Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst ... 2345 LastLast
Results 46 to 60 of 67

Thread: Bgw amp plus eq for free!

  1. #46
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550
    ASHLY SRA- 2150 (pics # 327, 328, 331)

    The amp is rated the following way: 8/4 ohms/bridged is 80 W/ 150 W/ 300 W respectively, and Ashly mentions that regardless of impedance used the amp is current limited at a certain point, the design limit I suppose. The amp weight is about half that of the BGW 100Bs they are replacing.

    They are convection cooled class D amps, no heat sinks seen inside looking thru a couple of vents with light. But it has 5 vents on top, 5 on the bottom and one on the front panel for air inflow. So many vents is surprising for the amp size and class.

    Moreover, there isn't a whole lot of stuff inside the unit, about half the space doesn't seem to be used, so not jam packed like the BGW 100B. I also noted Ashly's internal main circuit board is COPYRIGHTED!, this is clearly indicated right on the board as seen thru vents. I assume Ashly has developed a particular proprietary technology or circuitry they want to protect from copying...

    These amps have my first owned Euroblock connectors on power amps, though I've seen them previously on Cloud power amps I also looked at, plus I was given a bag with various Euroblock connectors by my dealer. Can't say that I'm a big fan of Euroblocks but I admit its a clever and practical device with no soldering to do. For sturdiness and reliability it remains to be seen. I'm mostly familiar with Neutrik and Switchcraft XLR & 1/4" type, I do use some RCAs too, so we'll see how I get along with the new connectors.

    I've seen on the Euroblocks alreay installed on the amp that the screws to tighten the wires are on the bottom side of the connectors, not on the top side usually seen by the user, so this is less practical for a quick check on wire tightness for example, even though the connectors are removable. I can imagine a couple of reasons for having it done this way.

    The Ashly amps also come with a small note in the box regarding the Final Quality Check and Performance Test done on each unit before leaving the factory, and its initialed by those involved in the QC process. I tend to like such steps being an indication that quality control people have indeed verified not only a small random sample, but rather each unit with its serial number indicated. People caring for quality made stuff is great news these days.

    Finally, Ashly's owner manual is also nicer at 12 pages than the one which came with the DBX 1215, presented as a premium EQ.

    Richard

    Name:  IMG_0327.jpg
Views: 169
Size:  73.4 KBName:  IMG_0328.jpg
Views: 170
Size:  60.6 KBName:  IMG_0331.jpg
Views: 171
Size:  64.2 KB

  2. #47
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550

    The rolls mosfet amp and at-lp5 turntable have arrived home!




    Some of the stuff further below isn't part of Audio's glamour side, but it sure is part of purchasing audio gear sometimes.

    Last week I picked up my latest audio purchases from dealer. The AT-LP5 is to replace my recent AT-LP120 which I don't really like in terms of tonearm precision for use with better (lighter tracking) phono cartridges, as previously explained in a recent post here. Opening that box wasn't my priority. As for the MOSFET amp, well I never had one of these among my amps and really wanted to try one before there's no affordable ones left on the market (the number of MOSFET amps available new seems to be melting like snow under the sun...). Price wise its a little more expensive than say a China made Crown XLS 1002, but I got a good deal on the Rolls and it has no fan (noise) since its more of a studio type amp.

    I tend to like Rolls who thinks and does things differently than others, also still manufactures in the USA, but sadly a number of their interesting products have been discontinued, some left though, and they carry this policy "Regardless of age we don't usually charge for repairs, a lot of people really like this." Not many such companies remain in the industry. So I prefer to encourage such fellows with my dollars...

    Apart from what follows below, I toured the amp quickly, as well as looking inside thru the ventilation slots with light, and it seems to be well made in and out. The gain controls' rotation sure has a nice feel.

