Maraschino is HERE!

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AmpDesigner333

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Some Maraschino Cherry PICS
« Reply #20 on: 23 Feb 2013, 12:32 am »
In black....  The enclosure is a prototype.










AmpDesigner333

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Maraschino Cherry Test Results
« Reply #21 on: 23 Feb 2013, 12:36 am »
These are preliminary.










jtwrace

Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #22 on: 23 Feb 2013, 12:39 am »
Is this amp as small as it looks?  Size of a Cd case?  I'm sorry if I missed it but estimated price?  Any chance of a tour?  If so, please put me on it.

poseidonsvoice

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #23 on: 23 Feb 2013, 12:51 am »
Tommy,

I don't know if you got my last e-mail, but I have similar questions, i.e. price? And tour?

Thanks,
Anand.

Jonathon Janusz

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #24 on: 23 Feb 2013, 02:39 am »
Tommy, they need a little polish, but I think the small enclosures are pretty cool.  :thumb:

. . . I wonder if there is enough room left in that case to cram a tube buffer in there. . .  :icon_twisted:

Help me out with what I see in the first picture, but are these running external power supplies?  Built by you or generally sourced from somewhere?

Add me to the list of folks interested in the answers to all the questions. :)

lonewolfny42

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #25 on: 23 Feb 2013, 07:47 am »
These sounded pretty good at Toprounds Rave last Saturday....... :thumb:


AmpDesigner333

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #26 on: 25 Feb 2013, 12:05 pm »
These sounded pretty good at Toprounds Rave last Saturday....... :thumb:


Thanks, Chris.  Not my good side, but I'll take it!

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #27 on: 25 Feb 2013, 12:42 pm »
OK, some answers:

1. Tour ---- We are definitely going to tour the Maraschino Cherry locally, and probably nationally soon after.  This is about a month out.  Some customers are on the "short list" already....

2. Price ---- We need to determine the cost of the enclosure and the new PCB.  Target is <$2k/pair for the first version which will use the Universal Medical Grade power supply you see in the pictures.

3. Enclosure ---- I'll add some pictures to show this, but the "cube case' is significantly smaller than a stack of 7 CDs.  We are also working on an alternate case that is much flatter (about 1.5"), but longer.  Pic to follow.

4. Power Supplies ---- The power supply is external, and we plan to offer switchers as well as linear supplies.  The first power supply will be as you see in the pictures.  It is a 220W Medical Grade Universal Mains supply.  This particular supply has a long hold time when overloaded.  I mentioned before that I was hesitant to use a switcher, but the proof is in the pudding....  The Maraschino really sings with these power supplies!

5. Power Output ---- The Maraschino is designed to output up to 800W into 2 ohms, but this is limited by the power supply and a few other factors.  We are actually able to get 250W into 4 ohms with the 220W switcher, briefly!  One thing interesting to note.... This is the loudest couple-hundred watts I've ever heard.  We designed the modulator to get as close to absolute maximum voltage output while remaining linear.  This is why the right side of the THD+N vs Power curve is so steep.

6. Comparison with the "Big Cherry" ---- Well, the big Cherry has up to 1800W of transformer PER CHANNEL, and can output more than double the power of the Maraschino.  The sound is different, but not worlds away.  Yes, the Maraschino uses newer technology, but we believe the big Cherry is better suited for low efficiency speakers, and the Maraschino is better for tough to drive speakers (low impedance at HF, etc.).  There's still nothing quite like a pair of Cherry ULTRA MONOs with their 3600W of total transformer power reserve and massive power supply capacitance.  The big Cherry has nearly unlimited headroom.

Thanks for all the early interest.  We aim to please :)

-Tommy O

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #28 on: 25 Feb 2013, 01:04 pm »
Maraschino Cherry next to a stack of 7 CDs:


Another case option (please let us know what you think):


Just for fun:


poseidonsvoice

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #29 on: 25 Feb 2013, 02:29 pm »
Both enclosures work for me, although the one that provides the most sonic improvement is preferred. If enclosure size and looks don't change the sonics, then I will go with the cheapest enclosure, as all my electronics are sight unseen!

Am I right in assuming that this amplifier is about 5-6 dB less gain than most in the industry that are 26dB overall gain?

Best,
Anand.

