Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

Hi all,

New to the forum and thought I'd contribute something that's near and dear to me...how to get very high quality hi fidelity sound in an off-grid situation.

Let's start with a basic blanket exclusion: Any stereo system that comes with a remote control (basically 99% of anything made in the last 20 years) can be eliminated right off the bat. And most everyone here probably knows the reasons why.

It's also been my experience that most off-gridders then turn to 12VDC 'car stereo' units. Those have their downfalls also, including power for station memory and presets and the obvious....distorted, colored sound...the car is not a great listening room and most car stereos are engineered to make up for those shortcomings in overly loud bass and sound colored to deal with surfaces such as glass and upholstery. That, and to appeal to youth's desire to put out street lights with bass.

So where to turn?

Look to the past, my friends. The early 1970's were an absolute boom time of quality solid state, low wattage receivers. Before the big wattage wars of the later 70's, companies such as Pioneer, Kenwood, Sansui and others turned out modest receivers with 10, 15, 20 watts of clean, pure, undistorted sound per channel, and reasonable power consumption ratings. But that's only half of the equation.

Speakers are the other half of the equation. The most important aspect of a speaker system to an off-gridder (once the fact that they sound decent has been established) is the SPL rating. That is to say, the sound pressure level. What is that? It's usually expressed in the level in decibels that a given speaker system will produce at a 1 meter distance, given 1 watt of input. Basically, it's an efficiency rating. For reasons that escape me, it's given as a negative number, and the higher the number, or I should say the lower, the more efficient the system is. This factor is also exponential...so that a speaker with a rating of, say, -87dB is going to be hugely quiet with one watt of input compared to one with -95dB.

The coupling of a low watts-per-channel receiver (a receiver is an amplifier with a built in AM/FM radio and usually nothing else...no tape or turntable, etc.) with a highly efficient speaker system will give you the most bang for your solar buck.

Now, without getting too technical, here are some suggestions for receivers and speakers:

Receivers:
Pioneer SX-424, SX434, SX-525, SX-535, SX-990
Sansui 221, 331, 441, 551

Speakers:
Most anything by Cerwin Vega, JBL, Electro Voice. However, check each system's individual SPL rating. Avoid: Bose, Polk, Infinity, any speaker below about -92 dB.

SPL is sometimes expressed as "Sensitivity". Some go up into the -100 and better range! Those will blow the roof off even with a small amplifier!

Bose, Polk and Infinity make fine speaker systems, they're just not very efficient and engineered with grid power and large amplifiers in mind. Cerwin Vega, JBL and Electro Voice also have offerings in the Pro Audio/Sound Reinforcement industry and I would guess that a lot of the engineering philosophies from that aspect crossover into their consumer lines as well.

Don't be afraid of BIG. Typically, a larger model of speaker from the same series of a given manufacturer will be MORE efficient than it's smaller counterpart.

Now that you have your amplifier and radio, then what? Well, I'm a big fan of vinyl records. I could go on in great detail about that, but instead I will point you to a forum at www.audiokarma.org Start reading the threads on turntables and that should give you some pointers. Records are available cheaply from many sources as used items and, with the proper equipment and setup, sound better than CD's. An average turntable uses about 10 watts of power when operating. Or, I would suggest a small portable CD player, the kind that you'd carry to the beach. You can run that on AA batteries or plug it in with an adapter. The thing is, it's designed by nature of it's portability to be energy efficient, whereas full size ones aren't necessarily so. You can plug that into the receiver with an inexpensive set of cables available at most A/V retailers that features a 1/8" stereo jack on one end and a pair of 'RCA Cables' at the other. Plug it into the "Aux" jack on the back of the receiver and you're good to go.

This same cable can be used to plug into your mp3 player or smart phone.

