Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5

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Mr. Big

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Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #40 on: 28 Jan 2023, 01:05 am »
On the subject of sound and amps, speakers, etc. This evening for the fun of it I installed my old ac wall plates that came with my house when it was built. I had them out for several years and had replaced them not for sound but for looks. I took those out and when I turned my system I played one track and it took me less than 1 minute to say enough, my wife yelled up turn it off or turn it down what did you do, it sounds like crap. I told her I put the old wall plates back on, and she said your nuts, I said hold on and reinserted the better-looking wall plates, she yelled up wow that is really good, just the wall plates, I said yep, she said don't tell anyone they will say you gone nuts with your hobby. 

When I worked for sony our ES gear back then all had copper bottoms and shells surrounding the parts etc. To keep RF and EMI out from screwing with the circuits. Today we have that stuff in our homes, my new 5G router cause my garage opener to not work at times due to inference, and my PC speakers had noise coming from them and I had to replace them with shielded ones. That is how much noise the new wifi router was creating for electronics. Even worse than back then.

How bad did my system sound? If I walked into a system that sounded like like mine did with the plastic and nylon plates I would have said this system is really bright, forward, grainy, etc. Just a mishmash of sound. I mean just bad. My M3's sounded nothing like they did, I mean nothing like they did not even close. I would have said to get rid of these speakers they suck. I know some have said they can sound bright, if so this may be the reason. From the top down to the bass really improves.

I know power cords can make an impact on amps big time, even front and gear I keep large gauge power cords. But going back to the old white wall plates really shocked me even with my good power cords the system sucked.

So if you want a cheap improvement no matter the speaker or gear what you plug into matters I use Hubble for $50.00 professional ac outlets the orange ones but the wall plate more than matters also. I will link them if you like to give them a try.

1st ones our what I purchased and later I found pure copper ones that were even better.
https://www.amazon.com/Brainerd-64776-Beaded-Single-Brushed/dp/B00368CBN2/ref=sr_1_49?keywords=beaded%2Bac%2Bwall%2Bplates%2Bcopper&qid=1674866751&sr=8-49&th=1

Pure copper:
https://www.amazon.com/Monarch-Copper-Hammered-Duplex-Switch/dp/B07848TYC3/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=beaded%2Bac%2Bwall%2Bplates%2Bcopper&qid=1674867815&sr=8-8&th=1

Outlets:
https://www.amazon.com/HUBBELL-IG5362-Straight-Isolated-Receptacle/dp/B000TKFI12/ref=sr_1_38?crid=3W2MKTZCYEL9S&keywords=hubbell+professional+ac+outlets&qid=1674868105&sprefix=hubble+professional+ac+outlets%2Caps%2C66&sr=8-38&ufe=app_do%3Aamzn1.fos.006c50ae-5d4c-4777-9bc0-4513d670b6bc

https://www.amazon.com/Hubbell-Wiring-Systems-SpikeShield-Receptacle/dp/B000LEDFRU/ref=d_pd_day0_vft_none_sccl_3_3/139-9497462-0203460?pd_rd_w=h1Lhf&content-id=amzn1.sym.8ca997d7-1ea0-4c8f-9e14-a6d756b83e30&pf_rd_p=8ca997d7-1ea0-4c8f-9e14-a6d756b83e30&pf_rd_r=H6XD95ZZ2MRBXFGZVTR1&pd_rd_wg=J84N1&pd_rd_r=6d2c8767-980a-4d9c-8415-77760e00eae0&pd_rd_i=B000LEDFRU&psc=1



Early B.

Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #41 on: 28 Jan 2023, 03:01 pm »
You're entitled to your opinion that "cheap parts = cheap sound" whatever "cheap sound" is.  But, at a minimum, unless/until you LISTEN to gear, you have NO USEFUL OPINION on the gear's sonic merit, i.e., sound quality, regardless of its price, build quality, alternatives, etc.

