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Best amplifier for Khorns?


CushXR
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As Mark suggested you going to get lots of recommendations based on what the folks here are using. The reality is that there are many many options. Given that you are not fond of your Yamaha (believe me if you hadn't mentioned that you didn't like it I am sure someone would have posted "the best I have heard is a high end yammie") I would try and listen to something other than solid state.

Josh

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Did I miss where the original poster mentioned the size of his listening room, the type of music he likes to listen to, his other system components and his price point? "klipsch love tubes" is the age-old phrase and I think that is a good playgournd to start in BUT it would helpful to know the aforementioned details before making any specific recommendations. warm regards, Tony

edit: whoops missed mark's post basically asking the same questions, great minds think alike huh mark!?

Edited by sunnysal
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Anybody had good/ bad experiences with amplifiers and Khorns? I'm looking for a good amplifier but really don't know where to start. I have a modern high level Yamaha receiver currently that I'm not too impressed with.

Well, I tried bi amping my KHorns since my rx-a3000 receiver has the capability to support this in a 5.1 system. In this case, the rear surround amplifiers are repurposed to run the mid/tweeter section of the front speakers. The speaker crossover connections are designed to support this too.

I had to obviously make some menu selection setup changes and also re-ran the YPAO room correction software. It immediately decided that one of the bass bins was wired backwards. I reversed the polarity and the error went away. It's odd that the problem was not picked originally but perhaps it's a misbuild inside that bass bin and was covered up by a correctly wired mid/tweeter section. Also, YPAO decided that the fronts were now "small" speakers (laughable). Not surprisingly it didn't sound right, like no bass was being sent to the fronts. Then I manually set the speaker size to large and the sound improved dramatically. Ultimately they sound much warmer now then ever but it's hard to say whether the biamping is really the direct cause for this.

Biamping could allow YPAO to phase correct the bass bins separately from the mid/tweeter section. But again it's unclear whether YPAO is actually taking advantage of that opportunity. It's a peculiar situation to have the tweeter distance be substantially different from the woofer after all. Imaging seems similar in 2 channel stereo vs Pure Direct and so does tone/timber so I guess no real help from YPAO.

Overall though, a clear improvement in tone/timber vs previous setup (for whatever reason) so I think I'll stick with the biamp setup. But with that said, perhaps the biggest improvement I have made recently was by simply canting the speakers out directly towards my seating position. Obviously a no-no for Khorns but I didn't actually noticed a change in bass response. What I did notice was a big improvement in imaging which was my biggest source of dissatisfaction from the beginning with this setup.

Now I have to decide if I should move into pre/pro eqpt with better room/speaker correction capability...

Some think the high end Yamaha's are great and that along with their stats and professional reviews motivated me to buy it. But I have never been satisfied with the sound, whether it's the fault of the receiver I can't know until I replace it.

Hi CushXR,

Before buying a replacement, I would like to suggest that you operate your speakers in NON-bi-wire configuration and with the K-horns tight in the corners. Turn OFF the YPAO room correction circuit and listen for a while. Then recalibrate with YPAO and listen some more. If you are still un-impressed, please specify why, as you might have an equipment problem or maybe a room acoustics situation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks everyone. Some good insights. I think,the room acoustics are decent except for the major weakness of not having good corners. I had always run the speakers tight against the common wall they were on but found the imaging greatly improved by pointing them back out towards my seating position. I didn't notice any timbre change from this but I suppose I should get serious about some false corners. Similarly, bi-amping seemed to sharpen the LF performance to my ear. I had the amp channels to spare so it was a simple matter to try.

I'll try to feedback results from any future work.

Just to add confusion, the speaker polarity thing appears to be a miscalculation by YPAO. One common enough that Yammie counsels users to ignore it after verifying their connections visually. I have to say that I've yet to be impressed by YPAO and typically run pure direct mode unless I feel the need for the subs to be active. And don't get me started on all the peculiar "Hall in Munich", "Cellar Club" and such modes. I struggle to imagine anyone finding value in that functionality.