BruceSB

Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #30 on: 26 Feb 2013, 01:42 am »
All other things being equal I like the longer shorter case.
Personally I would like the case to look both swish and distinctive.
Let me re-phrase that, I would like the case to look extremely swish and extremely distinctive.
I would be prepared to pay a little bit more (not a massive amount more) to achieve this swish distinctive look.
I love my gear to look the goods as well as sound the goods.
Also I am not all that fond of bland boring looking gear.
Why not have the best of both worlds, both sound and looks?
I think it would be really sad to let down the great sound with a cheap and shabby presentation.
Hope that helps with input.
Thanks for all of this update information.
Please keep it coming!
Thanks.
Bruce

Jonathon Janusz

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #31 on: 26 Feb 2013, 01:56 am »
Am I seeing things or does the longer case look like it was intended to be bolted to something else? The slots in the corners look to me like it should be bolted to the back of a speaker cabinet, or a wall.

Anand brings up some good points.  Does one case or the other improve the layout of the internal components from a performance perspective? From a serviceability perspective?  Also, I'm not sure I would be sold on having the connectors arranged to make the amp an "in-line" device - power, input and output connectors on a shared side would be more along the lines of a traditional amplifier in regards to placing it on a stand/rack?  Third, I know a lot of folks running with top shelf gear use cabling the size of garden hoses.  Does one case design or the other end up more stable in regards to the added cable weight causing the amp to sit at an odd angle with cables connected?  Last, I may not be seeing it, but where is the power switch?

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #32 on: 27 Feb 2013, 02:32 am »
OK, some more data....





Please note the power supply we used for the 2 Ohm test can't go much beyond 200W.  However, it has the capability of much higher output for brief transients.  With a bigger supply, power output into 2 Ohms can go as high as 800W.

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #33 on: 27 Feb 2013, 02:42 am »
Both enclosures work for me, although the one that provides the most sonic improvement is preferred. If enclosure size and looks don't change the sonics, then I will go with the cheapest enclosure, as all my electronics are sight unseen!

Am I right in assuming that this amplifier is about 5-6 dB less gain than most in the industry that are 26dB overall gain?

Best,
Anand.

Anand,

You are correct about the gain.  This helps to maximize the usable dynamic range of preamps and D/As.  However, the gain can be customized, and we are considering matching it to the "big Cherry".  Your thoughts on this?  What if that lowers SNR a bit?

Regarding the enclosure, we want it to be nice without jacking up the cost.  Maybe we should offer some options there.

Thanks for your kind post.

Best Regards,
Tommy O

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #34 on: 27 Feb 2013, 02:45 am »
All other things being equal I like the longer shorter case.
Personally I would like the case to look both swish and distinctive.
Let me re-phrase that, I would like the case to look extremely swish and extremely distinctive.
I would be prepared to pay a little bit more (not a massive amount more) to achieve this swish distinctive look.
I love my gear to look the goods as well as sound the goods.
Also I am not all that fond of bland boring looking gear.
Why not have the best of both worlds, both sound and looks?
I think it would be really sad to let down the great sound with a cheap and shabby presentation.
Hope that helps with input.
Thanks for all of this update information.
Please keep it coming!
Thanks.
Bruce

Bruce,

Good point about the case.  The Maraschino Cherry is not a "cheap amp" by any means, so we want to make it look pretty.

Thanks for your kind post.

Best Regards,
Tommy O

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #35 on: 27 Feb 2013, 03:08 am »
Am I seeing things or does the longer case look like it was intended to be bolted to something else? The slots in the corners look to me like it should be bolted to the back of a speaker cabinet, or a wall.

Anand brings up some good points.  Does one case or the other improve the layout of the internal components from a performance perspective? From a serviceability perspective?  Also, I'm not sure I would be sold on having the connectors arranged to make the amp an "in-line" device - power, input and output connectors on a shared side would be more along the lines of a traditional amplifier in regards to placing it on a stand/rack?  Third, I know a lot of folks running with top shelf gear use cabling the size of garden hoses.  Does one case design or the other end up more stable in regards to the added cable weight causing the amp to sit at an odd angle with cables connected?  Last, I may not be seeing it, but where is the power switch?

Jon (hope that's OK),

The PCB inside is the same regardless of the enclosure.  We designed it to fit in a low profile case from the start.

Regarding serviceability, we have built-in pretection measures that should keep these amps running for decades.  As far as modifying them (finished product), we aren't really in favor of that.

