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Bella

Advise: New amp for my Klipshcorns

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I'm considering purchasing a new amp for my Klipschorns. My method for selections takes considerable amounts of time. I'm fairly methodical and slow to choose and I'm happy with my processes. I'm not interested in changing it.

But it occurs to me that it might be enlightening to hear what others find complimentary to the Klipschorns, and why. I'm currently thinking about trying out the Mark Levinson, McIntosh, and Emotiva brands and would like to see how you feel about them.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions for other brands that they feel go well with the speakers I would be interested in hearing your recommendations.

I do not like tubes.

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I'd recommend First Watt FET amplifiers (i.e., Reno HiFi)...either used or you can DIY from the diyAudio forum.  I believe that these amps will appreciate vs. time.  These amplifiers use almost no, or no feedback at all, and the fewest number of gain stages possible, so you're avoiding the higher order harmonics of the feedback SS amplifiers and the other distortion associated with multiple gain stages.  I use an F3 and I'm a very happy camper - it has essentially one gain stage, i.e., a Darlington pair per channel. 

 

All McIntosh amplifiers use output transformers (SS and tubed) so their sound will be "darker"...whatever that means to you.

 

If you like old Mark Levinson amps, then you might also like an older M1.5t (restored/refurbished) Carver amp, since it was designed to match the transfer function of the old ML-2 amplifier. 

 

Chris

Edited by Chris A
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+1 on the First Watt/Pass labs offerings as well as Reno hifi.  I am currently using the F5 with one of my Klipschorn systems and I have yet to hear anything more satisfying.  

  I've used a number of Bryston , Threshold, and Classe amplifiers in my Khorn systems with great success.   You may want to consider adding them to your list of potential prospects.

Edited by Zim.
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I'm considering purchasing a new amp for my Klipschorns. My method for selections takes considerable amounts of time. I'm fairly methodical and slow to choose and I'm happy with my processes. I'm not interested in changing it.

But it occurs to me that it might be enlightening to hear what others find complimentary to the Klipschorns, and why. I'm currently thinking about trying out the Mark Levinson, McIntosh, and Emotiva brands and would like to see how you feel about them.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions for other brands that they feel go well with the speakers I would be interested in hearing your recommendations.

I do not like tubes.

 

Each to his on but Klipschorns/La Scalas/Cornwalls/Belles without tubes is like a day without sunshine.

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Note the that First Watt SIT amplifiers usually have higher levels of low-order harmonics and higher output impedance than the other amplifier models using VFETs, etc.- thus the SIT amplifiers are simulating SET-type amplifiers to a greater degree.

 

Personally, I don't like the room reverb effect: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/283371-amplifier-output-characteristics-vs-acoustic-feedback-horn-loaded-cone-drivers.html

 

Chris

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I’m not certain of the size room you are trying to energize with music; however, I realize that room and listening styles all can impact an amplifier selection.

 

With components that are comprised of quality engineering, I have found that amplifiers with quality engineering tend to have more similarities than differences.

 

Based on your current considerations of Mark Levinson and McIntosh (I have zero experience with Emotiva), I would recommend the Pass Labs XA-30.8 class-A stereo power amplifier.  I personally have the Pass Labs XA-30.5 class-A stereo power amplifier in my amp collection and I’m very pleased when I need that extra current.  

 

Depending upon the listening experience I’m trying to achieve, I also have the First Watt F3 for which I can attest to ChrisA statements regarding the quality of that amplifier.

 

If the Pass Labs XA-30.8 seems to be too much of an amplifier for your listening goals, the First Watt F-6 may be an alternative to consider.  I have a First Watt F-6, but due to current circumstances where my Klipschorns will be in storage for the next six months, I do not have direct experience with the amplifier on those speakers.

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I do not like tubes.

For my enlightenment, what is it about the tubes/K-horn combination which you found unsatisfactory?  I ask because my experiences through the years have been the opposite.  Do you recall what kind of tube circuit (such as single ended triode, push-pull pentodes, etc.) was used in the amps you listened to?

 

Maynard

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I'm considering purchasing a new amp for my Klipschorns. My method for selections takes considerable amounts of time. I'm fairly methodical and slow to choose and I'm happy with my processes. I'm not interested in changing it.

But it occurs to me that it might be enlightening to hear what others find complimentary to the Klipschorns, and why. I'm currently thinking about trying out the Mark Levinson, McIntosh, and Emotiva brands and would like to see how you feel about them.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions for other brands that they feel go well with the speakers I would be interested in hearing your recommendations.

I do not like tubes.

 

Each to his on but Klipschorns/La Scalas/Cornwalls/Belles without tubes is like a day without sunshine.

