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Ivanhoe56

First Watt SIT-2 / Danley SH 50

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I began putting a new High-End system together about 6 months ago , it is now complete and pretty much optimal with everything broken in . I went with the First Watt SIT-2 amp because I thought that either the SIT-1 or SIT-2 would be my idea of the best possible match up with the Danley Sound Labs SH 50`s for in home use ( Not for Stadium or Concert hall use ) , I have used only   Single ended tube electronics ( 300B , VT-52 , 2A3 ) for the last 35-40 years , and most of those  years those tube electronics were driving a pair of Klipsch La Scala`s . I also had some Lowther horn speakers ( Hated them )   , and klipschorns  briefly ( I used them in there original state , and later with the Klipsch K-402 horns )  . One of the reasons I wanted to make this post is because I am happier and more satisfied with my audio set up then I have ever been before in the many years of my audio hobby .  I can`t say enough about how much of an amazing amplifier the First Watt SIT-2  is , and how amazing the Danley Sound Labs SH50  speakers are and the synergy between the two . My new audio set-up has exceeded my expectations .  I have included the details of my new audio set-up below . My main area of interest in the audio hobby is the minimalist philosophy with high sensitivity  speakers ( Horns ) and low powered amplifiers ( Low powered , smallest , and simplest designs possible are the best sounding amplifiers ) . I believe that the First Watt SIT-2 would sound amazing with any of the Klipsch  ( Heritage horn ) speakers .  I am planning on putting together a 2nd stereo system in my basement with Klipsch K-402 horns and the ClaudeJ1 Quarter Pie bass bins for the lower frequencies in either a 2 way or 3 way set-up and maybe using it for analog with a turntable .  I have included  all the equipment I am using in the new system below .         

 

 

 

 

Danley Sound Labs SH 50            Speakers                 4 ohms

First Watt SIT-2                              Amplifier                 8 watts into 4 ohms          ( Discontinued  Sept/2017 ) 

Pass Labs XP-30                           Pre-amplifier          Line level  

McIntosh MR-71                            (Tube) FM-Tuner     Vintage   ( Restored )

Rel Stadium  III                               Sub woofers ( Pair ) 1 per channel         

APL NWO-Master Universal Transport/DAC ( Esoteric UX-1Pi )          CD Transport and outboard Tube DAC

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You had 402's with a Klipschorn bass bin?

How did you handle timing and what did you use for setting the crossover point?

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Sounds like he’s really high on the SIT-2. 

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On 6/6/2018 at 3:22 PM, Schu said:

You had 402's with a Klipschorn bass bin?

How did you handle timing and what did you use for setting the crossover point?

Hi Schu 

                                 I only had the Klipschorns for about a year , I was using them in a room that was to small for them ( 12 feet x 13 feet ) , through good fortune about 6 months after purchasing the  Klipschorns  I was able to purchase a pair of Klipsch K-402  horns with the K1133 drivers  from a member on the Klipsch Forum ( I live in Toronto , Ontario , Canada )  , and then I was also able to purchase a  pair of B&C DE 250-8  twetters and horns plus the home made custom passive crossover that was made for them from another member of the Klipsch forum , that  he used with those same B&C twetters and his K-402 horns and k1133 drivers when he owned them . I was anxious to hear what the K-402/K1133 midrange and B&C DE 250-8 twitters sounded like , so as an experiment I disconnected , and removed the midrange/twetter section top-hat from the top of the Klipschorn bass bins and  connected the K-402/K1133 midrange and B&C DE 250-8 twitters to the Klipschorn bass bins using the existing passive crossovers in the bass bins for the low frequencies , and the other passive crossover  for the  K-402/K1133 midrange  B&C DE 250-8 twitters . I placed the  K-402/K1133 midrange  B&C DE 250-8 twitter on front of the Klipschorn bass bins and on top of the the 2 Rel Stadium III Subwoofers using them as stands which put the K-402 horn driver right at ear level .  It was a makeshift experiment using what I had on hand , the midrange sounded a little hot compared to the bass bins , but I got to hear the  K-402/K1133 midrange , which was revealing enough that I decided that I was more interested in the potential of the K-402 horn midrange then the Klipschorn midrange , and that the K-402 horns were keepers  , so I made the decision to sell the Klipschorns on that experiment . I am not as technically minded as some members of the forum , and do not have any experience with active crossovers yet . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danley Sound Labs SH 50         Speakers                 4 ohms