Let me give you an example of an alternative perspective to your assertion: nearly all components have shortcomings or concessions and are built to a certain price point, so through experience, it's feasible to predict the "sonic merits" of a device without ever hearing it. I don't need to demo a specific cheaply made tube amp to know that it sounds like a cheap tube amp. 

Second, if you've heard a component and described what you've heard, I don't know your capacity to discern the nuances of what you're hearing. I also don't what "bright" or "neutral" means to you, so your description of a component doesn't convey much useful information. And, of course, components are system-dependent, so you're literally describing how a system sounds, not an individual component. 

When determining how something sounds, my first consideration is examining build quality. I don't need to hear it. In fact, it's 100% impractical for anyone to hear every component they're considering for purchase, so, by necessity, one must rely on other factors.   
 

RonN5

Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #42 on: 28 Jan 2023, 03:15 pm »
 
Second, if you've heard a component and described what you've heard, I don't know your capacity to discern the nuances of what you're hearing. I also don't what "bright" or "neutral" means to you, so your description of a component doesn't convey much useful information. And, of course, components are system-dependent, so you're literally describing how a system sounds, not an individual component. 
 

This is why reviews become much more meaningful when you have a way to triangulate on what the reviewer is saying...such as you've heard other things they've reviewed and agreed...or they describe interactions with other pieces of related equipment that you may own and have experienced the same.

I view the reviews of others as relating to their experiences, their preferences and their choice of words...not as absolutes for me to use as a truth that I can rely upon but interesting nonetheless and possibly helpful if dozens of other people report the same experience.

And, as we all know, nothing beats the 30-60 days home trial....especially because pieces of gear interact differently with each other and those interactions are very hard to predict.

catluck

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Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #43 on: 28 Jan 2023, 04:05 pm »
Early B - it appears that we're destined to disagree with each other. FUN!!! First, note that I've never suggested that anyone should rely on MY assessment of gear.  I've always ONLY suggested that assessment of sound quality should be YOURS and YOURS alone. So the comments re: what I think is "bright" or whatever are simply irrelevant. They address issues I've never raised.

Second, had I adopted your old school credo that price somehow reveals sound quality I never would have tried my George Wright 2A3 monoblocks (the most amazing 2A3 amps I've ever heard), or the Hartung 125 OTL's (crazy good sounding 50 watt Class A mono's) or C.C. Poon's Monarchy SM-70 Pros (another amazingly lifelike sounding amp albeit subject to failure due to excessive heat) or other amps I've tried over nearly 45 years in this glorious hobby. And, of course, the MiniGan 5's which, as my first post noted, I didn't want to like.  Doing so would force me to reject the shibboleths I've lived by for 45 years, i.e., cheaper gear can't sound GREAT.

Likewise, if one has gained familiarity with reviewers and their predilections, you can get a sense of a product. I found Art Dudley's, Herb Reichert's, and other's reviews useful. Not the last word, but useful.  I have never purchased a piece based solely on price, specs, or any other factor except, where possible, sound quality. And, yes, we're hearing a system so that applies across the board to any purchase. My reporting was on the MiniGan with M3's and M3's alone, thus containing, I think, the most important exogenous variables.

In any event, now that I've actually LISTENED to the MiniGans, over 4 months, and after owning substantial tube gear for over 25 years, I find the MiniGans exceptional and, again,  I DIDN'T WANT TO.  So the cheap price = cheap sound simply doesn't hold for me and apparently others who have actually LISTENED to this product. It's a credo you may hold onto but I find it no longer useful (if it ever was) particularly with gallium nitride products.

Mr. Big

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Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #44 on: 28 Jan 2023, 04:14 pm »
This is why reviews become much more meaningful when you have a way to triangulate what the reviewer is saying...such as you've heard other things they've reviewed and agreed upon...or they describe interactions with other pieces of related equipment that you may own and have experienced the same.

I view the reviews of others as relating to their experiences, their preferences and their choice of words...not as absolutes for me to use as a truth that I can rely upon but interesting nonetheless and possibly helpful if dozens of other people report the same experience.