I do not like tubes.

For my enlightenment, what is it about the tubes/K-horn combination which you found unsatisfactory? I ask because my experiences through the years have been the opposite. Do you recall what kind of tube circuit (such as single ended triode, push-pull pentodes, etc.) was used in the amps you listened to?

Maynard

I'm a very simple woman. All I want out of my equipment is excellent sound and reliability. I don't want to hear anything but the music (not even hiss if at all possible). And in the specific case of tubes, I don't want to worry about heat or replacement. I want to turn it on and have it do what I want it to do for years and years and years.

Edited by Bella
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I have been very happy with some of the new class D amps, B&O Ice Power specifically.  Best I have heard on my K-horns. They are currently powered by a relatively cheap Teac unit (AH01) and sound great. Easy to use, totally silent, sounds great, very small, and cheap. What's not to like?

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I'm considering purchasing a new amp for my Klipschorns. My method for selections takes considerable amounts of time. I'm fairly methodical and slow to choose and I'm happy with my processes. I'm not interested in changing it.

But it occurs to me that it might be enlightening to hear what others find complimentary to the Klipschorns, and why. I'm currently thinking about trying out the Mark Levinson, McIntosh, and Emotiva brands and would like to see how you feel about them.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions for other brands that they feel go well with the speakers I would be interested in hearing your recommendations.

I do not like tubes.

 

Each to his on but Klipschorns/La Scalas/Cornwalls/Belles without tubes is like a day without sunshine.

 

 

I do not like tubes.

For my enlightenment, what is it about the tubes/K-horn combination which you found unsatisfactory? I ask because my experiences through the years have been the opposite. Do you recall what kind of tube circuit (such as single ended triode, push-pull pentodes, etc.) was used in the amps you listened to?

Maynard

 

I'm a very simple woman. All I want out of my equipment is excellent sound and reliability. I don't want to hear anything but the music (not even hiss if at all possible). And in the specific case of tubes, I don't want to worry about heat or replacement. I want to turn it on and have it do what I want it to do for years and years and years.

 

 

 

Buy McIntosh and be done.   Mcintosh fits more ears than any.

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I'm a very simple woman. All I want out of my equipment is excellent sound and reliability. I don't want to hear anything but the music (not even hiss if at all possible). And in the specific case of tubes, I don't want to worry about heat or replacement. I want to turn it on and have it do what I want it to do for years and years and years.

 

I understand!  However, for the record, a properly designed tube amp can provide exactly what you stated!!!  I'll go back and hide in the Talkin' Tubes section now (I appreciate your indulgence.  When I hear the word "tubes" it gets my attention instantly :D) ...........

 

Maynard

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I'm a very simple woman. All I want out of my equipment is excellent sound and reliability. I don't want to hear anything but the music (not even hiss if at all possible). And in the specific case of tubes, I don't want to worry about heat or replacement. I want to turn it on and have it do what I want it to do for years and years and years.

 

 

 

 

A class-A solid state amplifier will have a good amount of heat output too.  While I haven't heard this amplifier personally, the Benchmark AHB2 it is on my "audio bucket list" (when I don't want the heat my amps output); and here are a few quotes from the thread at the link below where joshnich discusses his experience with the Benchmark. 

 

 

 

https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/156347-lets-talk-amps/

 

 

Somewhat timely topic. I obviously would concur that listening is the best way to judge if one likes an amp or not. Who knows what other people hear! Having said that I recently auditioned the relatively new Benchmark AHB2 amplifier. The specs are off the charts.

 

"The dynamic range of the AHB2 is 132 dB, making it 10 to 30 dB quieter than the typical reference-quality power amplifier. The frequency response extends beyond 200 kHz."

 

I have to say this is the best amplifier I have ever heard. It is truly remarkable. It now has a permanent home in my system and I couldnt be happier - not because of the specs because truthfully I dont know what they mean, but because of how it sounds.

I have auditioned many fine ss amps and none have lasted more than a few minutes!  This is a whole new kettle of fish. Truly a game changer - at least to my ears!

 

Josh

 

 

I have owned an F4 and yes First Watt amplifiers are terrific. I still own a pair of Cary CAD 45se monoblocks so I am familiar with  sound of quality SET.  In my humble view this new Benchmark AHB2 outshines both the f4 and the Cary SET - by a long shot at least to me. It is the first solid state amplifier that has lasted more than month on my rack and its not going anywhere!

 

Josh

 

 

I wasn't going to post again in this thread but I couldn't resist. Enjoy the music just came up with a new award called 20 / 20 to identify the best 20 products reviewed over the past 20 years. In the amplifier category it's no surprise that pass labs was represented with the x250.8. It should also be noted that the Benchmark ahb2 was also included.

