Paul makes a big decision on the amp


#1
Paul what is the latest on your amp I heard the Hyper module was not being used any longer, is this true?. Have you looked at doing an amp that carries the PWM to the speaker output much like the NAD M2 did a few years ago. It seems like a perfect mate to the DirectStream

I have thrown the towel in on the PWM output stage for a reference amp. While I think that if we make a smaller integrated or perhaps a smaller amp for a lower cost it'd be fine. In all honesty, it still sounds terrific and most people would absolutely love what it does and sounds like.

But the reference amp has to be of the same caliber as the DS. And that means it's the best in the world, or as close to that as we can achieve. I don't believe it's currently possible to get there with class D PWM technology at this time. Perhaps later. Maybe even Ted will jump in and make it work. Who knows?

But for now we are taking a different course to get where we need to go. I designed a zero feedback, fully balanced input stage that really sounds incredible. It is a state of the art contender as an input stage and may work as a preamp someday. It's also what we'll probably save out of the amp work for a front end.

But the output stage is still up in the air and I've decided to take a different course altogether (than class D). This is the third course correction so far, on this sea of change for the amp, but with a speaker system as resolving as the IRS, a DAC as open and definitive as DirectStream, there can be no choice if perfection is the goal. Perfection IS the goal. Maybe it's just my age, but I don't want to waste time on something that doesn't kick ass on everything else. Not for the Reference design. Not for the main amp in Music Room One. Not for the amp I want to hang our hats on and suggest you do the same.

I am currently listening to a prototype of just such an amp. A few of you have heard this amp when visiting the Music Room. It isn't yet perfect but IMHO there's nothing even close to it that I've heard. It is a design from an old friend, someone I respect greatly and someone who has better design chops than I. Bascom King.

We're going to marry my input stage with his output stage and that SHOULD give us what we want. All MOSFET, high bias Class A/B, housed in a P10 chassis.

Yes it sets things back yet again. But I am not going to be apologetic. I've beaten myself up enough over this already. Our controller and GM have waved enough fingers in my face about the cost of changing directions so many times and now, to hire an outside consultant ...... start over .... abandon most of what we've done ....... welcome to my world of being a perfectionist on a mission. :)

#2

Paul I can appreciate everything you state above…Go with your amp project. This is good news for me, I spent ALL of my PS Audio money on Directstream, so I’m out of money for the new amp. And I do want one. Still running the HCA-2, thats seen the repair shop twice. I’m working up a story now, for the wife, about spending money on the Bridge replacement. That will need to be a good one convincing her I need the new Bridge and Directstream. I’m not man enough to even talk to her about a new amp at this time…So go forth and prosper!!!


#3

Paul, that’s a tough hit to take on what ultimately may be the bottom line, but IMO kudos to staying with your goal to make this the best it can be.


#4

The unit that I heard was simply fantastic. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think that it had your input stage applied yet. Paul offered to A/B it with the class D version but I was so caught up in the DirectStream that I declined, not wanting to get distracted from listening to CDs that I thought I knew. :stuck_out_tongue:


#5
The unit that I heard was simply fantastic. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think that it had your input stage applied yet. Paul offered to A/B it with the class D version but I was so caught up in the DirectStream that I declined, not wanting to get distracted from listening to CDs that I thought I knew. :P


Thanks for the understanding guys. Appreciate it. Tough decisions. Yes, what wglenn heard was the prototype of Bascom's amplifier and no, it did not have the new input stage. Plenty of work to do before it becomes a product and I wanted to live with it for a good amount of time before deciding to change course. But decision's been made. We're going forward. 8-}

#6

Paul, I’m interested to know if the new amplifier(s) will be designed with certain specification goals. Personally I think current delivery is a useful specification, but most people go with power into an 8 ohm load. What is your target?



Or is the target just to make it sound great and disregard the specifications?


#7

Paul thanks for the update. I will keep a credit card clean in anticipation, my only draw back on this is the wait.

I had hopes of selling the krells down south and replace with yours. As I am still hopeful , it is patience I have always lacked throughout my life. However having what I have does keep me on the edge of control in this. The DAC at present there is the Aryre qb9. So I am sure the new DS will be way beyond this and fulfill a thirst for something new. All the best in your quest for the ultimate as this is something else in our lives to accent to.

