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Orphean tweak.. (Orphean)

by Bert @, Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 22:34 (3927 days ago)

Hi All,

Playing with several amps lately (A, B, D, and T's) showed weird things on some of them that should not be.... :no:

We only have two amps left and those will be the Redwine Sig 30 and a dedicated BD30 amplifier not optimised for bass only. To our own surprise this BD30 (standard version optimised for bass) sounded rather well and kicked the PS-Audio "D" amplifier out of the room...(the NuForce amps were already brought back to their owner).

More about this in a few weeks after the Redwine and the BD30's are burned in properly and we have done an honest shootout between these compared to the LadyDay so that we can give a full "review" of our experiences with a selection of all type of amps on the market today.

Okay, back to the "weird" things...

Most Tube amplifiers, Class A amplifiers and Class B amplifiers act normal on speakers with impedance variations.

Class D (NuForce and PS-Audio as example) starts to show a lift in the top frequencies (above 10kHz) giving more "air" to the sound caused by this rise in amplitude. Not a real problem but not 100% honest and probably making them sound "better" to people.

Class T is the worst and most sensitive to impedance changes. I have seen this with the Sonic T and today the Redwine Sig 30's showed the same extreme sensitive behaviour... :shame:

Other T-amps like the TA10 will probably show the same...

In combination with the Orphean this is not good, very disappointing to listen to these amps in this situation. I am sure that most speakers will change their whole tonal balance in the higher frequencies too simply because of this sensitivity to impedance changes.

NOTE: There are no dynamical speakers on the market having a flat impedance like a resistor.

[img]images/uploaded/image38.gif[/img]

The shown external tweak for the Orphean cures this T-Amp problem with the shown notch though (should only be included when using a T-Amp!) at the left side of the diagram where the speaker drawn is showing the Orphean's inputs.

The parts at the right side are showing a tweak giving the Orphean a better tonal balance if you feel that they are sounding a bit too forwarded, the resistor might not be needed (try and listen yourself if you prefer this or not). This tweak can be applied no matter what type of amplifier you are using but in combination with a T amplifier this will sound worse unless you use the T-tweak (the notch) too...

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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Orphean tweak..

by angeloitacare, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 03:35 (3927 days ago) @ Bert

hi Bert

u are right, the tube amp makes the orpheans sound dull, while with the ta10.1 they sound more open, mutch more dinamics, and fast. i enjoy that much more. of course i do not have measuring instruments, to see what is more flat. my criteria is just my ear. also what is more accurate, i dont know. if i have to choose between a more accurate reproduction, and to have just more fun, i choose to have more fun. ( that's just me ) BTW, some people tried to send me emails from europe , but they return. i send you two emails regarding the filter for the bass, as it does not work, but no answer.

rds Angelo

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Orphean tweak..

by Bert @, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 09:23 (3927 days ago) @ angeloitacare

Angelo,

u are right, the tube amp makes the orpheans sound dull, while with the
ta10.1 they sound more open, mutch more dinamics, and fast. i enjoy that
much more. of course i do not have measuring instruments, to see what is
more flat. my criteria is just my ear. also what is more accurate, i dont
know. if i have to choose between a more accurate reproduction, and to have
just more fun, i choose to have more fun. ( that's just me )

No problem with that but do tell people that the higher midrange and tweeter range is playing about 6dB stronger than they should do in combination with your T-amp. I am sure that there are not many people liking what they hear at your place...

If for you the sound is too dull with a normal acting amplifier then things are wrong at the source or you have an hearing problem.

people tried to send me emails from europe , but they return. i send you
two emails regarding the filter for the bass, as it does not work, but no
answer.

I will check my SPAM box to see if your emails landed in there.

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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Orphean tweak..

by angeloitacare, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 14:14 (3927 days ago) @ Bert

hi Bert

good to know what actually makes the Tamp sound so different to the tube amp.
as i will make a operation, i had to test my ears. They hear still like a child:grin:
my horns are beeing painted, ( i choose red automotive color, should be gorgeous) when they come back home, i will see if i enjoy to hear the mid-highs with the tube amp , as it does, as u say, sound more "correct".
quit wondering how the redwine performs compared to the sonic impact. The TA10 is a improoved version ot it, so it certainly does not sound too different. Even not broke in, can u tell alerady the differences ? As i have a client for the TA10, i am thinking to switch to the Redwine, but it does only make sense, if the difference is so hudge as the manufacturer claims.

rds angelo

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Orphean tweak..

by Bert @, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 14:30 (3927 days ago) @ angeloitacare

Angelo,

quit wondering how the redwine performs compared to the sonic impact. The
TA10 is a improoved version ot it, so it certainly does not sound too
different. Even not broke in, can u tell alerady the differences ? As i
have a client for the TA10, i am thinking to switch to the Redwine, but it
does only make sense, if the difference is so hudge as the manufacturer
claims.

