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Imsjry

Chorus ii-Tube Pre/SS Amp combo or other way around?

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Hi all. Looking for some guidance to test entering some Tube sound into my chain. I am not unhappy with my current sound, but always curious what Tubes might add to the Chorus ii's.


Current Setup:
Preamp-Yamaha CX-1
Power Amp-Parasound 1200ii
Speakers-Klipsch Chorus ii

Keeping in mind this is just experimenting at this point, would i be better off getting a tube preamp to use with the Parasound, or better off keeping the Yamaha preamp and trying a less expensive tube amp?

Thanks in advance for any guidance!

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36 minutes ago, Imsjry said:

Hi all. Looking for some guidance to test entering some Tube sound into my chain. I am not unhappy with my current sound, but always curious what Tubes might add to the Chorus ii's.


Current Setup:
Preamp-Yamaha CX-1
Power Amp-Parasound 1200ii
Speakers-Klipsch Chorus ii

Keeping in mind this is just experimenting at this point, would i be better off getting a tube preamp to use with the Parasound, or better off keeping the Yamaha preamp and trying a less expensive tube amp?

Thanks in advance for any guidance!

I have Chorus II. I would run a tube preamp with solid state amp. That is what I'm doing now and have done in the past. The better you get upstream, the better better the sound IMHO. As to tube preamp recommendations, that depends on your budget, desired features, and sound preferences. Different tube types do sound different so which preamp to choose based on sound  is a whole other ball game. Have fun!

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Chorus II Shine with good quality solid-state amplification. I would stick with both solid-state preamp and amplifier. 

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13 minutes ago, jimjimbo said:

Chorus II Shine with good quality solid-state amplification. I would stick with both solid-state preamp and amplifier. 

 

Interesting. I was under the assumption Klipsch in general benefited from Tubes which is why i got this idea in the first place.

 

I also know this depends on what kind of sound you're looking for. That's a hard one for me to answer since i don't feel I'm "missing" anything. I feel like the Parasound has a nice  "warm/natural" sound but just assumed Tubes in the chain would improve on that. 

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Cornwall is better choice to run with small SET or SEP tubes. The Chorus use a K48 pro woofer large VC designed for power and hence the recommendation for a SS amp.

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I definitely recommend going with a tube amplifier.  Much of the "magic" which folks experience is a result of the interaction of the speakers with the higher than SS output impedance of tube amps as well as  the characteristics which define a particular type of design (such as SET, SEP, push-pull pentodes or triodes, etc. all of which can sound different from one another).  Unfortunately, the only way for you to know what will create the most pleasing result is to actually hear various tube amps in your system.  If you decide to buy new, do it with a dealer or manufacturer who offers a return option (Decware equipment is one very fine example and you can call Steve to discuss the type of sound you like).  Or, perhaps you can find used equipment in your town on CL and  arrange a demo in your own system.  Whatever you decide, I'm confident that you will find a tube amp which opens a very new dimension in your listening enjoyment as compared with SS.

 

Maynard

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14 minutes ago, Imsjry said:

So that's 2 for Tubes and 2 for SS. :-)

At the risk of sounding obnoxious (some say a specialty of mine) and repeating myself, go with a tube preamp and keep your solid state amp. You will get the best of both worlds. The tube preamp in my experience will flesh out the vocals, smooth out the midrange and give more of a sweetness to the treble. The solid state amp will still provide the drive you need for the woofer. Depending on e bass characteristics of the tube preamp you may or may not  get a fuller bass.

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4 hours ago, Imsjry said:

So that's 2 for Tubes and 2 for SS. 🙂

it is as much about the loudspeaker as it is the amp. (for example) The Cornwall was voiced for tube amps the Cornwall ll was voiced for SS amps add to that any preference that you may have and it comes down to you doing some listening and picking your own poison.

(in the case of the Chorus) The moving mass of the K48 (woofer) is around 78grams so it is still light enough to be driven by smaller tube amps and sound good or larger SS amps. (no matter what kind of amp you choose) How it will sound to you only you can say.

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1 hour ago, moray james said:

it is as much about the loudspeaker as it is the amp. The Cornwall was voiced for tube amps the Cornwall ll was voiced for SS amps add to that any preference that you may have and it comes down to you doing some listening and picking your own poison. The moving mass of the K48 is around 78grams so it is still light enough to be driven by smaller tube amps and sound good. How it will sound to you only you can say.

He's asking about Chorus II, not Cornwall.

 

Believe me, Chorus II need good quality higher wattage SS.  In my experience, they are much better at mid to higher volume than low volume, and in my experience, tubes are great for most of the Klipsch line, but the Chorus and Forte are the exception.  IMHO, YMMV, TGIF

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1 hour ago, jimjimbo said:

He's asking about Chorus II, not Cornwall.

 

Believe me, Chorus II need good quality higher wattage SS.  In my experience, they are much better at mid to higher volume than low volume, and in my experience, tubes are great for most of the Klipsch line, but the Chorus and Forte are the exception.  IMHO, YMMV, TGIF

I have made some minor adjustments to my post. I happen agree that the Chorus with a k48 fifteen inch pro woofer which has a 4" voice coil and which was designed for high level applications does sound better when plied with power however there are lots of owners who use small tube amps with Chorus and like them that way. My point is that only the owner can decide upon what he/she will like. Listen make a judgment and there you are, that is just about all there is to say about it after all has been said and done. Or, you can lead a Chorus owner to a SS amp but you cannot make him/her connect it to their speakers.

