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Pat Casey

Suggested receiver and/or amp for Belles?

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Can anyone recommend a starter "under $500" receiver or tube amp to go with a vintage set of Belles? I live in a small town with no audio stores to speak of.  Probably will purchase through Amazon. I am running them now through a 2channel Onkyo A-9050 integrated amplifier and they sound kindof lifeless. I am new to the high end stereo scene,so go easy on me....Thanks!

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Hi Pat,

 

Welcome to the forum! I think that you will get more input if you post this in the 2 channel section. The 2 channel section gets much more traffic. Just a thought.

You do not mention how old your belles are, but since you are calling them vintage I can imagine that the crossovers probably need to have the capacitors replaced. THis can lead you down a pretty expensive path so for starters I would contact Bob Crites on this forum or through his web site. He can set you up with either a built network or the parts to do so yourself.

JMHO

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$500 can get you a whole lot. Sometimes what you get can be better with refreshed caps and such. If you don't mind getting up to turn it up or down, an old school Marantz, Sansui etc makes the Belle feel good. 

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^^^What he said.

I have a Sony STR 7055 rated @35 wpc running my Belle's and the synergy between them is excellent. Very musical. Luckily the Belle's are highly sensitive at 104 db so one doesn't need a mega monster watt receiver to drive them. 

Look at Sony STR 7055 & 7045  or even Realistic 2100 and the like to drive them. Those are what I have experience with. (I have a Marantz 2500 but that's a bit overkill)

But the most MUSICAL of them are the Sony's family of receivers by far especially after having one fully recapped & restored. The engineers that built those old Sony receivers knew what good sound was and more than one person has said they showed their Monster receivers out the door after listening to a Sony. Power isn't everything.

My Sony EASILY bested the Realistic 2100D & a "new" modern Yamaha Rx 777.

Good luck.

 

 

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I have a newer Marantz receiver and they keep the "warm" needed for horns.  I've run La Scalas and Belles off of it and they both sound great.

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Tubes would sound best with Belles in my experience but would be a tall order within your budget (not impossible though).  However, as mentioned you should consider the age of the speakers.  If they are more than 20 years old you may need to get the capacitors replaced in the crossovers.  Bob Crites is a great source.

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As Maynard might say, find a console amp and rebuild it.  Not a lot invested and very good return plus good power for the Belle's sensitivity. Something like a Stromberg Carlson  ASR-120 or a Magnavox. Maybe I'm partial. ;)

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