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WOW! Thanks for your input. You sound like a fair guy,you speak your mind good or bad. Just looked on the SS site and saw the 1.1000 is a class G design any thoughts on their choice to use class G over D. Thanks on any info you can provide.
I'll get into the probable reasons for this when I'm back home and not typing into a mobile device. :)
 

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that stinks that they would tout the return of the Reference line which look really nice and have good numbers with them and then use cheap components on something as inexpensive as the caps. I was seriously considering getting a couple of these, but now I am very undecided now.

Ibiza or AmitaF

have either of you opened up one of the class A/B amps to see if the same crappy caps are used in those? If so, it would seem they would probably suffer the same issue unless it was jsut a bad batch of caps, but quality control must suck because I noticed the same thing envision did when I looked at the pics.

The original caps in some of my 15 to 20 year old amps look in better condition than those.
 

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Just noticed something I've never seen. A 1000 watt amp with 2 sets of power and ground terminals. The only time I see this it's on big spl amps.
We did it just for you bro! If I had my way, we would do this on everything 1k or bigger. Also allows direct input for those who run caps, aux batteries, etc...
 

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This is a typical A/B amp, but interestingly, the output drivers are heatsinked right with the outputs and there is a good amount of HF compensation around them. The outputs are beefy TO-247 size.

You don't see this sort of good engineering in car amplifiers much anymore. At first blush, I am impressed. There is a question of the heatsink clamps used - there should really be another pair of screws per clamp so that the output transistors are evenly clamped. But other than this minor detail, I think it's a nice design.

I'm glad to see that the engineers chose to mix through hole and SMD technology where appropriate. Some high dissipation applications cannot be replaced with SMD - even if it looks good on paper. And bias pots!

I am definitely impressed! :)
I'm impressed that you're impressed. :D I always value your opinion since I a not an amp engineer and like to hear what other knowledgeable people have to say. The REF boards took years to get right and all previous attempts fell short of what we were looking for. All of the grey ones that were sold in Europe were failures that our FIRED German distributor back doored directly from the factory. Imagine the load I almost dumped when I saw them in vehicles at the Sinsheim show! I was not happy. All of the new designs have been awesome for us, this far...
 

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I agree that the new SS reference amps are well designed (I have the 4.760 and 2.640) but receiving a new product (might not be a legit dealer but...) with failing caps is unacceptable. I would be willing to bet that the 1.1000 Ibiza has is not one of the earlier models. Is there a way to tell if said amp was the latest or some developmental version?
 

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I absolutely wouldn't touch it. Get Grizz Archer in here to see what needs to be done. The capacitors brands (DKE) are known to be very cheap caps and knock offs of United Chemicon. This is exactly the kind of thing that will kill a good amp...or brand for that matter. The placement for these caps is critical due to the commutation currents in the output stage of this Class G amp.
They have got to go and you should NOT be the one footing any of the bill!

Aaron
I already forwarded this to the amp engineer. What I am concerned with is how a part can fail with no use. At times like this, I wish I had more education in amplifier engineering. I will reply the second I hear back from the engineer. I cannot help but wonder if the amp sent was not truly new but maybe a returned amp to that distributor/shop. We have honestly had no issues with bad parts on unused amplifiers. Nobody should. So I am at a loss for words. But I will get an answer!
 

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that stinks that they would tout the return of the Reference line which look really nice and have good numbers with them and then use cheap components on something as inexpensive as the caps. I was seriously considering getting a couple of these, but now I am very undecided now.

Ibiza or AmitaF

have either of you opened up one of the class A/B amps to see if the same crappy caps are used in those? If so, it would seem they would probably suffer the same issue unless it was jsut a bad batch of caps, but quality control must suck because I noticed the same thing envision did when I looked at the pics.

The original caps in some of my 15 to 20 year old amps look in better condition than those.
just scroll up to see the pics i posted of the 3 that i just recieved.... they look fine
 

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My bad. the caps in the 4.760 look fine to me, although a little bulged at the top. don't look to be leaking or have the hole in the middle like the 1.1000 has.
 

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Okay so here is what pour engineer said...

"Hi Grizz,

Those caps are not really under a lot of stress and there are a ton of them, so it is unlikely that they would fail, but it sounds like he received the amp like that. It is possible that there was bad production QC on the factory's part.

I would like to see if the rail voltage in that particular amp is maybe too high, which would cause that problem. If they were bad already when he got it before he hooked it up, teh caps definietlty went bad during factory's burn in and they did not notice it, and passed the amp.

Question how are the 1000's and REFs in general holding out in the field?

Yes, Iv'e see user envisionelec/aaron active on other forums also. He seems to like the general layout etc., which is a positive.

BTW I would really like you guys to consider Class D for the REF mono amps when the new factory does them - let's discuss."

So, obviously something is wrong. It could be our mistake, who knows? But either way, assuming the place you got it from is legit, they will swap it out. But please ask them to put your name on it with the problem when they send it back to us because our engineer wants to see it himself!
 

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My bad. the caps in the 4.760 look fine to me, although a little bulged at the top. don't look to be leaking or have the hole in the middle like the 1.1000 has.
I ran my fingers on top of every single cap, to make sure....nada!

The only "bulge" was in my pants:eek:, when I opened these up, for inspection:laugh::laugh::laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I already forwarded this to the amp engineer. What I am concerned with is how a part can fail with no use. At times like this, I wish I had more education in amplifier engineering. I will reply the second I hear back from the engineer. I cannot help but wonder if the amp sent was not truly new but maybe a returned amp to that distributor/shop. We have honestly had no issues with bad parts on unused amplifiers. Nobody should. So I am at a loss for words. But I will get an answer!
Thanks Grizz for looking into this. This whole situation has majorly derailed any and all plans I had for the next week or so. My one and only car is torn apart waiting for it's newly designed amp rack that was to contain two Reference amps. Now of course it looks like I will be putting the car back together sans amplifiers.
And although this sucks in a VERY big way, at least I feel like I have the right people in my corner to get this mess straightened out and that eventually not only will my car have an amp rack in it, it will contain HEALTHY SS Reference amps like I had planned all along!:blush:
So again thank you Grizz and thank you Aaron.
 

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Okay so here is what pour engineer said...

<snip>

Yes, Iv'e see user envisionelec/aaron active on other forums also. He seems to like the general layout etc., which is a positive.

I've not always been kind to many manufacturers. :blush:

It's definitely a step up from the usual. I'm intrigued enough to want to peruse the schematic on that REF 1000.1, but I'm pretty certain that would never happen.

I'm not seeing commutation diodes on this design; is it actually Class H (variable power supply voltage)?
 

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Thanks Grizz for looking into this. This whole situation has majorly derailed any and all plans I had for the next week or so. My one and only car is torn apart waiting for it's newly designed amp rack that was to contain two Reference amps. Now of course it looks like I will be putting the car back together sans amplifiers.
And although this sucks in a VERY big way, at least I feel like I have the right people in my corner to get this mess straightened out and that eventually not only will my car have an amp rack in it, it will contain HEALTHY SS Reference amps like I had planned all along!:blush:
So again thank you Grizz and thank you Aaron.

I think the response on Epsilon's part is rather extraordinary. I would hate to see you install it (them?) only to have problems down the road. For your sake and for Soundstream/Epsilon's.
 

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Despite appearances on the forums, I'm actually a fairly even-handed critic. It's just that there has been so much garbage made in the past 10 years that it has been hard to be supportive of the transformation of some of these companies' products. I know some people feel I should just leave well enough alone - and they're probably right. I don't force anyone to agree with what I observe. Me? I am always learning...I don't know everything - not even close. I just pay attention.

From a design standpoint, building a car amplifier is a nice amount of work. What isn't hard is replicating a design over and over, ad infinitum. I'm happy to see a truly different design that hasn't tried to bend the laws of physics and/or thermodynamics.

I like the departure into Class G for one reason - It's not Class D. There are so many problems with Asian-sourced Class D amplifiers. They're very hard on capacitors which are already very cheap to begin with. Their filter magnetics are often undersized and driven to saturation as they heat up to their Curie temperature and are then permanently damaged. And then they put a 30 cent fan to blow slightly-less hot air on the inductors!

Class G is less efficient than Class D at all but the lowest levels and almost as efficient near maximum power. But, I genuinely suspect that so many of these cheap Class D's have such terrible losses that their efficiency is probably overstated.

I think it was the right move to go Class G. I just hope the capacitor/power supply issue is identified and isolated quickly.
 

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Okay so here is what pour engineer said...

"Hi Grizz,

Those caps are not really under a lot of stress and there are a ton of them, so it is unlikely that they would fail, but it sounds like he received the amp like that. It is possible that there was bad production QC on the factory's part.

I would like to see if the rail voltage in that particular amp is maybe too high, which would cause that problem. If they were bad already when he got it before he hooked it up, teh caps definietlty went bad during factory's burn in and they did not notice it, and passed the amp.

Question how are the 1000's and REFs in general holding out in the field?

Yes, Iv'e see user envisionelec/aaron active on other forums also. He seems to like the general layout etc., which is a positive.

BTW I would really like you guys to consider Class D for the REF mono amps when the new factory does them - let's discuss."

So, obviously something is wrong. It could be our mistake, who knows? But either way, assuming the place you got it from is legit, they will swap it out. But please ask them to put your name on it with the problem when they send it back to us because our engineer wants to see it himself!
FWIW, I really appreciate the way you handle open communication here on the board. Service like you and Andy from JBL provide is really rare and is the main reason I have been suggesting your products when friends ask what to get for their own cars.

Also, start selling the dang PPI/Soundstream 2.5" mid range driver separate of the component set!
 

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After seeing this thread, I took the time to open up both my 2.640 and 4.760. No cap problems whatsoever. Everything looked nice and clean, no bulging or venting of any kind.

I also agree that it's been very nice to see a SS rep on the board and addressing potential issues very quickly and openly. Gives me a lot more faith in Epsilon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Just a quick update. I contacted the distributor I bought the amp from and explained the situation. They were extremely accommodating and said they would send me out a new one as soon as I shipped the defective one back. They should receive the amp from me today so I am hoping I have a replacement by mid-week next. I will post up some pics of the replacement when it arrives. I pray with better results this time.:cool:

Again guys, thanks for everything.
 

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That's great news! Can't wait to hear your feedback after it's install.
 
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