Power amp suggestions for 36.5?

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jwes

Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« on: 15 Aug 2008, 03:54 pm »
Hello,

I'd love to hear if there are any thoughts on a power amp for my planned purchase of a two box 36.5.  I am hoping that the amp could be appropriate first for my Dali Euphonia MS4's (4 ohm, 88db, but seemingly easier to drive than those specs would indicate).  The source is the ModWright Transporter.  Later I hope to switch to a higher efficiency speaker like the Zu's or maybe Emerald Physics.

I am not looking for a tube power amp, and candidates for now are the Red Wine 70.2 mono's (seem to deliver more power than rated due to the design); Ampzilla, which I think is off the list due to size, aesthetics, and power appetite; and Wyred 4 Sound 1000 monos.  Those are admittedly three very good implementations of different kinds of design.  Red wine is most intriguing due to countless characterizations of it's sound and plenty of time to trial at home.

I also know Dan has an amp coming but don't know what/when that is.  If anyone has seen information on this please point me there!   :drool:

Thanks very much in advance for any suggestions, and also I want to thank the "tube rolling" guys who short circuited my quest for great tubes for the Transporter.  I was able to use their experience and go right for a great combination!!

highland_dave

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Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #1 on: 16 Aug 2008, 01:11 am »
Hi, FWIW I use the 36.5 with a Music Reference rm-200 (KT88 output tubes) to drive a pair of 4 ohm nominal , 88db Sonus Faber Auditors.  Sounds wonderful in every way that people say a tube amp should sound, plus the bass is solid, well-defined, and musical.  What can I say, midrange magic and then some!

You may want to read the Stereophile review of the rm-200.  It is affordable, easy to re-tube and bias, and certainly an amp to consider as it matches up extremely well with the 36.5 preamp.

Dave W

rpf

Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #2 on: 16 Aug 2008, 01:21 am »
Dan's amp will be an approximately 150 wpc SS piece. I think it's coming out soon, so drop him an email if he doesn't see your post. He is in Asia at the moment though, so don't expect an immediate response. Also, Dan has a pair of the Emerald Physics.

Jerrym303

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Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #3 on: 16 Aug 2008, 01:49 am »
jwes,

I would decide on the speakers first.  The Zu's versus the CS-2's would require dramatically different amplification.

Having said that, a Red Wine 30.2 would drive the Zu's or would be very nice on the CS2 high frequencies.  The Wyred 1000's would be nice on the CS2 mid/low end.  I wonder how necessary monos are as the one-chassis model has separate power supplies for each channel anyway.  If you want your low-end amps close to the speakers, that might argue for monos.

Jerry

rydenfan

Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #4 on: 16 Aug 2008, 01:56 am »
jwes, considering I have owned Dali Helicons and the 36.5 I may be able to help you. I have owned many different very nice amps and my recommendation to you would be the Spectron Musician III SE Mk.2. If this is beyond your budget then I would contact Ted_b and buy his McCormack DNA-500. Both of these are excellent choices and will just come down to preference and price.

Big Red Machine

Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #5 on: 16 Aug 2008, 11:34 am »
I have a 36.5 for sale if you haven't purchased one yet.

jwes

Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #6 on: 16 Aug 2008, 02:32 pm »
David,

That Spectron looks interesting!  The web site is a little confusing  -  does the Mk II include all of the upgrades, or do you still have to buy additional upgrades to get to their highest level?  Also, since you have had both this and the McCormack, does the Spectron being class D seem to suck less juice?  I like the concept of my AC regenerator keeping its fan off  :).

Would be quite interested in the sonic benefits you've experience with this vs. the DNA 500!  Thanks again (as always)!

Big Red Machine,

Thanks for letting me know of your 36.5.

Dave W, rpf, Jerry,

Thanks for the other suggestions - I'm off to check them out! Also I understand the amp needs and how different they are relative to the Zu and Emerald Physics, but as you rightly point out, a good amp for the Zu could always drive the top of the Emerald Physics later...  Don't know if I could get away with a 30.2 on my current speakers, so that's why I'm thinking the 70.2 mono's make sense there - a bit more than double the power/current.

Big Red Machine

Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #7 on: 16 Aug 2008, 10:17 pm »
I'll have my Wyreds on Monday.

Bostonbean

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Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #8 on: 16 Aug 2008, 10:31 pm »
Yes, the Spectron web site is messed up.  You do have to pay for the V-Cap and Bybee upgrades.  I believe the Bybee is inserted in the power supply route which may make an AC regenerator not necessary.  You would have to ask Spectron. 

I just received my Spectron with both upgrades a week ago.  The sound is spectacular! :D

When I get a new pre-amp in the next couple of months the 36.5 will definitely be at the top of my last.  Supposedly a great match.

jwes

Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #9 on: 22 Aug 2008, 02:27 pm »
Bostonbean,

Did you first have the Spectron without the Bybee and VCap upgrades?  Curious what you think the differences might be after those upgrades.  Of course if you bought it with both, we can't compare... :icon_lol:

ricmon

Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #10 on: 22 Aug 2008, 04:19 pm »
I'm using 2 Son's Of Ampzilla's and can honestly say that they are the best amp I've had the pleasure of owning.  Right now I'm still in the stage were every day I put in about 3-4 hours listening.  Below is the endorsement I got on these amps from Brian.  BTW the SOA are rated at 100 wpc but they are doing thing that my previous amp that's was rated at over 200 wpc can't due in term of power reserve,control and dynamic reach and also they are the quietest amp I have never heard.