    I had planned to use the amp last weekend for a "test drive" after waiting a month plus for it. That item was my definite priority to listen to. However, right when I opened the box to look at the amp I felt something was wrong, and the more I looked the worst it got cosmetically, a big disappointment. The plastic bag is torn plus many holes in it, the cardboard retainers inside the box are scrap, there's dust on and inside the unit, it has scratches, the bottom right rackmount is bent, etc. Showing in my view its been unpacked and repacked many times, scratches telling its been around, and those on back the of rackmount indicating its been rack mounted before... What a drag, and it pisses me off a LOT.

    The sad part of the settlement is distributor has no other such unit in stock (no wonder I got the "donkey" the first time to fill the order), a new amp is ordered on the spot from the factory, distributor will speed up import/clearance process, distributor's Product Manager will personnaly inspect new replacement unit to make sure its in pristine condition before delivery, distributor will assume all costs related such as pick-up of the "donkey" and delivery of the new unit. A couple of weeks waiting again though, so I wonder...

    Restraint I guess has prevented me from plugging/using the cosmetically bad amp yet, since its going back to distributor. But I'm having second thoughts about using the amp being stuck with it for weeks. That would at least give me some new musical entertainment this weekend and a preview of what's coming with the new amp. I'd treat the amp I have like a distributor's demo on loan to me for testing... Regards,


    Richard

    P.S. Not having used that amp last weekend, I did however test drive my repaired QSC (overheating now gone that's nice), along with my Rolls Sonic Exciter. Back later with some preliminary comments about the Exciter.

    EDITED TO SHORTEN POST

  3. #48
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550
    Name:  IMG_0364.jpg
Views: 146
Size:  55.7 KBName:  IMG_0368.jpg
Views: 147
Size:  54.7 KBName:  IMG_0340.jpg
Views: 144
Size:  50.2 KBName:  IMG_0342.jpg
Views: 143
Size:  57.6 KB

  4. #49
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550
    Name:  IMG_0348.jpg
Views: 142
Size:  46.1 KBName:  IMG_0349.jpg
Views: 143
Size:  64.5 KBName:  IMG_0353.jpg
Views: 143
Size:  61.0 KBName:  IMG_0366.jpg
Views: 142
Size:  77.5 KB

  5. #50
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550
    I forgot to mention previously, another reason why I wanted to try a MOSFET amp. Before ordering it, I looked around in my references to see what expert(s) may have to say about that type of amp design. What I found seems quite positive:

    "POWER MOSFET OUTPUT DEVICES"

    "These transistor types, ... have a greatly superior performance to that of bipolar junction transistors, both in respect of maximum operating frequency and linearity, and allow considerable improvements in power amplifier performance for any given degree of circuit complexity." (P. 509)

    "By comparison with 'bipolar' junction power transistors, of conventional types, the MOSFET, ... does not suffer from stored charge effects which limit the 'turn-off' speed of bipolar transistors.

    The greater speed and lesser internal phase shifts of power amplifier mean that power MOSFETs allow greater freedom in the design of NFB layouts. This in turn, gives superior performance in the middle to upper frequency range." (P. 513)

    Jonh Linsley Hood, Power Output Stages, Chapter 14, in Audio & Hi-Fi Handbook, Second Edition, Edited by Ian R. Sinclair,1995.

    I know this reference goes back a while but I haven't seen a lot of talk these days about MOSFET amps. I also read somewhere these amps would be more costly to make, hence their higher price. In today's world where low-cost manufacturing (in Asia or Mexico) is King, that may be a reason why we see so little number of new MOSFET amps on the market... Regards,

    Richard

  6. #51
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550

    The rolls sonic exciter



    At the end of post # 47 I mentioned some preliminary comments to come about that sonic exciter. Just as a reminder of the device this is about, I'm repeating a picture of it already posted here.

    First, I needed to check my repaired QSC amp to verify the heat issue it had and it seems normal now. The first CD played to assess it sounded pretty dull, not having much life nor dynamics. Initially I thought the amp had something wrong. Then I switched to another CD, this one original, life and dynamics were back! So not an amp problem.

