XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away

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-Richard-

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Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #20 on: 14 Oct 2006, 09:34 pm »
Hi Toobwacky ~

I hope this doesn't sound a bit simplistic... but is your question based on the fact that you do not
currently have a tube amp and so you are curious as to which tube amp would work best with
your XRS Omega speakers?

I am asking that question because by your AC name, Toobwacky, I would have guessed that you
are somewhat ga ga over tubes (Deb and I certainly are) and so would have a few varieties of tube
amps around that you could use to test for an appropriate synergy with your XRS's ~
 
Warm Regards ~ Richard ~

Scott F.

Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #21 on: 14 Oct 2006, 09:44 pm »
Once one's audio is operating on the very high level of an SET and single driver speaker
combination, the INTELLIGENCE of the music can be released... the inner-dimension of that intelligence
is released and it is this sense of that intelligence that allows us to make a connection with the INTENT
of the musicians and/or composers... no matter what form they are "speaking" in ~

Hi Richard,

You really hit upon something there. When I first got into SET's, I was mainly into Rock and Jazz. For the longest time I'd been trying without any luck to wrap my mind around orchestral music. After I'd had my 2A3 and Lowthers mated for a while I decided to give some classical music a spin. Guess what.....it all made sense. I can't phathom a guess as to why, other than the simple fact of coheirency. There is truely something right about an SET amplifier and single driver speakers. There is nothing to get in the way of the music, no crossovers, less than about 8 parts in the amplifier signal circuit, its just plain simple.

And for anybody reading this, don't dismiss this thinking that the SET/single driver crowd is some sort of audio whacko's cuz it ain't so. Sure, every single ended triode amplifier in the work (without feedback) measures horribly. Most of them are running between 5 and 10% distortion at full output (at 1k). But that really doesn't tell the true story. We don't normally run our amps at full output. Most of the time we spend at the lower half of the volume scale where the amps are running about 1% distortion or less. This (of course) providing you have sufficiently efficient speakers.

Guys like JA at SP can measure these things all they want, they'll tell you they measure worse than anything on the market but they just don't get it. I've convinced myself it's because they don't own a good pair of hi-eff, single driver speakers to mate them to. Whats worse is the guys that try to mate SETs to low efficiency speakers and expect them to work. Then they tell their tales and reinforce the (supposed) fact that SETs are rotten.

Man oh man, when you mate an SET to the right speakers its like you'd died and gone to musical heaven. There is nothing like it on the planet, honest.

toobwacky

Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #22 on: 14 Oct 2006, 11:35 pm »
Hi Toobwacky ~

I hope this doesn't sound a bit simplistic... but is your question based on the fact that you do not
currently have a tube amp and so you are curious as to which tube amp would work best with
your XRS Omega speakers?

I am asking that question because by your AC name, Toobwacky, I would have guessed that you
are somewhat ga ga over tubes (Deb and I certainly are) and so would have a few varieties of tube
amps around that you could use to test for an appropriate synergy with your XRS's ~
 
Warm Regards ~ Richard ~

Hello Richard...  Yes, my name notwithstanding, I am tube deprived at the present time :cry:

Anyway, the XRS is my first (and last :D) single driver system & I'm wondering (hoping) that its rising impedance at higher frequencies won't result in rolled-off highs when mated with a typical tube amp.  Right now I'm looking at buying a SE amp, but, living in the hinterlands as I do, won't have the chance to audition it before purchase.

Can anybody share some general thoughts on the Fostex impedance interaction with a tube amp?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: 14 Oct 2006, 11:58 pm by toobwacky »

-Richard-

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Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #23 on: 15 Oct 2006, 12:23 am »
Hi denjo ~ it seems that Louis is giving his blessing for you to coat his/your paper cone speakers
with some form of varnish in order to help them to survive in your moist climate... you already have
the Cary 300SEI... so all you need now is your single-driver-wide-range speaker to bring back
the magic you know is there... perhaps Louis can coat his drivers for you if you purchase a pair of
speakers from him... I would pursue that inquiry with him and see what he says!!!!!!!

