In what ways does layout affect the sound of an amp?

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by What?, Nov 25, 2020.

  1. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    I saw a former member here mention a few times on the forum that layout affects the sound of an amp, but I didn't see any specifics mentioned. I have also read some amp makers mention the same thing, but again, without any specifics. Maybe it is only really about minimizing noise and oscillations. Does layout have other effects on the sound of a given circuit?
     
  2. junk notes

    junk notes Well-Known Member

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    Transformer orientation does. IOW the E/W laminations to N/S laminations when in close proximity. Why you see amp makers sharing the same layout.
     
  3. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    What impacts does transformer orientation have? I could see noise and oscillation being issues. Anything else?
     
  4. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    Don’t try to reinvent the wheel . Tubes amps are a big ball of magnetic fields that wants to go to ground Thur the grids . Each amp design has this voodoo tone going on you can’t measure it . Layout is all about power to ground and keeping things separate
     
  5. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    I'm of the mind that any physical phenomenon which can be perceived can be reasoned about and measured in one way or another. Maybe it isn't always practical to do so, but that is another issue.

    I guess what I'm asking here is, other than transformers and grounding, are there audible impacts of the layout of passive components? It seems that the layout of passive components is a matter of practicality for connecting to tubes, jacks, and pots, not so much about anything audible. And how about tubes? It seems that their layouts is also simply a matter of practicality with some concern for interference (fields and heat), i.e., not placing them too close together or too close to transformers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
  6. Gene Ballzz

    Gene Ballzz Well-Known Member

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    The level of results tends to follow the law of diminishing returns for any given expenditures of effort! Bear in mind that there are some folks who feel that the most "magical" sounding old Fender amps have "just the right amount" of leakage on the sometimes conductive fiber panels used for eyelet boards. The validity of such opinions and/or claims is often subject to debate. In general, following widely accepted, tried and true best practices will produce an acceptably quiet and good sounding aamp, while completely ignoring said "best practices" will most often produce box of horrible sounding noise that no amount of trouble shooting will correct. Much easier to learn from the results and corrections of other folks' past mistakes!

    And just because a phenomenon can be measured, doesn't equate to it affecting sound in any meaningful manner.

    As Always, YMMV,
    Gene
     
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  7. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    Most of the layout is so you can build it and service. Tubes have thar own rules and the layouts have Ben worked out . Thar is things that don’t make sense but it works
     
  8. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    I take it then that assuming following best practices, any effects from layout would be negligible and of no real practical concern.

    And I suppose that component choices (specific models by various manufacturers of same values) would far overshadow such concerns.
     
  9. AML

    AML Member

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    With regard to sound quality, layout is 99% about controlling noise/hum and instability.

    It's just about possible that by careful/bizarre positioning of your cable runs you could create some small positive or negative feedback through radiated EM fields. But no amp maker I've ever heard of does that.

    (Caveat: if you're the type of guy with beyond-bat levels of hearing and you can tell the difference between brands of battery, all bets are off.)
     
  10. Travis398

    Travis398 Well-Known Member

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    Here are some specifics I had posted in another thread From the Webber book. Components can interact with each other. Wires become antennas, the affect could be so bad that it stops working all together.

    weber 1.jpg

    weber 2.jpg
     
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  11. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Travis398, I have read that before, likely here on the forum from one of your posts. Thanks.
     
  12. FourT6and2

    FourT6and2 Well-Known Member

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    Noise: EMF, RF, crosstalk, ground hum/loops
    Phase cancellation
    Inductance
     
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