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Anybody had good/ bad experiences with amplifiers and Khorns? I'm looking for a good amplifier but really don't know where to start. I have a modern high level Yamaha receiver currently that I'm not too impressed with.

If you want a great high end amp for khorns get a McIntosh MC275 tube amp.If you want to go cheaper and still have great sound check out Prima Luna tube amps.

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If you want a great high end amp for khorns get a McIntosh MC275 tube amp.If you want to go cheaper and still have great sound check out Prima Luna tube amps.

.

 

75 watts for KHorns? yawza! Get you ear plugs!

MC30's will do!

Edited by MAZ
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If you want a great high end amp for khorns get a McIntosh MC275 tube amp.If you want to go cheaper and still have great sound check out Prima Luna tube amps.

.

 

75 watts for KHorns? yawza! Get you ear plugs!

MC30's will do!

 

 

Agree. 75 good tube watts will blow khorns out of the water. MC30's should be more than fine

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If you want a great high end amp for khorns get a McIntosh MC275 tube amp.If you want to go cheaper and still have great sound check out Prima Luna tube amps.

.

 

75 watts for KHorns? yawza! Get you ear plugs!

MC30's will do!

 

 

Agree. 75 good tube watts will blow khorns out of the water. MC30's should be more than fine

 

Even a MC225 would be completely adequate.  Some guys drive KHorns with 10-15 tube wpc.  MC275 with KHorns (@ 104db?) would be bonkers! 

If you have the money I guess...  

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A good, more reasonably priced alternative to MC 275 and many tubers is the McIntosh MC 250 SS or a MA 5100 integrated amp or MAC 1700 receiver. All 3 sound great with Klipschorns and the Heritage line. And also make Chorus, Forte, and KG series sing. 

Mc250 and KG's do sound wonderful together.

Edited by MAZ
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If one were looking for a new set of amplifiers, I would point them to the NOSValves VRDs without reservation. A bit of history on these: Time and time again, people were buying vintage tube amplifiers because they possessed all of the desired traits of amplifiers for Heritage - tube rectified, clear, sweet, powerful. There were lots of vintage options that fit the bill, but no doubt there were people who wanted a NEW solution. These amplifiers were designed as a "wish list" in amplifiers for Heritage - if one could draw it up custom in a single pair of full range amps, this is what we would do. Buy 'em and enjoy them for life without need or worry for upgrade, save for a few tubes if desired for finishing flavor preference. They are that good. A 30-50 year life cycle product, like the vintage predecessors, whose life can be extended with new caps for another 30 years.

 

Nothing wrong with McIntosh either, but I prefer the early tube rectified stuff: MC30, MC60. MC225 is a good choice too in SS rectification. See also a Marantz 8B. These usually need rebuild, being as old as they are, and they benefit greatly from doing so with a well chosen parts package. The vintage amps tend to benefit more from top flight vintage tubes, as they aren't as simple as VRD's are - more stages to go through on vintage amps and therefore benefit from the best tubes. An MC30/60 pair well rebuilt with all the best vintage tubes are absolute sonic joys - but get yer wallets out to do it these days. Not as big of fan of the new Macs - all on complex circuit boards and have a tendency to need resistor replacement if power tubes flame out. Sound pretty good, though.

 

There are also those who like the single ended triode approach, but those leave me wanting in the lower registers - bi-amping is necessary IMO. Owning VRDs and MC30 in a couple of different builds I see no reason to go through the process of building a bi-amp setup with triodes - in my view a complex solution to a simpler issue of choosing a very good two channel pair. There's no accounting for taste, however, so I'll never say never to an amp hunter because triodes do have their allure - but they also have limitations that the above listed do not have.

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The best amp for any speaker is what sounds good to you. Having said that, I am not a fan of any low or mid-level receiver for 2 ch systems. The tubes vs. SS debate is also a matter of individual taste. Personally, I like Marantz or Parasound with Heritage speakers, at least for the present. I have Parasound separates in my 2 ch system and am very pleased. I did hear some Prima Lunas recently and was fairly impressed, so I may have some tubes in my future.

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