I believe Atmasphere mentioned once particular B&W speakers consisting of lower efficiency 4 ohm bass speakers with higher efficiency 8 ohm midrange and tweeter. Speaker has great bass when amplifier doubles current on 4 ohm speaker, but not so great when driven by tube amp that doesn't do that.
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@Kijanki ... thanks for your informative response. You wrote:
"Damping factor of 14 is OK. 8ohm speaker's impedance is mostly resistive. Assuming, that it is approx 6 ohm it limits effective DF to 1.33 . Amps DF of 14 will make it worse only by 9.5% - irrelevant."
In my case, I drive my speakers, which have roller coaster impedance and phase angle plots, off the 4 ohm taps. To my ears, those taps sound "overall" the best. While it may result in non-optimal impedance matching at higher frequencies, I surmise that the power demands place on the amp are not that significant at such frequencies. Further, as mentioned above, the amp has a very robust power supply. Hence, I doubt that the mismatch is resulting in considerable distortion.
Kinjank, you also write that:
"There is a lot of local NFB in almost every amp. Any resistance in cathode is a form of NFB. Global NFB doesn't have to create TIM if it is applied within certain limits. It improves pretty much everything - bandwidth, output impedance, THD & IMD. Great sounding amp with small amount of NFB requires great design and quality components. Unfortunately it is cheaper to achieve the same using cheaper design and excessive amount of NFB hence creating overshoots (odd harmonics in frequency domain) and unpleasant bright sound."
I surmised the same as posted above. I wrote that ARC said the use of NFB is part of an overall engineering solution that balances many variables.
Search & you shall find!!! (this is note to self)
Look what I found:
* an article in Stereophile where the late William Z Johnson was interviewed by John Atkinson. WZJ talks a wee bit about partial cathode coupling & gives the credit to QUAD as the initial inventor since QUAD used it in their Quad30 amp some 30 yrs prior to that interview. See para #3 from the top:
* next, I found William Zane Johnson's patent application on the partial cathode coupling (must have been an enhancement of the Quad's version?). This is publication US3566236 A that was filed in 1968 & published in 1971. Yeah, you are correct - ARC has been using this for a long time in all their products.
You can read this stuff but here is the crux (cut & pasted from the patent application)
"Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved amplifier output stage coupling with partial cathode coupling, while maintaining classic tetrode operating parameters with substantially the same efficiency and drive requirements."
hope this provides some more insight, Bifwynne.
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