Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o

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Zero

Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« on: 23 Nov 2007, 10:13 pm »
An upcoming issue of Affordable Audio will feature an amp comparison between two high power transistor amplifiers; the H2O Signature 100 stereo amp and the Monarchy hybrid SE-250 mono blocks. Other than high current capacity, the topology on these amplifiers are completely opposite of one another. If you’ve been looking to get into some powerhouse amps – this articles for you!

The H2O is a $2000, 50lb ICE powered amp that takes the topology as far as it can go. She is a beast, boasting 100w per side with 1kw of power on tap – topped off with 400,000uf of capacitance, there’s virtually nothing on the planet that it can’t handle (within its power rating).

The Monarchy SE-250 mono blocks rack up a MSRP of $5000. Although this seems completely unfair, there is a reason why this comparison is just – something that I will reveal in the review itself. Moving on; The SE-250 is a hybrid amp, using a single tube at the input stage and Mosfet transistors on the output stage. Each mono supplies a whopping 250w per side – the first 50 running in class A. The SE-250 is also a zero feedback design.

Since most reviews end with a thumbs up recommendation (not to exclude many of my own), I felt it would be refreshing for people to read a comparison between two well engineered high current amplifiers that happen to use a vastly different approach in topologies. This is NOT going to be a contest (shootout) to decide a personal favorite. Instead, this article is meant to shed light into two very good products while using a solid reference point. I’ll tell you this much; both amps are exceptional – for very different reasons.

Meanwhile; a cruddy picture of the line-up (note that the H2O Signature 100 is in a used/beat up chassis);
« Last Edit: 23 Nov 2007, 10:32 pm by Zero »

Zero

Re: Upcoming (high current) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #1 on: 23 Nov 2007, 10:14 pm »
El foto


muralman1

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #2 on: 23 Nov 2007, 11:40 pm »
Hi Zero, can you tell us what preamp, cables, yada yada you are using? Thanks!

Bemopti123

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #3 on: 24 Nov 2007, 12:57 am »
When you say that the H2o has 100 watts at 8 ohm and then, it has 1KW on tap, does it mean that it doubles it output as it goes down to 1 ohm?  I remember reading according to H2o specs that most, if not all his amps are stable up to 2 ohms and not below that.  Can you explain this? 

If it technically holds water, than at $ 2K, it is an outrageous bargain. 

Zero

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #4 on: 24 Nov 2007, 01:25 am »
I knew I forgot to post some info Murlman - thanks for the reminder ..   :lol:

The rest of the electronics will be;

Source:   Arcam Diva62  (not a bad budget player, gives me a linear enough sound to get the job done)
Pre Amplifier:    H2O FIRE pre-amplifier (single ended class A circuit).  I also briefly used an Ayre K-5Xe - but the Fire made quick work of it on both amps.
Speakers:    Totem Acoustic FOREST  and the Totem Acoustic STTAF
Wire:          Totem Acoustic Sinew interconnects /  Totem Acoustic TRES speaker wire

I decided to use only Zu Cable "birth" power cords on the amps.. nothing extreme.


Bemopti123,

To give you a bona fide answer, I'll have to consult Henry Ho as to the units power output into a 1 ohm load. The 2ohm rating is a 'safe zone', although it bears mentioning that he ran the Signature 100 on the vaunted Apogee Scintilla - which can dip down to four tenths of an ohm. I've heard the amp do it myself - it never broke a sweat (although Henry feels its best to run the Signature 100 en' mono form if you want the best performance on this particular speaker).

Bemopti123

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #5 on: 24 Nov 2007, 01:53 am »
Zero, I am asking this question because I have read about Muralman's system and his syncillas and he being able to push them to produce enough current.  I have a pair of Infinity Kappa 9s, which can make standard amps beg for mercy, they drop below 1 ohm in certain frequencies, therefore of my search for an amp or amps capable of controlling these beasts.  The last that were for a reasonable price are no longer made, Aragon Palladium monos, and others that are able to do them justice, are rather expensive and extremely heavy (big bear McIntoshes.)

Anyway, find out what is up with these amps.   :thumb:

muralman1

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #6 on: 24 Nov 2007, 06:11 am »
Thank you Zero, All seems well. I was quite surprised you have the Fire. If you know my writings, I am very against any kind of dielectric insulation on speaker cables. They produce a hissing sound. If you can put your ear to the speaker and not find any extraneous hiss, that is a good sign Totem is doing a good job.   

Bob Wilcox

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #7 on: 24 Nov 2007, 02:55 pm »
Dielectric characteristics are but one element of cable design. I am hearing no hiss in my system and I know my speaker cables (AQ Sterling and TG Audio) have a lot more dialelectric than the Anti-Cables. I also have a pair of Magnan Signature balanced interconnects with substantial Teflon content that sound much better than most cables I have heard including another cable I own with minimal (mostly air) dielectric.

Zero

I have auditioned both the Fire and the Signature 100 and look forward to your review. Henry Ho is a talented designer. I will try to offer any comments in a non-dogmatic way. There are just too many variables in system, environment and personal tastes for there to be only one over-simplified way to excellent sound.

Bob


Zero

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #8 on: 24 Nov 2007, 03:21 pm »
Bemopti - Will do..   :thumb:   I confess, I've had the Sig 100 in the digs for quite awhile. Lets just say - this could be exactly what you're looking for.

Muralman - The Sinew interconnects are first rate, a hidden treasure as far as I'm concerned. The verdict is still out on the TRES speaker wire, although I like it.

Bob - Agreed with the variables thang. There are many, many roads that lead to good sound. I look forward to your feedback once the review is published.

