Tube gear...Finally

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Comments

  • HBombTooHBombToo Posts: 5,335
    edited November 2003
    Originally posted by pjdami
    The source was a Cal Audio Lab CL-15 cdp. Easily 85 - 90 db from the listening position if I wanted it (loud enough for me!).
    Paul

    Paul you say was... did you dump your Cal?

    I have the CL-20 and will never part with it. If the CL-15 is andything like my CL-20, the analog out stage is like 2 Vrms regardless and is such an accurate and smooth player it could make the worst amps sound good. Just an outstanding cd transport/player plus in my case DVD.

    I see where Frank is going and I do believe power is what he needs.

    HBomb
    ***WAREMTAE***
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited November 2003
    Tubes can seem more powerful than they are under certain circumstances. With efficient speakers they really bloom. They have mostly even order harmonics which are pleasurable as compared to odd order harmonics (like SS amps have) which do not harmonize with the other sounds. (sometimes called intermodulation distortion). A very small amout of IMD tells you the amp is up too far whereas harmonic distortion (which tube amps have) detract little from the performance. If the speaker is not efficient enough you never get to a reasonable listening level. Some speakers like the LSi series needs serious hp to get a reasonable listening level. Others are very loud before you reach a distorted level.

    In some ways it is like tuning an engine to a car. If you get everything tuned it is fast. If not it is slow. (horse power is only part of the equation). If for example the rear end gearing is too high for a low torque high hp engine the car will be slow.

    It seems that Franks 2B's are not efficient enough to use with tubes.

    Whatever the case it takes a lot of experience to match power amps to speakers. If you have enough raw power you can use anything but if you are using low power and hungry speakers then you won't get a reasonable listening level. (So it doesn't matter how good it sounds)
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • pjdamipjdami Posts: 1,898
    edited November 2003
    Paul you say was... did you dump your Cal?

    Hbomb,

    I don't own the Cal Audio cdp; it was setup at my local dealer. It sure is a sweet sounding cd player though. In fact the entire experience was exhilarating.

    Madmax,

    Thanks for the explanation.

    Frank,

    That's one killer looking tube amp. Wait till Organ reads this thread!

    P.
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited December 2003
    Thanks for all the feed back folks.

    Hopefully I can sell it quickly and try something a bit more powerful.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited December 2003
    Great review, Frank! You picked up some really nice gear there. I agree that with the LSi, the tube set up lacks deep bass. Even though it's less bass than my ss gear, it's enough for me. I don't even use my sub most of the time. But the mids and highs is the best I've heard. Just wondering, does your amp have impedance taps on the speaker outputs? When I switched from the 4 to 8ohms output for my LSi, the sound really improved due to more current flow.

    Try to listen to the tube amp again for a few weeks before selling it. I just switched back to my NAD gear for fun and even though I get more bass, it's not the same quality as tubes. You may notice this too if you listen to the tubes longer and switch back to ss. With a tube amp, the bass has more texture, warmth, better decay and it has character. If you decide to sell it, I'm sure you can get a very good deal because your unit is pretty much brand new. btw, those Svets in your amp are great tubes.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited December 2003
    madmax,
    That's a very good explanation. I also heard that tubes tend to compress the sound when pushed too hard and SS clip which is audible.

    Have you heard any of the Klipsch Reference line with a full tube set up? I'm getting a pair of RF-15 very soon. I noticed that the "tube magic" increases with higher efficiency speakers.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited December 2003
    Since we're talking tubes.....

    http://www.hometheatertalk.com/ubb/Forum8/HTML/000899.html

    Looks like a good deal.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited December 2003
    Originally posted by organ
    madmax,
    That's a very good explanation. I also heard that tubes tend to compress the sound when pushed too hard and SS clip which is audible.

    Have you heard any of the Klipsch Reference line with a full tube set up? I'm getting a pair of RF-15 very soon. I noticed that the "tube magic" increases with higher efficiency speakers.

    Maurice

    No, Sorry,
    I have only heard the larger SDA's, the LSi9's and 15's. I would like to try some incredibly efficient speakers.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited December 2003
    Well folks I've cancelled the sale here and on ebay until I get a few things resolved.

