...guess what I decided to try today....
...by that, I mean...
This is a mirror off a post of mine from head-fi.org ... The Little Dot III+ is a pre-amp, headphone amp, and power amp.
A wider view.
I disconnected the Klipsch's from the Butler 5-ch amp and decided to see what the Little Dot III+ had in it. I used a iPod G5 to drive it instead of my DVD (dunno why ; it was easier? ; more easily varied music selection I guess) 3.5W in Pentode mode; 2.7W in Triode mode. I spent about 1 minute in Pentode mode. :o ...I sooooo like Triode mode. And this uses a direct heated triode power tube ... talk about a throwback to days gone by! But that played a big role in why I chose Little Tube, and I was right in choosing it. Sweet doesn't come close to describing DHT sound.
So back to my experiment. It was ......... well ......... errr, ummmm, interesting? Ok, Ok, I thought "WOW" at first. What an interesting sound. Most notably "phase coherent" (sic) I'd say -- smooth, and you actually -felt- the pressure of the music change as phase would change in the music. That hadn't ever happened before. So smooth. Soundstage was huge. (I gotta replace my HT preamp ;) )
That soon became a "this isn't for me" after a while though, when I wanted 'more'. Got ok loud, in an indoor voice; probably 100db? Distortion was high and bass rolled off a lot though. That obviously is attributable to the OTL design using a coupling cap made for impedance of phones, which isn't nearly big enough for an 8 ohm load. I knew I wasn't playing the right kind of music (too much energy; too much bass). But then I realized a series of things.
1) "Lets try this with Classic Rock". Beatles '67 - '70. ....nnnnnice!
2) "Hey I got two M&K Subs" ... Disconnect them from the HT preamp and plug it into the LD III+; check. (that's the wire you see going across the bottom of the screen) Set the subs to variable volume & set to 0db; check. Turn on 24db roll-off @ 80hz ; check. Turn on iPod EQ to "bass rolloff"; check. ....ahh... THAT's what I needed
Now w/o much bass signal going to the LD III+ I was able to put it on max volume and not get noticable distortion or much (there is some) compression on transients; there's massive compression driving a full bass signal loud. With that now and all that bass of the M&Ks, Dang, that was frigg'n pretty loud. Sound wasn't perfect, but it was engaging and pleasurable. It's a successful experiment I'd say. One I plan on revisiting many more times, not just this once. :D