Jump to content

Good (Tube?) Amp for RF-7 w/ Tube Pre-Amp


Recommended Posts

I'm building a home theatre out of primarily Reference 7 speakers. I've already got the RF-7 mains and RC-7 center. I'll be adding surround and sub later.

The reason I'm posting this in the 2-channel forum is that I've also found a really nice tube pre-amp that I'm looking at for 2 channel listening, and I wanted to get some recommendations on a power amp(s) for the RF-7s when used in 2 channel mode. Sure, I can use the same amp as my home theater for now, but I'll probably end up getting a complete separate 2 channel setup in addition to the HT setup, so I wanted some ideas on what to look for.

Since the pre-amp is tube, should I make sure to go with a tube amp? How about amps like the Scott 299D? I've heard good things about them, but can they drive the low impedance dips on the RF-7? And can they be used with a separate pre-amp?

Any suggestions are welcome. [:)]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh boy, do a search here on the forum as there is quite a lot of information you may be interested in reading about then if you have a really specific question lots of guys are full of answers. I look forward to trying a tube preamp with my qsc amp some day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I've read quite a bit and there's lots of good info. I've got some great ideas for how to do my home theatre. I posted this because I'm specificially looking for amp ideas to go with a tube preamp. I'd hate to invest in a good tube preamp and waste it by using an amp that wasn't up to the task.

I've read the RF7s need LOTS of power to really come alive - 200 W, 300 or even more. But for tube amps, I'd be lucky to get 40W-50Wpc. Would it be enough given the impedance dip?

If I don't get the preamp I'm looking at, I'll probably go with a Scott integrated amp later. I really want to try out some tube equipment without breaking the bank.

My new Klipsch speakers have reminded me how much I love good sound. It's got me excited to try new stuff, but I want to make sure I don't spend foolishly. [:P]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have RF 7's for 2 channel and an audio research SP 11 tube pre amp [original cost $5000] I have both the above SS power amps. The Rotel is 200w and the Nad 150w/channel They both sound REALLY great. I can't tell the difference between the two. The NAD is new. Played about a month. The Rotel is like new in that it has been Factory Refurbished about 2 weeks ago. I'm looking to sell one of them. They both seem to be selling on e-bay at about $500. Nad list is $799 and Rotel 990 $1000 but the Rotel is over 15 years old. If you can find a good price on a Rotel 1080, which replaced the 990, it should be considered. List 1080 $1000. Also 200w.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I much as I love my flea-powered tube Bottlehead 2A3 Paramour amplifiers with my classic Klipsch corner Khorns, your RF-7 dip below 3-ohms in the bass frequencies means that a good digital, very good solid-state or a great tube amp is needed to hear their full potential. I know I heard Klipsch RF-7 towers, before and after Dean upgraded their crossovers, on tube amplifiers at DaddyDees get together in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Arkansas a few years back.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

My first choice would be the low cost digital class T amplifiers, which can be had for as little as $35, like the Sonic Impact 5066, the Trends Audio or the Red Wine Audio Clari-T.

Next, I would for solid-state receivers that sound good with super-sensitive (95dB/w/m) Reference models, like dirt-cheap vintage dual transformer harmon/kardon 430 -930 models ($50 to 175) and the more expensive, but wonderfully revered, McIntosh receivers.

It can also be done with refurbished vintage integrated tube amplifiers, if you dial your powerful subwoofer to add a little more mid-bass to the bottom. NOSvalves does a great job with these. I heard the copper-faced Cayin TA30 integrated EL34 tube amplifier (less than a grand) do a wonderful job with RF7s and Khorns at Daddydees. The Cayin A-50T is also very good.

ASL makes great integrated tube amplifiers for less than a grand. The AQ 1003 DT is far more power than my ultra-sensitive (104dB/w/m) big ole horns need, but it should be plenty for Reference models.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, I think you're on the right track by looking for a separate amplifier to drive your RF-7s. In my experience, this is something you will not regret. I started with a Yamaha HTR-5560, moved up to a B&K AVR 307 and then seperates. With each step up the bass became more pronounced and the highs were much cleaner.

I just purchased a B&K Reference 7270 amplifier which will alleviate my need for at least two of my current amps. As soon as I get the new amp and make sure it's working properly, I will start a thread offering those amps for sale here on the forum before taking them to Audiogon/Ebay. I have the following amps, although I will be keeping one, perhaps two of them for other needs:

1) B&K Reference 200.2

2) B&K Reference ST125.2

3) Parasound HCA-1000A

4) Aragon 2004

EDIT-I am leaning towards keeping the Aragon and/or the Reference 200.2.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...