First Watt SIT-2                              Amplifier                 8 watts into 4 ohms               ( Discontinued  Sept/2017 ) 

Pass Labs XP-30                           Pre-amplifier          Line level  

McIntosh MR-71                            (Tube) FM-Tuner     Vintage   ( Restored )

Rel Stadium  III                               Sub woofers ( Pair ) 1 per channel         

APL NWO-Master Universal Transport/DAC ( Esoteric UX-1Pi )          CD Transport and outboard Tube DAC

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I think a couple of pics of the Danley system would be nice.. Do you have them stand mounted?  A speaker I would like to hear one day.

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On 6/6/2018 at 12:57 PM, Ivanhoe56 said:

I began putting a new High-End system together about 6 months ago , it is now complete and pretty much optimal with everything broken in . I went with the First Watt SIT-2 amp because I thought that either the SIT-1 or SIT-2 would be my idea of the best possible match up with the Danley Labs SH 50`s , I have used only   Single ended tube electronics ( 300b , VT-52 , 2A3 ) for the last 35-40 years , and most of those  years those tube electronics were driving a pair of Klipsch La Scala`s . I also had some Lowther horn speakers ( Hated them )   , and klipschorns  briefly ( I used them in there original state , and later with the Klipsch K-402 horns )  . One of the reasons I wanted to make this post is because I am happier and more satisfied with my audio set up then I have ever been before in the many years of my audio hobby .  I can`t say enough about how much of an amazing amplifier the First Watt SIT-2  is , and how amazing the Danley Sound Labs SH50  speakers are and the synergy between the two . My new audio set-up has exceeded my expectations .  I have included the details of my new audio set-up below . My main area of interest in the audio hobby is the minimalist philosophy with high sensitivity  speakers ( Horns ) and low powered amplifiers ( smallest simplest designs possible are the best sounding ) . I believe that the First Watt SIT-2 would sound amazing with any of the Klipsch  ( Heritage horn ) speakers .  I am planning on putting together a 2nd stereo system in my basement with Klipsch K-402 horns and quarter pies for the lower frequencies in either a 2 way or 3 way set-up and maybe using it for analog with a turntable .  I have included  all the equipment I am using in the new system below .         

 

 

 

 

Danley Labs SH 50    Speakers                 4 ohms

First Watt SIT-2           Amplifier                 8 watts into 4 ohms 

Pass Labs XP-30        Pre-amplifier          Line level  

MacIntosh MR-71      (Tube) FM-Tuner     Vintage   ( Restored )

Rel Stadium  III           Sub woofers ( Pair ) 1 per channel         

APL NWO-Master Universal Transport/DAC ( Esoteric UX-1Pi )          CD Transport and outboard Tube DAC

I mostly lurk around the forums but had to respond to this.  You and I are on very similar paths and interests!  I have a SIT2 driving my modded Khorns in 2.1 living room system (14'x24'x8').   Before the SIT2 I used Welborne Labs Laurel II 300b monoblocks and VTL Tiny Triode SE PP monoblocks.  I'm shopping for replacement processor, amps, speakers in my basement HT (13x25x7) and am very interested in high efficiency horn designs such as the Danleys,  JBL M2, 4722s and 4367s.  The best thing about the HT audio now is the Danley DTS10 sub 🎼.  I just requested an SH50 demo on the Danley site.  Say more about the simpatico between SH50s and the SIT2.  8 watts wouldn't immediately be my idea of the best match for a speaker that can handle 1000.  

 

(edit: the K-402 horn is very much in the running too as Jubilees or some Multi-Entry-Horn variant like Chris does - I have yet to hear any form of this coveted horn)

Edited by Delicious2
addition

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On 6/7/2018 at 1:56 PM, Delicious2 said:

I mostly lurk around the forums but had to respond to this.  You and I are on very similar paths and interests!  I have a SIT2 driving my modded Khorns in 2.1 living room system (14'x24'x8').   Before the SIT2 I used Welborne Labs Laurel II 300b monoblocks and VTL Tiny Triode SE PP monoblocks.  I'm shopping for replacement processor, amps, speakers in my basement HT (13x25x7) and am very interested in high efficiency horn designs such as the Danleys,  JBL M2, 4722s and 4367s.  The best thing about the HT audio now is the Danley DTS10 sub 🎼.  I just requested an SH50 demo on the Danley site.  Say more about the simpatico between SH50s and the SIT2.  8 watts wouldn't immediately be my idea of the best match for a speaker that can handle 1000.  