Hi jrhanl ~ you are part of a small but sensitive group of cognoscente that understand the magic
of a well executed SET and single-driver-wide-range speakers... simplicity is not yet a paradigm
that has currency in our society... we are a society that is still in the throes of guzzling billions
of gallons of oil per day and think nothing of continuing the philosophy that the earth has
abundant resources to fill our insatiable appetites for "the more"... and so we apply that thinking
to everything... including audio ~

Scott F. ~ You bring up so many important points... the essential circuitry of the very simple SET
tube amp was formalized in the late 1920's and has not changed substantially since then. Meanwhile
the ascendency of technology as problem solving devices has exploded into our lives with
unprecedented speed... so fast in fact that we have not even barely begun to assess the impact
it is having on our lives... for example one could legitimately ask the question: if the computer
does everything better than we do... who needs us? That question will reach a crescendo very
soon and we will not like the answer... and least we forget... every technology that has been
born of good intentions almost immediately finds it way into the military as a killing and controlling
machine... death flows from the laboratory and shatters us ~

The pressure to find and implement new technologies is nothing less than a kind of lust, like
the gold-rush in America in the 1890's. So to ask someone to "return" to a technology that
appears to be spent, out-dated, and used-up to reproduce one's home audio seems to defy
our collective intelligence... and then there is the problem of a certain inconvenience in having
to "care for" the tubes and perhaps others issues such as biasing (admittedly some designs
have opted for self-biasing designs, and Roger Modjeski's SET amps, one of which I am using,
his new 245.1/45 SET tube amp, uses a devastatingly clever and simple method of adjusting
the red light of LED lenses in front of each 45 output tube to match the "pilot" On light) and
the need to re-tube your amp every blue moon or so ~

So the technology may be approached by the average audio enthusiast with a certain mistrust...
how can that old-timey technology really work in the face of all that innovation that has taken place?
there is also the subtle psychological idea that suggests "my times are more important and interesting
than grandfathers time" and so on ~

I think it is the reemergence of the single-extended range-high efficiency driver that has helped set
the stage for the come-back of the simple low watt SET tube amp... once one hears this combination,
the search for musical nirvana ends... and one's listening life takes on a totally different dimension ~

But before that can take place one must be able to detach themselves from the search of the
new... and place ones considerable energies for the search of the extraordinary ~

Louis Chochos is leading the movement of the single-extended range-high efficiency speaker
revolution... and his prices are exceedingly fair... I count Louis as a dear friend because he is
always available and extremely generous with his suggestions, information and help... I own
a pair of Bipoles... and I am looking forward to slipping in Louis's new Hemp 4.5" drivers,
once Louis is able to make them available... Bravo Louis!!!!! may the audio gods forever favor
you with their blessings!!!!

Warm Regards ~ Richard ~

toobwacky

Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #24 on: 15 Oct 2006, 04:55 pm »

"Can anybody share some general thoughts on the Fostex impedance interaction with a tube amp?"

Nevermind...  I took the plunge and bought a mint Dynaco SCA-35 off ebay.   Woohoo! :thumb:

It's not a SET & I'm veering WAY OT here, but I can't wait to get her & see how she stacks up against my Audio Analogue SS amp.

More later....

mcgsxr

Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #25 on: 15 Oct 2006, 05:07 pm »
As a very satisfied use of a broadband single driver, and a single ended Pentode amp, I reflect positively on what Richard is suggesting - there is magic in my 45-50 year old Magnavox amp, and the b200 Visaton driver, that has returned my satisfaction!

Canyoneagle

Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #26 on: 15 Oct 2006, 05:23 pm »
Richard:
Thank you once again for a brilliant post that gets to the heart (at least for me) of the experience that is music.
After spending years in the "critical listening" camp, where everything is quantified and analyzed, it is refreshing to be re-connecting with the experiential aspect of music that first called to me when I was a child.
It is the classic "heart versus mind" battle that manifests in every other aspect of this existence, no?  The mind gets in the way of the experience itself, and (I feel) that this is the key difference between the "audiophiles" and the "music lovers".  We music lovers don't care about specs.
The experiential cannot be quantified nor intellectualized.
I am grateful for people like Louis and Vinnie who are sharing their gifts and reveling in the irony.

After the numerous posts on my "best bang for buck amp" thread, I'm also convinced that a SET amp is on my horizon, in addition to my long-term plan of incorporating RWA battery power in my simple and beautiful system.