    I got an email from someone that purchased an amp that was made by the same guy and basically he did not get what he paid for. His amp was listed as being able to put out 10watts per channel but he ran into the same problem that I was having, not a lot of volume. He had his amp tested and was surprised to find out the output was .6 watts per channel!!!

    I cannot in good conscience sell this amp to anyone until I know that it is functioning properly and as advertised. I have sent an email to the folks that listed the amp originally on ebay asking for a refund, but I think I'm pretty much up the creek without a paddle on this deal. A very expensive lesson for me, but thats my fault for buying a non-name brand amp.

    I'm going to look into having this amp checked out to determine the actual output.

    I'll keep you folks posted.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • dorokusaidorokusai Posts: 25,487
    edited December 2003
    Frank - Sorry to hear of your misfortune, you are a stand up individual indeed. You should talk to some of the guys over at Audio Karma, they may have some insight as to how to fix, or what to do.
    CTC BBQ Amplifier, Sonic Frontiers Line3 Pre-Amplifier and Wadia 581 SACD player. Speakers? Always changing but for now, Mission Argonauts I picked up for $50 bucks, mint.
  • bikezappabikezappa Posts: 2,505
    edited December 2003
    Frank

    Make your own measurements.

    E= voltage or volts
    I=current or amperes
    R=resistance or ohms
    W= power or watts

    OHMS LAW is

    E=IR or

    I=E/R

    Power is

    W=IE or volts times amperes

    get rid of the I by substituting I=E/R in the powerequation

    or

    W=E times E/R

    Measure the peak volts across your speaker while listening to loud music. Assume the resistance of the speaker to be 4 ohms.

    Lets say you measure 5 volts and have 4 ohm speakers, the power or watts would be W=5volts times 5volts/ 4ohms=6.25watts.

    Have a blast.
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited December 2003
    Thanks guy!

    Do unto others as you would have done to you. A simple philosophy, but it works for me.;)

    Bike,
    I'm very familiar with ohm's law, but I do appriciate your jumping on board to help me out, thank you. The reason that I'm considering taking the amp to a shop and have it tested is so that I can have written proof from an independant 3rd party.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • bikezappabikezappa Posts: 2,505
    edited December 2003
    Just curious about how watts are measured in Hi Fi.

    If you have a volt meter anyone can do the measurement and calculate the watts to the speaker based on the listed resistance of the speaker. This is an average power measurement because the reisitance or impedance changes as a function of frequency. You can see from the equation:

    W=ExE/R

    that the lower the resistance the more power, with every thing else the same.

    After breakfast I am going to see what power I have to SDA SRS with an Adcom power amp.

    Keep you posted.
  • bikezappabikezappa Posts: 2,505
    edited December 2003
    Well I'm confused. I measured the voltage to my SDA speakers at different volume levels. I used an old reliable analog Triplet VOM to measure the volts. At the loadest I could stand I get maybe 10 volts to the speakers from my 300 watt Adcoms power amp. My calculation for output power to the speakers is

    W= 10Vx10V/4ohms=25 watts.

    I know that instantanious voltage could be higher and may not be measured with the VOM. I would need an oscilloscope to get true instantanious voltage measurement. I suppose that I could drive the speakers with a sign wave continuosly.

    Now I know that a 100 watt light bulb draws 1 ampere, so the bulb does infact consume about 100 watts of electricity because W=EI=120Vx1amp=about 120 watts.

    I guess there are HI Fi watts, tube watts and SS watts and electric watts. Watt's up? Can anyone explain this difference.

    Frank how did you measure the power from your tube amp??
  • Tour2maTour2ma Old School Posts: 10,176
    edited December 2003
    Frank,
    Bummer. Here's hoping for a positive resolution...

    bz,

    Several factors are involved. First the impedance speakers site is a nominal impedance, as in "your results will vary". Impedance varies with frequency fed, driver temp's, and other factors. So you need to measure more than just voltage simultaneously.

