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What Do U guys think about US Amps.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Avalanche

Post Number: 19
Registered: Nov-04
Just wanted to get your opinions on US Amps the brand.

Plus Tube amplifiers for Highs.

http://www.usamps.com/

Let Me know.
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

NorthWest, Michigan USA

Post Number: 5850
Registered: Dec-03
USAmps are terrific products.
I'm not a big fan of tube amps over SSA though.
tube amps are great for warmth (aka distortion) but not very accurate or efficient, and very poor range of load for power.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Blownriv

OH USA

Post Number: 79
Registered: Nov-04
but tubes glow...

US amps are sweet. just open up the case and look inside. it's beautiful work.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jonathan_f

GA USA

Post Number: 2623
Registered: May-04
Couldn't you consider tube distortion a "more accurate distortion" than transistor distortion since they're more even-ordered harmonics :-)? Just curious. I personally like tube amps, but it also depends on what you're putting it in. It's one of those things you'll have to check out yourself and form your own opinion on, the tube vs. transistor debate will likely never end, both have their benefits. Also, look into Butler tube amps while you're at it, very good tube amps as well. The newer tube amps aren't as "colored" as they used to be and the higher end ones like those from Butler and US amps are nice in my opinion. Still, you should give a listen yourself. Remember a tube amp will be a little more maintenance than a transistor amp.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Blownriv

OH USA

Post Number: 80
Registered: Nov-04
from what i've read, tubes go into clipping much more gradually, whereas transistors distort all-of-a-sudden when they reach their maximum. because of this, you will notice clipping distortion much more from solid state amp, while a tube's distortion can be called "warmth".

i've never heard a tube amp in a car, but i have listened to some home units, and i do enjoy their sound. i agree with jon about the tubedriver by butler - one of my all-time favorite amps - good looking design, too. i've wanted one ever since they came out. even now they still command high prices on ebay.

but the practical side of me knows solid state is more reliable and sounds just as good at most listening levels, so i'm quite happy with my a/d/s powerplate.
 

Help2
Unregistered guest
Tru Technology still makes tube amps if Im not
mistaken.
Never much a fan of them myself.
but its worth a try if youve never heard one.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Avalanche

Post Number: 23
Registered: Nov-04
Hi Glass
What do you mean by.
I'm not a big fan of tube amps over SSA though.
tube amps are great for warmth (aka distortion) but not very accurate or efficient, and very poor range of load for power.

And thank you for everyone's input so far. I currently have nothing but US Amps.
I really want to go for sound quality and I have never heard a tube either. I have had other good amps but never tubes. I figured if I did not like it I would just take it out of the car that I am trying to build to compete and slap it into my other car.


Do you guys think that Us Amps is strong enough for competition though?
Specially for SQ.

I do have to admit that I like big power. Maybe a little to much. But I have not seen to many people with more than 2K RMS in there cars.

Let me tell you guys what I'm building and U guys tell me if it would be good for competition.

Glass I know that you have competed before so I would really appreciate and respect your input.

1 US Amps 3000 3000 RMS powering 2 RE X.X.X 15 that I need to get.
1 US Amps TU4360 360 RMS to drive to sets of Diamond Audio M661 6.5 inch components.

1 US Amps 400 400 RMS for 2 sets of Kicker RMB8 one set in the front one set in the rear.

1 US Amps 200 200 RMS for a third set of Diamond Audio M661.

I want to run in a 4 way with dedicated high's
Mid Highs
Mid Lows
and Subs.

the question is, Can this type of a set up be a winning combination. with the type of equipment that I have or do I need to get

Wave guides instead of the Diamond Audio components. But I have heard that Judges don't like wave guides.

I visit Speaker Works alot and I speak with Eric Holdaway. He advises me to go with Wave guides but a set of the top of the line Wave Guides cost 1400$. But he has also built cars and won 17 National Tittles. So it is hard to argue with him. Because I have done reading and I know that other people have won with components sets also.


Thank you for your responses. I know this is a long thread but your opinions are greatly appreciated. I am getting ready to start building and I just want to make sure that I got it right and not have to keep tearing my truck apart because I went wrong some where down the line.

 

Anonymous
 
i always thought that us amps where some of the best out there??
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

NorthWest, Michigan USA

Post Number: 5863
Registered: Dec-03
Jon, it's not so much a matter of quality as quantity. a solid state amp will have far less distortion of any sort below clipping.. so as long as the system is tuned properly, it'll sound cleaner. If you like overdriving amps into distortion, sure a tube will sound a lot nicer or more pleasant to the human ear.

with most tube amps, if you halve the load, you won't double the power. you'll go from say 35 watts to about 40 watts at half the load.
SSA (solid state amps) are much better at staying close to double the power at half the load within their spec'ed range.

more on amp classes..

Amplifier Classes

There are five main audio amplifier topologies: Class A, A/B, B, D, and Vacuum Tube amplifiers. All of these but tube amplifiers are considered "solid-state." (SSA)

Class A amplifiers are the most sonically accurate. On the other hand, they have some drawbacks that make them not be the most common choice. Class A amplifiers use only one output transistor that is turned "on" all the time, giving out tremendous amounts of heat. Class A amplifiers are very inefficient (~25%). More heat means more heatsink area, so even though most class A amps have built-in cooling fans, they are big. Pure class A amplifiers are usually expensive.

Class B amplifiers are the most common and use two output transistors. One for the positive part of the cycle and one for the negative part of the cycle. Both signals are then "combined". The problem with this design is that at the point when one transistor stops amplifying and the other one kicks in (zero volt line), there is always a small distortion on the signal, called "crossover distortion". Good amplifier designs make this crossover distortion very minimal. Since each transistor is "on" only half of the time, then the amplifier does not get as hot as a class A, yielding to a smaller size and better efficiency (~50%).

Class A/B amplifiers are a combination of the two types described above. At lower volumes, the amplifier works in class A mode. At higher volumes, the amplifier switches to class B operation.

The class D amplifier (known as digital amplifier) is the last of the solid-state types. These amplifiers are not really digital (there is no such thing), but operate similarly in manner to a digital-to-analog converter (DAC). The signal that comes in is sampled a high rates, and then reconstructed at higher power. This type of amplifier produces almost no heat and is very small in size. Efficiency is much higher in class D amplifiers (~80%).
The sound quality of a Class-D amplifier is much lower than that of other solid-state amplifiers, which is why Class-D amplifiers are only used for subwoofers in car audio. This is because the switching speed of the transistors, and lower sound quality are masked by the lower frequencies being reproduced by the subs, since distortion is harder to discern at low frequency.

Lastly we have tube amplifiers, which aren't often used in car audio. Tube amplifiers have about 50 to 60% efficiency.
Tube amplifiers are said to sound more musical. The reason is that tube amplifiers produce even ordered harmonics. Musical instruments give off harmonics in even orders. Transistor amplifiers tend to give off harmonics that are odd ordered. These harmonics are not pleasing to the ear as second order harmonics are. Modern solid state amplifiers have very low distortions but their distortions are less tolerated by the ear than even ordered harmonics. This means that when you hear someone say a Tube amp is "warm" sounding, they are actually talking about the second order distortion produced by that tube amplifier, which they find pleasing to the ear. A good example of this is in guitar amplifiers, which often pride themselves on their second order harmonics.
One should note that while most solid state amplifiers have very low distortions (Total Harmonic Distortion) for the left and right channel, other channels are often much higher as these specifications are rarely noted. Subwoofer amplifiers are particularly bad at creating odd ordered harmonics.
I believe that the best tube and solid state amplifiers sound amazingly alike. Bad tube amplifiers sound tubby and slow. Bad transistor amplifiers sound harsh, bright and strident.

Just like you can't judge a good book by its cover, you can learn very little about an amplifier without digging in and seeing what is inside. Generally speaking, the most important component of any amplifier is its power supply. Is it sufficient? Is it accurate? Is it fast? Unfortunately, almost no amplifier company talks about their power supplies or what transformers they use (An example of a good company would be Eclipse, who uses dual toriodal transformers in their amplifier power supplies.)
I think most manufacturers would prefer you not ask.

I hope this clears up some of the more frequent questions regarding amplifier classes, as well as tube versus solid state amplifiers.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Avalanche

Post Number: 26
Registered: Nov-04
Wow very educational.
I'm going to have to read this acouple of times to digest it all.

Thanks for the lesson. Please keep the post coming they are very educational.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Blownriv

OH USA

Post Number: 81
Registered: Nov-04
very informative glass, but aren't class AB amps more common in car audio than class B?
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

NorthWest, Michigan USA

Post Number: 5885
Registered: Dec-03
yeah ab are. I wrote that ages ago for home audio and revamped it for car stuff. I must've missed that line.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jonathan_f

GA USA

Post Number: 2630
Registered: May-04
Yeah, I was being a smartazz :-) Aaron, tubes aren't necessarily less reliable, but the tubes do have to be replaced every once in a while, and they ain't cheap, especially good ones like the replacements for the Butler amps. Transistors don't have to be replaced and if built well a solid state amp will last years or possibly decades. Tubes sound great, but really I do prefer solid state, especially for car audio. I just like hearing a tube every once in a while, mainly when I listen to old vinyls. With all the digital technology we're using in audio, and the fact that everything before your car's amp is solid state, it doesn't help as much to have a tube amp at the end of the line from recording to your ears. A well built solid state can sound just as good for imaging and soundstaging as a tube does, when solid state amps first came out I wouldn't make that statement. At first solid state amps sounded horrible, but now they're great.
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

NorthWest, Michigan USA

Post Number: 5906
Registered: Dec-03
tube amps also have to be tuned frequently.
that's something to keep in mind, to keep their gains within acceptable range.
Not something you ever need to do with a solid state amp.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Avalanche

Post Number: 35
Registered: Nov-04
Humm so what you are saying Glass is that the TU4360 is more trouble than it is worth.
I thought that It would be a great amp for High's
I might have to rethink that strategy them.
I am posting a picture so everyone knows what I am talking about.
I thought this would be a great amp for high's truelly.
Upload
 

Gold Member
Username: Jonathan_f

GA USA

Post Number: 2638
Registered: May-04
If you're willing to maintain it and like the sound of tubes, then it's a great amp. It's well built and sounds good. BUT, remember it's a tube amp and if you don't like tubes, then you're better served with solid state.
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