The Redwine sounds much cleaner than the Sonic T and has more balls. The higher output power and the clean battery supply being most responsible for that I guess...

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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Orphean tweak..

by Cappy @, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 19:33 (3927 days ago) @ Bert
edited by unknown, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 19:47

In addition to the batteries and higher power, the oil caps in the Red Wines probably make a big difference: to smooth out the distortion/noise/hash throughout the frequency spectrum that class-d/class-t amps seem to have as a rule.

Also oil caps will roll off the highs somewhat which will help.

They also probably improve the nasty metallic tone of class-d/class-t.

Now that I think about it, because of the oil caps, the notch filter may be a bit too strong for the Red Wine amps.

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Orphean tweak..

by PeterSt. ⌂ @, Netherlands, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 20:52 (3927 days ago) @ Cappy

Hi Cappy,

Although I did not hear the RedWine myself yet, I think what you state makes perfectly sense. Be careful though with "metallic", because this might well be a masking of something else wrong in the chain.
For that matter, what "we" found so far, is that uneven dynamics are created "just" by a lifted frequency response in the higher regions, which in the beginning sounds appealing because it unveils data which otherwise is not audible. This is fake, and just unbalanced.

The unveiling of the detail -as how we now found it- is about speed of the amp (and resolution of the speaker of course), as a "superceeding" (?) to the normal data; uplifted highs though, just reveil by not being masked by lower frequencies.
The latter is very unbalanced.

I hope I make sense.
Peter

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Orphean tweak..

by Cappy @, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 21:02 (3927 days ago) @ PeterSt.
edited by unknown, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 21:37

Peter,

Yes, what you say makes sense. I appreciate the research you guys are doing on this topic.

Regarding the metallic tone, I believe I have now heard a decent enough sample of these kind of amps, on various systems, to satisfy myself that the metallic tone is a general class-d/class-t deficiency.

But I am open to other interpretations with more data.

As I was saying, probably the oil caps improve the tone. I haven't heard any of these amps with good oil caps.

With audiophiles, there seems to be a wide range of sensitivity to amplifier transistor colorations. I am definitely at the very sensitive side of the spectrum.

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by PeterSt. ⌂ @, Netherlands, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 21:43 (3927 days ago) @ Cappy

Cappy,

Regarding the metallic tone, I believe I have now heard a decent enough
sample of these kind of amps, on various systems, to satisfy myself that
the metallic tone is a general class-d/class-t deficiency.

I agree, although I must try to look (ehh, hear) through your ears of playback which shows that by nature. So what do I say ?

First of all that the "metallic" sound you indicate is a matter of harshness induced by improper playback means. Thus, e.g. Bert (and me :wink:) would not agree with that at all. That is, not anymore. However, what *we* perceive by that today, is sibilance or "greyness" or possibily both (I myself am not sure yet whether it is mutually exclusive).

What we also found, is that these amps are highly sensible to what happened before them in the chain, just as that they are sensible to what happens after them. An example of the latter is what this thread is about, but cables do matter very much the same, and as we found the player contributes much as well.

If you'd know how "sensitive" a nos-DAC is to these similar matters, you understand what I mean. And trust me : the phenomenon like "when the music get's full of noises the nos-DAC can't cope" is history also (it's a wrong player incurring for that). I expect kind of similar for the D-T-amp, although *we* -so far- couldn't get a grip on it. Yeah, the lifted higher freq. response ... but there's more to it IMO.

So far, and unscientifically worked out, I say the keyword is Ringing. Mainly post-ringing which a normal amp would mask. Maybe a D-T will not be able to because of it's fastness ... it causes your perceived harshness, or when properly fed to the amp : greyness.
Again, no scientific proof, and don't ask me to further explain ... just a feeling ...

Peter

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Orphean tweak..

by Cappy @, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 21:52 (3926 days ago) @ PeterSt.
edited by unknown, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 22:01

Peter,

What you say makes sense.

I've got a Trends TA-10.1, and I am hearing the metallic tone on vinyl as well as digital. It needs more break-in, but I doubt the coloration is going to go away.

