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   Home » Melquiades Amplifier » Valve Preamplifier for Macondo/DSET (34 posts, 2 pages)
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04-29-2019 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
anthony
Posts 235
Joined on 08-18-2014

Post #: 26
Post ID: 25397
Reply to: 25396
So playful
I cannot find the Gorenstein version of Gogol Suite in Australia but it is available on Discogs and Amazon overseas for extortion prices.  Streamed it from Youtube, not Gorenstien, but someone else, and it really made me smile.  Listened to another version on Tidal, but not as playful a performance.    I do like it.

ABC Classic FM is pretty good.  I have it on the radio in my ute all the time and have picked up some gems over the years.  Mind you it is the only classical music station on our airwaves, at least where I live, so I have nothing to compare.

As a general rule my digital sound quality list is as follows, from worst SQ to best:  Internet streaming via Youtube >>  Internet streaming via Tidal  >> playback from local computer files via XXHE, whether they are downloaded from Tidal or ripped from CD. 

To my way of thinking apart from Youtube MP3's, the difference in sound between internet streaming from Tidal and playback of those very same downloaded files is computer hardware, and how it is managed.  XXHE does this management brilliantly.

Mastering to me is a whole other thing.  I am getting back into vinyl because it gives me access to different mastering.  So much of the music that I listen to is compressed rubbish but I still manage to adore it no matter how much I wish the compressor stayed out of the production.

Yes, I certainly do practice delta listening, at least from time to time.  It is useful in particular circumstances where I am trying to figure out if I should sell my dac for another one (haha) but unless one has an eye for the "whole picture" delta listening can be detrimental.  A good example of this is the Killerdac that I mentioned earlier in this thread.  It is so, so good at what the owners listened to that I was envious, but when it tried to play my kind of music it fell in a pile...it was not even good.  The dac had been infinitely tuned and tweaked selecting this tiny length of "god" wire here, this particular $$$ capacitor there, this particular resistor there et cetera and perhaps the tweaker only listened to the same narrow music selection (I don't know if this is true, it is just a guess) the dac was a fail with complex music.  Anything that does not sound good on the Killerdac is said by the group to be poorly mastered or compressed.  Well, I don't know.  Maybe they are right.  The implication of that thinking is that when playback attains a "certain level" you can only stand to play be best recordings?  I don't buy it.  And I don't want that.  Well I do want to get to that "certain level" but in doing so I do not want the poorer quality recordings to sound more like festering turds than they do on a lesser playback, because I like a lot of poorly produced music.  If they sound ordinary that is fine, but not worse, surely.

So, apart from the delta listening, I also practice long-term listening where I let things sit and not think about them.  I get to play whatever music my mood determines for a week or a month.  Sometimes there are certain things about a change that I enjoy at first but it has some detrimental side-effect that I did not notice at first.  Digital is like that, at least to me.  Mood is such an influence on my musical enjoyment: I hear things differently if stressed or happy or introspective or busy or if I expect something to help or am ambivalent about a change.  Long-term listening evens out those mood peaks and troughs and lets me figure out what it is that satisfies me.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
Does it make the component B “better”? Not necessary and it take some time to understand it within yourself.  You need to work with yourself, your undersetting of the work, learning about the performer and circumstances of the play, the recording techniques, listen many other interpretations, listen your own objectives and interests…. then the answer of “interpretation properness” will come to you. A component that “helps” you and that create less ambiguity of your own confusions should be recognized as better. A component that will push you for more polar or radical interpretations should be recognized as better but it has to be viewed in context of other this as well. A component that pushes you listening preferences away from bad music or weak interpretations should be recognized as better.

   I am on-board with this style of thinking, but am not "there" yet.  Here is an example of "learning the performer and circumstances of play" and "interpretation properness" and "more polar or radical interpretations".  I have had a musical crush on Beth Gibbons since I was young and she was the lead for trip-hop duo Portishead.  Her solo album is still played regularly.  For this work she learned to sing the Polish lyrics to Gorecki 3 and absolutely nailed it I think.  Certainly not a traditional interpretation or performance but she is the queen of mourning and loss and does it as only she can.  I love it...you may disagree.

Here is the Tidal link...for a better quality version.

