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  • Low Watt Tube Amps

    I'm looking at upgrading my Primaluna HP Integrated and looking at some other tube integrated amps. One of them possible upgrades down the road is the Viva Audio integrated. They're cheapest model is the Solistino model, which is Class A 14 watts (at least reported). The next model is the Solista model which is 18 watts Class A. Some have told me that they will not have any trouble driving my Sonus Faber Olympica 3 speakers, 90-91db sensitivity/efficiency. What is really going on with these lower wattage tube amps that can drive speakers with wattage recommendations far higher, or is this still not recommended even though people are doing it? Not sure if some of you would not recommend the Viva for the Sonus Faber. Just looking for some input. Thanks.

  • #2
    One thing to consider re Viva, and I came *this close* to acquiring a used set of mono blocks is the support is non existent unless you buy brand spanking new from the current dist. even Viva in Italy will not lift a finger.
    TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

    "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

    Comment


    • Analog21
      Analog21 commented
      Editing a comment
      that is awful to here. There is not much about them here in the US. That's why I'm reaching out on the forum. Wondering if I can get by and will be ok with the lower wattage Solistino model and seems Viva's construction of its transformers and other triode delivery is different from other tube amp manufacturers. I have no idea what I'm getting into. A friend was using the Solista 18 watt model to drive Wilson Alexia's and they easily handled them.

    • Rob
      Rob commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't blame you for circling around Viva their stuff sounds like music itself. It would probably marry just fine with your Olympicas provided your room isn't too voluminous.

    • Analog21
      Analog21 commented
      Editing a comment
      Room size is 24 x 14, 8 foot ceilings. Standard medium sized living room. I'm wondering if I'll be ok with the 14 watt Viva amp. The difference in price for those extra 4 watts to their next model is almost double the price. My average listening level on my Primaluna amp is 9:00 to 11:00 at the most.

  • #3
    You're better off with something around the 50 watt range with your speakers, 18-20 watts not going to cut it.
    david
    Last edited by david k; 03-19-2017, 08:33 PM.
    Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
    Distribution: NEODIO

    Special Sales: van den Hul
    Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

    Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

    Comment


    • Analog21
      Analog21 commented
      Editing a comment
      Then I guess my questions is how does it cut for Wilson Alexias, or Opera Loudspeakers which have the same efficiency and impedance as my speakers? It sounds wonderful on this setup, so obviously something is going on with the Viva Class A amps. I don't think it is that cut and dry. I used triode mode with EL34s from my Primaluna, and I see no problem with my Sonus faber speakers.

    • david k
      david k commented
      Editing a comment
      It doesn't, IME Alexia also needs a lot more power to come to life than 20 watts.
      Last edited by david k; 03-19-2017, 02:31 PM.

  • #4
    18 watts would be borderline and an expensive mistake, if you were not happy with the performance.

    Comment


    • #5
      Where are you located? Is their a Viva dealer nearby?
      Steve Lefkowicz
      Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
      -
      Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
      Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
      Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
      Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
      Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
      Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
      Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
      Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
      Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

      Comment


      • Steve Lefkowicz
        Steve Lefkowicz commented
        Editing a comment
        You might call Dan Muzquiz at Blackbird Audio. He the SoCal Viva dealer (in Santee, CA). I believe he can ship as long as long as there are no authorized dealers in the area. More importantly, he's one of the most knowledgeable and and honest dealers you'll ever meet. He'll be able to give you an honest opinion regarding the matchup of the Viva amps with your speakers.

        http://blackbirdaudio.com/Blackbird_...y/Welcome.html

      • Analog21
        Analog21 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Steve. Yes, I spoke with Dan. And he runs the low watts Solistino in his listening room. He thinks the 14 watt amp will drive my Sonus Faber's fine, which is why I posted this thread. Others obviously disagree that I will be fine. So not sure.

      • Rob
        Rob commented
        Editing a comment
        What SL said. Dan is one of the good guys in this biz, I've known him for ages. Gary Koh should weigh in as I believe he used a Viva headphone amp (3 watts) to drive his speakers at Newport just to demonstrate that he could and he more than pulled it off.

    • #6
      There's Quicksikver not so fashionable these days but always musical!
      david
      Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
      Distribution: NEODIO

      Special Sales: van den Hul
      Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

      Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
      http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
      http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

      Comment


      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        Don't know about fashionable. Mike has always flown under the radar and never sought out magazine reviews. Reviewers bought a Quicksilver product in order to review it.

      • Steve Lefkowicz
        Steve Lefkowicz commented
        Editing a comment
        I talked to Mike about reviewing an amp some years ago, and he simply said he sold all he could make, so didn't feel a review was worthwhile. He didn't want to increase demand that would delay delivery times.
        Still want to try one of his preamps someday.

