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suntzu

Please recommend some good modern solid state integrated amp pairings with vintage Klipsch Cornwalls?

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Hi fellow Klipsch forumers,

I'm Suntzu hailing from Sunny Singapore. Back in 2000 I was crazy enough to get a pair of Klipsch Cornwalls off Ebay. Shipping them back to Singapore cost me as much as the speakers! But it was worth every cent. I just recently upgraded my crossovers by sticking in some new capacitors. Its a Type A crossover and I cannot believe my ears. It feels like a veil has been lifted and I'm enjoying these speakers like never before. Everything has improved. I think I'll be a Klipsch Cornwall owner for life. Paul Klipsch was a genius - bless his soul.

I've always had the impression that our Klipsch heritage speakers pair best with tube amps due to their high sensitivity. Now, I pair my Cornwalls with a Mcintosh MC275 MKIV tube amp.

Recently however, I came across this series of Youtube video and frankly I'm blown away by how taut the bass is and how fine the microdynamics are when Cornwalls are paired with a good solid state integrated amp (in this case its a Gryphon Diablo Class A/B amp).

http://youtu.be/h2Yt-DUwR6w

I'm also exploring other Class A amps like the Accuphase and the Line Magnetic 219IA. I'm really searching high and low for THE ONE AMP to satisfy my musical needs. I listen to all genres of music.

So could you kind folks please recommend to me some good solid state integrated amps that you've heard pair well with vintage Klipsch Cornwalls? Appreciate all comments.

Edited by suntzu

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You have a fine set of speakers there, but remember if you listen to how your speakers sound with a different amp on "youtube" they will only sound as good as your computer speakers. The Cornwall's IMO sound richer and warmer on tubes - I have a pair of Cornscala's with an H.H. Scott 299C amp and it's nirvana when I turn it on!

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I recommend one with glass tubes sticking out of it

but, seriously if I were going to look into ss and I could buy anything it would be either a first watt or a pass labs amp. I think Nelson Pass knows whats up.

Edited by Lemon string

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I use emotive amps on mine if your thinking SS. Very clean sound and only get the smaller ( mine is the upa500) ones it is all you will ever need. A little power goes a long way :D

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I suspect that your Mcintosh MC275 MKIV is about as good as you can get with Cornwalls. It is one of the great tube amps (or just amps, of any kind), and unlike some audiophile tube amps, it puts out enough power to produce 115 dB from each of your Cornwalls in a 3,000 cu ft room (according to Keele). I'd spend the money on other parts of the system, or on room treatments, or on more recordings to play.

IMO, Youtube is not a good source for critical listening -- too many quirky, imponderable variables.

Edited by Garyrc
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Agree with the others that Youtube is not going to give you anywhere near a realistic view of what a sound system actually sounds like.

I get great, tight bass with my tube amps. If you are stuck on getting solid state, I'm a fan of Classe Audio with Klipsch Heritage, although I like it because it has some tube resemblance.

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Agree with you on Q of YouTube; but, still doesn't keep me from enjoying.

Wonder what happened to all those concerts Telarc had on Laser Disc?

I suspect that your Mcintosh MC275 MKIV is about as good as you can get with Cornwalls. It is one of the great tube amps (or just amps, of any kind), and unlike some audiophile tube amps, it puts out enough power to produce 115 dB from each of your Cornwalls in a 3,000 cu ft room (according to Keele). I'd spend the money on other parts of the system, or on room treatments, or on more recordings to play.

IMO, Youtube is not a good source for critical listening -- too many quirky, imponderable variables.

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http://www.bryston.com/products/power_amps/B60R.html

http://www.bryston.com/products/power_amps/B135.html

http://www.electrocompaniet.com/products/classic/integrated/

http://nadelectronics.com/products/hifi-amplifiers/D-3020-Hybrid-Digital-Amplifier

I don't have the kind of money that I used to have to spend on this stuff, but if I did, these would be the ones I would be trying. The NAD is the most interesting to me because of price, and because the original 3020 was my first real amp, and it does sound insanely good for the money.

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I've had very good results with Marantz and Parasound ss amps on my Cornwalls. Dean's recommendations sound intriguing too but I haven't tried them yet.

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Not really a true integrated, but very hard to beat if your want SS.

