forum     5  51969  06-25-2005
  »  New  Passive transformer based preamp..  Re: Thorsten's preamp idea...  Audio Discussions  Forum     41  340791  10-22-2005
  »  New  Reviewing preamps by imbeciles...  More toilet reading about preamps......  Audio For Dummies ™  Forum     1  32172  06-25-2006
  »  New  The ultimate buffer #2...?..  invisible preamps...  Audio Discussions  Forum     3  30646  11-23-2006
  »  New  Another light for the LS tunnel: transformer-attenuator..  Thinking About the "Optimum" Pre-Amp...  Audio Discussions  Forum     26  160050  03-11-2007
  »  New  Sansui TU-X1 Broadcast monitor...  Replace all audio coupling......  Off Air Audio Forum     46  329236  06-20-2007
  »  New  Disregard Digital with Vacuum Tube output..  Microphone’s and cartridge preamps/correctors vs. DACs...  Audio For Dummies ™  Forum     3  30368  12-08-2007
  »  New  Lamm hybrids: M1.2 vs. Lamm M1.1..  Lamm hybrids: M1.2 vs. Lamm M1.1...  Audio Discussions  Forum     0  21558  12-12-2007
  »  New  Cable Current Loading..  The Purist’s Problems...  Audio Discussions  Forum     5  25538  05-14-2008
  »  New  Lamm introduced LL1 Signature Preamp…..  An Oscar for the most retarded comment printed in audio...  Audio Discussions  Forum     19  100437  05-16-2009
  »  New  A quests for an ultimate preamp...  Balance Control...  Audio Discussions  Forum     5  40602  05-16-2009
  »  New  A new generation of full-function preamps...  Preamps vs. music servers....  Audio Discussions  Forum     4  31816  08-29-2011
  »  New  Remote control, problems, money and stupid journalism..  Imperial expansion...  Audio Discussions  Forum     4  7229  04-09-2017
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