Unlike some who are convinced that new approaches cannot yield superior performers - without even listening to the product (see posts above) The reviewer was obviously impressed beyond the "advertising claims" noted in one of the previous uninformed posts.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/20_20_Awards/Enjoy_The_Music_20_20_Award_Amplification.htm

Just saying!

Josh

 

 

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I do not like tubes.

For my enlightenment, what is it about the tubes/K-horn combination which you found unsatisfactory? I ask because my experiences through the years have been the opposite. Do you recall what kind of tube circuit (such as single ended triode, push-pull pentodes, etc.) was used in the amps you listened to?

Maynard

 

I'm a very simple woman. All I want out of my equipment is excellent sound and reliability. I don't want to hear anything but the music (not even hiss if at all possible). And in the specific case of tubes, I don't want to worry about heat or replacement. I want to turn it on and have it do what I want it to do for years and years and years.

 

 

I've got that same attitude from every woman I've ever known. As such, I will endeavor from now on to refer to all vacuum tubes as 'him'... even in a post 20th Century World where every battleship was referred to as 'her'.

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First I want to say thanks to everyone that replied, and may still reply. I do appreciate you taking time from your life to answer my post. I'm going to add a couple amps mentioned here to my short list and take an in-depth look at them all.

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Completely subjective and untried I have read good things about Accuphase.

E-370 integrated would keep things simple.

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Each to his on but Klipschorns/La Scalas/Cornwalls/Belles without tubes is like a day without sunshine.

 

What Wolfbane said!  Have you heard Klipschorns with good tube amps?  If not, you will experience a level of musicality that I haven't reached with some of the best regarded solid-state amps.  Give tubes a try if you havn't already -- you eyes (and ears) may get opened.  Now I haven't heard every SS out there and certainly not with my Klipschorns, but if there were a solid-state amp that sounded as good as tubes, I'd make the switch.

 

On the other hand, if you are stuck on solid-state, here are the brands that I would suggest looking at:

 

Jeff Rowland -- The best sounding solid-state amp I have owned, but they are pricey.

Classe Audio -- The second best sounding solid state amp I have owned and a very good value compared to Rowland (very close in performance)

Threshold -- I have also owned but do prefer Classe and prices are comparable

 

Mark Levinson -- never owned but listened to on many occasions

Bryston -- never owned but well regarded and listened to on a few occasions

Pass Labs -- never heard but do believe they are among the better SS options for Klipschorns (Aleph amp).

First Watt -- same comment as Pass Labs

 

The digital options mentioned should also be considered.

 

Here is a Roland amp that you should consider for Klipschorns if you are stuck on SS -- these are very nice SS amps that don't come up for sale often and they are lower powered (which is better for high-efficiency speakers):

 

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/solid-state-jeff-rowland-model-1-amplifier-2016-02-28-amplifiers-55344-eden-prairie-mn

 

By the way, it would help if you provided more info, such as how loud do you play, what are your musical tastes, how large is your room, etc.

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Bella, I hate using this thread to be a shill for an amp I have for sale on another site but have you thought about a hybrid integrated amp? Gives you a touch of tube flavor in the preamp section and solid state MOSFET for power. My particular piece from Valve Audio is dramatically overkill for any Klipsch model at 200 watts but you might be shocked how smooth it sounds on KHorns. I use 4x - Amperex 6922's for preamp and it provides a smooth listening experience. And a remote. Built like a brick crap house in South Africa. You will never want for more power no matter what flavor speakers you bring home.

Sorry for carping this thread.

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I have nelson pass labs  xa30.5  amp to drive my klipschorn :rolleyes:

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McIntosh integrated. Quality. Simple. Made in USA

 

http://www.mcintoshlabs.com/us/Products/pages/ProductListingHorizontal.aspx?CatId=integratedamps

 

Take care of it and it will always retain it's value. 

 

Couple nicks, scrapes, no box. Take 30% off

 

Perfect condition...Easy sell.  Today or 20 years

 

Did a little tube. Too much work. Rotel now, Mc next...

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All I want out of my equipment is excellent sound and reliability. I don't want to hear anything but the music (not even hiss if at all possible). And in the specific case of tubes, I don't want to worry about heat or replacement. I want to turn it on and have it do what I want it to do for years and years and years.

 

Yes.  There's a lot of technology nostalgia that gets confused with listening to music: https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/117181-the-pwk-no-bs-tribute-thread/.  Arguing old technology apparently gives some people a sense of belongingness. 

 

All it really does however is to disproportionately consume financial resources, and available floor and shelf space. ;)

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