    You are on the mark with the need for an oscilliscope, but a signal generator is also necessary. I want to say that 1000 Hz is standard, but may be off here. I have also seen pink noise tests.

    Last there are continuous output tests and instantaneous tests (tone burst). In either you are looking for peak clipping. Instantaneous power rating can be anywhere from a couple percent higher to double the continuuous power...

    Here's a reference I found:
    Today, the primary standards are dictated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Many manufacturers also use standards developed by Industry associations—such as the Electronics Industry Association (EIA). Some manufacturers use other methods.

    Safety agencies (particularly those in the European Union, and Underwriters Laboratories here in the US) have developed standards for measuring average continuous power of an amplifier. These are used in turn to measure maximum AC line power consumption and to confirm maximum temperatures. Safety groups have determined that typical worst-case power for an amplifier amplifying an audio signal occurs at one-eighth of the non-clipped output power (measured with a 1 kHz tone).

    The amp is then “cooked” with a bandwidth-limited (20-20 kHz) pink noise signal whose power is equal to 1/8 of the tone full power. Measurements are then made for temperature and AC line power consumption. Thus 1/8 of the maximum tone power before clipping represents realistic worst-case continuous power levels for an audio amplifier.
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner
  • bikezappabikezappa Posts: 2,505
    edited December 2003
    Well your suggestion to use pink noise as a source was a good one. No more peak voltages to read. I put on my test CD that has a track with pink noise. I got up to 12volts. I couldn't go any higher before my ears broke started to bleed.

    Watts = 12X12/4=36watts

    I don't understand the 1/8 factor in the definition of continious power output. Why not use 1/16 or 1/32. Where does the 1/8 come from?

    I could measure the power to the power amp by measuring the current drawn and multiply by 120 to get power (Watts)consumed by the power amp. But that is not music power because I could just have 10 light bulbs in the power amp and that doesn't mean I have a 1000 watt amp. Or does it.

    Frank's thread about his tube amp asks the awuful question-how much electric power does the amp deliver to the speakers? How do you measure it?

    Hope I'm not messing with Frank's thread.
    How does a sevice tech measure power output of an amp?
  • Tour2maTour2ma Old School Posts: 10,176
    edited December 2003
    1/8 th comes from safety concerns for the overheating of amps...

    Here's a link to a recent FTC ruling... pertinent stuff starts around page 21. Summation is on pages 33 and 34. Oh yeah, notice of "The Paperwork Reduction Act" is on page 32... :D

    Oh, and power consumed by lightbulbs typically used in amps is negligible... or at least it should be...
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited December 2003
    I've never done it but this is my understanding. With a freq generator set at 1000 hz, a 4 or 8 ohm power resistor on the output and a scope measuring across the power resistor you turn the freq generator level up until you see the sine wave start to clip. Note the voltage of the signal on the scope. At that same voltage insert a current meter in series with the power resistor and note the current.

    Peak power = IxV
    RMS power = IxVx 0.707

    I would think that you could use voltage only as was demonstrated previously but you would still have to multiply the solution by 0.707 to get RMS power. (unless the voltage measurement is in RMS).

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • bikezappabikezappa Posts: 2,505
    edited December 2003
    Didn't see the site you refered to in the past post.

    Thanks for information.

    The impedance of any circuit is a function of only three things:

    resistance
    capacitance
    inductance

    The resistance doesn't change with frequincy.

    The capacitive, Rc=C/frequency , and inductive, Rl=Lfrequency, resistance changes with frequency.

    In fact, these are the only three components to ANY circuit ever designed or made...
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited December 2003
    Bike,
    Don't sweat hi-jacking this thread! I think it's great that others are jumping in to help out in any way they can. I'm grateful to tour and all others that post and offer a hand. Keep going guy's your helping Bike, myself, and everyone else that takes the time to read this sob story of mine!:)

    BTW,
    I haven't had time to take any measurements yet, I took the family out to hunt down a Christmas tree! We bagged a beauty! 3,987,208 point buck pine tree......Doc will be jealous!:D
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • bikezappabikezappa Posts: 2,505
    edited December 2003
    My Triplet VOM measures RMS voltage and an oscillascope will measure peak to peak voltage. You 100% correct.