...or the second act on Youtube

https://youtu.be/zrYxBNziy24
04-30-2019 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,616
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 27
Post ID: 25398
Reply to: 25397
An adagio...
Yep, the Gorecki 3 is a famous work. There was some controversy around. Jewish interests highjacked the work it as the Sorrowful theme of Holocaust but Gorecki admitted that it was not his intention although closer to the end of his life he was more included to agree with jewdification of his work. I do not like the cheap publicity. If the society feel so companionate about Holocaust then Pease Nobel Peace in 2007 should not be withdrawn from polish lady Irena Sendler and be given to a multimedia clown. Anyhow, if you like Gorecki 3 then you might try the Andante from Mahler 6 symphony. 
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyrBhI7LrcU


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-30-2019 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
anthony
Posts 235
Joined on 08-18-2014

Post #: 28
Post ID: 25399
Reply to: 25398
I finally measured the dac output
...and it is a neat 1.5VRMS with zero attenuation.  So with my -6dB it puts out 0.75VRMS, so not quite as bad as I thought.  I will have to do some listening to try and determine whether -6dB is needed or if I can get away with less attenuation (zero would be ideal).

Last night I did the maths on the LCR phono that I intend to build and it should have 0.9V output with a balanced SUT or 1.8V output with a singled ended SUT, which equates to 73db-79dB total gain.  Again, I wish there was more output but it is what it is.  The balanced input is roughly the same as my attenuated dac.

Also, I've contacted Guy Hammel about a Placette line amplifier so I will see were that goes.  I do not want another box so it is going to have to fit into the current linestage box if I decide to go that way.  This afternoon I will order a bit more stuff to finish my diy SS pre with gain and try to get it finished as quickly as I can so that I can measure just how much voltage input I need for the DSETs in my room.

05-04-2019 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,181
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 29
Post ID: 25401
Reply to: 25390
Burson and SMD
Anthony, looking again at a possible least approach for upstream gain for your developmental stage, I thought the Burson "discreet" OpAmps were often used as "substitutes" for more typical SMD type op amps, and therefore SMD compatible.  Since I don't have gain problems, I still haven't invested much time on this but only followed up out of curiosity.

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/parts/290827-burson-supreme-sound-opamp-v5-experience-4.html

Setting aside the evaluations, it seems like there is the potential for relatively inexpensive, reasonably painless gain, along with local parental support, given the clean PS and DC blocking also mentioned.


Best regards,
Paul S
05-10-2019 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
anthony
Posts 235
Joined on 08-18-2014

Post #: 30
Post ID: 25404
Reply to: 25399
The Placette has died
Well, probably not up in smoke, but it is just not functional any more.  I was away for a few days and came back to my room to find the Placette refusing to change volume or select a source input, so something is amiss.  Perhaps something has been amiss for some time which may explain why I have not found it as transparent as Romy and others.  

There is no time at the moment to look under the hood for the fault.  I've been listening to my dac directly connected to the DSET and it is so nice...but not loud.  The amps are getting the full 1.5V output but it is not loud enough, of course.

On another point, I have been reading a little about pre-amplification and current output and output impedance.  Up to this point I had not realised that the ability of a preamp to drive capacitive loads has almost nothing to do with low output impedance, but is all to do about current output.  A beast such as the DSET with 6 x triodes and a few inductors and capacitors at the input is likely to be a mighty capacitive load.  This needs to be measured.  If one stage cannot sink enough current into the next (i.e. the current clips) higher frequencies will roll off.  The limiting factors are input capacitance of the DSET, desired frequency response, preamp voltage output and desired headroom.

DSET Input Capacitance:  to be measured
Desired Frequency response:  The RAAL ribbons are good to 50kHz or so I think, so I choose that
Preamp voltage output: 4VRMS to drive DSET to clipping
Desired Headroom:  x10 (20dB)

So, I have to measure the input capacitance of my DSET and then do some math to figure out how much current my preamp needs to produce in order to satisfy the load.
05-11-2019 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,616
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 31
Post ID: 25405
Reply to: 25404
Not necessarily...
 anthony wrote:
Well, probably not up in smoke, but it is just not functional any more.  I was away for a few days and came back to my room to find the Placette refusing to change volume or select a source input, so something is amiss.  Perhaps something has been amiss for some time which may explain why I have not found it as transparent as Romy and others.  
Ok, your Placette did not die. This is “normal” for Placette, I wish it did not have it but it does. The way how Placette is made it need to be plug in all time. If you unplug the Placette for prolog period of time then it need a few days to be powered to have the remote control functionality start operating again, the manual controls still should be working, if you have them. So, let it run for a day or two and your Placette’s control will be back. Another very important thing. The Placette is powered by main 120V power that drive output stage and by flimsy computer-grade low voltage adapter, connected separately. Why Placette was made this way is beyond me but it is what it is. The voltage adapter should be not in operation after the volume was changed so, it should not be a factor in quality. However, over the years I have seen that the low voltage adapter get weaker and impact the remote control functionality. Also, the type of the low voltage adapter I used did have very profound impact to sound, which absolutely makes no sense. I had 4 or 5 of them over the year and the difference was very noticeable. Again there is no explanation for it but it is what it is. Ask Guy to send you a new power adapter, it costs like $20-$30, and you might find that it worth it.
 anthony wrote:
On another point, I have been reading a little about pre-amplification and current output and output impedance.  Up to this point I had not realised that the ability of a preamp to drive capacitive loads has almost nothing to do with low output impedance, but is all to do about current output.  A beast such as the DSET with 6 x triodes and a few inductors and capacitors at the input is likely to be a mighty capacitive load.  This needs to be measured.  If one stage cannot sink enough current into the next (i.e. the current clips) higher frequencies will roll off.  The limiting factors are input capacitance of the DSET, desired frequency response, preamp voltage output and desired headroom.
Yes, it is factor but it is also not. There are very few topologies that can give out a very low, let say sub 10R output. Mostly we are taking about SS DC coupled topologies… It happened that in the realm of a few oHms output any devise will drive a capacitive load.

