New x5's a bargain at twice the price.

KeneallyFan and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 8968 times.

Big Red Machine

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #60 on: 9 Nov 2020, 11:27 pm »
Ha. I saw your Wilson's for sale and knew something was up. Congrats!  Now what are you gonna run in the rest of your system?

Well the Wilsons were going up for sale soon enough and it just happened that these targeted speakers popped up. So I was lucky enough to see them and grab them. Not my choice of finish. Maybe I'll get them wrapped.

I am leaning toward the LTA Ultralinear integrated. I could use my dac as a preamp but have never really fully enjoyed the sound of it used that way.

sfox7076

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1314
Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #61 on: 10 Nov 2020, 01:27 am »
Enjoy them.  I have been looking at those speakers for a bit.  Would love a pair.  I am not a fan of the tubes in the LTA.  12AU7 and 12AX7 are fine enough I guess.  I prefer other tubes as input tubes, but the compactron output it uses (the 17JN6) wired as a triode is not my favorite tube.  Then you add that it is not running class A, which, to me, is a receipe for losing detail.  I do not know this amp, but that is my general thought.  I would also think 20W is a bit overkill on a 97db speaker.  I use an 01A preamp with a 10y-300B tube amp on 92db speakers, which is only about 8W.  My wife loves telling me to turn it down...  Regardless, if you want 20W, get something that uses an 845 SET, or a 211 SET amp.  You don't want to run high efficent speakers on pentodes... 

Shawn

genjamon

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #62 on: 10 Nov 2020, 03:20 am »
With no output transformers though, the detail equation is different. I was astounded at the level of detail in the MicroZotl preamp I auditioned. Ultimately preferred the musicality of another preamp, but by all accounts the LTA gear is extremely detailed and controlled sound character.

geerock

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 102
Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #63 on: 10 Nov 2020, 05:49 pm »
Well the Wilsons were going up for sale soon enough and it just happened that these targeted speakers popped up. So I was lucky enough to see them and grab them. Not my choice of finish. Maybe I'll get them wrapped.

I am leaning toward the LTA Ultralinear integrated. I could use my dac as a preamp but have never really fully enjoyed the sound of it used that way.
I run my X5's with the LTA Reference 40 and a Don Sachs pre.  Simply stunning.  The LTA stuff is a best buy giant killer.  At least try one of their pieces.  Its 14 day no questions asked return if you don't like it.

TomS

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #64 on: 10 Nov 2020, 06:09 pm »
With no output transformers though, the detail equation is different. I was astounded at the level of detail in the MicroZotl preamp I auditioned.
I have the LTA UltraLinear amplifier now with the X5's and it sounds ridiculously good, regardless of how it looks on paper, funky tube complement, SMPS, etc. Seems like everything you think you know is wrong lol. David Berning and the LTA team have created something truly special. Good on Clayton for partnering with LTA, and opening a few eyes and ears. I'm certainly glad I gave them a try.

Note also that the microZOTL "level 2" upgrade was just officially announced. My preamp is there at the spa right now  :green:

sfox7076

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1314
Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #65 on: 10 Nov 2020, 08:18 pm »
I get it.  One of my favorite sounding tubes is a triode strapped 46.  It is only good for a watt or so in class A.  Totally worth it if you are playing with super high efficency speakers.  I have heard many OTL designs that have not impressed me at all but cannot speak to theirs.

jtwrace

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #66 on: 10 Nov 2020, 08:46 pm »
Note also that the microZOTL "level 2" upgrade was just officially announced. My preamp is there at the spa right now  :green:
Is this it?
 
 
 
 
 
https://www.lineartubeaudio.com/products/microzotl-preamplifier-level-2-upgrade

VistaBlue

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 27
Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #67 on: 10 Nov 2020, 09:26 pm »
If the Microzotl preamp had balanced outputs, I’d have tried it long ago.

I have auditioned the ZOTL Ultralinear and ZOTL40 Reference amplifiers.

