Single-Ended 300B Tube Amplifier for Salk Supercharged Songsurround Speakers

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TX_Saint

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Hello audiophiles. Can you recommend a single-ended 300B tube amplifier for Salk Supercharged Songsurround speakers? I know it's a challenge to provide enough watts to drive a 84 dB sensitivity speaker, but I will be listening to them in the nearfield, and the speakers have a fairly flat 8 ohm impedence profile. Budget is $4000.

05/17/2018 Update: I tested the Salks with a Unison Research Simply Italy 10W SET amp and it did just fine. On the volume knob which ranged from 7PM to 5PM it only went to 8PM. I attribute this to only needing to listen at a lower volume (nearfield) and the Salks having a flat 8 ohm impedence across the frequency spectrum. So don't be scared to try Salk speakers with tube amps in the nearfield!

One thing I discovered is that I will need a tube amp with a volume control or I will need a preamp with volume control. Trying to use the volume control of the DAC with a power amp causes hiss in the speakers which I could hear when I was only 3 feet away.
« Last Edit: 17 May 2018, 12:49 am by TX_Saint »

FullRangeMan

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Welcome aboard TX_Saint :thumb:
It will not work and your 300B tube will last very little.
W/these ineficient speakers you would use an PrimaLuna w/four KT150.
If you managed to get a around 98dB speaker use the first amp in this link:
https://www.china-hifi-audio.com/en/line-magnetic-audio-lm-tube-amplifier-c-50?zenid=5bbf7a4750bc3bc9fbc705a98a619eb0

ArthurDent

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Greetings & Welcome to AC TX_Saint   :thumb:

Early B.

Yeah, even nearfield, a SET amp will struggle to power those speakers adequately. Not recommended.

JakeJ

Hello and welcome to AC, TX_Saint.

WGH

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Double your budget and you can get a Cary CAD 805 Anniversary Edition 50w 300B SET from Upscale Audio for $8000.

https://www.upscaleaudio.com/products/cary-audio-cad-805-anniversary-edition-factory-sealed



https://www.caryaudio.com/products/cad-805ae/

"Single-end triode (SET) tube amplifiers have long been considered the Holy Grail of music reproduction systems, operating in the purest form of class-A power output. Cary Audio began in 1989 by producing a SET monoblock amplifier as its first product, and today the CAD-805AE proudly carries on that tradition. Using just one tube to handle the entire musical signal typically does not allow for more than a few watts of output power, but the CAD-805AE, with its massive power supply, is able to produce over 50 watts."

FullRangeMan

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Wavebourn from DIYaudio is building Single Ended Pentode amps w/ GK71 a even better GM70 brother also sells cheap for mere $20USD not $1K as NOS 805, the small driver tubes also Russian.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skCCd4O-fVQ

JLM

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Had 90 dB/w/m, 27-20,000 Hz speakers (very easy impedance loading) hooked up to 7 wpc class T amp years ago.  (Was a fan of small amps back then too, but couldn't find a high efficiency speaker I liked and being a 'speaker guy' finally went with the speaker I wanted.)  Sounded remarkably good near-field in an 8ft x 13ft x 21ft room, even did OK in a much larger room.  But moving up to 40 wpc turned the speakers from polite gentlemen at a dinner party into NFL linebackers in tuxedos, teaching me the importance of the amp providing a commanding grip on the speaker for both improved detail and dynamics. 

Your suggested pairing could only possibly satisfy (but never excel) at small acoustic ensembles at modest volumes.  It would be an exercise in frustration and extremely non-dynamic.  You'd experience neither the best of the amp nor the speakers.

Audio is full of compromises, you have to decide what to prioritize.  If you want to stick with the Salk's suggest looking for any number of 40-100 wpc amps, but in the $2000 range you're probably best off looking for solid state to get the best quality.  If you want to stay with 300B's consider something like Omega Alnico monitors (Omega also has a circle here) in your price range (same bass extension but 10 dB more efficient and recommended for 2 wpc or higher amps).  Or as WGH recommended, double your amp budget.  (Being a 'speaker guy' that hits me wrong.)

Phil A


Rusty Jefferson

If you're willing to listen softly in the near field, no problem.  David Berning makes an excellent SET 300b amplifier (to order) at about that price point. Very low output impedance, and great bass extension.  Not listed on his website, you have to call him. He also makes a PP 300b.