Sorry I've got to make this so short gents - I've got to get out the door!

muralman1

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #9 on: 24 Nov 2007, 04:13 pm »
Zero - I made my own speaker leads. They cost me about $12 each. I love the hell out of them. They are so superior to Anti-Cables in this application it isn't funny. I am using Henry's monos so I keep them very short. Simply said they are very thin ribbons lightly insulated with baggy plastic.

Bob, thanks for your testimony. It has me scratching my head. The Anti-Cables made such an impression on me, I stuck to their minimal dielectric philosophy.

My experience with expensive cables is limited. On trial, the ones I did try, followed Spelt's rule, and were more fuzzy with more insulation. Price didn't help.

 :D

mr_bill

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #10 on: 24 Nov 2007, 04:25 pm »
Zero - I made my own speaker leads. They cost me about $12 each. I love the hell out of them. They are so superior to Anti-Cables in this application it isn't funny. I am using Henry's monos so I keep them very short. Simply said they are
Bob, thanks for your testimony. It has me scratching my head. The Anti-Cables made such an impression on me, I stuck to their minimal dielectric philosophy.

My experience with expensive cables is limited. On trial, the ones I did try, followed Spelt's rule, and were more fuzzy with more insulation. Price didn't help.

 :D

very thin ribbons lightly insulated with baggy plastic      ..............Doesn't Mapleshade or someone else make cables just like that whcih are very successful?!
Sounds like you have a good formula!
Bill

muralman1

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #11 on: 24 Nov 2007, 06:19 pm »
Thanks Bill, for the kudos. Yes, as others have pointed out to me, Mapleshade makes an IC that looks just like it. I had never seen them. It was convergent evolution. They don't make SCs that way though. Wonder why? Probably because they are fragile.

I ended them in spades, because the H2O has to be protected from shorts. I got the spades from Home Grown. They are great bargains. I bridged the Saran Wrap with plastic tape, to make the seal, and ensure no naked conductor contact.

muralman1

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #12 on: 24 Nov 2007, 09:51 pm »
 :violin: Hey all H2O owners, PLEASE solder .1µ Sonicap Platinum bypass caps to all your ELCOS. Do NOT use V-Caps. Enjoy a new spectra of highs.

Bill Baker

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Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #13 on: 24 Nov 2007, 09:57 pm »
I have heard the H20 mono blocs and thought they were exceptional amplifiers just as I did the Monarchy 70 stereo amp (both stock and modified) and also thought it to be a very nice unit.
 It will be interesting to see how the two units you mention will compare. I am sure it will be a fun time and not sure they will be one 'winner'.
 Have fun :thumb:

Bob Wilcox

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #14 on: 24 Nov 2007, 10:20 pm »
The Anti-Cables made such an impression on me, I stuck to their minimal dielectric philosophy.

My experience with expensive cables is limited. On trial, the ones I did try, followed Spelt's rule, and were more fuzzy with more insulation. Price didn't help.


These cables have a similar description to yours - perhaps thinner and less fragile.

http://www.magnan.com/pages/products/signaturespeaker.html

Bob


Zero

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #15 on: 25 Nov 2007, 01:47 am »
Bill,

Once upon a time, I owned the Monarchy SM-70 Pro.  Talk about a great budget sand amp. As you would expect, the SE-250's expand on that general sound and take it to far greater heights.

Now, I hope I don't get burned at the stake for saying this; but I've heard the H2O Mono's before... and honestly, this Signature 100 just sounds better to these ears, and by no small margin. It's that A250 module luv'. I say this if course, not having heard a set of tricked out H2O Sig 250 mono's.

Agreed  - there will be no 'winner'. But, I can say that the results may surprise some people.
« Last Edit: 25 Nov 2007, 02:01 am by Zero »

muralman1

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #16 on: 25 Nov 2007, 03:10 am »
"These cables have a similar description to yours - perhaps thinner and less fragile.

http://www.magnan.com/pages/products/signaturespeaker.html

Bob"


They are much the same. I wonder how much they are charging?

Bob Wilcox

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #17 on: 25 Nov 2007, 08:39 pm »
:violin: Hey all H2O owners, PLEASE solder .1µ Sonicap Platinum bypass caps to all your ELCOS. Do NOT use V-Caps. Enjoy a new spectra of highs.

Vince

Good to see the Sonicap Platimums are less expensive than V-Caps. You posted quite effusively about the V-Caps just a few months back. http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?htech&1186491666&openusid&zzMuralman1&4&5#Muralman1

To revoice my H20, I used a combination of teflon and oil V-Caps and  TRT Dynamicap bypasses on the cans. In addition, replacing the nickel plated binding posts helped me to better hear the characteristics of each cap. I may try the Platinums at some point.

Those Magnan speaker cables run about a grand for an 8 foot pair.

Bob

muralman1

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #18 on: 25 Nov 2007, 10:52 pm »
 :duh:

You are right, Bob. At first I thought V-caps were the ticket. Then, when I noticed I was getting less detail than with Thetas, I decided to try the Sonicaps.

How do you like the caps you chose?

Bob Wilcox

Re: Upcoming (H2O and Monarchy) amplifier compar-o
« Reply #19 on: 25 Nov 2007, 11:53 pm »
I like the combination. Any of these are better than the stock Daytons in my stereo signature. The V-Caps improve the midrange and smaller value TRTs improve the highs. You are not limited to exact value replacements for bypasses and you can increase values for the can bypasses within reason. I have done a lot of soldering during my testing but its been months since I opened it up.
« Last Edit: 26 Nov 2007, 12:54 am by Bob Wilcox »