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Author Topic: Camco Vortex Amplifiers  (Read 64538 times)

Simon Tucker

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Re: Camco Vortex Amplifiers
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2006, 08:21:34 pm »

Hi Jens,

I personally like Lab Gruppens myself, but I do have to disagree with you slightly ...

I was involved with an event last year where we had an event with 4 stacks of Alpha-E per side, one side driven by FP6400's, the other by Vortex 6's.  It was kept like this for the whole night.  We found virtually no difference in the two, the only slight bit of perceived difference was that the side with the Vortex's was slightly 'punchier'.  This was the general opinion between 3 different engineers at the event.  There was certainly no noticable audible difference.  (Also it was a DJ so the sounds of any instruments or monitoring on stage wouldnt have had any effect)

Ok, it was hardly a fair test, the room could have played a part in it, and its hardly scientific, but on the one occasion we had a chance to AB, the 2 differenct kinds of amps seemed to behave exactly the same.  (As any amps theoretically should within their operating range).

That said, give me a rack with Vortex 6's in, or give me a rack with fP6400's in and I'm a happy man.

Simon
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Jens Droessler

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Re: Camco Vortex Amplifiers
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2006, 10:43:35 am »

@ Pascal Pincosy: The comparison Vortex6 vs. FP+13000 would be a bit unfair. I really like the LABs, but I think with the FP+13000 they have gone a bit too far. See, the LAB fPs have a circuitry in the PSU allowing them to only draw 16A at 230V, I guess it would be 32A at 110V then for USA. If I drive the fP6400 on bass at 2 ohms, the LED indicator of that circuit already sometimes lights up. That means a full tilt 2 ohms heavy bass load already draws more current (RMS) than the PSU allows. The FP+13000 has the same circuit, also allowing 16/32A, but it's rated with more than double the power. You see where I'm going?
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Camco Vortex Amplifiers
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2006, 01:09:31 pm »

Jens Droessler wrote on Fri, 17 November 2006 09:43

@ Pascal Pincosy: The comparison Vortex6 vs. FP+13000 would be a bit unfair. I really like the LABs, but I think with the FP+13000 they have gone a bit too far. See, the LAB fPs have a circuitry in the PSU allowing them to only draw 16A at 230V, I guess it would be 32A at 110V then for USA. If I drive the fP6400 on bass at 2 ohms, the LED indicator of that circuit already sometimes lights up. That means a full tilt 2 ohms heavy bass load already draws more current (RMS) than the PSU allows. The FP+13000 has the same circuit, also allowing 16/32A, but it's rated with more than double the power. You see where I'm going?


I just looked at the spec sheet and while they don't provide specific details there about a mains current limiter they do publish a 58A output current. This suggests that they can drive a 4 ohm load to the 195v max output. They can drive lower impedances but don't make more power by doing so.

In the real world of music reproduction involving other than continuous sine waves combined with the practical limits of how much continuous power loudspeakers can handle, it is not IMO unreasonable to design amplifiers with higher peak than continuous output.

I am too lazy to chase down details of their PS limits so perhaps it is appropriate to also establish a max continuous output power spec, but AFAIK no amp manufacturer does, nor do they design audio amps for continuous duty cycle output. It may also be significant that the amp uses a 16 amp line cord, so that limit may be a safety agency approval issue.

I wouldn't even attempt to speculate on how a 120v model would deal with mains power issues.

JR
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Jens Droessler

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Re: Camco Vortex Amplifiers
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2006, 11:52:13 pm »

Hi John,

Yes, they can do 58A, but only until the PSU limits the current. As I said, this happens already with the fP6400 at 2 ohms and heavy bass (you can see it because the 'AFL' LED starts lighting up). This means the output is reduced already at some points. So doing more than double the power with the same mains current limiting wouldn't give you that much more output than with the fP6400 (driven by the same heavy bass signal). I agree in any case that a high peak power is a good thing.

Quote:

I am too lazy to chase down details of their PS limits so perhaps it is appropriate to also establish a max continuous output power spec, but AFAIK no amp manufacturer does, nor do they design audio amps for continuous duty cycle output
Yes, there is at least one manufacturer doing this (just like in the old times). They have an amp with 2x5500W IEC @ 2 ohms (around 2x6500W at 2 ohms in the more common EIA measurement, like LAB Gruppen or PowerSoft do), also specced with around that power when driven by sine signals to 0dB, drawing 68A from a 230V line then.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Camco Vortex Amplifiers
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2006, 08:47:34 am »

on Fri, 17 November 2006 22:52


Quote:==I am too lazy to chase down details of their PS limits so perhaps it is appropriate to also establish a max continuous output power spec, but AFAIK no amp manufacturer does, nor do they design audio amps for continuous duty cycle output
/quote

Jens Droessler wrote
Yes, there is at least one manufacturer doing this (just like in the old times). They have an amp with 2x5500W IEC @ 2 ohms (around 2x6500W at 2 ohms in the more common EIA measurement, like LAB Gruppen or PowerSoft do), also specced with around that power when driven by sine signals to 0dB, drawing 68A from a 230V line then.


My comment about nobody making a "continuous" duty cycle power amp was 24x7 continuous not continuous long enough to make a few measurements. The difficult part is just how continuous an amp needs to be. We don't listen to full scale sine waves but some genres can get pretty heavy in the bass dept.

While 24x7 duty would eliminate this as a point of discussion, I'll take your word for it if you know somebody doing so. Consumers reward amp companies that put out just enough duty cycle for their worst case application at a lower price. The original CS800s were continuous, but were also huge, heavy, and wouldn't drive 2 ohms. The later versions put out more power but at lower duty cycles and the customers embraced the change.

Before Bink did his power amp shootout a few years ago I pondered coming up with a bench test to quantify this that would be representative to real world use. I suspect this would be yet another specification to misinterpret.

JR



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Jens Droessler

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Re: Camco Vortex Amplifiers
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2006, 11:00:07 am »

Of course an amp doesn't NEED to do full cycle for a long time with typical music. I use amplifiers not doing full cycle every day without problems in most cases. But IMO it is not wrong building the amp for doing it, making it able to draw 100A from a 110V line. IMO most manufacturers won't do this, not because they couldn't do it, but because it is much cheaper to build them that way.

Of course no amp in the class of 2x2000@4 ohms will do 24x7 full duty, but the ones I was talking of will do it for quite a while.

We do every kind of event, and sometimes, when the artists work with special effects or there's drum'n'bass music, amps lie the PowerSoft DigAms will regulate their output down. I had that several times, so in this case it IS a serious limitation...
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Camco Vortex Amplifiers
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2006, 11:10:37 am »

Jens Droessler wrote on Sat, 18 November 2006 10:00

Of course an amp doesn't NEED to do full cycle for a long time with typical music. I use amplifiers not doing full cycle every day without problems in most cases. But IMO it is not wrong building the amp for doing it, making it able to draw 100A from a 110V line. IMO most manufacturers won't do this, not because they couldn't do it, but because it is much cheaper to build them that way.

Of course no amp in the class of 2x2000@4 ohms will do 24x7 full duty, but the ones I was talking of will do it for quite a while.

We do every kind of event, and sometimes, when the artists work with special effects or there's drum'n'bass music, amps lie the PowerSoft DigAms will regulate their output down. I had that several times, so in this case it IS a serious limitation...


Designing amps for full duty cycle is a luxury that only a very small segment of the market would ever support. I was in the amp business long enough to see lower duty cycle amps capture huge market share due to their lower cost and apparent satisfactory performance in most applications. In an efficient mature marketplace the consumers rarely pay for performance they don't absolutely need.

JR

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Jens Droessler

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Re: Camco Vortex Amplifiers
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2006, 02:59:01 pm »

I completely agree. But you know, it's all about brands too. The big names in the amp biz can set a 'high' price because their name is on the product. The amps I was talking about are actually even a bit cheaper than the amps from the big names, with so far identical or better reliability adn very impressive performance ('per watt'). No bells and whistles like DSP, LCD display or limiting output power for smaller speakers. Just compact and pretty lightweight power... I think if someone offers me 'more duty cycles' as in 'full duty cycles for some time above 5 minutes' for the same money or even less than I pay for other quality amps with 'typical music duty cycles' it's a good deal for me. If it has to have a big name on it, that's another game...

You may remember I had a lot of Peavey stuff and I still have a lot of old CS-X amps (I see no reason to throw them out as long as they work for small parties, weddings etc.). And that's pretty much what I want from new amps in terms of reliability, so I got LAB Gruppen and the before mentioned amps...

Enough of that OT talk... Smile
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Langston Holland

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Re: Camco Vortex Amplifiers
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2006, 12:03:10 pm »

Pascal wrote on Thu, 16 November 2006:

Maybe they won't like running on a cheapo gennie, but it's been ages since my system's been run on anything less than MQ power with plenty of headroom anyway.


Pascal - I've been using two Vortex 6's since January and have nothing but good things to say about them. However, when Camco stamped 115v on the back of these things, they were truly expecting that to be the normal supply voltage. Above approx. 126 volts or so my amps go into mute, with audio restored in a smooth ramp up to normal gain once the supply voltage is reduced.

I used to increase the voltage on genie's to 125v or so per leg referenced to neutral to give my QSC, Crest and Crown amps a bit more headroom (or so I thought). Now I make sure the genie outputs 120v and all is well. Given that non-genie hookups are almost always under 125v, it's probable that this is where some folks have incorrectly concluded that the Camco's don't like genies.
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Jens Droessler

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Re: Camco Vortex Amplifiers
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2006, 12:41:33 pm »

@ Langston: In the other direction it's the same. Under 115V the amp will loose power rapidly and because of the small buffers it will react instantaneous even to quick changes (like line droppings of a few volts on every bassdrum hit or such). This behaviour, also the overvoltage mute is partly because the SMPS is unregulated. It doen't react to the line situation (like LAB Gruppen for example does).
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