My new amp

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jsalk

My new amp
« on: 18 Nov 2019, 09:52 pm »
PartTimeAudiophile did a nice write-up of our room at the recent Capital Audiofest.

Here is a link...

https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2019/11/14/mcgary-audio-salk-sound-anticables-exogal-caf-2019/

Pay particular attention to the photos of Mike McGary's soon-to-be-released SA2 amplifier.

After spending many hours at two audio shows using this amp to drive our new SS 9.5's, I decided I could not live without one. The combination of the SA2 and SS 9.5's is one I consider to be perfect.

The unit shown in the photo is now in my possession and I'm sure will serve me well for many years to come.
 
Thanks to Mike McGary for his stellar work on this ground-breaking product.  Masterful work indeed!!!

- Jim

DEP14

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #1 on: 19 Nov 2019, 12:43 am »
That's great, very cool looking amp!

ArthurDent

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #2 on: 19 Nov 2019, 01:05 am »
Nice write-up, and sweet looking amp   :drool:   Congrats Jim.  :thumb:

Yomaha

Re: My new amp
« Reply #3 on: 19 Nov 2019, 02:18 pm »
Very cool!  Congrats to both of ya'll on the write-up.  Hope to be able to hear Mike gear (pushing some Salks) soon!

abd1

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #4 on: 19 Nov 2019, 04:42 pm »
PartTimeAudiophile did a nice write-up of our room at the recent Capital Audiofest.

Here is a link...

https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2019/11/14/mcgary-audio-salk-sound-anticables-exogal-caf-2019/

Pay particular attention to the photos of Mike McGary's soon-to-be-released SA2 amplifier.

After spending many hours at two audio shows using this amp to drive our new SS 9.5's, I decided I could not live without one. The combination of the SA2 and SS 9.5's is one I consider to be perfect.

The unit shown in the photo is now in my possession and I'm sure will serve me well for many years to come.
 
Thanks to Mike McGary for his stellar work on this ground-breaking product.  Masterful work indeed!!!

- Jim

Congrats Jim and Mike. That's a sweet looking amp. I've been using the Salk Song3's with a Primaluna tube amp and a Line Magnetic LM508 tube amp and both have sounded amazing. Ironically, I've also used the Exogal DAC and use Anticables -- also great sounding stuff. I can't imagine the sound you're getting with the SS9.5's and the McGary SA2. Anyone wondering if Salks are easy enough to drive with tubes should have zero concerns! Although, that SA2 has 80 watts per channel so it should drive almost anything! Enjoy!

Bubba12

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #5 on: 21 Nov 2019, 01:43 am »
That looks like a great amp.  I think I heard it at AXPONA. Excellent. Tubes are great with the Song3 speakers. I am using a PrimaLuna Evo 400 and they sound excellent.  I am so pleased with my Song3's. I have them really singing.

rmdtexas

Re: My new amp
« Reply #6 on: 21 Nov 2019, 02:33 am »
Jim,  will the SA-1 handle my Song3 BeAT's.

jsalk

Re: My new amp
« Reply #7 on: 21 Nov 2019, 03:02 pm »
Jim,  will the SA-1 handle my Song3 BeAT's.

We used the SA1 with the SS9.5's at the California Audio Show to very positive reviews.  The Song3 BeAT's would be easier to drive since they do not play as deep.  So I don't see any issues with using the SA1's with the BeAT's.

- Jim

DMurphy

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #8 on: 23 Nov 2019, 04:06 am »
PartTimeAudiophile did a nice write-up of our room at the recent Capital Audiofest. 

Also positive comments from Enjoy the Music:   http://enjoythemusic.com/Capital_Audiofest_2019/Weaver/page3.htm

RonN5

Re: My new amp
« Reply #9 on: 23 Nov 2019, 01:01 pm »
One could argue that the sound is just a bonus!!! That the SA2 and the SS9.5 could reside in almost any living room as art even if they never played...the design and craftsmanship are beautiful...and as a Salk owner, I know the sound is too!







Jon L

Re: My new amp
« Reply #10 on: 23 Nov 2019, 03:08 pm »
You KNOW the amp designer is serious when RCA input is on the front of the amp to shorten the signal path  :green:
BTW, has anyone compared triode vs. ultralinear mode of this amp?




jsalk

Re: My new amp
« Reply #11 on: 23 Nov 2019, 04:00 pm »
You KNOW the amp designer is serious when RCA input is on the front of the amp to shorten the signal path  :green:




Not only that, but it keeps the low level signals as far away from the transformers and high voltage circuits as possible.

