Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88

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Tyson

Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #20 on: 20 Sep 2018, 07:10 pm »
Add me to the list of (very) satisfied Dennis Had Inspire amp owners.  Mine's a pair of KT88 monoblocks (the MB12) made back in 2014.  Love it.  Might be my favorite amp.  I have a Korneff Type 45 SET, an Almarro A318B SET, a VTA ST70 el34 push-pull amp, and a First Watt BA3 solid state amp designed by Nelson Pass (might be his best design). 

The tube rolling possibilities with the Inspire amp is almost endless.  It's cool because it can take the following tubes:

Input tubes:  6SL7, 6BL7, 6SN7

Rectifiers - 5AR4, 5U4, 5R4, 5Y3, 274B, Type 80 and a few others

Output tubes - KT150, 6550, KT88, KT66, KT77, EL34, 6L6, 350B, 807, 6V6, EL84, 6CA7, 6BG6GA and a few others

So yeah, you can tube roll on this thing for ever.  Which to me is awesome!  Cheaper too, because when I get the bug to change something, I try out different tubes instead of buying a completely new/different amp.  Of course, I have some other nice amps sitting idle that are pretty nice too :P 

thetakeout

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Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #21 on: 20 Sep 2018, 08:17 pm »
thanks for the reply.  are you using the ava pre with it?  if not how did you feel the ava matched up with it, and what might you be using now?  also, what speakers are the inspires pushing?

thanks so much for the info!

FullRangeMan

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Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #22 on: 20 Sep 2018, 08:31 pm »
Great news congratulations.
Add to the input tubes the Russian 6H8C, 6H9C.

Tyson

Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #23 on: 20 Sep 2018, 08:39 pm »
The Inspire amp is fairly low gain, so it definitely needs a good preamp.  I've had AVA amps and preamps in the past and it should be a great match. 

My current preamp is a custom, one-off unit using 6SN7 input tube and 6BL7 output tubes.  Based on parts cost, size, weight and performance, if it was available retail it's be around $10k I'd say.  I've had it for years and years, it's the one piece of audio gear I own that refuses to get replaced :P  I suspect the Inspire amps will be similar - just won't sell them, they are too cool.

FullRangeMan

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Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #24 on: 20 Sep 2018, 08:52 pm »
Hey dont shy to post photos, lets see these preamp and the inspire...

Tyson

Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #25 on: 20 Sep 2018, 09:01 pm »
Hey dont shy to post photos, lets see these preamp and the inspire...

Here you go - running the KT150s, 276B and 6SN7:








And now running the Gold Lion KT77s with Tung Sol 5U4GB rectifiers and GE 6SN7 w/dual side getters:




FullRangeMan

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Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #26 on: 20 Sep 2018, 09:32 pm »
Nice photos thanks, do you could compare the Almarro vs Inspire?

rollo

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Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #27 on: 20 Sep 2018, 09:40 pm »
  Cool stuff Tyson. I have the Inspire EL84 amp. I'm inspired. Enjoy !!

charles

thetakeout

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Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #28 on: 20 Sep 2018, 10:02 pm »
Tyson, thanks for the reply.  I didn't see the handle on the response - the op is the one who had the ava preamp.  I'm really interested to hear how that matched up.  The pictures of you mono blocks are awesome.
 thanks for posting them! 

I don't know much about matching preamps and power amps yet.  I know a bit about how the dennis had stuff sounds, but I am also interested in learning about how the ava stuff sounds.  i.e. the sonic signature of their gear. 

thanks so much for helping out.  those amps look great!

thetakeout

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Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #29 on: 20 Sep 2018, 10:05 pm »
Rollo,

what preamp do you pair with your inspire?  And what speakers are you using?

Thanks!

thetakeout

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Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #30 on: 20 Sep 2018, 10:06 pm »
Tyson,

what speakers do you pair with your Dennis Had amp?

Thanks!

SlushPuppy

Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #31 on: 20 Sep 2018, 10:25 pm »
Congrats! Those amps with the KT150's look sweet!  :thumb:

Tyson

Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #32 on: 21 Sep 2018, 01:36 am »
Nice photos thanks, do you could compare the Almarro vs Inspire?


