Any interest in battery powered Cherry Amps (Maraschino) and/or DAC DAC?

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AmpDesigner333

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I use a different kind of test. It's called a listening test, and it separates the good form the bad real easily.
So you’d be able to pick out a cable in a double blind listening test?

Danny Richie

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So you’d be able to pick out a cable in a double blind listening test?

Tommy, you'd be able to pick out the differences in almost any cable comparison quite easily in my system. Some cables are lateral moves and the differences can be very subtle. Some are not at all. But I have never had any person over that couldn't quickly and easily identify repeatable differences.
« Last Edit: 27 Jun 2019, 02:20 am by Danny Richie »

sumoking

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Couldn’t agree more Danny.
In my system I hear an immediate difference when
changing all cables.

Russell Dawkins

I don't think it's a good idea.  Read the following link to better understand why there are issues with this approach:
[size=78%]http://lightharmonic.com/blog/2015/07/24/power-supplies-and-noise/[/size]

Are the HF noise issues mentioned not easily controlled? 30 years ago I was running my microphone preamps off 2 pairs of nicad batteries to get ±18V and I had a small pair of capacitors across the output to short out the HF noise that I had read that nicads generated. This is not recent news. As far as I know all rechargables generate some kind of (typically HF) noise when being drained.

Also, I wonder if contemporary designers of domestic DC powered audio are experimenting with what car audio designers have employed for decades: huge electrolytics inline between amp and speaker to provide instantaneous power for brief transients, beyond what the amp is capable of delivering without clipping. The rule of thumb appears to be 1 Farad per 1000W.

Wind Chaser

So you’d be able to pick out a cable in a double blind listening test?

As long as the difference is significant. Same thing with DACs, amps, speakers and tweaks etc. But I would prefer to do the test on my system rather than one I'm not as well acquainted with.
 

Wind Chaser

These test as well as the ones Audio Precision includes with their $30,000 analyzers:
Audio 2000s E02101P2 XLR Male to Female 1 Feet Microphone Cable (2 Pack) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O5UBK5U/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_0y7eDbEDBBKCE

Tommy, I know you are science guy and measurements are an interesting angle to consider, but they don't tell the whole story. As a listener, I am much more interested in how a product sounds than how it measures. I've heard well spec'd amps that sound like crap and poorly spec'd amps that sound amazing.

AmpDesigner333

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Tommy, I know you are science guy and measurements are an interesting angle to consider, but they don't tell the whole story. As a listener, I am much more interested in how a product sounds than how it measures. I've heard well spec'd amps that sound like crap and poorly spec'd amps that sound amazing.
I agree that measurements don't tell the whole story.  However, passive devices, such as cables, have predictable sonic results based on measurements.  Active components, not so much.

Besides, I want to try and keep this thread on track.  Cable debates can go on indefinitely.  Ultimately, I believe my ears.  This is how the DAC DAC TL came about.  It sounded great, but didn't measure as well as expected.

Running from batteries is less likely to cause a sonic difference with Maraschino amplifiers because of great PSRR.  Since the Maraschino also has a floating ground on the other side of isolation from the AC line, it's almost like running from batteries already.  In fact, it's better in that batteries aren't regulated, but the Maraschino's power supply (whichever type/voltage) is regulated.  Then there's the argument about noise on the power supply, which, in the case of Maraschino, is way out of band, so it's filtered out nicely by the Maraschino's built-in filtering.

Is there a 30V-60V (through regulated DC/DC conversion) battery powered supply already available from somewhere?  It's easy enough to try this out if so.

Danny Richie

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Okay, keeping the topic on batteries...

Running from batteries is less likely to cause a sonic difference with Maraschino amplifiers because of great PSRR.  Since the Maraschino also has a floating ground on the other side of isolation from the AC line, it's almost like running from batteries already.  In fact, it's better in that batteries aren't regulated, but the Maraschino's power supply (whichever type/voltage) is regulated.  Then there's the argument about noise on the power supply, which, in the case of Maraschino, is way out of band, so it's filtered out nicely by the Maraschino's built-in filtering.

So if what you are saying is true then in the end the results should be the same on batteries or the AC power supply. And various power cables and power conditioners will have no effect.

You also used the words "less likely". That is a long way from an A/B comparison.

So let's find out.

