Another amp suggestion thread

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edmondwolfman

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Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #40 on: 30 Jan 2011, 05:58 pm »
My question I believe is close enough to ask here and not start a new thread.

I want to have a 2 channel "music" system and I want to try the "tube sound". What would be my best bet, to get a tube preamp and run through my solid state amp or would I get more of a "tube sound" by using my solid state preamp and getting a tube amp, something like the Van Alstine Ultravalve?

TJHUB

Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #41 on: 30 Jan 2011, 06:09 pm »
I have songtowers(love them!!) and soon will order the matching center. My question is what everyone thinks of emotiva amps and equipment? I currently have the onkyo 606 receiver but would like to upgrade my souce. I am exploring the emotiva xpa-5  @200 watts x 5 channels and the new preamp xsp. The xsp will be replacing the umc preamp in March. What do you think? Thanks. Scott

I used to have Emo gear and it was ok at best.  Probably a decent value for the money and the build quality is good.  I didn't find anything special about the sound and moved on.  I wouldn't buy their processors if my life depended on it.  I had their MMC-1 and it had serious bass management issues that Lonnie refused to understand even though there were 10 of us complaining about it.  Their track record with processors is just terrible.  They are so late to market and problematic, I would never consider them no matter how cheap they are.

While the new XSP-1 preamp should prove interesting, it is not a replacement for the UMC-1 which is a processor.  The up coming (if ever...) processor is the XMC-1.  The XSP-1 and XMC-1 are higher end products and not meant to replace the USP-1 and UMC-1.

I'm not telling you not to buy the stuff, just know what you're getting before you do.  It's your choice.

fsimms

Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #42 on: 31 Jan 2011, 04:46 am »
Quote
I want to have a 2 channel "music" system and I want to try the "tube sound". What would be my best bet, to get a tube preamp and run through my solid state amp or would I get more of a "tube sound" by using my solid state preamp and getting a tube amp, something like the Van Alstine Ultravalve?

I am in the same boat.  I want the tube sound too.  I have a tube phono preamp since I mostly listen to LP's.  I want to have the tube 3D effect sound to my CD's too so I am looking for a tube preamp.   I have all but given up on a tube amp as I have medium/low efficency speakers and most of the good high power tube amps are very expensive. 

Bob

Nuance

Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #43 on: 31 Jan 2011, 06:19 pm »
Just as an update, I've got a pair of Red Dragon Mono's I'm auditioning:

http://www.reddragonaudio.com/products/m-500-monoblocks/

So far, not too bad.  I've never been a big believer that an amp needs to 'break-in', but these amps definitely sound different each day I use them.  They do have lots of bass, but also a lot of treble emphasis, at times almost harsh, depending on the quality of the recording.  I figured my BAT pre would tame that a bit more, but we'll see how they settle in.   

My advice is NOT to keep a flawed piece of gear in hopes that a current piece of gear will "tame" it's flaws.  YMMV, of course, but if you don't think it's really amazing, don't keep it.  It's all about synergy, and if it's not there...

I am in the same boat.  I want the tube sound too.  I have a tube phono preamp since I mostly listen to LP's.  I want to have the tube 3D effect sound to my CD's too so I am looking for a tube preamp.   I have all but given up on a tube amp as I have medium/low efficency speakers and most of the good high power tube amps are very expensive. 

Bob

In my opinion you're on the right track.  I am just one man, but my experience has helped me learn that I prefer my tubes in the preamp than anywhere else.  YMMV.

mchuckp

Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #44 on: 31 Jan 2011, 08:36 pm »
Anyone in here tried an AVA preamp with a W4S amp?  Good synergy or bad match?

Currently using an AVA T8 (tube) preamp and debating selling my Cary Rocket 88R tube amp and going back to a tube pre/ss amp set up.  Debating between trying a W4S or going back to AVA.

