Omega and first watt

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Canada Rob

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Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #20 on: 14 Dec 2013, 07:11 am »
I think a stock decware may not be as good az the tbi. My set was better but it uses much higher end parts vs the decware... and even then it was uncomfortably close. I also appreciated the extra power the tbi has.
DaveC113,
What version of Decware did you have?  The SE84 has seen two upgrades in the last five years, not to mention they can be upgraded with V-Caps and stepped attenuator.  I have had the SE84C+, SE84CCE Select with V-Caps and stepped att., and currently have the latest Select with V-Caps and stepped att., sans meters.  Each model progressively better than the previous.  Being that sugbob21 already has a CSP3, I think it would be a no brainer to go with the matching Decware amp, and compare it toe to toe with the TBI. 

DaveC113

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Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #21 on: 14 Dec 2013, 05:50 pm »
Rob, I agree that would be very interesting. But if the Decware isn't better than the TBI it might be a financial issue.

I do not have a Decware, but I have an EL34 SET that uses very high end parts. It has Clarity TC caps in the power supply, no coupling cap, James OPTs. The TBI was pretty close in performance when I had it here and since then it has seen upgrades. If the Decware was built with high end parts it could possibly be better than the TBI but I wouldn't count on it. I also really don't think 2 watts is enough for any of the Omega models. My amp starts clipping at near 6 watts and it's really not enough power. The TBI has something like 35 watts and it makes a big difference at higher volumes.

I think it'll probably come down to personal preference rather than one amp being clearly better than the other...

Canada Rob

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Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #22 on: 14 Dec 2013, 08:54 pm »
Dave,
You are absolutely right, it will come down to personal preference - thats what this whole hobby is about, and why there are so many options available.  Also, what volume levels, what music, near, medium, or far field, room acoustics and size, etc., etc.  Personally, I have never heard a better amp on Omega speakers than a flea powered single tube per output SET or SEP tube amp.  I was converted to Omega on a very good solid state amp (Audio Zone Amp STi), but when I switched to the Decware in the same system, I never could wrap my head around solid state after that.  Omega is an incredible speaker in their own right, and so is the Decware SE84 amp, but put the two together and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.  Sadly the the 6N15N-EB tube that Steve ships with his SE84, and the EL84 tube are mostly considered beneath the larger more expensive tubes, which in my opinion is a sad oversight.  When matched with the right speakers (particularly the latest Omegas) those tubes are hard to beat for my ears. 

Concerning the Decware having enough power for the Omegas: Several years ago when I had my SE84C+ with HempCone Super 5XRS, Super 5 Monitors and Super 3i Monitors I felt the amp had barely enough power to run them without a sub (unless on the desktop for the Super 3i), but with a DeepHemp sub it was terrific.  With the new RS5 Super 3XRS my latest Decware Select never goes beyond 12 o'clock, everything is so much more effortless all around with plenty of volume.  I listen in a large room with my ears about 8 feet from the speakers.

sugbob21

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Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #23 on: 14 Dec 2013, 09:05 pm »
thanks for the replies!  Financially right now i could'nt just get a Decware without selling some gear first. i would love to try them up against each other but unless its a major sort of knock your socks off upgrade not sure its worth it . From what you guys are saying it sounds like it won't be . Just a matter of what sound i like better.  Right now i am going to stick with the Decware pre and TBI . i have no major issues with the sound . I am using your interconnects by the way Dave ,,,they sound great.

Louis O

Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #24 on: 15 Dec 2013, 08:17 pm »
Hi audiowhore,

Great topic and really great amps. Pass amps are among the finest out there and Nelson is one of the best out there in Audio.

I while back and before some of his latest First Watt amps he had tried some Omega and came up with the Aleph J as a great combo.

Hi doggie,

Many thanks for your great post and review of your system.
It was a pleasure working with you too and I'm happy we were able to get the drivers sorted out. You sure got the right amp and right now it's on my short list too. I'm very happy to have been a part of getting past the equipment and listening to music. Many thanks for all your kind words.