Send me a couple of your amps. I'll try them with whatever power cable that you send with them and with various other power cables that I have. I can also try them with an Uber Buss and or a balanced power supply.

If what you say is true and none of that matters, then moving to a battery would be a mote point.

If everything I try makes a difference then I see a lot of merit in trying a DC source.

I can report the results privately or publicly. Your choice. Or (my preference) you can be here for the comparisons.   

Quote
Is there a 30V-60V (through regulated DC/DC conversion) battery powered supply already available from somewhere?  It's easy enough to try this out if so.

My battery power Dodd Audio tube mono-blocks use some small chips from DigiKey Electronics that ramp up the 12 volts DC to 330 volts AC for the tubes. It uses quite a few of them. 30 to 60 volts may only require one or two chips. But if you need 30 to 60 volts DC then that might require a different solution.

Wind Chaser

I'm confused, if "it's better in that batteries aren't regulated..." then why ask if there is "a 30V-60V (through regulated DC/DC conversion) battery powered supply already available from somewhere?"  :scratch:


AmpDesigner333

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To clear up any confusion about this, using a DC/DC converter powered by batteries is VERY similar to the existing floating ground setup with isolated AC power.

SO, it stands to reason that powering the Maraschino DIRECTLY from batteries would be preferred, since that way, there's no DC/DC output voltage ripple.

Jonathon Janusz

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SO, it stands to reason that powering the Maraschino DIRECTLY from batteries would be preferred, since that way, there's no DC/DC output voltage ripple.

So, would Danny's three 12V 100 amp-hour batteries chained together to get him to 36V with enough juice on tap to not have to worry about voltage drop or lack of current for at least a reasonable while even if the battery bank were left completely off the chargers to isolate just the batteries alone for testing purposes get where we need to be to give the maraschinos a good run for comparison with power output to the speakers similar to a stock wall power supply?  If so, Danny just needs a pair of amps as-is with a couple pigtail wires for the battery connections to the DC power inputs on the amps.

Unless I've missed something in the conversation here, it sounds like this test is good to go as soon as Danny can get his hands on a pair of amps (or a STM)?

AmpDesigner333

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So, would Danny's three 12V 100 amp-hour batteries chained together to get him to 36V with enough juice on tap to not have to worry about voltage drop or lack of current for at least a reasonable while even if the battery bank were left completely off the chargers to isolate just the batteries alone for testing purposes get where we need to be to give the maraschinos a good run for comparison with power output to the speakers similar to a stock wall power supply?  If so, Danny just needs a pair of amps as-is with a couple pigtail wires for the battery connections to the DC power inputs on the amps.

Unless I've missed something in the conversation here, it sounds like this test is good to go as soon as Danny can get his hands on a pair of amps (or a STM)?
The power supplies we use ramp up upon startup. We need to address that issue and a few other things for this....

AmpDesigner333

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Are the HF noise issues mentioned not easily controlled? 30 years ago I was running my microphone preamps off 2 pairs of nicad batteries to get ±18V and I had a small pair of capacitors across the output to short out the HF noise that I had read that nicads generated. This is not recent news. As far as I know all rechargables generate some kind of (typically HF) noise when being drained.

Also, I wonder if contemporary designers of domestic DC powered audio are experimenting with what car audio designers have employed for decades: huge electrolytics inline between amp and speaker to provide instantaneous power for brief transients, beyond what the amp is capable of delivering without clipping. The rule of thumb appears to be 1 Farad per 1000W.
Based on experience, there won’t be an issue with HF noise!

AmpDesigner333

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Okay, keeping the topic on batteries...
....
Send me a couple of your amps. I'll try them with whatever power cable that you send with them and with various other power cables that I have.
Someone on here mentioned that you have batteries that might work. Can you send them?  Alternately....

We can’t afford to send free amps out very often.  Our margins are low, and we build to suit.  Demos are reserved for sales to supplement cash flow.  Are you able to purchase a pair?  I can provide the information you need to carefully apply the battery supply (see “ramp up” elsewhere in this thread)....

Danny Richie

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Someone on here mentioned that you have batteries that might work. Can you send them?  Alternately....

 :lol: Those batteries that I use are 100 amp hour AGM batteries. They weigh about 65 pounds a piece. It might be cheaper to buy a set of batteries that are in your area than to ship you these.