The class-d amps I have heard like the Jeff Rowlands (Icepower, I think?) have all had digital front ends, however...

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by Bert @, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 22:03 (3926 days ago) @ Cappy

Hi Cappy,

I've got a Trends TA-10.1, and I am hearing the metallic tone on vinyl as
well as digital. It needs more break-in, but I doubt the coloration is
going to go away.

Don't forget the correction needed for T-amps as started this topic!

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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Orphean tweak..

by Cappy @, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 22:10 (3926 days ago) @ Bert

I haven't. But I doubt that is going to fix the problem either. It is too endemic to the whole presentation. And it is the same coloration I've heard with other systems, other speakers.

But one never knows unless one trys it...

Now those other systems I listened to didn't have a notch filter either. That (and/or oil caps) probably would have helped!

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by Bert @, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 22:24 (3926 days ago) @ Cappy

Cappy,

Now those other systems I listened to didn't have a notch filter either.
That (and/or oil caps) probably would have helped!

It will probably not remove the "greyness" I have heard through the Sonic T but at least the tonal balance is way better and then you will hear the heart of the amp speaking more clearly...

The PS-Audio did sound great the first days but during time it started to bother, too much of something that should not be there. The Sonic T has way too much of everything...only the NuForce seemed different, almost if you could see through the "grey" but in the end that one didn't make it either.

Reviewers should listen to a certain amps for more than one week at least to learn about their true nature. Just like a beautifull girl blinding you for everything :drool: until you wake up with her in the morning.... :shame:

So far the Redwine is still holding... playing without bothering me too much (tweak included, without it would have been packed yesterday to be send back!). Still sounding pretty nice, well detailed and relative clean. It is my second day with it though, too soon to tell. I will go back to the LD's at the end of this week and then I will hear what I have gained and what I am loosing with the Redwine..

Next one on the list will be the dedicated BD30, already burning in....

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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by PeterSt. ⌂ @, Netherlands, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 22:10 (3926 days ago) @ Cappy

Ha ! The PS Audio Icepower sounds "grey". :grin:

Cappy, in the very end, as we found -both feet back on the ground- it comes down to evolvement. Try to imagine HOW the players are playing. When that doesn't work, something is wrong, no matter the perceived resolution or detail etc.
But you probably know that ...

Peter


PS: I found that the better such an amp shows resolution, the more it started to sound "digital" again ... and we were just getting away from that ... :shame:
Better resolution should sound more sprankling, not more grey or more digital / harsh for that matter ...
(which in the end shows that at least I am not sure what is going on ... yet).

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by Cappy @, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 22:12 (3926 days ago) @ PeterSt.

Interesting,

It sounds like your "grey" is my "metallic".

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by PeterSt. ⌂ @, Netherlands, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 22:15 (3926 days ago) @ Cappy

I am sure of that. Just because I (try to) know what player you are listening through. Like ASIO-Foobar is harsh to my (!) ears with a normal amp already.

Or do you use a normal CD player ?

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Orphean tweak..

by Cappy @, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 22:20 (3926 days ago) @ PeterSt.

I am using a normal DAC and transport, no PC-Audio currently.

Also, like I said, I get the coloration on vinyl. I tend to listen a lot more to vinyl.

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Orphean tweak..

by angeloitacare, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 22:25 (3926 days ago) @ Cappy

hi Cappy

my TA10.1 is broke in, the only thing that got away was clipping. Beside this, its sound characteristic continues the same. I think you guys are describing
accurately what these amp's do. It is very appealing to me, i like it, but
i have seriously to reconsider if it's not better to have more "natural" sound.
Have you compared the Trends direct with the RedWinde ? u have both, right ?
can u tell abought the differences ?

rds Angelo

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by PeterSt. ⌂ @, Netherlands, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 22:50 (3926 days ago) @ angeloitacare

Angelo,

Beside this, its sound characteristic continues the same.

Not being sure whether you intend this positively or not, this is a VERY important thing to note about (it seems) all of these amps : they project a certain characterictic to each and every track which can't be true (hmm ... by now I'm sure you don't mean that Angelo, but I do :wink:).

Obviously it is hard to put into words what this sounds like, but the fact this "flavour" gets into all of your music is ... well, plain wrong.

What I mean is unrelated to greyness, harshness, being speedy, tight bass or whatever, it is a kind of "colour" (and I don't even say color hehe) that now makes the sound. Strangely enough, the colour would just be the opposite of it : more white. Not more clean; more white. Without livelyness. Without the ability to get involved ... attached.
Technically nice (the anomalies left alone).