So, thanks once again,
Warmly,
Michael

Louis O

Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #27 on: 16 Oct 2006, 11:53 pm »
Hi Richard and Scott F,

Many thanks for the great posts and I agree 100%. I really don't let measurement of amps get in the way of what to buy. Let your ears decide and you will be much happier. I keep on saying this is a great time to be in Audio as the amount of great equipment out there at reasonable costs plus all the vintage gear. It's worth seeking out the smaller companies that are dedicated to music and not worth some specs to get in the way.

Congratulations toobwacky with your Dynaco purchase. I have the new version and it's a great match.

Also I would be happy to coat the Fostex drivers here at the shop. I do want to say it will change the color of the cone.

Thanks again,
Louis

rajacat

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Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #28 on: 17 Oct 2006, 12:06 am »
Louis,

I'm interested in coating my four Fostex drivers too but hesitate to ship them all the way from Washington State. Is the coating a process that I could perform safely myself ?

Royal
« Last Edit: 17 Oct 2006, 06:18 am by rajacat »

denjo

Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #29 on: 17 Oct 2006, 06:13 am »
~Richard~

Thanks for the heads up! I have only recently been acquainted with single driver speakers but I find the simplicity very attractive indeed - no crossover. The Hemps coated with varnish might just be the answer! I will do a little bit more due diligence before coming to a firm decision on the Omega Hemps.

Many thanks,

Best Regards
Dennis

silverfi

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Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #30 on: 17 Oct 2006, 12:21 pm »

a small but sensitive group of cognoscente that understand the magic
of a well executed SET and single-driver-wide-range speakers... simplicity is not yet a paradigm
that has currency in our society... we are a society that is still in the throes of guzzling billions
of gallons of oil per day and think nothing of continuing the philosophy that the earth has
abundant resources to fill our insatiable appetites for "the more"... and so we apply that thinking
to everything... including audio ~


Brilliantly put.

Thanks.

Dmason

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Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #31 on: 17 Oct 2006, 12:37 pm »
I was talking about this just last night with Louis, and he agreed it was possible there was also some sort of popular misconception relating to the whole flea amp/single speaker thang, that conjures up some sort of image of a pipe-smoking, pointy-headed audiophile type, sipping port, listening to the Juilliard Quartet, --type of adherent. We had a laugh. That wouldn't exactly describe adherents such as Louis, nor myself in any way. Especially Louis, and his Nine Inch Nails.

I also agree wholeheartedly with Richard's lament, and in the runaway SuperConsumer society, where simplicity is merely simple. Where, "elegance" is something vaguely vogue.

SuperConsumer: Someone who spends money they do not have, on items they do not need, to impress people they do not like."  Habitat Range: USA.

ZLS

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Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #32 on: 17 Oct 2006, 12:57 pm »
:scratch:  Contra Intuitive Experience

    The more I listen to Louis's speakers the more my belief is reinforced that while the Speakers sound terrific with low Watt Amps, they sound even better when fed more high quality Watts.  I don't know why this is, there is no crossover, and the speakers present an easy load for an amplifier.  Has anyone else had this experience?  I am currently running the Omega Revolutions (Visaton B200 Driver) with either a Dual Mono RWA Clari-T (7 Watts) or a rebuilt Heath 151 (EL 84's running 7 Watts in pure Triode). 
    I don't know about 9 Inch Nails, but I play Chicago Blues (Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Koko Taylor etc.) and it sounds just fine.  I know there is more, I just don't know why. 
    Any input is welcome and much appreciated. 

Dmason

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Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #33 on: 17 Oct 2006, 01:52 pm »
ZLS

If single ended triode sound came in 100 watt packages, that would be the amp. It is just that the Omega 8 speakers can get along fine with such small relative doses of current. I agree that when you give them more power, they REALLY open up; the Super Hemps do this with the Signature 30., which to me sounds closer to a single ended tube sound than ANY other solid state amp I have ever heard, and blows any solid state amp I have ever heard, into the weeds, especially with wideband drivers. Greater current, better speaker control, higher damping factor of solid state amps and push pull tube amps, all lend themselves to your observation.

 The earlier comments were an indirect reference to the simplicity of single ended tube circuits, and the effect on the overall gestalt of the sound when combined with equally simple speaker systems. Hope this helps.

jrebman

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Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #34 on: 17 Oct 2006, 06:15 pm »
Greater current, better speaker control, higher damping factor of solid state amps and push pull tube amps, all lend themselves to your observation.

