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Manley Euro Stereo 100 purchase and first impressions.


bracurrie
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I took the plunge and bought the Manley Euro Stereo 100 from Manley Labs. After philipbarrett pointed out that David Manley had passed away I took the time to look closely at the company. Its web site was entertaining and after exchanging emails with Eve Anna, the matriarch of the company, I decided the gear was worth a try. The pricing for their new stuff is a little out of my budget for audio equipment but the used Euro Stereo 100 they had listed on Epray intrigued me because of its unusual output tubes, the fact it probably was designed by David (need to confirm this) and its the amp of choice for Eve Anna.

But for whatever reason I decided to not put this decision to the esteemed crowd on the Klipsch forum. I am quite comfortable making my own mistakes. [:$] But now that I am committed and I might add happy with it, does anyone have any experience with Manley Labs gear or this amp's unusual output tubes the GY50 output tubes.

From the listing information: "These GY50 output tubes use a 12V heater supply and, as legend has it, these tubes were originally used in Soviet tanks. This could explain why they are super-rugged tubes and also could be why they have a whole cage structure that holds them sturdily in their ceramic sockets."

The rest of the tube compliment: "Input tubes are NOS GE 12AT7 and the drivers are NOS 6414 dual-triode tubes. "

I have included a picture for interest sake but here is a link to the web site with more information: http://manley.com/mds.php Its in the first section of the mausoleum. What a crackup.[8-|]

I have it driving my Forte IIs and initial impressions are favorable. Much better than my cheap China tube amp. I can't wait to hook it up to my Faitail HF200/Eliptrac 400 horns with my Jubilee clone cabs.

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Its web site was entertaining and after exchanging emails with Eve Anna, the matriarch of the company, I decided the gear was worth a try.

She used to drive a classic Lancia Fulvia with the Rome plates still attached. Gave the CHiPs a heart attack every time they saw it!

If you enjoyed the HiFi section, mosey on over to the Pro pages and check out their scam stories. They'll crack you up. They have an ebay account called "Fake Manley Do Not Bid" which they use to bid on all the scammer's ads out there.

In all seriousness, there's plenty of suckers in the hifi world ready to shell out big $ for dubious equipment but the people who do this day in, day out for a living aren't as easily convinced. The pretenders might shell out a grand or so for some crap they think is cool but if you can stay in business selling $6,000+ eq units you're obviously doing a lot of stuff right. That market doesn't part with it's cash lightly.

Congrats on the purchase, you have a serious piece of kit which will outlive all of us. I'm seriously considering dropping some money into Eve's g-string myself but just hanging on to see what Bruce Rozenblit is going to do with his 300B OTL before deciding.

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Are those wild looking tubes even available? I did a search and can not find anything other then related to this manley amp. Seems like they would be available some where. If they are that hard to find I'd be stocking up!

ML has a lot of them in stock but I bought four more with the amp. Eve Anna has used her for almost ten years and the output tubes are still fine.

BTW what would be the life expectancy for the other four tubes in the amp?

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Well I brought the Audio Research SP6 back in and reconnected the miniDSP using the Manley as the amp for the tweeter horns and driving the bass cabs with my Van Alstine Synergy 240 SS amp. I was hoping for a lower SNR than my China tube amp. Well to no avail. The Manley sounds really rich and lively but when the music gets really low the noise asserts itself. It makes subtle jazz and classical hard to enjoy. In an earlier thread I posted my noise problem and several of you gave me great suggestions on what could be causing the noise externally. I eliminated those and even hooked the tweeter drivers to a SS amp that had L pads with those turned way back and things were pretty quiet.

Needless to say I am disappointed, but now that I have had audible noise from seven different amps hooked to my tweeter horns (Faital HF200 16 ohm Eliptrac 400) I am wondering if there is a way to make the tweeter horns less efficient so the noise can be suppressed. If the drivers were 8 or 4 ohm would that make a difference? Can you do that without affecting the sound?

When the music is anything but soft the upper end sounds really nice. Smooth, great detail with great imaging is how I would describe it. The Forte IIs sounded great with many of the same characteristics except there was some harshness in the midrange that I have always observed. Reconnecting the Jub clone bass bin and the horns the subtle mid to high textures are not harsh. But the darn noise[:(].

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I was hoping for a lower SNR than my China tube amp. Well to no avail. The Manley sounds really rich and lively but when the music gets really low the noise asserts itself. It makes subtle jazz and classical hard to enjoy. In an earlier thread I posted my noise problem and several of you gave me great suggestions on what could be causing the noise externally. I eliminated those and even hooked the tweeter drivers to a SS amp that had L pads with those turned way back and things were pretty quiet.

That's too bad. What is the sensitivity of the Manley, i.e., how many volts input for full output, and how many watts?

