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Mytek Brooklyn Amp + sound issue

gryffe

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I've had the Brooklyn Amp + for a few weeks now and I have noticed at times there is slight distortion, or perhaps a sound similar to an over compressed CD when listening through speakers. This distortion is not there when using headphones so I am wondering if my speakers cant cope with the Brooklyn amp? Also I think it might be worse at higher volumes. My speakers are Bowers & Wilkins 603 floorstanders. I am useless at “sensitivity” and “ohms” etc so looking for some advice, thanks - also I dont understand why the spec for the Brooklyn amp mentions “dual mono”, is this because it’s a power amp whereas I am used to having integrated amps in the past which only talk about “watts per channel”?

Here are the specs for the power amp (which is partnered with the pre amp from the Mytek Brooklyn DAC)

**POWER RATINGS AT 1% THD:

  • at 16 Ohm - dual mono 2 x 130 W
  • at 8 Ohm - dual mono 2 x 250 W
  • at 4 Ohm - dual mono 2 x 300 W
  • at 2 Ohm - dual mono 2 x 400 W
  • Peak - dual mono 2 x 1200 W
    **OUTPUT SWING: 70 Vp / 140 Vpp (unloaded)
    **SNR: >121 dB
    **FREQUENCY RESPONSE: -3dB: 10Hz - 30kHz
    **THD REGULAR USE: <0.01%
    **PROTECTION CIRCUITRY: Short circuit protection, DC protection, under voltage protection, temperature protection, overload protection
    **DAMPING FACTOR: >400
    **DC POWER ON TRIGGER: 12VDC mini jack
    **WORLDWIDE POWER SUPPLY: 100-240VAC 50/60 Hz
    **DIMENSIONS: WxDxH=8.5x9.5x1.74” = 216x241x44mm
    **WEIGHT: 6lbs, 3kg
Here are the specs for the Bowers & Wilkins 603’s

  • Description: 3-way vented-box system
  • Drive units: 1×ø25mm (1 in) aluminium dome HF
    1×ø150mm (6 in) Continuum cone FST mid
    2×ø165mm (6.5 in) Paper/Kevlar bass
  • Frequency Response: 48Hz–28kHz ±3dB
  • Sensitivity: 88.5dB spl (2.83V, 1m)
  • Nominal impedance: 8Ω (minimum 3.0Ω)
  • Rec amplifier power: 30W–200W
 

uzzy

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Loudspeakers usually change audibly when overdriven .. so if the problem stops when you turn the volume down a bit then it could be that the amp is driving the speakers too hard. However, the volume would be beyond pain threshold methinks if there was a problem detected through overdriving.

Is the sound distortion or is it compression (the music seems to have lost dynamics?)? My experience of a Nord Class D was the latter . the bass and top end sounded great but the overall sound to my ears lacked the dynamics of my dear old Hafler. My conclusion was the Nord would be great at driving the bottom end in an active system but for full range it just did not do it for me.

I do not know if the Hypex/purify modules used in other amps (and other Nords) is better andI have no idea what other amps use the Pascal modules as used in the Mytek.

Contact local wammers and see if you can arrange to visit and take the Mytek to try on their systems to see if the problem remains and have them visit you with their amps to compare against the Mytek.
 

gryffe

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Loudspeakers usually change audibly when overdriven .. so if the problem stops when you turn the volume down a bit then it could be that the amp is driving the speakers too hard. However, the volume would be beyond pain threshold methinks if there was a problem detected through overdriving.

Is the sound distortion or is it compression (the music seems to have lost dynamics?)? My experience of a Nord Class D was the latter . the bass and top end sounded great but the overall sound to my ears lacked the dynamics of my dear old Hafler. My conclusion was the Nord would be great at driving the bottom end in an active system but for full range it just did not do it for me.

I do not know if the Hypex/purify modules used in other amps (and other Nords) is better andI have no idea what other amps use the Pascal modules as used in the Mytek.

Contact local wammers and see if you can arrange to visit and take the Mytek to try on their systems to see if the problem remains and have them visit you with their amps to compare against the Mytek.
Thanks for reply, I'm in the wilds of Scotland so doubt many Wammers about here lol.

Just had a thought though. Does it make any difference what type of power lead is being used with the amp? I bought the amp 2nd hand from a guy in the hifi industry and the guy said it didn't have a power lead but any UK kettle lead would do, so I just used a random spare one. Is this true that any kettle lead will do? If not and an inadequate power lead could be affecting performance could anyone advise which spec of power lead to use and I will buy one and see if it makes any difference.
 

simon g

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  1. No
You may just be experiencing the common 'feature' of many Class D amps. They don't particularly like low impedance loads. If you're listening at high levels with speakers that dip to 3 ohms then that may be your problem.
 
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gryffe

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You may just be experiencing the common 'feature' of many Class D amps. They don't particularly like low impedance loads. If you're listening at high levels with speakers that dip to 3 ohms then that may be your problem.
Thanks, any recommended speaker suggestions, floorstanders in the £1k to £2k price range, preferably not any pricier than £1.5k
 

Nopiano

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I think we need to diagnose your issue before heading down a new speaker rabbit hole. Can you name a recording/track that exhibits your issue, so a few of us can try to hear it ourselves?

What volume do you listen at, in what dimension room? BTW it’s highly unlikely to be your mains cable.
 
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simon g

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Crikey, speakers are so personal, your room, listening levels& tastes will play a major part here. Having said that, you could take a look at Qacoustics 3050i or Concept 40. Both easy to drive and great vfm. Loads of choice though; I'd try and keep sensitivity at 90db/w/m as a min, with an impedance that stays above 4 ohms, preferably with a nominal of 6-8 ohms or thereabouts.
 
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gryffe

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I think we need to diagnose your issue before heading down a new speaker rabbit hole. Can you name a recording/track that exhibits your issue, so a few of us can try to hear it ourselves?

What volume do you listen at, in what dimension room? BTW it’s highly unlikely to be your mains cable.
Try track 3 called Over The Wall on the album Heaven Up Here by Echo and The Bunnynen. Between about 1min and 10 secs and 1 min 30 secs apprximately there are two kind of staccato electric rhythm guitar riffs, each lasting several seconds. Sounds absolutely fine while listening on headphones, but terrible on speakers, so I know it's not the way the CD has been mastered. The streaming track on QoBuz has exactly the same faults through speakers, so it's not just the CD that I am experiencing it with.

I dont listen excessively loudly either, its not exactly low, but certainly can have a conversation without shouting.
 

Nopiano

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Try track 3 called Over The Wall on the album Heaven Up Here by Echo and The Bunnynen. Between about 1min and 10 secs and 1 min 30 secs apprximately there are two kind of staccato electric rhythm guitar riffs, each lasting several seconds. Sounds absolutely fine while listening on headphones, but terrible on speakers, so I know it's not the way the CD has been mastered. The streaming track on QoBuz has exactly the same faults through speakers, so it's not just the CD that I am experiencing it with.

I dont listen excessively loudly either, its not exactly low, but certainly can have a conversation without shouting.
Ok, that’s perfect (especially as I have QoBuz!). I will try it later today, and hopefully a few others will too.

As you’re listening at ‘normal’ levels I’d rule out overloading any amp or speaker at this stage. Is there any chance you have ornaments, light fittings or pictures in your room that might be ‘buzzing’?
 

Nopiano

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Ok, I had a listen. To get me ‘in the groove’ I played the album from the start. That riff in track 3 is pretty distinctive, mostly in the left channel, with a sort of percussion response in the right.

It does sound very deliberately distorted to me on loudspeakers, like quite a lot of studio productions, especially with guitar. I can’t explain it musically, but it’s not an uncommon effect, I don’t think.

My hunch is there’s nothing wrong, and you’re hearing what your B&Ws intended. Could you find it less emphasised in another pair of speakers? - sure. Is it a fault? - I don't think so. If it was a fault, you’d be hearing it on any number of tracks in my experience.

Simon, above, makes a good point at about the impedance. This report shows they are definitely tricky to drive, but I’d not link that directly to what you are hearing. https://www.hifinews.com/content/bw-603-loudspeaker-lab-report

99CA5A87-C5CC-4D6E-9ABA-84F72A5A6FC3.png
 
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Psilonaught

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i had this exact problem where
I've had the Brooklyn Amp + for a few weeks now and I have noticed at times there is slight distortion, or perhaps a sound similar to an over compressed CD when listening through speakers.

I had this exact problem with my 80w KT88 amps. I initially diagnosed the hard "compressed" sound, especially on higher piano notes that really push the amp, as being my dac. I eventually realised that it was the amp running out of steam, however.

A move to 150w amps cured the problem. I was also getting very slight cracking distortion at high volumes which ultimately made me realise it was the amps and not a dac/source issue.
 
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gryffe

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Ok, I had a listen. To get me ‘in the groove’ I played the album from the start. That riff in track 3 is pretty distinctive, mostly in the left channel, with a sort of percussion response in the right.

It does sound very deliberately distorted to me on loudspeakers, like quite a lot of studio productions, especially with guitar. I can’t explain it musically, but it’s not an uncommon effect, I don’t think.

My hunch is there’s nothing wrong, and you’re hearing what your B&Ws intended. Could you find it less emphasised in another pair of speakers? - sure. Is it a fault? - I don't think so. If it was a fault, you’d be hearing it on any number of tracks in my experience.

Simon, above, makes a good point at about the impedance. This report shows they are definitely tricky to drive, but I’d not link that directly to what you are hearing. https://www.hifinews.com/content/bw-603-loudspeaker-lab-report

99CA5A87-C5CC-4D6E-9ABA-84F72A5A6FC3.png
Thanks, it's a mystery I guess. Perhaps its just that this amp that highlights the deficiencies of the speaker, which less capable amps haven't in the past. Which I guess means I need new speakers lol.
 

gryffe

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Crikey, speakers are so personal, your room, listening levels& tastes will play a major part here. Having said that, you could take a look at Qacoustics 3050i or Concept 40. Both easy to drive and great vfm. Loads of choice though; I'd try and keep sensitivity at 90db/w/m as a min, with an impedance that stays above 4 ohms, preferably with a nominal of 6-8 ohms or thereabouts.
Thanks, the 603's specs which I have listed below are just below 90dB. at 88.5dB, and the impedance can go down to 3.0 ohms. It's in the same ballpark as you recommend, but still falls short - is that a problem?
  • Sensitivity: 88.5dB spl (2.83V, 1m)
  • Nominal impedance: 8Ω (minimum 3.0Ω)
  • Rec amplifier power: 30W–200W

The amp power says 30-200W , does that mean anything above 200W is a problem?

The specs below are from the Brooklyn manual, which suggests 300W?

Technical Specification Output Power in stereo and bi-amp mode,1kHz @ 8, 4, 2 Ohm: 2x 300W
 

Nopiano

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Thanks, the 603's specs which I have listed below are just below 90dB. at 88.5dB, and the impedance can go down to 3.0 ohms. It's in the same ballpark as you recommend, but still falls short - is that a problem?
  • Sensitivity: 88.5dB spl (2.83V, 1m)
  • Nominal impedance: 8Ω (minimum 3.0Ω)
  • Rec amplifier power: 30W–200W

The amp power says 30-200W , does that mean anything above 200W is a problem?

The specs below are from the Brooklyn manual, which suggests 300W?

Technical Specification Output Power in stereo and bi-amp mode,1kHz @ 8, 4, 2 Ohm: 2x 300W
In my view, this is all perfectly ‘normal’ for a domestic setup. Your amp has plenty of power, and yet in practice I doubt if you use more than a handful of watts, with the odd peak at 20 to 50 watts.

There is no need to match the power handling of the speaker with the maximum theoretical output of you amp. It’s nothing to do with ‘matching’, which is much more about a sound balance that you like, and crucially about speakers that work well in your room.
 
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uzzy

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Ok for my two pennyworth - changing the power lead will make sod all difference IMO, as to the impedence load - a nominal 8ohms with a dip to 3 ohms is mentioned but in truth the 3 ohms bit is not in the equation and check the meassurements of the speaker here https://www.audioholics.com/tower-speaker-reviews/b-w-603/conclusion. The speakers are so efficient that a dip to 3 ohms is hardly like to present a problem to any amp (low efficiency and low impedence is IMO where you do get problems, in the old days it would blow up amps and those that did not blow up blew up the tweeters instead as witnessed by <amy Gale 401 users).
As others have suggested it could be the DAC/streamer front end. Or it could be you are just hearing the B&Ws.

I am pretty sure there are other Wammers in Scotland and there are some fine hi shops too who may be willing for you to take the Mytek in and compare to others in shop etc,

Good luck in your quest but I do know of one person who used to make Class D amps using Hypex units who since retiring funnily enough now uses an old Myst TMA series integrated amp - that just about says it all to me.
 
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gryffe

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In my view, this is all perfectly ‘normal’ for a domestic setup. Your amp has plenty of power, and yet in practice I doubt if you use more than a handful of watts, with the odd peak at 20 to 50 watts.

There is no need to match the power handling of the speaker with the maximum theoretical output of you amp. It’s nothing to do with ‘matching’, which is much more about a sound balance that you like, and crucially about speakers that work well in your room.
Thanks. It's never easy to find speakers to match your room I guess, always the hardest part!
 
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gryffe

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Ok for my two pennyworth - changing the power lead will make sod all difference IMO, as to the impedence load - a nominal 8ohms with a dip to 3 ohms is mentioned but in truth the 3 ohms bit is not in the equation and check the meassurements of the speaker here https://www.audioholics.com/tower-speaker-reviews/b-w-603/conclusion. The speakers are so efficient that a dip to 3 ohms is hardly like to present a problem to any amp (low efficiency and low impedence is IMO where you do get problems, in the old days it would blow up amps and those that did not blow up blew up the tweeters instead as witnessed by <amy Gale 401 users).
As others have suggested it could be the DAC/streamer front end. Or it could be you are just hearing the B&Ws.

I am pretty sure there are other Wammers in Scotland and there are some fine hi shops too who may be willing for you to take the Mytek in and compare to others in shop etc,

Good luck in your quest but I do know of one person who used to make Class D amps using Hypex units who since retiring funnily enough now uses an old Myst TMA series integrated amp - that just about says it all to me.
Thanks for your insight, especially the bit about 'just hearing the B&W's', I have a hunch you are correct.

I reckon this will eventually lead to me taking the Mytek into a hifi shop (unless they are stockists already) and asking to hear them with some speakers. Time will tell.
 
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gryffe

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Somebody on another forum has just told me "Careful your amp is easily powerful enough to melt those speakers"

Gulp!!
 

gryffe

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Got new speakers, had them a couple of days now. All good, no distortion on the songs I could hear it on before. Thanks for everybody’s help and input, suggestions etc.
 
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