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Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

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Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby Baldo » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:41 am

I need an amplifier to power some old wharfdale loudspeakers and I came across these Chinese amps.

Nobsound 200 Watt Digital Power Amplifier HiFi Stereo Audio AMP Treble Bass Control with Power Supply Amplifier
https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07BNMQ7CZ/?co ... _lig_dp_it

I can also get similar so called digital amps from ebay.

What I am wondering is how do these compare to an old pioneer or sony hi-fi Amp?

Anyone have any experience of these?
Many thanks
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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:09 am

I'd personally prefer a proper Hi-Fi amp. Basic Class D amps have a relatively high output impedance, so without a properly designed feedback circuit to decrease the output impedance, the damping factor could be pretty low. At this price, I don't think you'll be getting that.

Also the 19v power supply at the amps quoted current draw of 3A will not give the claimed 100W RMS x 2 power output. Maybe around 30W RMS x 2 - and that's into 4 ohms! So the quoted power output is unachievable. Into a more typical 8 ohms for a hi-fi speaker, you'll be lucky to get 15W RMS per channel. I'd then be concerned about how accurate their 'low noise' claims were.

Note that on Amazon UK for this amp, there's a warning; "To get stronger output, please use a more powerful power supply".

So I'd look out for a used Hi-Fi amp with a class A/B amp, decently rated for the speaker power.
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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:21 am

I agree 100% with Wonks.... these amps are not the way to go. If you're prepared to travel to collect there are real bargains to be had on EBay. Often well-cared for decent kit previously owned by older people who aren't using it any more.

And if you collect then if you take some decent headphones and a sound source you can test the kit before buying.

My son has built a very respectable system adopting this approach.
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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby Baldo » Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:02 pm

Thanks guys.

One more question, do the components in the amps need replacing at all, like capacitors etc?

I could buy a 30 year old pioneer amp from ebay and i'm happy to replace the capacitors if this would improve the sound.

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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:00 pm

You don't have to buy something 30 years old. But saying that, the amp I use for my general purpose PC is a Kenwood A-76 integrated amp, that I use with some Eltex hi-fi speakers. Introduced in 1992, so probably 25 years old. Bought on eBay a few years ago. No problems and good sounding.

You can open it up and have a look at the capacitors for signs of damage or bulging ends on the electrolytics, but unless there's anything obvious, I wouldn't change them for the sake of it. Not like on an 50+ year-old valve amp with much higher voltages.

If it looks OK inside and sounds OK, I'd leave it. I'd look for an amp that has either no tone controls or a tone defeat button to minimise colouration.
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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby wireman » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:15 pm

Wonks wrote:Also the 19v power supply at the amps quoted current draw of 3A will not give the claimed 100W RMS x 2 power output.
I noticed that as well before reading this post.

Also 200W might be way more than needed for the speakers.
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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:21 pm

You can get peak outputs of that size, but only for a few ms before the PSU capacitors discharge all their stored energy.
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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby ef37a » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:39 pm

Check out some charity shops. Scope and Heart Foundation often have some hi fi bargains. Cash Generator shops also have audio kit but not quite such low prices.

You will not want anything close to 200 watts! I still have an RS12-DD in a cab and, IIRC, it is rated at 20 watts? Ok, 16 Ohms so a 50W per ch hi fi amp would be safe so long as you didn't go for disco levels.

Bit OT. I am working my way through D Self's latest amplifier book..LOT of sacred cows getting butchered in that!

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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:53 pm

ef37a wrote:Check out some charity shops. Scope and Heart Foundation often have some hi fi bargains. Cash Generator shops also have audio kit but not quite such low prices.

You will not want anything close to 200 watts! I still have an RS12-DD in a cab and, IIRC, it is rated at 20 watts? Ok, 16 Ohms so a 50W per ch hi fi amp would be safe so long as you didn't go for disco levels.

Bit OT. I am working my way through D Self's latest amplifier book..LOT of sacred cows getting butchered in that!

Dave.

Good advice Dave, but he's in Germany. :)
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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:24 pm

There are far fewer charity shops in Germany than in the UK, and most appear to be clothing rather than electrical goods. But I'm sure Baldo knows what's available around him.
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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby ef37a » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:57 pm

Wonks wrote:There are far fewer charity shops in Germany than in the UK, and most appear to be clothing rather than electrical goods. But I'm sure Baldo knows what's available around him.

Was going to say, "Bit uncharitable to Germans!" (I'll bet they don't have FOOD BANKS either Mrs May?)

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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:57 pm

I'm going to go slightly against the grain here, I have one of these https://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-Integrated-Tripath-Amplifier-Adaptor/dp/B017W13O5W/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=class+T+amplifier&qid=1552232835&s=electronics&sr=1-8 (branding may be different but it looks identical) and it is great. I use it to drive my Wilmslow Audio LS3s (BBC LS3/5 clones), they have little low end though and it might not sound so good driving beefier speakers but they sound great with it. FWIW this one is 20 WPC so is not going to drive your 15" Tannoy Reds.........
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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:33 pm

Less than 20W into 8 ohms and at 10% THD? I think you could do better.
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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby ef37a » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:44 pm

Wonks wrote:Less than 20W into 8 ohms and at 10% THD? I think you could do better.

+1 and if they are REALLY old Wharfdales they will be 15 Ohms and so less than 10 watts.

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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:02 pm

Looking back at the OP, I think the name would put many of us off "Nobsound" :beamup:
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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby James Perrett » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:17 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:FWIW this one is 20 WPC so is not going to drive your 15" Tannoy Reds.........

Actually it is the other way round. LS3/5a's are notoriously inefficient (83dB/W) whereas big Tannoys are some of the more efficient hifi speakers around (92dB/W) so the Tannoys require much less power to deliver the same sound level. However the Tannoys will ruthlessly show up any shortcomings in your amplification so work best with decent quality amps.

My solution to driving Tannoys at a reasonable price was to buy a couple of Hypex amplifier modules and a matching power supply and fit them inside an old hifi amplifier case.
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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby Baldo » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:55 pm

Thanks Guys,

The Wharfdales are good sized book shelf speakers. Not quite floor standers and crtainly bigger than small book shelfs that we can get now a days.

I need a good clean, big sound. The output will be calming meditation music along with my own (male) voice. So I dont really want too much distortion.

It looks like my best best is to go off to ebay.de as there seem to be some great bargains to be had there.

Many thanks again.
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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:58 pm

ef37a wrote:(I'll bet they don't have FOOD BANKS either Mrs May?)

As they say at all the best pantos... Oh yes they do! Similar number of food banks in Germany to the UK I believe.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_bank
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Re: Are these new Amplifiers any good compared to older hi-fi models.

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:10 pm

But German town centres haven't emptied in the same way as many UK ones have, so there aren't the same number of empty retail units.
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