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mdcrabbe

Ideal Tube Amp for Klipsch Heresy III - What is your setup?

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     I am new to the forum and have very little knowledge of audio equipment but am trying to piece together a quality system that will last a very long time and sound so good I won't want to change it up every year but I know that is very unlikely with this hobby. I have read so many outstanding reviews of the Heresy III that I am having trouble taking my eyes off of them. I know they are expensive and the Is and IIs can be rebuilt for much less but I don't have any experience rebuilding speakers and would rather have something I am confident will last the next 30 years. I would like to pair it with a nice tube amp but the Peachtree Audio Decco65 has caught my attention because of the new features that make streaming quality music to it very easy. I know it has one tube in it but am curious if anyone has run a pair of Heresy IIIs with this amp. It sounds promising but any feedback would be great.

     The Jolida FX10 also sounds like it is a solid bet but it seems they have been discontinued so would have to find a nice used one.

     The vintage amps are what I was originally after but these new tube amps seem to be real competitors in my mind.  Can anyone give me some suggestions on tube amps that you have run with these speakers? This system will go in my office to double as a listening room so it won't be in a large room. 

     Thanks in advance for any advice and suggestions. 

 

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Welcome to the forum! I don't have an answer specific to your question.. I run a low powered tube amp on my Cornwalls for nearfield listening and it's more than sufficient. I have KP-201's (pro version of Heresy II) hooked up to an AVR, but have never run this tube amp with them.. maybe I should try that out?

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Guest thesloth

What are the dimensions of the listening room?

 

What kind of music do you listen too?

 

How loud do you listen to music?

 

What is your budget?

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thesloth asks good questions which will help narrow the field some.

 

I prefer more watts with the Heresy's.

My favorite vintage tube amp with the Heresy III's is the Scott 299b. It is musical and lots of fun (wonderful mids and a little "bloom"!  Also, the Fisher 500c is nice (a little more authority on the lows).  I Loved the stereo VRD (VRD ST-45) with them too but that is getting into more money and you still need either an active or passive pre or perhaps connect directly from your source if it has volume control.  Talk to this guy (Craig - NOS Valves) for a tube amp and pre that will keep you happy for the rest of your life.  If he has the parts to build the stereo version of his VRD that would be my choice for a bedroom/office sized room.  

 

I'm currently running a Yamaha CA-2010 with them but that is overkill for sure!  

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Guest thesloth

I can confirm the Scott 299A is a good match with my Heresy II's.

 

As long as you don't have a very large room 20 watts should be plenty.

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What are the dimensions of the listening room?

 

What kind of music do you listen too?

 

How loud do you listen to music?

 

What is your budget?

In addition, it would be helpful to know how far from your speakers you will be sitting when listening.  That can have a profound effect on the amount of power that you need.  Regarding modern tube amps, many use a single volume control which simultaneously adjusts the level of both channels, and don't have a balance control for changing that.  Depending on the recording, room acoustics, and your own ears, this may result in the soundstage being shifted to one side or the other.  Some listeners area bothered by this, and others not.  Also, Heresys don't provide a prodigious amount of bass.  If that's a concern, the Reference series speakers may be a better (and possibly less costly) alternative.  Even the smaller models offer spectacular performance.  The only limitation is that rear ported speakers need to be pulled into the room somewhat to provide their best results.

Maynard

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Guest thesloth

 

What are the dimensions of the listening room?

 

What kind of music do you listen too?

 

How loud do you listen to music?

 

What is your budget?

 the Reference series speakers may be a better (and possibly less costly) alternative.  Even the smaller models offer spectacular performance.  The only limitation is that rear ported speakers need to be pulled into the room somewhat to provide their best results.

Maynard

 

 

I have a single ended pentode 5 watt amp paired with Klipsch RF-82 II's in a living room and it puts out plenty of sound.

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Thank you for the warm welcomes and quick response. 

 

The dimensions of the room are 14 x 16 ft and will also serve as an office so my listening chair be positioned in front of my desk and will be 6-8 feet away from each speaker positioned in an equilateral triangle. 

 

I listen to a very wide range of music (Classic Rock, Acoustic, Country, R&B, etc)

 

I don't like to listen to my music too loud and am not familiar enough to give you a decibel level but don't ever want to damage my hearing listening to music. I am not trying to blow any windows out, I am looking for a very clean, warm, live sound from this setup. I want to close my eyes and feel like I am listening to a live performance. 

 

I would like to stay under $2,000 but if something came up that was a good deal and paired well with the speakers, I would consider going over it. I am looking for an integrated tube amp in the $600-800 range. I would like to stay away from buying a pre-amp if possible. 