    What I don't understand is the meaning of power amp ratings such as:

    100 watts per channel continious at 8 ohms.

    If W=ExE/R
    then
    E=sqaure root of (WR)= square root of (100voltsx8ohms)=28volts.

    This means that a 100 watt amp can supply 28 volts to an 8 ohm speaker.

    This 1/8 bull **** factor may be advertisement gimmick.

    A watt is a watt is a watt. Right?

    Do you realise how **** loud just 10 volts into your speaker is? Measure the voltage on your speaker connections. I bet you can't get past 10 volts.
  • Tour2maTour2ma Old School Posts: 10,176
    edited December 2003
    bz,

    Sorry 'bout forgetting to post the link. Here it is...
    http://www.ftc.gov/os/2000/12/amplifierrulefrn.pdf

    The above issue of the rule was brought about by the advent of multi-channel (>2 ch) amps for HT.

    The 1/8th is not an advertiser choice, it's in the rule.
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner
  • bikezappabikezappa Posts: 2,505
    edited December 2003
    Well Tour I read that 1/8 power story and it doesn't tell me the proceedure for measuring power output for an amplifier. The 1/8 rule as you said is about preconditioning, not sure what that is exactly

    How does one verify 300 watts/channel output in an amplifier?

    Is a Watt, a Watt. Is a Watt=Votage times Current?

    This is not rocket science but simple math.

    This seems like a basic question for any one who spends big bucks for electronic equipment.
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited December 2003
    I took the amp to an electronics repair shop this afternoon to have it checked out and get a written report of the findings. The gentleman that I spoke to said that he's going to check the output at both 4 and 8 ohms with a 1khz signal (Peak and RMS). He said that he'd also check it for the distortion that heard during warm-up and at the "higher" volumes, which is not very high. He also said that he'd check it out up to 10khz to see how it performs.

    I got back from the shop and I had an email message from the guy that built the amp. I had sent him a message regarding the problems that I was having about 10-14 days ago and of course I heard nuttin'! I sent him another message when I listed the amp on ebay telling him it was for sale and I wasn't happy with it all. Now all of a sudden he's all fired up about wanting to help, but no mention of a refund. I'll what to reply until I can send him a copy of the test results.

    If it gets ugly and he refuses to take the amp back I'll email every single person that bids on ebay auctions. Yes I am spiteful **** thank you very much!

    Who knows, maybe it will turn out to be a simple fix and I'll be embarassed for getting so bent out of shape, But at this point I really don't think that will be the case.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • dorokusaidorokusai Posts: 25,487
    edited December 2003
    Frank - Let things work themselves out....if it gets ugly, like you said....get spiteful :D
    CTC BBQ Amplifier, Sonic Frontiers Line3 Pre-Amplifier and Wadia 581 SACD player. Speakers? Always changing but for now, Mission Argonauts I picked up for $50 bucks, mint.
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited December 2003
    Good luck Frank! I've had friends who follow people around forever to spoil future auctions. It's a lot of fun but it doesn't buy you anything. Better to get the amp to proper specs and then sell it. One thing I noticed is that it is a no-feedback design. Even though the tubes are rated at 40 watts or whatever an amp design of this type is lesser in wattage than one with standard feedback. The reason people do this is to get a more pure output even though it is decreased. Of course the speakers must be super efficient. Not taking up for him because it may be defective, just throwing out a little info. If you want to try a Jolida 50 watt amp, known good, I'll be happy to ship you one to try (at your shipping cost). You are welcome to try and buy or ship back. Hoosiers amp would be a good choice as well. It should perform at an equal rate as the Jolida and you can be assured that he is a good seller as well. Just throwing mine in the mix. (I have 3 of them).
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited December 2003
    Max,
    Thanks for info and the amp offer! Russ is sending his ASL amp out to me this week so I'll give it listen first.

    *EDIT*
    I bought my Lsi9's from Russ. Smooth transaction, a true pleasure to do business with.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
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