PS: I need to say that the subject of you post “The Placette has died” make me to cringe. I imagine if my Placette dies then why the hell I would be doing!? In my experience it is VERY hard to find sub 10R pream with proper sound and if my Placette died it would be a disaster for my system


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-13-2019 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
anthony
Posts 235
Joined on 08-18-2014

Post #: 32
Post ID: 25412
Reply to: 25405
The damn wall wart
 Romy the Cat wrote:
However, over the years I have seen that the low voltage adapter get weaker and impact the remote control functionality. Also, the type of the low voltage adapter I used did have very profound impact to sound, which absolutely makes no sense. I had 4 or 5 of them over the year and the difference was very noticeable. Again there is no explanation for it but it is what it is. Ask Guy to send you a new power adapter, it costs like $20-$30, and you might find that it worth it.


Interesting.  Yes, the remote has been suffering from reduced functionality but the batteries still measured 1.5V each so I put them back in.  The wall wart getting weaker might be the problem.  Since it has arrived, I've run the Placette from a step down transformer feeding it about 120V instead of the normal 240V in Aus.  To achieve this both the power cord and the wall wart for the Placette are plugged into the variac, which I had forgotten about until I turned it off the other day.  The wall wart power is used only to change the relays and should be plugged into a different, general household, power circuit to the power cord for the linestage circuits, and of course I have never done this because I have only one variac to step down to 120V.  The long-term intention was always to change-out the transformers and wall wart to suit 240V mains so I can plug things directly into the wall, but it has never happened.

I must say that with the Placette turned off the Phasure dac direct driving the DSET has never sounded so good.  Perhaps my Placette transperancy issue is caused by the wall wart injecting noise into my audio mains circuit when it should be injecting it into a different circuit.  Perhaps it is the variac causing the issue, or even the Placette itself as I originally thought.

First thing to do is make good on converting that wall wart to 240V so it can be plugged into a different circuit.  Output according to the label is 5V 1A, and I have some linear power supplies already made for a different (abandoned) project that will handle that easily.  So when I get some time I will re-purpose one of them and experiment further with the Placette.

Romy, thanks for your input here, I had put looking at it in the "let's do that later" basket which probably means quite some time down the track.  I would be interested to hear roughly how the different power supplies have changed the sound, and if you plug the wall wart into a separate non-audio circuit or if it goes into your PP3000.  
05-13-2019 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,616
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 33
Post ID: 25415
Reply to: 25412
My experience might be limited but....
Come on, Anthony, you need to “clean your room” as Peterson say before you move forward. Variac is notoriously bad for sound, at least 3 types that I tried were horrible. I do not see why Placette cannot run from 220V, confirm it with Guy. Both line stage circuits AND the adopter that powers the switches circuit MUST be plug into good quality of power source. The adopter that powers the switches in my view much be replaced each 3-4 years and they get weaker for some reasons. Each time I updated my adopter I got better sound, do not ask me why as they should be affecting sound at all. Be advised that I still at suspicion of what you do as I personally do not feel that your DAC can stress Placette into being not transparent. I owned some nice gear and I NEVER was able to recognize Placette as being less transparent element in chain. I do not insist that I am right  and I understand that I should not never say never but from what I have done personally I feel that Placette is quite unique in term of bypassing performance.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-13-2019 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
anthony
Posts 235
Joined on 08-18-2014

Post #: 34
Post ID: 25420
Reply to: 25415
It's not just the dac...
...there is a degree of "sameness" with all sources into the Placette.  It may just be the variac or the wall wart or both. 

I talked with Guy back before I made the purchase and his recommendation was to use an external step down transformer rather than replacing the internal transformers.  Well I do not have a step-down but I do have the small variac so that is what I used.  I just pulled the lid off my Placette and the power transformers actually have dual 115V primaries, so I will be able to convert the unit to 230V operation.  Everything is glued down in there and directly soldered in place so I will talk to Guy first before I make the change...it might be a little bit tricky.
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