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(Quasi-repost) Sub-$1K tubes to pair with Belles?


GriffinFL
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It was recommended to me that I repost this question down here for more thoughts.  

 

I just scored a beautiful pair of Belles (bought new in 1987 per the seller) out in Satellite Beach for $2500, and the guy even threw in his Marantz surround receiver (which I probably won't use, as it's way more complex than what I need for the lifestyle application here).  And my wife agreed that they not only look like nice furniture, they also fit in perfectly with the living room furniture she already picked out, so win-win-win! 

 

So now I'm contemplating a number of things, including the space they're going in and what kind of miraculous treatments I'll need to maximize their strengths in the room, but also various options to power them. 

 

Initially, again due to our lifestyle, I'm looking at some Bluetooth preamp options (kinda like this Denon unit) , and I'll probably use my old Onkyo block to power them temporarily, but I really, really want to at least dip my toe into the tube waters.  But I look around online these days, and it sure looks like there be sharks everywhere!  What's a good entry-level SET power amp, preferably sub-$1K, for these speaks?  And keep in mind reflective surfaces are literally EVERYWHERE in this house - tile floors, glass sliders on half the walls, etc... so I really need to invest in tasteful-looking (read: the expensive shit) acoustic treatments before I blow big bucks on the amp, or it's just throwing money down a hole.  Already ordered some sound dampening curtains for the sliding glass doors, and about to pull the trigger on some wall panels and corner bass traps while my wife contemplates an area rug to cut down on floor reflections.  

 

Of course, you all might look at me and say, "Bluetooth?  You're throwing your money down a hole anyway, you jackass!"  Which is a perfectly acceptable response.

Edited by GriffinFL
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I agree that you should wait until you have done the acoustical treatment work before deciding on an amp.  That said, much will depend on how loudly you listen, how close to the speakers you will sit when listening, etc.  I have had guys running as little as 300 mw per channel SETs with LSs without issues.  This topic should generate some good discussion.

 

 

Maynard

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On 3/19/2021 at 8:21 AM, GriffinFL said:

It was recommended to me that I repost this question down here for more thoughts.  

 

I just scored a beautiful pair of Belles (bought new in 1987 per the seller) out in Satellite Beach for $2500, and the guy even threw in his Marantz surround receiver (which I probably won't use, as it's way more complex than what I need for the lifestyle application here).  And my wife agreed that they not only look like nice furniture, they also fit in perfectly with the living room furniture she already picked out, so win-win-win! 

 

So now I'm contemplating a number of things, including the space they're going in and what kind of miraculous treatments I'll need to maximize their strengths in the room, but also various options to power them. 

 

Initially, again due to our lifestyle, I'm looking at some Bluetooth preamp options (kinda like this Denon unit) , and I'll probably use my old Onkyo block to power them temporarily, but I really, really want to at least dip my toe into the tube waters.  But I look around online these days, and it sure looks like there be sharks everywhere!  What's a good entry-level SET power amp, preferably sub-$1K, for these speaks?  And keep in mind reflective surfaces are literally EVERYWHERE in this house - tile floors, glass sliders on half the walls, etc... so I really need to invest in tasteful-looking (read: the expensive shit) acoustic treatments before I blow big bucks on the amp, or it's just throwing money down a hole.  Already ordered some sound dampening curtains for the sliding glass doors, and about to pull the trigger on some wall panels and corner bass traps while my wife contemplates an area rug to cut down on floor reflections.  

 

Of course, you all might look at me and say, "Bluetooth?  You're throwing your money down a hole anyway, you jackass!"  Which is a perfectly acceptable response.

Also, what crossovers are in your Belle?

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1 hour ago, GriffinFL said:

 

That is a great question.  I assume they are the stock crossovers from 1987, if that helps at all. 

They should be labeled something like "AB" or "AB2" or the likes

Congrats, they look great!

Example:

1.thumb.jpg.ee5bc365a035e6a2c7cd23268c4ed382.jpg

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3 hours ago, TasDom said:

They should be labeled something like "AB" or "AB2" or the likes

Congrats, they look great!

Example:

1.thumb.jpg.ee5bc365a035e6a2c7cd23268c4ed382.jpg

The mark is faded badly, wouldn't have noticed it if I didn't know where to look thanks to your photo, but they are in fact type AB. Cheers!

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42 minutes ago, GriffinFL said:

The mark is faded badly, wouldn't have noticed it if I didn't know where to look thanks to your photo, but they are in fact type AB. Cheers!

I thought the belle sounded horrible with ab crossovers , be looking to change those when you can.

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1 hour ago, GriffinFL said:

The mark is faded badly, wouldn't have noticed it if I didn't know where to look thanks to your photo, but they are in fact type AB. Cheers!

 

Congrats on the speakers.  They do match well. 

 

You should just slow down and listen for a while. 

 

Please post a model number and pic of the receiver.  You may have one of the outstanding ones (Like a Denon AVR 5800) that will 'get you by' for a long while. 

 

I am hesitant to start talking about crossovers already, but you did post them.  I got lucky with my AB crossovers and you might too.  What transformer do you have? It looks like you may have the correct one (multiple taps, 3619 I believe) where you can very easily turn these into Type A crossovers just by buying a few capacitors and using the existing 2.4 mh inductor. It can be as cheap as $50 or so to covert these depending on the goodies that are already in the crossovers.

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Here are the schematics.  If you have the T2A (or 3619) transformer with multiple taps, you can use the 2.5 mH inductor and just buy tqo 13 uF and 2 2 uF caps and be done. 

 

I did notice that the picture is not your crossovers, but you might get lucky.

 

I also see that each of these use Tap 4.  Can someone confirm the attenuation on Tap 4 of the T2A and the T9A?

 

 

Type A.jpg

Belle Type AB.jpg

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1 hour ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

Here are the schematics.  If you have the T2A (or 3619) transformer with multiple taps, you can use the 2.5 mH inductor and just buy tqo 13 uF and 2 2 uF caps and be done. 

 

I did notice that the picture is not your crossovers, but you might get lucky.

 

I also see that each of these use Tap 4.  Can someone confirm the attenuation on Tap 4 of the T2A and the T9A?

 

 

Type A.jpg

Belle Type AB.jpg

T2a and T9a are interchangeable?...

 

crap! Just reread your post and looked at my ab, they have a t2a not t9a. 

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3 hours ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

You should just slow down and listen for a while. 

 

Believe me.  Since I got them hooked up early this afternoon, my wife and I have been geeking on how detailed everything sounds, hearing stuff she's never heard before on songs she's listened to for years. 

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1 hour ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

 

Don't know if they are interchangeable for the A type.  Depends on the attenuation.

 

If you have the T2A you are good to go to build the Type A. 

 

Autotransformer types and values:

 

T2A(3110A)   -3, -6, -9, -12db

T3A(3465-M)  -6db

T4A(3485)  -4db

T5A(3496)  -6db

T7A(3504)  -10db

T8A(3507)  -8db

T9A(3540)  -3db

T10A(3542)  -9db

T11A  -12db

 

Looks like the T9A has only one tap, tap 4, which is -3db.  It would be the same as a T2A using tap 4, also -3db.

 

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4 hours ago, Madman1 said:

I thought the belle sounded horrible with ab crossovers , be looking to change those when you can.

 

I guess there's a relativity thing going on here.  Probably the sheer brightness of the space with the tile and glass everywhere is accentuating the high frequency output (via reflections) that might be darker in a different environment.  All I know is that even with a shitty stereo receiver and badly corroded old Monster cables, it's smooth, detailed, and dynamic, just like I remembered in the Heritage room back in '04. 

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