And the extra power also translates into extra headroom that lets those musical peaks through unhindered.  My Horn Shoppe horns and Abbys never sounded better than when driven by a Sophia EL34, and a Golden Tube Audio SE-40, as compared to an Audio Note Kit1, and another 8 watt PP tube amp -- with the exception of the fully modded Clari-T, which really did the trick for the Abbys.

I remember back in the 70s when I was in high school and would go down to the local high-end audio store to listen to the Klipschorns driven by a Mac 200-watt tube amp.  I don't remember the model of the amp, but it had a pair of blue backlit power meters (not VU meters) on the front and you could clearly see that while the power levels for normal listening were on the order of tenths of a watt, the peaks could easily jump to 150 or 200, if even very briefly.  And this was with a speaker rated at something like 104dB.  So, when you're 1.5, 3.5, or 8 watt amp tries to play the same music through the same speakers, something has to give when those peaks come along, even though any of those amps would drive those speakers more than sufficiently well.

That said, I'm with you guys 100% on all of this and have a pair of the Sig 70s (in Louis's cabinets) and a pair of Revolutions on order, and I've sold off all the other equipment except the Clari-T and my CDP.

Sure would love to talk to more of you in person -- dmason, richard, zls, srayle, and others, and if you're coming to RMAF, maybe we can find some time to hang out?  I've been reading the Dark Star thread, plus lots of others on this forum and RWA as well, and find you guys very tuned into much the same kinds of things as myself.  Can't possibly get away with OBs in this house, but it's all really interesting nonetheless.

Keep the great discussions and comments flowing!

Jim

Canyoneagle

Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #35 on: 17 Oct 2006, 09:45 pm »
Dmason – as I read your post above, I started laughing so hard that my pipe fell out of my mouth and scattered ashes all over my velveteen lounge robe!   :lol:
I thought the post was so right on, at least from my own perspective.  I am a lover of music first, and am not limited to a particular genre, and the LAST thing I want to do is to take myself too seriously.
Thanks for sharing!
I also share Richard’s perspective (at least what he’s offered of it) on the world and “society” in general.  It is a paradox to walk that line of balance in this crazy, beautiful world of ours.

I think this particular thread is extremely helpful for those of us who are still “re-building” our music systems (or is it just me?)  :wink:.  In particular, the very real discussion of the benefit of a bit of dynamic power / muscle to really allow the system to sing (not that it is an ABSOLUTE requirement, mind you).
This certainly helps me to re-affirm my long-term focus of incorporating the RWA offerings into my own system, which is getting its start with a set of Louis's original compact hemptones.   :singing:
  I had decided early on to incorporate Omega and Red Wine in my new "simple" system – interestingly enough,  my choice of RWA originally started as an effort to have a good music system in my (soon to be designed) Earth-friendly, off-the-grid home.  I am trying my best to keep everything in the house as simple as possible, so the RWA gear is a godsend.  Cheers, Vinnie!  I could not have imagined such a magical solution to my dilemma.  I had visions of making do with a jambox!  :roll:

Great thread, and have fun at the show, for those who are fortunate enough to be going.
Warmly,
Michael


jrhanl

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Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #36 on: 18 Oct 2006, 03:59 am »
"the peaks could easily jump to 150 or 200"...

My lord...and you were listening to...a concerto for jet turbine...perhaps?   :P

I am wholly impressed with my 8W 2A3 set's ability to handle dynamic peaks.  I have been shocked actually.  During orchestral crescendos, I was expecting congestion, shrill break-ups etc, but that hasn't been the case.  I am sure something in the way of acoustic info is compromised...but not that I can perceive.  Tympani thwacks and brass demand power like nothing else...and even these tremendous spikes sound natural...I can feel the force of the air...even off the XRS' relatively small drivers.   

In a larger room, at greater volumes any compromise would be more obvious, I am sure. 

But the glory of the 8 watts of 2A3 with the XRS seems to be the ability to convey palpability, note-decay, and instrument timbre.  My description feels very cold...and doesn't capture the experience at all...but I lack the vocab to express the set/single driver "gestalt of sound."  In fact, I have yet to encounter a description of the SET-sound that captures the experience. 

The combo just feels alive in the way a piano/violin/guitar with gorgeous tone feels alive.  Perhaps the magic of set/single driver is simply the preservation of overtones/harmonic info.     