Quote
We can’t afford to send free amps out very often.  Our margins are low, and we build to suit.  Demos are reserved for sales to supplement cash flow.  Are you able to purchase a pair?  I can provide the information you need to carefully apply the battery supply (see “ramp up” elsewhere in this thread)....

I'm not asking for you to give me a pair of amps for free, or even build a custom pair for battery power.

I didn't realize that you only built a pair as they are sold. I figured that you had a stock of amps ready for sale and sending out a demo pair to another industry member to try out might be to your benefit if they are liked. And I am not sure how much you spend on research and development, but feedback from someone like myself is something that many companies place great value on. I have gear of all kinds sent here all the time. And a lot of companies actually fly in with gear just to hear it in my system. You've been given an invitation to do that as well. And yes, I can buy whatever I want if it improves the presentation of my products.

See my last post before this one regarding why I asked for a demo pair of amps.

The first step in my eyes is to confirm what you claim, that there is no effect from various power cables or power conditioning. If they sound the same everywhere that they are plugged in, then they'd even sound the same at any hotel or show. And if that is true and the noise floor is super low, then why drag along a bunch of batteries or spend any money to reduce A/C power noise levels?

However, I have yet to find any piece of gear that this would be true of.

If all of those things (A/C cables and conditioners) do make a difference with your amps then a battery power version might be a great idea. The battery power supplies remove those variables and will allow them to sound the same anywhere you take the amps and batteries. And a big AGM battery and a C-Tek charger is less than the cost of a decent power cable.

RonN5

Danny

I have two thoughts to share.  First, if you read through the various reviews of cherry amps and forum comments by owners, given that buyers and reviewers saying great things about his amps are spread across the country and therefore using power from different grids and probably using different cables as well, I suspect that de facto....Tommy’s statement that he has designed his amps not to need special power, cables, etc., are well supported and focusing his time on a battery option has a low prospect for an actual payback.

Second, my personal experience... I tried different power cords and different cables and to my great surprise could hear no difference... which as I noted above is not a unique experience.

I have two suggestions.... you should buy am amp from tommy and return it if you find it lacking... and for Tommy.... skip batteries and keep refining the preamp so that it is as good as your amps when you make it commercially available.

Jonathon Janusz

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Gracefully side stepping the cables debate to keep things on track...  :green:

Hopefully at some point Tommy has a couple beat up demo units to lend out for a bit to give this a shot.

I completely get where Danny is coming from with the assertion that a battery and charger are generally (often much) cheaper than a quality power cord and or power conditioner (accepting for sake of discussion that one is of the camp that such things matter), thereby making batteries an attractive option both from an all-out performance perspective and also a bang-for-the-buck one.  However, being fair to the argument as far as actually developing a full-on battery product line for maraschino, I might argue Danny's personal specific use-case is a pretty extreme outlier.  Although a bit of an investment, for most folks - who aren't moving their system to unknown AC power supply environments every few months - this is a one-time spend to get them in a good place power-wise, so maybe from a volume sales perspective there isn't much appeal to a DAC battery amp (or dac) product. 

If one is talking absolute bleeding-edge, last n-th percentile, cost-is-no-object performance, however, to find out first if there is something there to be had and then second to get it put together and out there for the niche-within a niche-within a niche of buyer who would want it might be worth it either as a holy grail implementation (or: "now that we know batteries can sound the absolute best, all we have to do is figure out how to get the AC supplies to sound like that") for engineering purposes, or really as a last-word statement product (kind of like a fully decked-out MEGA Mk2 monoblock setup) for demo/show use and/or for the rare among rare system that can really use it for some advantage greater than the current main line offerings. 

Are you running maggie 30.7 in the requisite cavern of a room fully engineered for audio greatness? Here are your little welders that just so happen to be able to actually power your speakers adequately to really come alive with everything else you've invested in such a system.   :weights:

Are you running a low to flea-watt - or even a low-ish efficiency system with relatively lower max power capabilities without frying voice coils - system that you want a little more umph than a SET tube setup provides (or for whatever reason don't want to use tubes), and your system is such that darn near everything up to the phase of the moon matters in how it sounds?  DAC's got something for you right here as well...  :thumb:

With no stake in the game but an interest in seeing what such a collaboration could do if it got some legs and ran,

Jon

AmpDesigner333

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First, thanks to those who took the time to respond!

