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04-19-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 21
Post ID: 7256
Reply to: 7255
The Placette and headphone. My half-impedance rule.

Yes, the Active Placette would drive headphone, still I do not like the sound. I get way more proper sound when Placette driver my “big” system then what is drivers headphone. I use headphone quite aggressively but mostly for “technical listening” (like fine-dial the antenna attenuation to get better noise on FM). Placette does to headphone very good “quality” but it is very amusical quality. The HF-MF range with Placette into headphones is brilliant but it is not supported by proper harmonics – so who need that “brilliant midrange”. There is not bass at all and the lower MF range is very-very sharp. The upperbass is insultingly fast and overly round – very unpleasant. It very much reminding the sound of Kharma-Magico, only with even more ridicules extreme.

I think the truth is the Placette has no power to drive this thing, even I asked Guy to bias the out transistor as hot as heatsinks might handle but I think it did not help and my Placette still has no power to drive my 75R headphone. Saying it I feel that the headphone jack is very useful feature on Placette – extremely convent and very useful. Juts I feel that Placette’s headphones should be used for no other purpose then for monitoring.

Surely Placette has no of the above quality what it driver the higher impedance. I usually use double-load test to found out if the output stage with an acceptable load.  To simplify for you might do the following: driver big system with Placette and get the reverence how it sounds. When connect the headphone (not via the Placette jack and it will mute the main system’s output). Pay attention if the sound of your main playback changes. In my case it goes to toilet right the way. That is the sign that the amp should not drive the given load. My rule is that an amp should be able to drive with no sonic impact at least the half impedance.

I have to note though that I use top of the line and the near-bottom of the line Audiotechnica headphones, with the near-bottom of the line being my reference headphones (ATH-M40fs) . The Placette’s Guy disagrees with my findings about the Placette’s headphone sound. He feels that Placette sound very fine with headphones. He uses Sennheiser 650. I did not try any other headphones besides those that I already have.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-20-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Antonio J.
Madrid, Spain
Posts 272
Joined on 08-16-2004

Post #: 22
Post ID: 7260
Reply to: 7256
What a pity
I'm sorry to read that. It could be possible that it's a transparent HP amp if using high impedance phones like HD600, but then it'd be of no use to me, since the phones I'm liking more lately, which I'd like to know how far can go with some fine-tunning, are 62R impedance. Probably too low and asking for too much current to the output stage in the Placette.
I wrote Guy yesterday asking about it, but he didn't reply so far.

The HP amp I'm currenlty using seems to be fairly transparent and can drive whatever phones I plug into it. I can hear through most phones the known to me qualities of the Bidat like the killer lower midrange, the lowest bass extension and texture, and the rightness in the sibilance area without the damn glare most upsamplers add there, but having a contrasted transparent phones amp would be a very interesting and educative tool for my current purposes.

BTW I had for some time a Sugden Headmaster. At first I liked it for rock, but listening to classical.... it really did something very wrong to harmonics, the worse the lower the impedance of the phones you plug into it. With 300R didn't do too bad, but not right either.

Thanks a lot Romy, I appreciate your reply. Rgrds
05-06-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 23
Post ID: 7363
Reply to: 957
The Appreciation of Placette…

That is truly great and IO would like to express one more time my esteem to active Placette preamp.

I play with 3 tuners and multiple stereo decoder options trying to gig out the minute differences and aspect of sound of those units. It is a pure anal retentive nose picking as far as I concern but I would like to settle it once and do not return to this subject again.  So doing the “comparing” of 3 tuners and multiple output stages with Placette is just a pure pleasure.

Placette overrides the different output impedance of different tuners and allows to instantaneously switching from one tuner to other via a remote control. The most important is that Placette offers something that I never seen in any other preamp s that I owned – it has absolutely identical sound from it’s all 11 inputs. This confidence that my preamp will not screw up is so imperative in my experiments that I can hardly stress it’s significance.