And, as we all know, nothing beats the 30-60 days home trial....especially because pieces of gear interact differently with each other and those interactions are very hard to predict.

Well said. This is why we can only state what we hear and our perceptions of that sound or piece of gear in our systems and rooms' acoustics. Mixing and matching gear can be a good thing but one that is more complicated, where buying matching pieces of gear in the same matching price range from a manufacturer almost assure you getting 100% of what that designer had in mind for the sound of their gear. When we had 2-3 audio stores in an area back in the golden era of hi-fi, you could stop by and take a piece home and try it, so mixing and matching was much easier to do, you knew if it work or not, now with so few audio stores in communities we in many cases have to buy blindly for hearing. Plus the used market on gear is huge nowadays. With more and more companies now focusing on the upper 10% of earners on a lot of gear sold, it becoming even harder to get into this hobby even if you make a good wage to have that much deposable income to spend on a hobby when you have a family to take care of schooling for your kids.

Tyson

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Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #45 on: 28 Jan 2023, 06:40 pm »

rollo

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Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #46 on: 28 Jan 2023, 06:53 pm »
   Cheap can be great. The LSA Warp-1 surprised the shit out of me. Still scratching my head. My only issue is where some are made.


charles


Letitroll98

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Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #47 on: Yesterday at 01:33 pm »
From Neil Grader's review of the PS Audio S300 Class D amp, which is only $1700.
"A final word on Class D, if I may. Digital artifacts and colorations (the early rap was flat mids, brittle, snappish treble, deep but stiffly controlled bass) of an earlier era have been largely expunged from today’s top crop of Class D amps. Candidly, I don’t even know anymore what it means to describe a contemporary amp’s sonic signature as “Class D.” Yet, many of us still have a negative knee-jerk reaction to the “D” word. It’s rather like acknowledging a superb recording on vinyl, and then finding out the transfer wasn’t pure AAA and deciding it wasn’t up to snuff, after all. This is a long-winded way of saying, listen first before you judge. The era of apologizing for Class D is over."

newzooreview

Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #48 on: Yesterday at 06:02 pm »
I know power cords can make an impact on amps big time, even front and gear I keep large gauge power cords. But going back to the old white wall plates really shocked me even with my good power cords the system sucked.

Yikes.

I own the M3 Sapphires and a pair of monoblock Mini GaN 5s that replaced my Pass Labs XA25, and I was quite skeptical about this tweak.

I use an AudioQuest Niagara 3000 power conditioner, so I figured that a difference in electromagnetic interference at the wall plate would not matter audibly.

In addition, a pure copper wall plate, if it sees an electrical field, will induce a magnetic field. So pure copper could just exchange one type of interference for another, perhaps.

But for $10 and next day delivery, it seemed like minimal risk. The plate arrived yesterday, and I installed it last night. I gave the Holo May and Niagara time to settle in overnight and this morning put on a playlist of familiar test/demo tracks. I wasn't expecting to hear any difference, really.

Boy, was I wrong. For whatever reason, this copper plate makes readily apparent improvements. The timbre and clarity of hi-hat cymbals was the first thing that I noticed. Then I noticed that natural timbre in the midrange was improved. Then I noticed that I didn't mind turning the volume up on some tracks that I usually lowered the volume on. Overall, it seems as if the copper has cleaned up tizz or grit or confusion in the high frequencies that was degrading the sound. Bizarre. But for $10 it's the good kind of bizarre.

I assume this isn't specific to M3 Sapphires and Mini GaN 5s, but the combination of the speed and resolution of amps and speakers certainly makes the improvement obvious.


Don_S

Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #49 on: Yesterday at 06:54 pm »
Mr. Big,

Your mission should you choose to accept it ( :wink:) is to compare the pure copper wall plate to the aluminum model. Aluminum is also a good conductor and possibly a shield as well. Electronics are all in aluminum cases and some have internal aluminum barriers.

