List of recommended amps for Omegas

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pstrisik

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #40 on: 28 Nov 2014, 05:23 pm »
Has any directly compared Dennis Had's SETs to the Decware SETs/SEPs?

Does Dennis have an integrated like Rachael?

I wish I could say yes.  I would love to try the Rachael and compare with my Inspire, but haven't.

So far, Dennis has not endorsed integrated design at all.  I think he has recently made headphone amps with volume control, but no integrated amp AFAIK.

And is the Rachael truly integrated or is it a passive attenuator on a power amp?  If the latter (which is what it looks like to me), you can add an outboard attenuator to any power amp for the same effect, as long as overall gain is sufficient.  Shiit sells one for $49.

..........Peter


Canada Rob

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #41 on: 28 Nov 2014, 06:55 pm »
Decware has a Black Friday sale on right now.  Ends at midnight.

fiveoclockfriday

Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #42 on: 30 Nov 2014, 02:10 pm »
Not sure if this is the right thread to ask, but what are your recommendations for someone who currently runs a Nuforce DDA-100 with Omega Super 5s (with RS5 drivers)?

The comment was made on here that the Nuforce is too crisp and cold/detailed to work best with Omegas. I've been listening more lately, and I tend to agree with this. Something richer, maybe a little warmer would be a better fit I think.

However, this is for a living room/second system, and there are some things I love about the Nuforce:
  • Only source for this system is a laptop, so the built in DAC is great (one less box to plug in)
  • Tiny and unobtrusive
  • Doesn't require any warm up time to sound good, and runs in super low power standby mode usually
  • Runs totally cool, so no worries with kids/pets

What are your recommendations for options that are a better fit with the Omegas? Tube amps sound great, but take more space and get hot, and require an external DAC (typically). A Brio-R might be good, but I hate that it has no standby mode; according to sources it needs some warm up time. It also has no DAC. Something like a Rogue Sphinx might be good, but it's very large physically, and pretty pricey for this system (I'm hoping to stay around $500 or so).

Maybe I'm tackling this the wrong way. Are there any iTunes plugins or JRiver settings or anything that do a good job of EQ to warm up a system without crushing quality? Or maybe a tube buffer? But it would have to be a tube buffer that accepts optical or USB...which I'm not sure exist.

Thanks!
Eric

Canada Rob

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #43 on: 1 Dec 2014, 05:33 pm »
Not sure if this is the right thread to ask, but what are your recommendations for someone who currently runs a Nuforce DDA-100 with Omega Super 5s (with RS5 drivers)?

The comment was made on here that the Nuforce is too crisp and cold/detailed to work best with Omegas. I've been listening more lately, and I tend to agree with this. Something richer, maybe a little warmer would be a better fit I think.

However, this is for a living room/second system, and there are some things I love about the Nuforce:
  • Only source for this system is a laptop, so the built in DAC is great (one less box to plug in)
  • Tiny and unobtrusive
  • Doesn't require any warm up time to sound good, and runs in super low power standby mode usually
  • Runs totally cool, so no worries with kids/pets

What are your recommendations for options that are a better fit with the Omegas? Tube amps sound great, but take more space and get hot, and require an external DAC (typically). A Brio-R might be good, but I hate that it has no standby mode; according to sources it needs some warm up time. It also has no DAC. Something like a Rogue Sphinx might be good, but it's very large physically, and pretty pricey for this system (I'm hoping to stay around $500 or so).

Maybe I'm tackling this the wrong way. Are there any iTunes plugins or JRiver settings or anything that do a good job of EQ to warm up a system without crushing quality? Or maybe a tube buffer? But it would have to be a tube buffer that accepts optical or USB...which I'm not sure exist.

Thanks!
Eric
The Sony UDA1 is class A/B.  The PS Audio Sprout looks like a nice option, and I was told it leans to the warmer side as far as sound goes.

rajacat

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #44 on: 1 Dec 2014, 06:43 pm »
For the financially strapped and DIY inclined, one of the TPA3116 amps would be hard to beat.
Presently I'm burning in one of these. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Amplifier-board-TPA3116-Class-D-2x50W-The-only-with-speaker-protection-/161333836762?pt=US_Amplifier_Parts_Components&hash=item25903efbda
It already sounds good despite only having ~20 hours of play time. I plan to do some easy mods after 200 hours. I'm running it with an Astron power supply. My speakers are Omega Hemp Bipoles.
Here's the 62 page AC thread.
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=122011.0