Thanks again,
Louis

sts9fan

Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #25 on: 15 Dec 2013, 08:54 pm »
If single drivers could get me where I need to be there is no doubt I would have an F1. I have used F1, F3,F4 and F5.

raysracing

Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #26 on: 1 Feb 2014, 12:26 pm »
I am getting an offer to buy this used: http://www.musicalparadise.ca/store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=50

Looks like a solid SET amplifier which should be a good match to my RS5 drivers. Thoughts?

FireGuy

Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #27 on: 1 Feb 2014, 01:14 pm »
I am getting an offer to buy this used: http://www.musicalparadise.ca/store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=50

Looks like a solid SET amplifier which should be a good match to my RS5 drivers. Thoughts?

I have experience with this amp with Axiom M22V3's and Beyer T1 phones.  Excellent build quality and performance.  If you can get for less than $300 I wouldn't hesitate one nano second. 

beowulf

Re: Omega and First Watt
« Reply #28 on: 2 Feb 2014, 02:06 am »

...
Now to the point. A couple of weeks ago I decided to buy a Pass Labs First Watt J2. This is a single ended 25 watt pure class A j-fet amp made by Nelson Pass. I was enamored by the write-ups online, especially on 6Moons so I decided I would buy it and then sell whichever of my amps was the lesser. Sound familiar?

OMG. This is most certainly my dream amp. It seems to combine the best of solid state and tube-like attributes. It has remarkable detail, beautiful tone, and is in no way fatiguing. It seems to mate perfectly with the single driver crossover-less Omegas. The highest compliment that I can make is that I now just want to listen to music rather than fussing over the equipment or planning the next purchase. The Omegas disappear and then you just have music…

I highly recommend the First Watt J2 with the Omegas.

Hi Paul, can you tell me what preamp you're using with the J2?

Thanks!

raysracing

Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #29 on: 2 Feb 2014, 03:59 am »
I have experience with this amp with Axiom M22V3's and Beyer T1 phones.  Excellent build quality and performance.  If you can get for less than $300 I wouldn't hesitate one nano second.

Sadly I was too wishy washy and he decided not to sell it.

doggie

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Re: Omega and First Watt
« Reply #30 on: 2 Feb 2014, 07:38 pm »
Hi Paul, can you tell me what preamp you're using with the J2?

Thanks!

I am using a Wyred for Sound DAC2 DSD SE. This is their Saber based DAC that supports DSD. It has a remote volume control and a fairly high output so works well as a pre. It also makes for a simple setup with a lot of convenience. I wish that it had a tad less gain so that I could keep the volume setting just a bit higher in what others have described as it's sweet spot. Having said this however it sounds great and my wish is just normal audiophiliac obsessiveness...

At some point I would really like to hear a First Watt SIT2 as I am a big fan of SET tube magic...

beowulf

Re: Omega and First Watt
« Reply #31 on: 3 Feb 2014, 05:14 am »
I am using a Wyred for Sound DAC2 DSD SE. This is their Saber based DAC that supports DSD. It has a remote volume control and a fairly high output so works well as a pre. It also makes for a simple setup with a lot of convenience. I wish that it had a tad less gain so that I could keep the volume setting just a bit higher in what others have described as it's sweet spot. Having said this however it sounds great and my wish is just normal audiophiliac obsessiveness...

At some point I would really like to hear a First Watt SIT2 as I am a big fan of SET tube magic...

Thanks, sounds like a great setup!  I've heard their Preamp (STP-SE) is quite special as well.  The SIT amp sound like they're pretty special, I would love to hear one that's for sure!

SONDEKNZ

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OMEGA and FIRST WATT J2
« Reply #32 on: 10 Nov 2016, 01:36 am »
I know this is an old thread but...

Another member was asking about the ideal preamp to mate with the FIRST WATT J2.

I just wanted to say that I jun the FIRST WATT J2 - into a bunch of different speakers and it is simply stunning in all respects.