Ric

I've had three of them since they first appeared in 2003 and have not found better.  There is a Dick Olsher review just out (he feels the same way). Enjoy!

http://www.ampzilla2000.com/Cordesman.pdf

B Cheney
Pres VMPS Ribbon

Bostonbean

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Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #11 on: 22 Aug 2008, 04:50 pm »
jwes,  I have both upgrades, V-cap and Bybee.  I have just had the amp for a couple of weeks so still breaking-in.  I can tell you the new amp has a clarity of sound that is quite remarkable which I believe can be attributed to the Bybee upgrade.  Nothing has come up that I can attribute to the V-cap right now.  Not sure what the reason is for that, maybe not enough break-in time, don't know.  I'll patiently wait and see if anything identifiable comes up.  I do only have 300 hours on the amp.

How does the V-Cap/Bybee amp compare to the "stock" amp? Couldn't tell you since I have no way of comparing the two.  Whether or not you or anyone goes with the upgrades will have to be based on personal research and preferences.  Unless, of course, you can do a side by side test and make a decision that way.

Am I glad I got the upgrades?  You bet.  I can easily identify what the Bybee does and I like it very much.  The sound very much sounds like it is right there in your listening area or that you are in the recording studio itself.  Pretty neat. 

By the way, Spectron fixed their site.

jwes

Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #12 on: 22 Aug 2008, 05:50 pm »
jwes,  I have both upgrades, V-cap and Bybee.  I have just had the amp for a couple of weeks so still breaking-in.  I can tell you the new amp has a clarity of sound that is quite remarkable which I believe can be attributed to the Bybee upgrade.  Nothing has come up that I can attribute to the V-cap right now.  Not sure what the reason is for that, maybe not enough break-in time, don't know.  I'll patiently wait and see if anything identifiable comes up.  I do only have 300 hours on the amp.

How does the V-Cap/Bybee amp compare to the "stock" amp? Couldn't tell you since I have no way of comparing the two.  Whether or not you or anyone goes with the upgrades will have to be based on personal research and preferences.  Unless, of course, you can do a side by side test and make a decision that way.

Am I glad I got the upgrades?  You bet.  I can easily identify what the Bybee does and I like it very much.  The sound very much sounds like it is right there in your listening area or that you are in the recording studio itself.  Pretty neat. 

By the way, Spectron fixed their site.


Pulling my hair out there's so many good choices!  Want to get this right.  I don't think I can audition a Spectron, but I can others.  Then Dan's got his own amp coming out pretty soon.  With the LS/PS or maybe just LS 36.5, the Spectron seems an awesome match.  But you have to figure Dan's own amp will be voiced right there and will have enough power.  The other modder/designer extraordinaire in this mix is Vinnie at RedWine, and his whole set up, while less power, eliminates power supplies, power cords, and throws current way beyond their Wattage ratings (70W into my 4 ohm speakers).  All good things...

But back to Spectron - for my wife's sake, one design consideration is smooth, relaxing, no grit or grain - her nerves are sensitive to this.  Do you think the VCaps or ByBee might have more to do with this "smoothness" performance apsect?  No problem if that's impossible to answer  - I think you might not be able to isolate this.  I have a feeling the VCaps might contribute to smoothness, while ByBee might add 'dimensionality' as a way to paraphrase what you've said.

Thanks very much for your thoughts so far! 

rydenfan

Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #13 on: 22 Aug 2008, 05:57 pm »
My recommendation would be the newest available version which is the Musician III SE Mk.2 without the Bybee and V-cap upgrades. For the price of those two upgrades you could almost add a second Spectron and run them in the monoblock configuration. Trust me, you wife will have no issues with the sound quality.

Jon L

Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #14 on: 22 Aug 2008, 06:29 pm »
new amp has a clarity of sound that is quite remarkable which I believe can be attributed to the Bybee upgrade.  Nothing has come up that I can attribute to the V-cap right now. 

I have no idea what makes you so sure the "clarity" isn't due to vCaps instead unless each upgrade was done one at a time and evaluation done after each separate upgrade.

Bostonbean

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Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #15 on: 22 Aug 2008, 06:41 pm »
Yes, there are many choices out there but I believe that Spectron is the top of the line for at least Class D amps and will be for a while to come, imho.  Don't know what Modwright is coming out with, and I do have a great respect for the man and company...I may get the 36.5 myself, but to come out right out of the gate with a top of the line amp that can compete with the best of them would be quite a feat.


Regarding what the upgrades do you about have it right.  Like Simon told me, the stock Spectron is a Porsche, the upgraded version is a Turbocharged Porsche.  You, and your wife, would love the stock Porsche.  Some people though have to have the turbocharger!  Like I said, it's a personal decision.

Without the the upgrades you would definitely save enough to get the LS/PS 36.5 if that is what it comes down to.

Bostonbean

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Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #16 on: 22 Aug 2008, 06:45 pm »
new amp has a clarity of sound that is quite remarkable which I believe can be attributed to the Bybee upgrade.  Nothing has come up that I can attribute to the V-cap right now. 

I have no idea what makes you so sure the "clarity" isn't due to vCaps instead unless each upgrade was done one at a time and evaluation done after each separate upgrade.

The word I used is "believe" and I am only making my assumptions based on what has been posted on the Spectron web site and my own research on what V-caps and Bybees do.  That's all.  Yes, I could be wrong.

jwes

Re: Power amp suggestions for 36.5?
« Reply #17 on: 22 Aug 2008, 07:28 pm »
Thanks BostonBean,

Again, I appreciate your thoughts, and David also.  As for the Jon L's challenge to Boston on what to attribute various performance elements to, I agree with Boston.  We're all just trying here and doing our best to help each other.  It's astounding how quickly some well meaning efforts can be turned into an argument on audio boards  :roll: