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Slimming my amp collection for Fortes...

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This forum is a valuable resource and I appreciate the wealth of information and experience to be found here. I have a quandary and seek guidance, I will try to keep this as brief as possible.

 

I have been running Klipsch Fortes with a converted Baldwin organ tube amp for the last 10-15 years. I listen to rock and like to be capable of moderate-high volumes. I like full and punchy sound. I've tried a few preamps, but no matter what I use, the Baldwin needs to be pushed to the brink of clipping for my normal listening volume which I would occasionally like to be able to exceed. I've always wished the Baldwin had a bit more to give.

 

Today I was doing some basement cleaning and decided I needed to sell a few old amps I have had sitting on a shelf for years. I tested out a couple solid state amps with some NHT speakers that were also laying around so I could accurately describe the condition before selling. I was taken aback by how good they sounded despite clearly needing a cap job and cleaning. They just seem to have impact that the Baldwin can't produce and I know from previous experience that one of them will produce more volume with the Fortes.

 

I need help deciding which of them will work best for me before sinking money into reconditioning. I do not consider myself an audiophile, I do not frequently feel a need to change or upgrade my gear. I like a warm and full sound as described above. I listen to vinyl 95% of the time so I need a good phono stage (which they all have). The other 5% is all one aux input which I connect to an echo audio device and play during workouts. I just want to choose something that best fits my needs, get it in proper shape, and move on with my life. 

 

Here are the options (in no particular order):

 

  • NAD 3020 Series 20 - Have not used with the Fortes
  • Yamaha C-80 Preamp with TBD power amp - this is the preamp I'm currently using with the Baldwin. It has a quite good reputation on Audiokarma, etc.
  • HK430 - Previously used with the Fortes, sounded great. Sounded a little more veiled with less kick than the NAD today with test speakers, but with both amps needing work I don't want to judge it too critically.
  • Some other vintage receiver or integrated. Pioneer, Sansui, Marantz, whatever.

 

The Yamaha option may theoretically offer the highest performance, not sure how the 3020 would really compare to the HK430...anyone have experience with these amps or similar? Any thoughts? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

 

Edited by 1664

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Keep the c80, no brainer

 

Buy a Yamaha MX 600 or MX 800 and re-cap the unit. World class amps

 

You will have great sound compared to anything no matter the price

  • Thanks 1

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For what it’s worth - just yesterday/today I set up a near field system in a spare bedroom - Heresy 3, CD player, HK430 and/or Vaughn EL84 single ended integrated. HK is untouched, all OE caps etc. A quick A-B comparison gives the clear edge to the Vaughn EL84. 
Without a flowery 6moons audio description the Vaughn is much more refined with clear delineation over the entire spectrum - HF to LF.

It just sounds more “audiophile” and perfect for a small room near field rig. The HK is losses out on every front, top to bottom.
Most here rave on the HK series with many being restored with new internals and  I’m comparing My unrestored amp with a high quality single ended tube amp. I’ve yet to see the allure for investing money in an HK restoration.

  • Thanks 1

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46 minutes ago, Bubo said:

Keep the c80, no brainer

 

Buy a Yamaha MX 600 or MX 800 and re-cap the unit. World class amps

 

You will have great sound compared to anything no matter the price

 

Many thanks, this is what I figured.

 

36 minutes ago, richieb said:

For what it’s worth - just yesterday/today I set up a near field system in a spare bedroom - Heresy 3, CD player, HK430 and/or Vaughn EL84 single ended integrated. HK is untouched, all OE caps etc. A quick A-B comparison gives the clear edge to the Vaughn EL84. 
Without a flowery 6moons audio description the Vaughn is much more refined with clear delineation over the entire spectrum - HF to LF.

It just sounds more “audiophile” and perfect for a small room near field rig. The HK is losses out on every front, top to bottom.
Most here rave on the HK series with many being restored with new internals and  I’m comparing My unrestored amp with a high quality single ended tube amp. I’ve yet to see the allure for investing money in an HK restoration.

 

Noted, thank you. Guess I know what I'll be doing with that one!

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41 minutes ago, richieb said:


Without a flowery 6moons audio description

Like

The Bass sounds like Red wine

or

The "headphone cables sound fast",

90% of the speed of light

 

  • Haha 1

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