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thenewold

Forte I (mod) and the Toolshed Amps Euphoria Stereo 45

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Hey All. I posted last year about my Forte I restoration project, and wanted to follow up on my experience. Once I finished the Forte, I started a second larger format horn project with a pair of Altec Lansing A8's pulled from an old theater in San Diego. I've been running those for several months, and am now back to using the Forte with my latest amp - the Toolshed Amps Euphoria Stereo 45. Matt Formanek is no stranger to these forums, so you may already be familiar. 

 

If not, I recommend his site - http://toolshedamps.com for more photos and specs, etc. 

Disclaimer: I helped Matt build his site this winter. (Donated my time) I've no incentive to write/post reports, outside of wanting to share the excellent quality of TS Amps with you folks here.  

 

I bought my E45 last summer, and have been driving both the Altec's and Forte with it since. Being a flea-watt amp, I didn't expect much - if I'm honest - despite the Forte's 98db rating. My listening space is small (13'x10'x9') and quiet, so I don't need much power to get where I want to go with playback. I have a great digital chain and a nice analog setup (Clearaudio Concept 'table w/2M Blue, and Lounge Audio LCR MKIII phono pre) running directly into the E45. I had Matt build mine as an integrated, because I intended to use it primarily as a headphone amp. It has both headphone and speaker outputs, and will switch between 8 and 16 ohms. I also use Audioquest Nighthawks as my primary headphone. While ultimately I do intend to get another more powerful amp, this setup is very satisfying driving both speakers and headphones.

 

First, it's very quiet for a DHT amp. Even with 'phones, I hear only the slightest hum when no music is playing. There's no hum pot on the E45. It's extremely quiet for this type of design. Of course, the 45 tube is known for low distortion, great tone and timbre, and tremendous insight...I'm loathe to use 'detailed' as a description but it is that. 2 watts or so of output limits it's use, but for Klipsch Heritage owners, this is perhaps less of an issue.

 

For the past couple weeks, I've had the Forte back in the room (actually selling them, and am happy now there's been little interest!). Whoa. Running the amp about 1:00 or '7 to 8' on the dial, and I'm getting (dependent on the material) excellent drive and power from this pair. Describing sound is kind of silly - so subjective - but, this rig does exactly what I want from my hifi. It's delivering the nuance of a performance, realistic tone, plenty of scale and drive in my space. No, it won't deliver pants flapping low end, or ultimate grip and control of those big lf drivers, but that's not what this design is about, ya? Again, I'll be grabbing another 10-20 watt amp later on. That said, the bass has enough control and reach for my space and preferences. My listening preferences are all over the map - from heavy rock, jazz, electronic, limited hip hop and some classical. 

 

In the end this experience confirms for me that the heritage line easily competes with other modern designs, and of course does the 'live' music sound better than most. If your preferences lean more toward nuance and a realistic tone, vs muscle and scale, then a DHT amp may be worth looking into. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Euphoria_ST45_Front1_Small1.jpg

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I neglected to add that I recently bought a vintage Luxman integrated - L430. 100 watts into the Forte in my small space is ridiculous. 

This channel isn't for SS amps, so I'll leave it at that.

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