My personal system: I started with a Sansui 221 (8 watts per channel), which I still have but replaced with a 441 (14 watts per channel) solely because it had hookups for 2 pairs of speakers, which the 221 did not...I have a set of outdoor speakers facing our firepit that I wanted to include. The 441 uses (depending on volume) somewhere in the twentysomething watts range, unless I'm really kicking it out. Speakers are Cerwin Vega DX-1's. They're at the lower end of the efficiency range, but they're small also...and space is a consideration at our place. If you have the room, consider a 12 inch system (speakers are generally sized in reference of the diameter of the largest speaker (the woofer)) or larger. The DX-1's are 8 inch 2-ways (meaning a woofer and a tweeter...a 3 way or more would include midrange drivers or multiple tweeters, etc.) However, the DX-1's have exceptionally good bass performance for a small speaker, which is what Cerwin Vega is known for other than efficiency. For me, they were the perfect compromise of sound, size and efficiency. My turntable is a vintage Pioneer PL-550 direct drive, with a Shure V15 Type II cartridge with an Ed Saunders stylus.

Happy listening.

Comments

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    I confess not to be a true audiophile, I do enjoy good sounding music and can hear the difference between mp3/cd/lp source.

    That said, I am very happy with my set up. A pretty good Pioneer CD head unit, now a few years old so the Model # doesn't matter. This allows a controllable I-pod input, as well as Sat and internet radio inputs. I have coupled this to a pair of JVC book shelf speakers.

    The whole unit draws between 1-2 amps (12vdc) and sounds pretty darn good. The station/audio presets are on the "always on" side of the radio, and it draws only a few MAs. I do turn it off when I leave for more than a couple of weeks, and have to reprogram the presets, but no really a big deal.

    Since I am very remote and don't get good FM (and no AM except at night) radio, I have this coupled to a pair of antennas, one a directional Yagi for specific stations, and then a omni directional Fanfare vertical for general.

    I tend to use internet radio most of the time because it is way more reliable,, except when the satellite connection gets too crowded.

    Good luck,

    Tony
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,175 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    I do recording at my place sometimes. I really disagree with some of your basics Emerson. Most modern remote units ala Sony and others I am sure draw so little power that search mode of outback and xantrex inverters work fine. I think it the sony is listed at less than 100 miliwatts

    The TEAC CD recorder I have is a great live recording machine for this kind of recording. Unless you are going to run alot of vacuum tubes or something crazy for more than 5 hours a day the power is pretty low. Maybe I am missing something?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    While I'm not off-grid, I do cut as many vampire loads as possible. Most (all?) modern home receivers use non-volatile memory and can be completely cut off when not in use w/o needing to be reprogrammed. My entire home entertainment system is on a switched outlet, excluding the DVR (don't get me started on how it could be made much more efficient than it is...).

    No reason you can't use modern equipment, IMO.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    Well, I didn't plan on getting this far into it, but...

    Unless you're talking very high end equipment (and NOT the Sony, Pioneer, Aiwa, etc. of today -- which are mere shadows of their former selves), there's no comparison between vintage gear and modern gear.

    One, specifications today are more or less pulled out of someone's arse. There is no held-to standard for coming up with distortion or power ratings as there was in the 70's (the old RMS system, which basically measured distortion levels at a given power between 20hz and 20,000hz given an acceptable deviation above or below that curve...it had to be held more or less flat and reach a maximum power at a level of distortion, beyond which the amplifier would be forced into breaking either the rules of the rating or clipping, whichever came first). Now, the rating can be given at a fixed frequency instead of a span. There is no real way to compare apples to apples these days in respect to specifications...it's sort of the honor system, without a lot of honor.

    Two, build quality. Planned obsolescence, throwaway systems, plastic junque, for the most part. Do you think that system you have now will work in 30 years? You're probably chuckling at that right now. My system is over 30 years old and works great. Why has there been a decline in build quality? Well, simply stated, it's economics. The 'slide' started in the late 70's when the dollar started slipping against the yen and culminated when the Japanese economy did a nose dive. By the late 80's, stuff just wasn't built as well as it had been and had lost a lot of it's musicality.

    Three, hey, if you don't care about phantom power, fine. It's your system. For me, it's about getting the most out of what I have, not continually building a bigger solar panel system to accomodate my own wastefulness.

    This stuff kind of sneaks up on a person. I really didn't realize it until a number of years ago when I found an old Pioneer receiver at a yard sale, just like the one I had in high school. I bought it for nostalgia, hooked it up to my then current Aiwa system's speakers and was simply amazed at how much better it sounded and how much better the tuner performed. It wasnt long before I was hounding the thrifts and yard sales for more vintage gear.

    However, whether or not you choose vintage gear or modern gear, the basic principle that I am trying to illustrate in respect to off-grid still applies: Efficiency of the speaker system is key. Higher efficiency means lower wattage input for the same amount of volume. The point being, a very clean low powered amplifier combined with a highly efficient speaker system will sound much larger than it is and keep your power consumption to a minimum.... more bang for the watt.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,175 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101
    Well, I didn't plan on getting this far into it, but...

    Unless you're talking very high end equipment (and NOT the Sony, Pioneer, Aiwa, etc. of today -- which are mere shadows of their former selves), there's no comparison between vintage gear and modern gear.

    One, specifications today are more or less pulled out of someone's arse. There is no held-to standard for coming up with distortion or power ratings as there was in the 70's (the old RMS system, which basically measured distortion levels at a given power between 20hz and 20,000hz given an acceptable deviation above or below that curve...it had to be held more or less flat and reach a maximum power at a level of distortion, beyond which the amplifier would be forced into breaking either the rules of the rating or clipping, whichever came first). Now, the rating can be given at a fixed frequency instead of a span. There is no real way to compare apples to apples these days in respect to specifications...it's sort of the honor system, without a lot of honor.

    Two, build quality. Planned obsolescence, throwaway systems, plastic junque, for the most part. Do you think that system you have now will work in 30 years? You're probably chuckling at that right now. My system is over 30 years old and works great. Why has there been a decline in build quality? Well, simply stated, it's economics. The 'slide' started in the late 70's when the dollar started slipping against the yen and culminated when the Japanese economy did a nose dive. By the late 80's, stuff just wasn't built as well as it had been and had lost a lot of it's musicality.

    Three, hey, if you don't care about phantom power, fine. It's your system. For me, it's about getting the most out of what I have, not continually building a bigger solar panel system to accomodate my own wastefulness.

    This stuff kind of sneaks up on a person. I really didn't realize it until a number of years ago when I found an old Pioneer receiver at a yard sale, just like the one I had in high school. I bought it for nostalgia, hooked it up to my then current Aiwa system's speakers and was simply amazed at how much better it sounded and how much better the tuner performed. It wasnt long before I was hounding the thrifts and yard sales for more vintage gear.

    However, whether or not you choose vintage gear or modern gear, the basic principle that I am trying to illustrate in respect to off-grid still applies: Efficiency of the speaker system is key. Higher efficiency means lower wattage input for the same amount of volume. The point being, a very clean low powered amplifier combined with a highly efficient speaker system will sound much larger than it is and keep your power consumption to a minimum.... more bang for the watt.

    I am trying to understand but I am not seeing this. Unless, you are talking about camping style of offgrid. I just do not see that any of what you are writing about matters "POWERWISE". Log it with a power meter. Take some data and you will see! Modern power systems that are set-up right for offgrid are really based on refrigerator consumption and HVAC. Entertainment is way down the list as a power user. There are 42'' LCD's and larger that can use 125 watts or less. Connect a 5 channel surround system with a subwoofer for about the same 125watts. This data is improving also! Offgrid you have to use the best low power connsumtion devices, or you have to pay more to be inefficient. Either way I will bill you the same! Can I say that?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    it doesn't matter what you wish to power for a stereo system as you can design for it. if it draws more power than you want then you must get more power to feed it, it's just that simple. if you need a high powered stereo amp then the watts of electricity powering that amp is higher too, especially the better class a amps. if you want to power a tube amp then be prepared for even more power to be supplied to run it and do note that there were still many tube amps around in the 70s even if they were low power like under 50w.
    sometimes a good way for powering down is to use quality headphones.
    as far as phantom loads go that is easily solved by plugging into a power strip and flip the switch off.
  • KamalaKamala Solar Expert Posts: 452 ✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    I can't remember precisely, but I seem to recall that there is a loss of response linearity in loudspeaker systems with high efficiency.
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101
    Three, hey, if you don't care about phantom power, fine.

    I specifically mentioned phantom/vampire power, my entire system is on a switched outlet. Just make sure you buy a smaller receiver, maybe 50 watts per channel tops, and you should be good.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    Just thought I'd try to share some of the things I've learned. Apparently that's unwelcome. Enjoy your systems.
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 913 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    Emerson,
    Don't be offended or dissapointed by the reactions/responses you see here to your topic. The population of the forum is varied, intense and eclectic. Think of hanging out here like getting used to the taste of olives...difficult, but do-able.:p

    I have a 20+ year old Dennon reciever DRA-335R, Onkyo 6 disc cd player, and tv input-ed as well. All on a power strip, but used less often now that my tv has decent (relative to it;s predecessor) sound. When movie watching the power strip is energized, but not so much now. Once off-grid the always on radio background was gone.


    Ralph
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,175 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    Yea please no offense! There is no good guy or bad guy! We just disagree!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    +1 (Ditto)

    Just debating personal opinions, one of the best things about the 'net (or the worst, depending on your opinion... pun intended :D )
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,362 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101
    Just thought I'd try to share some of the things I've learned. Apparently that's unwelcome. Enjoy your systems.

    Please enlighten us, I have a 1982 vintage Adcom/Klipsch system that draw pretty low watts off, provides nice clean output (blows you out of the room if you wish). My old ears can't tell the difference anymore and the ringing in my left ear requires good power to overwhelm.
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101
    Just thought I'd try to share some of the things I've learned. Apparently that's unwelcome.

    Nah. The problem is that there are a bunch of engineers around here. It's a tough crowd and they *will* double-check the math. Don't take it personally - just make sure you get your sums proper before you post. :D
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    tis true that there's nothing personal meant and please continue to stay with your concerns and opinions as well.
  • soulersouler Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    I wish this thread could result in a list of good choices for new buyers... It would interest people who are expanding home power systems. Avoiding AC power for stereo makes a lot of sense. I've got some very old 12v stuff but figured that unused electrolyte capacitors would be close to dead... Any ideas on that issue? Is it worth reviving old, long unused audio stuff? I think America needs to jump-start the skills for retrofitting unused electronics, like the old days. Are we not close to the edge importation imbalances (with China and Japan)... I have been watching indicators for this brewing, over recent years.

    Off grid might get super-charged with new customers buying "off grid only as a serious backup". So might DIY repurposing (repairing) of electronics. If people only new which of the old amplifiers, etc are worth rummaging for. Engineers & audiophiles- Please continue listing the good stuff.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,175 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    Souler the reason you might want to change your thoughts on DC for indoor use is that most building departments do not know how to inspect it. In an insurance claim the issue can cause big problems.

    Most inspectors will allow "inside' DC in a garage or within 25 feet of the battery.
    It just does not make sense to me for music! If you were to say refrigeration or some big power user I might agree with you inspected or not!

    I am basing my opinion on 42 offgrid homes by the way. Are you planning to take the leap? It is a very fine way to live, good luck!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • ericlpericlp Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    I am an audiophile...

    I have the perfect solution for you and it's what I am using already and I am taking my system with me!

    It's called a CLASS D amp! AKA, T-Amp.

    Here read up on here.

    http://www.tnt-audio.com/ampli/tripath_amps_e.html

    Class D amps have been around for awhile, and Tri-path and others have made a lot of different chips but I find the 2020 tri-path to be the best sounding of the bunch.

    You can actually buy this kit from Parts express.

    http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-385&source=googleps

    The best part these amps are SOOOO efficient they won't get hot and you can't over heat them, well, if you provide more then 14Volts you can burn out the chip.

    Have fun and enjoy your music off grid!


    Another review just in case you thought I was kidding....

    http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/sonicimpact/t.html
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,485 admin
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    Be careful--The charging voltage for a deep cycle flooded cell battery is around 14.5 to 15.5 volts. Not many DC devices can take the full range of off-grid DC power (10.5-15.5 volts).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • bryanlbryanl Solar Expert Posts: 175 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    re: "there's no comparison between vintage gear and modern gear. " -- When coupled with a preference for lp's, the implication is that the referent is a 'flavored' sound with limited dynamic range, limited frequency response, and a defined collection of artifacts. That qualifies the discussion quite a bit.

    There have been some amazing advances in both speaker and amplifier technology in recent years. Many of the issues of distortion, heat dissipation, frequency response, linearity, and noise factors have moved to the insignificant side of things. Efficiencies (like the class D) have improved significantly. Weight has been significantly reduced as transformers have been replaced in both power supplies and other places.

    For speakers, there are significant advances in materials that result in significant improvements although the speaker is still the limiting factor when it comes to true fidelity.

    One downside I can see in modern equipment is that the power requirements are more likely to significantly vary quite rapidly. The quiescent or idle power needs are reduced and the peak power handling capabilities have increased. This means the impedance of the power source can be a factor to consider.

    If you have specific tastes, no matter the source, then those will drive your decisions. Otherwise, you'll likely be happy with most of the available options you can find to fit your budget, space, and style.
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    Before I was an electrician, I worked for company that built and installed sound systems in nightclubs. These systems had stacks of parametric equalizers. We would use tone generators and spectrum analyzers to EQ the rig "for the room". Some surfaces reflect certain frequencies, some absorb. Depending on acoustics some places in the room can get quite a lot of some freqs and very little of others.


    Now of course, you can get everything in software. I like the Spectrum Analyzer Pro Live from PAS. Quick, easy and useful:

    http://www.pas-products.com/programs.html


    Also, the right mic makes a lot of difference.


    I've met a lot of so-called audiophiles who had neither a pile of EQs nor a spectrum analyzer.
  • ericlpericlp Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101
    BB. wrote: »
    Be careful--The charging voltage for a deep cycle flooded cell battery is around 14.5 to 15.5 volts. Not many DC devices can take the full range of off-grid DC power (10.5-15.5 volts).

    -Bill

    Well, these amps were specifically made to run off of a DC batteries. It's the luck of the draw on this one tho if you go over 14.8 Volts your pushing the amp as if you read the article. I just say 14 volts to be safe. Don't want anyone buying one then blame me because the chip burnt out.

    That being said they do make some quality T-amps that will run over 15 volts. If anyone needs that information email me and I'll provide a link. Tho, I'm not sure about 10.5 volts, I have no experience running them that low but I would think you wouldn't want your batteries to get that low in the first place! :)


    My Point is...this is about as CLOSE to PERFECTION as possible for any one into solar and wants a decent amplifier for tube like quality form a chip. They make even better ones (supposedly) they are called ICE amps.

    I'm just telling everyone they don't have to give up GOOD sound to be off grid! Even on grid I still use this amp for my main musical amp.

    Cheers!

    Eric
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    eric,
    now i don't remember if you had mentioned what batteries you had in mind for doing this, but all of them will require better than 14v to get a full charge on them. you could elect to not use the stereo while it's charging, but that's risky that you may forget or at the very least inconvenient. agms don't require as much charge voltage as a standard fla and will be under the 14.8v point. my sunxtender is about 14.4v max with most fla types at between 14.4v and 14.8v and that is cutting it close if not too far if one employs a battery temp sensor on the already high fla battery voltage.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,485 admin
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    Eric,

    I was just saying to be careful--A fair amount of dc "car adapters" have been damaged when hit with 15+ volts on of grid solar systems during equalization.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • MisterBMisterB Solar Expert Posts: 156 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101

    At one time in my life I played around with designing and building amplifier circuits and it is a lot easier to make a good amplifier from a split power supply, at least +12/-12 volts but much better with +15/-15 volts which you derive from a tranformer hooked up to a rectifier and power supply. If you are really an audiophile, I would invest in a good sin wave inverter and a good solid amplifier/receiver with good speakers. It is much more difficult to get good sound quality out of a single ended supply like a 12 volt battery where you, at the circuit level, have to use what is called a "pseudo ground" to bias the amplifier properly.

    That being said, when I moved off grid, I sold my beloved 70s Marantz ampifier receiver and use the amplifier part of a couple of old 12 volt boomboxes with removable speakers which I've removed and replaced with the good speakers that I used with my Marantz amplifier. The sound quality is good and the power consumption very low. The best thing about using 12 volts is that there is no AC hum which compensates some for the lesser power and fidelity.

    One thing to check for in 12v DC audio equipment is if the speaker ground is tied to the DC negative. If it is, it is going to be quieter and I've found that plugging in equipment where the grounds are isolated like most portable CD players puts noise into the system if you use a 12v DC adapter.

    And some of the old boomboxes that ran on D and C cell batteries came with serious power and big speakers and are sought after items on the used market today. My main one is old enough to have a phono input which I've hooked up to a Techniques turntable converted to 12 volts and I like to play 1950s jazz records with it and the sound quality is very good but nothing as good as my old Marantz. On the other hand, the power consumption is so low, I can use it on rainy/snowy windless days with out draining the batteries.
  • ericlpericlp Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101
    BB. wrote: »
    Eric,

    I was just saying to be careful--A fair amount of dc "car adapters" have been damaged when hit with 15+ volts on of grid solar systems during equalization.

    -Bill

    Well, you could just run it off it's own 12volt battery separate from the solar array. Hooked up to a trickle charger. That would solve that problem.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101
    ericlp wrote: »
    Well, you could just run it off it's own 12volt battery separate from the solar array. Hooked up to a trickle charger. That would solve that problem.

    not necessarily so as many trickle chargers have no regulation on them and are often far above 15voc.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,175 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101
    ericlp wrote: »
    I am an audiophile...

    I have the perfect solution for you and it's what I am using already and I am taking my system with me!

    It's called a CLASS D amp! AKA, T-Amp.

    Here read up on here.

    http://www.tnt-audio.com/ampli/tripath_amps_e.html

    Class D amps have been around for awhile, and Tri-path and others have made a lot of different chips but I find the 2020 tri-path to be the best sounding of the bunch.

    You can actually buy this kit from Parts express.

    http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-385&source=googleps

    The best part these amps are SOOOO efficient they won't get hot and you can't over heat them, well, if you provide more then 14Volts you can burn out the chip.

    Have fun and enjoy your music off grid!


    Another review just in case you thought I was kidding....

    http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/sonicimpact/t.html

    Is any of this gear, and I am sorry that i don't have time to research, available to buy right now? Like in a sony, or NAD without having to load pcb's with chips and be fairly nerdy about this.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • bobdogbobdog Solar Expert Posts: 191 ✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Hi Fi Stereo 101
    Is any of this gear, and I am sorry that i don't have time to research, available to buy right now? Like in a sony, or NAD without having to load pcb's with chips and be fairly nerdy about this.

    Not advertising, but if you Google you'll find the Dayton something or other at Parts Express and other places...there are a couple others, but they seem to be out of stock.

    Edit: After reading a number of reviews I decided to give the DTA-1 a shot. So I purchased the package deal for under $60. We'll see how it turns out. Now the question is should I run it on batteries or a/c?
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