- Jim

KLH007

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #12 on: 24 Nov 2019, 09:39 pm »
I initially told Mike that front inputs were a problem visually, then after listening to both the SA1 and SA2 the front inputs redeemed themselves because the amps are sensational sounding! It's easy to route the ICs under the amp especially if you have footers under the amp, and it really doesn't hurt the aesthetics much. Congratulations to Mike for his long hours developing such outstanding amps, and to Jim for realizing he had the perfect match for his 9.5s. Eric Alexander also found the SA2 a great match for his Tekton Moabs at CAF.

bretonsound

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #13 on: 6 Mar 2020, 04:48 am »
Jim-on your spec page for the SS 9.5 speaker you list a recommended amplification of 150 watts to drive the speakers. The McGary SA2 amp is rated at 80 watts. You mention this combination to be a perfect fit. I’m currently driving and enjoying my new SS 9.5 speakers with an ARC VS115 amp rated at 120 watts. I’ve been considering auditioning some more powerful amps to see what the speakers can do, but now I’m confused. Any thoughts?

KLH007

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #14 on: 6 Mar 2020, 05:25 am »
Dr. Vinyl runs a pair of Gamut RS3i standmounts (86dB) in a small room and we spent 4 hours last week listening to all genres of music, most at loud levels and a few really loud without any signs of distress or clipping, this was with the small McGary SA-1 amp, the amps are special and deserve an audition. All vinyl, no audiophile records, White album, Doobie Bros, Guess Who, Carly Simon, Ray Brown, Abraxas, etc.

jsalk

Re: My new amp
« Reply #15 on: 9 Mar 2020, 06:25 pm »
Jim-on your spec page for the SS 9.5 speaker you list a recommended amplification of 150 watts to drive the speakers. The McGary SA2 amp is rated at 80 watts. You mention this combination to be a perfect fit. I’m currently driving and enjoying my new SS 9.5 speakers with an ARC VS115 amp rated at 120 watts. I’ve been considering auditioning some more powerful amps to see what the speakers can do, but now I’m confused. Any thoughts?

I mention 150 watts because that is what I used at the time the SS 9.5's came out.  These are solid state watts.  120 watts is likely enough if you listen at moderate to moderately high levels.  If it starts to sound a bit bright and brittle, chances are you are playing the system loud enough so that the amp clips.  If this is the case, a higher power amp will provide more headroom.

Keep in mind that each doubling of halving of amplifier power is roughly equivalent to a 3db difference in output.  So if you move from a 150 watt amp to a 300 watt amp, you would basically get about 3db of additional headroom.

Tube amps don't clip hard like solid state amps do.  They just act more like limiters/compressors if you drive them too hard.  As you continue to increase the volume, they simply don't play any louder.  But they don't get brittle sounding.  So you can get by with far less wattage.  At the California Audio Show, we used Mike McGary's SA1, rated at 30 watts, to drive a pair of SS 9.5's.  We never had a problem.  So his SA2 amp, rated at 80 watts, would be more than enough.

The deeper a speaker plays, the more power is required to move more air down low.  Solid State amps tend to control woofers a bit better than tube amplifiers.  But tube amps have that liquid-smooth midrange that tube lovers desire.  So there is a bit of a trade-off there.

I just found that Mike's SA2 amp sounds marvelous with the SS 9.5's.  So that is my current dream combination.

I hope this helps.

- Jim

kneat

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #16 on: 13 Mar 2020, 07:01 pm »
Hey Jim,
Any reason to think that the SA2 wouldn't match well with my SS8s?

jsalk

Re: My new amp
« Reply #17 on: 13 Mar 2020, 07:13 pm »
Hey Jim,
Any reason to think that the SA2 wouldn't match well with my SS8s?

I don't see any reason that the SA2 would work not well with the SS8's.  They are about the same sensitivity as the SS9.5's and the SA2 works well with them.  But the SS8's are a 4 ohm design, so you would probably want to ask Mike McGary to make sure.

- Jim
« Last Edit: 23 Mar 2020, 03:32 pm by jsalk »

Delpo

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #18 on: 14 Mar 2020, 02:35 am »
Just ordered a McGary SA1 and can't wait to set it up! Will hopefully soon pair it with Salk's. Cheers.

MMcGary

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #19 on: 21 Mar 2020, 04:00 pm »
Look forward to knowing how the amplifier sounds....it sounds wonderful to me driving my Salk SS 6M speakers... and either the SA1 or SA2 amps! :D