HX series of power amp

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Gilbert Y
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Re: HX

Post by Gilbert Y » Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:27 am

bobneill wrote:I wonder how long it will be before we're all converted back to solid state. We've become so used to the enriched sound of tubes, even just as inputs, that solid state, even extremely good solid state, initially sounds too cool and lean to us. But if the solid state really is good enough, we can adapt to it and then actually come to prefer it, especially if our reference is 'live' music. Gilbert is taking us by the hand with these HX amps, I think: he's giving us the opportunity to wean ourselves off tubes.
Someone has mentioned to me saying Bob is confusing I am going towards solid-state from tube. To make things clear, I am not going away from anything anywhere anytime any soon. The phase "converted back to solid-state" is only Bob's opinion. I believe Bob has started out with Naim then somewhere along the line to BC, AN and now Crimson. We are going around circles all the time, finding out new thing and renew the old. We listen differently and enjoy different thing, but I can tell you I will use whatever I can use to reproduce music. Some like salt and pepper on their steak and some like it blue rare with nothing on it. I have seen people put maple syrup on their meatloaf. Who can say what is right or wrong. It's all personal preferences and opinions. Only the extreme opinionated arrogant a-hole will tell you what you like is wrong. We all know those people doesn't exist. :) :D Is it why I don't like to go to trade shows? I wonder..........hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

So, I am going back to my own cave and do my own thing. Making new toys and keep more people happy.

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Double D
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Post by Double D » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:40 am

I'm with G on this one.. personal preference is key. Some are into low watt flea powered amps, with high efficiency horns, others .. big watt amps, driving behemoth speakers approaching the price of small kingdoms. Is one "right" and the other "wrong".. doubt it, but it's sure not for me to say which way to take your poison.
The neat thing about the HX option is that it allows you have your cake, and eat it too.. for those days when a little tube richness is the order of the day, you can have it.. and on those days when only full on solid state will satisfy, your demons will be happy as pie. I think whatever gets you listening to - and enjoying the music - is surely a good thing. The other truly cool thing is that as others have noted, it allows owners of earlier BC amps to consider yet another option with respect to an upgrade path, and for that BC is unique in the market. Gilbert works pretty hard to make sure that the "toys" we buy today can still be relevant with any ideas that pop out of Innerkip down the road, which I think is one of the biggest reasons for brand loyalty in my mind. :D

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Hx conversation continued

Post by bobneill » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:51 am

I did not mean to imply, as I clearly did in an effort at cuteness, that Gilbert was INTENTIONALLY leading us anywhere, but rather that the quality of his latest solid state work, the NSL and NSL, Jr. in particular, might well have that effect. Whatever we may say in our efforts to be fair to everyone's taste, these amps are the best he has made. So they are telling us that IF you want the truth, this is probably where you have to go. (I will hear the BC1022 later this month to see how a considerably lower priced version of his technology -- if that's what the 1022 is -- competes with its hybrid brothers.)

I am sitting here with an FtTH2KQ and BC3000IIGZpz & BC204KQ and both are wonderful in their own way as they sing eloquently to me through a pair of JMR Offrande Supreme V2's. But when the NSL Jr. was here (on a Crimson 710 all SS preamp), it was better. Not more this or more that, just plain, flat, farking better: more accurate and more beautiful. Gilbert knows that some of you don't want that or aren't ready for that -- and that both of these particular amps are too expensive and too low powered for some. So he will continue to give us options. That is generous on his part, but also, to repeat myself, smart. Again, his hybrid stuff is the state of that art and for some of us has come to define normal. But I think the time will come when normal changes, again.

So forgive my cuteness. Take whatever you like off his rich and varied platter. But at some point, spend some time with his latest and greatest and hear where I think the future lies. Tube roll that!

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Don't mess with Bob!!!

Post by masluck » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:18 pm

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Double D
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Post by Double D » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:33 pm

Actually... in rethinking some of this... I do understand the essence of what Bob is trying to get at.
Not being "led" to the solid state world kicking and screaming... but rather finding our way there of our own accord, and not recoiling in horror.
I personally can attest that the latest solid state BC amps, have readily facilitated the ease to wean off the hybrid teet.

Bob, I think you will find the 1022 is full of charms of it's own.. that are epic for the price point (but give it at least 24 hours to gas up when you get it.. it reveals more of it's charms when powered for more than a day). The NSP builds on that and for me is the perfect stopping point as it marries up so beautifully with the Harbeth SHL5. I figure as long as the SHL5 holds court at my place, there is little more that I could ask for from the marriage.