I have always tried to choose low-gain amps for my K-horns to minimize noise, which of course is from the preamp. usually the circuitry following the volume control. Joule Electra was able to accommodate my request to reduce my monoblocs' sensitivity to around 2.5 volts in for 100 watts out. 104 db can require some care in amp choices.

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Are those wild looking tubes even available? I did a search and can not find anything other then related to this manley amp. Seems like they would be available some where. If they are that hard to find I'd be stocking up!

these guys show them on their site....not sure if any are in stock...25 bucks each

http://www.tubesrule.com/category_s/22.htm?searching=Y&sort=2&cat=22&show=20&page=2

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Are those wild looking tubes even available? I did a search and can not find anything other then related to this manley amp. Seems like they would be available some where. If they are that hard to find I'd be stocking up!

these guys show them on their site....not sure if any are in stock...25 bucks each
http://www.tubesrule.com/category_s/22.htm?searching=Y&sort=2&cat=22&show=20&page=2
I bought 4 extra when I bought the amp. They said they had close to a thousand on hand.
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Well I brought the Audio Research SP6 .... But the darn noiseSad.

OK, one more time. The hiss you are hearing is a gain mismatch. Both my Audio Research pre-amps display this trait. The fix is to corrrect the mismatch by knocking down the gain with an in-line attenuator. Here's a better explaination: http://www.upscaleaudio.com/a-discussion-about-idle-hiss/

Your system will be dead quiet with the right attenuation. And on another note, Evanna and Kevin Deal (Upscale Audio) are good freinds, so between the two of them, you'll always be able to find tubes for your amp, I'm sure. Kevin and Evanna can often be found searching for new tube supplies in Europe. Good luck.

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Great essay, especially the gain part.

A certain manufacturer in the pro sphere makes all kinds of claims about the low noise of their mixers. The reason they're low noise is because they have no gain and to properly drive a system you need to add gain to their outputs thereby increasing the noise! As I once remarked, I have coat hangers in my closet with a low noise floor I can sell you.

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Great essay, especially the gain part.

A certain manufacturer in the pro sphere makes all kinds of claims about the low noise of their mixers. The reason they're low noise is because they have no gain and to properly drive a system you need to add gain to their outputs thereby increasing the noise! As I once remarked, I have coat hangers in my closet with a low noise floor I can sell you.

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Well I brought the Audio Research SP6 .... But the darn noiseSad.

OK, one more time. The hiss you are hearing is a gain mismatch. Both my Audio Research pre-amps display this trait. The fix is to corrrect the mismatch by knocking down the gain with an in-line attenuator. Here's a better explaination: http://www.upscaleaudio.com/a-discussion-about-idle-hiss/

Your system will be dead quiet with the right attenuation. And on another note, Evanna and Kevin Deal (Upscale Audio) are good freinds, so between the two of them, you'll always be able to find tubes for your amp, I'm sure. Kevin and Evanna can often be found searching for new tube supplies in Europe. Good luck.

Thanks again for the suggestion. I am going to look at the article and then study specs to see if there is a gain mismatch.

However, the noise exists even when no inputs are connected to the amp. I spoke with Manley Labs today. They suggested that since I don't need near the gain that is available in the amp that we increase negative feedback by changing out a resistor and change to a 12AU7 input tube. Also I am going to have L pads built to knock down the sensitivity of the Faital drivers.

I will report the results when implamented.

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...and I just noticed a B-77 in the background. How cool is that?

I am going to sell it however. No time for it. Sad
I rarely use my A-77, but would never part with it, it is so superior. Of course, I have a lot of RTR tapes I never listen to, so at least the supply =s the demand in my case.
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However, the noise exists even when no inputs are connected to the amp. I spoke with Manley Labs today. They suggested that since I don't need near the gain that is available in the amp that we increase negative feedback by changing out a resistor and change to a 12AU7 input tube. Also I am going to have L pads built to knock down the sensitivity of the Faital drivers.

My experience has been that very few amplifier manufactures take into acount 105db and above efficiency loudspeakers and the result is often what you are experiencing here. Manley Lab's suggestion is worth trying in your situation.

miketn

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Thanks again for the suggestion. I am going to look at the article and then study specs to see if there is a gain mismatch.

However, the noise exists even when no inputs are connected to the amp. I spoke with Manley Labs today. They suggested that since I don't need near the gain that is available in the amp that we increase negative feedback by changing out a resistor and change to a 12AU7 input tube. Also I am going to have L pads built to knock down the sensitivity of the Faital drivers.

I will report the results when implamented.

When testing a power amplifier for noise you never do it with the RCA's open if the amplifier does not have an input level controls to turn down to zero. With the RCA jacks open it acts like an antenna picking up all stray electical noise floating around in the air and then does its job amplifying it. Power amps are never quiet this way. You need to make shorting RCA jacks for testing the amplifier for noise I bet with them in place its pretty darn quiet. But regradless you will have to do something about the gain mismatch between the preamp and amplifier. I know a preamp that would have done that for you [;)]

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