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Tancred

SET Recommendations

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Hey Folks,

 

Just got a pair of Fortes circa 1985. Now I'm wanting to try SET sound. But I know next to nothing about these low power tube amps. Can anyone recommend some that I should be considering? Will be using my Marantz PM-15S2 as the pre-amp. I'll likely need to buy used or maybe an affordable cottage-industry type since my price range is around $700. Any suggestions of brands or where to look?

 

thanks,

Tancred

 

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Size of your room?

 

Distance from speakers to listening position?

 

Type(s) of music?

 

How loud do you listen?

 

What are your listening criteria/biases?

 

Need this information to make a useful recommendation. :)

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I have a dedicated listening room. Speakers are seven feet apart and about a foot from front wall. The room is 16 wide with an angled ceiling about 10 feet high. My listening distance is 13-14 feet. I listen to all types of music, anything from hard rock to classical. But I'm really starting to dig simple music, acoustic stuff like bluegrass or female vocals recorded without a lot sound engineering. I know a SET isn't for high volume and that's fine. I can always use my Marantz for those occasions.  

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2 hours ago, dtel's wife said:

Would also suggest that you talk to @MetropolisLakeOutfitters.  He's an authorized Klipsch dealer and also sells other equipment!

I don't believe he offers anything in the tube realm.

 

I would highly recommend Dennis Had on ebay for his Inspire line of SET tube amps.  Highly regarded.  A little more money, but worth it.

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1 hour ago, jimjimbo said:

I don't believe he offers anything in the tube realm.

 

I would highly recommend Dennis Had on ebay for his Inspire line of SET tube amps.  Highly regarded.  A little more money, but worth it.

 

=== he speaks true —

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SEP... I think the 45 is a triode.

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Ok, check out Decware.com. 

 

The Rachel is a great little SET amp. Makes Richieb's Khorns sound better then he ever knew..

 

Cincy

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=== easy there Big Fella. Have you forgotten you listened to George Wright 2a3 monoblocks with Jubes on your KHorn safari? And if I remember correctly that is what led you to single ended amps. Although technically speaking the Decware amps are not “true” single ended as are the 2a3, 45, 300b, etc. And you are welcome for guiding you to the proper fork in the road. Albeit I threw her in reverse and did take the other fork eventually.

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17 hours ago, Tancred said:

I have a dedicated listening room. Speakers are seven feet apart and about a foot from front wall. The room is 16 wide with an angled ceiling about 10 feet high. My listening distance is 13-14 feet. I listen to all types of music, anything from hard rock to classical. But I'm really starting to dig simple music, acoustic stuff like bluegrass or female vocals recorded without a lot sound engineering. I know a SET isn't for high volume and that's fine. I can always use my Marantz for those occasions.  

 

Thank you for the additional info.

 

As others have stated, the more common Single Ended Triode (SET) amps use the 45, 2A3, 300B (among others) Directly Heated Triode tubes.

 

There are also Single Ended amps that use Pentode tubes, some wired as triodes.

 

For $700 or so, I would look at Single Ended amp based on one of the plentiful and reasonably priced pentode tubes (EL84, EL34, KT88) - my personal preference is for the EL84. These can be run in Pentode or wired in Triode (~50% of the power).

 

Decware and Dennis Had are certainly good places to start.

 

As an aside, I run 845, 300B and 2A3 SET amps. One of my favorite amps, however, is my EL84 SEP amp, the Almarro A205a. Drives my Belles beautifully. :)

 

If you find one of the A205a amps used, grab it. 

 

This is just my opinion and, as always, YMMV.

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On 2/11/2019 at 5:10 PM, jimjimbo said:

I don't believe he offers anything in the tube realm.

 

I would highly recommend Dennis Had on ebay for his Inspire line of SET tube amps.  Highly regarded.  A little more money, but worth it.

 

What he said, he is offering a 45 or 300b set

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In all likelihood, no. It is very important to purchase something at a certain base level of quality. One of my local friends bought a cheap amp because he had never before seen such a good deal. He then spent another $450 trying to get the amp gremlins solved, only to find at $850 into it that he purchased a shitty $400 that sounds even worse at $850.

 

spend some money, get into quality, and leave the learning curve for others.

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Quote

Instead of one of the amps on eBay, I would spring for the Musical Paradise MP-301 MK3 for $340 - $560 (depending on upgraded tubes and with shipping).

 

Musical Paradise are good folks to deal with plus I believe that there are some folks on the forums using the MP-301 on their Klipsch.

 

Just my opinion. :)

 

Thanks but I do not want an integrated amp. I think I will start a new thread as to not hijack this one. 

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I have an MP-301, which I used as a power amp for many years (just turn the volume knob all the way up), with a separate preamp.  For the money, it was a pretty good amp.  It definitely did sound quite different with different tubes.  I tried 6l6, KT88 and EL34 with it, all had a characteristic sound.

 

I eventually went to a Latino ST70, as I could never quite eliminate the hum from the MP-301.  It would probably be unnoticeable on most speakers, but it was annoying with 103dB La Scalas.  I'm not sure how Fortes would fare here.  Probably would be ok.  There are also some mods out there that are supposed to eliminate the hum and provide more capacitance to the power supply.  I actually bought the parts to do this, and never got around to installing them, as I got the ST70 around that time. 

 

All in all, not bad for a ~$400 investment.  Will definitely give you a taste of the tube sound, but definitely not the end-all be-all.  A true SET amp (using a "real" triode like 45, 2a3 or 300b) will be much more expensive.  SEP can give you a taste of that sound for a lot less.  If you like what you hear, you can always upgrade to something better down the road.

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