Saturday, 19 September 2009

Old, New

On the right, my old amp, a wonderful-sounding valve (tube) design, output-tranformerless (OTL), and on the left my new, solid state class D model.

Why change? The OTL consumes 450 watts of mains power to deliver 6 watts of audio (1.3% efficient), which in these days of global warming is obscene. The class D amp is by contrast 88% efficient. And dare I say it? I think the class D might even sound better, too.

5 comments:

Tim Trent said...

I seem to remember that you were (oce?) an amp and speakers guru. Does this go against the grain rather?

Cogitator said...

Not sure about going against the grain; there's nothing dogmatic in my general preference for the sound of valves over transistors. Class D is a new technique involving digitising the signal, quite different from traditional transistor designs. Tha sound it produces seems to in a different league. They're cheap too. Great, I say!

Jonathan said...

Hopefully not the same league as the mp3! It's all in the DA converters of course. One thing's for certain though. At 2am you won't be temtped to drop the needle onto an LP by the dim light of your Class D alone.

Cogitator said...

Much better than the dreaded MP3, although the design (not this model) was marketed originally, I think, as an add-on amp for MP3 players.

And yes, the gentle glow of valves does have its charm, and it's all the light you need at 2AM to listen to favourite nightime sounds.

@eloh said...

Interesting photo...way over my head...but I liked looking at all the old tubes.

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