To be blunt, I’m skeptical of any system that’s sensitive to minute differences in cables, assuming they are low enough resistance to realize the full potential of the amps (speaker cables, power cords), or of decent quality (interconnects) to get the signal to them.  This is a sign that something’s wrong, such as improper grounding, impedance too low at the destination, impedance too high at the source, inadequate shielding, bad connectors, etc.

A legitimate double blind test (adequate sample size, controlled environment, only one change per iteration, multiple sessions) is the only way to prove a repeatable difference.

If I choose to build some battery powered Cherry Amps, I want to hear them myself first. I want to measure them as well.  I don’t believe tremendous available current is necessary.  It’s not as simple as just hooking up batteries, in the case there’s no DC/DC between them and the amp, but not rocket science either.  Anyway, I’m still wondering if it’s worth the trouble because the Maraschino, for example, is a very high performance amp as-is, and we’ve tested (including lots of listening, of course) with several different power supplies already.  So, if only 2 people will ever buy a battery based power supply, it doesn’t make sense to spend the time/money to develop what will be yet another option, thus complicating the product line.  We went through something similar with a linear power supply for Maraschino amps.  We sold a few, but interest was light, and it wound up fading away. It was a good power supply, and super heavy for its size, but resulted in lower power output. Other specifications were the same, and so was the sound, except when large peaks while driving difficult speakers (Mags) were too much to handle. Meanwhile our standard 60V 1kW switching supply powered though the same tracks without a sweat!

sumoking

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Just sharing some thoughts...
Looking at the big picture and the power of social media for a moment.
The Cherries are my fav amp at this time.
Could battery power make them better ? It’s possible.
I don’t know Danny Richie but it’s appears he is very credible.
Thanks to social media two great engineers could come together to test something new and see if the finest sounding amp for the buck can sound even better. Since I am all about stretching the limits and breaking ground I find this very exciting.
I would find this test fascinating whether Tommy does it on his own
or works with Danny.
I am not an engineer by trade, I have heard somewhat unconventional design approaches sound very good. I have very good ears and would love to evaluate such a A/B test.
I encourage all to be open and challenge your thinking knowing
this forum supports all involved.
With respect...
Cheers!

TomS

First, thanks to those who took the time to respond!

To be blunt, I’m skeptical of any system that’s sensitive to minute differences in cables, assuming they are low enough resistance to realize the full potential of the amps (speaker cables, power cords), or of decent quality (interconnects) to get the signal to them.  This is a sign that something’s wrong, such as improper grounding, impedance too low at the destination, impedance too high at the source, inadequate shielding, bad connectors, etc.

A legitimate double blind test (adequate sample size, controlled environment, only one change per iteration, multiple sessions) is the only way to prove a repeatable difference.

If I choose to build some battery powered Cherry Amps, I want to hear them myself first. I want to measure them as well.  I don’t believe tremendous available current is necessary.  It’s not as simple as just hooking up batteries, in the case there’s no DC/DC between them and the amp, but not rocket science either.  Anyway, I’m still wondering if it’s worth the trouble because the Maraschino, for example, is a very high performance amp as-is, and we’ve tested (including lots of listening, of course) with several different power supplies already.  So, if only 2 people will ever buy a battery based power supply, it doesn’t make sense to spend the time/money to develop what will be yet another option, thus complicating the product line.  We went through something similar with a linear power supply for Maraschino amps.  We sold a few, but interest was light, and it wound up fading away. It was a good power supply, and super heavy for its size, but resulted in lower power output. Other specifications were the same, and so was the sound, except when large peaks while driving difficult speakers (Mags) were too much to handle. Meanwhile our standard 60V 1kW switching supply powered though the same tracks without a sweat!
Well said. As you probably know, Vinnie Rossi has a ton of real experience in the battery powered audio marketplace, likely with more production battery powered units sold than anyone out there. After a long run, he moved on to the super capacitor powered LIO, very successful as well. I owned both. Now, he has gone back to traditional AC line powered gear, where you are, with solid engineering, great sound, reliable and easy gear to live with. The new L2 range is already receiving great reviews. If it were me I'd stay the course, which seems to be working very well for you. Do what you do best.