In my mind (what little there is of it) the great thing about BC's newer solid state designs give that special quality that has previously resided in the hybrid amp world.. without having to fuss with the tubes... etc. A more reliable, and predictable, repeatable performance is the reward here.

Gilbert is to be commended for doing the "HX" option for those with the 200 series. It really can offer the best of both worlds to those that still feel they WANT the bottles in there amps, but want to explore the option of going to a full solid state option.

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Gilbert Y
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Post by Gilbert Y » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:20 pm

This HX isn't a new idea for me. I have been thinking for a long time why do we need to stick to either solid state or tube and why not both. It was why I started out building hybrid power amp. We want to favour of tube but those glass bottle just can't control the big cones. All lite, all lite, if you put enough of them together, they can do a good job but enough mean a good numbers of those glass bottles and they all cost money.

Back to main street. After building hybrid power amp, I start thinking why can't we let the user to adjust what they want and I have been weighing would the audiophiles like this or would they see is as a cheap tone controls. But, many of us do tube rolling, cable rolling, power cords rolling, all kind of rolling. As long as we can do it as high quality as possible, I think it is going to be a good thing. It was how the BC307 and BC309 preamps started. Then next was the power amp. I have two partially built prototype on the shelf with HX built in but didn't have time to finish them. Garyj came wanting to mod his BC204 into NST and I thought why not do the HX instead. Then he can gets the best of both world.

It's all about how much fun we can get out of this hobby. If we start arguing and fighting I am right and you are wrong, that is a sign of insecurity because why do we worry about what other think of what you like or not. Like what you like and tell people about it. What other like isn't necessary what you like. After all thes BS has said, it was still the reason I made the BC307, BC309 and the HX for the power amps. To give the user what they like when they like it. Turn on the solid-state for the rock and roll and clank up the tube for the jazz trio.

And if you like the trumpet high C blaring in your head, go ahead and make it hurt. If it's doesn't hurt, it's not high C. Tell me I am wrong, like I should care. :lol: :roll: But if you want it to hurt but able to listen for the rest of the piece, turn the ss up to 90% and give 15% of the tube. That tube will smooth the high C enough so you can tolerate enjoy the rest.

BTW Garyj, the 6922 inside the BC204HX is being biased at a sweeter point then before the mod. Therefore, it has richer, warmer sound then before if you only using the tube.

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Trumpet High C

Post by bobneill » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:03 pm

Problem, of course, is that a high C on a trumpet in a concert hall, where it has some room to fly around before it gets to us, is sweeter than in our living room where it's on us in a mili-second. (And the mike in the hall is closer than we would be too.) I think the issue with slightly sweetened vs. untouched recorded sound is that one. We want the slightly softening effect of the large concert hall. So it's not entirely truth vs. beauty....

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Post by garyj » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:32 pm

The part about the bias makes sense. It seemed a little softer but was not sure if it is because fewer tubes or just not broken in yet. So far I have listened only to all ss or all tube just to get a sense of all of it.

I hope I never said or implied that tube amps are better than solid state. I have never heard the nsl family but have no doubt they are better (the reports are unanimous. I hope to own one someday.
gary

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Re: Trumpet High C

Post by Gilbert Y » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:47 am

bobneill wrote:Problem, of course, is that a high C on a trumpet in a concert hall, where it has some room to fly around before it gets to us, is sweeter than in our living room where it's on us in a mili-second. (And the mike in the hall is closer than we would be too.) I think the issue with slightly sweetened vs. untouched recorded sound is that one. We want the slightly softening effect of the large concert hall. So it's not entirely truth vs. beauty....

Concert Hall, as symphony concert, high C are soft I agree but I am not talking about those. I am talking Big Band high C. You sit in the 10th row and you still get that hit your head feel. I have been there and it hurts in a good way.

Knowing how recordings are made, the mic being physically close to the trumpet doesn't make much sense as people think it was why it sound close. Put the same mic(s) close to where a real person sit and the mic hear an entire different thing.

If anyone think we can reproduce the same real live sound from our home stereo, we are dreaming. It's never going to be the same. I think even Bob has agreed before we want to reproduced the same emotional feeling of being in live concert not necessary the same sound.

