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    MAS Power Project

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    mikearnopol
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    MAS Power Project

    Post by mikearnopol on Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:22 am

    JGR wrote:
    5StringPocket wrote:That MA112 with the 18 Sound is a work of art!  I'm pretty close to putting my order in for a Demeter Minnie VTBP-M-800D.  From our earlier conversation it should work great with the MAS-66 but does it also have enough drive to be effective with the MA112?  I called Demeter amplification about the overheating and cutout a couple users had experienced and spoke with his tech who does a lot of the actual testing and mods.  They made some adjustment for more effective heat transfer but said the heat sink is 4x more than required by the amp module manufacturer.

    Problem is companies are using wimpy modules to begin with and then running them on the edge to get more power out of them at the expense of stability and headroom.  It's insane what they are charging for that thing given what the actual parts cost.  When Mike is able to get me a module, we can definitely do a lot better.  I was thinking last night that in addition to a transformer for the front end, it would be nice to have a tube input stage (in a standalone unit).

    Yeah---I'm building an amp this week with the 1000watt module-----using the the exact same approach as the above mentioned amp. It will be MUCH more stable and powerful.I've talked in detail with the amp module manufacturer. They don't even give that module a rating into 4 ohms in their site. GK is the only manufacturer that is doung enough heat management. Aguilar is using it in their Tonehammer 500 and is limiting the output to 500 watts to insure headroom and durability. I ordered one of the VTBP 800's because I LOVE the sound. But I won't be slamming it into 4 ohms.Unless you're running two fans-- or one good fan---you're asking for trouble. I'll probably add a really good fan myself. I now know the module and know how to do it. But I shouldn't have to.

    Depending on how long it will take for my samples of the various power modules--I'll be getting one to JGR soon. The 1000watt module is way stable into 4 ohms. So is the new 700 watt module---which is actually more powerful than the modules that they are squeezing 800 watts out of. And way more stable. It's the latest and greatest Ice module. And two of these are (I think) bridgeable into 4. If 1400 watts is your thing.

    BTW---the VTBP 800 will be absolutely fine with the 66---no need to worry---I've slammed a 66 with one and it was one of the best sounds I've ever gotten.

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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by 5StringPocket on Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:21 pm

    That's good to hear.  I think Jule is getting the amp part right with his new Monique 700.  It has a beefier amp module which should be more stable - especially into 4 ohms.  I love my GK MBF800 and just sold a De-Monique 800D because it was a bit too laid back. The VTBP 800D splits the difference, which is about as good as it gets.  The switches and voicing look very useful. I really like the compact Tardis format but you've got to use an industrial strength module to deliver the goods.  Why cut corners on a high end integrated bass head?

    I'm wondering if the VTBP 800D cage style amp package would provide better air circulation for passive cooling?  http://www.basscentral.com/pdimages/MISC%20FOR%20WEB%20FLYERS/VTBP-M-800D_Page_2.jpg
    A pair of ultra low noise external cooling fans blowing in on the cage could always be used for severe service when you need active cooling assist.  Right now, I've got a 4 ohm Xsonics 2155CF (pair of Kappalite 3015 plus Faital M5N8 mid) which I really like but if the MA112 can keep up with it and sounds better I'd consider selling it.  Then I wouldn't have any 4 ohm cabs and this heat issue would be irrelevant.

    Looking forward to this 1000 watt collaboration.


    Last edited by 5StringPocket on Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:21 pm; edited 2 times in total

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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by JGR on Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:13 pm

    Mike is sending me the first 1000asp module and a desktop enclosure which I'm going to build into a standalone power amp for him.  I ordered the rest of the bits and pieces yesterday and some of it showed up today.  Going to use a transformer coupled front end with balanced and unbalanced inputs.  I'm going to flog it and assess its performance and stability at high volume and low impedances.  It should smoke all the other class D's since nobody is using the big-boy module, but most of them are pretty underwhelming to me, so I'm judging it against the scads of big amps I've owned and my current setup.  Then I'll send it back to Mike so he can evaluate it with his Sonic Farm and perhaps my 6SL7 preamp/DI (Box-O-Tone).   He's getting me another unit which I'll build into one of my preamps.   The initial work should support that as well as the basis for the powered speakers Mike is planning.  I'm stoked to have the chance to finally get my hands on one of these units and help out wherever I can.  

