Originally Posted by DulcetTones
Arny my grouping SPICE and exceptional knowledge/experience is not strange if over the years you have followed and discussed this with designers such as John C and Pass, also other very good designers.
JC and a few others do not use SPICE but do know it very well, while others do not start a design without going through SPICE 1st.
These are individual preferences, and of course people are free to exercise their preferences. We should only judge results.
In fact it is fair to say JC is very critical of SPICE.
I'm aware of that, but my impression that this is an informed opinion, and that he has hands-on experience with SPICE. I was speaking to whether or not he was familiar with SPICE.
What you state is in contradiction to my experience of reading what those designers say and others on one forum they belong to; www.diyaudio.com
Curl and Pass have their little corner of the world, which is big enough to allow them to survive and thrive a little. But, its not the mainstream.
They seem to have staked their fortunes on the idea that they can create "better sounding" amplifiers ad infinitum. This is an idea that does not do well when investigated in a scientific manner.
Again, there is no requirement that everybody do everything in a scientific manner. I've got my own pet beliefs, too. Just not so much about audio.
We call ideas that are based on tradition and intuition, but cannot be affirmed by scientific means, by certain words that I will not use here because we all know them, and some find them offensive.
It seems your saying (apologies if taking it out of context/mistakenly) that it is not that difficult to design an amp
The difficulty of the design depends on the nature of the goals. I mentioned an area (switchmode) where generally interesting and useful work continues.
If the goal is to obtain a farily typical, farily durable, fairly economical home audio power amp with power up to about 400 wpc into 4 ohm typical speaker loads, that is effectively a straight wire with gain, then exceptional talents are simply not required. There's no reason to use any talents at all other than product selection and purchasing. The amp of your dreams is available from a number of competitive sources.
but that is if you have the blueprint to begin with, if your think I am wrong then sorry your disagreeing with a lot of people who have tried this at diyaudio, not just EE DIY fans.
I don't think that there are many people who put diyaudio.com over and above all other technical sources as an audio authority. I don't believe that they make any claims about formal peer review, or even use of the same kind of evaluation techniques as peer-reviewed publications demand.
You could say any audio product is simple as long as the blueprint is available to follow, but once you start to deviate from this then it no longer becomes trivial.
That's true as long as the deviations are significant. In this day and age power amps are essentially commodity building blocks of systems that are interesting for reasons other than the details of the power amps that they include.
And yes not all modern amps stick to the old blueprints that exist, same goes for other audio gear, including speakers (as an extreme) where there are many blueprint designs.
There are many reasons that power amps deviate from evaluation board and application note designs, but improved sound quality of the power amp circuit itself are rarely among the reasons why.
As I said, a great many people using rigorous scientific means determined that at last some evaluation board and application note designs were capable of sonically transparent operation while driving typical loudspeakers, 30 or more years ago.
The need for new power amp designs did not evaporate at that point, but improved sound quality ceased to be a major concern. Since then costs, power levels, size, and suitability for various specific applications (e.g. mobiile) have improved greatly.