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Low-output, Vacuum Tube SET Amps

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  • #16
    Good info Richard. I look for tone myself. I do like scale and the feel of ease (headroom?). But tone is the driving attribute. I want correct sound at real world volumes. I know some people want to recreate concert levels. When I turn mine up, I'm peaking at low 80s on my mini dsp mic. I appreciate my hearing. I don't feel any need to go louder. Im 54 and had a hearing test a couple years ago because of some ringing. The doc was shocked at my range for my age. Giving up alcohol brought better sleep which eliminated the ring. Not drinking is good for your ears and many other parts if your body.

    Anyhow, thanks for validating in my mind part of the reason I like tubes. I'm driving my 96db speakers at only a couple watts. Mosy of the time at 60db to 70db.

    I do still wonder about a SS amp for the type of sound they bring. It's different. Or so I believe. When I'm at a store listening to Wilson speakers fed by Dagistino or Boulder, the sound is way different than when fed by Audio Research or Air Tight. I always feel a sense of ahhh when tubes front the amps. The SS has it's sound but it's not for me. It's impressive. Just not for me.
    PAP Trio 15 Horn speakers, Audion Black Shadow monoblocks, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI Paramount preamp,
    Mojo Audio Deja Vu server, Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, STST Motus II TT, Vertere SG1 arm, Hanna ML, Allnic H1201 Phono pre, The Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, LPS to Modem Router and Switch, Blue Jeans Ethernet cabling throughout network, Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire.10 awg dedicated branch circuits to amps bolted to power cords. Significant upgrades to 120 volt main power panel. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis and Inakustik NF2404 Air Interconnects. ADDPower Symphony and Electraclear.

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    • #17
      Rex the possible ah is the lack of jump on tubes as they can’t deliver the power to yield big dynamics.
      jump is not loud it’s speed of attack and while tubes can do this very well they hit a wall of the needed watts is beyond them. Even if you had massive output transformers they still need tube power to feed them.
      just saying. If I was you loan a good SS amp amd then judge
      analog stuff.
      otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
      otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
      sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
      new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
      thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
      thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
      kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
      phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
      speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
      mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
      digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
      Dacs lampi various

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      • Kingrex
        Kingrex commented
        Editing a comment
        Well if you hadn't sold your Aragon.

    • #18
      Kingrex - yes you generally can't have it all with these things - to get the supreme volume and scale from the SET you need 105dB sensitive speakers and even the K-Horn gives SET amps fits because of their impedance and phase at certain frequencies - so they can play loud with a SET but not necessarily well.

      A big power amp as Alrainbow points out will simply do a better job at big massive loud scale levels. This is why I prefer having a preamp and amp set-up. With the preamp you can run high power SS power amps ( I am reviewing a $10,000 100 watt high bias Class A SS amp right now from Pureaudio) and can then run my Parallel 2a3 Empress Silver amps at 8 watts just by changing the speaker cables. Then you have the chance to compare back to back.

      Senior Reviewer at dagogo.
      Speakers: Audio Note AN E/Spx HE Alnico, & AX Two, KEF LS-50, Wharfedale Vanguard, Tannoy CR650
      Pre: Audio Note M3MKiii Phono Balanced
      Power: Kingko KA 101, Rotel RB 1050
      Analog: Audio Note TT2 (two motor), Arm 1(V2), IQ1 MM
      Digital: Audio Note DAC 0.1x, Line Magnetic 215CD & 502CA DAC
      Cables: Audio Note Vx silver and Lx copper ICs, AN-Spe spker cables

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      • #19
        Rex I’m nit picking on you. It’s really what we like in the end.
        Im not telling anyone they need big amps I’m just making comments on my side of likes. I’m far from knowing what’s correct but only what I like.
        I like a system with scale it’s not playing loud it has the ability to grow as needed. This is with any size setup even headphones. yes my setup is extreme in size but it playing loud is not my point.
        analog stuff.
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
        sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
        new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
        thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
        thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
        kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
        phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
        speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
        mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
        digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
        Dacs lampi various

        Comment


        • #20
          Air Tight believes the most recent version of its 300B SET, the ATM-300R, is the best amplifier they’ve ever made, regardless of power rating. Check out Art Dudley’s recent review, especially the follow-up in the current issue, found in this link:
          https://www.stereophile.com/content/...ower-amplifier

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          • #21
            I own the Sophia Electric 300B mono blocks which are closely cloned to the Western Electric classic 300B amps. Though they aren't mega $ amd and more of a friendly budget set priced around $6500? with the mods I had done if memory serves me correctly. I'm happy with what they are and what they do. I had Steve at Decware build me a pair of DM945 monitors that are 96db 1w/1m and the combination is very nice. I wanted to dive into 300B SET for a try and I liked what I found.

            https://sophiaelectric.com/products/...amp-91-01-300b

            https://www.stereophile.com/content/...ower-amplifier


            Cheap plug: These amps are for sale and listed on US Audiomart at the moment with A LOT of tire kickers.

            https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/...0b-monoblocks/

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