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Droogne

Tubes for K77 and K55 (LaScala)

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As I'm always looking for ways to improve my installation, I am looking for the "best" tubes for my actively crossed LaScalas. Woofers will be powered by a solid state amp, but I was hoping to power the mids/high with the warmth of tube amp. Any suggestions? Bare in mind that the K77 only has a power handling of 2-5 watts, the DE120 I'm upgrading to in the future has a higher one (40 watt), so the power for the highs doesnt have to be high. The K55 driver can take a little higher load, 40 watt, but also has a very high sensitivity so doesnt require high power handling either. 

 

Was hoping to find tube amps which are known to excell in mids or high as to have a setup with amps specifically suited for the drivers theyre paired with. If you maybe know a specific type of tubes I'd love to hear your suggestions, this might direct me to a good amp which uses this type OR I might find someone to build me an amp with this tubes.

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Ran my La Scalas full range with either the Almarro A205a EL84 SEP (4 watts/channel), Quicksilver SET300B (9 watts/channel) or CazTech SE-845 (18 watts/channel). All three had plenty of power running full range through the passive crossover.

 

A 2A3 SET would be another fine choice.

 

You may want to try the tube amps full range using the passive crossover - just to see how it sounds. 

 

YMMV.....

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8 hours ago, TubeHiFiNut said:

Ran my La Scalas full range with either the Almarro A205a EL84 SEP (4 watts/channel), Quicksilver SET300B (9 watts/channel) or CazTech SE-845 (18 watts/channel). All three had plenty of power running full range through the passive crossover.

 

A 2A3 SET would be another fine choice.

 

You may want to try the tube amps full range using the passive crossover - just to see how it sounds. 

 

YMMV.....

I don't have the passive crossovers :s How did the tubes you mentioned handle the highs and mids? 

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11 hours ago, Droogne said:

As I'm always looking for ways to improve my installation, I am looking for the "best" tubes for my actively crossed LaScalas. Woofers will be powered by a solid state amp

 

If you are using an active crossover, you may want to use the same exact brand/type of solid state amplifier for the mids and highs as well. 

 

TubeHiFiNut mentioned using a passive crossover with a tube amplifier, because it's more of simple approach which benefits the use of tubes. If one wants to really listen to what a tube amplifier has to offer, (be it SET, SEP, PP, or whatever) then using an active crossover before the tube amp doesn't really get you there...JMHO, YMMV...

 

Unless the active crossover is of good quality, (and not cheap!) they will have a bunch of cheap operational amplifiers inside of them, with other mediocre grade parts, which may introduce noise and non-linearity to the amplifier. Yes, passive crossover networks have power losses, but not really much at all...and just how hard are you gonna  crank these LaScalas anyways?

 

Using a passive can keep things more simple in how many components used; Source, (pre-amp or whatever) amplifier, speakers. An active requires a source, (pre-amp or whatever) the active crossover, and two amplifiers. Each approach has it's own camp, and there is nothing wrong with either way of going about it.

 

But IMO, if I were to go with an active crossover, I would use two similar amplifiers (or exact) to keep tonality mismatch issues to a minimum.

 

But OTOH, it never hurts to try things and that's how to figure stuff out.

 

Mike

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14 minutes ago, mike stehr said:

 

If you are using an active crossover, you may want to use the same exact brand/type of solid state amplifier for the mids and highs as well. 

 

TubeHiFiNut mentioned using a passive crossover with a tube amplifier, because it's more of simple approach which benefits the use of tubes. If one wants to really listen to what a tube amplifier has to offer, (be it SET, SEP, PP, or whatever) then using an active crossover before the tube amp doesn't really get you there...JMHO, YMMV...

 

Unless the active crossover is of good quality, (and not cheap!) they will have a bunch of cheap operational amplifiers inside of them, with other mediocre grade parts, which may introduce noise and non-linearity to the amplifier. Yes, passive crossover networks have power losses, but not really much at all...and just how hard are you gonna to crank these LaScalas anyways?

 

Using a passive can keep things more simple in how many components used; Source, (pre-amp or whatever) amplifier, speakers. An active requires a source, (pre-amp or whatever) the active crossover, and two amplifiers. Each approach has it's own camp, and there is nothing wrong with either way of going about it.

 

But IMO, if I were to go with an active crossover, I would use two similar amplifiers (or exact) to keep tonality mismatch issues to a minimum.

 

But OTOH, it never hurts to try things and that's how to figure stuff out.

 

Mike

I hear you, I have heard some positive remarks about combining SS and tubes though. As the SS would only be for the woofer I'm thinking it could work quite well with the tubes. At the moment I'm gonna be feeding the 6 channels with a Marantz AV/receiver. Reason for going active is because it looked cheaper than the passive (+I have a different horn than the K-401, so I need a different cutoff). A plan I might try out is using a decent SS (maybe something like a second hand Emotiva xpa-3) and a 6 channel tube Amp like the Musical Angel Meng X5 and use that combo to power both the fronts and center

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22 hours ago, Droogne said:

I don't have the passive crossovers :s How did the tubes you mentioned handle the highs and mids? 

