Song3's and Tubes

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 626 times.

abd1

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 65
Song3's and Tubes
« on: 24 Oct 2017, 04:36 pm »
Can anyone share any experience listening to the Song3's with a tube amp or integrated? I've generally observed people using solid state amps with the Song3's. I have a Primaluna Dialogue One that I really love and would like to keep it. I think the Song3's are one of the more efficient speakers Jim offers, and I'm currently using the PL with Totem Hawks. It does pretty good at low/moderate volumes, which is what I generally listen to, and the Totems aren't as efficient as the Song3's so I'm guessing the PL will drive the Song3's just fine but I'd like to hear if anyone has any real world experience they can share. Thanks.

jsalk

Re: Song3's and Tubes
« Reply #1 on: 24 Oct 2017, 05:42 pm »
First off, there would be no issue using the Primaluna with the Song3's.  My guess is that EL34 tubes would provide the highest sound quality, while KT-88's would likely deliver a bit more power (don't know this for certain but that is the case with many of this type of tube amplifier).  In either case, I don't see any issues.

The allure of tube amplification is liquid smooth midrange.  But as with all things audio, there is a trade-off.  Tubes generally do not control woofers as tightly as solid state.  So it comes down to whether you prefer smooth-as-silk midrange or tight, articulate bass.  Neither is wrong.  One is not necessarily better than the other. It all comes down to personal preference.

We've powered the Song3's with both and both sounded great in their own way.

I hope this helps.

- Jim

abd1

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 65
Re: Song3's and Tubes
« Reply #2 on: 24 Oct 2017, 07:23 pm »
Thanks Jim. I think you are correct about the EL-34/KT-88's. I have tried both along with KT-120's (not my favorite). So far I prefer the KT-88's just slightly over the EL-34's, and they do provide a few more watts. What I hear though is a more defined bass with the KT-88's and almost the same midrange goodness that the EL-34's provide. The EL-34's have such a sweet midrange but the bass can get a touch sloppy with the Totems. I recently switched to Mullard reissue EL-34's and they're a huge improvement over the stock tubes in the bass. They might be my new favorite. I'm glad to hear you've had success with tubes and Song3's.

While I have your attention I was also going to ask about the Song3 midrange driver. The biggest issue I have with my Totems is the metal tweeter (titanium I believe). It has a lot of detail but can be "etchy" sounding to me and not totally natural, especially at higher volumes. I know the Song3 now uses a titanium midrange driver. I know its not covering the same frequencies as the tweeter but I don't love metal drivers. Are there any other options, without getting into the cost of the Accuton, for the midrange driver that aren't metal, even at a slightly higher expense? Or is the titanium driver good enough that I shouldn't worry? Thanks again.

jsalk

Re: Song3's and Tubes
« Reply #3 on: 25 Oct 2017, 02:53 pm »
I would have to check, but we may be able to get this same driver with a bamboo cone from some European distributor (the US distributor no longer offers this model and the minimum order to purchase them directly is 1000 drivers (which would be more than a lifetime supply for us).  If you are interested, I can check into it.

I should also note that many issues related to metallic drivers are due to the fact that the crossover designer fails to trap cone resonance which is an issue with many of these drivers.  Dennis Murphy pays close attention to this in his crossover designs.  So you do end up with more detail, but we don't get complaints about fatigue due to ringing metal drivers.

- Jim

R Swerdlow

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 303
Re: Song3's and Tubes
« Reply #4 on: 25 Oct 2017, 04:25 pm »
The biggest issue I have with my Totems is the metal tweeter (titanium I believe). It has a lot of detail but can be "etchy" sounding to me and not totally natural, especially at higher volumes.
That description sounds to me like it might not be caused by the tweeter, but could be a woofer going into break up.  Totem Hawks use a 5.5" woofer crossed to the tweeter at 2.5 kHz with a “1st order compensated” crossover.  Although the woofer is no doubt a good one, asking it to go as high as a 1st order crossover at 2.5 kHz requires may be too much.

I should also note that many issues related to metallic drivers are due to the fact that the crossover designer fails to trap cone resonance which is an issue with many of these drivers.  Dennis Murphy pays close attention to this in his crossover designs.  So you do end up with more detail, but we don't get complaints about fatigue due to ringing metal drivers.
FWIW, Dennis also pays very close attention to suppressing break up noise coming from either woofers or mid range drivers.

DMurphy

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 1458
    • SalkSound
Re: Song3's and Tubes
« Reply #5 on: 26 Oct 2017, 09:54 pm »
It could also be tweeter distortion at the low end caused by a first order electrical circuit that doesn't roll the response off steeply enough below the crossover point.  The woofer is the Scan 5.5" Revelator, and it's pretty much free of breakup modes at the top due to it's unique cone construction.