Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers

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jtsnead

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #40 on: 22 Feb 2010, 05:15 am »
I have a one.2 on order w/ the 30v/90w supply upgrade, was thinking about
going up to the 130w but was intriqued by the battery ps option but now I might wait and see if anyone tries one of the JT supplys with the new amps (one's or two's) and reports on it or at least till I can save the money for the JT

Interesting report on the PH supply by TNT

Also wodering if the Antek kit form is the same as the current JT built one but w/o a case?

Also Seth if you read this do you have the current JT supplies ready to go?

virtue

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #41 on: 23 Feb 2010, 09:03 am »
Jason built up 11 of them this weekend and I think 9 of those are sold.  He has 15 more cases ready and waiting and can order more innards from Antek quite quickly.  If you'd like him to put a PH supply in the case, I'm sure be thrilled to do it.  He does minor mods on the Antek but it's mostly functional stuff -- fuses, power jack, cables, etc -- that he could do with any supply (not just Antek).  You can calculate what he charges for assembly and packaging by subtracting the total price from what the Antek costs on ebay, etc.

Xcalibur

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #42 on: 23 Feb 2010, 09:55 am »
I hope that you will all find this interesting!  :wink:

http://www.tnt-audio.com/accessories/hynes_psu_e.html

350 Pounds.  That would be in the neighborhood of about $750 right?  I'm sure it is an improvement, but a PSU that nearly costs as much as the Sensation M901 itself seems a bit hard to justify for those who are attracted to the value of the Virtue amps in the first place.  The Antek with a regulation circuit mod sounds like it truly would be worth the extra cost though.  :)  I'm not sure exactly how big a deal power ripple is for sound, but I certainly hear the subject brought up a lot in the tube world.  Perhaps it is less critical to solid state circuits......

Paul Hynes

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #43 on: 26 Feb 2010, 11:13 am »
Hi Xcalibur,

£350 at today's exchange rate is around $535.

If an upgrade moves the overall performance to a higher level how much is this improved performance worth? It will depend on whether your priority lies with price or performance. It's all a question of degree. How far do you want to go in the pursuit of high quality music reproduction? Enthusiasts spend more than this on a high-end cable.

Regards
Paul

classicjt2

Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #44 on: 26 Feb 2010, 07:44 pm »
I agree wholeheartedly with Paul. The sound quality of the Virtue amps is more than high enough to warrant searching for the best combination. The amps sound terrific with the 130w smps, but even better with the Red Wine Audio Black Lightning or JT Dynamic/Antek. The Paul Hynes would be a welcome option for those pushing the envelope. That the Virtue amps are "value-priced", well, that just makes things more fun.

James
« Last Edit: 26 Feb 2010, 09:13 pm by classicjt2 »

Xcalibur

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #45 on: 27 Feb 2010, 08:17 am »
Hi Xcalibur,

£350 at today's exchange rate is around $535.

If an upgrade moves the overall performance to a higher level how much is this improved performance worth? It will depend on whether your priority lies with price or performance. It's all a question of degree. How far do you want to go in the pursuit of high quality music reproduction? Enthusiasts spend more than this on a high-end cable.

Regards
Paul
I wouldn't disagree with you here, not at all.  I'm sure the improvement is tangible.  The point I was trying to make is that the Virtue message has always been high performance for those on a budget, but all of these upgrade options are really quite expensive and seem to contradict that message.  I cannot and should not speak for Seth here of course but that is how I see it.  I guess I'm just trying to play devils advocate here, since I'm sure many people would appreciate the ability to take the amp to its highest performance level.  Cost not withstanding I would probably be one of them, but part of me cringes when options like this appear because it promises even greater audio bliss but represents unforeseen additional damage to the wallet.  At any rate it is not my intention to imply your product isn't "worth it" or anything like that so I apologize if it sounded that way.

virtue

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #46 on: 28 Feb 2010, 09:42 am »
Xcaliber,

You're forcing me to editorialize here and I'm bound to piss off a few folks.  If that's you, forgive me.

You're not totally wrong.  Early on I was approached by a shall not be named vendor who wanted to sell linear supplies to my customers for $1,000.  I told him quite frankly, regardless of the sonic merits, why would I want to torture my customers with a "must-have" $1,000 upgrade?  There are PLENTY of great amps in the $1,000 + $400 = $1,400 range that don't recommend ANY upgrades, right? 

And that's something I totally hated before starting Virtue: "must-have" upgrades that I couldn't afford and which did nothing but make me feel like crap for "settling" with what I had bought.

