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zcmckenna

Looking for an budget amp for my Heresy 1s

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I am new to the HiFi audio scene and have been looking for an amp/preamp combo or integrated amp to replace my old Pioneer VSX-D508 reciever for a 2 channel Klipsch Heresy 1 setup (music only, no movies). I am looking for something under $250 if possible. I have had the Nobsound MS-10D MKII recommended, but have seen very mixed opinions on that, and was wondering if anyone here has had any experience with one. I also am not sure whether to try to go with tube amplifiers or solid state amps. Thanks in advance!

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@zcmckenna,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

I have owned a pair of Heresys for close to 10 years and Heresy IIs for about 8 years and every piece I have driven them with has sounded pretty darn good.

 

What type(size, etc.) of room will this setup be in?  

How loud do you listen?

Turntable, CD player, streaming?

Are you considering new or used?

Where are you located?

 

Bill

 

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Consider this....   I have two of them: one driving speakers in our bedroom, and one driving outdoor speakers on our deck.  Both have worked flawlessly for years.

 

For $139 The build quality is quite remarkable.  Note that it only has two inputs (and switches automatically b/w them) and no remote.  In our bedroom I use one input for Apple airport express (to receive signal via airplay from our music server) and the second for a 1/8" jack that can be used by any iphone/ iPod.  Puts out 50w/ channel with inaudible levels of distortion and has impressive signal-to-noise and channel separation specs for it's price.  Plus, it feels remarkably solid for such an inexpensive component.  As for the Nobosound amp you mention, I've never heard of the brand.  Is it UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved? I would worry about leaving such a thing plugged in if not.

 

I used one of my AMP-100s for a few hours to drive my brand new Cornwall III's and it sounded great.  ..And it drove the CW's to levels that would bring the police to my door without a hint of strain.

 

Two links:  One for B&H Photo for buying.  The second is a review that includes tons of specs and measurements.  Look for it on Amazon as well.  Though they no longer sell it there are tons of reviews from people who found it to be very reliable.

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1222810-REG/audiosource_amp100vs_50_watt_2_channel_amplifier.html

 

https://kenrockwell.com/audio/audiosource/amp-100.htm

 

484101583_ScreenShot2018-12-04at6_13_09AM.thumb.png.120089291815108d52ce837bac368256.png

 

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9 hours ago, willland said:

@zcmckenna,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

I have owned a pair of Heresys for close to 10 years and Heresy IIs for about 8 years and every piece I have driven them with has sounded pretty darn good.

 

What type(size, etc.) of room will this setup be in?  

How loud do you listen?

Turntable, CD player, streaming?

Are you considering new or used?

Where are you located?

 

Bill

 

 

 

I have the speakers set up in my bedroom, so a smaller space.

I use CD player and Streaming mostly, but have a turntable i occasionally use

New or used is fine for me, i do like the look and feel of the older amps

I am in Denver, Colorado

 

-Zach

Edited by zcmckenna
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8 hours ago, ODS123 said:

Consider this....   I have two of them: one driving speakers in our bedroom, and one driving outdoor speakers on our deck.  Both have worked flawlessly for years.

 

For $139 The build quality is quite remarkable.  Note that it only has two inputs (and switches automatically b/w them) and no remote.  In our bedroom I use one input for Apple airport express (to receive signal via airplay from our music server) and the second for a 1/8" jack that can be used by any iphone/ iPod.  Puts out 50w/ channel with inaudible levels of distortion and has impressive signal-to-noise and channel separation specs for it's price.  Plus, it feels remarkably solid for such an inexpensive component.  As for the Nobosound amp you mention, I've never heard of the brand.  Is it UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved? I would worry about leaving such a thing plugged in if not.

 

I used one of my AMP-100s for a few hours to drive my brand new Cornwall III's and it sounded great.  ..And it drove the CW's to levels that would bring the police to my door without a hint of strain.

 

Two links:  One for B&H Photo for buying.  The second is a review that includes tons of specs and measurements.  Look for it on Amazon as well.  Though they no longer sell it there are tons of reviews from people who found it to be very reliable.

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1222810-REG/audiosource_amp100vs_50_watt_2_channel_amplifier.html

 

https://kenrockwell.com/audio/audiosource/amp-100.htm

 

 

I looked on amazon and found the AMP100VS model for $119 and has great reviews. I will definitely be putting this on my consideration list!

-Zach

Edited by zcmckenna
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8 hours ago, ODS123 said:

Consider this....   I have two of them: one driving speakers in our bedroom, and one driving outdoor speakers on our deck.  Both have worked flawlessly for years.

 

For $139 The build quality is quite remarkable. 

 

484101583_ScreenShot2018-12-04at6_13_09AM.thumb.png.120089291815108d52ce837bac368256.png

 

What is it that is remarkable?

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I have a pt-100. This is a ta-100. Its is like pt but has a built in 50 watt amp. Very nice for money with lots of inputs. Check out their site for specs.

 

emotiva-ta-100-amp.jpg

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35 minutes ago, mr clean said:

I have a pt-100. This is a ta-100. Its is like pt but has a built in 50 watt amp. Very nice for money with lots of inputs. Check out their site for specs

This with the PT-100 would work, I use a couple of these, the A-100, 50 wpc very quiet even on giant horns with a nice sound. $229 new and a 3-year warranty. It was all I needed between an active crossover and speakers.

 

It's hard to stay under $250, sorry

https://emotiva.com/collections/amps/products/a-100

a100_front_0_1200x.png

a100_rear_0-1_1500x.png

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1 hour ago, Schu said:

What is it that is remarkable?

 

Balance and volume knobs have a solid feel; both channels attenuate at same rate (unlike my Bryston pre-amp); auto input switching works flawlessly; fit/finish of case; speaker binding posts feel solid, unlikely to break/strip after repeated use.  Other than the knobs being made of heavy plastic (rather than metal) and it's lack of tone controls and add'l inputs, I'd say it feels as well built as most $1000 pre-amps or integrated amps.  Finally, it measurements by reviewer (see Ken Rockwell review noted in my 1st post) indicate it either meets OR exceeds ALL specs for THD, power output, S/N ratio, etc..

 

I'd say that's pretty remarkable for $139! 

 

Let me ask this:  Do you find it unremarkable for $139?  Why?

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1 hour ago, dtel said:

This with the PT-100 would work, I use a couple of these, the A-100, 50 wpc very quiet even on giant horns with a nice sound. $229 new and a 3-year warranty. It was all I needed between an active crossover and speakers.

 

It's hard to stay under $250, sorry

https://emotiva.com/collections/amps/products/a-100

 

Could I just buy the amp at first and use that until I save up enough money for the PT-100? Also, what exactly does a preamp do, and how necessary is it? Sorry about the newbie questions.

 

-Zach

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A pre amp can do several things, but it's main function is to attenuate the signal to the amplifiers... in that way the amplifiers are not putting out maximum signal under normal listening conditions. It's a volume controller.

 

Looks like the A-100 mentioned above has built in attenuation... no pre amp is necessary.

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$250 is not enough for good separates, even used. Maybe one or the other if you can find a deal.

 

$250 is enough for a nice used receiver or maybe integrated amplifier, i suggest you either save more cash or go with something used. Lots more options out there that way so you can get those Heresy to sing.

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23 minutes ago, Schu said:

A pre amp can do several things, but it's main function is to attenuate the signal to the amplifiers... in that way the amplifiers are not putting out maximum signal under normal listening conditions. It's a volume controller.

 

Looks like the A-100 mentioned above has built in attenuation... no pre amp is necessary.

 

So if I end up going with the A-100 I wouldn't need a preamp. Would it be a good idea to get a DAC since I am planning on streaming a lot of music? I have heard the Schiit Modi 3 is a pretty good budget DAC, any thoughts on that?

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3 hours ago, zcmckenna said:

 

 

I have the speakers set up in my bedroom, so a smaller space.

I use CD player and Streaming mostly, but have a turntable i occasionally use

New or used is fine for me, i do like the look and feel of the older amps

I am in Denver, Colorado

 

-Zach

This here is right down the road from you.  Offer them $235.00.

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis97g19-nad-c-320bee-stereo-integrated-amplifier-12277-solid-state

NAD

 

I have been driving my Heresy 1s with a mid 2000's NAD flagship AVR for a few years now and have found no reason to change.  Great synergy with NAD/Klipsch combo.

 

One cool thing about the NAD 320BEE is that it has stereo preouts if you wanted to add an outboard amp or subwoofer down the road.

 

Bill

 

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1 hour ago, zcmckenna said:

 

So if I end up going with the A-100 I wouldn't need a preamp. Would it be a good idea to get a DAC since I am planning on streaming a lot of music? I have heard the Schiit Modi 3 is a pretty good budget DAC, any thoughts on that?

The Schiit Modi 3 is a solid DAC. I am glad the new version has its own power supply as the older versions ran only off the USB supply and Windows would have problems recognizing it. 

 

As for amps, I second Jason on the Topping amp, the Tripath Class D chips sound really good with Klipsch. The Topping amp with the Modi DAC is going to sound really nice and punch far above its price point. The two inputs is nice as well in case you want to run a turntable as well as a DAC.

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7 hours ago, jason str said:

This little Topping amplifier is a great budget buy, no preamp needed.

I have a question, why is the THD so high on that amp ?  I was just reading about it because of price and this jumped out " 2 x 50W (into 8Ω @ 10% THD)" is that a mistake, just seems really high ?

 

Is like the old T-amps that when you turn them up past a certain point the distortion goes crazy, is that why it measures not so good? I remember my first little T-amp, sounded very good up to a point, then all hell broke loose after that point on the volume knob, downhill quickly.

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I just recently bought the nobsound you referenced for my office. I am quite impressed. It’s a good representation of tube amplification. I have it in an area of the office we call the library ( don’t ask why because there are not many books in it). It driving a pair of blumenfield sound single driver speakers with a uturn turntable and a rega CD player as the source. I think it may be the first tube amp anyone in the office has ever heard and they cannot turn it off! 

I highly recommend the nobsound! 

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44 minutes ago, dtel said:

I have a question, why is the THD so high on that amp ?  I was just reading about it because of price and this jumped out " 2 x 50W (into 8Ω @ 10% THD)" is that a mistake, just seems really high ?

 

Is like the old T-amps that when you turn them up past a certain point the distortion goes crazy, is that why it measures not so good? I remember my first little T-amp, sounded very good up to a point, then all hell broke loose after that point on the volume knob, downhill quickly.

I think that is just the max of the amp if you wanted to push it. If you look a few specs past that is says: 2 x 27W (into 8Ω @ 0.1% THD)

 

I do agree with you on Class D, they sound great until a point then suddenly fall apart. However, with Heresys or especially my LaScalas you are at ear damaging levels before you get to the amp's distortion point.

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11 hours ago, dtel said:

I have a question, why is the THD so high on that amp ?  I was just reading about it because of price and this jumped out " 2 x 50W (into 8Ω @ 10% THD)" is that a mistake, just seems really high ?

 

Is like the old T-amps that when you turn them up past a certain point the distortion goes crazy, is that why it measures not so good? I remember my first little T-amp, sounded very good up to a point, then all hell broke loose after that point on the volume knob, downhill quickly.

 

Answered by twk123 above, you should hear when the amp starts to strain like any other being pushed beyond its limits.

 

For meeting the required budget it is a great choice.

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