ATC and HF power supplies

ATC & other manufacturers design parameters, technical queries etc
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ATC and HF power supplies

Postby MattSPL » Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:42 pm

Do you think ATC should look into other types of power supply for their amplifiers, like High Frequency switch mode power supplies like Chord electronics use?

Could this even further their performance?
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Re: ATC and HF power supplies

Postby paul_riordan » Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:50 pm

MattSPL wrote:Do you think ATC should look into other types of power supply for their amplifiers, like High Frequency switch mode power supplies like Chord electronics use?

Could this even further their performance?


Matt

I must admit I do seem to quite like kit which uses switch mode power supplies. I have had chord amps in the past and my Linn DS also uses switch mode power supplies. I do not know/understand the differences between switch mode and other power supplies so look forward to some debate here as to the relative merits...

I think ATC will have to do something with their power supplies in the near future in order to comply with new regulations around the world related to stand-by modes (and reducing power wastage) etc. My current setup consumes over 300 watts in stand-by.....

Paul
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Re: BENS SETUP

Postby MattSPL » Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:04 pm

Hi paul.

From what i understand, a normal transformer found in most mains operated devices works on the frequency of the electrical supply. So 50 or 60hz depending on country.
This means that the power supply capacitors fed from the transformer recharge at a rate of 50 or 60 times a second.

A high frequency power supply will recharge its capacitors at upto 80 thousand times a second. Apparently the normal transformers 50hz isn't fast enough to properly relay the speed and impact of music. So in theory, the high frequency power supply will be ready for any amount of complex music without loosing its breath.
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Re: ATC and HF power supplies

Postby Kryten » Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:28 pm

Yes it would make their actives much more attractive to purchase for the consumer. PMC use switched mode for their actives don't they ?

I sold my big Arcam P7 and got a Rotel RMB-1565, temporarily I thought, until I get actives, but I was really impressed by the Rotel. It is a fraction of the size and weight of the Arcam and doesn't even get warm yet has all the power and performance I need and is much better on the electric bills. I even thought it sounded better than the Arcam but that might have been down to the room treatments I put up at the time of buying the Rotel.

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Re: ATC and HF power supplies

Postby MattSPL » Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:07 pm

Yes i think the PMC actives use Bryston switch mode power supplies.

I had Chapter audio's couplet power amp that used high frequency supplies. It only ever got luke warm and proved a perfect partner for the scm19's with its lightning speed and grip of the speaker.
It also used half the electrical power of the equivalent watt transformer powered amplifier.

As you say, If ATC employed HF power supplies in its actives, they would be lighter(slightly :D ), run cooler, and use a lot less power. And possibly sound even better. If thats possible :?:
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Re: ATC and HF power supplies

Postby Kryten » Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:42 pm

Those scm7 I bought a couple of weeks ago to use as rears, well I've just moved them to the front to see what they sound like with the Rotel. They're only half the size of the RX2 but they sound quite a bit better, much more together over the whole frequency range and tighter base. There's something not quite right about the RX2 high frequencies, they can get a bit swirly. I want to replace the RX2 straight away now. (11's or 19's ?).

Back on topic, yeh, I use my system for everything, music, movies, video games and regular TV. So power hungry amps are not a good idea. Got one of those free energy usage monitors and it goes up only an extra 2p an hour when I switch on my system, subs are on all the time but they only use 7 watts at idle. Shame I didn't have the monitor when I had my Arcam. Would have been interesting to see how much power it used.

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Re: ATC and HF power supplies

Postby MattSPL » Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:01 pm

Ive never heard the scm11's, but from what i have heard they are amazing value for money and have won whathifi awards several times.

However, the scm19's are supposed to be considerably better. I loved them. Absolutely stunning midrange for a 2way. Mind blowing at times 8-)
I know they are quite a lot dearer than the 11's, but used or ex dem ones are usually available.
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Re: ATC and HF power supplies

Postby ATC Loudspeakers » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:38 am

A switch mode supply will only really save weight. It is the design of the output stage that has particular bearing on the efficiency of an amplifier and we do use a type of switching amplifier on our large sub. This achieves higher output and better efficiency. It is a class H design. However, this is coupled with a traditional linear power supply.

We have listened to quite a few digital amplifiers that offer fantastic efficiency and high output. However, we have not found any that are suited for use in high performance mid and high frequency power amp stages as we feel the colouration they impart is a too much of a compromise. They just aren't as good as the well engineered class A, A/B, and B designs out there.

As some of you say, we may be pushed towards more efficient designs in the future even if they compromise sound quality. This will be a sad day if you look at it in in context of ATC's real impact the environment (6 year warranty and still repairing equipment form the early 80's). Until that day, we'll continue to use the amplifier designs we feel gives the highest audio performance.

Ben

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Re: ATC and HF power supplies

Postby ben0635 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:22 am

Well i hope Chord Electronics are reading this reply as it will be nice for them to share their views on this debate.
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Re: ATC and HF power supplies

Postby MattSPL » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:01 pm

Hi Ben(ATC Loudspeakers)

Thanks for the reply. Its good to know that performance is always put first. I guess thats why you make such good loudspeakers :)
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Re: ATC and HF power supplies

Postby studioman » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:15 pm

Switched mode power supplies vary from cheap and bad to military standard.
I had a PS Audio preamp which had an external transformer. I tried rigging up a lead acid battery power supply which worked well and gave a definite improvement in sound.
Then I got hold of two military specification switched mode power supplies and they enabled my preamp to sound very good too. In both cases, there was an improvement over the simple large transformer.
There may be an indication of my feeling that switched mode can be very, very good. But in my experience NOT the little black plastic encased ones used with laptops, or wall wart types.
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Re: ATC and HF power supplies

Postby darrenyeats » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:53 pm

I'm told some class D amps are good. I've yet to hear one that I really like but I live in hope.

I'm pretty sure some SMPSs are fine. But my assumption is they are not, and I agree about the wall wart things. I don't have anything like that on the same ring as my hi-fi, but perhaps that's just peace of mind.
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