Triode Masters/Sapphires & First Watt

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thetakeout

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Triode Masters/Sapphires & First Watt
« on: 22 Apr 2020, 05:33 pm »
Hello all.

I am wondering if anyone has tried the more low watt friendly Spatial Audio speakers M4TM/M3TM/Sapphires with any of the First Watt gear.

I am currently using a 45 Triode amp with some low-end Zu's.  I love what the amps do but I want a more open sound.  I am smitten with the idea of what Nelson Pass does. 

I haven't read much about First Watt & Spatial being paired together.  I am interested to see if anyone in this circle runs Spatial and First Watt together.  If not has anyone heard a First Watt/Spatial pairing that they enjoyed?

I am pretty determined that my next speakers will be Spatial and I love what tubes do.  I really want that good dimensional holographic imaging.  Dynamics are a touch less important to me so I have always favored tubes.  I also get listening fatigue easily.  It seems like Spatial and First Watt might get me to the same place that SET amps do but with that giant open soundstage I am looking for!

I hope all is well with everyone!  I would appreciate some thoughts if you have any to share.


thetakeout

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Re: Triode Masters/Sapphires & First Watt
« Reply #1 on: 23 Apr 2020, 07:41 pm »
Well, based on the lack of responses I'm guessing Spatial & First Watt hasn't proven to be a match made in heaven over the years.  May have to go back to the drawing board!

CSI

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Re: Triode Masters/Sapphires & First Watt
« Reply #2 on: 23 Apr 2020, 09:24 pm »
Just saw your post. I have been using a First Watt F7 with my Spatial M4's for a couple of years. It IS a marriage made in heaven. It is my go to combination. I also use a pair of PS Audio M700's when I need a bit more power and/or am feeling put off by the amount of power the F7 consumes (about 160 watts). The First Watt/Spatial combo is beautiful. I can't imagine anyone not loving it. You just have to remember to power it down when you aren't using it (unless you don't care about the electricity bill).

thetakeout

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Re: Triode Masters/Sapphires & First Watt
« Reply #3 on: 24 Apr 2020, 02:04 am »
Thanks for the reply!  The F7 is the one I have the most interest in. 

What preamp do you use?

Also, what size is the room you are in.  I have a bigger room and a smaller room I could set up my stereo in.  The M4TM might be a great fit. 

Also, is there any music you think this combo excels at/struggles with?

HanaEyes

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Re: Triode Masters/Sapphires & First Watt
« Reply #4 on: 24 Apr 2020, 01:20 pm »
Have a couple of friends using the F7 for their Goldenears / Klipshorns, doesn't run out of juice and the F7 is extremely quick, airy and natural sounding. At least to my ears. Should mate perfectly with the M4TM as they are really easy to drive, as well as speaker characteristics. For me I'm more of an integrated person, hence don't own the F7, but it's really great.

thetakeout

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Re: Triode Masters/Sapphires & First Watt
« Reply #5 on: 24 Apr 2020, 09:01 pm »
HanaEyes

What integrated are you running?

Manolo

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Re: Triode Masters/Sapphires & First Watt
« Reply #6 on: 24 Apr 2020, 09:29 pm »
I have a pair of M4 Triode Masters and drive them with a FW F4. I also have a Pass Lab XA-25. Both work fantastically!
The XA has more bass control as expected. I had been using the F4 solely until last year when I got the XA.

HanaEyes

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Re: Triode Masters/Sapphires & First Watt
« Reply #7 on: 25 Apr 2020, 08:31 am »
HanaEyes

What integrated are you running?

The Kinki Studio ex-m1, which I think is superb.

Whitestix

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Re: Triode Masters/Sapphires & First Watt
« Reply #8 on: 6 May 2020, 10:03 pm »
I have had Spatial M4TS/TM for about 4 years and love them.  I first powered them with a Dennis Had flea watt amp and it was not up to the task.  Same thing with Pass Labs First Watt F5... just not enough power and it sounded too dry to my ears.  My McCormack DNA .05 amp with ~100wpc got them singing with much better control of the LF.  Finally, I got Don Sachs' KT88 amp with 65 wpc, it was a match made in heaven, truly.  I use Don's new preamp as well.  I heard a pair of M5 Sapphires recently driven by an 11 wpc LTA integrated amp and both myself and the owner felt the amp was just too under-powered to drive the speakers properly.

thetakeout

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Re: Triode Masters/Sapphires & First Watt
« Reply #9 on: 6 May 2020, 11:53 pm »
Whitestix,

I am in a spot where I have to listen at lower volumes.  I have found that the lower watt amps work better for me at getting more saturation at lower volumes.  Maybe I need two amps!  Most of my listening is after my light sleeping tweenage daughter has gone to sleep and she is a very light sleeper.  So that means I am after full saturation at as low a volume as I can get it.

How has your Sachs KT88 performed at lower volumes?  I had a Decware 25 watt per channel amp and it was spectacular at volumes that would wake my daughter up, but it sucked at volumes my daughter let me get away with!

geerock

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Re: Triode Masters/Sapphires & First Watt
« Reply #10 on: 6 May 2020, 11:55 pm »
Whitestix
Thats odd about the LTA because thats what Clayton used in his last couple of shows.

Whitestix

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Re: Triode Masters/Sapphires & First Watt
« Reply #11 on: 7 May 2020, 01:09 am »
Thetakeout,
Frankly, I don't listen very often at low volume levels, but my Sachs' amp seems to have no limitations in terms of listening volumes.  A decade ago, Don upgraded my HK Citation II and V amps to a very fine degree, but his own amp is vastly better than either of them, by far. 

Greerock,
I am aware that Clayton powers his speakers at shows with LTA amps, as I recall mostly the 11-wpc LTA integrated amp, which I heard at Axpona last year.  I have heard the same LTA integrated driving his new M5 Sapphires and while I think his speakers are fantastic, I disagree that an 11-wpc amp, ss or tube, will properly drive his speakers.  In fact, the fellow who auditioned the Sapphires for me has upgraded from his LTA unit to a pricey VAC Sigma 170i with 85 wpc channel and I understand that they really make the speakers reveal all their magic.  The LTA integrated amp ought to perform well with Klipsch, Zu's, Omegas etc. but I would pass on them for Spatial Audio speakers. 

I think the LTA is tonally a very pure amp, but it doesn't have the power to extract the full measure of Clayton's speakers.