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Industry Circles => Omega Speaker Systems => Topic started by: Canada Rob on 24 Apr 2015, 04:48 am

Title: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: Canada Rob on 24 Apr 2015, 04:48 am
Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are showing up to be a winning combo.  The Crown Class D has been making inroads, and now the Temple audio Bantam Gold.

One of many things I love about Omega speakers is their ability to run really well on low wattage amps, many of them physically tiny which can make for a "disappearing front end", and with Louis' current crop of drivers, a wide variety of amp types work well.

I won't bore you with all the amps I've tried on various Omegas over the years, but there is is one type that never lit my fire, and that was (I say was) Class D.  Admittedly, that was a few years ago and Class D has not been sitting still, but seen great improvements since I had mine.

Wind Chaser is the one who got me interested in decent Class D when I listened over at his place.  I sought out what I believe to be one of the better "miniature" types and found the entirely made in the UK Temple Audio Bantam Gold stereo amp.  Made with very high quality components and 25 w/ch into 4 ohms (15 into 8?).  I was immediately impressed with the build quality.  It has an Alps volume control, Neutrik chassis mounted 5 way binding posts, and chassis mounted gold plated RCA inputs.

The sound: I first ran it in a room system with a Herus+ DAC and Super 7 Monitor MK2 and was surprised at the clear un-grainy top end, natural midrange, and full bass - in four words, nothing out of balance.  Very three dimensional with incredible speed.  Attack on notes is razor sharp and the clarity and transparency are amazing without sounding cold or harsh.  I'm currently using the brick switching power supply, but a battery or linear power supply like an Astron will be an upgrade in sound.  The noise floor with the stock power supply is very low.

Next, I ran the Bantam Gold in my desktop system with Audio Sector DAC and Super 3is and the results were similar to the above with some of the best imaging I've heard on the desktop.

Does the Bantam Gold sound like a SET?  No, nor does it try to.  It's fun solid state with a whole different set of strengths.  A different pleasure.  If I could only own one amplifier it would be a SET.  One place I would take this amp over a SET is in our sub tropical summers where the temperatures can reach well over 100 F.  Class D has to be the coolest running amp type I've encountered.  Yes we do have AC - can't live at the north end of the Sonoran desert without it.

Update: Did more listening on the desktop system and find the bass to be really "there" - quite deep and transparent, like there's a sub under the desk and the speakers aren't broken in yet.  IMO sub not needed in this system.
Imaging is as good as I've ever experienced at the desktop.  My Dell monitor just disappears in a gorgeous soundstage.

(http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=119674)

(http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=119675)

(http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=119676)

(http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=119677)

Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: mresseguie on 25 Apr 2015, 04:19 am
Rob,

By any chance will this amp be available for a quick listen?

Michael
Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: Canada Rob on 25 Apr 2015, 04:26 am
Hopefully yes, but if someone snags them first it's out of my control, and it takes about a week for me to get more out of the UK.
Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: mresseguie on 25 Apr 2015, 06:17 am
I'm more than a little concerned that my AVA 400R/T8 tube preamp combination is just going to be too much for the Omegas. It's got a bit more than 200W/ch into 8 Ohms.

The Temple amp is inexpensive and very portable.

Well, if it's there, good. I'll give it a listen. If not, ........humility. :(

Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: Audiophile58 on 31 May 2015, 08:48 am
Hello Rob I see you have what looks like a external power supply ,with the Bantam Who makes it, and how Expensive ?

You have  good taste Rob. When living in the U.K Bantan was just starting out ,now they just keep getting better and better. Their new Bantan 1 dual monoblocks .Have you heard them yet ?
Thanks,Paul.
Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: Audiophile58 on 31 May 2015, 08:55 am
Regarding the AVA400 being too much power for the speakers  No I don't think so.Having more power then you need
If it is clean power gives you plenty of overhead . On dynamic swings your amp may require many times
The power requirements from Soft  passages to Loud dynamic swings.
Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: Canada Rob on 1 Jun 2015, 04:27 pm
Hello Rob I see you have what looks like a external power supply ,with the Bantam Who makes it, and how Expensive ?

You have  good taste Rob. When living in the U.K Bantan was just starting out ,now they just keep getting better and better. Their new Bantan 1 dual monoblocks .Have you heard them yet ?
Thanks,Paul.
Haven't heard the mono blocks yet or the new Bantam 1.  In the picture that's a DAC.  I want to get an Astron power supply for the Bantam Gold, but for now I'm just using the switching brick power supply that came with it.
Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: RDavidson on 1 Jun 2015, 04:52 pm
I'm more than a little concerned that my AVA 400R/T8 tube preamp combination is just going to be too much for the Omegas. It's got a bit more than 200W/ch into 8 Ohms.