 

I have read the Heresy line of speakers are known for lacking in bass but I am not one who wants so much bass it rattles items in the room. I have a feeling the bass will be sufficient for my taste but I could always add a sub down the road if I'm wrong or my tastes change. 

 

Anyone have any experience with the Peachtree Decco65 or Nova65SE? I don't think this is a full tube amp but do not know enough about tube buffer technology and if these amps would even be called a true tube amp like the other vintage tube amps I've been looking at. 

 

I have found the Scott 299 is a popular choice and have been on the lookout for one. 

 

I also took a look at NOS Valves and it looks like he has sold most of the amps he has in stock. Should I send him a message to get an up to date inventory? 

 

Thanks again for the replies. 

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Guest thesloth

Those peachtree amps are not tube amps. They have a tube in them to add coloration, like an effect. They use class D for the power amp section. I can't comment on sound because I have never heard one.

 

Let me look around and see what I can find for $800 for you.

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also took a look at NOS Valves and it looks like he has sold most of the amps he has in stock. Should I send him a message to get an up to date inventory? 
 

 

Absolutely yes, reach out to Craig for what he may have currently available.

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I have read the Heresy line of speakers are known for lacking in bass but I am not one who wants so much bass it rattles items in the room. I have a feeling the bass will be sufficient for my taste but I could always add a sub down the road if I'm wrong or my tastes change. 

 

Michael,

 

They don't lack bass, just deep bass.  I feel the Heresy I's and Heresy II's are very punchy, fast, and "accurate" in the "lower" frequencies and midbass.  They just don't dig deep.  Same goes for the Heresy III's.

 

Bill

Edited by willland

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Thanks, I have reached out to Craig to see what he has available. 

 

Good choice.

 

Bill 

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 so my listening chair be positioned in front of my desk and will be 6-8 feet away from each speaker positioned in an equilateral triangle. 

 

I don't like to listen to my music too loud and am not familiar enough to give you a decibel level but don't ever want to damage my hearing listening to music. I am not trying to blow any windows out, I am looking for a very clean, warm, live sound from this setup. I want to close my eyes and feel like I am listening to a live performance. 

 

Given your listening position it's unlikely that you will need much power at all to achieve loud levels (should they ever be desired).  Another amp to consider is this Decware model:  http://www.decware.com/newsite/SE34I.htm

 

You can't beat the lifetime warranty and, if policy hasn't changed, it is returnable within 30 days if you don't like it!  By the way, where are you located?

 

Maynard

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Craig doesn't update his web site very often.  The page about his VRD's hasn't changed in at least 5 years or so.  I'd just call him.

 

What are you going to use for your source?

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Guest thesloth

I am going to be the turd in the punch bowl right now but don't really care.

 

Why do people on this forum like Craig from nosvalves so much?

 

I have had to deal with him before and he was a total *******. I mainly do guitar amplifier stuff but I obviously have had my hands in a lot of vintage and modern stereo equipment. A friend of mine was advised by Craig to send his Stereo VRD amplifier out for repair due to noise and thermal runaway in one channel. After a couple of weeks Craig asked the guy to send him the vintage RCA 6550's that were in the amp out to him. My friend had already swapped tubes with before sending it to Craig and knew the problem was the amp and not a tube, he complied anyway. A few more weeks go by Craig calls back claiming there is nothing wrong with the amp and in so many words said my friend was doing something wrong, he was actually quite rude about it. He got billed and the amp was sent back after payment. I just happened to be at my buddies house when the amp arrived, excited we opened it up and hooked her up with a brand new quad of Penta KT-88's, wouldn't ya know after the rectifier tube warmed up you could hear static from the right channel and one of the tubes plate started to redplate, same exact issue as before and was the whole reason it was mailed to Craig. My friend to say the least was furious after shelling out hundreds of dollars for Craig to look at his own amplifier he "designed". He then turned to me and asked if I would take a look at it, I was now going to get involved because this is getting a tad ridiculous. We drive to my shop and as I am removing the bottom panel my buddy whom is stressed at the moment asked if I had any beers in the fridge, I said "of course, go get us a couple". After walking down the stairs and back up I was already done fixing the amplifier. Clearly there was no solder on the grid stop resistor mechanically fixed to an output tube socket (pin 5). I am sure for those of you that know that is the control grid which both brings bias voltage to the tube and the audio signal, this would obviously account for both the noise and bias issue. While I was in there I noticed that there was broken pieces of the octal sockets everywhere! They were breaking apart! My friend does not know the technical side of things and like me thought Craig was a very competent designer/troubleshooter, he asked me to talk to Craig and explain what I found to him. Although he did admit he was embarrased he tried to feed me a line saying that the whole time he had the amp it worked flawlessly and that he didn't see the pin that wasn't soldered. Seriously, in all honesty me and my buddy don't think he even plugged the amp in, let alone open it up and look inside........he couldn't have.........the problem was too easy to reproduce (you just had to wiggle the tube) and through a very brief visual inspection you could clearly see zero solder on pin 5 of a power tube in the right channel. The mechanical connection that lasted years was starting to loosen up from tubes being swapped in and out. Craig got very defensive, when probed about any technical question he diverted and got extremely belligerent. Craig even admitted to knowing about the broken tube sockets and apologized that he didn't know those sockets were of such poor quality when building those stereo units, I think he had other customers with the same issue. Craig would not refund any of the "repair" money and when I told him he should either mail some new better quality sockets or reimburse me for replacing them (my friend will never send the amp back to Craig EVER and only wanted me to do the replacement of the sockets) he flipped out saying we would never get any of his hard earned money or something like that lol. I had also mentioned a few other things that I noticed like no DC reference for the heaters (the center tap was left floating) he couldn't answer me why. I give up trying to talk to Craig.

