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AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby James Perrett » Mon May 18, 2020 5:56 pm

I'd guess that if there was money to be made in this sort of thing the Chinese would be offering these on Ebay. I've been tempted to do a sideline in building gadgets like this but, by the time all the costs have been factored in, I'm not sure that there's a great deal of money in it.
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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby ef37a » Mon May 18, 2020 5:59 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
ef37a wrote: I reckon I could clean up!

Sadly, I don't think you would! As we discovered with our superbly engineered and unique (as a commercial product) pseudo-balanced cables for ground-loop busting on synths etc, the market for such things is actually uneconomically small, and trade is extraordinarily lumpy!

Well, I defer to your commercial brain Hugh but remember, I have a modest income already being retired and no overheads (and I understand I could claim some household expenses against tax? Not that I pay much)
I wouldnot need to make much of a profit so "clean up" is probably a bit OTT but I might get enough together in a year or so to buy my coveted Result Sixes! (I COULD just about afford the wee Neumann 80s but resist. I want the extra SPL, mutton you see.)

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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby blinddrew » Mon May 18, 2020 6:43 pm

Why not just see if John at Orchid needs a hand? ;)
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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby iasomph » Mon May 18, 2020 6:59 pm

I add a very simple question: let's say I buy a quite powerful amp class AB (I may have found a good deal on one of these) but will use it with its rotary knob in a very low position (so a lot of gain reduction), this will make the amp consume less wattage and and produce less heat? The amp is quite powerful, so I'd need to use it that way with such a small speaker.

Or, on the contrary, the watt absorbed and heat produced don't depend on this and the amp actually runs always at its "full" power (gain reduction doesn't mean less watt used) ?
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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 18, 2020 7:03 pm

A class AB amp is certainly more power-efficient at lower signal levels than a Class A amp, but in your situation with very close speakers, the self-noise from an overly powerful amp may well become a problem.
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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby iasomph » Mon May 18, 2020 7:09 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:A class AB amp is certainly more power-efficient at lower signal levels than a Class A amp, but in your situation with very close speakers, the self-noise from an overly powerful amp may well become a problem.

Thanks for the advice. But the self-noise doesn't decrease if I turn down the amp rotary gain? I could have found a good deal on this: https://www.thomann.de/gb/pas_2002pca.htm

One channel knob will be turned completely down, while the other knob will be turned down due to necessity, in order to obtain a good level out of the speaker.

So you are saying that the self noise will still remain the same, even if I turn down the channel rotary knob? If that's the case, of couse I need to discard this choice and thank you a lot for let me avoid a big mistake and then have to re-sell it again :D
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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 18, 2020 7:32 pm

We've been through this.

All electronics generate noise. The more gain, the more noise. The cheaper the design, the more noise....

A high powered amp inherently has more gain than a low powered amp. Ergo, it generates more self-noise.

An input attenuator on an amp can certainly help reduce any noise from a connected source, but it won't make any difference to the self-noise of the amplifier.

I have no experience of the amp you've linked, so I can't say whether self-noise will be an issue or not... But it does strike me as being a bit OTT for an original Auratone.
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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby iasomph » Mon May 18, 2020 7:50 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:We've been through this.

All electronics generate noise. The more gain, the more noise. The cheaper the design, the more noise....

A high powered amp inherently has more gain than a low powered amp. Ergo, it generates more self-noise.

An input attenuator on an amp can certainly help reduce any noise from a connected source, but it won't make any difference to the self-noise of the amplifier.

I have no experience of the amp you've linked, so I can't say whether self-noise will be an issue or not... But it does strike me as being a bit OTT for an original Auratone.

Thanks for the clarifications. I didn't get the difference between the self-noise (which always remains the same) and the noise from connected source. Now it's clearer.

Yes, probably it's too much of an amp for Auratone / Reftone... it's also a huge form factor! I was fascinated by the reviews, but you touched the right point. So...thanks for the advice, I think I will keep searching or just try the cheap Dayton 40 w and see how it goes.

If I go with the Dayton (who only has unbalanced inputs), I've read I need the ART DTI box.

In this case, how to manage the Y cable for summing signals to mono? In which part of the chain is it better to place that cable (should use it for connecting the sound card XLR's to a single XLR of the ART TDI, or the Y cable should go from the ART TDI to the single Auratone)?

Thanks, after this question I think I will need to make you rest a little for tonight, Hugh, you really deserved it! :lol:
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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby ef37a » Mon May 18, 2020 8:31 pm

That amplifier has a quoted signal to noise ratio of -110dB A weighted and 'if' we can believe that specification would put it on a par with the better amps around. (405 -100dB iirc?)

The power output is 170W into 8 Ohms so it is not the monster I was expecting! Still likely to blow a cone though IMHO. The distortion is given as 0.04% 20-20kHz which only 'ok' compared with state of art but then I doubt you need better.... but yes, overkill.

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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 18, 2020 9:02 pm

iasomph wrote: If I go with the Dayton (who only has unbalanced inputs), I've read I need the ART DTI box.

Not necessarily. It depends on the monitor controller. Some will be happy to drive unbalanced destinations, and you may be lucky over ground-loops.

In this case, how to manage the Y cable for summing signals to mono? In which part of the chain is it better to place that cable (should use it for connecting the sound card XLR's to a single XLR of the ART TDI, or the Y cable should go from the ART TDI to the single Auratone)?