The "cube case" can be hung from the speaker wires since it is so light.  I've used inexpensive wire about 6" long for this with great results.  When the wire is very short, the parasitics pretty much vanish.  This practically eliminates speaker wire from the equation, and that can be a very good thing for the sound.

The "flat" case can be bolted to something if desired (such as the speaker or stand).  We are still pondering enclosures in general, though.

There is no power switch, but these amps can be left on all the time.  That's what I've been doing.  However, this requires the preamp to be on all the time as well.  So, we built in an audio sense circuit that puts the amp into standby when there isn't any audio for a while (timeout is TBD).  That was not included in the first revision of the board, so the amps that go out on tour might not have that feature.  We also have the option of a remote power control (like on the big Cherry).  It's very simple: short ot GND the input to put the amp in standby and leave it unconnected or place a voltage (3V to 20V) on the input to make the amp run normally.  Maybe we should offer a switch module or something in case you're not using this in a HT system.  Some preamps, even modern high quality ones, put out a power-on "thump" that mustn't be amplified.  Doing so may damage speakers.  We'd love to hear everyone's thought on this.

The bottom line is that the Maraschino is meant to be placed close to or even ON the speaker.  We are considering a "normal case" in the future.  Thank you for your kind post.

Best Regards,
Tommy O

AmpDesigner333

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A quick note about Maraschino Cherry
« Reply #36 on: 27 Feb 2013, 03:16 am »
We would like to get this new amp technology out there.  Soooooo, we are planning to make the Maraschino Cherry initially in either the "cube case" or the "flat case".  It will be either red or black

We'd like your help to decide.

lonewolfny42

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #37 on: 27 Feb 2013, 03:17 am »
Quote
The "cube case" can be hung from the speaker wires since it is so light.  I've used inexpensive wire about 6" long for this with great results.  When the wire is very short, the parasitics pretty much vanish.  This practically eliminates speaker wire from the equation, and that can be a very good thing for the sound.




On the back of an old pair of Advent's....you'd be surprised what it sounded like...I was... :thumb:

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #38 on: 27 Feb 2013, 03:27 am »

On the back of an old pair of Advent's....you'd be surprised what it sounded like...I was... :thumb:

Thanks.  Forgot about that photo!

Jonathon Janusz

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Re: Maraschino is HERE!
« Reply #39 on: 27 Feb 2013, 04:09 am »
Tommy, your replies clear up some questions nicely.

Regarding the case, if your intention is to deliver this as an item to put in/near/on a speaker, I would think that the best decision is going to be the case that performs best in the worst case scenario, as anything else then would work fine by default.  In my mind, this makes the case decision the one that makes attaching the amp to the largest number of possible speakers the best?

Considering the height of the case isn't much more than the depth of a pair of binding posts with banana plugs attached, the cube case looks smaller in footprint to the flat case, so it would then follow that it would fit behind a larger (in this case, physically smaller) number of speakers unobtrusively.   An idea that just came to mind - why bother with the binding posts on the amp at all?  why not just terminate with a pair of pigtail connectors, or even a pair of screw down tabs coming straight off the boards, eliminating the binding posts on the amp themselves as a performance bottleneck?  Also, if this is the intention, mounting tabs on the cube case similar to the flat one would maybe be a good idea as well?

Completely my own armchair opinion here, but although I admire and am intrigued by some of the out of the box thinking going on here (from expanded applications to performance improvements), I think you might be shooting yourself in the foot heading completely down this road form-factor wise right out of the gate. 

I don't know exactly who the target market for this amp is, so I won't presume too much, but going too far off the sociological norms of the target customer in how the product is presented is a quick and easy way to have to fight an uphill battle for mindshare, even before a customer takes a chance to see how good your product really is.  It would be a shame for someone to not even give these amps a chance just because when that person would think about just unplugging their current amps and put the M's directly in place of their current gear using their current stands and cables and so on, things didn't just look or hook up "right", if that makes any sense? 

Maybe starting with a more "traditional" form factor at first, then expanding to something more exotic would be the wiser course for a new product?  There are a lot of companies around here that do very well with lower cost prefab casework that looks very nice, and brings the overall production cost of low-volume manufacturing runs down considerably.  I know no one wants to be a "me too" company, but again, depends on the big picture goals.

Cheers!  . . . and I think it is very interesting that the same single amp scales up power-wise based on power supply alone.  One amp, with multiple power supply options basically making multiple amp models, is an interesting departure from the traditional amp marketplace.  Nice!