So here's the deal.  We make a great amp for the money. We spent all of last year trying to do better and we showed off all this fancy new stuff at RMAF and we were running it on Vinnie's battery supply and in our room, it sounded pretty good (on the old and the new).  And then Danny Richie took them both to his "anoechoic" treated room on his glorious 97db Venues...and compared the switching and battery supplies.  In that pristine listening environment, the difference from cleaner power vastly exceeded that of any of our other tweaks. I had wanted to believe that a better supply wouldn't put the amp into a new league because I didn't want to ask my customers to pay more for it, but there it was.  Better PSU, better sound.  Especially with more sensitive speakers.  I'd been through the same cycle of denial with the 130w supply... too expensive! and now with the battery and linear supplies... again.

Does it upset me that a $600 supply sounds good with our amps?  What if Paul charged $1,200.. should that upset me... or you?

Here's the cool thing.  You can go and buy batteries online and your own charger, hook it up, and get a DAMN near "price-no-object" power supply for these amps for under $100.  Feel like a bit of hand-holding, some best practices, and more confidence, buy a GR Research battery kit for $200.  Want something totally finished, with a few bells and whistles and a relationship with one of the nicest guys in the business, let Vinnie at RWA hook you up for $600.  Don't like batteries?  Start with the Antek kit, move up to  JT Dynamic Power... or all the way up to a Paul Hynes kit.

What would I do?  Well, I have the 130w regulated supply on my system and it sounds great.  Would the amp sound better with Paul's kit?  I trust Nick's judgement - yes.  Would I buy Paul's kit for myself?  Frankly, no.  I have no disposable income and if I had an extra $600 I'd take Melissa on vacation.  Should you buy one?  It's a personal decision and I'll give you a hug if you do!  Like Vinnie Rossi, who will also sell you a $600 supply, Paul's a great guy and you should feel great supporting good people in this industry who toil night and day to build high-value products!

We let the genie out of the bottle once we decided to let you plug a 3rd party supply into the unit.  You're going to be tempted by $600 supplies and there are folks out there who will attest that an even more expensive supply sounds better.

Is it bitter-sweet for me that our amps can be improved with better PSUs?  Yeah, it is.  But you know what?  They will also sound better with better speakers and better room treatment and... just because they do doesn't mean that you shouldn't pick a price point and get the most enjoyment out of them that you can and know that for the money you made a very smart decision.

Did I do you sentiment justice?  Paul, did I piss you off?

gcos

Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #47 on: 28 Feb 2010, 01:56 pm »
Well said Seth.............enough of this futile quest for audio nirvana...get the best for what you can afford,then sit back and enjoy the music...there will always be better.......






Xcaliber,

You're forcing me to editorialize here and I'm bound to piss off a few folks.  If that's you, forgive me.

You're not totally wrong.  Early on I was approached by a shall not be named vendor who wanted to sell linear supplies to my customers for $1,000.  I told him quite frankly, regardless of the sonic merits, why would I want to torture my customers with a "must-have" $1,000 upgrade?  There are PLENTY of great amps in the $1,000 + $400 = $1,400 range that don't recommend ANY upgrades, right? 

And that's something I totally hated before starting Virtue: "must-have" upgrades that I couldn't afford and which did nothing but make me feel like crap for "settling" with what I had bought.

So here's the deal.  We make a great amp for the money. We spent all of last year trying to do better and we showed off all this fancy new stuff at RMAF and we were running it on Vinnie's battery supply and in our room, it sounded pretty good (on the old and the new).  And then Danny Richie took them both to his "anoechoic" treated room on his glorious 97db Venues...and compared the switching and battery supplies.  In that pristine listening environment, the difference from cleaner power vastly exceeded that of any of our other tweaks. I had wanted to believe that a better supply wouldn't put the amp into a new league because I didn't want to ask my customers to pay more for it, but there it was.  Better PSU, better sound.  Especially with more sensitive speakers.  I'd been through the same cycle of denial with the 130w supply... too expensive! and now with the battery and linear supplies... again.

Does it upset me that a $600 supply sounds good with our amps?  What if Paul charged $1,200.. should that upset me... or you?