And as always I do very much appreciate the cander on all your answers even when I do not like the answer.



Al


#8

FWIW, I’m still second in the line.


#9

When it goes into a P10 chassis, will it be a mono amp or stereo?


#10

Paul, thank you for the update. It really helps since I am in need of a new solid state amp. (and eventually a pair for biamping with room correction on the woofer section only.) Is there any time projection (ie. 6-9 months?)



Bascom King had a hand in designing the $140K Constellation Audio amp, so it seems like the product will be well worth the cost and wait.



While it’s a bit disappointing to not be able to buy the PWA soon, it’s great to see an example of a company that would rather redesign and delay a product (at considerable cost to them) rather than sell something that isn’t the best it could possibly be.



And I’d bet that an integrated with a great dac and the class D amp would serve PS Audio well, so hopefully all that R&D isn’t down the tube.


#11

I’m bummed to hear that the Hypex modules didn’t work out. My main interest in them was the lower power consumption at idle, great for leaving on for an extended period. I have the system powered up for hours a day which is not a great thing with a tube amp, but I sure do like the sound. I’ll keep an eye on the progress but my first priority will be the DirectStream upgrade. One other thing, what’s the anticipated power output?


#12

A P10 or 5 solves the idle power consumption. And I am sure there is other ways to turn on Nd off remotely



Al


#13

Paul



Did you evaluate the NCORE 1200 modules as part of the decision to go away from Class D, or we they eliminated just because of cost?



Given this major shift are you still expecting to be in the 4-5 K range?


#14

Hint Hint.

What if you could deliver Class-A power flow in Class-B mode and without caps?

Yes I am from another planet, but please think about it.

Ah, but that would then make it Class-?.



>:)


#15

@Paul, how about a Hypex based NuWave amp for those of us who want some of that PS Audio love but don’t have multi-kilobucks to spend on that world beater that is in the future? Maybe a spin of your front end with some mid power UcD modules… P3 chassis and some McGowan magic. :smiley:



Of course I would love to have the PerfectWave Amp, but for the moment life stands in the way. :slight_smile:



J.P.


#16
Paul, I'm interested to know if the new amplifier(s) will be designed with certain specification goals. Personally I think current delivery is a useful specification, but most people go with power into an 8 ohm load. What is your target?

Or is the target just to make it sound great and disregard the specifications?


Aside for the obvious specs such as power, distortion and noise, the several that I will be focusing on are bandwidth, open loop stability and output impedance (current delivery). All these are critical factors in an amp. But bandwidth has become a real center piece for me. The amp I am listening to now is flat to 100kHz.

#17
When it goes into a P10 chassis, will it be a mono amp or stereo?


Stereo. I know there may be some appeal to having to giant monoblocks but technically, other than separate AC inlets, there would be no advantage. I will plan on doing a true monoblock approach with separate transformers and power supplies - the insides of the P10 are huge and allow for this.

#18
Paul

Did you evaluate the NCORE 1200 modules as part of the decision to go away from Class D, or we they eliminated just because of cost?

Given this major shift are you still expecting to be in the 4-5 K range?

Yes, we should be able to keep it in the $5K range if I don't get too carried away. Output power will be a minimum of 200/8 400/4.

I have evaluated several Ncore products but did not take the time to try and design in an Ncore module. Very impressive stuff but I am not convinced it will work for the lofty goals I have. We will probably still stick with Hypex for the lower priced products and an eventual integrated I'd love to make. They are a great company, make great products and they make great music.

#19
When it goes into a P10 chassis, will it be a mono amp or stereo?


Stereo. I know there may be some appeal to having to giant monoblocks but technically, other than separate AC inlets, there would be no advantage. I will plan on doing a true monoblock approach with separate transformers and power supplies - the insides of the P10 are huge and allow for this.

Great.
Any target dates for market readiness?
Opt. 1: Paul McGowan's overly enthusiastic guesstimate (the public demands it!) = nnnnnnnnn
Opt. 2: Conservative and dull guesstimate (probable release date) = nnnnnnnnnnnn

Sorry, Paul - couldn't help myself >:)



#20
Paul McGowan said: Stereo. I know there may be some appeal to having to giant monoblocks but technically, other than separate AC inlets, there would be no advantage.

There is another one - with monoblocks you can have very short speaker cables and 2-3m balanced interconnects.