 

Later after coming to this forum and looking at both Craigs preamp and Marks Blueberry I noticed that they were the same amp packaged differently. I then learned and confirmed what I had already thought which is that Criag had stolen his design from Mark and that he also knows very little about circuits. I think Craig can assemble amps nicely, but I don't think he knows anything about circuit theory hence why he can't design his own circuits or even diagnose them. I am sure his VRD mono's are probably just Dynaco mark III's cloned.

 

Anyway this is my warning to anyone who is considering dealing with Craig. I think I warned people in another thread and they said he doesn't come around here anymore, I won't name anyone but somebody PM'd me and told me of a similar experience they had with Craig.

 

Nobody is perfect and people make mistakes but he was kind of an ******* about it, my buddy to this day thinks he should have been refunded and has since given up on Craig. I have never seen anyone so rude to a customer. My buddy still has the amp and has asked me several times if I know anyone who wants to buy it, I told him I wouldn't peddle that POS to anyone I know. On a side note the amp has been working fine for a year or so since I resoldered that connection.

Edited by thesloth

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I am going to be the turd in the punch bowl right now but don't really care.

 

Why do people on this forum like Craig from nosvalves so much?

Because he has had a great deal to do with my current level of musical enjoyment.  I own and have owned equipment he has built as well as had him rebuild multiple vintage units.  In the end, I am VERY satisfied with Craig, his service and his end product.

Yes, he can be a gruff guy and he will quickly jump on anything he thinks is BS.  

 

I have had to deal with him before and he was a total *******. I mainly do guitar amplifier stuff but I obviously have had my hands in a lot of vintage and modern stereo equipment. A friend of mine was advised by Craig to send his Stereo VRD amplifier out for repair due to noise and thermal runaway in one channel. After a couple of weeks Craig asked the guy to send him the vintage RCA 6550's that were in the amp out to him.  Yuck... I hate putting stuff like that in the mail!  My friend had already swapped tubes with before sending it to Craig and knew the problem was the amp and not a tube, he complied anyway. A few more weeks go by Craig calls back claiming there is nothing wrong with the amp and in so many words said my friend was doing something wrong, he was actually quite rude about it. He got billed and the amp was sent back after payment. I just happened to be at my buddies house when the amp arrived, excited we opened it up and hooked her up with a brand new quad of Penta KT-88's, wouldn't ya know after the rectifier tube warmed up you could hear static from the right channel and one of the tubes plate started to redplate, same exact issue as before and was the whole reason it was mailed to Craig. My friend to say the least was furious after shelling out hundreds of dollars Hundreds of Dollars??! For shipping and a bench test with no problem found?  Are you sure of the amount?  Of course, I don't know what he did (nor does anyone else who wasn't there I suppose)  for Craig to look at his own amplifier he "designed". He then turned to me and asked if I would take a look at it, I was now going to get involved because this is getting a tad ridiculous. We drive to my shop and as I am removing the bottom panel my buddy whom is stressed at the moment asked if I had any beers in the fridge, I said "of course, go get us a couple". After walking down the stairs and back up I was already done fixing the amplifier. Clearly there was no solder on the grid stop resistor mechanically fixed to an output tube socket (pin 5). I am sure for those of you that know that is the control grid which both brings bias voltage to the tube and the audio signal, this would obviously account for both the noise and bias issue. While I was in there I noticed that there was broken pieces of the octal sockets everywhere! They were breaking apart! Premature failure of a part is not usually possible to predict... this happens.  My friend does not know the technical side of things and like me thought Craig was a very competent designer/troubleshooter, he asked me to talk to Craig and explain what I found to him. Although he did admit he was embarrased he tried to feed me a line saying that the whole time he had the amp it worked flawlessly and that he didn't see the pin that wasn't soldered. So you think he was lying?  You should know good and well that issues like this can be intermittent! Seriously, in all honesty me and my buddy don't think he even plugged the amp in, let alone open it up and look inside........he couldn't have.........the problem was too easy to reproduce (you just had to wiggle the tube) and through a very brief visual inspection you could clearly see zero solder on pin 5 of a power tube in the right channel. So you are calling him a liar.  The mechanical connection that lasted years was starting to loosen up from tubes being swapped in and out. So the mechanical connection was obviously done right and he just missed hitting it with solder.  I had the same issue with ALK Cornscala crossovers (built by Al) that after over a year of using them sitting out in the open on top of the speakers I heard a brief drop in signal on one channel.  Through closer inspection I found one of the connections had NO solder... he just missed it and so did I even though I'd been looking at them for a long time!  It is easy to miss and you really wonder how you missed it once you finally see it.   Craig got very defensive, when probed about any technical question he diverted and got extremely belligerent.  You insult his technical ability and wonder why he got belligerent?   Craig even admitted to knowing about the broken tube sockets and apologized that he didn't know those sockets were of such poor quality when building those stereo units, I think he had other customers with the same issue. Craig would not refund any of the "repair" money and when I told him he should either mail some new better quality sockets or reimburse me for replacing them (my friend will never send the amp back to Craig EVER So he already gave up on the repair by Craig. and only wanted me to do the replacement of the sockets) he flipped out saying we would never get any of his hard earned money or something like that lol. Since when is it ever the customers decision how to perform any warranty repair?  The business decides who, how, and where such repairs will take place!  Most would void any warranty as soon as you took the cover off although that doesn't seem to bother Craig with me.    I had also mentioned a few other things that I noticed like no DC reference for the heaters (the center tap was left floating) he couldn't answer me why. I give up trying to talk to Craig.  Sounds like you were impatient and quit before you were done.  Your friend could have sent it back, Craig could have performed the repairs now that they were discovered.  He could have shipped it back no charge since it had already there once.  Should he have found the problem the first time?  Maybe but he didn't... mistakes happen. 

