Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?

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kip_

Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #20 on: 21 Jan 2010, 07:14 pm »
True, but measurements will usually show if and how the amp was "voiced."  You just need to trust the source of said measurements.  Most of the big magazines have the means to take credible measurements.  I never take the manufacturer's word for it.

Hope that helps.

Frank Van Alstine doesn't publish quite a few measurements such as damping factor, etc; only the -3db points and THD as a general rule. He doesn't "voice" his amps either. See this statement from him in his own forum.

I have no clue about "voicing" an amplifier.  It is NOT a musical instrument.  It is not supposed to "sound good".

The best it can do is to not screw up the information presented at its inputs and drive whatever load is connected to it without interacting with or being modified by the load.

The more causes of non-linearities we can identify and fix (without the fix making something else worse :) ) the more people seem to appreciate the performance of our amplifiers in their audio systems.

We will leave "voicing" to trumpets and tubas and such, and keep doing basic evaluation of circuit electronics.

For example, did you know that a capacitor as a power supply feed likely will have an impedance as high as several hundred ohms as some frequencies, and the circuit formed by the inductance of the leads and feeds to the active devices and the capacitor will have many underdamped resonances that can be mathematically modeled?  That means at some frequencies, you run out of power supply, and you also generate an error signal across that impedance.

A shunt zener regulated supply will take that impedance down to about ten ohms, an active ultra wide band analog regulator will take it down to under one ohm.

Or, the error signal you can generate across a passive supply, even a battery, can be hundreds of times as big as with a carefully designed active analog regulator.  Can you hear the difference?

Well, can anyone hear the difference between our Transcendence hybrid preamps of ten years ago and a new Ultra?

We did not spend any time "voicing", only refining our engineering knowledge and the application of that.

Speaking as a budding tube lover, that doesn't mean that non-linearities are always displeasing to the ear... we all hear things differently, one man's bright is another man's neutral, etc. For example I have found I like a slightly "warm" sound and a bit less treble energy to take the edge off of some not-so-great recordings.

Nuance

Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #21 on: 21 Jan 2010, 07:35 pm »
Frank Van Alstine doesn't publish quite a few measurements such as damping factor, etc; only the -3db points and THD as a general rule. He doesn't "voice" his amps either. See this statement from him in his own forum.

I never said that he did voice his amps.  If anything, from my statements you could say that I am under the impression that he doesn't voice them.  Henry (oneinthepipe) and I were talking about manufacturers that DO voice their amps.



kip_

Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #22 on: 21 Jan 2010, 07:49 pm »
I never said that he did voice his amps.  If anything, from my statements you could say that I am under the impression that he doesn't voice them.  Henry (oneinthepipe) and I were talking about manufacturers that DO voice their amps.

Sorry Nuance, I wasn't trying to pick on you in particular, just clarify AVA's policies. I probably shouldn't have quoted you in my post.

Nuance

Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #23 on: 21 Jan 2010, 08:04 pm »
Sorry Nuance, I wasn't trying to pick on you in particular, just clarify AVA's policies. I probably shouldn't have quoted you in my post.

Its all good.  Thanks for posting that info about AVA.  Some folks may not know that Frank doesn't voice his equipment.  Personally, I am happy he doesn't. 

avahifi

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Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #24 on: 21 Jan 2010, 09:11 pm »
Pray tell how does one "voice" an amplifier?  Does this mean playing with the frequency response or tonality to get something slightly different that absolutely linear and distortion-free response?  Who does one voice the equipment for?  If it is voiced for one set of conditions, does that mean it will be all wrong for other conditions?

Our observation is that anything one does to change the output from the input has a name - - -  distortion.  :)

How much distortion do you want and what flavor?

The electronics designer can do no better than to not screw up the source material.    Anything else is just adding distortion in some form or other. Maybe with fast acting artificial intelligence sometime in the future, the system will be able to understand the intent of the composer, musicians, conductor, and recording engineer and make it all come out perfect, but not yet.

We cannot design perfect equipment yet, but our goal is to make equipment that screws up the source material as little as possible and hope the end user will combine it with other equipment done with the same design goal.

Two wrongs don't make a right, even with the Tower of Piza, they just make two wrongs combined.

Best regards,

Frank Van Alstine

gerald porzio

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Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #25 on: 21 Jan 2010, 09:43 pm »
The problem was that they didn'y cryo the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Atlplasma

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Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #26 on: 21 Jan 2010, 09:44 pm »
Pray tell how does one "voice" an amplifier?  Does this mean playing with the frequency response or tonality to get something slightly different that absolutely linear and distortion-free response?  Who does one voice the equipment for?  If it is voiced for one set of conditions, does that mean it will be all wrong for other conditions?