 

Beautifully and effortlessly.

 

Just my opinion - I try to either use one amp with a passive crossover or use the same brand/model amps top and bottom if biamping. To my ears, better top to bottom coherency that way.

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1 minute ago, TubeHiFiNut said:

 

Beautifully and effortlessly.

 

Just my opinion - I try to either use one amp with a passive crossover or use the same brand/model amps top and bottom if biamping. To my ears, better top to bottom coherency that way.

Noted! Will have a look some more into it before buying any combo of amps ! Thanks 

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I'm with the others.  Build or buy a good Type AA crossover and just use a tube amp on the speakers and call it good.  Keep it simple.  There are some outstanding Type AA builds in this forum by members plus others out there in the market.  Some are reworked and tweaked, some are just new parts on the original design.  The speakers are 104db+ sensitivity with one watt of power.  You'll be at insane levels with minimal power.  I've got a Dynaco VTA ST-70 I built that will run my Klipsch clone speakers (same efficiency) and I know that 35 x 2 is more than plenty to run them so will switch to triode mode which will be about half the power.  

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18 hours ago, avguytx said:

I'm with the others.  Build or buy a good Type AA crossover and just use a tube amp on the speakers and call it good.  Keep it simple.  There are some outstanding Type AA builds in this forum by members plus others out there in the market.  Some are reworked and tweaked, some are just new parts on the original design.  The speakers are 104db+ sensitivity with one watt of power.  You'll be at insane levels with minimal power.  I've got a Dynaco VTA ST-70 I built that will run my Klipsch clone speakers (same efficiency) and I know that 35 x 2 is more than plenty to run them so will switch to triode mode which will be about half the power.  

My choice for going active was to save money actually ;) Now that I know I'll have to invest in a Xilica for optimum performance it might come at the some cost as importing the AA xovers from crites (310 dollars for the AA + 21%import + 68 shipping vs a second hand xilica for 400). For now I'll be using a second hand marantz 7.1 AV receiver (plenty of power/channel, good quality and coherence with the rest of my surround and those models have a 7.1 analog in! only for 50-100euro which is quite a steal) so it's not that expensive. I like the idea of the active crossover, as I like playing with the settings etc + it gives me an opportunity to  play with a lot of settings like going 2-way and using different horns (which is what I'm doing at the moment, my PH2380 horn wouldnt work with the classic AA).  Also the 2-way would make it even cheaper when compared to passive crossovers. Will look into maybe buying a (custom) passive crossover (or a pair with one) to compare both. 

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Amps will be coasting no matter what you use. I've run Belle, Klipschorns, and jubilees with amplifiers from 1/2 a watt to 200 watts. I prefer the simpliest approach. My fave was 300B SET with a good tube preamp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/22/2017 at 3:11 AM, Droogne said:

Will look into maybe buying a (custom) passive crossover (or a pair with one) to compare both. 

I have a custom pair of xovers for khorns if you are interested. 

Also I am using a SS amp to drive my woofers in a tri amped setup... The sound is pretty incredible with flea powered tube amps and SS on the bottom, of course I am also using a Xilica 4080 to run everything!!!

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16 hours ago, canyonman said:

I have a custom pair of xovers for khorns if you are interested. 

Also I am using a SS amp to drive my woofers in a tri amped setup... The sound is pretty incredible with flea powered tube amps and SS on the bottom, of course I am also using a Xilica 4080 to run everything!!!

So Xilica with SS on the woofers and tubes on the mid and highs?

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12 hours ago, Droogne said:

So Xilica with SS on the woofers and tubes on the mid and highs?

Yes exactly!!!

 

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5 hours ago, canyonman said:

Yes exactly!!!

 

Aweesome! Would it really matter what kind of quality the SS is? Would a subwoofer (iNuke or the likes) amp be a good fit for example? Or wouldnt it really matter? I could be dead wrong, but isnt power the most important for the woofers? 

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3 hours ago, Droogne said:

Aweesome! Would it really matter what kind of quality the SS is? Would a subwoofer (iNuke or the likes) amp be a good fit for example? Or wouldnt it really matter? I could be dead wrong, but isnt power the most important for the woofers? 

I am using a 20-30 year old Yamaha Pro audio amp I got from ebay, it's 25wpc and I have it turn up half way. I would think that as long as it is working and in spec it should be fine.

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Just now, canyonman said:

I am using a 20-30 year old Yamaha Pro audio amp I got from ebay, it's 25wpc and I have it turn up half way. I would think that as long as it is working and in spec it should be fine.

Great, I have a marantz AV receiver with plenty of power and which has analog inputs to supply all the woofers I need then ;) 

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