FullRangeMan, sure.  But you must understand that the Almarro has been extensively modded from it's stock state.  I've bypassed the volume pot and I bypassed the selector switch, so it's no longer an integrated amp.  It's purely a amp with no extra parts in the signal path.  I also removed the generic output caps and put in Jupiter Copper caps instead.  After mods, the A318B went from a very good amp to an exceptional amp.  World class, really.  The thing I like about the Almarro is it sounds BIG, it's very clear and very dynamic.  And no grit or grain at all.  Not bright at all.  The downside?  It runs HOT.  Hot, hot, hot!!  Most tube amps will burn you if you accidentally touch the tubes during operation.  The Almarro will sear your skin off.  It's dangerously hot. 

The Inspire amp is also very punchy, clearly Dennis did a great job on the power supply and overall design.  Not bright at all, but also not dark.  It changes character quite a bit depending upon what tubes you put in there.  With the KT77s, it almost sounds like a great solid state amp - punchy, hyper clear, upfront and extraordinarily detailed.  With the Gold Lion KT66s it's more laid back but still very exciting sounding.  With the black glass RCA 6L6GA tubes, its very beautiful sounding, very close to a 300b type of tonality and musical density. 

Tyson,

what speakers do you pair with your Dennis Had amp?

Thanks!

Serenity Acoustic Super 7s.  Only 7 were ever made, there's a thread on them in the GR Research circle.  Great speaker for tube amps. 

Congrats! Those amps with the KT150's look sweet!  :thumb:

Thanks!  Ironically I've never listened to the amp with those tubes in it - right after I took that picture I dropped in some RCA black glass 6L6GA tubes and then went to Gold Lion KT77s, and now I'm on Gold Lion KT66s.  Up next is probably some vintage Mullard (Holland) EL34s. 

Eventually I'll get back to the KT150s and give them a listen :thumb:

FullRangeMan

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Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #33 on: 21 Sep 2018, 02:18 am »
Thanks Tyson for your detailed first hand impressions.
Seems the Serenity is a servo bass, so you are using the amp for mid/treble.

This Almarro run the 6C33 at 18W, in Russia its usual run at 12W.

Tyson

Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #34 on: 21 Sep 2018, 02:41 am »
Thanks Tyson for your detailed first hand impressions.
Seems the Serenity is a servo bass, so you are using the amp for mid/treble.

Yes.  The servo bass is crazy awesome, and self-powered, which leaves the tube amps to drive only the planar midrange and planar tweeters.  97db efficient and a flat 8 ohm impedance.  Tube amps love these speakers. 

JerryM

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Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #35 on: 21 Sep 2018, 02:54 am »
… Most tube amps will burn you if you accidentally touch the tubes during operation.  The Almarro will sear your skin off.  It's dangerously hot. …



rollo

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Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #36 on: 21 Sep 2018, 02:42 pm »
Rollo,

what preamp do you pair with your inspire?  And what speakers are you using?

Thanks!


   Either Dodd [ 6H30] or Audio Hungary APR204. Speakers are Rethm Saadhana.


charles

Tyson

Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #37 on: 21 Sep 2018, 06:14 pm »
Just a quick update, I'm now running Gold Lion GZ34 rectifier, Gold Lion KT66 and Psvane CV181 grey glass tubes in my MB12, sound is very good and looks pretty cool too:




FullRangeMan

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Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #38 on: 21 Sep 2018, 09:31 pm »
Tyson, the Almarro OPTs are hard to upgrade as they are very good, but you could lower the Bias to get less heat, less power and a longer tube life, with less heat sockets will last more too, just a idea.

Tyson

Re: Dennis Had Inspire Fire bottle kt88
« Reply #39 on: 21 Sep 2018, 09:44 pm »
Tyson, the Almarro OPTs are hard to upgrade as they are very good, but you could lower the Bias to get less heat, less power and a longer tube life, with less heat sockets will last more too, just a idea.


I will give that a shot, thanks for the idea.