PJam1995

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Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #45 on: 31 Jan 2011, 10:23 pm »
Any one here have the new Marantz av7005 or know anything about it? I'm thinking of that with the Emotiva xpa-5 with Salk songtowers and soon to be Salk center.I wanted the Emotiva umc but seems to have a few too many setbacks. Thanks. Scott

jd3

Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #46 on: 1 Feb 2011, 11:05 am »
My advice is NOT to keep a flawed piece of gear in hopes that a current piece of gear will "tame" it's flaws.  YMMV, of course, but if you don't think it's really amazing, don't keep it.  It's all about synergy, and if it's not there..

Perhaps my use of the word 'tame' is not appropriate.  All of my well recorded cd's sound great.  The poorly recorded ones have an edge to them.  I think the amps may be revealing more of what the recording offers vs. my last amp, a Forte Model 5.  I'm not unhappy with them, but the sound is certainly different than the previous amp.  I agree with the synergy part, and it's been great on well recorded music so far. 

ccotenj

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Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #47 on: 1 Feb 2011, 07:36 pm »
Any one here have the new Marantz av7005 or know anything about it? I'm thinking of that with the Emotiva xpa-5 with Salk songtowers and soon to be Salk center.I wanted the Emotiva umc but seems to have a few too many setbacks. Thanks. Scott

i have one...  i like it a great deal, it's bug and quirk free....  anything specific you want to know on it, we have a very active thread for it on avs forum...  :)

OzarkTom

Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #48 on: 1 Feb 2011, 08:47 pm »
I live in a small town in Missouri and have had a long time struggle (30 years) with amps that does not sound harsh, SS or tubes. I guess the power lines is a mess. I finally found one that totally sounds good everytime I turn it on. It is the Virtue Audio 451 with Dodd tube buffer. Make sure you add the Dodd battery supply, less than $1500. It is very smooth, detailed, and musical. You will re-listen to your entire CD collection again just to hear what you have been missing.

fsimms

Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #49 on: 11 Feb 2011, 01:23 pm »
Quote
Quote
I am in the same boat.  I want the tube sound too.  I have a tube phono preamp since I mostly listen to LP's.  I want to have the tube 3D effect sound to my CD's too so I am looking for a tube preamp.   I have all but given up on a tube amp as I have medium/low efficency speakers and most of the good high power tube amps are very expensive. 

Bob

In my opinion you're on the right track.  I am just one man, but my experience has helped me learn that I prefer my tubes in the preamp than anywhere else.  YMMV.


Nuance, my mileage didn’t vary.  I pulled the trigger on a Aesthetix Calypso preamp on Audiogon this week with NOS Mullard  and Amperex Orange tubes.  First impression is that it makes an incredible improvement on 3D reality and tone.  I am in shock at how much a difference it makes!  It seems to be not quite as clean and clear but I can hear much more image information which seems like a contradiction to "not as clean and clear"?!  It is so real and lifelike!

Bob

Vulcan00

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Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #50 on: 11 Feb 2011, 04:22 pm »
Fsimms:
Congratulations on the Calypso, I came very close few months back to trying one of those. I talked to Aesthetix, they were very helpful. Please let me know your further listening evaluations. Good luck with that excellent Pre-amp

Harrison

Nuance

Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #51 on: 11 Feb 2011, 06:07 pm »
Nuance, my mileage didn’t vary.  I pulled the trigger on a Aesthetix Calypso preamp on Audiogon this week with NOS Mullard  and Amperex Orange tubes.  First impression is that it makes an incredible improvement on 3D reality and tone.  I am in shock at how much a difference it makes!  It seems to be not quite as clean and clear but I can hear much more image information which seems like a contradiction to "not as clean and clear"?!  It is so real and lifelike!