 

(edit: the K-402 horn is very much in the running too as Jubilees or some Multi-Entry-Horn variant like Chris does - I have yet to hear any form of this coveted horn)

The Danley Sound Labs SH 50 have 100 db sensitivity , the Klipschorn 104 db and La Scala `s  104 db , my Pass Labs XP-30 preamp has a volume digital display  read out of  0-100 , with the First Watt SIT-2 I do most of my listening between 60-73 on the Pass Labs XP-30 digital display depending on the recording , and I like to listen at louder levels then most people . The First Watt SIT-2  8 watts are a very powerful 8 watts with  exceptionally controlled  low frequencies , provided it is used with the right kind of high sensitivity  speakers , like horns ( I also have 1/ 200 watt self-powered Rel Stadium III subwoofer per channel , but they get there signal from the First Watt SIT-2 ) , I feel that I have more then enough power for the Danley Sound Labs SH 50`s  with the First Watt SIT-2   ( My current listening room is 12 feet x 13 feet ) .  The Danley Sound Labs SH 50`s were designed to be used for commercial applications like stadiums , churches , live concerts ( Which is why they are made to have a 1000 watt power rating )  , and not the home audiophile market , but that does not mean that you cannot use them that way . They are not mainstream home audiophile speakers , most audiophiles have never heard of Danley Sound Labs , they are unique , unorthodox , and advanced new technology that you can only currently get from Danley Sound Labs . I am  more satisfied with my new audio set-up then I have ever been before in my audio hobby , and I am a very tough critique  .  According to the Danley Sound Labs , and First Watt manufacturers websites , the rated impedance of the Danley SH 50`s is 4 Ohms , and the output impedance of the First Watt SIT-2 amplifier is 4 Ohms ( No impedance mismatch )   , the impedance match  might be one of the reasons that explain why to my ears they seem to work so well together .   

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Danley Sound Labs SH 50            Speakers                 4 ohms

First Watt SIT-2                              Amplifier                 8 watts into 4 ohms             ( Discontinued  Sept/2017 ) 

Pass Labs XP-30                           Pre-amplifier          Line level  

McIntosh MR-71                            (Tube) FM-Tuner     Vintage   ( Restored )

Rel Stadium  III                               Sub woofers ( Pair ) 1 per channel         

APL NWO-Master Universal Transport/DAC ( Esoteric UX-1Pi )          CD Transport and outboard Tube DAC

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On 6/7/2018 at 12:53 PM, Shiva said:

I think a couple of pics of the Danley system would be nice.. Do you have them stand mounted?  A speaker I would like to hear one day.

I currently have a camera problem , but will work on getting it sorted out over the next few days , I will try and post some Danley system pictures then . I have the Danley Sound Labs SH 50`s sitting on top of my Rel Stadium III subwoofers which puts the twitters of the Danley Sound Labs SH 50`s at ear level which I think is optimal .

 

 

 

 

 

Danley Sound Labs SH 50             Speakers                 4 ohms

First Watt SIT-2                              Amplifier                 8 watts into 4 ohms 

Pass Labs XP-30                           Pre-amplifier          Line level  

McIntosh MR-71                            (Tube) FM-Tuner     Vintage   ( Restored )

Rel Stadium  III                               Sub woofers ( Pair ) 1 per channel         

APL NWO-Master Universal Transport/DAC ( Esoteric UX-1Pi )          CD Transport and outboard Tube DAC

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2 hours ago, Ivanhoe56 said:

The Danley SH 50`s have 100 db sensitivity , the Klipschorn 104 db and La Scala `s  104 db , my Pass Labs XP-30 has a volume digital display  read out of  0-100 , with the First Watt SIT-2 I do most of my listening between 65-75 on the XP-30 digital display depending on the recording , and I like to listen at louder levels then most people . The First Watt SIT-2  8 watts are a very powerful 8 watts with  exceptionally controlled  low frequencies , provided it is used with the right kind of high sensitivity  speakers , like horns ( I also have 1/ 200 watt self-powered subwoofer per channel , but they get there signal from the First Watt SIT-2 ) , I feel that I have more then enough power for the Danley Labs SH 50`s  with the First Watt SIT-2   ( My current listening room is 12 feet x 13 feet ) .  The Danley SH 50`s were designed to be used for commercial applications like stadiums , churches , live concerts ( Why they are made to have 1000 watt power rating )  , and not the home audiophile market , but that does not mean that you cannot use them that way . They are not mainstream home audiophile speakers , most audiophiles have never heard of Danley Labs , they are unconventional and advanced new technology that you can only presently get in this way . I am  more satisfied with my new audio set-up then I have ever been before in my audio hobby , and I am a very tough critique  .  According to the Danley  Labs , and First Watt manufacturers websites , the rated output of the Danley SH 50`s is 4 Ohms , and the output impedance of the First Watt SIT-2 is 4 Ohms , the impedance match  might explain why to my ears they seem to work so well together .   

 

Makes sense that the low wattage would be enough in your small room.  "the rated output of the Danley SH 50's is 4 Ohms" - do you mean the rated input? i.e. it presents nominally 4 Ohms to an amplifier?  In that case yes they may be a good match for that reason.  Frankly, I'm more interested in hearing your subjective impressions of this pair.  Here's a older Stereophile thread on home audio vs. pro audio that starts out in 2008 and gets revived in 2016.  I especially like the comments from ferenc_k:

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/audiophile-vs-pro-audio-gear-1

 

"Actually after living with high-end audio equipments for more than 20 years now I am using pro audio at home.

My last system was Audio Note Kageki, Accuphase DP-100/DC-101, Avantgarde Trio, etc. It was changed to MC2 Audio MC1250 pro amp, Danley 100B (SH 50 as well) PA speaker and a Macbook to Altmann Attraction DAC through a TCElectronic Konnekt 8 as a Firewire to SPDIF converter. All my bloody expensive cables were changed to Evidence Audio pro cables as well, including the mains cable.

Can not be happier. Does not matter what I play, plays everything from Albinoni to Zappa according to my taste. It has drama and fun, like no system from my personal hifi history.

The MC2 amps and Danley speakers are true classical, the latter is one of the most exciting speaker construction I know of.

YMMV of course....

 

More musical generally. Can play any kind of music, on any volume. Quite friendly to even the modern dynamically very compressed recordings.

Has more life. Live recordings are really amazing. Dynamics, coherency like nothing else in my life earlier."

 

This is someone moving from a very high end tube audiophile amp to a class AB high powered pro amp and from a very high end audiophile horn speaker to the SH-50.  Intriguing!

 

What are your subjective impressions Ivanhoe56?  I'm not looking for flowery language but your description of basic qualities of sound such as "immediacy",  "timbral fidelity",  macro and micro dynamics,  "soundstage" (the whole vista) vs. "imaging"  (focus/realism of players that inhabit that vista) - or any other characteristics you wish. 

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On 6/7/2018 at 12:53 PM, Shiva said:

I think a couple of pics of the Danley system would be nice.. Do you have them stand mounted?  A speaker I would like to hear one day.

 

Here are some pictures of the Danley/First Watt set-up , I am sorry for the delay . 

 

 

 

 

 

Danley Sound Labs SH 50          Speakers                 4 ohms

First Watt SIT-2                              Amplifier                 8 watts into 4 ohms               ( Discontinued  Sept/2017 ) 

Pass Labs XP-30                           Pre-amplifier          Line level  

McIntosh MR-71                            (Tube) FM-Tuner     Vintage   ( Restored )

Rel Stadium  III                               Sub woofers ( Pair ) 1 per channel         

APL NWO-Master Universal Transport/DAC ( Esoteric UX-1Pi )          CD Transport and outboard Tube DAC

 

 

 

IMG_6492.JPG

IMG_6488.JPG

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nice choice of components!   I have a chance to borrow a single SH-50 from a local pro audio outlet.   Some mono tests with the SIT2 against a modded Khorn and Acarian Alon IV might be fun.