Peter

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by Cappy @, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 22:55 (3926 days ago) @ PeterSt.
edited by unknown, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 23:15

Similarly, I would describe the sound as sterile, having no soul. Good bass, though :) Listen to Beck's latest "The Information" and rock out!

Personally, I would rather go snowboarding or hiking or read a book than listen to music with any of the class-d/t amps I've heard.

(I reserve the right to change my mind if I ever hear a good one, or if the notch tweak works!)

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by PeterSt. ⌂ @, Netherlands, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 23:24 (3926 days ago) @ Cappy

Personally, I would rather go snowboarding or hiking or read a book than
listen to music with any of the class-d/t amps I've heard.

LOL!
Very well expressed.

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by Bert @, Thursday, April 19, 2007, 00:01 (3926 days ago) @ Cappy

Similarly, I would describe the sound as sterile, having no soul. Good
bass, though :) Listen to Beck's latest "The Information" and rock out!

Just switched back to the LadyDays as the music started to aNoy me more and more. Normally music should make you relax, today the music worked the other way around as if somebody is pushing you the music like a commercial....

Best description of the LadyDay so far compared to the D and T amps is an OK looking woman, not perfect but sooo good to have her around and share your life with...

Enjoy life and only use D or T-amps if you like to be "dictated".

Back to the real music for a while longer.... :wink:

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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by PeterSt. ⌂ @, Netherlands, Thursday, April 19, 2007, 00:19 (3926 days ago) @ Bert

Bert, you are a wimp. You *promised* to keep it up :blush: until tomorrow evening at least ! :evil:

But ... but now from various directions T's and D's will have a return flight to their originators. So if anyone encounters a 240Mhz sibilance in the sky ...

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by Bert @, Thursday, April 19, 2007, 00:24 (3926 days ago) @ PeterSt.

Bert, you are a wimp. You *promised* to keep it up :blush: until tomorrow
evening at least ! :evil:

Yeah, yeah.... it will play more, no worries but the next 200 hours with resistors only. Then the amp has played for 220 hours and should be ready for the real test together with the BD30's which then will have had the same time loosening up...

The PS-Audio had way more hours and so was the NuForce and that didn't help them. I am therefore rather sceptical...

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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by PeterSt. ⌂ @, Netherlands, Thursday, April 19, 2007, 00:27 (3926 days ago) @ Bert

Poor resistors. :heat:

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Trends TA10.1 Tweaks

by Cappy @, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 22:52 (3926 days ago) @ angeloitacare

Angelo,

I don't have the RedWine, nor have I heard it. I was just conjecturing on what the oil caps would do based on hearing oilers in other contexts.

There are some inexpensive modifications you could make to your amp that would likely improve the naturalness. Who knows, maybe it would even get close to, meet, or even exceed the RedWine.

First, replace the input caps with oils. Here is a thread on AudioCircle where a guy replaced the signal caps with pretty inexpensive (but favorably reviewed) Obbligatos. Look at page three of this discussion:

http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/index.php?topic=36831.20

[img]http://home.kabelfoon.nl/~ellruss/mods/P1010100.JPG[/img]

You could even use the Jensens like the RedWine uses if you want to get more spendy.

Oilers aren't going to fit in the current case, unfortunately. But a wooden, copper lined case would probably sound better anyway. Or just do what the Obbligato cap guy did, hang 'em outside the case.

Second, do something about the power delivery. Probably best would be a battery supply like the RedWine. Trends is coming out with one. I bet it will be inexpensive, like the amp. Otherwise you can rig up your own. If you do your own, be extremely careful how you wire the power plug into the amp - if you get the leads mixed up you will smoke your amp.

If you do use AC from the wall, at least do something to keep the back wave of noise from getting into the rest of the system. I am using an isolation transformer and that definitely helps. In addition to an isolation transformer, you could do a search for "Hammond 193L" on AudioCircle, to find a powerline inductor tweak.

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by PeterSt. ⌂ @, Netherlands, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 22:40 (3926 days ago) @ Cappy

Cappy,

Then, of course, I can't be sure what you hear. The only thing I can tell by experience that with CD playback you will bee hearing all kinds of anomalies from the (high freq) laser, maybe wrong reading and instability (I mean opposite of robustness) of the player.

Generally spoken : I don't think a CD transport can match up with PC playback with the proper prerequisites, But hey, it is known by know that I think so. :cool: But of course this is not because I just provocate PC playback ... I thought it could be better for logical reasons, and it appears to be true.

Much more interesting though (to me) is about the vinyl you are stating ...
If I run analogue reel to reel (up to 38cm/s) they sound the most digital (no matter what sampling rate, up to 192) ... so is that about poor A/D conversion maybe ?
No matter the answer, do note that a D-T (a D even more) acts like a DAC because of the means the signal is processed.

Anyway, we are on a good route to get more and more off topic. :yes:

So ... like Bert said, it is a very good idea to tweak the Orpheans so you at least don't have the fake details as I described. Do note that the difference is around 10dB in the 14-15K regions. This is not good ...
... If things are not okay in whatever part of the system, they get very much pronounced in that area by a T.
Bring that back to normal proportions, and you can judge the amp for its merits better ...

Peter

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by PeterSt. ⌂ @, Netherlands, Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 22:16 (3926 days ago) @ PeterSt.

Btw, the NuForce does not sound grey, but has a bunch of sibilance (which the PS Audio has not to my ears).

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Orphean tweak..

by fu_man @, Thursday, April 19, 2007, 04:29 (3926 days ago) @ Bert

Bert,
I would l ike to try out your panacea for T-amps on my RWA sig 30.... however I am a dummie!... Could you please describe the parts on your diagram so I can make a litlle shopping list.:blush:

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by Bert @, Thursday, April 19, 2007, 08:45 (3926 days ago) @ fu_man

Hi fuman,

I would l ike to try out your panacea for T-amps on my RWA sig 30....
however I am a dummie!... Could you please describe the parts on your
diagram so I can make a litlle shopping list.:blush:

The suggested tweak only works in combination with the Orphean as it is basically correcting the impedance of those. Other speakers need another cure...

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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Orphean tweak..

by fu_man @, Thursday, April 19, 2007, 10:10 (3926 days ago) @ Bert

oh bum! thanks anyway...

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Orphean tweak..

by kurt s @, Thursday, April 19, 2007, 21:35 (3926 days ago) @ Bert

I use a 45-based SET amp. I think it's fantastic with my Orpheans.

I do have a slightly different mod for it that makes me enjoy it the most. I have the 4.7 uF capacitor across the midrange but no inductor across the tweeter (doesn't seem to need it). I also have a parallel RLC circuit that is placed in series before the whole horn speaker, but the values I chose are different: R = 4.7 ohms, L = 0.33 mH, and C = 3.3 uF SCR polypropylene plus 0.22 uF Relcap teflon (3.52 uF total). This lowers the presence region a bit.

For the crossover components I chose the copper foil Duelunds for both mids and tweeters.

I think it's now completed break-in, and I do believe this is about the best sounding system I have ever heard. Transparency and dynamics are incredible.

Tweaking for one amp is pretty hard to figure out, but tweaking for all kinds of amps has to be truly difficult.


Kurt

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by Bert @, Thursday, April 19, 2007, 21:52 (3925 days ago) @ kurt s

Hi Kurt,

Thanks for your continous input, very helpfull to all of us! :wink:

I do have a slightly different mod for it that makes me enjoy it the most.
I have the 4.7 uF capacitor across the midrange but no inductor across the
tweeter (doesn't seem to need it). I also have a parallel RLC circuit that
is placed in series before the whole horn speaker, but the values I chose
are different: R = 4.7 ohms, L = 0.33 mH, and C = 3.3 uF SCR
polypropylene plus 0.22 uF Relcap teflon (3.52 uF total). This lowers the
presence region a bit.

Then it seems that your amp is a bit sensitive to impedance changes too hence the need for the notch...

The only amps needed that notch so far are the T-amps. Not the D amps, not the BD30's (hehe, burning in beautiful!) , not an A-B amp and not the LadyDays either...

I think it's now completed break-in, and I do believe this is about the
best sounding system I have ever heard. Transparency and dynamics are
incredible.

Thanks, good the hear that you enjoy them as much as I do! :cool:

Tweaking for one amp is pretty hard to figure out, but tweaking for all
kinds of amps has to be truly difficult.

There are different amps (only the sensitive to impedance ones), there is taste and there is even the source....I am pretty confident that 95% of the amps used today will show the same tonal balance now with the last tweaks.

Still, everybody should feel free to experiment with the values (not by too much though!) as these can be used to tweak to personal environment...

Do not use cheap parts as this will show their own character clearly through the Orpheans and then a better tweak migth sound worse in the end...

Ciao,

Bert

--
BD-Design - Only the Best!

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