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Best Amp/Preamp for Driving Klipschors


johntoye
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Good afternoon everyone. I have a set of 1990 AK-3 Khorns and just love them. I am currently driving them with a Sansui G-8700DB Receiver and they sound amazing. I am trying to match a smaller receiver or Amp/Preamp combo that can fit in my entertainment center. The Sansui is just huge and doesn't fit that well.

 

Although I I am pleased with the Sansui match up, I am looking into possibly using a Yamaha M-50 Amp and C-50 Matching Preamp for the Khorns. Does anyone have experience driving their Khorns with these pieces of equipment? I am also open to other amp/preamp or receiver recommendations that you may have.

 

Thanks for the help!

 

Cheers, 

 

John

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These days, amps sound mostly the same.  To wit: the $10k Richard Clark Amplifier Challenge.  

 

From the website: https://www.stevemeadedesigns.com/board/topic/193850-richard-clark-10000-amplifier-challenge/  :

 

"The Richard Clark Amp Challenge is a listening test intended to show that as long as a modern audio amplifier is operated within its linear range (below clipping), the differences between amps are inaudible to the human ear. Because thousands of people have taken the test, the test is significant to the audiophile debate over audibility of amplifier differences. This document was written to summarize what the test is, and answer common questions about the test. Richard Clark was not involved in writing this document." 

 

This does not mean one should be totally indiscriminate when choosing an amplifier!!  Indeed, one should make sure it can drive the speakers to required levels without distortion becoming audible.  ..For Klipsch speakers, this should be fairly easy due to their incredible efficiency.

 

Of course, there are also other considerations, like features.  Are tone controls important? ..How about a Mono switch? ..Or maybe wattage meters??  And form factor matters too.  ..If it's prominently visible sitting in the family great-room, then maybe you'll want it to be attractive or at least unobtrusive looking.  Do you want DSP room correction, etc..?  

 

But don't succumb to the idea that matching your amp to your speakers is akin to matching your Cabernet to your expensive filet mignon.  ..Nope. 

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11 hours ago, ned said:

Sounds like you might consider keeping the Sansui and changing the entertainment center. People move for the sake of KHorns. 

This.  Lock the thread.  If you're happy with your audio setup it will be cheaper in the long run to get a different entertainment center.  

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38 minutes ago, BadChile said:

If you're happy with your audio setup it will be cheaper in the long run to get a different entertainment center.  

 

I have to agree with this here if you're happy with the sound now trying something else is going to be a crapshoot-- you might get lucky right out of the gate but maybe not. Either way you may end up in an endless loop of trying new gear which can turn expensive really quick like. 

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49 minutes ago, johntoye said:

Thanks everyone I know it sounds crazy to try something else even though I am completely satisfied. 

 

I am also using a 42 year old receiver that is sure to need some work sometime.

 

Here's the thing. Most people think their systems sound good, and they probably do (to the owner at least). But how would we ever upgrade if we didn't try something else? It's better to try it in your system than to rely on a demo at a dealer. If you have a local dealer who is willing to let you take stuff home, that's great. I don't have any high end stores closer than 100 miles. So I roll the dice and try things. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. But at least it's never boring in my listening room.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

IMHO, the first watt needs to be clean because that's the power range you're typically driving Klipschorns with.  I started with my grandfather's McIntosh MC-2105 and barely moved the needles.  Way overkill and sounded a little lacking.  I then tried some Denon integrated amps and had some joy, especially (obviously) in a 5.1 or 7.2 environment.  But the best I've heard, personally, was my 2A3 SET amps (3W each) with tubed pre-amp.  I was (very) fortunate to try Jeff Lessard's initial efforts with his Pantheon pre-amp, followed by a pair of his Horus 2A3 monoblocks (with cobalt laminations on the output transformers) and a pair of matched AVVT 2A3 Meshplates.  That pair of tubes is now pretty much unobtainium and they are sonically wonderful and visually captivating.

 

I'm attaching a couple of crappy pictures of them when I last took them out for cleaning.

 

PS:  Greg Roberts' V-Trac modifications (Volti Audio) made a huge difference over the stock midrange horns.  That was a life changer; dialing back the midrange via the ALK crossover taps allowed the bass to "come up" in comparison to the midrange and balanced out the whole audio spectrum.

 

Chris

Pantheon Pre and Horus SET Monoblocks Small.jpg

AVVT Meshplate 2A3 Small.jpg

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6 hours ago, Chris Robinson said:

IMHO, the first watt needs to be clean because that's the power range you're typically driving Klipschorns with.  I started with my grandfather's McIntosh MC-2105 and barely moved the needles.  Way overkill and sounded a little lacking.  I then tried some Denon integrated amps and had some joy, especially (obviously) in a 5.1 or 7.2 environment.  But the best I've heard, personally, was my 2A3 SET amps (3W each) with tubed pre-amp.  I was (very) fortunate to try Jeff Lessard's initial efforts with his Pantheon pre-amp, followed by a pair of his Horus 2A3 monoblocks (with cobalt laminations on the output transformers) and a pair of matched AVVT 2A3 Meshplates.  That pair of tubes is now pretty much unobtainium and they are sonically wonderful and visually captivating.

 

I'm attaching a couple of crappy pictures of them when I last took them out for cleaning.

 

PS:  Greg Roberts' V-Trac modifications (Volti Audio) made a huge difference over the stock midrange horns.  That was a life changer; dialing back the midrange via the ALK crossover taps allowed the bass to "come up" in comparison to the midrange and balanced out the whole audio spectrum.

 

Chris

Wow, good to see you posting Chris.  Have not seen you here in many years. 

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