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tomg

New Belle Owner Advice Please

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Hello All, I recently purchased a nice set of '73 Belles and would love some advice for a streaming setup. Forgive me if my questions are ignorant but I'm pretty new to this world and trying to find my way. There's just so much info out there it can be overwhelming to the uninformed. My intention is to use Tidal and/or Spotify to stream from an iPad, and based on all I've read from this Klipsch community I gather that a nice tube amp would be a great way to drive them. I will be pairing them with a subwoofer as well. I'm currently using a Velodyne CHT 10 with low miles but considering an upgrade to pair with the Belles. How does a sub impact using a tube amp, if at all? I assume a good DAC is a start but should it be a tube DAC? I'm also a bit confused about whether a pre-amp is worthwhile? Is it best to have all components tube driven? I listen to a variety of music, from acoustic piano to reggae and funk, some electronica, so low bass is desired. The setup doesn't have to be perfect, even if there was such a thing. I'm just trying to get a good bang for my buck while avoiding incompatibility pitfalls. Figure my budget is $2k though spending less would be preferred. Thank you to all for both helping me now and for all of the help you have previously provided to others, and from which I have learned. Best, Tom

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Welcome Tomg, my son @dtr20 has belles and knows all about that stuff , he should be along soon and tell you all about that stuff.

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Tube dac... no. 

Congrats on the new speakers.

If your planning on using tube amplification, a well designed tube based preamp is a good choice... you might also try a passive pre with QUALITY stepped attenuation that will cost much less.

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I have Belles and tube amps. How do you plan to feed the subwoofer/s? Have you tried the Belles to see if you believe you will want the subwoofer? You can certainly find a tube pre-amp and a tube amp or perhaps an integrated tube amp. DO you have a notion of how many wats you want? I have driven mine with a McIntosh MC225 (25 watts/channel). Do you currently have a pre-amp,( integrated amp or receiver with pre-outs) that you could use as a pre-amp so you could use your funds for just an amp? I use a solid state DAC that works well. How do you plan on streaming to your setup from your iPad? Apple Airport Express or AppleTV?

 

I'm sorry if this post feels like more questions than answers, but to help, more information will be helpful. To answer your question about having only tubes in the signal path, I sometimes just play from a Mac Mini to a DAC to my tube amp and sometimes through a tube pre-amp. I would not be worried about mixing solid state with a tube power amplifier. You will still have the tube sound.

 

Congratulations on your speakers! I believe you will enjoy them! Have the crossovers been recapped?

 

large.IMG_2024.jpg.7adbda8f95d3f9621db61cd9fc1fc695.jpg

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I love my belles. I'm running them with a vintage solid state Sony integrated amp (40 wpc). I use tone controls to back off the treble and bump up bass a tad. With this setup, I don't feel the need for a sub. They don't go as low as my klipschorns, but still sound great. 

 

If you are going to be streaming, look into Bluesound. It was developed by NAD. You can stream tidal, Spotify, iheartradio, Amazon music, etc. I love my bluesound node 2. You use a phone or tablet to control it.

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Thank you all for the kind replies. Drew, I have tried the Belles and after doing so I added a Velodyne CHT 10 sub that was attached to my home theater. I liked the sound more with the sub; sounded more "complete" to me. The Belles have not been recapped but that is on my to do list, as well. I'm planning to buy what I need through Bob Crites. Your speakers look perfect in that room, btw. 

As luck would have it I agreed to buy a slightly used integrated tube amp (Rogue Audio Magnus Chrome II) from a local shop that I will pick up tomorrow. Schu, you're advise helped clarify this move. My plan is to use the speaker output on my iPad to connect to the amp via RCA. The only other addition at that point is a sub that would be a good tonal match to the Belles. I've searched the forum and the advise I gathered is that a horn sub would match best. My room is about 18' x 45'. I think this setup would satisfy my goals of quality audio and ease of use. Please feel free to offer insight into my thinking. Thanks again.

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TomG - if you like the sub with the Belles, then go for it! Are you planning to run the speaker leads to your sub and then out to the Belles? Looks like that is an option on your sub. I can't say but I have read may folks using a sub in a 2 channel Hi Fi system prefer this to using an RCA from the amp unless the amp is equipped with a built in subwoofer out. Looks like you Rogue Audio Magnus Chrome II will have loads of power to drive your Belles even in your large room. I don't know enough about Tidal and the mini jack output on an iPad to know what quality audio will play. I suppose it also depends on which level of service to which you are subscribing to know if you'll be missing out on some resolution. as dtr20 the Bluenote Node 2 or something similar is an easy solution and is controlled by an app. I use an old Mac Mini or Airport Express/AppleTV to a Schiit Modi Uber DAC.

 

In any event, it sounds like you are well on your way to a great, simple system! Post some photos when you have things together. Thank you - the Belles do fit the '60s style of that room. I enjoyed my Mc tubes and Klipsch, though I think I will be selling my Belles soon ... This is my more typical room setup.

DSC_0026.jpg

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12 hours ago, tomg said:

My plan is to use the speaker output on my iPad to connect to the amp via RCA. 

I would at least get an Audio Quest Dragonfly or similar entry level DAC.

 

You would have a very jittery fatiguing source using only an iPad.

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I would at least get an Audio Quest Dragonfly or similar entry level DAC.
 
You would have a very jittery fatiguing source using only an iPad.

Dragonfly Red

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Thank you for the suggestions. I set up the Rogue Magnus Chrome ii today and wow, what a difference! I'm now rethinking adding a sub. The sound is so much richer than it was with my older SS receiver. I didn't know what I was missing. 

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On 3/12/2018 at 5:01 PM, jimjimbo said:


Dragonfly Red

 

I have been wanting to get one I have the original version with the Jitterbug and continue to be pleased with the performance.

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On ‎3‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 9:46 PM, tomg said:

My room is about 18' x 45'

You don't need Belles, you need Jubilees. 

 

If you do decide to give a sub a try.  Look for a TTLS or THLP, cheap and great subs.  I run the TTLS with my Belles and its more than enough bass.  It is a passive sub, so you would need a an external amp, Crown, QSC, would be great options.  Then split the signal from your RCA ipad connection via MINIDSP, channel 1 to the sub and amp and channels 3 and 4 to the amp for the Belles.  Adjust by ear on the fly via computer software/connectivity or take it a step further and purchase a UMK1 for detail setup.

 

https://www.minidsp.com/applications/digital-crossovers/subwoofer-integration-with-minidsp

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Have you used any room correction software with your MiniDSP? Been thinking about running that type setup with my system. Thanks!

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