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Very interesting stuff guys, thanks! 

 

Seems like my SS gear is almost perfect for the Chorus and I should stop wondering about Tubes with them. I had no idea they were designed for Solid State because I've read so many things that say Chorus/Forte's love tubes. If the curiosity stays with me, maybe i'll try a 30 day return, low price tube amp just to get it out of my system.  

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On 9/17/2019 at 7:09 AM, Imsjry said:

Very interesting stuff guys, thanks! 

 

Seems like my SS gear is almost perfect for the Chorus and I should stop wondering about Tubes with them. I had no idea they were designed for Solid State because I've read so many things that say Chorus/Forte's love tubes. If the curiosity stays with me, maybe i'll try a 30 day return, low price tube amp just to get it out of my system.  

Better that you find some new friend(s) with very good tube amps and listen to those. I have after a long time found that trying out cheap things does not tell you very much. A cheap tube amp is a bit of an oxymoron, building a good tube amp is not an inexpensive project. Listening first is much less expensive. A good front end is your best investment.

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Yes, you will always wonder.

Meanwhile, you will have a smile listening to your Chorus rocking out...😎

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I would definitely stay away from inexpensive tube gear. While some people have found good sounding cheaper tube gear, it's really a crap shoot. A good tube system is expensive compared to SS. Instead of investing in tube gear only to find out you don't like it, I would suggest listening to other peoples systems, if possible. Or if you happen to have a stereo store close by (becoming scarce) you could demo tube equipment vs SS on the same set of speakers to get a feel for difference in sound. I have let friends borrow tube equipment before so they could see if they like the sound.

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Anyone who says Chorus II's sound better with solid state amps... is sadly mistaken. I bought a pair in 1994ish. I tried them with the Yamaha Natural Sound 100watt per channel amp and preamp, I tried them with a 1000.00$ Crown 1000watt per channel mosfet amp and the Yamaha pre, my Pioneer 100 watt per channel receiver, and my friend's Denon 80watt per channel receiver, all connected to an Adcom CD player and California Audio Labs DAC. They were loud, but that's all.

 

Then I bought the Dynaco Stereo 70 Series II... I was the first time I cried from the musical beauty that washed over me. It changed my life. There was NO comparison. NONE.

 

35 watts per channel of tube juice made those 15' woofers pound so hard I couldn't feel the couch I was sitting in! The woofers were pounding harder than any of the other amps, AND the mids!!!!! So crunchy! So windy! The Dynaco smoothed out the harshness that every solid state amp I tried had. I have been a tube junkie ever since. I eventually used an Adcom solid state preamp with the Dynaco and it rocked my world for 14 years until I had to sell the chorus' due to moving. I miss those speakers every day.

 

But the thing I will never part with is the Dynaco. I have since rebuilt it and it runs a pair of KLF-10's that, while not as loud, sound every bit as juicy as the Chours' did. I have a tube pre now and will never go back to solid state. Plus there's not an SS amp in existence as purdy as my glowing Dynaco. I hope every SS owner is terribly offended ;)!

 

 

 

 

Dyna.jpg

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Thanks all for your input. Sounds like there is not really a decent, "cheaper" way to try out tubes that would be worthwhile. My goal was just to find something inexpensive with a 30 day return just to see if i liked or even noticed the change. I've read some posts that talked about tubes being some life changing event vs SS and some of those I've read are somehow even using little tube "headphone" amps as the Pre to drive their system.

I'll stay very happy with my current "budget" SS gear (which really is wonderful) until i win the lottery someday.

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if you are happy and content with things and you do not have the finances to experiment with some higher end that is just as well. But if this is a situation of you simply not being convinced that spending more will really deliver more with good value then listening to some well developed systems might make all the difference. Beware though you may just open a box you can't put the lid back onto. Add to that the more you listen the better idea you will have of what it is that you personally like in a system. If you discover that you do have a taste for something better then the used market can help you to achieve your desired goal at a substantial saving to the new market.

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12 hours ago, Imsjry said:

Thanks all for your input. Sounds like there is not really a decent, "cheaper" way to try out tubes that would be worthwhile. My goal was just to find something inexpensive with a 30 day return just to see if i liked or even noticed the change. I've read some posts that talked about tubes being some life changing event vs SS and some of those I've read are somehow even using little tube "headphone" amps as the Pre to drive their system.

I'll stay very happy with my current "budget" SS gear (which really is wonderful) until i win the lottery someday.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HiFi-EL34-Vacuum-Tube-Power-Amplifier-Stereo-Class-A-Single-ended-Audio-Amp-20W/272952243837?hash=item3f8d38b67d:g:CBEAAOSwm3ldbXDC

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nobsound-NS-02D-HiFi-EL34-Vacuum-Tube-Amplifier-Class-A-Stereo-Audio-Power-Amp/271612287363?hash=item3f3d5a9983:g:PC0AAOSwxOFdD1ny

https://www.ebay.com/itm/DIY-Tube-amp-kit-6L6-6N8P-Single-Ended-Tube-Power-amplifier-kit-HL-132/131826748885?hash=item1eb17c8dd5:g:KF8AAOSwneRXRY-v

Read what others in other forums have said about these amps, I think you'll be suprised.

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How big is your room, how loud do you listen and how close are you to the Chorus II's? I ran Chorus II's for years and threw everything at them during that time in a few different settings. In a smaller room at low to mid volumes even low powered tube amps work great for the Chorus II, they'll also work great in larger rooms but will run out of steam fairly quickly so not good for house parties more for casual listening. 

 

 

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