The Temple amp is inexpensive and very portable.

Well, if it's there, good. I'll give it a listen. If not, ........humility. :(

With Omegas, the amount of power you have is largely irrelevant (with regard to having much more than enough). What can be problematic (in my experience) is finding an amp that sounds its best when pushing just a few watts. I find that many amps (class A/B in general), particularly those with high output (100 wpc or so) and multiple gain stages, don't sound their best until they are actually having to work a bit, versus loafing along. Let's say one must "stress" their amp 10% to get the amp to flesh out and sound right. With a 100 wpc amp, you'd be pushing 10 wpc continuous to the speakers. With Omegas, that'd be LOUD. I'm not saying that this will be a problem for you, as amp design can widely vary and thus performance characteristics can widely vary. The only thing one can do is try it and see. I think this is why we see a pretty wide variety of good combos with Omegas ranging from 500 wpc Class D to 2 wpc single ended tube amps.
Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: Canada Rob on 2 Jun 2015, 03:50 pm
The systems in my picture are really sounding good.  The Super 3i and 7 Monitors are loosening up and really coming out of their corners and I only have a few hours on them.  The subwoofer was taken out (of the Super 7 system, and the desktop system never had one) as I feel it's no longer needed, not for my tastes anyway, YMMV.  I'm finding the Temple Bantam Gold to really have great dynamics with the 3i and 7 Monitor MK2.  I can hardly weight to try a linear power supply with these combos.  Both will go loud enough to drive me out of the room without any breakup or distortion.

I really notice the punch and dynamics the 3i and 7 are capable of when playing the High Kings "Field of Glory", and that's just on Spotify Premium, and that's just one example.  Add to that Bela Fleck and the Flecktones "Flight of the Cosmic Hippo".  Lots of really tuneful, well recorded bass in that tune and the 3i and 7 really bring it out.
Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: DBC on 1 Jul 2015, 02:15 pm
Back in December 2014 (before purchasing my Alnico Monitors) I did an in-home demo on the Peachtree 65se, 125se and 220se integrated amplifiers (all D class). Equipment used was Oppo BDP-105D and Klipsch RF-7 mains.

While the 65se and 125se are fine sounding amps, the 220se is in a class of it's own. All three units utilize different class D amps. The 125se is Texas Instruments and the 220se B&O ICE. Compared to the 220se the 65se and 125se were dry and lack the air and fluidity of the 220se. The 220se is simply Musical, Smooth & Dynamic.

My baseline amp for comparison purposes is the Decware Super Zen that I own. I ended up purchasing the 220se, it is that impressive. Although I swap the two amps out from time to time, 90% of my listening has been with the 220se since I received my Alnico Monitors several months ago. IMO the 220se sounds like the Super Zen on Steroids.
Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: DaveC113 on 1 Jul 2015, 02:44 pm
Rob, you can get linear PS for a good price on ebay most of the time... IME it will make a big difference although there are some good switching PS out there these days. I'm not sure what your amps come with exactly, but it's worth trying. Many years ago I tried a few PS for a D amp including a big deep-cycle  Optima battery, then added caps to the battery supply. It was good but indistinguishable from a cheap used One Electron PS taken from a computer.

DBC, my current D amp, a Crown XLS 1500, shares a lot of characteristics with my DIY EL34 SET but the SET's midrange is better. The XLS bass control is awesome though. Both good amps...

Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: pstrisik on 1 Jul 2015, 03:04 pm
Rob,

What is the Bantam 1?  I don't see it on the Temple site.

.......Peter
Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: Canada Rob on 1 Jul 2015, 06:32 pm
Rob,

What is the Bantam 1?  I don't see it on the Temple site.

.......Peter
Hi Peter,
Not sure why it's not on their website yet.  It's a dual monaural 40w/ch Class D integrated with built in torroidal power supply, 3 inputs, and a pre out.
Over the years, I've loved small minimalist British integrated amps, and this one looks like it nails it.  My Bantam Golds are so musical and I'm guessing this new one is going to be sensational.  It's on my want list.
Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: pstrisik on 1 Jul 2015, 08:03 pm
Hi Peter,
Not sure why it's not on their website yet.  It's a dual monaural 40w/ch Class D integrated with built in torroidal power supply, 3 inputs, and a pre out.
Over the years, I've loved small minimalist British integrated amps, and this one looks like it nails it.  My Bantam Golds are so musical and I'm guessing this new one is going to be sensational.  It's on my want list.