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 I have used only   single ended tube electronics ( 300B , VT-52 , 2A3 ) for the last 35-40 years , and most of those  years those tube electronics were driving a pair of Klipsch La Scala`s . I also had some Lowther horn loaded speakers ( PM2A drivers in Medallion II cabinets  )   , and klipschorns  briefly ( I used them in there original state , and later with the Klipsch K-402 horns )  .  From my experience  using various flea powered  tube amps , with high efficiency horn speakers like Klipsch La Scala`s  ( 104 db sensitivity )  , 3 watts of single ended tube power from a 2A3 tube amp. sounds like 100 watts  . I purchased my First Watt SIT-2  new from  an authorized Pass Labs / First Watt dealer in Toronto . Before I purchased it  I went to listen to the First Watt SIT-2  four times , the listening room was 3-4 times the size of my 13x12x8  listening room , the speakers were some non horn $11,000.00  93db sensitive speakers that had there own self powered sub-woofers built in . I listened to the First Watt SIT-2  amp as loud as I wanted , there was no shortage of power . With the more efficient 100db sensitive Danley Labs SH 50  I can confidently say that even in a room 4 times the size of my current listening room  the 8 watt First Watt SIT-2 has way more power then I will ever use . The third time I was at the store to audition the First Watt SIT-2  I also listened to the latest Pass Labs XA60.8 amp for fun and as  a comparison , it was a  much more expensive amp ( Approximately twice as much ) , the bottom end was a little better  , but the mid-range , and lower mid-range was missing all the subtle and fine detail , and micro dynamic information that I heard with the First Watt SIT-2 , it was just absent like it was not  in the recording , but it was there again when I went back to  hear the First Watt SIT-2 the 4th and last  time  . In my opinion the First Watt SIT-2 was a way better sounding amp ,  and that there was no comparison between the two . After hearing both amps I had absolutely no interest in the more powerful and twice as expensive Pass Labs XA60.8  even though I had the extra money to buy the Pass Labs XA60.8 if I thought it was a better sounding amp , and I wanted it for some reason  .  To be fair , by todays standards the Pass Labs XA60.8 is a very good sounding conservitivly rated 60 watt amp that runs in Class A  , but the First Watt SIT-2 is a very fine and sensational sounding amp if you have the right speakers with at least 93db sensitivity or higher . The First Watt SIT-2  is  the finest amp I have ever heard , tube or solid state  .    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danley Sound Labs SH 50          Speakers                 4 ohms

First Watt SIT-2                              Amplifier                 8 watts into 4 ohms               ( Discontinued  Sept/2017 ) 

Pass Labs XP-30                           Pre-amplifier          Line level  

McIntosh MR-71                            (Tube) FM-Tuner     Vintage   ( Restored )

Rel Stadium  III                               Sub woofers ( Pair ) 1 per channel         

APL NWO-Master Universal Transport/DAC ( Esoteric UX-1Pi )          CD Transport and outboard Tube DAC

 

 

          

IMG_6458.JPG

IMG_6409.JPG

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I saw my first SH-50 in person today at Parson Audio in Wellesley MA.  I wasn't prepared for the size and mass of the thing!  No way even 1 is fitting in my car.  Must find a way to get it home to try with my SIT2!

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Ivanhoe, if you really want to hear what the SH50 sound like, get them away from the walls if you can. You'll experience a soundstage like nothing else except a live performance.

 

I have mine 8'-9" away from the front wall to the front C/L of the speaker and 2'-6" from the side of speaker to the side walls. I wish I had 4' to 6' more room width (currently a little less than 20').

 

post-8736-0-04400000-1435518667.jpg

 

I've tried my tube amps (AudioResearch, Luxman MB3045 & Wright Mono 3.5/2A3 as well as some solid state including Crown & McIntosh) with SH50. The NAD C390DD direct digital integrated amp blew all of them out of the water. Everything else sounded dull, opaque and (I know, hard to believe) grainy in comparison, even the triodes.

 

As far as sensitivity goes, even though SH50 are rated at 100dB, the way Danley measures them - outside, hanging 50' from a crane - so no boundary reinforcement - I think you'll find they aren't much different from a Klipschorn or Jubilee even when used in a large dedicated listening room because room-gain effect. In fact I find I often have to turn the bass down with some recordings.

 

Khorns tend to make the bass pile up in the opposite corners of the room requiring massive bass trapping to even the response out.

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