Cibalba Stage And Studio Special Studio Problem & Solution Focus
For any one out there in the great golden sphere that is interested in doing math that is aligned with the science of magnetics, We can offer some guidance about what topics we consider relevant to our continuing improvement efforts and R&D.
One area of profitable study would be the development of attenuation devices for solid state amplification. This basically allows them to compete with tube amplifiers. The problem is that solid state
transistors are designed to supply current that takes advantage of holes in electron state transfer rather than what a tube amplifier design does.
A tube is magnetically coupled while solid state eliminates transformers, and the magnetic field generation. Normally AC signal has essentially three components, somethink akin to 3 phase electricity versus one phase, but not the same thing.
The three components are 1) The Reactive (Magnetic field or capacitor ) Power Q= E*I*Sin(Phi) and is in VAR(Reactive Volt Amperes} or KVAR
2) Real Power P= E*I*cos(Phi) where the angle (Phi) is the Power Factor and after Q and P is 3) The apparent Power S=E *( I Conjugate ) or S=(E conjugate) * I .
S is in VA or in KVA.
When a transistor is capacitively coupled, it acts with Q, but Plus Q is instantly available whenever changes on the opposite plate of a capacitor is due to plus voltage which instantaniously induces a negtive Q on the plus terminal capcitor plate side)
The same transistor if inductively coupled, acts with Q but Plus Q is available after plus voltage reverses the momentum in the coil from the previous cycle and with that voltage being selectively absorbed and dropped at
different resonant frequencies and extinguished gradually as frequencies get higher opposite of the capacitor coupled reactive load.
Putting both onto a load line in parallel therefore causes circulating voltages and current and distorts the signal far beyond desired levels.
That is because while voltage tends to act instantly, inductance requires time factor compensations. That is, the MAGNETIC part of the three parts has vastly different reactive properties depending on how current flows.
Only the current flow causes motor action in the speaker but only voltage changes that change plate charge and then move current toward a capacitor plate which had been otherwise charged and is now acting like a reversed charged magnet or coil can move the motor.
Furthermore, the magnet in the speaker requires the entire magnetic field to collapse to a center line like in a zero point energy generator in order to pull the cone back into full retract position.
The process must be controlled or at least adjusted, hence a difficult to read discussion of variables comes up in discussions about reactive loads and solid state amplifiers.
Design Solution: While such design is still in infancy stages, one approach is to eliminate iron cores and other metal cores materials and use air cores only (no metal core).
Another approach has been to simply use tube amplifiers for low frequency applications. That fart sound you hear at your friend's home theater is the subwoofer doing just what this article is all about!
This air coil method is just one transformer design technique that is well known to assist in reducing the reactive component that adds complex loading and excessive draw for solid state devices.
Negative feedback and stabilizing designs become more narrow in their scope of application whenever such design is attempted.
Progress is a evolution and structural standard dependant decision process. We have yet to embark on that journey.
Even with computer math and models, it is thus far been left to clever innovators by trial and error methods to prove it can be done.
The most progress has been made in subwoofer cables and ribbon microphones that twist their ribbons stretched between reversed magnetic horseshoe sets.
This at last, with the help of the internet, is becomming widely written about and accepted as a valid area of research which yields results, even if it is not the easy low hanging fruit that digital processing technology is.
A bit of myth debunking is in order about negative feedback. The tube amplifiers use positive feedback in their power output transformers ( to the plus grid G2 or screen / grid).
Tube amplifiers use a lot of feedback in their preamps (12A?7, just like solid state amplifiers. However, a few designs used interstage transformers instead.
Because both solid state (servo impedance load feedback - called chopper in digital or differential in discrete transistors) and tube amplifiers (reflected impedance load feedback) favor the midrange frequencies
where there is less resistance to signal coupling due to average matching impedances, these interstage designs are the vocalist's prefered system.
But an even better system is to bypass retailing, bypass computer blogging, bypass the academic bias of the 1970'2 that viewed puritanical midrange
as the only part of the spectrum that was stage and studio worthy and go see somebody in a recreational home with your chosen familiar SS or tube amplifier.
In other words, modify the old, don't follow what's sold. We believe in combining SS and tubes. Neither one actually needs positive or negative feedback to work,
it is used because of the wide range of loudness settings that most people use. You can turn any $200 amplifier into a $2000 preamp and $3000 power amp with a little love.
And Those new digital sound computer systems are pretty much like the phone system. They will transmit to you a signal and give you one knob plus on button, but that's all they ever will do.