Sounds like a good one.  I'm strongly considering the Bantam Gold to power my tweeters, though would certainly try it with the Omega mains.  Do you have pricing on the 1 (MSRP)?  I'll guess about $500 given his other pricing.


.......Peter
Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: Canada Rob on 1 Jul 2015, 08:43 pm
Sounds like a good one.  I'm strongly considering the Bantam Gold to power my tweeters, though would certainly try it with the Omega mains.  Do you have pricing on the 1 (MSRP)?  I'll guess about $500 given his other pricing.


.......Peter
I would have to contact them on the exact pricing.
Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: pstrisik on 1 Jul 2015, 10:26 pm
Rob,

No need to do that for me, but thanks.  It would be overkill for my purposes - more just curious.

.......Peter
Title: Re: GOOD CLASS D AMPLIFICATION AND OMEGA SPEAKERS ARE A WINNING COMBO.
Post by: vinagunner on 23 Jul 2015, 06:31 pm
v
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: pstrisik on 23 Jul 2015, 08:56 pm
I just received my Bantam today.  It is to power my supertweeters, but I will give it a listen as my main amp powering the Omegas out of curiousity.

......Peter

Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: Canada Rob on 24 Jul 2015, 05:55 am
I just received my Bantam today.  It is to power my supertweeters, but I will give it a listen as my main amp powering the Omegas out of curiousity.

......Peter

The Bantam Gold or Bantam 1?

Edit: Bantam Gold.  Saw it in another thread.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: seikosha on 24 Jul 2015, 01:02 pm
I see that Bantam uses the 2024C module which I've seen used by the DIY crowd as well as some of the Asian companies.  Anyone have any experience with this module in an amplifier other than the Bantam?

Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: pstrisik on 26 Jul 2015, 04:56 pm
I've run the Bantam Gold for about 60 hours.  I listened over a couple of days through my Super 7 Alnico XRS.  I am quite impressed.  I switched back to my Dennis Had Inspire single ended amp for comparison.  I was thinking that the Bantam Gold was every bit as good but did find the tube amp brought back that extra bit of "liveness".  That extra bit of you are there quality.  Tonally they are equivalent.  The midrange is surprisingly smooth for solid state.  Imaging is quite good, just not quite as good as the tube setup. 

Now, the caveat in my informal review is.... I have been tube rolling for more that a year in my Inspire and have settled on dream tubes.  Vintage GEC KT77 power tubes, "Rocket" 6N23P driver, and Vintage British "fat bottle" GZ37/CV378/53KU rectifier.  If I compared them with anything less for tubes, the difference between these amps would be even smaller.  So, given that the tube amp is five times the cost with another two Bantam Gold's worth in vintage tubes, I would say that this little amp is quite remarkable and just mind boggling sound for the money.

Another factor:  I listened to both the Bantam and the Inspire fed by the Inspire LP-2 preamp.  I didn't think of it and probably will give a listen to the Bantam Gold without the preamp as it is sold as an integrated.  I think it will have gain enough.

A couple of niggles in design:  The blue power LED is too bright.  And, if you plug into a switched outlet, it will not power up without manually pushing the power button.  So it has to stay in an unswitched outlet to avoid that.  Other than the overly bright LED, it's really not an issue since it only draws a watt when idle.  I have some small, tinted mylar disks that I use to place over bright indicator lights, so that will take care of that.  The other minor issue is weight.  I have granite weight on top of the amp otherwise it will tilt back from the weight of the cables.  This amp is very small and light.  It might help to use a heavier faceplate and bottom plate to help counter this tendency.  But all niggles, particularly given the sound you can get for $300 (depending on current exchange rate - 189 british pounds).

I previously did try the Crown XLS1500 but it didn't do it for me.  I found it fatiguing with a bit of edge that I don't feel in the Bantam Gold.


......Peter
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: slefley on 26 Jul 2015, 06:23 pm
I have the Fire Bottle 6L6 as well and would like to try the KT77 and 6N23P.  Can you recommend a good source for those tubes?

Steve
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: pstrisik on 26 Jul 2015, 07:53 pm
I have the Fire Bottle 6L6 as well and would like to try the KT77 and 6N23P.  Can you recommend a good source for those tubes?

Steve

Hi Steve,

There are plenty of the 6N23P tubes available on ebay.  Those are the easy ones.  A guy in Washington State has created a bit of a buzz/possible mythology with his detailed testing and review of 6922 type tubes.  Among the Russian 6N23P, he claims the best are specifically 1975 gray shield, single wire getter post from Voskhod plant ("rocket" logo) and the 1974 silver shield SWGP from Reflector plant.  I don't know how true this is, but the price difference isn't great, at least for the 1975 rockets, so that it is worth it for the peace of mind.  There is at least one ebay auction right now for three of these these:  #161771267407 for $57 shipped and one for two 1974 gray/swgp: #231613856699 - $49 shipped.  There may be others.

