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tube fanatic

Desktop near-field listening with flea power tube amps

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All of the audio guys I know are old (like me!) and, with the exception of the guy down the road (who is now about 5 miles farther down the road...), have downsized their living quarters which necessitated going with small room systems.  In many cases they have switched to desktop systems using various speakers which has given me a lot of experience in setting things up for optimum performance using tube amps (of course!).

 

I'm now in the same situation and have switched to such a system with a listening distance of approximately 30" from the plane of the speakers.  With careful placement, the imaging and soundstage depth can be truly remarkable.  What is also nice about doing this is that very loud listening levels can be achieved with very little power even when using speakers which are not overly efficient.  For the present, while deciding which Klipsch speakers I want to go with, I'm using a pair of Dayton B-652s (one of the best kept secrets in high end audio) which are so inexpensive as to border on the ridiculous).  They are a match "made in heaven" for tube amps as their impedance curve is very benign, staying between about 4 and 12 ohms across the entire audio band!  Anyone who has a pair of small bookshelf speakers should really try desktop use.  It can open up a whole new avenue for listening enjoyment.

 

Of course, now that I've become "one of us" as the guys tell me, they have decided that the listening room should also serve as an amp demo room.  The better half isn't overly thrilled with this, but is willing to give it a try (she reminded me that Christmas isn't that far off...).

 

If anyone else wants to relate their experiences with desktop listening (especially with Klipsch speakers) this could be an interesting thread to keep going.

 

 

Maynard
 

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awesome... very jealous.

 

I am looking for a tube based headphone amp.

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yeah... I have already been eyeing that mobile tube amp... but the tubes are not easily removable.

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On 8/18/2018 at 5:37 PM, tube fanatic said:

All of the audio guys I know are old (like me!) and, with the exception of the guy down the road (who is now about 5 miles farther down the road...), have downsized their living quarters which necessitated going with small room systems.  In many cases they have switched to desktop systems using various speakers which has given me a lot of experience in setting things up for optimum performance using tube amps (of course!).

 

I'm now in the same situation and have switched to such a system with a listening distance of approximately 30" from the plane of the speakers.  With careful placement, the imaging and soundstage depth can be truly remarkable.  What is also nice about doing this is that very loud listening levels can be achieved with very little power even when using speakers which are not overly efficient.  For the present, while deciding which Klipsch speakers I want to go with, I'm using a pair of Dayton B-652s (one of the best kept secrets in high end audio) which are so inexpensive as to border on the ridiculous).  They are a match "made in heaven" for tube amps as their impedance curve is very benign, staying between about 4 and 12 ohms across the entire audio band!  Anyone who has a pair of small bookshelf speakers should really try desktop use.  It can open up a whole new avenue for listening enjoyment.

 

Of course, now that I've become "one of us" as the guys tell me, they have decided that the listening room should also serve as an amp demo room.  The better half isn't overly thrilled with this, but is willing to give it a try (she reminded me that Christmas isn't that far off...).

 

If anyone else wants to relate their experiences with desktop listening (especially with Klipsch speakers) this could be an interesting thread to keep going.

 

 

Maynard
 

H7.jpg

H8.jpg

I don't think you have enough

amps !

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I don’t think so either!  Lots of new designs are scheduled.  The locals have assured me that they are due for some new equipment and will help relieve me of my stock.  That’s the only way I’ll have room for the new ones.

 

 

Maynard

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So, am I the only guy on here who is doing this?  I can't imagine that you folks who sit at a computer all day are not employing some variation on this theme.  It would be nice to read your views on the subject, particularly in regard to the speakers that you are using or have used.

 

Maynard

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Very nice room Maynard, I have been thinking the same thing to keep from having to cut on the big system.  For the right size room, it is an excellent way to go.

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Guest wdecho
13 hours ago, tube fanatic said:

So, am I the only guy on here who is doing this?  I can't imagine that you folks who sit at a computer all day are not employing some variation on this theme.  It would be nice to read your views on the subject, particularly in regard to the speakers that you are using or have used.

 

Maynard

I asked my son last week if the grandchildren might like some speakers and an amplifier to use with their computer when playing games. His answer is that the kids these days want headphones with a mic to carry on a conversation with others rather then amplifier and speakers. Much as buds and mp3's are the source of the younger generation of music listeners. 

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13 hours ago, tube fanatic said:

So, am I the only guy on here who is doing this?  I can't imagine that you folks who sit at a computer all day are not employing some variation on this theme.  It would be nice to read your views on the subject, particularly in regard to the speakers that you are using or have used.

 

Maynard

 

Nice "wall of tube amps". :)

 

I have experemented with lower power near field systems in the past. In my opinion, it is a very valid approach and can be an extremely satisfying solution when space or other limitations prevent a larger scale system.

 

Currently, my main systems are full scale and in decent sized rooms.

 

Unfortunately, no opportunity to enjoy anything like this at the office.

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I have some JBL Monitor 25 speakers in my office, but driving them with a smaller Onkyo SS amp that someone gave me. I only have one set of tube amps working at the moment (Welborne Labs Moondogs), but I could see one of Maynard's designs working there. Perhaps if I get the ST70 driver board replacement done I will try that on them. Not flea power, though.

 

My boss doesn't allow music in the office. 🙄

 

Bruce

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This is my home office setup - Omega 3T Desktop speakers w/ Omega Deephemp sub under table. Also a Scott 222c, Marantz cd player, Thorens table. This actually sounds so nice that it frequently distracts me from my work. Error - just saw the “flea power” in the title. The Omega speakers work great with a couple of watts.

2631FDDE-E2E5-481E-B3E8-0303B44C56A1.jpeg

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That's a nice looking setup Geoff!  I know that many really enjoy the Omega speakers (I've never heard them).  Where in PA are you located?

 

 

Maynard

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Near, near field I usually just use my Klipsch computer speaks with built in amp, but why would you even consider that given your skills at the soldering board, so I'm thinking you be well served by a pair of KG 1.5 bookshelves, or something of a similar ilk.  The smaller Klipsch offering are not really horn loaded so you'd have to study the specs, but Klipsch has never really made a power hungry speaker.

 

I'd do a local Craigslist search for Klipsch bookshelves. Prices are very good on the bookshelves and you aren't out serious coin if you don't like them.

 

Welcome back Maynard!  Glad to see you're ensconced in your new abode.

 

 

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I have been a fan of near field for years, Nothing like speakers up close and the sound coming from several feet back behind the speakers. The speakers literally disappear when set up correctly.  I dont use a desk and bookshelf yet but that may be sooner rather than later. I use my PC as source so I am partially there already. I am currently enjoying open baffle in a near field setup. I can use SET or PP and get superb imaging sound stage. 

 

Maynard how are you with the Bass or lack of ?

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I work out of the home and could do the flea powered office system. Another regret of selling my H H Scott LK48.

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Marty, thanks for the recommendation.  I'm still up in the air (in many respects!) but will look into the little KGs.

 

Joe, as far as bass goes, I enjoy a solid bottom end as much as everyone else.  Yet, I'm not missing it with the speakers that I'm currently using.  In spite of their limited low freq. extension (they seem to drop like a rock below around 100 Hz), listening is still enjoyable to the point that I am not considering using a sub. 

 

I've found LSs to be really excellent in near-field applications and have had guys running ridiculously low power with them with no problems at all.

 

 

Maynard

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On 9/25/2018 at 12:45 PM, Audio Flynn said:

I work out of the home and could do the flea powered office system. Another regret of selling my H H Scott LK48.

 

 

The LK-48 isn't flea power but would work well for sure.  Why did you sell it?

 

 

Maynard

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