TX_Saint

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The only 300B amp I could find to drive my inefficient speakers was a hybrid 300B/Class AB amp: Space-Tech Laboratories SE-300B-70W. Provides 70 Watts. Does anyone have any experience with it or the company?

rodge827

The only 300B amp I could find to drive my inefficient speakers was a hybrid 300B/Class AB amp: Space-Tech Laboratories SE-300B-70W. Provides 70 Watts. Does anyone have any experience with it or the company?

I have heard good things about Albert and his creations. Here's a link to his return policy: http://www.space-tech-lab.com/Guarantee.php
Could be costly to try if your not in Canada.

I recently demoed the Digital Amplifier Company Stereo Maraschino (STM) amp on my 100db Charney Audio Maestro horns. This little light weight amp surprised the heck out of me! The wattege output depends on the power supply used. It was a toss up between the STM and the 300b SET amp I had at the time. DAC has a great 30 day return policy and shipping his products is very cost effective due to the small size and light weight.

That said perhaps a look at a Parallel SET 300b amp that will give you about 20w+ of power. Parallel SET isn't as sweet as true single ended but will get you very close with the extra power you need.

http://ankaudiokits.com/Legend-300B-Power-Tube-Amplifier.html

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis8f587-audio-note-kits-300b-legend-monoblocks-like-new-tube   

Chris

Rusty Jefferson

I appreciate the hybrid design, but that isn't a 300b SET amplifier, and won't sound like one.  If you'd like that kind of power, you've opened the door to hundreds of amplifiers, but not 300b SET.

WGH

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Thinking outside the box here - how about a 300B pre-amp? The Manley Neo-Classic 300B gets rave reviews. It has a remote too.
Still need a neutral amp but that would be the easy part. I read the Manley Snapper Monoblocks work very well with the Neo-Classic.

Review on AudioCircle: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=129760.0

Manley Neo-Classic 300B

rollo

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  No. Just not powerful enough. I like the idea of a 300B preamp and the Maraschino amps. If Integrated interests you at all look at Audio hungary A50i and A20i.
  If you still want SET save your money anf get a Lamm ML-2 game over.  :thumb:


charles

FullRangeMan

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I appreciate the hybrid design, but that isn't a 300b SET amplifier, and won't sound like one.  If you'd like that kind of power, you've opened the door to hundreds of amplifiers, but not 300b SET.
300B is a expensive tube. His only way is a 400W Class D or change the speaker.

rockadanny

Hello and welcome TX_Saint  :thumb:

I have no experience with 300Bs, but if I may suggest a different SET with more power (enough to satisfactorily drive my 87dbs), perhaps you might wish to consider a pair of Vlad's Audio Mirror 45 Watt SET Monoblocs. They are close to your budget, much less used.



http://www.audiomirror.com/amps.html

Good luck in your search for audio bliss!

TX_Saint

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Great suggestions everyone! This amp is for my desktop so monoblocks are out of the question. Most everyone here is saying a SET amp does not provide enough power, but an interesting article at Innerfidelity said he could drive a 83 dB Salk WOW1 speaker in the nearfield with a SET tube amp using 8 watts in triode mode:
https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/consonance-m10s-tube-integratedheadphone-amplifier-page-2
The reason I think this is possible is because the impedence curve on the speaker does not dip much below 8 ohms across the entire frequency range. The power required to drive a speaker seems to be a combination of sensitivity and impedence across the frequency range, but I'm no audio engineer. Am I right?

FullRangeMan

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Great suggestions everyone! This amp is for my desktop so monoblocks are out of the question. Most everyone here is saying a SET amp does not provide enough power, but an interesting article at Innerfidelity said he could drive a 83 dB Salk WOW1 speaker in the nearfield with a SET tube amp using 8 watts in triode mode:
https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/consonance-m10s-tube-integratedheadphone-amplifier-page-2
The reason I think this is possible is because the impedence curve on the speaker does not dip much below 8 ohms across the entire frequency range. The power required to drive a speaker seems to be a combination of sensitivity and impedence across the frequency range, but I'm no audio engineer. Am I right?
Seems you have made your decision.
What they want to say is some sound should come out through the loudspeakers, no compromise with sound quality or long tube life.

rodge827

FWIW, Yes you can use an 8w 300b amplifier to drive your speakers at low listening levels.  Your purpose is a near field desktop set up.  Most of the suggestions provided are for a standard room system where you will be several feet away and not just a few feet.  I say give it a try and report back on your findings. Not sure of what your looking for brand wise but there are plenty of inexpensive 300b amps on eBay that will fit your needs. I suggest this since most good quality 300b amps can run high in cost, new and used. If the amp fails then you won't be out all that much.

Chris