Our observation is that anything one does to change the output from the input has a name - - -  distortion.  :)

How much distortion do you want and what flavor?

The electronics designer can do no better than to not screw up the source material.    Anything else is just adding distortion in some form or other. Maybe with fast acting artificial intelligence sometime in the future, the system will be able to understand the intent of the composer, musicians, conductor, and recording engineer and make it all come out perfect, but not yet.

We cannot design perfect equipment yet, but our goal is to make equipment that screws up the source material as little as possible and hope the end user will combine it with other equipment done with the same design goal.

Two wrongs don't make a right, even with the Tower of Piza, they just make two wrongs combined.

Best regards,

Frank Van Alstine

Hi Frank:

Maybe you can clarify something for me. I seem to recall reading that the "warmth" many people find appealing in tube amps is actually distortion. Am I not recollecting this characterization correctly?

sfox7076

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Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #27 on: 21 Jan 2010, 10:28 pm »
I have the SongTower Rts.  I have an Outlaw 770.  It runs my rears as I picked up an AVA Ultra 550 about 2 months ago (have a 240/3 from AVA still in the box waiting on the move discussed below).  I have had the Wyred4Sound amps in my apartment to listen as well.  Is there a huge difference in sound on the amps?  No.  Like most things in this price range, it is around the edges.  The sound, to me, was clearer and more detailed from the 550.  Is it night and day?  No.  Is it discernible?  To me, yes.  I think I noticed it most in the the subtle sounds you hear when a person modulates their voice, or a brush rolls off a symbol/snare drum.  It sounded more detailed and clean to me.  Now was the W4s bad?  Not at all.  It just wasn't quite as good.  Of course, that comes with a trade off.  The W4S runs completely cool.  You cannot cook an egg on the 550, but I could warm bread.  The W4S amps are smaller, and you could by a 5 or 7 channel amp housed in one box.  Is that worth it?  To some, sure.  To me?  No.  I am sticking with my hybrid tube for now. 

Now to throw everyone for a loop.  I got an Ultimate 70 that (it's waiting to go into an office/room when I move to Brooklyn) which I hooked up to the home theater to test after I had made the wiring upgrade.  Well, I turned it on and played some music.  My wife noticed it was different to a degree I have never seen before.  She said, "Wow, everything is more separate than the other amp."  Yes, she was finally hearing what I had told her to listen for all this time.  Well, now I have to find a really good set of bookshelf speakers for the office we will share as either it is going to be a home office with a 550 or an Ultimate 70.  Ah, choices...

Sonix

Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #28 on: 22 Jan 2010, 12:00 am »
WOW, the respones to my plea for help have been fast and furious. Many Thanks go out to
everyone for their great feedback, including Mr. Van Alstine himself, who also found the time to chime in...Thank You, Sir. :thumb:

I have the SongTower Rts.  I have an Outlaw 770.  It runs my rears as I picked up an AVA Ultra 550 about 2 months ago (have a 240/3 from AVA still in the box waiting on the move discussed below).  I have had the Wyred4Sound amps in my apartment to listen as well.  Is there a huge difference in sound on the amps?  No.  Like most things in this price range, it is around the edges.  The sound, to me, was clearer and more detailed from the 550.  Is it night and day?  No.  Is it discernible?  To me, yes.  I think I noticed it most in the the subtle sounds you hear when a person modulates their voice, or a brush rolls off a symbol/snare drum.  It sounded more detailed and clean to me.  Now was the W4s bad?  Not at all.  It just wasn't quite as good.  Of course, that comes with a trade off.  The W4S runs completely cool.  You cannot cook an egg on the 550, but I could warm bread.  The W4S amps are smaller, and you could by a 5 or 7 channel amp housed in one box.  Is that worth it?  To some, sure.  To me?  No.  I am sticking with my hybrid tube for now. 

Now to throw everyone for a loop.  I got an Ultimate 70 that (it's waiting to go into an office/room when I move to Brooklyn) which I hooked up to the home theater to test after I had made the wiring upgrade.  Well, I turned it on and played some music.  My wife noticed it was different to a degree I have never seen before.  She said, "Wow, everything is more separate than the other amp."  Yes, she was finally hearing what I had told her to listen for all this time.  Well, now I have to find a really good set of bookshelf speakers for the office we will share as either it is going to be a home office with a 550 or an Ultimate 70.  Ah, choices...

Sfox,
I loved your reply. Great stuff! That is exactly what I was looking for. The heat comparison was something I hadn't even thought of.  :o  And your wife's comment about the Ultimate 70 really separating everything better makes me wonder maybe it really is the ultimate even over the 550.

Anyways, keep 'em coming folks...

Regards,
Ken

newzooreview

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Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #29 on: 22 Jan 2010, 02:52 am »
Since Ken was asking about the Wyred4Sound amps and the Van Alstines, I can report that I am very happy with my Wyred4Sound integrated (STI-1000, 500 watts per channel) running my HT1-TLs. If I had the more efficient HT2-TLs I would opt for the STI-500 (250 Watts per channel).

The reviews on the Wyred4Sound emphasize their tonality, clarity and detail, bass control, and tube-like qualities. I've never had a tube amp for my main amp, but the rest is certainly true in my experience. The idea that the Wyred4Sound amps are thin, analytical, dry, or somehow "not musical" is not borne out in my experience.

I did have a chance to listen to a Van Alstine amp at Dennis Murphy's place, and it was excellent. I haven't compared it directly in my room with my source, but I don't think I'm missing anything from the Wyred4Sound in comparison. Without having directly compared them, I can only say that both seem to perform very very well.

I'm happy with the Wyred4Sound because it's compact, runs cool, has a lot of flexibility, and sounds exceptionally good. The Van Alstine alternative would not let me change sources by remote, would be larger and need more ventilation for the same power output, and wouldn't let me name my inputs on the display. These are just aesthetic/subjective differences really. When it comes to the sound one might see more difference among sources (I'm speculating here).

I have settled on the dB Audio Tranquility DAC since my source is a MacBook, and a DAC optimized for USB works for me. The Tranquility is excellent, but if you need S/PDIF then the AVA Vision DAC is apparently exceptional as well.

Hope that helps.

P.S. My Wyred4Sound amp uses a switching power supply, and it benefits considerably from a high-quality external power supply (I have a Dodd Balanced Power Supply coming for a demo). This costs about $1000. The AVA amps have very robust linear power supplies, as I understand, and so may produce their best sound with little attention to the quality of A/C coming in. I haven't yet determined how much difference the Dodd will make, but by reliable accounts it will be very beneficial.

oneinthepipe

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Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #30 on: 22 Jan 2010, 03:08 am »
Pray tell how does one "voice" an amplifier? 

Best regards,

Frank Van Alstine

Frank:

My ignorance of audio and audio terminology is apparent, but I wish to attempt to answer the question about the term "voice" since I used the term in this thread.   Even though Nuance's post and my post weren't in reference to AVA, I would still like to refer to some of your previous comments in an attempt to explain my use of the term. I hadn't previously read your post from September 2006, or I wouldn't have used the term in any context.

I will paraphrase in an attempt to avoid having to look up previous posts and directly quote the contents.

You described the HT3 as the windows that you used, in your treated listening room, to evaluate the effectiveness of your designs.  I assume that there were times, but perhaps incorrectly, that you modified the design because the result was not satisfactory to you after listening to music.  When you announced the B+ wiring upgrade for the U70, you stated, I believe, that the sonic improvement was not visible on test equipment and there were many unknown factors of tube technology.  When you announced the 6CG7 tube upgrade and the opamp upgrades, these also resulted in sonic improvements, even if that improvement was further sonic removal of the electronic components from the signal, although the function of the electronic components is amplify or convert the signal.   Dennis recently commented that you have the ability to make a tube amp sound almost as good as a solid state amp, although AVA owners and others know that your goal is to completely remove any component "sound" with the result of "no sound".  While I understand that you attempt to produce amplification that removes every components' contribution/detraction from the music, you also know how the music is supposed to sound.  You listen to music through your reference speakers in a treated room.  In the thread about replacing your old speakers, you wrote that you can judge whether a speaker is worthwhile in the first three notes.  If you could design a component using only test equipment, I assume that you wouldn't need speakers to evaluate the quality of your designs, i.e.; the sonic characteristics or the lack thereof.  I don't know if "rolling" tubes or opamps necessarily results in distortion, but maybe distortion is the result of different tubes, opamps, and other electronic devices that modify the sound that eventually emanates from the speakers.  I had previously considered, albeit incorrectly, that changing tubes or opamps to achieve a desired result was "voicing".

Perhaps what I referred to as voice might have more accurately be described as sonic characteristics (or lack thereof in AVA gear) or sound quality (or lack of any sound imparted in AVA gear) or design and/or engineering features.

Notwithstanding, I have read other posts about amplification where the designer/builder changed electronic components, such as a resistor, after to listening to music through an amplifier because the music had too much treble (not linear, so a design flaw?), was missing something, and/or the component didn't otherwise perform as the designer/builder intended. 

There are also devices such as tube buffers which, to the best of my knowledge, impart some additional distortion or other sonic characteristic to the music in an attempt to achieve the perceived effect of removing a detracting feature from the amplified sound.