Thank you, Placette


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-06-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 24
Post ID: 12160
Reply to: 7363
The little monster is coming back.
fiogf49gjkf0d
I never thought that it is so painful: to have a  playback and no front-end thatcan drive my amps. Thankfully the Placette is coming back now with the whole 12 channels and the tape loop. I have some ideas how to chance the connections across the whole playback. It might take for a while to find the best configuration for the ground loops considering that the “loopable” DAW and the “loopable” Pacific will be in the game. Well, the Placette will be installed in the new location and with new layout of cable – it might be interesting how it will go…

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-06-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
RonyWeissman
Lyon, France
Posts 138
Joined on 05-29-2004

Post #: 25
Post ID: 12161
Reply to: 12160
While the cat was away(missing plactte)
fiogf49gjkf0d
Hi Romy,I was wondering if you put in any other preamps while your placette was away for mods?  I decided to take mine out of my system temporarily (just to mimic you 8-) ), and put back in an old custom made tube preamp.  Well it is very interesting to hear the difference in sound, or rather the adjustment to sound that is coming from my tube preamp.  I confess that I like it very much, my bass is much warmer, fulller and a heck of a lot deeper (and that difference is from all my sources). The dynamics are almost much more life like (orchestral especially).  The sound is much more hazy across the entire spectrum, but i find a much more emotional attachement to this new sound. obviously this is not a critique of the placette but a realization that I will need to work more on my playback to get what I want, and to find what I am doing wrong with the placette.Regards,R weissman
11-06-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 26
Post ID: 12162
Reply to: 12161
Debugging the Placette
fiogf49gjkf0d

Rony,

Actually I did try to drive Melquiades from different source. My old tube buffer, my phonostage and any other not DC-coupled source were not able to drive it. The 6-ch Melquiades is pain in as to drive. It has around 5K input impedance and the impedance is active like hell – I have 6 filters sitting right from input. As soon I put any voltage dividers before the amps then all Sound got “dropped”. The only souses that were able to drive Milq were the DC-could Bidat, Pacific and Lavry. They all around 40R output impedance that is comparable to 11R output impedance of Placette.

It is interesting that you have such a positive result with a custom made tube preamp. I very much doubt that it might have fuller and deeper bass and any advanced in dynamics.  I think if your type preamp does not do any unintentional EQ (many of them do) and if it has advantage over Placette in bass and dymick then it might indicate some kind of bug in playback or in evaluation.  I do not treat Placette as some kind of references but from what I know the properly working Placette shall not loss to in bass and dymick to anything. What is your source that you use to drive Placette or your custom tube preamp? It your sourced is a powerful enough to drive you amps directly then try to do the bypass test and compare how your tube preamp and Placette compare not against each other but against a front-end output and direct bypass. Let discard the “haze across the entire spectrum” and the “emotional attachment” and juts to pay attention to what happen with bass and domains.

Rgs, Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-07-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,156
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 27
Post ID: 12166
Reply to: 12160
Uber-Placette and Cables
fiogf49gjkf0d
Glad to hear you finally went and did IT!  Now let's see (hear) how buffered per-channel level-set resistance works with the per-channel curves, and how easy this is to tune and integrate per total (stereo) side. It seems like this pretty much "has to work", since it's how the recordings themselves are done (for the most part) in the first place, after all.

And the loop is the bomb for monitoring, too.

What will you be doing for cables now?

I think I mentioned somewhere quite a while back that Guy also does (or did) cables, which to my knowledge he never advertised or marketed in any way.  I had a pisser of a time finding cable to use between my step-up tranny (Ortofon T-3000) and the K&K.  I wound up settling for a thin and non-descript shielded pair of Guy's cable not because they are "good" but because they are a "non-factor".  I just don't think about them.

Caveat, shoppers: use of these cables will NOT improve anything.

Best regards,
Paul S
11-25-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
RonyWeissman
Lyon, France
Posts 138
Joined on 05-29-2004

Post #: 28
Post ID: 12350
Reply to: 12162
Placette question
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy, would you say that placette is especially sensitive to electricity to function at it's best(sensitive in relation to other equipment I mean)? My unit is 110v and I am in 220v world, so I am using a step-down transformer on the unit.  I have had very good results using this step-down with other equipment so the problem is not the quality of the transformer.R Weissman
11-25-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
scooter
Posts 161
Joined on 07-17-2008

Post #: 29
Post ID: 12352
Reply to: 12350
Hz
fiogf49gjkf0d
Hi Rony,
I assume you're stepping down to 110v at 50hz. I specifically asked Guy about this issue for a move to Europe.
While Guy may be ok with the unit running at 50hz but I am not entirely convinced that the Placette runs the same versus the 60hz it was benchmarked at. Getting yourself to 110v at 60hz might be an option worth exploring.
Best,
S
11-26-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 30
Post ID: 12354
Reply to: 12350
Placette and the damn Electricity
fiogf49gjkf0d

 RonyWeissman wrote:
Romy, would you say that placette is especially sensitive to electricity to function at it's best(sensitive in relation to other equipment I mean)? My unit is 110v and I am in 220v world, so I am using a step-down transformer on the unit.  I have had very good results using this step-down with other equipment so the problem is not the quality of the transformer.