    The first CD used was a compilation I made of various songs from different artists and grouped them on that support. This may well be the red flag. I write the artist and song names, as well as duration, on the paper provided inside the CD housing, but never write the recordings' format... But I'm 95% sure these were MP3 files on the first CD, more so since a number of the songs came from my daughter...

    That "incident" reminded me an Onkyo receiver I have has a feature called "Music Optimizer" for compressed Digital music files. In my view, the mere existence of an optimizer for such files points to an issue with them, otherwise why would this be needed? I know of no optimizer for WAV files or CD. Therefore looks like an indication of some quality issues with MP3 sound.

    Onkyo describes it this way: "The Music Optimizer function enhances the sound quality of compressed music files." Then adds "... only works with PCM digital audio input signals with a sampling rate below 48 khz ..." The feature isn't on permanently, it has to be selected to be active, plus its defeated in Direct and Pure Audio modes. I don't remember the exact sampling rate of MP3 files, plus on the other hand Onkyo doesn't give in the manual any more info on what the Optimizer does to the sound, I'll assume its more than just file decompression.

    With regards to the Rolls Exciter, my initial impression is I can't say at this point its a miraculous or extraordinary device, but it certainly works. The effect is subtle, differences can be heard, definitely are improvements. Muddy bass gets tighter, more clarity and detail in the mid. Better balanced sounds overall.

    Another picture is taken from the owner manual (see bottom right page) explaining its nature, how it works and what it does to the sound.

    I listened to an original CD I know without the exciter, then plugged it in to listen again. Not difficult to hear it makes a difference. Moreover, in a particular song with exciter on, one repeated sound clearly hit me. I was convinced not having heard that sound before from the dry version, so I went back to it (active button off bypasses the unit). Listening carefully I noted the sound was there but mixed up with others, therefore less evident. Whereas with the unit active one can't really miss that sound. Things stand out more, which tends to confim rolls' "... the elements of sound are fanned out like a deck of cards, making each sound more audible and distinct, ...".

    I test drived the exciter for a good hour and can say at this time that large or excessive positive adjustments result in sound being not so nice, similar to large bass and treble knobs boosting on a preamp. My preferred setting for both bottom and definition controls seemed to be at about 1 O'clock (12 O'clock being about zero effect). Not really the type of unit for large knob turns, instead going small increments at a time.

    Since the exciter works, isn't an expensive unit, has both good XLR/RCA connectors and sub output with 18db/oct slope, It seems like good value for the money. The wall wart type power supply doesn't please me, like none of them does, but this sure isn't the only audio device having that.

    Richard


    Name:  IMG_0231.jpg
Views: 115
Size:  70.1 KBName:  IMG_0442.jpg
Views: 115
Size:  89.5 KB

  7. #52
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550
    BTW the best audio equipment Block Diagram I've yet seen was for an Aural Exciter! Its been pinned on a wall in my audio room for many years. The pic's horizontal orientation is not an accident being much clearer this way, whereas it appeared very squeezed vertically. The mixer shown along with the different size pies and THE Big Bottom indicate great imagination. Nice to see a little audio fun once in a while...

    Richard


    Name:  IMG_0444.jpg
Views: 116
Size:  56.2 KB

  8. #53
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550

    Test drive of the rolls ra 200 mosfet amp...




    This past weekend I "cheated", I admit it, no regrets whatsoever, I'm even glad I did! The temptation was just too strong with almost a month waiting. But I did mentioned previously I was having second thoughts about not using the "beaten" demo Rolls amp I still have pending its replacement with a factory fresh unit.

    First, other than bad cosmetic issues posted before, I did note the amp's left gain control makes a bit of noise, another good reason for not keeping that used donkey.

    The temporary setup I use in the basement living room, pending the on-going spare time work in my audio room, can accomodate only a small pair of speakers. Those are England's Mission 2-way boxes I have for many years. Built on the dated principle of console top near field monitors with woofer on top and dome tweeter at the bottom of box, when correctly oriented, so the high frequency unit is at ear level or so when sitting at a mixer. They do sound better, as stand alone units, in the near field or so considering their size doesn't allow them to fill a large room. Today with waveguides being popular on some models the HF issue may change.

