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Author Topic: Mythology ?  (Read 3114 times)

greg thum

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Mythology ?
« on: January 19, 2005, 03:04:54 pm »

Oliver: Now that your product line has been expanded with the addition of the V-78M,I was curious as to any opinions or conclusions you have derived from the design,engineering and production of such diverse circuit topographies.In particular,would you comment on the advantages vs disadvantages of handwired vs printed circuit board construction and how it impacts your  design philosophy and other than the obvious labor intensive  nature of handwiring,do you feel that each method has it`s unique benefits as well as short-comings.There seems to be no shortage of opinions on this matter,much of which I suspect is ill-informed.

In conclusion,I would like to express appreciation for such an informative and authoritative forum.Wishing you continued success and good health.

greg thum

Oliver Archut

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Re: Mythology ?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2005, 12:22:11 am »

Hello Greg,

it is quite difficult to answer this one, as you pointed out with the title "Mythology", we also can include the word "Legendary", both words have there origins in the religious story telling.  Some event or minor small story that was blown out of proportion...

Getting closer into the world of audio "Mythology" there  are so many legends that are more urban than real....

Running danger to be excommunicated by several of my friends that call themselves "Audiophile", this is still a very nice topic...

Let take a look at the "Point to Point" or "Handwired" ..
This artful form or apparatus manufacturing has it roots in the time when most electronic components were to bulky and heavy to suspend them on phenol or epoxy board. The V41 power supply caps are two times the size than an entire V71 board, just for people that never looked inside a pre amps, but both circuit do nearly the same...
Developing and manufacturing products this way is very simple and cost effective like R&D, etc; if there is an induced hum, just move the x-former a bit to left or right.... Mass productions is quite harder because you need very skilled and highly trained personal. All parts are in general more expensive due to the flying leads, etc...

Than there is the PC board, it is very costly to layout/develop, source the right components, built pre production units, etc.
If there is the same hum problem as stated above, just scrap it and start over.... Before you have the first proper working production unit, you might scrap 20 pre production boards, each costing about $400....
As soon as you are there, just keep the silk-screen machine rolling and heat up the edging tank... Stuffing the PC board can be either done by machines or unskilled hands.
Original designed for transistor circuits, but later adapted for tube circuits as well, one of the easiest method to mass market products...

What is better? I do not think that I can give you a good answer, but it is probably a matter of what are you building. Small scale production or one of a kind vs. high output consumer electronic...
So having said that, lets see the details here.

I came to the conclusion after building audio products either way, the only real technical difference is, other than just looking good, the 3 dimensional possibility of point to point.
This helps to avoid electro static and magnetic fields that influence the over all outcome and build complex products in a very short time (mostly custom units)
It is also easier to modify ( Marshall JMP's and Tweed Fender are the best examples) circuits, or to exchange/upgrade parts, and repair in general, etc. While the mass production is a pain in the rear...

PCB design is great for mass production, and the two dimensional aspect is hard to overcome, the development as well as production set up takes forever, but the cost in preparation will lower the final end product dramatically.
If I had to do the V71 as a point to point version, there would be $100 on the top just for the additional time and higher complexity of components.
As an example the output V71/72 U73 are identical in winding and core material, however the V71 is about 40% less in cost due to the PC board hook up, no lead wires etc...

For my personal taste a mix of the both, PCB with solder stand offs for point to point, is the best way to build these days, at least for classic audio design.

Biggest problems your refer to are that there are so many people with opinions, that never ever worked with or were involved in manufacturing of either unit.

There are several technical reasons for the "Myth" that point to point sounds better, one is that some military equipment must be point to point, even those standards get less and less, but it is due to historical specs based in the 1940s...

The 2nd reason are repair technicians that can not work on PCB designs, mostly due to specialty tools, etc. They just quantify the design as crap (and other words)...

The real life answer, as good as I can say it, there are both good and bad products with either design layout. If you are looking for something you want to work on yourself, get a point to point, if you want to use the end product and you do not want to think about any other than the sound, get what ever sounds best to you....

Best regards,


Oliver Archut

We are so advanced, that we can develop technology that can determine how much damage the earth has taken from the development of that technology.

Radd 47

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Re: Mythology ?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2005, 08:13:36 pm »

Great answer Ollie!
I would add effects of capacitance between PC board traces to that other list of differences.

You can manipulate the wiring somewhat in a point to point project to possibly stabilize a circuit.

How were the traces done on those old phenolic V boards?

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