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Stereophile reviews $350,000 (yes, that's right) tube amp


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At our usual definition of clipping - 1% THD+noise - the Wavac give out just 2 watts or less into loads ranging from twice the nominall tap impedance to one quarter that nonminal value."

Not surprising using their test criteria. I'm not sure, but many good sounding tube amps probably don't do real well in this regard.

Thanks for link Edmond. Pretty good reading.

BTW, you guys need to quit saying that Paul has never heard SET, because every time you say it -- I'm sure he just starts laughing his rear end off.

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PaulParrot,

That picture shows only a small part of the configuration that they actually tested. The tested version includes a three chassis (from what I can see in the picture) outboard power supply (uh, substation?) with 550 pounds of transformers - per channel.

I tried to find a picture on the web of the whole shebang, but can't. I don't have the July Stereophile here to scan their picture. Let's see if anyone out there can scrounge up a picture of the complete setup?

The same issue has a review of a mega dollar Edge amp that (according to the manufacturer's commentary) was apparently broken in shipment after the reviewer listened to it and before Atkinson ran his tests, 'cause otherwise the horrifically high levels of high order harmonic distortion that were measured wouldn't have existed... ;)

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Damn, I almost brought my issue to work, did NOT get a chance to read it, maybe it is a misprint, maybe it should be 350,000 yen!!!

I cant even see a professional performer paying that kind of money for amplifiers, unless it won them a few car races

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----------------

On 6/15/2004 2:37:30 PM AK-4 wrote:

At our usual definition of clipping
-
1% THD+noise
- the Wavac give out just 2 watts or less into loads ranging from twice the nominall tap impedance to one quarter that nonminal value."

Not surprising using their test criteria. I'm not sure, but many good sounding tube amps probably don't do real well in this regard.

Thanks for link Edmond. Pretty good reading.

BTW, you guys need to quit saying that Paul has never heard SET, because every time you say it -- I'm sure he just starts laughing his rear end off.

----------------

At least someone took the time to do a little reading. It's so easy to say, "look at these measurements, ...it must suck". It's also easy to discount a product because the price is more than one has, or is willing to pay.

Do I believe everything I read? No.

Do I know how to read enough that I can be better informed and draw some fairly resonable impressions? Yes.

Again, seldom is anything as informative as actually listening to the product.

It would surely be a red letter day on this forum when there is less rush to judgement based on a few bits of information. In particular, it would be wonderful to see the acronym SET written and not have it followed by useless, uninformed drivel.

Klipsch out.

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"It would surely be a red letter day on this forum when there is less rush to judgement based on a few bits of information. In particular, it would be wonderful to see the acronym SET written and not have it followed by useless, uninformed drivel."

It doesn't matter how much info is being provided, the word "SET" itself will instantly trigger an immediate rush to judgement by at least one member of this forum.

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Have you noticed through the years . The higher the distortion the better the reviewers like the amps. Hmmmmmmm Just like the HH Scott collecters on this FORUM. But of course you all know all speakers show mutch higher distortion then the amps driving them.

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Even the venerable Stereophile magazine, which seems to blandly accept megabuck offerings, as long as they advertise, with the care of the butler-bred, had to comment, several times, on the yacht-size price of this ultimate amplifier. John Atkinson had to mention that you could buy a superb Wilson-Spectral-MIT-Naim system and a Merced SL500 for the same price!

BTW, page three is about Klipschs legal battles to stop online sales.

Page 16 says audio engineers do have early hearing loss at 4-6khz.

On page 27, along with a glorious review of the Mac 275, Sam Telling confesses to driving classic Klipsch corner Khorns with an Advent 15 WPC receiver.

Page 46 says that just about every bass reflex loudspeaker needs some damping by the amplifier, with the exception of big ole horns, whose drivers have minimal cone excursions.

The reviewer compares the $350K price tag to a Picasso, which is to put either the looks or the sound of the Wavac SH-833 into the league of rare, no longer produced and growing-in-value famous art. Which it clearly is not. So he spends seven paragraphs discussing its price, which is only five or six times more expensive than other highly recommended amplifiers, whose price did NOT give them such pause, but whose costly ownership stops my heart. But fear NOT, the four pieces come with personal installation by the designer (p. 74, which tells me just how much profit is tied up in those beasts). For all that money, the amplifier is NOT flat, there is a bass boost at 8-ohms between 30 and 200Hz. (Maybe that is what it takes to get SETs to handle the woofer impedances?)

In one of the measures that I relish, the reviewer found a flute performance to be especially enticing.

Higher distortion tube gear is gaining acceptance in recording studios, he says on page 81.

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