    I didn't want to have the tweeters at carpeted floor level so I positioned the enclosures up side down with tweeters up, then put the boxes on small angled stands I made years ago since LF here is too bassy when directly on the floor. The CD player is fed to a NAD preamp which in turn feeds the Rolls amp. (Btw Eargle wrote a nice note on 2Pi VS 4 Pi mounted small speakers, Handbook of Sound System Design, P. 294).

    One album, among others, I like to use to assess amps and speakers is Quincy Jones' Back On The Block. Well recorded and mixed by famous Bruce Swedien using the "Acusonic Recording Process D", also involving George Massenburg, Milab Microphone Laboratories, Brüel & Kjaer microphones, Monster Cables used at all steps and album Mastered by Bernie Grundman. Top notch all the way. Likewise for the list of singers and musicians. Pretty good album dynamics, many different sounds/instruments and voices (male and female) also from young teens choir. That album doesn't need any Sonic Exciter enhancement, its already among the better made popular music ones in my view.

    My first impression is the amp sounds REALLY GOOD. Nothing short of a WOW! Well worth its studio amp designation. Effortlessly reproduces what's on the CD, no blurred passages on more complex material. It is fast and capable. Better sounding than the BGWs I had or the QSCs I still have, in the following ways.

    Open mid and clearer highs, both much more articulated, and a nice sound stage even though I'm limited in space there having to put the boxes 4 ft. apart. The mid is really impressive and the highs are softer than the above amps. Male and female voices sound very realistic, same for children's choir.

    The piano on George Benson's Turn Your Love Around is simply the best life like reproduction I've ever heard! Percussions? Santana's of course for all sorts of them: Bring-them-on. Wind instruments? Saxophone and trumpet nice and clear.

    Never owned a MOSFET amp before so this is quite different to me from SR amps. Still, I didn't find any flaws with this one, bass is relatively tight also but would have liked it a bit tighter, however can't ask more from a small box 5 ¼" woofer... Should be much better bi-amped with my 2214H or 2205H cabs.

    An amp reproduces the material its fed with. Garbage in, garbage out. Hence the reason why I choose program material for testing. Varied and demanding material to see what the gear has in the stomach. In the present case the verdict is easy, its a no brainer.

    Since the Rolls amp sounds that good, I may well order another one in the near future, though after checking first with the Canadian importer/distributor's Product Manager what exactly he has in stock...

    Richard

    P.S. Just got news today my replacement amp has arrived at the dealer, I'll pick it up tomorrow...

  9. #54
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550

    Test drive update on the rolls amp




    I did pick up the replacement amp on tuesday. This one is in much better shape than the previous demo unit. And it has that same great sound.

    However, after three evenings of testing (2 with the demo and 1 with the new amp) I realized my listening patience has changed somewhat with the Rolls amp, not for the better, in cases of not so well recorded material (i.e. dull, no life, no ambience).

    These albums tend to get the "next" treatment faster. I assume this could be caused by the Rolls being a more revealing amp, specially in the mid, therefore aggravating the shortcomings of so so recordings. For example, a 1970s album I tried, remastered to CD (can't remember which one it was) didn't seem to cut it anymore, sounded more crappy and was taken out of the CD player fast. As if recorded inside an anechoic sound booth. Making me think it was good enough for the kitchen counter top Sony radio/CD player...

    Maybe I was too hard on it. So I pulled out some other oldies (e.g. Elton John from early 70s). Songs also remastered to CD. "Your Song" recorded March 1970; "Rocket Man" recorded January 1972; "Don't let the sun go down on me" recorded January 1974. Well, these still sound quite acceptable to listen to, for Piano, horns, strings, voices, etc., forty something years later. So it doesn't really appear to be a time passed issue, but rather more one of an album's recording quality.