 

Later after coming to this forum and looking at both Craigs preamp and Marks Blueberry I noticed that they were the same amp packaged differently much better by Craig.  I've owned both including the Blueberry Xtreme II and the NBS was quieter.  Mark even built his own RC circuit which impresses me but sucks because when it goes bad there are no replacements.  The point to point construction will be around long after those printed circuit boards are toast.   I then learned and confirmed what I had already thought which is that Criag had stolen his design from Mark and that he also knows very little about circuits. I think Craig can assemble amps nicely, but I don't think he knows anything about circuit theory hence why he can't design his own circuits or even diagnose them. I am sure his VRD mono's are probably just Dynaco mark III's cloned.  How sure?  If you can't say it as fact then it is just slander.  I can verify that they certainly sound very good!  

 

Anyway this is my warning to anyone who is considering dealing with Craig. I think I warned people in another thread and they said he doesn't come around here anymore, I won't name anyone but somebody PM'd me and told me of a similar experience they had with Craig.

 

Nobody is perfect and people make mistakes but he was kind of an ******* about it, my buddy to this day thinks he should have been refunded and has since given up on Craig. I have never seen anyone so rude to a customer. My buddy still has the amp and has asked me several times if I know anyone who wants to buy it, I told him I wouldn't peddle that POS to anyone I know. On a side note the amp has been working fine for a year or so since I resoldered that connection.  POS??!  But it's working fine?  Which is it??!

 

I can speak with authority on the issue of dealing with Craig and problem equipment.  I've gone through the experience of sending equipment back to Craig that had a defective part.  Unfortunately, it was intermittent and he sent it back to me saying he couldn't find anything wrong.  Of course, it still had a problem and it took much time on the phone diagnosing (he didn't quite believe me at first), patience waiting on shipping, patience waiting on the failing part to finally reveal itself to Craig, and patience waiting on a replacement part.  Not to mention that this cost us BOTH more money because of the shipping back and forth.  This took MONTHS in the end and cost him a lot more than me!  Craig thanked me for my patience and recognized that many people would have given up.  The thing is this... he stuck with it, solved the problem, and I'm happy!  I trusted him and he proved to be worthy of my trust.  I actually wound up with improved equipment at no extra expense to me except for the one shipping charge.  I've never even met him in person but in addition to any tube equipment I'd trust him with the keys to my house or to take care of my dog.  I'm sure there are other good techs out there but I'll still be going back to Craig as long as he is working.

 

I'd say the OP might consider buying your friends "POS" for cheap and send it to Craig to be checked out.  Craig might not be willing since someone else has worked on it... the buyer would have to check that out with him.  

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