I use the TRANSCENDENT SOUND GROUNDED GRID (GGP) tubed preamp, with great success.  The introduction of tubes into the chain of events helps the J2 to render a terrifically tangible 3D sense of space in my system.

Also, the combination of the J2 voltage gain of 18dB (RCA) plus the GGP fixed voltage gain of 12dB is absolutely ideal for most real world speakers.  I get to use most of my ALPS Blue Velvet (50K) volume pot from silence to max - with plenty of range in between.

Best of all, the GGP - like the J2 - is virtually flat to 100kHz, so those of us that use super-tweeters (25kHz+) are treated to some of the sweetest, extended and most airy highs in the business.

Very hard to beat!

I would like to try OMEGA speakers in my system and invite other member of AC to make their best recommendations.

My listing priorities are: -
High frequency extension
Coherence
Truth-of-timber
Dynamics - especially at low-level listening
Midrange flesh and blood
Bass to 40Hz-50Hz is more than adequate for me, as long as it is tight and fast, without bloat and overhang.  (I'm no base fiend...)
Able to rock the house on any genre of music

A lot to ask, especially when I need high impedance load and high efficiency.

What does the panel think?  Which OMEGA model will serve me best?

Appreciated.
 :green:


milford3

Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #33 on: 10 Nov 2016, 01:44 am »
Can't go wrong with these:





doggie

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Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #34 on: 10 Nov 2016, 02:21 am »
I can second Milford3's recommendation. I have their big brother the Super Alnico High Output speakers. They are floorstanders. I previously had a pair of Super 6 Alnico floorstanders. Louis's newest iteration surpasses the previous model by offering 99db efficiency with the same excellent clarity of the Alnico drivers. It has a bigger soundstage with excellent localization of instruments.

I have a First Watt SIT2 amp which has 10 watts. That is plenty in my 15 x 20 listening space. My tube preamp is custom made and uses an 80 year old 301A(01A) directly heated triode with transformer output. I really recommend the combination of a good tube preamp with a SS amp.

Flac2Dac

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Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #35 on: 19 Nov 2016, 03:18 am »
Can't go wrong with these:





Yeah; I'm toying with the idea...of getting a pair! And FW would likely be my choice to drive them.

Follow the raves, of the J2; or get power (and save $$$), with an M2??  :?

RDavidson

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Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #36 on: 19 Nov 2016, 06:09 am »
J2 and M2 are very different from each other. Both great amps and highly resolving, but their "flavors" are almost opposites in the Pass house sound. The J2 was designed for single driver speakers, and something to note is that Stereophile found the J2 to be less happy with speakers that are 4 ohm nominal (which the High Output Omegas are). Yes, I've owned both and preferred the J2. I'm still fond of it, though I no longer have it. I'd recommend it to anyone with standard, single driver, Omegas. High Output Omegas or other less efficient speakers would likely be more of a YMMV thing, depending on listening habits, room size, etc etc.

I've owned the Aleph 30, M2, J2, F5, XA30.5, XA30.8, INT-150, and currently the F7. Yes, I'm hooked on Pass amps and Mark at Reno HiFi makes the process of buying /trying/trading very easy and fun. Great guy too!

dburna

Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #37 on: 20 Nov 2016, 03:28 pm »
Wow, RDavidson, that's an amazing set of amplifiers that have passed through your house.  If I may request, would you put together some comments/comparison on this sequence of Pass/First Watt amps?  I imagine it would take a separate thread so as not to hijack this one.  I'm sure there are many on AC that would like to know your thoughts on these amps, pros and cons.  You are in a unique position to have demoed all of these in your home rig, so we would really appreciate your assessment.  In particular, I am curious about your thoughts on the XA30.5 vs. the XA30.8.

