Amps for HT3

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floresjc

Amps for HT3
« on: 27 Mar 2009, 11:05 pm »
Had a good conversation with Jim this afternoon about his product line. Most informative 30 minutes of my upgrade-itis adventure, a real pleasure to talk to. In particular, he was very high on his HT2 line, and how easy they were to drive and place in a room. So as far as driving those, I won't have much problem picking something out if I go that route.

I'm curious as to what HT3 owners:

1. Consider "enough" power for their HT3's (whether 200w or 500w+)
2. Use as an amp to achieve such power.
3. Do you bi-wire, and if so, how is this set up in your system?

I'd probly like to stick with SS for my application over tubes, but if you have tube systems that are reasonably priced and think I should give thought to as I consider my new system, please comment. I'm aware of the fact that HT3's have a lower requirement for tubes rather than SS, and although I don't understand why, its still with me so I'm not out there looking for a 500W tube system.

zybar

Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #1 on: 27 Mar 2009, 11:12 pm »
What's your budget?

Lots of great amps out there that will sound great with the HT3's.

George

floresjc

Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #2 on: 27 Mar 2009, 11:53 pm »
At this point I don't really have one. I buy at the point where I can do the needed job well, without going overboard. So if it costs $500 to power a pair of HT3's, then I either pony it up, or move down. If it costs $2k, I make the same decision. There's an Emotiva 5 channel amp that will throw 200W into 8ohms all day long for like 700 bucks. If that would work, that's probly my "bang for the buck" option, as its a fairly quality piece at a fair price. If I can spend 1k or 1500 and get something even better, I'd consider that too. I guess it just depends on the views presented and the reasons behind them, of what tier I'll be shopping in. I'd like to spend no more than 1500 bucks if at all possible, but if there's a "can't miss" setup out there at 2K then I'll consider it.

bahorn1

Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #3 on: 28 Mar 2009, 12:04 am »
I have a McCormack DNA 225 (225 wpc into 8 ohms).  Would that be sufficient to drive HT3's?

Sorry floresjc.  Didn't mean to hijack your thread but I had the same question as you.

Big Red Machine

Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #4 on: 28 Mar 2009, 12:13 am »
At this point I don't really have one. I buy at the point where I can do the needed job well, without going overboard. So if it costs $500 to power a pair of HT3's, then I either pony it up, or move down. If it costs $2k, I make the same decision. There's an Emotiva 5 channel amp that will throw 200W into 8ohms all day long for like 700 bucks. If that would work, that's probly my "bang for the buck" option, as its a fairly quality piece at a fair price. If I can spend 1k or 1500 and get something even better, I'd consider that too. I guess it just depends on the views presented and the reasons behind them, of what tier I'll be shopping in. I'd like to spend no more than 1500 bucks if at all possible, but if there's a "can't miss" setup out there at 2K then I'll consider it.

Walk on by the Emotiva.  It will dissapoint you in sound and probably clip when driving the beasts.  I tried about 10 amps with these from PS Audio, Sunfire, Rowland, Moscode, Belles, Pass Labs, Dared, Van Alstine, Monarchy, and Wyred.  Most could do the job and I ended up liking the Wyreds best of all.  Go at least 250 watts each and monos when you can for the ultimate channel separation.

Nuance

Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #5 on: 28 Mar 2009, 12:16 am »
McCormack makes awesome amps IMO.  I think they would drive the HT3's well, bahorn.  

floresjc,

Big Red Machine uses 1000 watt monoblocks from Wyred4Sound to power his HT3's.  That might be a little "extreme," but the price is very reasonable and he was very happy with how they performed.

I'd recommend Audio Research, Parasound Halo, Musical Fidelity, Ayre, Van Alstine (never heard it, but his gear is well loved), Plinus, Classe, Bryston, etc.  Personally, I'd try out the wyreds, though, as the price is just unbeatable for the performance.  My buddy warpdrv has a wyred amp and loves it, and I agree that it sounds spectacular.  

Edit: I see BRM beat me to the punch.  Haha.

zybar

Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #6 on: 28 Mar 2009, 12:20 am »
Well, in my experience, the best amp with the HT3's was the BAT VK600SE.  It is darn pricey, but nothing touched it on my HT3's.




Some other good choices at more moderate prices are:

-  McCormack DNA-500
-  CI Audio D-200's
-  Moscode 401HR

George

floresjc

Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #7 on: 28 Mar 2009, 12:53 am »
Thanks for the input. I'd love to use a guy like Frank Van Alstine, but as far as SS, i don't think he has all that high of power output available relative to the numbers I'm hearing for HT3. For example, I've been looking at the Insight 440H, rated at 220W. The captions says "gobs of power, high current, drive anything in the room". Now I believe its probably more than capable, but according to pure numbers, 220W doesn't seem much above the minimum that Jim and others are recommending. So are people buying two of these to bi-wire? Or does it offer "quality" power, in that it will be fine? This is where it gets confusing to me. I'll be sending an email to him for sure to discuss what he may recommend for the HT3's, but I'm glad to hear other options being presented here.

oneinthepipe

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Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #8 on: 28 Mar 2009, 01:04 am »
If you like AVA gear and want "gobs" of power, ask Frank about the Ultra Double 550.  Here is a link to a thread on the AVA thread about the Ultra Double 550. http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=63500.0  martyo has several posts in that thread about his experience with the Ultra Double 550 and the Insight 440H with his HT3.  BTW, there a couple of AVA amps on a'gon that could easily be upgraded to the Ultra or Ultra Double series for substantially less money than a brand new amp but with an AVA warranty.