Well, this is a very complicated question, so complicated that I do not have not only a definitive answer but even a definite opinion on the subject. Let talk about it.

I have been using Placette for a while and was trying to answer the question how the electricity that powers the output buffer affects sound. In some cased I have seen that it affects hugely and other case it was less affective. The reason for this I think that any given days the reason why the electricity sound bad is changes day by day, location by location etc. For instance a have in my closet an army of regenerators, isolation transformers, filters, resonator filters etc. When electricity was bad I was trying to use them on separate elements of on the selected group elements. In some case I had truly phenomenal success. For instance when electricity has a very bad day and you take some kind isolation transformer or regenerator, connect it to you phonostage or to your Placette and have a fantastic improvement then you presume that your phonostage or your Placette is very sensitive to electricity. However, the next day the sound turn bad and the location of your isolation transformer or regenerator are not effective anymore. Even worse: you have better elective day and you realizes that your isolation transformer or regenerator sound words then the phonostage or Placette driver directly from your walls. I have what I described above many-many-many-many times and I even had a Excel spreadsheet where I was trying to mark the results and to catch a patter. I was not able to as it was totally random pain in ass behavior – at least at my location.

A couple years back I asked Guy to beef up the Placette’s Power supplies. I do not remember exactly what we did, I think we put Schottky diodes in there and big ass caps. If I am not mistaken we pout in Placette 4 by 220.000uF capacious – the biggest that I was able to find for the size that could fit in the box. I feel it did affect the sensitive of my Placette to electricity. It did not resolve the problem but it changed the non-existing patter to have slightly better odds against electricity. Then I went with APS that have changed my ways of dealing with electricity. The APS has its own perks, which is not the subject of this thread, but the odds with APSed Placette are way in different coordinate scale.

I do not know what the general situation with electricity in your place. Hey, it is even a different continent, not only the different country! Whatever you it looks like you have two series transformers in there – one from 220V to 120V and another is the Placette’s internal from 120V to 12V.  First of all I think that Placette’s internal transformer might have two primaries and you can switch them. In any case, the internal transformer that Placette uses is very small and very common- it shall not be hard to replace them to 220V – those blue PC-mount transformers are $25 each and shall be widely available. If you keep the Placette as it as has a separate step down then it might be a good idea to make the step down transformer as an isolator transformer, implementing in there the double Faraday shields and etc. It might be effective but there is a bitch in this – you will not be able to recognize when your isolator works well when it screw up sound. I would have a few steps down of deferent type and would see what works and if the effectiveness of them will wary.

Probably Guy himself will be the best person to evaluate what you might do but there is a problem in Guy’s advice.  I have no problem with Guy listening expertise but when I was looking at Google map then looked like Guy’s house is located right next to a large Idaho mountain massive.  The whole town of Boise where Guy lives is located between Boise Mountains and Owyhee Mountains – that is beautiful rural district that has not a lot of people in there and not a lot of industrial polluters.  Not to mention that Idaho and the neighboring states of East Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Wyoming are not the most populated to begin with. Look at the shot from the space:

http://members.cox.net/wmckinney1/wallpapr/USatNight.jpg

….there is not a lot light density where Guy lives. So, I might only presume that the electricity situation in Guy’s home is VERY different from the downtown of Boston or downtown of Paris. 

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-19-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Steradian
SoCal
Posts 5
Joined on 02-19-2010

Post #: 31
Post ID: 12979
Reply to: 12354
Placette input impedance
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy,Does your Placette have a custom input impedance of 42K ohms rather than the stock 18K ohms input impedance?
02-19-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 32
Post ID: 12981
Reply to: 12979
Placette input impedance: probably....
fiogf49gjkf0d

Steradian,

I do not remember how much input impedance of my Placette is. I think I did ask to make it higher then 18K but I do not remember now, can measure if I were home…. In most of the cases the 18K is plenty but it very easily could be increased to any value one might wish. I do feel that 30K-50K is more reasonable number then 18K and it would also all those high-impedance tube front-ends with capacitance coupling to drive the preamp more confidently.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-10-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 33
Post ID: 24928
Reply to: 957
My preamps revision: New Placette gain buffers.
After 13 year of using of my active Placette my preamp now is undergoing a modification. My knew listening room is rather on larger side (acoustically) and I am driving the whole system from super Milq, no help of SS amplification at the lower knee. So, I sometime feel a need to have a few more DBs of gain, particular running video over my main playback or listening CD recordings with low dynamic compression. The subjects of having enough power is a bit more complicated and I would like to live it aside of the conversation for now as I am care about the gain at this point. The Placette at full unity gain is not enough for me as time and I was wondering about the solutions. The aftermarket line-level gain stages are horrible, not that I tried all of them but a few that I did were a joke.
 
I learned that Guy Hammel has a new active buffer that can provide 6dB and 12dB gain. We were discussed it a bit and I decided to try it. I still do not want to lose the original Placette active buffers as I feel that are a benchmark of transparency. So, I asked Mr. Hammel to install in my Placette parallel to the existing original Placette active buffers then new gain buffers and to make my Placette be able to be switched running original active buffers or new gain buffers. The new gain buffers have the same ultra-low output impedance that is mandatory for me to drive my Milq’s filters. So, I am very interested to hear the new Placette gain buffers.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-11-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,156
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 34
Post ID: 24929
Reply to: 24928
Op Amps?
So, how is the gain accomplished (without raising output impedance)?  Not tubes or OPT, right?



Paul S
07-27-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 35
Post ID: 25003
Reply to: 957
Placete Active … with gain!
The reads of my site know that for many years I am a huge fun of the Placete Active preamp. In my new listening room I faces a problem that I have not enough gains with some material. The room kind of big and it is integrated with video. Many video programs are not recorded at right level and my video DAC is not high output. It is impossible to find a very good quality line level gain devise, so I decided to bite a bullet and to ask Placete to make one foe me. To my surprise and please Guy Hammel informed me that he has a new product that does exactly what I need to do: an active buffer with up to 12dB gain. It is pricey, $1200 but according to Mr. Placete it is as transparent as his original Placete active pram and it has the same ultra-low output impedance that I need to drive my 6 channels with input filters. 

After some design negations on with Guy I decided that I do not want to compromise my current Placete and we went for dual architecture: it means that my Placete Active remains untouched but in case I put a button on my remote control I have my 12dB. It is done by removing the Placete Active unity gain buffer after the attenuator and substituting it with absolutely new active buffer with gain. So, effectively I will have 4 preamps operational but only 2 of them will be in signal path at any given time. 
 
Well, I have a beast sitting in my listening room now and last two days I have been listening it. It is interesting. I am far from my final judgment to confirm that the new buffers with gain is as spectacular and as transparent as the old unity gain. I think the new output stage is being broken in and I think the contestant is more than noble. It is a bit tricky to compare two preamps with different gains. At this point I realized that it would be nice if the high gains preamp is activated then the volume should be automatically dropped to it’s half. I did not ask it and it is possible that I would not need it in future. I am trying to figure out how to powers the thing. Both preamps have different power supplies, old one analog and the new one switching. I am looking into the isolation the switching and see how it makes any difference. 
 
I think it will be very interesting to hear how the high gains preamps will mature in my playback. The sonic benefits are very cool: push a button and I have extra 12dB. I do feel that at very strong signal and 12dB gains I run out of class A1 power wise but it is at very insane level of loudness, something that has no practical meaning. Anyhow, I am happy with my extra gain. The preliminary listening make me to feel that the Placete Active with gain was not wasted direction to go and it will be useable. Still, in my unlimited audio anal-retentiveness I do not believe that two completely different buffers with completely different topology must not sound identical. I am sure that one of them is better in “something” and since 95% of my listening might be done very comfortable with or without gain, then I would like to know what of the preamps will be my “reference”.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
07-27-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
anthony
Posts 193
Joined on 08-18-2014

Post #: 36
Post ID: 25012
Reply to: 25003
Please keep us informed
Good news so far Romy.  I have been wondering where things were at regarding introducing gain into the Placette. 
07-28-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,543
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 37
Post ID: 25013
Reply to: 25003
A few minor corrections
In the post below I made a few mistakes. 
 
1) The new Placete gain stage use analog PS, not switching and I mistakably said. The power cord come with computer style plastic box in the middle and I though it is the power supply. In reality the plastic box in the cord is just a rectifier and the rest of the regulation and filtration is in the main box. I presume Guy did it in order do not bring AL in the control unit. 
 
2) The new Placete gain stage I have is configured to have 6dB gains, not 12dB. The 12dB switch should be in the unit itself but I did not open it and I do not think I would need it. 
 
Rgs, Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Page 2 of 2 (37 items) Select Pages:  « 1 2
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Preamplifiers: keys to mystery. (Lamm L1, L2)..  In analog domain...  Audio Discussions  Forum     2  44561  11-14-2004
  »  New  HELP: I’m a line-level looser...  Further sonic humiliation....  Audio Discussions  Forum     22  114816  03-30-2005
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