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MagicMtnDan

Looking for an amp for my LaScalas

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I'm a long-time LaScala owner and enthusiast (twenty-plus years of enjoyment) and it's time to get something new for them to play with. My LS's need a new amp.

I think a tube amp would be great but I'm open to suggestions. I don't know what would be best for the rock and jazz I listen to and I need your help. I'd like to spend less than $1000 on the amp (less than $800 would be best). And I'd also like suggestions on a CD changer as a follow-on purchase.

What should I buy? (FYI: I'm not an audiophile so please use layman's terms with me - I know what I like even if I don't know the specs :D )

Thanks for your help!

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Hi!

"(FYI: I'm not an audiophile so please use layman's terms with me - I know what I like even if I don't know the specs :D )

Absolutely!

...this is a breath of fresh air.

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On 4/18/2005 7:15:22 PM MagicMtnDan wrote:

I'm a long-time LaScala owner and enthusiast (twenty-plus years of enjoyment) and it's time to get something new for them to play with. My LS's need a new amp.

I think a tube amp would be great but I'm open to suggestions. I don't know what would be best for the rock and jazz I listen to and I need your help. I'd like to spend less than $1000 on the amp (less than $800 would be best). And I'd also like suggestions on a CD changer as a follow-on purchase.

What should I buy? (FYI: I'm not an audiophile so please use layman's terms with me - I know what I like even if I don't know the specs
:D
)

Thanks for your help!

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

couple of questions might allow us to give you better suggestions

1. how large is your room?.... app. square footage as well as ceiling height?

2. how loud do you like to "crank it"?.... you mentioned rock and jazz..... ear-splitting levels or good background sound levels?

3. what are you using right now to power your speakers? ... a receiver?... an integrated amp?

as for the CD changer.... there is another thread going on right now on this forum - "best CD changer under $500"

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Thanks for all your help!

The LaScalas are in the living room that's about 15 x 20' with high ceiling (about 12' high). They're now being fed by an old Luxman integrated amp that's about 70-80 wpc. I do like to crank it up on occasion so that's still a necessity.

What amps do you recommend?

Thanks again.

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

On 4/19/2005 12:34:25 AM MagicMtnDan wrote:

Thanks for all your help!

The LaScalas are in the living room that's about 15 x 20' with high ceiling (about 12' high). They're now being fed by an old Luxman integrated amp that's about 70-80 wpc. I do like to crank it up on occasion so that's still a necessity.

What amps do you recommend?

Thanks again.

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because you do like to crank it up on occassion and your price range, i would recommend a good solid state amp that is known to work well with horn speakers

i will recommend the amp that i use with my KLF-30's that has the guts to handle anything and everything that i can throw at them

it is a Carver Professional ZR1000 digital amp based upon a tripath digital chip..... it provides 225 watts per channel @ 8 ohms - plenty of headroom for your LaScalas and yet it has a very good sound at low levels with a very smooth sound in the upper registers (btw - no connection at all with Bob Carver and Sunfire Corp)

there have been several recent threads on the Sonic-T digital amp and the Teac digital amp.... these low power and low cost designs sound great but will not allow you to "crank it up"

there is none of the harshness commonly associated with other solid state designs.... and i do occassionally like to listen to recordings of Maynard Ferguson (screaming trumpet player).... if this amp can make maynard's recording sound good on my KLF-30's, it can make almost any music sound GREAT on horns!!!

it has been called the "poor man's bel canto"..... (bel canto is a digital amp that costs well over $2000).... the unit does come with a fan for cooling - but after talking with carver tech support i disconnected the fan and the amp never even gets warm (fan has been disconnected for the entire time i have owned the amp)

http://www.carverpro.com/zramps.html

zr1000.jpg

you can find these amps occassionally on audiogon and ebay (as well as the larger ZR1600 model)....but a brand new model online goes for about $825

http://store.yahoo.com/djgear/cazrpoam1.html

i've used this amp for about a year and a half and it is the best amp i've ever owned (over 6 different amps) and one of the best amps that i have ever heard

all of the above of course is IMHO and others may offer other suggestions.... but i know that this amp would make your LaScalas sing!!

good luck in your amp quest!

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I have not heard the digital amplifiers on big ole horns, yet the comments from tube lovers on their big ole horns is enough to make me think they are worth serious consideration.

If tubes still is the end all and be all of long term musical enjoyment with big ole horns, then my first preference is for refurbished vintage integrated tube amplifiers from someone like frequent poster, NOSvalves.

Refurbished, because tubes and other internal components degrade slowly, so the sound can be bad even though the amplifier is still working. Vintage, because a $700 audio product from the seventies should cost about $2-3K in todays dollars, but instead sells for $3-6K now, so the value is better with vintage equipment, IF it has the right features and quality. Integrated, because using the same chassis and power supply, while not the absolute ideal, conserves resources and saves money, without huge differences with the relatively easy load that super-sensitive horns provide. Tubes, because as extremely low distortion devices themselves, horns love the odd order harmonic distortion of tubes (so while the THD measures high, it is the right kind of THD, versus solid-state, where the low THD is the wrong kind, the kind that wears out your ears after long periods).

In my brief experience on Khorns, at home and at Daddydees ARK meeting last year, the sound of a refurbished Scott, Eico and other such well built models compares quite favorably with feature rich HARMON KARDON solid-state receivers and Pass amps costing many times more. So that is my first choice.

The next step above that would be two new integrated tube amplifiers I have listened to on big ole horns: coppered colored Cayin TA30 and ASL 1003QT, auto-biasing, with sub output and remote control, both about $1K. I am sure there are others.

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