For the GEC KT77's, you have to keep an eye out to find good deals.  I have gotten some on ebay for as little as $200-$300 / pair and they have been fine.  Just make sure there are test results posted, good seller feedback, etc., as well as returns accepted.  You can also find a pair from a reputable tube seller, Brendan Biever of tubeworldexpress.com for $650, which is the typical market price for good examples of this tube.  There are a few listings on ebay, some of which are very expensive.  There is a quad of Gold Lion labeled, testing as new, for $1600.  Best offer accepted, so you might get them for less than that, but more than about $1300 is getting high for a good quad.

For the KT77's, the buzz is that short brown bases are preferable to the bigger black bases.  I have a pair of each and can't tell any difference.  I've also heard that the ones labeled Gold Lion are preferable, but I don't think there is truth to that either other than they look cool.  Be wary of "Gold Aero" though.  I can't find anything definitive, but have heard that these may not be authentic.

As an aside, I bought some "tube saver sockets" since I've been rolling alot.  They are just like tube bases, but you can plug tubes into them.  They plug into the inspire's sockets and don't move.  I swap tubes in and out of the savers, so I'm no longer worried about wearing out the sockets installed in the amp.

I don't recall if I've seen you over in the big Dennis Had Inspire thread I started a while back on audioaficionado.org in the Cary section.  It's almost at 900 posts and has lots of folks with these amps.

........Peter

PS:  I guess this is a bit off topic for a thread on Class D amplification - sorry about that. 

Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: DaveC113 on 27 Jul 2015, 05:18 am


I previously did try the Crown XLS1500 but it didn't do it for me.  I found it fatiguing with a bit of edge that I don't feel in the Bantam Gold.


......Peter


They need a good 100 hours of burn in and better binding posts. After that, no edge at all... before break in is finished it's very fatiguing.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: pstrisik on 27 Jul 2015, 03:29 pm

They need a good 100 hours of burn in and better binding posts. After that, no edge at all... before break in is finished it's very fatiguing.

It was a used unit, so very likely hundreds of hours in addition to what I put on it.  Original speaker connections though.

.......Peter
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: wellpleased on 27 Jul 2015, 04:25 pm
...
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: vinagunner on 7 Aug 2015, 08:06 pm
v
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: oskar on 7 Aug 2015, 09:02 pm
I'll chime in on the Bantam Gold although I'm not using Omega's. Yet.
When the box arrived from Canada Rob I thought there was a mistake. I knew the amp was small but I wasn't prepared for how small!
After a good laugh I strapped it to my 95db speakers. I've been playing it a lot in the last ten days and it is really a sweet piece of kit.
Recently I switched it over to high gain mode and definitely prefer it with my set up.
Still using the supplied SMPS but will pick up a linear soon.
Since Rob represents Omega and Bantam I can believe the two would make a great match.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: mrvco on 13 Aug 2015, 08:48 pm
For Class D amps, look no further than Nuprime. The new IDA-8 should work wonders with any of Louis' models.

I'm definitely interested in trying the IDA-8 now that I have the 7XRS MKII's.  I currently have a Musical Fidelity M3i Integrated and a Schiit Bifrost Uber DAC which I've been happy with, but I can't help but wonder if the ISA-8 might be better suited to the Omega Speakers.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: sruffle on 18 Aug 2015, 06:43 pm
I have been using a Rogue Audio Medusa with my new Super Alnico monitors.  The Medusa is a hybrid with a tube input and Class D output of 200 watts per channel.  Combined with a passive preamp this gives a really great midrange and bass with loads of detail and no fatigue. 

I bought the Alnicos with the intention of trying a SET amp but this is a great combination and may stay.  Despite all the examples I read about,  I am really concerned about going from 200W to potentially 2W.  I mays try to get a used or cheap SET amp to see if it works in my room and then sell it. 

In any case, the Rogue  hybrid is a very nice combination with the Alnicos.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: roymail on 18 Aug 2015, 06:54 pm
In any case, the Rogue  hybrid is a very nice combination with the Alnicos.

I'm thinking the same thing about the Rogue Sphinx.  Tube front end, class d amp, integrated with volume control, 100 watts output.  Should sound great with Omegas.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: sruffle on 18 Aug 2015, 06:59 pm
I bet the Sphinx would be great.  It is also a very good value.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: mrvco on 18 Aug 2015, 09:26 pm
I'm thinking the same thing about the Rogue Sphinx.  Tube front end, class d amp, integrated with volume control, 100 watts output.  Should sound great with Omegas.