Jazzaudio

Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #45 on: 15 Dec 2014, 04:48 am »
I did a quick easy swap of the original binding posts on my Crown XLS-1500 with Pomona Electric 3770s, avoiding the circuit board issues associated with replacing the IEC power inlet and RCA inputs (the binding posts simply bolted onto a bent metal tab that is soldered onto the board.    After well over 150 hours of play time at varying intervals from 4 to 24 hours, the verdict to my ears is the original binding posts are vastly superior.   The highs and mids of the Pomonas were very detailed, to the point of sounding harsh and steely, 2 dimensional, and constricted. The Crown's amazing bass, warmth, and sound stage depth dramatically disappeared.  When I reinserted the original posts the sound immediately reverted back to what I first heard!! I again heard all details without etch, an effortless deep sound stage, warmth (without cloudiness), taut and rolling bass.  My local tube audio builder/specialist said the original posts are high current nickle-plated Cliffs from the UK (or possibly knock-offs due to their off-red colored knob).  Don't know what the base metal is, but the unit is clearly voiced (purposefully or accidentally) for the Crown over the reduced-metal, gold-plated Tellurium copper Pomonas I've successfully used on other amps.  Another lesson for me on the sum of parts equation.  I assumed the original binding posts (which appear 3X thicker and heavier than the Pomonas) were some zinc-coated scrap metal part thrown in for cost savings, and just had to be negatively degrading the sound.  That might be so (aside from the nickle-plating), but they sound good!  Fortunately, this lesson only cost me $40.

DaveC113

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #46 on: 15 Dec 2014, 05:16 pm »
That's strange... I have no idea how using a binding post with far better metallurgy for audio would cause a problem. Myself and Tom have noted a nice improvement using the Pomona posts with the Crown amps. I replaced a few other brass binding posts with Pomona in the past and noted similar improvements.

Nickle plating is not good for sound quality in any connector I have ever tried, it always adds a harsh edge.

Canada Rob

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #47 on: 15 Dec 2014, 11:22 pm »
On an earlier post I recommended some Bottlehead amps and preamps.  I really like the look of the new Bottlehead Seductor EL84, but putting it with a preamp makes for more work and cost.  The little Resonessence Labs Herus+ (and no doubt the basic Herus) works well as a DAC/preamp into the back of my SuperZen, so I'm thinking it may do the same for the Seductor.  The Concero HP with it's physical volume control might also work.  If I get a Seductor, I want to try it with these DACs.  It could be a killer combo.  Look Ma, no preamp!

Jazzaudio

Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #48 on: 15 Dec 2014, 11:36 pm »
Dave,

My thoughts exactly!  But it is what I hear! I've used Pomonas to replace binding posts on two integrated amps, with great all around improvements in both cases.  I think the difference may be in those two cases the Pomonas were directly wired to the board (with VH Audio's OCC Copper Hookup Wire).  In the case of the Crown, I just simply bolted them in per originals.  No other non-amp factors changed between all three units. I may revisit the issue later...but don't have a great need right now!  All is a testament to the revealing nature of the RS5

DaveC113

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #49 on: 15 Dec 2014, 11:58 pm »
Dave,

My thoughts exactly!  But it is what I hear! I've used Pomonas to replace binding posts on two integrated amps, with great all around improvements in both cases.  I think the difference may be in those two cases the Pomonas were directly wired to the board (with VH Audio's OCC Copper Hookup Wire).  In the case of the Crown, I just simply bolted them in per originals.  No other non-amp factors changed between all three units. I may revisit the issue later...but don't have a great need right now!  All is a testament to the revealing nature of the RS5

No problem at all! We all have different systems, ears, etc... there's really no right or wrong in many cases, you just have to try for yourself.  :green:

steve f

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #50 on: 16 Dec 2014, 12:05 am »
Just to add my two cents worth. The Crown xls series, pick one, are really good. I tried mine full range and I really like it.  Two more quick comments. If you can solder and follow directions, consider transcendent sound. They are simply more open and detailed than transformer coupled tube amps. You can't go wrong with the best OTL amps made. Decware makes a nice basic amp. For full range single drivers, make sure you use the standard transformers. The high impedance ones don't work as well. Avoid the EL34 models.

Steve

Canada Rob

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #51 on: 16 Dec 2014, 01:30 am »
Just to add my two cents worth. The Crown xls series, pick one, are really good. I tried mine full range and I really like it.  Two more quick comments. If you can solder and follow directions, consider transcendent sound. They are simply more open and detailed than transformer coupled tube amps. You can't go wrong with the best OTL amps made. Decware makes a nice basic amp. For full range single drivers, make sure you use the standard transformers. The high impedance ones don't work as well. Avoid the EL34 models.

Steve
Hi steve f,

Have you tried the Decware amps you speak of with Omegas?  Have you compared them to the Transcendent amp.  How does Transcendent stack up against Atma-Sphere OTL amps?  Your personal experience would be very interesting to know, as I have never heard an OTL amp.

jimdgoulding

Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #52 on: 16 Dec 2014, 02:41 am »
Ouuu . . nice discussion, gents.  You have me salivating.

steve f

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #53 on: 16 Dec 2014, 04:41 am »
Hi Canada Rob,
I've owned a Decware SE84C with the EX transformers. I still have a Transcendent Sound SE-OTL. I have used both with Horn Shoppe & Omega speakers. Both amps operate Class A and at two WPC,the Decware is a half watt more powerful. (Neither amp is current production. These days the Transcendent  is more powerful.) My Decware experience is mixed. The SE84 series of amp is a very good one. I had listened to the base Decware and decided to purchase one. Since I was using single driver 8 Ohm speakers, I figured that getting the EX output transformers would make things even better. Wrong. The life was sucked out of the music. It took years to find out why. Roger Modjeski recommended light loading for his amps. Run a 8 Ohm speaker off the 4 Ohm taps. It sounds better. In frustration, I looked for a different amp. I probably could have had the standard transformers installed, but that's 20/20 hindsight. I bought the Transcendent amp instead. I go back a long way with OTL amps, having listened to Futterman and NYAL. A good OTL amp has a level of clarity transformer amps can't match. The rap on OTLs is supposed unreliability. Transcendent products are reliable. You only have to watch that your speakers are not going to dip below four ohms. A good OTL has better bass and treble extension compared to transformer coupled amps. I don't care for Atmasphere amps. I find the TS superior. I go for a low distortion and very neutral presentation. If you are a tube roller and like to voice your equipment, you will have more flexibility with tranny amps. Sorry for rambling a bit.

