Another DIY SS Amplifier with NVA Boards

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SteveTheShadow
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Re: Another DIY SS Amplifier with NVA Boards

Unread post by SteveTheShadow » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:44 pm

So after a week or so of messing with the valve amplifier. I got it sounding mighty fine and that's no lie.
Anyway, I brought down the DIY NVA amplifier, let it all warm through again, as it was metaphorically speaking, "stone cold" after being out of the system for about eight days.

So I'm sitting here, enjoying the music listening to Georgie Fame's 1969-1971 hits, and wondering why I'm still pissing about with valves at all. This is every bit as good, does not have the weight of a wall safe, puts out more power and uses far less electricity to do so. The upshot is that I've made a decision not to bother with valves anymore. There's nothing to be gained by continuing to use them.

My son gave up on valves about a year ago now and uses a Nelson Pass F5 power amp, built by (Lurcher300B) feeds it from one of his own BTE Designs passives and has never looked back. It's high time I joined him.

So DIYNVA it is now as far as amplification is concerned.
I sold off most of my valves last year when I got the A20/P20 combination. Now the DIYNVA will be seeing off my remaining stock as a job lot at Owston, free to a good home.

I've been torn between valves and the NVA version of solid state, since I got the A20 and latterly built the DIY power amp, but now intend to pursue my speaker designs; loads of stuff to catch up with there and a lot of too long neglected development work to do.

8-)
DIY NVA amplification ( roughly equivalent to NVA A60) BTE Designs passive preamp, BTE Designs Lenco L75 turntable, Rega R200 arm, Goldring E3 cartridge, NVA Phono 1
Musical Fidelity M1 DAC, AppleTV4 with Apple Music subscription, ripped CDs streamed via WD MyCloud Home Duo NAS, with PLEX media server.
Speakers - Large sealed cabs, with Fane 12-250-TC 12" full range drivers.

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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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Re: Another DIY SS Amplifier with NVA Boards

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:29 am

Valves in my opinion became a fall back point for flat earthers (Linn and Naim) when they either got fed up with the upgrade process rip-off and were still not happy. or were just generally unhappy with the music they had been given. Now the brainwash runs deep created by the magazines and retailers and because of them enthusiast word of mouth. Everyone knew no transistor amplifier could ever be better than a Naim so it had to be a complete change. Valves came back in the late 70s with TVA and (Anthony) Michealson and Austin. They caught fire fairly regularly and blew valves but they were different and sort of retro chic. From that the valve market emerged to have their own set of dealers (slurpers) and many companies jumping on the band wagon as they are easy to make. They had *a sound* that was the opposite to a Naim and more musical, so another *brainwash* was created where transistor amps were insulted and denied they could ever be as good.

Behind all this bullshit that dominates our hobby some designers were ploughing their own furrows making proper musical transistor amps like myself and Colin Wonfor, but were they accepted, of course not, no retailer would back them no matter how good, reality wasn't important the bullshit was!! Well Colin and I are now old gits and sadly Colin has decided to retire, where as I have found a niche, not trying to be big, enjoying what I do, and the pleasure of making my customers happy (at last).
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Classicrock
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Re: Another DIY SS Amplifier with NVA Boards

Unread post by Classicrock » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:30 pm

The only valve amps that sound any good are really expensive and certainly not the 300B variety. Even then they struggle to do bass properly. Some sound good in a musical sense such as Audio Note but they aren't half coloured. So they are in no way accurate except if you believe they correctly reproduce studio sound on sixties recordings, done with valves and tannoys in all likelihood. These would benefit in fact from the added clarity of solid state reproduction. Trouble is a lot of crap solid state amps, the worst I have heard being from Naim, Linn and earlier Rega designs. No wonder some people think valves are better. There always were better cheapish solid state amps out there from Japanese manufacturers but not recognised. Sony SE being one example and I have a nice sounding 30 year old Rotel in my office system. Main problem with a lot of these older models is input sensitivity too high for CD giving you limited volume adjustment. Why Russ Andrews was able to make loads of money on overpriced attenuators which do other undesirable things to the sound.

valvesRus
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Re: Another DIY SS Amplifier with NVA Boards

Unread post by valvesRus » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:41 pm

Classicrock wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:30 pm
The only valve amps that sound any good are really expensive and certainly not the 300B variety. Even then they struggle to do bass properly.
Let's just say that statement is a bit simplistic, and not necessarily correct.

But then I am biased. (get the pun ?) :lol:

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SteveTheShadow
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Re: Another DIY SS Amplifier with NVA Boards

Unread post by SteveTheShadow » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:00 pm

300B amps do not need to be coloured. It all depends how they are driven. The 300B is a pig to drive, needing lots of voltage swing and plenty of current to avoid slewing distortion. A great many commercial 300B amps have that coloured, midrangy sound with bass instruments coming over all warm, lovely and bloomy, precisely because they are working off inadequate driver valves. Manufacturers often make this crappy sound into a virtue, because there are some punters that actually want that sort of sound, which can be very attaractive if you've been having your ears assaulted by the old Naim type nastiness.

Given a good driver with a decent regulator strapped to it, modern 300B amps such as the ones Nick (Lurcher 300B) makes as one off, builds to order, a 300B amp can sound stunning. But these kinds of 300B amp are few and far between in the commercial retail environment.

The reason I've given up valves is simply because, why bother with them? Why, when you can get something such as the NVA A60 that will do that kind of sound for far less money, fuss and palaver and a damned sight more power and speaker driving chops, to boot.

Yes, valve amps look lovely, all lit up and softly glowing, and they are great fun to build, but in the end, I cant be arsed with them anymore; not because I think a good one is necessarily inferior to a good solid state amp, but because we move on, I get better quality music out of a built-from-boards NVA amp, and my primary interest is now developing my speaker builds.
DIY NVA amplification ( roughly equivalent to NVA A60) BTE Designs passive preamp, BTE Designs Lenco L75 turntable, Rega R200 arm, Goldring E3 cartridge, NVA Phono 1
Musical Fidelity M1 DAC, AppleTV4 with Apple Music subscription, ripped CDs streamed via WD MyCloud Home Duo NAS, with PLEX media server.
Speakers - Large sealed cabs, with Fane 12-250-TC 12" full range drivers.

Vinyl-ant
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Re: Another DIY SS Amplifier with NVA Boards

Unread post by Vinyl-ant » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:47 pm

I gave up with valves because the kt77 amp I had spent so much time and effort on wasn't as good as the f5. And I am not capable of designing an amp that would be.
But the f5 isnt exactly a run of the mill amp itsself. Tbh the only other ss amp that I have heard that I would rather have is nicks p6. But that is just a pipedream that I could never afford
The rest of my system was built by me and developed around the kt77 amp, and latterly the f5, so perhaps it's not surprising that this is so. The lenco conversion turntable, the mods to the cd player, nuvistor phono stage and the speakers have all been developed further with the f5. Is sand better than glass bottles? Who cares. Each to their own
BTE designs type 2 lenco, Audio Technica AT1100 AT150sa, JBE series 3 mayware formula 4 shure M97xe (his), JVC QL-Y5F Audio Technica AT440 mlb (hers)
BTE designs type 1 mk2 passive pre, PASS F5 dual mono, modified Philips cd371, Metronome 'M' speakers, BTE designs balanced power supply, Benedict Audio hothead (mm) musical fidelity x-lps (mc) mac mini + beresford tc7510

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karatestu
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Re: Another DIY SS Amplifier with NVA Boards

Unread post by karatestu » Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:07 pm

I have never heard a valve amplifier in my life (knowingly). I don't feel the need to, the nva boards give me everything I want. The amplifiers I have now will be it for the rest of my life hopefully. Just need to get my other four channels built.
Naim, Linn & Harbeth fanboy

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Colin Wonfor
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Re: Another DIY SS Amplifier with NVA Boards

Unread post by Colin Wonfor » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:46 am

Hi All.

I am just going to play with new ideas and up grade old kit I designed like the Inca Tech stuff and Magnum kit, spend a day or two back in school doing Biology or maybe electronics again just for fun.Play my M100 EWA amp loud and enjoy music again. no more worries about sales payments and bastard ex business gits.

Relax and study hard that will keep me well occupied and stop others bringing out in panic "new" designs on cable costing £10K/M but only £30/M to make.
Retired.

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SteveTheShadow
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Re: Another DIY SS Amplifier with NVA Boards

Unread post by SteveTheShadow » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:46 pm

I was doing a bit of thinking (always a dangerous thing) yesterday about LEDs. My "on" indicator LED is between the positive rail and ground, via a current limiting resistor so I stuck another red LED between the the negative rail and ground, with identical resistor taking care to put said LED "arse about face" to the one on the positive rail.

Image

Looks nice.

Why did I do it?

In maths at school the teacher rammed home the point that whatever you do to one side of an equation, you have to do the same to the other. Yin and Yang. I like balance.
DIY NVA amplification ( roughly equivalent to NVA A60) BTE Designs passive preamp, BTE Designs Lenco L75 turntable, Rega R200 arm, Goldring E3 cartridge, NVA Phono 1
Musical Fidelity M1 DAC, AppleTV4 with Apple Music subscription, ripped CDs streamed via WD MyCloud Home Duo NAS, with PLEX media server.
Speakers - Large sealed cabs, with Fane 12-250-TC 12" full range drivers.

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savvypaul
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Re: Another DIY SS Amplifier with NVA Boards

Unread post by savvypaul » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:17 pm

Would love to hear that set up...
"The one who would whistle to Throbbing Gristle through harsh times in Umberstone Covert."

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