I had forgotten about those guys, there is a shop that is "sort of" on my way home that sells Rogue Audio.  I guess I'll have to stop by and take a listensee :)
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: vinagunner on 20 Aug 2015, 08:19 pm
v
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: mrvco on 25 Aug 2015, 05:41 pm
I had forgotten about those guys, there is a shop that is "sort of" on my way home that sells Rogue Audio.  I guess I'll have to stop by and take a listensee :)

Apparently Sphinx are few and far between around here... there should be one showing up sometime next week.  While it does cost an extra ~$500, I do like that the Sphinx doesn't include an integrated DAC.  We shall see.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: mrvco on 13 Sep 2015, 04:35 pm
I listened to a Sphinx and decided to order one.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: roymail on 13 Sep 2015, 06:51 pm
mrvco, tell us more...like what speakers were used for the Sphinx audition and your thoughts about what you liked about this amp.  I read some very good reviews about the Sphinx.  Would love to hear one, too.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: mrvco on 14 Sep 2015, 08:36 pm
A pair of $2k'ish Tannoy 2-way floor standers and a sub-$1k Pro-Ject turntable.  That was my first experience with Tannoy speakers so I'm hesitant to attribute specific sonic qualities to the Sphinx independent of the Tannoys or Pro-Ject turntable, but the Sphinx had everything well in hand (excellent build quality, very quiet, very strong and consistent from low volume and up).  Nothing about the Sphinx contradicted the reviews that I've read, so I'm definitely looking forward to hearing the Sphinx w/ my Omegas and Rega turntable (and DAC).

This will be the new v2 model.  I do like the look of the new grooved front panel better than the v1 version.  My only concern was with the new "skeleton" remote which is plastic instead of the previous metal remote.  I'd prefer something with less (or no) plastic and more heft to it, but it worked very well and it includes a Mute button now in addition to the Volume Up and Down buttons.  I'm not too concerned about it since the local dealer is throwing the remote in w/ the deal.

edit - It should be arriving late next week.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: mrvco on 1 Oct 2015, 03:41 am
I picked up my Sphinx this afternoon.  Initial impressions after having it powered up and playing for ~4 hours now are outstanding.  The Sphinx is definitely a good match w/ Omega speakers.  I didn't realize how much the M3i was struggling to keep up with the Omegas.  I assumed the lack of clarity and harshness that became readily apparent as the volume increased was a DAC issue.  The Sphinx is definitely not getting between the DAC and speakers like the M3i was; sound stage, detail, musicality, etc., it's all definitely there and I'm not getting the harshness / listening fatigue that I was getting with the M3i as the volume increased.  The Sphinx has absolutely no problem keeping the Omegas under control.  I read somewhere that the M3i's "damping factor" is 36, while the Sphinx is rated at greater than 1000 (I get it now :)).  I'm spinning a couple of records and the phono stage sounds great as well.

I had high expectations going in and they've definitely been met so far.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: roymail on 1 Oct 2015, 11:06 am
How does the Rogue Sphinx sound in your system without a DAC?  How would describe the sonics?
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: Canada Rob on 1 Oct 2015, 04:56 pm
I read somewhere that the M3i's "damping factor" is 36, while the Sphinx is rated at greater than 1000 (I get it now :)). 


True, that's what the damping factors of these amps are, but that's not likely the reason the Sphinx is sounding better to your ears, because one of the choicest amplifier types for Omegas is a SET which traditionally have very low damping factor.  All Omega drivers are very light and don't really benefit from high damping factor.  As far as the M3i not working well with Omegas, it's likely nothing more than the M3i's sonic signature and not an impedance issue or some electrical mismatch as Omegas present a very benign 8 ohm load and are very easy to drive.

Glad the Sphinx is working out mrvco.  Class D has come a long way.  I personally love the sound of the Temple Audio Bantam Gold Class D amp.  I would love to hear a Sphinx one day, as it looks like an incredible bargain, and made in the USA too.  :D
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: mrvco on 2 Oct 2015, 04:32 pm
Interesting.  I never had any complaints with the M3i on any of my non-Omega speakers.  But those speakers have all been more traditional 2-way and 3-way designs.  The Omegas are without question a different animal and so far the Spinx seems to complement them perfectly.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: mrvco on 2 Oct 2015, 05:12 pm
How does the Rogue Sphinx sound in your system without a DAC?  How would describe the sonics?

Clear, transparent, revealing?  As far as my ears can hear, the Sphinx doesn't seem to color what passes through it.  I also have a new appreciation for the Bifrost Uber, it wasn't holding things back as much as I had previously imagined.  The only downside may be that if there is background noise / hiss in a recording (or any other junk), then you're going to hear it.