I prefer the white aesthetically so I need to know. :lol: And they are cheaper. I would need three. Bummer is I really need wall plates with supports to hold heavy PCs. The less expensive 3D printed ones have a reputation for breaking.

jnschneyer

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Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #50 on: Yesterday at 07:08 pm »
Jn- here's, perhaps, the major difference in our positions: I accord virtually no weight or deference to someone expressing an opinion about a matter concerning which they're largely, if not wholly, ignorant.  But, if you haven't heard a piece of kit, you're not "largely" but, rather, "wholly," ignorant IMO about the piece  and its sonic merit. For instance, if I asked a person, "well, what did that piece sound like to you?"  They would/could have no credible, i.e., informed, response if they hadn't actually heard the piece. Not some other gear, not something kinda' like it..., but the gear in question.  And, to the greater point, if I hadn't actually experienced a piece of gear I certainly wouldn't discount, diminish, or otherwise disparage the gear even if only implicitly or circumspectly. No big deal though.

Hi again, Catluck,

In absolute terms, I can't dispute your argument, nor would I want to, that, ultimately, one must experience a piece of kit before one can be sure of one's opinion of it.  That said, one can make educated guesses based on general experience that more often than not turn out to be accurate.  I'll offer an analogy.  I'm a boxing coach.  I competed for many years and have trained fighters now for nearly 30 years.  If someone were to come to me and tell me they had a really talented welterweight, that he or she had speed, power, great defensive skills, and a high boxing IQ (much as boxing IQ may seem an oxymoron), that the only drawback was that he was 5'2", I would be justifiably skeptical, as your average successful welterweight goes anywhere from 5'9" to 6'.  Not only would I be justifiably skeptical, I would almost invariably be right, that, no matter what the skill level, even if he was now beating low-level opposition, as soon as he moved up in opposition he would get destroyed, as the height difference would simply be too much of a disadvantage to overcome.  Of course, I'm aware that an analogy is only an illustration and not a proof, and that no analogy is truly apple to apples; electronics and the human body are not the same thing, and the possibilities of each are different.  My point, belabored at this point, is that one can often make intelligent and even accurate guesses based on experience using particular criteria.  That said, as I said earlier, I grant your ultimate point, that, while one may sight unseen make an accurate prediction as to the quality or success of something, as there are always exceptions, one can finally draw no absolute conclusion without seeing the fighter, hearing the amp, in person.

On another note, going back to my original objection to the appearance of animus in these discussions, the absence of it has allowed a lively and interesting discussion to go forward and for people to make clearer their positions, without necessarily intending to change the minds of others but to present thoughts and experiences for consideration.  It is what I really enjoy about this particular forum.  So, thanks for that.

catluck

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Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #51 on: Yesterday at 09:20 pm »
jn - I appreciate your thoughtful reply. I really do. Further, I get your analogy because I studied the martial arts for almost 10 years.  Some minutes ago.... But even assuming that the posts advocating for assessment, evaluation, and purchase, based upon price, manufacturer, specs, whatever, when auditioning isn't possible, gives no indication whatsoever of the level of buyer satisfaction when purchasing in that fashion. As, or more, important, I'm willing to wager that anyone who does purchase a component unheard, and despite any other parameter(s) known, exercises heroic pre-purchase efforts to locate information on how the kit sounds.  If such a purchase is not attended by those efforts then I'm willing to argue that the purchaser values sound quality less than the other "known" parameters impelling the buy.

Now, if you agree, then we have to ask, why?  Why would a "blind" purchaser undertake such pre-purchase efforts to discover the sound quality?  Why? Because sound quality is the primary reason we buy and keep our gear.  Or, would anyone argue that audiophiles keep their gear because, although they are bored/uninterested/dismayed with the sound quality they are enamored with the specs, construction, and aesthetics?  I'm not speaking to those people. 