      • mep
        mep commented
        Editing a comment
        One of my favorite all time tube amps is the mighty Quicksilver MS-190 with the triode input boards.

    • #7
      Another integrated I recently heard worth checking out is Rogers Hi-Fi.
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

      Comment


      • david k
        david k commented
        Editing a comment
        Any SET integrateds among this great group?

        david

      • JackD201
        JackD201 commented
        Editing a comment
        Lots! Question remains will wattage in the teens of of 211 or 845s and others be enough for this application. Voxativ, KR, Melody, Viva, Mastersound, Ayon, it's a loooooong list.

      • david k
        david k commented
        Editing a comment
        Something with bass, don't need more than 10-12 watts. Frankly the few I've heard (not on your list) didn't do anything for me.

        david

    • #8
      I use a flea powered SET amp but, I have the right speakers for it! My amp is a Korneff 45 type and I absolutely love how it sounds again the right speakers for it.

      Comment


      • #9
        I have SET monoblocks and an integrated that between them can push a total of 6 watts (4.5 and 1.5 respectively). My Tannoys are somewhere around 95db and both drive my speakers to as loud as I play them, which is nowhere near what some people do. Yes, I may be missing some of that control, and effortless that I could get with either a more efficient speaker or more power but either provides me the experience I enjoy.

        I will throw in another plug for Dan!

        Turntable: - 1. Fairchild 750/OMA slate plinth
        2. Analog Engineering AE-2008 MinusK support.
        Tonearm: 1. Schroder Custom
        2. Schick 12"
        3. Abis SA-1
        Cartridge: Miyajima Kansui and Premium BE Mono
        PhonoPre: AprilSound LR, EMIA Strain Gauge, EMIA silver SUT
        CD: Wadia 860x
        Server: Innuos Zen Mini Mk3
        DAC: Computer Audio Design 1543 Mk2
        Preamp: Bent Audio TAP-X w silver autoformers
        Amplifier: AprilSound SET50 monoblocks
        Speaker: Pioneer PAX-30C

        Comment


        • Rob
          Rob commented
          Editing a comment
          my good friend has Tannoy Churchills and used an Art Audio PX-25 (6 watts) to real good effect. He now uses Air Tight ATM211s and the extra juice really isn't needed in his system.

      • #10
        What ever amp you pic demo it. Being on the boarder line of power is not a sure thing. Also even if someone says it's fine try the same speakers with a more power amp as well you may be surprised. In headphones having enough to drive headphones matters greatly even if you don't use it. I had tried smaller amps on my rs1b and IRS v too
        not counting woofer towers. Just the mid tweeters take on different tones and dynamics
        I am not a pro audio guy but I have had many setups
        underpower sounds nice until you try one that's got more
        a very different view
        hope this helps.
        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


        • david k
          david k commented
          Editing a comment
          +1
          Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
          underpower sounds nice until you try one that's got more a very different view hope this helps.
          david

      • #11
        Agreed! You absolutely must control the low end (woofer) if not you are wasting your time. SET amps with speakers that are efficient enough for the low power thay have are a match made in heaven! My amp puts out a whopping 2 wpc on it's best day but, my speakers are 118db efficient at 1 watt at 1 meter! Of course I have them padded down to 108db so all 3 drivers match!!! It is simple and stunning in sound quality, I can also run you right out of the house with this setup...

        Comment


        • #12
          I have read that Efficient speakers have better dynamics and speed too. I like two basic types of speakers ribbons all my life and horns. Horns if done well have speed , aglility and dynamics. One of my favorite headphones is Hifi man he6. You need 15 watts at 8 ohms for them to have a full body
          less sounds fine till you hear them right. They are 35 ohms varying a bit. It when you get them right they sing a song like a top end speaker system.
          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


          • #13
            Sorry I should have mentioned my speakers are big horns, I wouldn't have anything else!!! Very fast and dynamic as you said!!!

            Comment


            • Beaur
              Beaur commented
              Editing a comment
              Love to come and hear your horns next time I am in NO.

            • jcmusic
              jcmusic commented
              Editing a comment
              Let me know when you are gonna be in town...

          • #14
            Has anyone here tried or own a VAC integrated amp? Trying to find a worthy tube integrated upgrade from my Primaluna and less of a lateral movement. Trying to find a tremendous value performer. Any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

            Comment


            • #15
              Check out the Triode TRV-845SE

              Click image for larger version

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              Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
              Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
              Phono 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable with 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Decade Phono Preamp
              Phono 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable with 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
              R2R Tape: Studer A810 with Bridge Console
              Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
              Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
              Power: Audio-Ultra Power System, IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
              Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

              Comment

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