I haven't spent as much time listening to vinyl through it yet, but Townes Van Zandt's "Live at the Old Quarter" sounds great with plenty of detail and clarity.  My turntable is a Rega P3 (RB300 tonearm) w/ the Dynavector DV-10X5 cartridge.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: sruffle on 6 Oct 2015, 01:50 am
Interesting.  I never had any complaints with the M3i on any of my non-Omega speakers.  But those speakers have all been more traditional 2-way and 3-way designs.  The Omegas are without question a different animal and so far the Spinx seems to complement them perfectly.
Glad to see that you have the Sphinx.  When you get a chance, I highly recommend experimenting with different tubes.  I have the Mazda Ciftes in my Medusa and it made a really big difference vs. stock tubes.  One very nice thing about these Rogue hybrid amps is that the tubes don't cost much to change but have a big impact on sound quality.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: mrvco on 6 Oct 2015, 03:53 am
I've been doing some research on tubes and I can see that getting out of hand... please don't tell me that the $2k NOS tubes salvaged from a German submarine sunk during WWI make a night and day difference  :nono:  :lol:
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: sruffle on 7 Oct 2015, 01:24 am
Night and day is extreme for sure but anywhere from$40 to $150 can buy an improvement.  You can get a pair of RCA clear tops for under $50 or try some of the less expensive Amperex tubes.  I liked both of these in the Medusa.    The Ciftes were 150 from Upscale Audio.  Upscale Audio's site does make it sound like the tubes were rescued from an torpedoed sub I under 30 feet of ice.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: mrvco on 7 Oct 2015, 04:37 am
Are you using anything for power filtering / conditioning with the Sphinx?
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: mrvco on 9 Oct 2015, 03:47 pm
True, that's what the damping factors of these amps are, but that's not likely the reason the Sphinx is sounding better to your ears, because one of the choicest amplifier types for Omegas is a SET which traditionally have very low damping factor.  All Omega drivers are very light and don't really benefit from high damping factor.  As far as the M3i not working well with Omegas, it's likely nothing more than the M3i's sonic signature and not an impedance issue or some electrical mismatch as Omegas present a very benign 8 ohm load and are very easy to drive.

Glad the Sphinx is working out mrvco.  Class D has come a long way.  I personally love the sound of the Temple Audio Bantam Gold Class D amp.  I would love to hear a Sphinx one day, as it looks like an incredible bargain, and made in the USA too.  :D

Thanks for the info, I am planning on adding a tube amp (~Decware Super Zen).  I still have my NHT Absolute Towers, so I need to try the Sphinx w/ those since the m3i drives those very well.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: RDavidson on 9 Oct 2015, 04:53 pm
True, that's what the damping factors of these amps are, but that's not likely the reason the Sphinx is sounding better to your ears, because one of the choicest amplifier types for Omegas is a SET which traditionally have very low damping factor.  All Omega drivers are very light and don't really benefit from high damping factor.  As far as the M3i not working well with Omegas, it's likely nothing more than the M3i's sonic signature and not an impedance issue or some electrical mismatch as Omegas present a very benign 8 ohm load and are very easy to drive.

Glad the Sphinx is working out mrvco.  Class D has come a long way.  I personally love the sound of the Temple Audio Bantam Gold Class D amp.  I would love to hear a Sphinx one day, as it looks like an incredible bargain, and made in the USA too.  :D

I've said this elsewhere before : In my experience, class A/B amps tend to sound best when pushed a bit, say roughly 10% of their power rating constantly. So if you have a class A/B amp rated at 100 wpc, it will sound best when outputting  something closer to a constant 10 wpc. Speakers that are harder to drive will certainly help the amp perform in a more ideal way / in its "sweet spot." This isn't a rule of thumb or anything, as obviously there are too many parameters to consider between amp and speaker pairing (considering the multitude of designs out there) to make a real blanket statement. Note : Roger Modjeski found similar results in some tests he conducted and offered that this can be part of the reason less expensive, lower output amps can sound better than their bigger brethren in a system, given proper consideration to speaker / amp / room size / listening distance / and typical listening levels. I whole heartedly agree with this. While it is easier to just go buy the biggest amp you can afford and be done, it doesn't mean you're necessarily going to get the best performance. It's possible, but going this route offers no guarantee, whereas I can pretty much guarantee when one carefully considers the parameters I've listed, the chances of getting it "right" are much better.