Here's the cool thing.  You can go and buy batteries online and your own charger, hook it up, and get a DAMN near "price-no-object" power supply for these amps for under $100.  Feel like a bit of hand-holding, some best practices, and more confidence, buy a GR Research battery kit for $200.  Want something totally finished, with a few bells and whistles and a relationship with one of the nicest guys in the business, let Vinnie at RWA hook you up for $600.  Don't like batteries?  Start with the Antek kit, move up to  JT Dynamic Power... or all the way up to a Paul Hynes kit.

What would I do?  Well, I have the 130w regulated supply on my system and it sounds great.  Would the amp sound better with Paul's kit?  I trust Nick's judgement - yes.  Would I buy Paul's kit for myself?  Frankly, no.  I have no disposable income and if I had an extra $600 I'd take Melissa on vacation.  Should you buy one?  It's a personal decision and I'll give you a hug if you do!  Like Vinnie Rossi, who will also sell you a $600 supply, Paul's a great guy and you should feel great supporting good people in this industry who toil night and day to build high-value products!

We let the genie out of the bottle once we decided to let you plug a 3rd party supply into the unit.  You're going to be tempted by $600 supplies and there are folks out there who will attest that an even more expensive supply sounds better.

Is it bitter-sweet for me that our amps can be improved with better PSUs?  Yeah, it is.  But you know what?  They will also sound better with better speakers and better room treatment and... just because they do doesn't mean that you shouldn't pick a price point and get the most enjoyment out of them that you can and know that for the money you made a very smart decision.

Did I do you sentiment justice?  Paul, did I piss you off?

jtwrace

Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #48 on: 28 Feb 2010, 02:01 pm »
$535.
 Enthusiasts spend more than this on a high-end cable.

Regards
Paul

...and they are nuts!  I've done it and will not do it again.  Heck, I've got a closet full of that stuff...

I know nothing about the Virtue battery needs.  I can say that I use a Dodd Buffer and just use a 12V battery with a charger.  Can't one do the same for the Virture?  My batt & charger was $80.

Paul Hynes

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #49 on: 28 Feb 2010, 02:25 pm »
Hi Excalibur,

I understand about wallet damage and wasn’t offended. I started providing SR1 power supplies a few years ago at what I thought was a good price (£160 at the time) but people just keep asking me to build bigger and/or better power supplies and unfortunately the price increases as you go down this path.

Hi Seth,

You haven’t pissed me off. In fact I rather admire your stance regarding power supplies. Many manufacturers go bananas when someone suggests their product power supplies can be upgraded.

I recognise that some of my products would be considered expensive by some, especially if they are DIY enthusiasts. All my products are currently hand built. The cost of living in my country is quite high and this is reflected in any labour intensive product manufacture. I provide built and tested regulator modules, to enable those with reasonable basic assembly skills to build their own high performance power supplies, for noticeably less cost than the finished power supplies. There is a market for both options as those without assembly skills look for a no worries plug and play solution. The heavy-duty version of the PR3 module that Nick tested costs £120, that’s around $183 at today’s exchange rate. Add a transformer, a case, a heat sink (may not be necessary if the case can sink enough heat), a few connectors and some safety protection like a fuse or circuit breaker, and you have a very cost effective high performance power supply.

Hi jtwrace,

If you want to power Virtue amps with batteries it can be tricky applying them especially with regard to current surges when making connections. Also balancing the charge between series connected batteries. Some form of battery management system like the one Vinnie uses would be a good idea.

Regards
Paul



jtsnead

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #50 on: 28 Feb 2010, 05:57 pm »
Xcaliber,

You're forcing me to editorialize here and I'm bound to piss off a few folks.  If that's you, forgive me.

You're not totally wrong.  Early on I was approached by a shall not be named vendor who wanted to sell linear supplies to my customers for $1,000.  I told him quite frankly, regardless of the sonic merits, why would I want to torture my customers with a "must-have" $1,000 upgrade?  There are PLENTY of great amps in the $1,000 + $400 = $1,400 range that don't recommend ANY upgrades, right? 

And that's something I totally hated before starting Virtue: "must-have" upgrades that I couldn't afford and which did nothing but make me feel like crap for "settling" with what I had bought.

So here's the deal.  We make a great amp for the money. We spent all of last year trying to do better and we showed off all this fancy new stuff at RMAF and we were running it on Vinnie's battery supply and in our room, it sounded pretty good (on the old and the new).  And then Danny Richie took them both to his "anoechoic" treated room on his glorious 97db Venues...and compared the switching and battery supplies.  In that pristine listening environment, the difference from cleaner power vastly exceeded that of any of our other tweaks. I had wanted to believe that a better supply wouldn't put the amp into a new league because I didn't want to ask my customers to pay more for it, but there it was.  Better PSU, better sound.  Especially with more sensitive speakers.  I'd been through the same cycle of denial with the 130w supply... too expensive! and now with the battery and linear supplies... again.