    There's a lot of videos of my preamps on my Youtube page.  I've got quite a diverse range of folks playing my preamps, ranging from metal to upright, so I think they're pretty flexible.  Powerful EQ, wide range of gain from clean to pretty heavy but musical OD, great DI, plenty of output, no need for a HPF, very tubey/harmonically rich, but clear, crisp, and articulate. No baked in-EQ curve.  Nice tube compression, but also huge dynamic range - I can go from -10 on the power amp to +3 just by digging in.  Most of my guys are pretty seasoned and have owned most of the stuff out there, including some of the newer units that are very popular right now.   Mine is always is the one they hold on to.
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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by mikearnopol on Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:24 pm

    JGR is nuts as far as the quality of parts and construction. And yes we are talking about putting a 1000watt module in conjunction with his preamp. I've had limited experience with it at his house but my recollections were that it was as good or better than anything else out there.The eq is much more flexible. I'm getting a VTBP 800. On a gig it is unbelievable. But it doesn't do clean and pristine as well as the Monique or JGR's. What I'm hoping for  (and am reasonably certain we can do) is that the JGR/Ice1000 combination can have the balls and slam of the Demeter and the refinement and clean sound of the Monique, but with more speed, detail, and articulation. JGR is one smart dude and I think he can bring it to fruition.
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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by mikearnopol on Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:46 am

    Ya know---
    Actually, the module used in the Minnie, Puma 900, GK, and others is pretty cool. It's really small and light. I think that even with proper cooling, expecting it to slam 900 watts into 4 ohms all night---is a bit overly optimistic. Slamming any amp to it's limit for a long time is a recipe for a shorter amp life.
    But expecting 500 watts at 8 and maybe 650 into 4 is realistic. Would the 1000 be better? Yup. But it's bigger and heavier and pricier (but by less than you'd think).

    While I'm not fond of the sound of GK amps Bob Gallien is no dummy. He's the only one using two small fans with the 250ASX2 module. But they're $3 fans and are noisy. For $12 each you can get VERY quiet fans. Building the modules in a separate amp like the Minnie is well within my skill set. Even using the Jensen transformer input like James D.There is really NOTHING else being done there.

    I am getting 5 of the modules and was thinking of making my own version with the Jensens and using two of the best quality fans (read:silent). I could sell them for at least $200 cheaper and still make dough. Same size enclosure. Just for S's and G's.

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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by JGR on Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:47 am

    I dunno - all the random bits I just picked up to finish it are probably another $200, and once you factor in fab, assembly, and test, your margins aren't that great, especially in smaller quantities. Rather than offer the same thing for cheaper, make something a lot better for not a whole lot more. Just my 2 cents. Smile

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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by 5StringPocket on Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:51 am

    JGR, I like the simple but effective layout of your preamp. Bass, lo-mid, hi-mid, and treble is all the eq I've really needed if the frequency points and Q are well chosen. Gain and master is a given. Is that tight/low a switchable high pass filter? That looks like it could be quite useful. Is the 6SL7-based your favorite after trying other tubes?
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    Steve Regier
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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by Steve Regier on Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:07 pm

    JGR wrote:Rather than offer the same thing for cheaper, make something a lot better for not a whole lot more.   Just my 2 cents.  Smile

    "What a great philosophy you have... "

    We share the same. 2c 


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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by JGR on Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:05 pm

    Steve Regier wrote:
    JGR wrote:Rather than offer the same thing for cheaper, make something a lot better for not a whole lot more.   Just my 2 cents.  Smile

    "What a great philosophy you have... "

    We share the same. 2c 

     Very Happy 

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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by JGR on Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:36 pm

    5StringPocket wrote:JGR, I like the simple but effective layout of your preamp.  Bass, lo-mid, hi-mid, and treble is all the eq I've really needed if the frequency points and Q are well chosen.  Gain and master is a given.  Is that tight/low a switchable high pass filter?  That looks like it could be quite useful.  Is the 6SL7-based your favorite after trying other tubes?

    Thanks!  I really like the dual mids - I went to the trouble of using inductors like the original SVT and old studio EQ's - they have a lot of character due to the way they interact with the gain stages driving them, and it adds a subtle but gnarly, harmonically rich, musical quality.  I've spent a lot of time tweaking the Q for each frequency and they respond very musically, even at extreme boost.  You can goose  both and even though they are powerful, it sounds thick and natural.  

    The boost gives more low end oomph but there is a stepped response so there is still clarity in the upper mids and treble.  I've spent a great deal of time voicing the preamp, so it sounds solid when set flat, but you can also goose the bass with deep switch engaged and it will pummel you but there is not any sub low mess - no need for a HPF, at all.  

    When I went to the MKII design (MKI was the original 1U 12ax7 design), I built two identical preamps, one with 6sl7s and one with 12ax7s, and while there are subtle differences, it's not as much as all the rave about 6sl7s would suggest - proof to me that circuit design is king.  I did an A/B video somewhere on my YT page. I'll happily put my 12ax7 design against any 6sl7 or other tube design.   I'm certain that anyone would be extremely happy with either if I only offered one design, and all the folks that have played both agree.  That said, folks lean a bit more towards the 6sl7.   I've since optimized each design slightly for tube type, but they are still more similar than different.  I like the ruggedness of 12ax7s and selection of current production whereas I use NOS in my 6SL7s.   Ive had more tube issues with the 6sL7s but it wouldn't stop me from using them.   I've stock piled a few to cover whatever builds I find time to eek out.

    I have another preamp design I want to do if I can get the time and funds to try that will use a four band EQ but the bass and treble will be inductor driven along with the mids, rather than the Baxandall in the current design. It will be cleaner and similar to my BoT which I am just in love with.
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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by mikearnopol on Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:46 am

    Steve Regier wrote:
    JGR wrote:Rather than offer the same thing for cheaper, make something a lot better for not a whole lot more.   Just my 2 cents.  Smile

    "What a great philosophy you have... "

    We share the same. 2c 

    Yeah, you're right. Steve yells at me all the time about this---thanks loads JGR

    Got the case but the Ice Module hasn't showed up yet. Should be here on Monday. I gotta say--it does irk me how much is being charged for a simple power amp based on the 250ASX2 module.

    The case looks pretty neat. 12 x 8 x 3. Should be less than 5#. 1000 watts. Actually 1200 if you look at their literature. At 1%THD the 250ASX2 (the one used in everything) is about 800 watts into 4 ohms. The 1000 is 1000 watts at .001% THD. At 1%THD it's 1175 watts!

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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by JGR on Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:30 am

    Yup, I don't think the 250 being a later Rev is really a factor and I think the performance increase will be significant. I hear you on the cost Mike, I think the 800 is ridiculously expensive considering my made in USA QSC PLX 3600 cost me $1250 and will friggin melt just about anything in existence. That said, it is much tougher being a small company and building things here. However, the labor and other parts costs would be the same using a bigger module, so why not just use the 1000 and pass the delta along to customers - I think it would actually make it more appealing being in the 1200 watt range and 2 ohm stable. So that's how I'd approach it.

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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by JGR on Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:42 pm

    Jensen and ferrites showed up today. Mounting screws yesterday. Fan, another ferrite, and a couple of other pieces from Mouser and I should be ready to go.
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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by mikearnopol on Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:49 am

    I should have the 1000 on Monday and if I ship it by 6 you'll have it Wednesday.

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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by JGR on Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:53 pm

    Sounds great Mike.

    I was down in the workshop tonight trying to to remember where I left off before the baby. I have all the parts here to do another 6SL7 DI/preamp (Box-O-Tone) - have a great FX loop that I just used in my guitar head that I'm going to squeeze in. It runs off high voltage and has great headroom, true bypass, and is really transparent sounding. It's -10dB so its meant for pedals, but I'm thinking it should kill with something like the Empress EQ and could make it an all-in-one solution for a lot of folks. Even without any EQ, I find it more pleasing than most of the preamps I've owned.

    Also have a bunch of inductors waiting to be built into the next preamp iteration which I'm excited about. Gonna see if I can slowly cobble together enough parts to build it.

    I just checked the map, and if I'm looking at the right Reading PA, its only 58 miles north of here!!!
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    Leland Crooks
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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by Leland Crooks on Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:53 am

    You guys figure this all out so I can steal it and put it in my PA cabs.  lol! 

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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by JGR on Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:32 am

    Absolutely - once the basic architecture is done, you guys should be able to apply it to a bunch of different applications.
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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by mikearnopol on Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:13 am

    And when we have it down with the 1000 module should be a piece of cake with the 250 and 700 asx
    modules
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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by Passinwind on Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:51 pm

    JGR wrote:Yup, I don't think the 250 being a later Rev is really a factor and I think the performance increase will be significant.   I hear you on the cost Mike, I think the 800 is ridiculously expensive considering my made in USA QSC PLX 3600 cost me $1250 and will friggin melt just about anything in existence.   That said, it is much tougher being a small company and building things here.  However, the labor and other parts costs would be the same using a bigger module, so why not just use the 1000 and pass the delta along to customers - I think it would actually make it more appealing being in the 1200 watt range and 2 ohm stable.   So that's how I'd approach it.  

    I've been gigging with the 1000ASP module for over 6 years now. I've also directly compared the 500ASP and the 125ASX2 in the same room at at the same time and couldn't find anything "better sounding" about the ASX2, although the aux power supply on it is probably an improvement IMHO. I don't use the aux supply anyway though. The ASPs have been revised quite a few times over the years, so it's not like it's that old of a design. In any case, I've done builds with my own preamps (both tube and SS) with both the 1000ASP and 500ASP and found the results to be stellar. They have a strong track record being used as plate amps in powered cab builds too, FWIW. Lookin' forward to seeing your spin on this Jon.


    Last edited by Passinwind on Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:30 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by JGR on Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:36 pm

    Thanks Charlie, and it's good to see you here!

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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by JGR on Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:30 pm

    Got the case and module from Mike today. I ordered another fan i like better that should be here this week. I'm going to wire it up on a chassis panel and do an A/B comparison with and without the Jensen to assess the sonic differences.
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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by Passinwind on Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:32 pm

    I never got around to trying the Jensen spec'ed zobel in my build, might be worth a look though.

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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by JGR on Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:15 pm

    1200 watts into 4 ohm, stable to 2.7 ohms, 7.5 lbs, dead quiet, runs nice and cool.  

    While these units are pretty plug n'play, it was still a considerable amount of work, and the devil is definitely in the details.  This thing is solid.  

    I worked from about 10 pm yesterday to 3 am today and then the better part of the rest of the day today.  Got it pretty much wrapped up and I'm very really happy with how this turned out.  I hammered it for a bit  running full bore at the edge of clipping with an overdriven signal into 2.7 ohms and the bottom of the case barely got warm.  Fan is defeat-able and probably not necessary, but its really quiet and I like the added insurance.  I shock isolated it in a couple of places which helps.  The front end configuration I came up with for the transformer is dead quiet with both balanced and unbalanced signals.  Like really quiet.  I like running big power and this thing definitely has some heft, and it clips very gracefully, more so than my QSC.  I'm really happy with how this came out - not bad for a new dad working on no sleep in between diapers and feedings!  

    It will integrate nicely into a full amp design - plays very well with my preamps and the Box-O-Tone.  I just did an updated board layout for my preamps which is more compact so I should be able to do this thing in a 12x12 case.  Hand-wired 1200 watt micro anyone?

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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by Leland Crooks on Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:35 am

    Noice cheers 
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    Re: MAS Power Project

    Post by Steve Regier on Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:18 pm

    Very nice. What about adding an a "mix" input for a kick drum mic?


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