Big Red Machine

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #68 on: 10 Nov 2020, 09:44 pm »


I have auditioned the ZOTL Ultralinear and ZOTL40 Reference amplifiers.

And????

VistaBlue

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 27
Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #69 on: 10 Nov 2020, 10:17 pm »
As a point of reference, my present amps are 300b parallel SET, so the LTA amps were compared to those.

I found the ZOTL40 preferable in my system according to my likes, which skew toward three dimensional midrange emphasis, while still offering excellent treble extension and bass control. It had more meat on the bones than did the Ultralinear amp, which I found rather clinical...again with perspective on what I presently own and have enjoyed for over a decade. Both LTA amps produced better bass transparency (neutral and defined) than the 300b parallel SET amps. I think one aspect of 300b bass reproduction I enjoy is a tendency to skew toward warm fullness and away from absolute accuracy. Still, the 300b parallel SET amps reproduce acoustic string bass bass with exceptional detail... vibrating strings can clearly be heard. The ZOTL40 offered more warmth than the Ultralinear, however bass was not bloated whatsoever. 

Ultimately, neither LTA amp offered enough difference, or “improvement” (in quotes because of the completely subjective nature of the word) to cause me to keep them. The fact that I require mono blocks for my system configuration made switching to LTA amplifiers somewhat cost prohibitive. It’d have been a different story if I required a stereo amp.
 
Another amp I recently tried and really liked were Atma-Sphere M60 OTL monos. Those amps convey most of the attributes I love about the 300b amplifiers while offering bass control and transparency akin to LTA amps, which makes sense considering both are OTL. Those of you who like LTA amps might enjoy auditioning Atma-Sphere M60 amps (or a stereo S30) on your Spatial Audio loudspeakers. 

LTA builds excellent amplifiers. I understand why many people love them.

Big Red Machine

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #70 on: 10 Nov 2020, 10:57 pm »
Beautiful description. Much appreciated.

I don't want anything clinical nor do I want anything approaching tubby via those EL34 tubes in the Reference. I am sure they don't play that way but I will just have to try one. What's interesting is both the integrateds are the same price.

What is the typical lead time for LTA gear?

VistaBlue

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 27
Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #71 on: 10 Nov 2020, 11:21 pm »
The ZOTL40 is absolutely not tubby. I think what you mean is bloated or colored? Nope. It’s just meaty...like any good EL34 amp. It has all the clarity of the Ultralinear amp, with a touch more humanity. I know humanity is not an approved audiophile term...but it is now. LOL.

I had each amp in about three weeks. This was back in March/April though.

Big Red Machine

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #72 on: 10 Nov 2020, 11:56 pm »
Oh, the humanity!! :drool:

That's why I'm leaning toward the 40 Reference unit. My thinking is with 97 db speakers that could be a good combo.

TomS

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #73 on: 11 Nov 2020, 01:15 am »
I get it.  One of my favorite sounding tubes is a triode strapped 46.  It is only good for a watt or so in class A.  Totally worth it if you are playing with super high efficency speakers.  I have heard many OTL designs that have not impressed me at all but cannot speak to theirs.
I've owned a few OTL's at various times, Joule Electra VZN100's, David Berning ZH270, AtmaSphere M60's, and now the LTA UL (Berning). It has certainly impressed me the most and is very refined physically and sonically, if one can live within 20wpc.

TomS

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #74 on: 11 Nov 2020, 01:18 am »
Beautiful description. Much appreciated.

I don't want anything clinical nor do I want anything approaching tubby via those EL34 tubes in the Reference. I am sure they don't play that way but I will just have to try one. What's interesting is both the integrateds are the same price.

What is the typical lead time for LTA gear?
A couple weeks unless they have a review/show demo.

morganc

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #75 on: 11 Nov 2020, 02:05 am »
Another item to consider is the Don Sachs Amp that is for sale here on AC.   That's what I'm running with the DS Pre and the combo is stunning.  Warm, detailed, huge soundstage and yet also fast and refined bass.  I'm loving the combo.   The DS is gonna be warmer than the LTA 40 which is warmer than the LTA UL.   The Atmosphere would likely be even warmer still.   

I also have the DAC 2-Cherry and soon have an Almarro 318B to play with as well but I'm likely to keep them all as I live in a hot area and can't run tubes in the summer.   

Hope this breakdown helps.

VistaBlue

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 27
Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #76 on: 11 Nov 2020, 02:46 am »
  The DS is gonna be warmer than the LTA 40 which is warmer than the LTA UL.   The Atmosphere would likely be even warmer still. 
Atma-Sphere M60 may be the most natural sounding amps I have ever had in my system, and I have had a boatload pass through.

Jean-Paul

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 47
Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #77 on: 15 Nov 2020, 02:02 am »
I must have misread your intentions.  I saw someone with few posts on AC suddenly show up with a flurry of posts in the Spatial Audio forum promoting pro-audio powered speakers and denigrating the bass performance of home audio designs in general, including those of Spatial Audio.  And these claims were backed up by your personal perceptions of the bass performance of the M4, which I thought was a rather poor reference point relative to the current Spatial offerings.

But I'm no Spatial fanboy.  Yes, I used to own the M1 (equivalent of the M3), and have heard a friend's M4 on many occasions, including borrowing for a full weekend at my own home.  But I sold the M1 after hearing the Daedalus DA-RMa V2 speakers in my system.  They were just at a different level of detail and realism, while retaining a very natural sound.  Like you, I loved the performance of the earlier M-series of Spatial, but did not find they were "perfect" speakers.  But also like you, I am very curious about the new Sapphire and X-Series by Spatial, especially since it sounds like the X-Series has a very minimal crossover system which can have upgraded capacitors, and the Sapphire has a crossover box that is not integrated into the baffle and may afford enough space for upgrades there too.  With my current Zu Omen Dirty Weekends, which use only a single capacitor to roll off the supertweeter and nothing at all on the main driver, the quality of that single capacitor makes quite a bit of difference in the overall sound.  Doing one's best to design minimal crossovers and then use top quality crossover parts is, IMO, crucial to hearing what speakers are truly capable of.

The reason I recommended powered pro monitors was that a couple of posters were proclaiming their love for bass with physical impact, an area which I think they excel in, and in which the SA range may not be quite as strong. For bass articulation they are great, but perhaps they don't do bass weight quite as well as a JBL or a Barefoot.

Big Red Machine

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #78 on: 18 Nov 2020, 12:10 pm »
There could be something here with these X5's. It wasn't until late that I was able to wire up the speakers and new electronics to get some sound. This pair needs a little more break-in. There were a few hiccups in the midrange that stiff drivers can produce but overall I found myself with a smile on my face and running tracks to completion instead of just sampling. Interesting.

Question for angling these; point at the chair outside dimensions, dead on the face, crossover in front? What have you found works. I just eyeballed them to the outside edge of the chair. I'll measure and use a laser this week sometime. I've got them 4 feet into the room and 3 feet from the sidewalls.

TomS

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #79 on: 18 Nov 2020, 12:59 pm »
There could be something here with these X5's. It wasn't until late that I was able to wire up the speakers and new electronics to get some sound. This pair needs a little more break-in. There were a few hiccups in the midrange that stiff drivers can produce but overall I found myself with a smile on my face and running tracks to completion instead of just sampling. Interesting.

Question for angling these; point at the chair outside dimensions, dead on the face, crossover in front? What have you found works. I just eyeballed them to the outside edge of the chair. I'll measure and use a laser this week sometime. I've got them 4 feet into the room and 3 feet from the sidewalls.
I fussed with placement quite a bit with my odd asymmetric room. Mine are 4' off the front wall at the face. I played with angles quite a bit and settled for something like you described, direct axis fires slightly toward the outside of my shoulders. They've been there ever since. Mine are STILL breaking in, I never would have thought it. I agree that the 12" mid seems to be the main culprit, as you can tell from familiar voices. It was all worth it though, as these are sounding fantastic now.