Bob


That's great news!  Tubes are really something else, but if you don't have the time or money to put into finding the exact flavor you're looking for they can be a headache.  It sounds like you picked a winner right off the bat, though.  Congrats - I am happy for you!

jd3

Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #52 on: 26 Mar 2011, 10:49 am »
Thought I'd update the thread I started.  Thanks again for all your suggestions/comments.  My wife and I ended up auditioning a Luxman 505u (Class A/B, 100 wpc) and 550A (Class A 20 wpc) for about a week.  Both amps provide the remote control we were looking for, as well as more power than I would ever need.  I was concerned about the 550 not being powerful enough, but 20 wpc in class A was amazing with the HT1's.  In fact, both amps provide way more output to levels I really don't care to listen at.   Everything I've read says Luxman underrates the power ratings for their amps, and I believe it.  After going back and forth for a week, we finally chose the 505u.  It just provided the system synergy I was looking for.  My wife commented that it was more engaging than the 550, and I'd have to agree with that.  I'd have music playing and be working in my office and have to get up and go in the other room and sit down and listen. It has a wide, deep soundstage, great detail, and almost effortless power that just kept drawing me into the music.  The 550 also had all the power I'd need, but felt just a little restrained, and its soundstage was more confined than the 505's.  Detail and imaging were excellent though, but with a more 'rounded' sound.  It just didn't 'engage' us like the 505 did.  Both are unbelievable amps, and it was a very difficult choice, but I think we made the right choice.  Oh, and I love the power meters too!

Kinger

Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #53 on: 26 Mar 2011, 11:42 am »
Congrats on the purchase JD3!

Big Red Machine

Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #54 on: 26 Mar 2011, 12:24 pm »
And that's why we listen before we buy!  Well, you guys do.  I just turn and burn. :P

catastrofe

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Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #55 on: 26 Mar 2011, 12:48 pm »
I'm demoing a Sanders Magtech on my SoundScapes right now.  So far, I'm really liking it.

Big Red Machine

Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #56 on: 26 Mar 2011, 01:09 pm »
I'm demoing a Sanders Magtech on my SoundScapes right now.  So far, I'm really liking it.

How are the woofers being handled?  That is my biggest concern is manhandling the low end so it stays tight.

My amps are a few weeks out now.

jd3

Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #57 on: 26 Mar 2011, 11:24 pm »
Congrats on the purchase JD3!

Thanks Kinger!  As I mentioned to you before, I was figuring on just getting a new pre, but my friend who's into integrateds suggested the 505, my dealer also offered the 550 to try at the same time, and an integrated really turned out to be just what I was looking for.  My friend bought the 550 after hearing it in my system!


fsimms

Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #58 on: 27 Mar 2011, 05:06 am »
Quote
I'm demoing a Sanders Magtech on my SoundScapes right now.  So far, I'm really liking it.

Interesting!  I imagine you are still using your tube preamp.

Could you give us a couple of sentences on the difference you hear from your tube Nat Generators and the Magtech?  I’m not looking for anything comprehensive or definitive.  Just a couple of first impressions would be illuminating.

Bob

catastrofe

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Re: Another amp suggestion thread
« Reply #59 on: 27 Mar 2011, 12:27 pm »
Interesting!  I imagine you are still using your tube preamp.

Could you give us a couple of sentences on the difference you hear from your tube Nat Generators and the Magtech?  I’m not looking for anything comprehensive or definitive.  Just a couple of first impressions would be illuminating.

Bob

Bob, this amp is a keeper.  The primary reason I wanted to try it was the low sensitivity of the SS10s...I couldn't help but feel that the Generators might be running out of steam.

The Magtech is dead silent....the Generators are very quiet, but the Magtech is non-existent.  Fantastic bass control and the ability to play as loud as I want.  It also has finesse in the mid and upper ranges...I can hear deeper into the music.

I initially ran my PWD direct into the amp with excellent results, but adding a tube pre to the mix takes the performance to a completely different level.

Now the decision is which version of the Magtech to purchase....stereo or mono-blocks!!

Oh, and Roger is a great guy.  I called him on Wednesday, and he shipped the amp via 2nd day air at his expense so I could have it for the weekend.