This may at first seem a very radical solution, especially to those reading advertising tauting 'hot' speaker deals.
A good example is the very low sensitivity speakers sold for automobile system, typically 86dB or 12 times less sensitive than DJ speakers are.
These are attenuators that allow the current amplifier to run near it's full potiential thus eliminating differential feedback that destroys harmonics, especially even ones.
The extra even harmonics in turn make the car stereo sound more like a tube amplifier would sound, with less risk of heat causing the already complex impedance of a voice coil in a magnetic field
to draw too much power. Extra air space for voice coil gap is part of this design system as well. The designer gets more cooling and avoids adding attenuators which are probablyl going to be vacuum tubes.
And Vacuum tubes are expensive and breakable when removed by the glass envelope, and bent pins are constantly popping out.
This, excessive power output, is the designer's secret danger in solid state transistor discrete amplifiers, and so volume is controlled as near the small signal preamp origination point as possible.
Even a tube amplifier does change its voltage when a speaker gets hot but because the power tube is always running near its maximum voltage, there is an upper limit on voltage draw.
The current must have voltage to draw it, but voltage does not need current to respond to it. Current reacts to voltage and there is another major difference. Some articles on audio like to say that both systems favor midranges
because of the fact that ohm's law acts backward from the speaker the same way. However, these over simplified discussions are very unproductive for decision purposes.
They are not for the advanced audio readers but often are dressed up to look like they are very professionally selective text on the subject.
When a DJ speaker on a big solid state amplifier feedback control system gets hot, its gets a more compressed sound due to the suppression of current by the feedback safety electronic loop.
In a 12 volt current automobile, that does not happen and in a high fidelity tube amplifier, a center tap may be used to cause the ground to float so it's called positive feedback.
The positive feedback is just one simple form of power amplifier feedback. The more complex systems are called ultralinear due to their leveling effect.
But all of them tend to increase and skew the phase relationship of several important ratios when they are active, including the heater voltage to plate sag ratio and the more desired lower ratio of matching impedance to inductive reactance type impedance in the transformer.
As a result, simple very low power single ended mono amplifiers with low gain single element set (unbalanced type) have had very real advantages in sound quality without any extra added safety overrun controls systems or balanced load signal path.
At Cibalba, one thing you get is a heavy reliance on the old designs from the days of pre-feedback or no feedback systems. The 6SK7, 6J5, 6SL7, and for solid state 12SK7 preamp interstage and attenuation technologys.
We even work on the newest recreation effort of single ended non-feedback low power system - the high power 2A3 running at 420 volts.
While the old tube construction could take more power, they were intended to last as long as possible, not produce finest audio spectrum sonic profiles.
One article even states that 1963 designers of monolithic (transistor) amplification had better performance than one of today's third generation chopper stabilized feedback digital amplifiers.
the ATT 300b brother tube, the 2A3 is from China, but today the typical Chinese audio student is replacing the Research & Development that once was so common in America, and doing a pretty fair job at advancing the art while not falling into the same cost quak-mires that AM radio made in the rest of the world,
making solid state sound like a blanket was thrown over the speaker when it does bass lines and musical intermodulations.
Without giving away years of research and development in tube amplifiers and microphone reconstruction, we would like to conclude this article with a brief look at how we achieve better studio and stage sound.The two are quite different.
Usually. Not at Cibalba however. First, the ribbon elements of very high quality microphones are thinner, more delicate.Those ribbons can not be moved about like a stage that gets reconstructed between acts or a tour bus would do. Thicker ribbons in the same microphone can do that job, but at a cost of response quality and bandwidth.
Second, tube amplifiers have their similar sensitivity problems. We are stong on design for frequency modulation for upper high tones and harmonic resonance effects, but we use a different approach, amplitude modulation for bass frequencies.
The ideas are our American innovation that is similar to but not the same as recent European modifications to the existing tube sets that eliminate feedback and volumen pots and focus on matching resistances, interstage watt usage and a full balanced design. Just a balanced design far exceeds ordinary tube power amplifier stability and clarity and helps us add the exponentially greater exaggerated tone needed in speech and vocal recordings.
While stereo amplifiers tend to limit the tone and harmonics added to preserve clarity and soundstage, our work is more like an old movie director's design to maximize the actor or actress as a brand by achieving brand recognition.
We plan to continue our work, expensive and tough to manage, with common off the shelf lower cost components and allow our users to compare to the expensive approach as well.