    This leads me to a possible "drawback" of more precise or revealing amps: putting forward or emphasizing the weaknesses of some recordings. In other words, less tolerance for poor recordings...

    Richard

  10. #55
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550

    Rolls amp and bellari phono preamp




    After a few days listening to the Rolls MOSFET amp with various recordings I decided to get another one of these, now having it home. Therefore doubling my pleasure since I haven't heard yet, with these amps, a recording that would put them in any trouble. My QSCs sound ok, whereas the others sound great...

    By definition, a studio amp like the Rolls should sound better than a SR amp, the former involving critical listening not the latter. And it does. Trying to determine what could make it sound good, other than the MOSFETs, I note the Rolls also has low phase shift and a very high Slew rate (100 volts/micro second) for that category (e.g. my ex-BGWs had 50v/ms, and the Bryston 2B LP has 60v/ms). Plus it runs pretty cool at normal levels, with no fan, and has a barely warm large heatsink at the back of the unit. A really fast/capable amp that's a delight to listen to.

    Driving it with my NAD preamp, the Rolls had a very slight hum noise in one channel only when that gain control is turned between 10 and 2 O'clock, none below nor above that. This test with no music, while amp is on, speakers being connected to it and playing with gain controls with my ear close to each speaker, is a way to assess the amp's noise floor. In that particular case the NAD Pre was connected and on.

    Driving it with a good old Mackie mixer reveals no hum at all in both channels, whatever the gain setting, even with unbalanced cables (to compare apples with apples). I've heard no such issue when the NAD Preamp drives the NAD Amp (but the latter has no gain controls). So I figure there might be some electronic "gremlins" between the NAD Pre and the Rolls amp. Doesn't bother me since the NAD and Rolls normally belong to different systems I use. The important thing is the Rolls being silent when driven by Pro gear, whether balanced or even unbalanced. Therefore not an amp fault.

    There are lots of $40-50 or so phono preamps on the maket today to please vinyl fans and I still have a good number of vinyls too. Unfortunately, cheap phono preamps offer limited or no flexibility at all. Bellari (the audiophile division of Rolls) has a better solution at a reasonable price, the VP 549 (Rolls division having the small VP29 basic unit like others do, little more expensive than some but probably better made).

    Bellari indicates "We spent a considerable amount of time developing the VP549. Hundreds of hours went into listening and improving the design." They seem to have their ears in the right place.

    I figure if their phono preamp hearing is as good as their MOSFET amp hearing, then its also something to go for with the new AT-LP5 turntable (post # 49; tiny box on top being an extra oem headshell). Web bellariaudio.com/index.php/products/vp549-riaa-phono-preamp/

    It's interesting to read on that page what they think about Surface Mount Technology parts vs thru hole parts. Looking through the front panel vents of the MOSFET amps with light I see no SMT parts in there, just thru hole parts on nice PCB, since Rolls applies the same philosophy. I asked my audio supplier, who has a large repair dept., what their repair techs think of SMT parts. The reply was not positive for SMT vs thru hole parts. Because I tend to keep my things for a long time, plus throw away audio isn't my cup of tea, I'm probably better off with equipment made of conventional parts.

    The VP549 phono Pre has selectable cartridge load capacitance, a practical feature I previously had on another preamp, nice to get it back as my phono cartridges require different load capacitances. I certainly would have liked to have a setting in the 400 pf range for some Shures preferring 400-500 pf but can't have it all I guess. The max setting isn't that far, somewhat short, but the other cartridges like the V15 IV require 200-300 pf, plus the ATs are happy with 100-200 pf so they will be satisfied.

    A direct headphone/line output on the phono preamp, as well as the rumble filter, are also useful features, though other gear has a HPF in that region. The unit's trim/gain control unseen before by me is another interesting asset for hot or lazy output cartridges.

    When I picked-up recently the second Rolls MOSFET amp I ordered at the same time a Bellari phono preamp...

    Richard

  11. #56
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550
    I picked up last tuesday the Bellari VP549 phono preamp I ordered recently.