For us old guys, you may remember a luminary in audio, Harvey Rosenberg (now long passed sadly) who went by the nom de plume Dr. Gizmo. He was, for decades, a fixture in the N.Y. City audiophile society and a brilliant amp designer. He used to write a column in Dudley's rag, "Listener."  Full of wisdom: every line. Gizmo had rules re: audio. One that has stayed with me for decades and never led me astray, went like this:

"What's the most important aspect of any amplifier? Tone
What's the second most important aspect of any amplifier?  Tone
What's the third most important aspect....?  Tone"

I 100% agree with Gizmo. And, you CANNOT assess tone without listening. I don't give a damn what else one "knows" about the gear.  One last, and the most important, thing: It is a pleasure "speaking" with you and all the others on this thread.  I treasure our conversation. Especially those raising counter-arguments.  Don't want a world full of me.  Fuck that!


morganc

Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #52 on: Yesterday at 11:38 pm »
Love it: re: Tone!

That's what separates this Class D Gan from others including VTV and Orchard Audio as well:  this amp just does tone so much better than the others in my system and with my ears.  YMMV.

I did just buy Atmasphere Class D Monos and am awaiting their delivery, and I'd be surprised if these Class D giant killers will outdo the Atmasphere, but I'm open to that possibility.

More details to follow in a few weeks....


Mr. Big

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Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #53 on: Today at 12:17 am »
Yikes.

I own the M3 Sapphires and a pair of monoblock Mini GaN 5s that replaced my Pass Labs XA25, and I was quite skeptical about this tweak.

I use an AudioQuest Niagara 3000 power conditioner, so I figured that a difference in electromagnetic interference at the wall plate would not matter audibly.

In addition, a pure copper wall plate, if it sees an electrical field, will induce a magnetic field. So pure copper could just exchange one type of interference for another, perhaps.

But for $10 and next day delivery, it seemed like minimal risk. The plate arrived yesterday, and I installed it last night. I gave the Holo May and Niagara time to settle in overnight and this morning put on a playlist of familiar test/demo tracks. I wasn't expecting to hear any difference, really.

Boy, was I wrong. For whatever reason, this copper plate makes readily apparent improvements. The timbre and clarity of hi-hat cymbals was the first thing that I noticed. Then I noticed that natural timbre in the midrange was improved. Then I noticed that I didn't mind turning the volume up on some tracks that I usually lowered the volume on. Overall, it seems as if the copper has cleaned up tizz or grit or confusion in the high frequencies that was degrading the sound. Bizarre. But for $10 it's the good kind of bizarre.

I assume this isn't specific to M3 Sapphires and Mini GaN 5s, but the combination of the speed and resolution of amps and speakers certainly makes the improvement obvious.

You hurt what I heard and as you play more music and play some you have not played in a while you will be shocked at the improvements, Copper is great at blocking noise in coming and outgoing. I used to use the copper pipe rings and slipped them over the male plugs and you heard the improvement even then, but it looked like crap, the copper plates look good and do what I expected them to do so for $10.00 or pay for an audiophile plate for $150.00 I say $10.00 is quite the bargain for the given results, add the copper plates on all ac outlets in your room where your gear is and sit back and enjoy even if you use a power conditioner they only make that even better.

Mr. Big

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Re: Premium-Audio Mini GaN 5
« Reply #54 on: Today at 12:25 am »
Mr. Big,

Your mission should you choose to accept it ( :wink:) is to compare the pure copper wall plate to the aluminum model. Aluminum is also a good conductor and possibly a shield as well. Electronics are all in aluminum cases and some have internal aluminum barriers.

I prefer the white aesthetically so I need to know. :lol: And they are cheaper. I would need three. Bummer is I really need wall plates with supports to hold heavy PCs. The less expensive 3D printed ones have a reputation for breaking.

Buy the outlets I put links to, they hold power cords like a vice, and the plate has zip to do with that. If they can hold the PS Audio original Statement power cords they can hold anything, those were made from solid copper, and if you had to work with them you better buy them over 1.5 meters or more, the one-meter was impossible to twist or turn. These outlets hold them fine. The copper ones work so well that I have no desire to try silver aluminlum ones. They would not match my decor, but try them anything should be better than the plastic ones or nylon ones, unlistenable to me now. Yuck! Smile.The copper ones are solid.