Thanks, -dB


J2 and M2 are very different from each other. Both great amps and highly resolving, but their "flavors" are almost opposites in the Pass house sound. The J2 was designed for single driver speakers, and something to note is that Stereophile found the J2 to be less happy with speakers that are 4 ohm nominal (which the High Output Omegas are). Yes, I've owned both and preferred the J2. I'm still fond of it, though I no longer have it. I'd recommend it to anyone with standard, single driver, Omegas. High Output Omegas or other less efficient speakers would likely be more of a YMMV thing, depending on listening habits, room size, etc etc.

I've owned the Aleph 30, M2, J2, F5, XA30.5, XA30.8, INT-150, and currently the F7. Yes, I'm hooked on Pass amps and Mark at Reno HiFi makes the process of buying /trying/trading very easy and fun. Great guy too!

RDavidson

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Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #38 on: 20 Nov 2016, 06:56 pm »
Wow, RDavidson, that's an amazing set of amplifiers that have passed through your house.  If I may request, would you put together some comments/comparison on this sequence of Pass/First Watt amps?  I imagine it would take a separate thread so as not to hijack this one.  I'm sure there are many on AC that would like to know your thoughts on these amps, pros and cons.  You are in a unique position to have demoed all of these in your home rig, so we would really appreciate your assessment.  In particular, I am curious about your thoughts on the XA30.5 vs. the XA30.8.

Thanks, -dB

Yeah. That would take quite a bit of writing...which I have much less time these days to do, unfortunately. I can probably provide comment here and there on an individual basis a little easier.

So to sort of quickly answer your question : I personally find the purity and resolution of the First Watt line to have overall better synergy with Omegas. I think there's MUCH to be said about combining "simple" amplifier circuits with "simple" speakers. Note, I use the word "simple" in the most complimentary way I know of. There's lots of complexity involved in making things simple. I mean, if Omegas or First Watt (or others like Decware Zen, and other SETs) were made much simpler, they wouldn't be very functional. I think it's this simplicity that allows the real magic to happen which big, complex, systems struggle with. It's horses for courses and big, complex, systems have their place too.

So, in general terms, I prefer FW over Pass with Omegas. With that said, the XA30.8 has A LOT of the purity and resolution of the FW line, so I prefer it (to the 30.5). It also has HUGE bass. In fact, the bass and how big the sound was, was the first thing I noticed when going from the 30.5 to the 30.8. The 30.8 really is an engineering masterpiece. It's big, has more circuitry, runs hotter than all Pass/FW amps I've owned and yet retains the "simple," natural, fleshy, resolving, FW sound AND has much more grunt to drive less simple speakers. That's pretty amazing. I can easily see why some feel it is an ideal amp and maybe one of the very best on the planet. The 30.5 is certainly no slouch, but it is maybe just a step removed from the purity and resolution obtained from the FW amps and 30.8. But we're talking about a Ferrari that's like 9 years old vs a Ferrari that is 2-3 years old. They both do the same thing. They both have high performance. They're both fantastic in their own ways. But the newer one is more refined and more powerful and more luxurious.

Now...with the big Pass amps, there's one caveat in my experience (when paired to Omegas). With all that circuitry, I think there's opportunity for more noise. Depending on how close you sit to your system, this may be more or less a problem. I sit pretty nearfield (typically 6-8 ft from my speakers) so I don't have to worry about room reflections quite as much. But, the drawback is that I also hear more noise. I've read others express this problem. In more extreme cases, guys were running giant 101db+ sensitive horns and only found noise to be a minor problem. So.....again YMMV. Noise will always be a problem (to some extent) for fans of single driver and high efficiency speaker systems. I think that's understood and not a knock on Pass amps or high efficiency speakers. However, I have always found FW amps to be quieter than their Pass counterparts ; Just something to consider.
« Last Edit: 21 Nov 2016, 12:35 am by RDavidson »

mrvco

Re: Omega and first watt
« Reply #39 on: 28 Nov 2016, 09:20 pm »
Take this for what it's worth, but Stereophile picked the J2 as their "2016 Amplification Component of the Year".

http://www.stereophile.com/content/stereophiles-products-2016-amplification-component-year