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Best Amp?


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  • 3 weeks later...


I was powering my Khorns(93) with Adcoms Limited Edition GFA-585(3000 made)amp, now have gone HT with the Marantz SR18EX Receiver and have 2 Marantz MA700 mono blocks running my Khorns(LaScalas, sometime soon I hope, and C7 to round out). The GFA-535 powered a pair of Hersey II's through a Pioneer VSX-9900S Receiver(old pic 93)The Kenwood junk went with the ex at the split as well as the Hersey's and was replaced with the Adcom GTP-500II and GCD-575 (GCD700 replaced). But after Adcom's problems with the GTP700 series I decided time for a change and went Marantz. I just happen to prefer solid state to tubes, my preference.

This message has been edited by boomer9911 on 05-20-2001 at 12:36 AM

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I know its a heresy (not the speaker) round here to suggest a solid state amp but you might want to look at an Accuphase solution. Depending on your budget either an integrated E407 or go the whole hog and get one of their pre-amps with a pair of monoblocks (combos go up to around $65,000 with the power rectifiers and all that).

I have experienced the E407 solution and frankly have never heard anything anywhere that sounded half as good.

Just a thought...


Originally posted by JMON:

Ok, I am writing to get everyone's thoughts and opinions on what the best amplifier would be for K-horns. I have heard quite a bit of praise for SET amps, but have never heard one. The 2A3 SET's seem to be favored over the 300B's. I currently own an Audio Research VT-50 tube amp and love it. Of course, if there is something that would sound even better with K-horns, then I would like to look into it. For the 2A3 amps, I hear that Cary makes a top-notch amp. Are there any others out there that could be even better? Another amp that I have considered is the BAT VK-60. I just want to hear what the rest of you think. Of course I will let my own ears decide, but thought I could get some good suggestions from the rest of you Klipschaholics.

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Thanks for the additional comments and suggestions guys.

I am looking for something more along the lines of tube amps. I have tried some very highly regarded solid-state amps (Threshold, Classe, and Jeff Rowland). I have even had Harman/Kardon and Adcom SS amps in my system at one time or another. They all sounded excellent. The Threshold was great, had fantastic bass, but I preferred the Classe over it just slightly. The Classe seemed to be a bit smoother and natural sounding, although the bass wasn't quite as deep. The Rowland had a sound similar to the Classe, but just a little bit better overall. Then, I tried a tube amp (ARC VT-50), and it exceeded all the other amps I've used. This is the only tube amp I've tried, but it was enough to convince me that tubes sound better (at least to my ears, and at least with this particular tube amp). As it's been said many times, tubes and horns go well together. This experience has led me to want to get into SET's, as the word going 'round says they will produce "magic". I would love to hear how that sounds like. I don't have any complaints of the way my system sounds now, but if there is something better out there (price not being prohibitive of course), I would like to look into it.

Boomer: you have a pretty nice looking setup. Those Khorns sure do look good.

Max: I have never heard Accuphase, but do understand they are pretty good stuff.

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I think the key work here is "Preference" in the tube versus SS. I've owned and listened to a wide variety of both types and presently prefer tubes. There are many factors that one takes into account when choosing their mode of amplification. Tube versus SS is just like vinyl versus CD. Some people prefer one over the other and some prefer both. I've auditioned 2A3 amps and 300B amps and I prefer the 300B. If I had to describe the difference in one word it would be the 300B sounded more "Liquid". What a kind of world would it be if we didn't have a choice, or the freedom to express our opinions?

Jim L

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Hello amplifier enthusiasts,

I find these discussions to be most interesting. My experience with Forte IIs and RB5s and a variety of amplifiers (SS (assorted NAD, Nelson Pass, JOB), Tube (Heath W-5M), ss pwm (Tripath TA1101B based homebuilt)) to resolved down to two areas of performance:

1) distortion at less than 1 watt: Generally push-pull SS amps do very poorly here. Their distortion is specified at "rated output" for good reason. Klipsch speakers are efficient and have transistor amplifiers operating where their distortion is greatest. The Nelson Pass class A is good, but expensive and noisy. The JOB seems to be an exception, but I don't know how it works and it's not cheap. The KT66 based Heath is at its best at a watt or less. The Tripath-based amp is very good, but you have to build your own (see TA1101B specifications at tripath.com). If specifications or measured characteristics are to be used for comparison for use with Klipsch speakers, the power at which the measurements were taken should be included. For me, anything above a watt looses meaning because I listen to my Forte IIs at 1/8 watt (90dB).

2) RF interference. RF seems to trash anything. I've resorted to industrial strength beads on all I/O and power. I use them on the Heath and the Tripath-based amp. Note: there is a radio transmission tower located across the street from my house. This may explain my sensitivity to RF issues.

My main point here is that I believe people should be concentrating on amplifier performance at a watt or less. Amplifiers that excell at low power are likely to be amplifiers that Klipsch owners will find most satisfying.

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