If using the term "voice" were not inaccurate, I would also say that speaker designers voice their speakers.  They use specific electronic components to determine the characteristics of the sound that will reproduced by the speakers.  To the best of my very limited knowledge, I think that a speaker designer wants the speakers to behave in a specific way, and he or she uses electronic devices, i.e.; the capacitors, resistors, chokes, and/or whatever in the crossovers, to contribute to that result. 

Notwithstanding, I have several different AVA components, and the music that comes out of my speakers sounds different, to a certain degree, depending on which AVA components are in the amplification/conversion chain.  The similarities are far greater than the differences, however, which is a characteristic/quality of the AVA components with which I am very pleased. 

Hopefully, my misunderstanding is the result of semantics.  I didn't intend to use "voice" as a synonym for "flavor".  I know that AVA gear doesn't come in flavors.  I don't know anything about electronic design.  I just love listening to music, and I strive to have an audio system that is faithful to the music, the best that I can with a small listening room.  I am delighted in my choices in selecting my equipment. 

Respectfully yours,

Henry
« Last Edit: 22 Jan 2010, 04:27 am by oneinthepipe »

martyo

Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #31 on: 22 Jan 2010, 09:59 am »
Quote
I loved your reply. Great stuff! That is exactly what I was looking for. The heat comparison was something I hadn't even thought of.  :o  And your wife's comment about the Ultimate 70 really separating everything better makes me wonder maybe it really is the ultimate even over the 550.

Just for the record, The Ultimate will be a better heater than the Ultra. :lol: 8)
« Last Edit: 22 Jan 2010, 02:58 pm by martyo »

mathgeek97

Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #32 on: 22 Jan 2010, 02:53 pm »
Just for the record, The Ultimate will be a better heater the the Ultra. :lol: 8)

Which is the reason my wife said, "You want to put hot, glowing tubes in my living room with little kids in the house?  Not if you like being married to me!"
At the time, I was running the idea of getting the Vision DAC/pre + Ultimate70 by her.  Now I'll have to save up more money and go Vision DAC -> T8 Pre -> Insight ?? amp.
Speaking of heat, etc, y'all think I could stack the T8 Pre on top of the Vision DAC?  I was thinking it'd be safe, seeing how Frank does sell the Vision DAC/Pre combo unit...  Any thoughts?
BTW, *crossing fingers*, come on bonus!!!!  Daddy needs new toys!!!

martyo

Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #33 on: 22 Jan 2010, 02:57 pm »
Quote
Speaking of heat, etc, y'all think I could stack the T8 Pre on top of the Vision DAC?

Yes, but not the other way.  8)

BrianM

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Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #34 on: 22 Jan 2010, 05:20 pm »
And your wife's comment about the Ultimate 70 really separating everything better makes me wonder maybe it really is the ultimate even over the 550.

I wouldn't say so, no. The Ultra 550 is an objectively more capable amp, even more transparent than the Ultimate 70 (which is plenty revealing with great separation as was noted) and therefore less forgiving of poorer recordings and difficult rooms.  In some applications (or moods) you might prefer the U70, others the Ultra.  I recently swapped the Ultra for an Ultimate 70 and am perfectly happy; if I had HT3s with lots of room to breathe, I'd definitely get the Ultra 550.  Or consider bridging a couple U70s...

avahifi

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Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #35 on: 22 Jan 2010, 07:09 pm »
By the way, I keep a set of upgraded B&W 801 Series II speakers and Nate's T5 mini-speakers in use here just to keep our design work honest.  We don't want to listen and evaluate on just one brand of loudspeakers. Our electronics must perform well on a variety of designs to allow us to be certain they will work well with the speakers you use.

We have also used our electronics, both Ultra and Ultravalve, with Magnapans 1.6 models with excellent results and my techs all have different speakers in their home systems they report back on. Our customer reports come back very favorable no matter what brand of speakers they are using.

No listening or tweaking here just to make our electronics sound good on Salk speakers, although they remain by far my favorites.

Best regards,

Frank Van Alstine

bryede

Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #36 on: 29 Jan 2010, 03:01 pm »
If using the term "voice" were not inaccurate, I would also say that speaker designers voice their speakers.  They use specific electronic components to determine the characteristics of the sound that will reproduced by the speakers.

This is certainly true. A speaker is really the weak link in any audio chain due to the massive complexities of converting an electrical signal into sound waves the way real instruments do. There are compromises that must be made and different designers have different priorities, different target environments, and differing levels of skill for achieving the desired result. Sometimes speakers are designed to be inaccurate just so they'll stand out in a showroom lineup.

Anyway, my SongTowers seem to get out of the way of the music quite well.

bummrush

Re: Audio by Van Alstine vs Wyred 4 Sound for HT2-TL's?
« Reply #37 on: 29 Jan 2010, 04:19 pm »
  Yrs ago when i picked up a amp, you had big B and W's set up in basement ,back in the Burnsville days