Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....

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-Richard-

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Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« on: 19 Mar 2005, 07:18 pm »
I recently purchased a pair of Omega 8R speakers
which I am thrilled with (more to come about my
impressions later when they are more fully
relaxed) and for fun I switched out the tri-path
"digital" amp I purchased for it and switched in a rather
inexpensive Single Ended Pentoid integrated amp...
perhaps 6 watts of available power...

The synergy astounded me...a fully fleshed out musical
picture was presented to me in the most "fleshy" and
tactile tonal textures imaginable...

Now I am thinking about purchasing a 2A3 SET amp for
the Omega's and I was wondering if any one out there has
had experience with this type of SET amp and which ones
particularly impressed you.

I would deeply appreciate any feedback along these lines...

Yes...of course...the idea of budget comes into the picture here...
as always...my budget is modest...say less than $2000.00...
hopefully a lot less...I would certainly consider used here
unless someone out there feels that used for these kinds
of amps is a bit perilous (for whatever reason)...

I have heard of Don Garber's Fi 2A3's and I am looking into
it...and the Japanese Sun 2A3's which I am also looking into...

I am entirely new to SET amps...and I realize that this is a very
subtle, complex, and demanding field of inquiry in order to
get at the heart of what would work with the greatest
synergy with my Omega's...

Also if anyone has any thoughts about other types of SET's
that they feel might be better than the 2A3's for any reason I
would be most grateful for your insights (for example I have
read that all transformers on the 2A3's hum a bit)...

Thanks for your kind attention...any help would be
most appreciated.

Warm regards -Richard-

Seeker

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Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #1 on: 21 Mar 2005, 04:37 pm »
Take a look at Welborne Labs 2A3 mono amps.  I have Ron's Moondog 2A3 mono's and have been very happy with them.

http://www.welbornelabs.com/index.html

Dmason

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Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #2 on: 21 Mar 2005, 04:41 pm »
Take a look also at the Bottlehead Paramours and also the SEX amp. These have earned universal praise and are inexpensive ValueKing qualifiers.

www.bottlehead.com

There is also a forum for the Bottleheads, a new kind of religion. Single ended amps and Fostex drivers are a KILLER combination.

myoung

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Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #3 on: 21 Mar 2005, 06:07 pm »
The late, lamented Listener magazine did a 2A3 amp shootout a few years back (OK, 2A3s and 300Bs) and the Wright Sound 2A3s stood among the top performers and the least-expensive amps in the sampling. You can read the pertinent portion of the review at www.wright-sound.com ... Current selling price is just under $1,500.

But realize when you're talking 2A3 SETs that you'll only have around three watts of output. If you have a large room, you might find yourself wishing for a few more wpcs ...

I'm using a single ended pentode -- a very modest nOrh SE-9 with a pair of Super 3s -- in a small room. I get about 8 wpc and it's plenty. But I'm not sure how it would work in the much larger living room or family room ...

Good luck, and happy hunting.

Mike

Dmason

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Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #4 on: 21 Mar 2005, 06:25 pm »
With the 97db Omega FE206E, a 2A3 should be plenty...

I heard a friend's 2A3 Fi/X hooked up to purpose built twin FE206E, picking up a few db and wired for 4Ohms, and it really, REALLY rocked!!

Also, there is an Antique Sound Labs Orchid 2A3 on Audiogon right now, with a very reasonable pricetag on it. If it is the new one, they include digital bias meter, and I believe a remote volume control. Total decadence for a pittance.

Wind Chaser

Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #5 on: 21 Mar 2005, 06:56 pm »
Quote from: Dmason

I heard a friend's 2A3 Fi/X hooked up to purpose built twin FE206E, picking up a few db and wired for 4Ohms, and it really, REALLY rocked!!

Also, there is an Antique Sound Labs Orchid 2A3 on Audiogon right now, with a very reasonable pricetag on it. If it is the new one, they include digital bias meter, and I believe a remote volume control. Total decadence for a pittance.


Would you be willing to forego your Clari-T for a 2A3?

Dmason

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Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #6 on: 21 Mar 2005, 07:20 pm »
Not a chance.

To me, NOTHING does better with single driver speakers than the ClariT. Period.

The ClariT is the best compromise out there in the land of amplifiers IMHO. It sometimes comes close-ish to the liquid SET sound, but it has real kick, and lightning speed, and can unravel and unbundle individual instruments even in dense mixes, and has otherworldly control over speaker drivers, which SET's simply do not. BUT, I love love love the TONE and liquidity of single ended amps and have owned a few. The 2A3 triodes are the gems of the tube world...

 I have a Bottlehead SEX amp on the way, as a gift, and I look forward to assembling it, playing it, and enjoying it, comparing it to the ClariT, and listening as Vinnie's amp surely kicks its ass.

Dr Fuzz

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ClariT
« Reply #7 on: 21 Mar 2005, 08:11 pm »
Please tell me more about this amp (ClariT) as I also love 2A3 amps. My speakers are 96db Epiphany 12/12.

marklivia

Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #8 on: 21 Mar 2005, 08:27 pm »
Go to Red Wine Audio Circle on this website. I second Dmason's assesment.

GHM

Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #9 on: 21 Mar 2005, 08:50 pm »
Yeap I third Dmason's assesment !  :D
I have a beautiful sounding tubed preamp sitting in its box not being used because of the ClariT. Damn you Dmason..Damn you!! :wink:
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Bwanagreg

Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #10 on: 21 Mar 2005, 09:23 pm »
I'll fourth it. I have the Bolder version of a battery-powered Tripath. No more tube amps for me. No sir. Not one more.  :hyper:

Dmason

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Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #11 on: 21 Mar 2005, 10:15 pm »
One of the cool things about this thread is that its author already HAS a ClariT. He's just letting his curiosity run wild.

I for one, have completely lost my taste for thermionic distortion and tube-induced "warmth." Or expensive driver tubes flaring out just as I am picnicking on the floor with a new girlfriend, or some other highly inopportune moment. People forget about what a f***ing hassle tube amps can actually be. Biasing issues, real vibration issues, expense, OUCH!! that's HOT!! issues. Oh, the tubes are on back-order, issues, and on and on......Many of you know exactly what I am talking about.

Since mine ears have been re-educated, I have heard several highly praised tube amps, and I found them abit wanting. As always, YMMV.

What I would like to see is matching ClariT amp and Omega Speakers in burled Maple. Something retro, vintage, with brass hinges, and no need for AC. High tech with a Victorian vibe.

Bwanagreg

Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #12 on: 21 Mar 2005, 10:27 pm »
Quote
Something retro, vintage, with brass hinges, and no need for AC. High tech with a Victorian vibe.


I've always dug the Moth Audio stuff.


Dmason

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Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #13 on: 21 Mar 2005, 10:43 pm »
Moth. Exactly. And wonderful sounding stuff to boot.

That high tech 1940's thing. The Cicadas look like 40's radios. That's what is needed, only Class D. Louis is just the guy to figure that aesthetic out.

-Richard-

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Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #14 on: 22 Mar 2005, 06:59 am »
After a frustrating "burn-in" period with my Omega 8R's
using the ClariT amp, the Fostex drivers are finally relaxing...

Of course Louie and DMason warned me about the timetable for
burn-in of these magical paper drivers...Louie feels the "spider"
that holds the paper cone to the metal basket is particularly stiff
in these drivers and needs time to relax...

How does the combination of the ClariT amp and the Omega 8R's
sound for anyone interested(?)...Well I am approaching perhaps
80 hours on the Omega's and 150 hours on the ClariT...not the
requisite 100 hours that DMason and Louie feel is a minimum
burn-in period for the Fostex drivers..

Still...A most convincing, musical picture is thrust away from the
speakers so that the music appears in the room freely,
unencumbered by the mechanical source of the drivers or
the cabinet or the amp...and a feeling of profound intimacy
gathers itself around instruments and the voice that is very
convincing and deeply seductive...

One hears layer upon layer of musical information that interact
with one another in the most seamless and intricate fashion...

There is a strange quiet that accompanies everything...the magic
of the battery power no doubt...that seems to further the impression
that the performers are playing for you alone...the room is filled
with the "presence" of the music and the performers in a startling
way...

What is most interesting perhaps is the sense of ambient cues that
surrounds the music...air, space, instrumental overtones, the very walls
of the recording space appear to be breathing and this effect saturates
the musical picture in a most uncanny way...Deborah is always pointing
this out to me (during the day Deborah is closer to the speakers than
I am...she designs on the mac in the same room as the Omega's and
I am a bit further away in a bedroom...although the sound flows into my
room seemingly intact...a nice feature of the Omega's and the ClariT
that suggest that the music is moving rather freely through the space
of my house).

When the music is rendered with the idea of creating a spatial effect this
combination opens a vast spatial door that is completely convincing...a
startling experience one must hear to believe...

So one may ask...given my extremely favorable experience with the
ClariT amp and the Omega 8R speakers, why in heaven would I need
to search further for another amp...in this case a low powered SET
2a3?

The answer is simply curiosity...the ClariT has set a bench mark for
what DMason heard several months ago in the tri-path chip set amps
that were available then (on the cheap of course which is his ethos)
but raised to a very high level of perfection with the ClariT...

And we are all awaiting DMasons observations of what further magic
we can expect from the built-in Ack!...and perhaps also the built-in Scott Nixon
dac...to raise the level of musical magic even further with the ClariT...

But there is that liquidity that the best SET amps have that I hunger for
sometimes...on certain kinds of music...and I am very curious to see
what the Omega's sound like when being feed some hot glass...

But the ClariT is mine forever...I have no intention of ever giving it up...
except for further modifications by Vinnie of course...and then I will
miss it dearly...

It becomes very very seductive to hear music rendered with the combination
of the Omega 8R's and the ClariT amp...intimacy, detail that always serves the
intelligence and spirit of the music, space galore, inner layering of musical
overtones, and everything alive in the room...DMason's prognostications
of the potential of the tri-path chip technology and their love affair with highly
efficient paper drivers has come to fruition with this wonderful combination...

And that understanding know drives my curiosity to see what those magical
SET's can bring to the theater of musical experience with the Omega's...

Actually I rather like the idea of switching amps...and speakers...if one has that
kind of luxury...however I do not have any wish to purchase another speaker
until I have lived with the Omega 8R's for quite some time...I need to absorb
the sound of the Omega's and understand their potential...although perhaps
Louie's new hemp drivers might tempt me once he works out the kinks in
their design.

Incidentally I once spoke to Don Garber on the phone...nice older
chap...no web site yet and his "catalog" is a series of individually folded
xeroxed papers...quaint actually...I liked him instantly...I really like his Bauhaus
design sense...form follows function...with the X series...and these modestly
priced amps (for tubes mind you) are legendary...people really like them...
although a mild hum seems to be part of the equation...

Thanks for all your ongoing help and suggestions...I am certainly following
up on everything you have all been kind enough to share with me...

Deeply, deeply appreciate it.

DMason...how about sharing with us what your
new SEX amp is like...talk about safe sex!!!

Warmest regards -Richard-

moray james

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Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #15 on: 5 May 2005, 12:20 am »
Antique Sound Lab Tulip probably not as good as the Orcid but a very nice amp for a very good price. With upgraded cryo treated tubes it can hold its own. Works very well with these speakers. Regards Moray James.

-Richard-

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Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #16 on: 5 May 2005, 03:22 am »
Thanks Moray,

I will look into the Tulip based on your recommendation...

Where do you purchase cryo treated tubes?

One would think that the glass would not be compatible
with the freezing temperatures that cryo treatments
traditionally apply...but obviously this is not true...

Any more insights along these lines would be most helpful.

Warm regards -Richard-

Scott F.

Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #17 on: 5 May 2005, 03:46 am »
I'd like to toss my suggestions into the ring.

Take a look at the Handmade Electronics Deluxe 2a3. I've owned mine for a number of years and love it. The 6C45Pi driver tube is a fabulous match with the 2a3 output tube. The price is darned attractive too starting at $675 (for the basic version). The Deluxe is everything you would expect a 2a3 to be (and sound like). You'll have to give Tony a call to see what he's building now. He doesn't update his site very often.

If you are into DIY, Ron Wellebornes DRD 300B's are absolutely stunning.

-Richard-

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Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #18 on: 5 May 2005, 05:11 pm »
Hi Scott F.,

Thanks for your suggestion...talk about an
eclectic audio company...I found them on the
web and they appear to no longer make the
"Deluxe" version from their web copy...although
they also appear not to have any of their basic
design available since 2004...hummmmmmmmm!

Feels like they are hiding out!

I'll call however and see if I can untangle their situation...

Incredible positive review of their Deluxe model linked
to their sight...but it is no longer available and that is rather
frustrating...

I'll let you know what I learn.

Warm regards -Richard-

miklorsmith

Looking for a 2A3 SET amp for my Omega 8R's....
« Reply #19 on: 5 May 2005, 05:42 pm »
Quote
I have a beautiful sounding tubed preamp sitting in its box not being used because of the ClariT. Damn you Dmason..Damn you!!


Try putting it back in.  My arrangement is much, much better with my tubed pre in the chain.