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previous: Ray Ivers Rick,Thanks for tha... -- 1139451051 View Thread

Re: Stardate 3.1415927... Long Rant

2/10/2006 7:27 AM
Steve ConnerRe: Stardate 3.1415927... Long Rant
Hi Ray, all,  
1000 parts! Wow, that must be a complicated amp. I think I will put my $.02 worth in here. It has been about two years since I last posted here, and in that time I graduated and got a job as an electronic engineer. I work in the R&D department of a small company that makes scientific instruments, doing circuit design, prototyping, PCB layout and testing. And I do "even play guitar" :)  
Now, when you design and build something in your own free time for your own personal use, that is great fun. You can make it of all the best quality parts, put as much thought into it as you like, and you end up with something really special. I have built and modded a couple of tube amps, and enjoy playing them greatly.  
But don't get that confused with commercial design work. If you buy a Peavey, a Crate or a Boogie or whatever, the designer of that had different objectives. He had to keep the price down so his company can stay in business and keep him in a job, which means shopping around to save nickels and dimes here and there, trying to make each part do as many functions as possible, trying to make a cheap IC do the job of an expensive one, etc. (I imagine the burnt-out headphone amp IC in that Peavey bass amp was designed-in knowing fine well that it would not drive low-impedance headphones, because a proper power op-amp, and the higher-current regulated supply rail for it, would have been too expensive. I think Behringer and Samson also make dedicated rackmount headphone amps that burn out when used with phones less than 100 ohms.)  
He also had to deliver it for a deadline, which is usually tight enough that it doesn't allow complete checking out of absolutely every possible snag in the design. Having said that, in a scenario where a real big production run is planned, they spend a lot more effort on testing before pressing play.  
Finally, after designing amps for 10 years 9 till 5, he is probably bored with it, and has nothing like the same enthusiasm as we do for our homebrew designs :( That might be hard to believe, but as Mark Twain said: "Work consists of those things which a body is obliged to do."  

Ray Ivers Steve,Welcome back!... -- 2/10/2006 7:05 AM