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I think even Bob has agreed...

Post by bobneill » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:19 pm

Yup and not too many have agreed on how to do that. Otherwise all gear would sound the same.

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Gilbert Y
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Re: I think even Bob has agreed...

Post by Gilbert Y » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:53 pm

bobneill wrote:Yup and not too many have agreed on how to do that. Otherwise all gear would sound the same.
We DON'T want to agree on how to do anything one way. This applies to everything in general. What we do need to agreed is there is more than one way to do one thing and what other like or not like isn't right or wrong. It's just different. If we all agreed on how to do thing the same way, this world is going to be even more bore what it is.

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Post by garyj » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:34 am

Moving from the more existential to perhaps the more concrete, I wonder if Gilbert or someone else might be willing to describe the differences of going from a 200 series with nst to nsp and to nsl. My sense is nsl is a different level of depth and involvement but not sure where nsp fits.

For those considering the hx, I will say that I have spent the entire first week listening either to all solid state or all tube. Yesterday I tried half of both and that made me smile the most. Being able to choose is good I think. And you can get pretty close to the original sound with fewer tubes to worry about if that is a worry, so you do not lose out except of course you have to pay for it. Given the price of tubes though it may well be cheaper in the long run.
gary

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On Agreeing

Post by bobneill » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:34 pm

Oh I think if some developer discovered a technology that "reproduced the same emotional feeling of being in live concert " there would be plenty of agreement. Unless you mean everyone's emotional feeling is different, so each of us has to find the gear that gets THAT. And the chances of someone finding the magic technology that will deliver what GY is talking about are pretty poor, whether it's our shared feeling or all of the unique ones.

Anyway, sorry to drag this out. Over and out.

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Gilbert Y
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Re: On Agreeing

Post by Gilbert Y » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:44 pm

bobneill wrote:Oh I think if some developer discovered a technology that "reproduced the same emotional feeling of being in live concert " there would be plenty of agreement. Unless you mean everyone's emotional feeling is different, so each of us has to find the gear that gets THAT. And the chances of someone finding the magic technology that will deliver what GY is talking about are pretty poor, whether it's our shared feeling or all of the unique ones.

Anyway, sorry to drag this out. Over and out.
Bob

If anyone will read the entire post, I cannot think of any reason to disagree with you. If someone only read what they want to read, then they can argue until hell freeze over.

Let's see.........""Oh I think if some developer discovered a technology that "reproduced the same emotional feeling of being in live concert " there would be plenty of agreement.""

Very much agree, then.......... Highly unlikely our emotional are all the same.

Then you said: " Unless you mean everyone's emotional feeling is different, so each of us has to find the gear that gets THAT. And the chances of someone finding the magic technology that will deliver what GY is talking about are pretty poor, whether it's our shared feeling or all of the unique ones."

Can't agree more. As soon as we put human factor into the equation, it's all over the map.

"Anyway, sorry to drag this out. Over and out."

Don't be sorry, I am having fun. Anyway, I am going to answer garyj now.

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Gilbert Y
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Post by Gilbert Y » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:48 pm

garyj wrote:Moving from the more existential to perhaps the more concrete, I wonder if Gilbert or someone else might be willing to describe the differences of going from a 200 series with nst to nsp and to nsl. My sense is nsl is a different level of depth and involvement but not sure where nsp fits.

For those considering the hx, I will say that I have spent the entire first week listening either to all solid state or all tube. Yesterday I tried half of both and that made me smile the most. Being able to choose is good I think. And you can get pretty close to the original sound with fewer tubes to worry about if that is a worry, so you do not lose out except of course you have to pay for it. Given the price of tubes though it may well be cheaper in the long run.
Garyj

The NSL and NSP is a totally different animal compare to the 200 series amps. Try to fit them in is like trying to push a circle into a square. It is possible if you push hard enough but I wouldn't know where to begin.

The NSP is bascially a smaller brother of the NSL. The NSP uses the NSL input stage and the M2 output modules which we are going to use in the new HX series of power amp. I have developed the M2 output modules for a while by now but never have enough time to build a new series of power amps with it. We have been using it to build custom amps and modify existing one.

The NST mod is like the HX it is not a new series of amp. It is a input module. It involves the input stage only so basically, I am modify the input stage to adjust the sound of the power amp.

Am I making any sense? Sometime I know I don't make sense at all.

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