Again... It depends on the monitor controller. Many will provide a mono output anyway, so a summing lead might not be unnecessary. But if you need to generate a mono output with a DTI box there is a simple but cunning way of linking the outputs using the spare connectors to provide a summed mono signal. I can explain more if it becomes necessary.... But choosing a good monitor controller than can provide a dedicated mono feed for one of the speaker outputs would be the best option.
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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby iasomph » Mon May 18, 2020 9:27 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
iasomph wrote: If I go with the Dayton (who only has unbalanced inputs), I've read I need the ART DTI box.

Not necessarily. It depends on the monitor controller. Some will be happy to drive unbalanced destinations, and you may be lucky over ground-loops.

In this case, how to manage the Y cable for summing signals to mono? In which part of the chain is it better to place that cable (should use it for connecting the sound card XLR's to a single XLR of the ART TDI, or the Y cable should go from the ART TDI to the single Auratone)?

Again... It depends on the monitor controller. Many will provide a mono output anyway, so a summing lead might not be unnecessary. But if you need to generate a mono output with a DTI box there is a simple but cunning way of linking the outputs using the spare connectors to provide a summed mono signal. I can explain more if it becomes necessary.... But choosing a good monitor controller than can provide a dedicated mono feed for one of the speaker outputs would be the best option.

I think this is clear....more or less! :smirk:

I looked around monitor controllers, some of the best ones (for the price) seems the Audient Nero (seems almost perfect, I've also read your review). The only downside of this controller, in my opinion, is the impossibility to mute left or right speakers. It's true that I will have a mono Auratone for that, but I wouldn't dislike to be able to listen to mono (single speaker) also on a full range monitor like the Genelec 8341. I think it could be quite useful when creating music and doing some EQ's with a higher grade monitor in Mono, but still working on a full range high end speaker. I could, still, turn one speaker off physically I want (switch it off, lol). Not really the convenient way I'd like BTW. Other than that, it seems to be very flexible in its programming and well made. Also very nice and clear layout.

The Drawmer CMC3 is nice, but it seems it doesn't have the possibility to trim the various outputs....so, not possible to volume match the different speakers (such a pity, this should be a "mandatory" feature for a monitor controller), so basically it would be useless for the input gain best practices we talked about in this thread. Anyway it has the cut right speaker, which Audient can't do.

The Drawmer MC3.1 seems great: has everything, but the price is massive, especially if you think that I would add the monitor controller mainly for driving a mono Auratone. Also, I personally prefer to press just one button and switch to the next speaker, instead of having to press two buttons at the same time every time. I know this is just personal preference.
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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby iasomph » Mon May 18, 2020 9:30 pm

ef37a wrote:That amplifier has a quoted signal to noise ratio of -110dB A weighted and 'if' we can believe that specification would put it on a par with the better amps around. (405 -100dB iirc?)

The power output is 170W into 8 Ohms so it is not the monster I was expecting! Still likely to blow a cone though IMHO. The distortion is given as 0.04% 20-20kHz which only 'ok' compared with state of art but then I doubt you need better.... but yes, overkill.

Dave.

Hi Dave, thanks for your point of view. I'm not competent when speaking about amps, but since this model really got wonderful reviews (and so many wonderful reviews!) on that website, I think there should be a reason for this. But, as you and Hugh said, it would probably be an overkill for these kind of small speakers and would be better to find a less powerful amp that is less risky to produce self-noise with the speakers so close to me.
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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby zenguitar » Mon May 18, 2020 9:40 pm

I have an Audient iD14 and you can use one speaker for mono. Just checked the manual for the Nero and it has the same facility. Here's a link to the manual...

https://d9w4fhj63j193.cloudfront.net/Ne ... 20V3.0.pdf

Smart mono mode on page 24.

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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby iasomph » Mon May 18, 2020 9:45 pm

zenguitar wrote:I have an Audient iD14 and you can use one speaker for mono. Just checked the manual for the Nero and it has the same facility. Here's a link to the manual...

https://d9w4fhj63j193.cloudfront.net/Ne ... 20V3.0.pdf

Smart mono mode on page 24.

Andy :beamup:


I know you can use a speaker in mono......but you should connect a mono speaker to Nero, set it, and you will be listen to that mono speaker in mono whenever you want. Very nice. But what I was speaking about is this:

- Having the chance to listen to two speakers in stereo AND having the possibility to listen to just one of these two speakers (not both together) in mono. That would be possible?
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Re: AMP (Fanless) Suggestions for Auratones AND Reftones?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 18, 2020 9:47 pm

iasomph wrote:The Drawmer CMC3 is nice, but it seems it doesn't have the possibility to trim the various outputs....so, not possible to volume match the different speakers (such a pity, this should be a "mandatory" feature for a monitor controller), so basically it would be useless for the input gain best practices we talked about in this thread.

Rule 1: budgets bring compromises.

That particular Drawmer controller provides an overall trim facility to optimise the gain structure, but omits i dividual speaker trims as part of its budget saving. The assumption is that most of the connected speakers/amps will have their own individual sensitivity trims to allow level balancing between the different speakers sets. That seems a very reasonable and practical assumption for most users.

But other Drawmer models have individual trims if that's what you want... At higher cost.

The Drawmer MC3.1 seems great: has everything, but the price is massive...

ha ha ha! No, it really isn't! Professional monitor controllers can cost way more than that... And have more and better facilities.

I think the MC3.1 is actually extremely good value for money.

But its Rule 1, isnt it? if you don't want to pay for eveything, you don't get everything!

Also, bear in mind that most DAWs also include elaborate monitor control facilities, and while I don't advocate using their volume controls, the channel muting/mono/ stereo difference switching facilities can still be used in combination with a simpler hardware monitor controller.

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