    A flashy looking bright red unit, doesn't bother me in fact, as it will add a new color in the audio room!

    The quality built impression, I get from the phono preamp upon handling it, inspecting it and playing with the knobs on it, is very good. The large golden trim/gain control appears silicone damped and has a quite nice feel. No disapointment here.

    But I got some wrench in the wheel with using the Bellari since I had ordered elsewhere a nice set of premium RCA cables to connect the new turntable to preamp then on to mixer, but those cables never arrived... That changed my plans. More on this in the next post.

    At the same time I dropped for repair estimate my 1992 Furman Sound tunable crossover maybe in need of some new pots (3 out of 8) since my Deoxit job on the output level controls, having some static noise, is a partial success only. Still like this two-way 12 db/oct. straightforward XO (2 input level pots, 2 continuously variable freq. pots 80hz-4khz, 4 output level pots). Inputs are balanced (1/4" TRS) but the outputs are not (1/4" TS) and never had hum, buzz or noise issue! Simple to make some quasi-balanced lines if need be. The fully balanced (XLR) version of this Furman was more costly. Not done yet with unit, even if I have others.

    Richard


    Name:  IMG_0512.jpg
Views: 20
Size:  63.9 KBName:  IMG_0513.jpg
Views: 20
Size:  63.3 KB

  12. #57
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550

    The premium RCA cables that didn't arrive... (Post # 56).




    This post has many shorter parts for better clarity.

    Legend Electronics Canada Supreme series audio cables are high quality, metal connectors and double shielding. However, the retailer where purchased played the substitute items game without any notice, finding out when opening the box delivered. More surprising when claiming being a Legend authorized dealer. Delivery quite fast, possibly to avoid credit card charge reversal when stuff is not sent. Pics of cables ordered # 522 & 540 & 542


    Name:  IMG_0522.jpg
Views: 7
Size:  101.4 KBName:  IMG_0540.jpg
Views: 7
Size:  82.4 KBName:  IMG_0542.jpg
Views: 7
Size:  84.2 KB

  13. #58
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550
    The Maestro Banana plugs ordered are correct, but the Legend cables (RCA and speaker wire) ordered at the same time, were replaced by less desirable stuff... Web site said all 3 items "in stock", and still does today!, nevertheless replaced the Canadian goods I paid for. Pics of what I received # 516 & 518


    Name:  IMG_0516.jpg
Views: 7
Size:  87.5 KBName:  IMG_0518.jpg
Views: 7
Size:  77.0 KB

  14. #59
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550
    Learned afterwards their return policy. Box content must be checked when carrier still there in case refused(wife received it...).They deduct the initial shipping cost to consumer from a reimbursement, and sending the stuff back to them is at consumer's expense. Meaning more loss, so not worth it. Not a large amount of money involved so I stopped the bleeding there. They're quite clever!

    One day I may find some other use for that lower value "Our most affordable" China Monster Cable with plastic connectors and single shield they sent, or give it away. Retailer's web site doesn't even list that entry-level 100 series Monster Cables sent. Must keep those in their back pockets to fill orders when one takes the lure...

    Possibly a little better than $2.95-3.95 RCA cables, but still far from the Legend Supreme cables ordered. Switching of the Legend speaker cable pisses me off too, but I can live with this one, speaker wire isn't as critical device in general nor in my setup. Bait & switch game. Won't see me again...

  15. #60
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    550
    On same day as the other order, I also ordered from yet another Toronto area retailer a nice Ultralink UA 1 M RCA cable set plus some Ultralink banana plugs, that I'm still waiting for... Now learned, following my e-mail to that vendor, these items shown "in stock" when ordered and still today! are in fact, "Special order, sorry for the inconvenience"! No date given, no shame... Pic # 552 (bottom right, still "in stock" with a smiley...)

    Name:  IMG_0552.jpg
Views: 7
Size:  75.4 KB

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Free and new to me!!
    By mrbyl in forum Lansing Product General Information
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-05-2010, 12:21 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •