Diva Classic Audio  O   O   O             

Q & A

Diva Questions & Answers

Will the Diva match other amplifiers? Will they match solid-state?

In most cases, yes. But the best match is, of course, a Diva with a Diva!

Are Diva tube amplifiers difficult to maintain?

No. Diva tube preamplifiers require absolutely no maintenance. In fact, they can be left switched-on all the time. They sound better that way.

Diva power amps need to have the tube bias checked and adjusted about once a year. You can easily do this yourself using a multi-meter and small screwdriver. Or you can ask any audio technician.

How long will the tubes last? Are, replacement tubes easily available?

The preamp tubes, driver tubes for the power amp as well as 2A3, 300B and 211 output tubes will easily last 10 to 20 years, or even longer. Only the EL34 output tubes of the Blue Sky power amps need to be replaced after 3 to 5 years. Replacements are generally inexpensive and readily available.

Can Diva amplifiers be upgraded by changing to better quality components?

It's not so easy. Diva amplifiers sound good because every component is carefully selected to work in harmony with all the rest. Changing one component will not necessarily improve the sound.

And while some components may not look good - or they may not have a famous brand name with a high price tag - all have been chosen because they sound great.

Why don't Diva amplifiers have balanced inputs / outputs?

First of all, be aware that many "balanced" amplifiers are only pesudo-balanced designs. They have balanced or XLR sockets, but the circuit is unbalanced.

Diva vs Diva Pro - what's the difference?

Diva amplifiers give you the best value for money. Expensive components are used only when the improvement in sound is significant. Diva Pro Series amplflers are no compromise designs which use costly components even if they improve the sound only marginally.

Expensive components, however, do not guarantee good sound. Musicality comes from good design and from careful selection of components to make sure that they work in harmony.

Pro Series amplifiers also feature a special power circuitry developed by T S Lim. Called "ripple remover", this special circuit suppresses background noise by more than 1,000 times! The result is a very much quieter presentation that lets you hear a lot more of the emotion - the soul - of the music.

True balanced transmission requires two exactly identical sets of circuits working opposite to each other, in a mirror image. it is virtually impossible to produce two exactly identical circuits. And when the circuits

are not exactly identical, distortions arise.

Balanced transmission doubles the signal strength and this may be needed if the interconnect cables exceed 10 metres. A stronger signal, however, is not necessarily a better sounding signal.

Which preamplifier should I choose?

If you use horn or other very high sensitivity loudspeakers, the tube buffer passive preamp is your best choice. If you use box or panel speakers, choose an active preamp:

Classic 100 / 100 Pro are minimalist single-tube designs, for audiophiles on a minimal budget.

Classic 200 / 200 Pro are two-tube designs for audiophiles who like to experiment, since they can be used with any" 12 series" tubes: 12AT7, 12AU7, 12AX7, 12AY7, 12BH7... Also, because both tubes drive both channels, you can combine two tubes of different brands to get the best qualities of both.

Diva M-7 is the top of the range, for those who want "the best".

One Diva owner who owns both the M-7 and the Classic 100 Pro, however, prefers the 100 Pro for rock music because of its "raw energy", while the M-7 performs better for all other music.

What aren't Diva power amps Class A designs?

This is a complex issue and you can write an entire book about it. The short answer is that a Class A design offers no sonic advantages. It increases heat, shortens tube life and the mid-bass impact suffers. For a fuller discussion, please read David Manley's The VTL Handbook.

Can the Diva drive my loudspeakers?

The Diva Blue Sky / Blue Sky Pro power amps, although rated at only 5OW, are extremely powerful. They work wonderfully with most medium to high efficiency loudspeakers with at least 4 ohm nominal impedance (the minimum impedance can be lower). They perform well even with many "difficult" loudspeakers, including the ATC I 0 & 20 (8OdB / 82dB), LS3 / 5A (82.5dB), B&W 80 1, Quad ESL63 and Magneplanars.

Amplifiers using 2A3, 300B or 211 tubes have lesser power and require more sensitive loudspeakers.

Why are the input sockets of the power amp at the front? Can they be shifted elsewhere?

Front inputs ensure the shortest possible signal path to the driver tubes, with no connecting wires. This is a purist design used by many highly successful amplifiers in the past: Dynaco 70, Marantz 8 and early amplifiers by RCA, Western Electric, Scott, Fisher, McIntosh and others. Shifting the inputs to the back requires connecting wires that run past the transformer. This introduces interference and hum.

Is the phono amp switchable between Moving Magnet and Moving Coil?

Unfortunately, such a switch degrades the sound significantly. Those who start with MM (moving magnet) cartridges can buy the step up transformer separately when they switch to a MC (moving coil) cartridge.



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The Soul of Music / Diva Classic Audio
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