Does it upset me that a $600 supply sounds good with our amps?  What if Paul charged $1,200.. should that upset me... or you?

Here's the cool thing.  You can go and buy batteries online and your own charger, hook it up, and get a DAMN near "price-no-object" power supply for these amps for under $100.  Feel like a bit of hand-holding, some best practices, and more confidence, buy a GR Research battery kit for $200.  Want something totally finished, with a few bells and whistles and a relationship with one of the nicest guys in the business, let Vinnie at RWA hook you up for $600.  Don't like batteries?  Start with the Antek kit, move up to  JT Dynamic Power... or all the way up to a Paul Hynes kit.

What would I do?  Well, I have the 130w regulated supply on my system and it sounds great.  Would the amp sound better with Paul's kit?  I trust Nick's judgement - yes.  Would I buy Paul's kit for myself?  Frankly, no.  I have no disposable income and if I had an extra $600 I'd take Melissa on vacation.  Should you buy one?  It's a personal decision and I'll give you a hug if you do!  Like Vinnie Rossi, who will also sell you a $600 supply, Paul's a great guy and you should feel great supporting good people in this industry who toil night and day to build high-value products!

We let the genie out of the bottle once we decided to let you plug a 3rd party supply into the unit.  You're going to be tempted by $600 supplies and there are folks out there who will attest that an even more expensive supply sounds better.

Is it bitter-sweet for me that our amps can be improved with better PSUs?  Yeah, it is.  But you know what?  They will also sound better with better speakers and better room treatment and... just because they do doesn't mean that you shouldn't pick a price point and get the most enjoyment out of them that you can and know that for the money you made a very smart decision.

Did I do you sentiment justice?  Paul, did I piss you off?

Well Said Seth

I to have been trying to decide on which power supply to get w/ my one-2, after some research I ordered the 130w thinking I coud sell it and upgrade later. I was thinking I could get Red Wines battery supply and use it with my Nova Phenomona also, but a good point to bring up is that for the same money I could by another one.2 w/ the 130 watt supply and biamp my speakers, which would be the best for my dollar? I think the latter, but I might change my mind once I hear the amp on my speakers.

virtue

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #51 on: 28 Feb 2010, 05:59 pm »
Paul -
Thanks for joining this discussion and your constructive feedback.   You perform a great service for us.  Do note that the soft-start circuits in the new amps provide a 1 second start-up trough a 20 Ohm thermistor.  There's the question of regulation and sag certainly and we didn't support batteries initially because of it.  However, I've heard the setup and it sounds great!  RWA made a good business from their battery powered Tripath amps and it took us a while to catch on.  I welcome A:B comparisons - Nick.
About bi-amping... neat idea.  That would work for sure.  You can jumper a channel on the POT to lock the woofer at max, and use the volume knob to change the relative volume of the tweeter.  You'd still need a pre-amp in this situation.  If you choose to do it, let me know how it works out! 
I personally would rather not defeat the cross-over in the speaker.  They often do lots of things and bi-amping seemed "risky" to me.  Would anyone like to educate me on the subject?
Seth

Nuuk

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #52 on: 28 Feb 2010, 06:28 pm »
Quote
I personally would rather not defeat the cross-over in the speaker.  They often do lots of things and bi-amping seemed "risky" to me.  Would anyone like to educate me on the subject?

Bi-amping is simply using an amp for each speaker. If the speakers use passive crossovers you still use them.

Going active, is using an amp for each speaker driver, and using an active crossover before the amps instead of a passive one between amp(s) and driver(s).

A fuller description (and pictures) is at http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/nuukspot/decdun/loudspeakers.html#goingactive (scroll up a bit from 'Going Active'.

Quote
RWA made a good business from their battery powered Tripath amps and it took us a while to catch on.  I welcome A:B comparisons - Nick.

It's a question of getting a battery supply for review Seth. I'm even more broke than you!  :lol:

Paul Hynes

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #53 on: 28 Feb 2010, 06:43 pm »
Hi Seth,

I am a hands on sort of guy and don’t mind talking power supplies, although some of my stuff is the subject of non disclosure agreements, so there will be areas where I am not at liberty to talk.

The PR3 regulator topology has a slow start characteristic and takes around 5 seconds to reach full voltage on the output, so you would not need the thermistor with one of these regulators. I can vary the slow start timing if necessary depending on the application. This is also very useful for powering valve heaters as it prevents high inrush currents.

Regards
Paul

Xcalibur

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #54 on: 1 Mar 2010, 12:00 am »
It would seem I set off a far larger debate than I ever intended.  My apologies for stirring unrest.  The thought that was on my mind when I expressed my previous thoughts was this:  it seems as though every company that starts out trying to offer high value ends up gradually moving further and further upstream until they become one of the many expensive high end audio makers.  I'm sure there are many reasons for it.  Pricing pressures and structure, demands from customers wanting to go upmarket but stay with the brand they've come to love, etc.  I would just hate to see Virtue go this way because you guys do value so amazingly well and right now audio enthusiasts who are just discovering their love for the hobby but don't have much to spend need a company like this to show them the potential of their music without demanding they make payments on it for a year in return.  Companies I've admired in the past have gone this route and ended up basically losing their identity.  There are lots of high end makers out there but not very many high value that really get it right.  It is easy to keep "pushing it further" without realizing you've pushed yourself into a completely different realm of pricing and availability and I think it would be a shame to see Virtue go this way in the future when they are bringing new people into the hobby with the current pricing and product lineup.

All of this sounds alarmist and highly speculative, and it is.  I just wanted to speak my mind because the enthusiasts who want to push the limit and can afford to do so tend to speak the loudest, but some of us still want a boutique brand that keeps it simple while still sounding amazing.

Of course you could always expand and do both value and high end.  I wish Virtue enough success to enable this and more.  I'll be here to buy what I can afford regardless.

virtue

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #55 on: 1 Mar 2010, 03:51 am »
What you are describing in terms of transformation for the worst, often has more to do with supporting a tiered dealer network than having the manufacturer charge more.  Once you support distributors who sell to stores, you begin to add 40% and then again 40% or more to the manufacturer price.  That's a recipe for price inflation and folks like Dell have proven that a direct sales model can work.

However, it's hard and that's dillema for small manufacturers.  Why?  Because the distributors pay cash up-front.  When you buy something from Virtue directly, I probably financed 90% of it 1-2 years prior and have been paying userous interest on the money.  It's a great formula for thrilling customers.. and also turning a large fortune into a small one.

We're still figuring out the business model and making adjustments which we must. Would I like to charge less for the amp?  You bet.  I love delivering "extreme" value.  Would it make sense for me to go back to $299 today?  No.  Would I do it one day?  Yes.  Will we always look for ways to support our customers?  Just look at the soft-start give-away.  We're doing our best every day.

I welcome your criticism and if we're not proving our value proposition every day, I want to know.  Email me privately if you like.
« Last Edit: 1 Mar 2010, 03:01 pm by virtue »

classicjt2

Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #56 on: 1 Mar 2010, 07:49 am »
Seth-

Virtue- not delivering "extreme value"? My original comments from 2008, regarding my Virtue One w/ 90w power supply, outperforming a Krell at $2500 or a 47 Labs at $2200 still hold true. That's an under 400 dollar amp we're talkng about. When we start nick-picking about power supply options and higher priced options, we're missing the point. The Virtue amps, all of them, make music. Those waiting for their One.2s will be doing handstands very shortly. I chose the Sensation for its remote control, three inputs, and options; that it delivers even better sound is a bonus.

James

Xcalibur

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #57 on: 1 Mar 2010, 08:15 am »
No criticism here Seth.  I think you deliver more real value than anybody else in this business right now.  Basically what I've been ranting on about is a nebulous fear that all the enthusiasm surrounding adding high end parts to the amps would eventually lead to Virtue just making really expensive amps years down the road to satisfy these desires "out of the box" rather than through modding, which I think would be a shame unless you did both value and high end at the same time.  Nothing I wrote was meant as criticism, and I think you've been both extremely honest/transparent as well as completely justified whenever you have announced a need to charge more.  A business has to make money to remain in business after all.

JohnR

Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #58 on: 1 Mar 2010, 08:29 am »
I'm working on my arm and shoulder muscles in preparation for those handstands  :D 8) :thumb:

Nuuk

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Re: Antek PS-3N30 Power Supply for Virtue Amplifiers
« Reply #59 on: 1 Mar 2010, 08:55 am »
Quote
When we start nick-picking

Don't start picking on me!  :lol:

I anticipated the debate, hence the closing paragraph of my review.  :wink: