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In the Forum: Audio Discussions
In the Thread: It’s mad, mad, mad... electricity.
Post Subject: APS Purepower 2000: Sound #8 and the ‘softness’Posted by Romy the Cat on: 12/24/2008

Ok, this is probably the most important section as besides all positive changes that PP2000 does to sound it does this one, the one that I call “softness”, and the values of this “softness” have to properly understood and interpreted.

The “softness” I am taking about might be viewed like reducing transient characters and having sound more even-distributed. It comes with a package along with elimination of any brutality and harshness from sound. The sound becomes very polite, very non-abrasive, non-obtrusive and very delicate. This is not the effect that belongs only to Purepower; to a degree some other devises do it as well. The PS Audio’s Paul McGrath associates it with removing from signal a whole cluster of HF nose and he calls it “HF reduction”. I disagree with him, even it looks like I do experience the same feeling – a lock of HF. I run 6 way systems with DSET, so I can add whatever frequency I want, and I did it, but adding HF does not return sound to where I would like it to be.

The PP2000’s “softness” and overly politeness is not something that I perceive as frustrated but it has a very different feeling, it is rather a sensation of room for further improvement instead of the sensation of faulty quality. The dynamic was not eaten, but the ability of system to react aggressively and hostile if the aggressiveness is being called upon is not there anymore. The PP2000’s “softness” in a way converted my Melquiades into Lamm ML2.0 not necessary a bad move but I clearly walked away from that sound as I know what is beyond.

Experiencing what I experienced and was listening in that “soft” mode and clearly saw what was going on. It was very much not the “HF reduction”. In a way it was very similar to softening of sound when I hear the field-coil drivers. The electromagnet drivers have the same “plummeting transient integrity” when the drivers juts do not hold transients. It is not a transients compression but rather “annoying graciousness” - something that always turned me off in field-coil drivers. It is possible to deal with it and to actually to USE this electromagnet’s “softness” in drivers. Unquestionably yes. Why no one does it? Because the dominating majority of field-coil drivers users are fucking idiots who instead of paying attention to Interest of Sound and making Sound as it shell be spend all their time for foolish worshiping of badly implemented field-coil paranoia and for a figurative “dick sucking” of any other person who use field-coil. I never saw any field-coil person who claim what is wrong with his or somebody ease field-coil sound (and that sound always is not right) and HOW it was fixed. Anyhow, how much more illustration is needed for you to understand my attitude toward to many field-coil idiots I know?

Well, why I suddenly begin to talk about field-coil sound. Well, because it looks to me that the sound of problem-free electricity and the sound of field-coil driver have a lot of similar characteristics - the “softness” and the overly politeness. I must say that I did detect the similar tendency with sound during these 1-2 days per year when electricity is good. However, also with softness during these 1-2 days per year the transient politeness does not sink so much. During the good electricity day let say softness gain +100% but the “transient politeness” get let say 20%. With PP2000 it is 100% and 100% another, or the redaction of transients much deeper. It might be two possibilities in it.

1) The PP2000’s electricity is different by nature and then incorrect

2) The “day or good electricity” is not truly a good day but juts much better day and it still has some residual imperfections. In this case the PP2000 is correct.

This all brings to a very interning conclusion. Early I asked a rhetorical question: is it possible that the provision for bad electricity has been entrenched in the design of out playbacks:

The result that I got with PP2000 suggests that it might be a case. The “softness” that I get with PP2000 is very commendable BUT I would like to have a little sparkle and little glitter atop of this politeness. I would like do not lose the softness and the politeness but I would like to compliment the softness/politeness with ability to throw a very fine transient accents is the music material has a need in it.

So, figured that I need to idle plate of my MF channel more.  I can’t increase the transformer ratio, I can’t increase S2 impedance. All that I can do it to drive the tube with higher current and home that it will drop the plate impedance enough. So I did and went from 30mA to 40mA, dissipating on the 6E6P a full 8W. That made very nice improvement in the right direction adding a slight punch. I can’t drive 6E6P harder and it will melt the tube and it max out the gap in my MF output transformer. All that I can do is to introduce instead of 15:1 transformer another one with 20:1- 30:1 ratio.  This will make me to lose up to 6dB of gain and then the amplification of single-stage 6E6P will not be high enough. If so then I need to return to the 2-stages scenario where I will not have limitation with gain. Perhaps it makes sense to combine with my exploration of the DHT subject. Anyhow, I bought a DHT amp that I will use as a prototype to find the right new setting for my MF channel in this new softness/politeness environment. What I do so I mine is with the MF channel of super Milq as to make experiments with the large and heavy 6-ch Super Milq is very difficult.

In the end I feel that the PP2000’s softness/politeness is not a liability but opportunity. I certainly not willing to go back to the softness/politeness lacking type of sound and I would like to make my playback to be able to be deliberately atrocious if I was asked. Let see how it goes… I still not in hurry to do any changes now as I would like to live with the overwhelming softness/politeness for a while and to get use to it…

Rgs, Romy the caT

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