Emotiva Stealth DAC (has 1 analog input) So you have coax for CD, USB for PC and RCA for LP :-)

Then the Emotiva XPA-2 300watts per side... super bad *** as SS goes.

All in for 1400... a real giant killer.

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A hybrid.

A funny comment from a review:

"The mentioned oil capacitors is a real SOMETHING. However when we talk about the tubes the case is not that clear...."

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The older Bryston stuff was very nice...The new Bryston equipment has to be amazing...I have tested some different krell models in the past year as well...the most recent a low powered multi channel amp although for 2 channel at the moment I would love to try the new bryston no doubt...

Anything to come close to your 275 is going to be a bit tough in my opinion although very interesting nonetheless...Please update us on your findings. I do know with your cw's you can put near anything on them and they will sing with such ease...Even 30 watt amps will produce fine music art with the cw efficiency..

I am still stuck messing with tube setups one in particular is comparable with your mc275 in power...otherwise solid state using older adcom mono blocks and even pro crown with a bbe882i off of an adcom pre w/klipsch chorus which are comparable to your cornwalls and sound so spiritual...

The best of luck on your choice! Please do update us on your findings/choice, please...cheers to you

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the Bryston mono's were my amp of choice until I started to read a little bit about how clinical they sounded. I would still love to try them, but this "clean/sterile" sound lead me away from them for 2 channel and towards Bel Canto.

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Are you using a "Type A" crossover? I thought that the Cornwall used a Type B (or soemthing like that).

Get the right crossover in there and then try the correct taps on the amp (you may need to try different taps) to see if that makes a difference.

I love SS and suggest Musical Fidelity, but that said, the amp that you have should do a fine job.

What preamp are you using? I assume tubes. Make sure it can drive whatever SS amp you are thunking about.

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A hybrid.

A funny comment from a review:

"The mentioned oil capacitors is a real SOMETHING. However when we talk about the tubes the case is not that clear...."

That is funny :)

By Hybrid I mean the preamplifier section of the 300X is tube and the power section is SS.

A little light reading http://www.highfidelity.pl/!ev/artykuly/09_04_2007/bat.html which could be accompanied with a "Little Light Music" by Ian "Jethro Tull" Anderson ;)

4Hrs left! They are hard to come by even used :(

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Balanced-Audio-Technology-VK-300x-6922-Version-Excellent-Condition-/201089872850?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item2ed1e3f3d2#ht_720wt_1105

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Forgot about Musical Fidelity.

Missed the part about the network. Nice catch.

If you have the Type A in there, it's the wrong network. Free fix, you just have to pay shipping both ways.

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I just noticed you have Mcintosh MC275 MKIV no way would I replace those

Edited by A1UC

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What sounds good to you and what is superior on paper may be two different things. Some of the better built amps today are so clean that they can sound bright, thin and somewhat shrill with horns. Some of the discount amps are marginally built with weak power supplies and the Cap reserve is small when compared to a no "compromise" company, so to speak. To top it off, they finish up things with crosstalk and SNR numbers that are usually not stellar for a separate amp and pre setup. Some may be able to hear this, some may not. A lot of guys here have owned several different amps and are already giving some very good brands and pricey options. IMO, you already own one of the best tube amps available to run your Cornwall set and many here would consider its the very best power option for them. I would look at the crossovers before I shelled out money trying to get a better sound than what you have. But...If I had to buy a SS amp today, it would either be a used Bryston SST series or a new ATI amp, which is probably the best bang out there right now. Both of these amps are way over built and built to last. They also have some of the best bench test numbers out there period. ATI = 10 year warranty and Bryston is 20 years. ATI builds many different Amps for some big names and not just companies they own. I know they built a model or two for the Mark Levinson line in the past. ATI is so thorough they wind and construct their own Toroidal power supplies in house. I heard a two channel ATI amp last summer in Memphis that was about 10 years old I think and it was a 200 watt per channel two channel amp. It was hooked up to cookie cutter Marantz AVR and a set of Belles. I expected a idle hiss and a really sharp compressed output from the high wattage. I couldn't have been more wrong and I actually intended on purchasing one, before I came across a set of K's I had to have.

The big key here is the sound signature you are going after and unless you know where there are an infinite amount of amps you can bring home and demo, there will also be a "what if" in the back of your mind.

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