DMurphy

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Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #9 on: 28 Mar 2009, 01:12 am »
We may be getting a little carried away in the horsepower department.  Bear in mind that Frank's amps have been used for at least 3 years to power the HT3 at the Denver Audiofest.  I sure didn't notice any clipping--just lots of clean sound. And I'm sure there are many other amps in the 200-watt range that will do very nicely.  You just have to make sure they have the current capacity to handle 4 ohm loads.  Also--I've gradually modified the HT3 crossover to be more  amp-friendly.  The current model has a minimum impedance about 1.5 ohms higher than past HT3's. 

martyo

Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #10 on: 28 Mar 2009, 01:46 am »
I'm very happy with the AVA Ultra Double 550  aa




Quote
I've gradually modified the HT3 crossover to be more  amp-friendly.  The current model has a minimum impedance about 1.5 ohms higher than past HT3's

Hey Dennis, 1.5 ohms higher than what value? Thanks  8)

BikeWNC

Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #11 on: 28 Mar 2009, 01:54 am »
Yes Dennis, and I know I asked this before but when did you make the change to the crossover?

The HT3s are a blessing and a curse.  LOL.  They just pass along whatever is upstream and I'm always impressed how I can hear every little change in gear.  Right now I've borrowed a Bel Canto Evo4 mkII amp from a friend that sounds very fine.  But I'm not sure I would like it without my tube pre and tubed disc player.  It might be a bit dry without the tube front end.  As it is now it is very nice.

cdorval1

Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #12 on: 28 Mar 2009, 02:13 am »
floresjc,

On your budget of $1.5 to #2K, I'd suggest getting something substantial but bridgeable, like the Ultra or Insight amps are.  That way you can listen for a while and see how you like the sound.  If you like the amp and then want to go for more headroom, when your budget allows it you could pick up an identical unit and bridge the two together for a doubling or tripling of power.  It gives you another option in addition to simply trading in.

Most important, have fun!

Craig

Philistine

Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #13 on: 28 Mar 2009, 02:45 am »
I believe the HT3's excel with quality watts.

I'm currently using a Musical Fidelity with 500 watts/channel, this controls the HT3's very well.

While this was off line I used a Butler hybrid (3150) with 150 watts, and it did a great job but just needed a little more HP.  On this basis I would throw the 250 watt Butler in the mix also, and see Butler has a deal going on, $2800, at the moment for the 2250 :

http://www.butleraudio.com/

I've heard the Van Alstine at Jim's and thought it synthesized very well also (not sure which model it was).



Kokishin

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Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #14 on: 28 Mar 2009, 02:53 am »
Had a good conversation with Jim this afternoon about his product line. Most informative 30 minutes of my upgrade-itis adventure, a real pleasure to talk to. In particular, he was very high on his HT2 line, and how easy they were to drive and place in a room. So as far as driving those, I won't have much problem picking something out if I go that route.

I'm curious as to what HT3 owners:

1. Consider "enough" power for their HT3's (whether 200w or 500w+)
2. Use as an amp to achieve such power.
3. Do you bi-wire, and if so, how is this set up in your system?

I'd probly like to stick with SS for my application over tubes, but if you have tube systems that are reasonably priced and think I should give thought to as I consider my new system, please comment. I'm aware of the fact that HT3's have a lower requirement for tubes rather than SS, and although I don't understand why, its still with me so I'm not out there looking for a 500W tube system.

Check with AC member Bill@lakegeorge.  He drives HT-3s with D-Sonic amps.  See http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=58717.msg521115#msg521115

Bill@LakeGeorge

Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #15 on: 28 Mar 2009, 12:51 pm »
Correct I use the D-Sonic MAGNUM 2000-5 with 525 X 3 for the front end and 250 X 2 for the rear.  It is a great amp.

dmatt

Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #16 on: 28 Mar 2009, 01:19 pm »
Floresjc,

I started out using three Channel Island D200s to power my two HT3s and HTC.  Since then I have replaced the L and R D200s with a McCormack DNA-500 and couldn't be happier (that is, until I hear a BAT VK600SE, or the new ModWright KWA150  :duh:). 

FYI, A DNA-500 was just posted on Agon for $3250, which is a pretty good price.

And I don't biwire.  I just use Reality cables and a jumper to the midrange and tweeter posts.

David

DMurphy

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Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #17 on: 28 Mar 2009, 02:54 pm »
Yes Dennis, and I know I asked this before but when did you make the change to the crossover?

The HT3s are a blessing and a curse.  LOL.  They just pass along whatever is upstream and I'm always impressed how I can hear every little change in gear.  Right now I've borrowed a Bel Canto Evo4 mkII amp from a friend that sounds very fine.  But I'm not sure I would like it without my tube pre and tubed disc player.  It might be a bit dry without the tube front end.  As it is now it is very nice.


I revisited the crossover when Jim had to switch to a new source for the woofers.  So it was when Funkmonkey got his.  January? 

texas steve

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Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #18 on: 28 Mar 2009, 04:52 pm »
Yep I have the BAT as well, its a BEAST (heavy and big) but is sounds great with the HT3s (I have the 5 channel as it powers Salk HTC/HT3 and Salk Surrounds as well.

Well, in my experience, the best amp with the HT3's was the BAT VK600SE.  It is darn pricey, but nothing touched it on my HT3's.




Some other good choices at more moderate prices are:

-  McCormack DNA-500
-  CI Audio D-200's
-  Moscode 401HR

George

rahimlee54

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Re: Amps for HT3
« Reply #19 on: 31 Mar 2009, 01:44 am »
Quick question regarding amping, sorry for the hijack, I will be getting my HT2 TLs soon and I really want to get them a nice amp but the funding isnt aviable currently.  Should I buy something like a couple of outlaw monoblocks or emotiva or just save up and around a year from now buy something that I can stick it out long term with?  Current AVR is Pioneer Elite 92txh.  2 CH and HT.

Thanks
Jared