Anyway, whatever shortcomings SET amps may traditionally have, I have fallen hard.  My particular DARED 2A3 has impressed me massively.  I am guessing the extra watts the engineers milked (8 vice 3.5) give the amp a not-so-SET like ballsiness. 

All this said...I will soon be putting together a Charlize amp for my Klipsch RB 35 speakers.    Cheap and easy...and reported to be good sounding...         

 

« Last Edit: 18 Oct 2006, 06:42 am by jrhanl »

Canyoneagle

Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #37 on: 18 Oct 2006, 04:29 am »
Hi jrhanl:
Great post.
Here's the "unspoken" part of my previous post.....
While the RWA offerings are in the long term plan, I'm actively seeking some used SET gear to relish until I'm off the grid - at least a few more years.........
I'm intrigued with the SET experience and am DEFINITELY going that direction until I can't feasibly do it any more.
You said it so well.  "....I have yet to encounter a description of the SET-sound that captures the experience."
The fact that Vinnie's gear defies the normal limitations of the Solid State "experience" allows me to at least have a portion of the experience that the magical glowing tubes offer. :angel:
As far as the power requirements go, isn't it more about current than wattage anyway?  I remember being blown away by the Naim NAP 120's - they gave some very demanding speakers EVERYTHING they demanded with room to spare, all from a very humble wattage rating.  If memory serves, it was the massive transformer and its ability to crank out the current into low impedence loads during those peaks.

***I'm not talking about dB here (which I lknow is TIED to power output)  - I'm talking about the ability of an amp to provide the full scale of the music within a given dB****

Is it possible that the SETs offer this capability (in addition, of course to the unquantifiable/inexplicable quality they have)?

Am I off here?
Anyway, as jrhanl has already alluded,
"who cares?" :dunno:

HAH - back to the music..........
« Last Edit: 18 Oct 2006, 02:29 pm by Canyoneagle »

Docere

Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #38 on: 19 Oct 2006, 06:45 am »
A few more points WRT SETs, speaker synergy, and dynamics.

I am thinking that the type of musical presentation you get also depends on SET output impedance, speaker Qts, speaker impedance vs freq, cabinet design, and damping requirements vs freq. I am no audio boffin, so I could be well of track...

The 104dB sensitive spk may have had some honking driver with a lot of impedance variation, shoved in a BR, and crossed over using some complex contrivance. Maybe it was being used in a huuuuge room. Maybe it was played at a volume considered for most of us. Maybe it needs that volume / power to sound alive and dynamic just overcome x-over inertia. Maybe the amp power meters were calibrated on the generous side for WOW factor... I don't think conclusions can be drawn from the info provided.

Yep, more power + lower output impedance will help control a driver - which is most relevant for drivers that need a whole lot of controlling - but what are you willing to sacrifice? Sure, all other things being equal, in most systems, more power + lower output impedance are helpful, but all other things are never equal.

Well designed and implemented SETs and single-driver speakers can make a good enough fist of dynamics, whilst doing some other things – often neglected by audiophiles but revered by music lovers – so remarkably well that they will be the holy grail for some. There are variations on the theme which could be the holy grail for many (most?)...

Oh, of course SETs and single-driver spks come in many varieties; just 'cause you have heard one does not mean you have heard them all.

Okay, jumping down from the soapbox... got to make tracks.

Cheers
Raymond

Dmason

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Re: XRS with DARED 2A3 SET initial impressions...blown away
« Reply #39 on: 19 Oct 2006, 12:29 pm »
It also seems that some tubes with higher Mu just have more balls, more grunt. The TV sweep tubes are ideal for music I have found, they were designed at the end of the tube era, fantastically well built, cheap as chalk, and are ruler flat from ~18-80KHz, --linear as hell and they had to be, or you would SEE it... for example, the 13EM7, a small "dissimilar triode" which electrically is a 6SL7 on one side, and identical to a 2A3 on the big side. What is this you ask? It is the tube complement for a well known and very sweet and musical 2A3 amp recipe, but using ONE $4 tube per side, and even with passable output transformers, has BASS. Not to mention the sparkle and swirl, and that  somewhat elusive, ethereal quality that SET tubes add, that "cloud" that surrounds the speakers. These little tubes do SET bass better than ANY of the DHT variants I have played with. I believe they will have their day in the sun.

I have found far more variance in the SET + single driver thang than otherwise.