With all that said, something interesting is that I have found Class D amps and Class A amps to not suffer the same "necessity to be pushed a bit" nature of Class A/B to sound great, if not their best. They tend to provide the best aspects of their sonic character from the first fraction of a watt and beyond. So, different topologies seem to have their inherent advantages (for various speaker pairings) that isn't really obvious on paper. I suspect this has a bit to do with what you're finding you like about the Sphinx vs the M3i with your Omegas. With your Omegas, the M3i isn't being pushed into its sweet spot operating range and probably sounds thin, I'm guessing. It isn't a bad amp. It's just that it likely works more happily with less simple loads where it can push some woofers around a bit. Meanwhile the Sphinx is more than happy to show up to the party whether it's just background music in a casual lounge or a full-on dance club.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: mrvco on 11 Oct 2015, 02:43 am
I've said this elsewhere before : In my experience, class A/B amps tend to sound best when pushed a bit, say roughly 10% of their power rating constantly. So if you have a class A/B amp rated at 100 wpc, it will sound best when outputting  something closer to a constant 10 wpc. Speakers that are harder to drive will certainly help the amp perform in a more ideal way / in its "sweet spot." This isn't a rule of thumb or anything, as obviously there are too many parameters to consider between amp and speaker pairing (considering the multitude of designs out there) to make a real blanket statement. Note : Roger Modjeski found similar results in some tests he conducted and offered that this can be part of the reason less expensive, lower output amps can sound better than their bigger brethren in a system, given proper consideration to speaker / amp / room size / listening distance / and typical listening levels. I whole heartedly agree with this. While it is easier to just go buy the biggest amp you can afford and be done, it doesn't mean you're necessarily going to get the best performance. It's possible, but going this route offers no guarantee, whereas I can pretty much guarantee when one carefully considers the parameters I've listed, the chances of getting it "right" are much better.

With all that said, something interesting is that I have found Class D amps and Class A amps to not suffer the same "necessity to be pushed a bit" nature of Class A/B to sound great, if not their best. They tend to provide the best aspects of their sonic character from the first fraction of a watt and beyond. So, different topologies seem to have their inherent advantages (for various speaker pairings) that isn't really obvious on paper. I suspect this has a bit to do with what you're finding you like about the Sphinx vs the M3i with your Omegas. With your Omegas, the M3i isn't being pushed into its sweet spot operating range and probably sounds thin, I'm guessing. It isn't a bad amp. It's just that it likely works more happily with less simple loads where it can push some woofers around a bit. Meanwhile the Sphinx is more than happy to show up to the party whether it's just background music in a casual lounge or a full-on dance club.

Thanks that does make sense.  I've had no complaints pairing the m3i with my previous speakers.  I was even a bit nervous that the Sphinx was going to be a lateral move (the m3i is very well reviewed and lists for a bit more than the Sphinx) and that I should be investing in a new DAC instead.  The Sphinx does pair very nicely with my Omegas and I'm glad I made the move.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: roscoeiii on 11 Oct 2015, 08:16 pm
True, that's what the damping factors of these amps are, but that's not likely the reason the Sphinx is sounding better to your ears, because one of the choicest amplifier types for Omegas is a SET which traditionally have very low damping factor.  All Omega drivers are very light and don't really benefit from high damping factor.  As far as the M3i not working well with Omegas, it's likely nothing more than the M3i's sonic signature and not an impedance issue or some electrical mismatch as Omegas present a very benign 8 ohm load and are very easy to drive.

Glad the Sphinx is working out mrvco.  Class D has come a long way.  I personally love the sound of the Temple Audio Bantam Gold Class D amp.  I would love to hear a Sphinx one day, as it looks like an incredible bargain, and made in the USA too.  :D

Yes,  high  damping factor can be a downside with efficient single drivers, resulting in an over damped sound in the bass.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: pstrisik on 1 Dec 2015, 07:34 pm
ebay alert!!

A used Bantam Gold in black.....

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Temple-Audio-Bantam-Gold-Digital-amplifier-Superb-/371497338513? (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Temple-Audio-Bantam-Gold-Digital-amplifier-Superb-/371497338513?)

Currently at £16.50 with five days to go.  Postage to the US is high though.

.........Peter
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: DaveC113 on 1 Dec 2015, 07:53 pm
Yes,  high  damping factor can be a downside with efficient single drivers, resulting in an over damped sound in the bass.

That was an issue with the older 4.5" hemp drivers but the new RS5s do really well with high damping factor amps, better than my Pioneer S-1EX actually...

Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: Canada Rob on 1 Dec 2015, 08:24 pm
Yes, the RS5 is way less picky than the 4.5 Hemp.  The RS5 has been a gain over the 4.5 Hemp all the way around, without a single detriment.  I put together a TPA3116 amp using the original "red board" which apparently is the lowest common denominator of the TPA3116 boards.  At first I didn't care for it, as I found it glaring on the top end, so it went into my sons desktop system for awhile on which it got a good workout with his simulators (read that, break in).  When I put it back with my Super 3Us it was somewhat settled down and I'm quite enjoying it.  I'm looking forward to hearing one of the Fleawatt TPA3116 amps that Derek is sending on tour.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: vinagunner on 28 Dec 2015, 07:33 pm
v
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: HiFiJeff on 29 Dec 2015, 09:17 pm
Yes, the RS5 is way less picky than the 4.5 Hemp.  The RS5 has been a gain over the 4.5 Hemp all the way around, without a single detriment.  I put together a TPA3116 amp using the original "red board" which apparently is the lowest common denominator of the TPA3116 boards.  At first I didn't care for it, as I found it glaring on the top end, so it went into my sons desktop system for awhile on which it got a good workout with his simulators (read that, break in).  When I put it back with my Super 3Us it was somewhat settled down and I'm quite enjoying it.  I'm looking forward to hearing one of the Fleawatt TPA3116 amps that Derek is sending on tour.

You are going to love it! I have paired it with a few different speakers and it has made them all sound good. I currently have it hooked up to some "vintage" Pioneer CS-907's that I paid $5 for at Goodwill and those even sound okay with the little Fleawatt. Can't wait to hear it paired with the Omega's! 
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: Brianportugal on 26 Apr 2016, 10:27 am
Thankyou Rob and Peter.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: mrvco on 9 Jul 2016, 03:44 am
Has anyone else here paired the Rogue Audio Sphinx with their Omegas?  And has anyone here tried Nuprime amplification (e.g. IDA-8, STA-9) with their Omegas?  The IDA-8 was mentioned earlier in this thread, but I don't believe seeing a post from anyone that bought one.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: Canada Rob on 9 Jul 2016, 04:51 am
I have not heard the Sphinx, but within the last year have heard three different Class D amplifiers on my Omegas, and they all share one thing in common: low level dynamics.  Some solid state amps need to have the volume cranked a little in order get the dynamics flowing, which in the case of Omegas (which are very efficient) would cause them to play too loud. 
This is not my finding with Class D - the dynamics flow right away, making them work well with Omegas.  All that said, the Sphinx being a Class D should be theoretically a good match, not to mention the Sphinx appears to be a bargain.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: sruffle on 9 Jul 2016, 12:18 pm
Has anyone else here paired the Rogue Audio Sphinx with their Omegas?  And has anyone here tried Nuprime amplification (e.g. IDA-8, STA-9) with their Omegas?  The IDA-8 was mentioned earlier in this thread, but I don't believe seeing a post from anyone that bought one.
I used my Omegas with the Rogue Medusa.  It is a step up from the Sphinx but shares some of the same characteristics.  It worked very well.  I moved on to a SET amp but enjoyed my time with it.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: trillo_beat on 24 Jan 2019, 07:29 am
Hi,

I want to ask if someone has used or is currently  using Wadia 151 powerdac with Omega loudspeakers?  How does that pairing sound like?

Thank you!
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: seikosha on 24 Jan 2019, 07:15 pm
I've actually got a Wadia powerdac that I've hooked up to my Omegas.  It's okay, but didn't really sound special and bring out the best qualities of the speaker like a good tube amp can.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: Magic Robert on 23 Apr 2020, 12:47 am
Has anyone tried a ClassDAudio (www.classdaudio.com) amp with the Omegas? I have a Studio Mastering Amp that is about to be shifted out of another system and was curious.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: FullRangeMan on 23 Apr 2020, 01:18 am
Wonder what its the CDA x SDS line difference?
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: Magic Robert on 23 Apr 2020, 01:26 am
Documented on web site.  From the FAQ:

What is the difference between CDA and SDS Class D Audio Power amplifiers?
The difference is the SDS Series amplifiers have a balanced XLR input stage (as well as the single ended RCA inputs).  The SDS also has gain control for each channel and also a little better cooling. The sonic difference between the CDA and SDS is very close with the SDS sounding a slightly more open due to the input stage. You would really have to do some side-by-side listening to both to tell the difference.  These are some of the finest sounding audio amplifiers available today.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: FullRangeMan on 23 Apr 2020, 01:36 am
Thanks, looks nice amps.
Title: Re: Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo
Post by: TikiGuy on 6 Jul 2020, 07:56 pm
This is not a class D amp but the Magnus Audio MA-200 with the Magnus Audio MP-1000 preamp with the Super XRS is a winning combo.