Steve

Canada Rob

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #54 on: 16 Dec 2014, 05:46 am »
Thank you Steve for sharing this.  It's a good read and not rambling at all. 

What you say about listening to 8 ohm speakers on 4 ohm taps has been born out twice now in my personal experience.  All the Zen amps I have had, have had the 4 ohm option and I've run various Omegas with them which are all 8 ohm.  The sound is/was terrific.  The other is an amp I sent to Louis that has a 4, 8, & 16 ohm switch that accesses the different taps on the output transformers.  According to Louis the 4 ohm setting sounds the best.  I have been to the Transcendent website and his gear looks very interesting, and your comments make it even more so. 

pstrisik

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #55 on: 17 Dec 2014, 10:28 pm »
I just won an ebay auction for a used Crown XLS1500.  It is for my supertweeter project, but I will be very curious how it will sound powering my Super 7 XRS Alnicos given everyone's reports here.  I really like that it has integrated level controls so I can balance the level of the super tweeters with the Omegas.  The crossover feature is amazing as well, but I won't use that feature as its high pass only goes up to 3K.  The caps I'm using make for a high pass of something like 21K!



Canada Rob

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #56 on: 18 Dec 2014, 01:35 am »
Here's another possible amplifier candidate.  Louis just related to me that a customer he spoke to has a Schiit Ragnarok and just loves it.

McNubbins

Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #57 on: 31 Jan 2015, 10:24 am »
I've finally come back to add a little personal experience to my question about pairing a Topping TP20 with the Super 3XRS. It's a nice little single input TA2020-based T-amp with maybe 6 watts of clean power with the included 14V power brick. I know there are newer chip amps guys are raving about but this one was reasonably priced at just over a hundred dollars, pre-built, and the included universal switching power supply means I can use it anywhere by merely replacing a power cable.

The rest of my system is a computer feeding an Audio-gd NFB-1 DAC through USB, to an Audio-gd NFB-6 preamp/headphone amp. With the preamp behind the TP20, there's a little more warmth and fullness/weight while retaining the detail. Currently, it's there because I already had it for my headphones and it gives me a remote control. I know spending four times the value of the little T-amp on a preamp like this doesn't really make sense. Later I intend to use the preamp in combination with a higher end power amplifier.

I'm using some decent Belkin PureAV PCOCC speaker cables and interconnects, which though clear and immediate improvements over some other cheap OFC cables, probably aren't on the same level as what many of you guys are using.

My experience in audiophilia began with headphones (cuz I was single and it was cheaper than a good set of speakers). This is my first really nice set of speakers. They've got over 100 but probably fewer than 200 hours on them.

This will not be the last amplifier I buy for my 3XRSes. This amp is the weakest component in my setup and is an interim solution that is letting me get some good sound. With that in mind:

First, the build quality of the unit is just okay. I'll leave it at that.

The detail retrieval is extremely good for the price. The differences between different audio files (YouTube vs 16/44 vs 24/192 vs DSD), audio players, and audio software output modes is readily apparent. Having experienced multiple systems of family members with more of a home theatre bent, I know there is more bass out there to be had in the wide world of audio systems. However, for a subwoofer-less setup with 6 watts powering a pair of 4.5" drivers, I feel the bass is very good. The system goes plenty loud enough for my apartment living situation (90dB peaks are no problem and, to be honest, more than 85dB or so is already pushing it beyond my comfort zone), and even this little amp is enough to make the 3XRS soundstage huge-ly.

It might be the speakers more than the amp, but for now, my girlfriend is getting sick of me saying how good things sound instead of how much I want to upgrade or change something.

guillaume bougard

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #58 on: 31 Jan 2015, 03:15 pm »
Im totally psyched because I ordered the Zen TORII MK4 amp from Decware and I just got an email saying they were testing it, the last stage before shipping. So given that the French customs are slow, I should have the amp in about 2 weeks. I'll use it to replace the Eico amp I currently have with my Omega 7XRS speakers, and hopefully I should hear a jump in sound quality....

I will of course keep you gentlemen posted

ozoid

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Re: List of recommended amps for Omegas
« Reply #59 on: 7 Feb 2015, 04:14 am »
Has anyone tried a vintage Mcintosh MC-225, 240, or even a pair of MC-30s? Especially with a pair of the Alnicos.

If so, I'd be curious how the MC-Omega combo compares with Omegas powered by more modern tube amps, like Decwares.