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Three Amigos (Mobile, Colin, & Randy)


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I always read the tube amp threads and 'lurk' quite a bit over at The Asylum. I generally only understand about 1/2 of what I read but enjoy it none the less.

I'm currently using the Anthem stuff. The AMP1 uses EL34's and is an ultra linear design.

Since it has come up - I've been checking out the Antique Sound Labs stuff and I guess I have a few questions:

1) I don't have big 'ole horns. I have what Tom Brennan so affectionatly refers to as 'Klipschettes'. I think SET is out for me - just a bit too flea powered considering what I have to drive (a pair of RC7's). Should I expect any of the ASL products to actually sound better than the Pre1L/AMP1 combo?

2) Do the ASL products use point-to-point wiring?

3) If not, then which (as opposed to witch) product do I have to move to for the purchase to be considered a true upgrade?





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It seems like if a guy can solder, and

willing to shell out a little over a grand,

then the moondog monoblock kit seems like a good start.

The naked kit with no tubes.

Then a guy could slower source the better

parts necessary a little at a time, along with

the tubes.

It would take patience and time.

The only way I could probably do it, though.

Or you could spend the $1900 and get 'em full blown.

That is nice about these monoblock kits,

the upgrade options.


Wish I had a grand.


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I have heard the Anthem gear one time and it was under less than steller conditions. Still, it struck me as not very magical and almost too bright...but once again, this was under less than ideal conditions and through B&W CD1 Monitors.

That being said, I dont know how much of an upgrade the lower price ASL stuff would be. The ASL gear does not get point to point wiring until in the higher price ranges. And once you reach that level, I think there might be better options to take.

Hell, in all actuality, I believe a bone stock EICO HF-81 would sound better than the ANTHEM gear as I think the circuit and the transformers are better. Still, you would take a dramatic cut in power but I still think it would have plenty of guts. For all owners of modern gear, I think an EICO is a great way to see what the vintage option is all about and for mere shillings. And nine times out of ten, you would get far more musical sound! This would also be a good place to learn to solder. As I have stated before, I like my EICO HF-81 better than most of my sub $1500 amps.

How do you get great gear without killing your bank account? I have not bought a new amp in 12 years and now is about the best time for quality choices via outlets such as AudiogoN. I said this many months ago, but why buy new when you can get gear way out of reach monitarily for half the price or less, from some other loon with the upgrade bug!

But for a newer used upgrade, I think you should move one step higher. Depending on your music taste, an AES AE-25 "SuperAmp" might be another option in the used catagory as you seem them on AudiogoN. I dont see the need in buying any of this stuff new, however.

Here is a quick list of amps that I think would be an upgrade, some obviously more than others. All these can be found USED if you keep an eye out:

Welborne Labs 2A3 Moondogs I have many comment about these on my pages (which need to be updated, however). I own them. I got them used for a steal. Edster00 just got them as well and loves them with his KHorns. I have CW I that are 98dB in a smallish room. Only a few come up a year used... I waited about that long. I dont think you'll ever get a deal like I got but even ole Ed got a deal on his at $1500 or so.

Wright Sound WPA3.5 2A3 Monoblocks I think these are great amps as well that arent as extended in the bottom as my Moondogs but might just have an even more magical midrange in some respects. The Moondogs are better on the whole but these are GREAT little amps. Sounded very nice on the Cornwalls.

Audio Electronic Supply AE-25 SuperAmp

See Soundstage review: http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/aes_ae25_superamp.htm

- Can be switched from triode to ultralinear - Can roll all sorts of tubes in this unit from EL-34, KT-88, KT-66, 6550, 6L6 etc. Can be upgraded by Cary as well if you want. IT IS NOT A SET AMP, however. There are several used on Audiogon right now with the DJH (Dennis Had) version with the best quality parts but at a much higher price. I think this amp might be a good option for you, actually. Have I heard it? Nope. But I have owned and heard many other pieces of Cary gear.

Conrad Johnson CAV50/Conrad Johnson MV-55 I have always liked these two amps. The CAV50 is an integrated version of the MV-55 and PV-10 with a passive volume control. The MV-55 is a sweet little EL-34 amp that would sound more musical than your Anthem gear.

...I will add some others later with another edit.


system one online / alternate components / asylum listing f>s>

ps- What kind of music do you listen to? This is pretty important. Will this be in a home theatre setup or just two channel?

This message has been edited by mobile homeless on 01-03-2002 at 10:57 AM

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Deang, I too have a pair of the AMP1's in my HT setup (see below) and really like them. Biggest improvement was in the soundstage and the clarity of the midrange and treble.

However, I'm working on my "living room" setup ... keeping it very simple but looking for a sweet sounding setup. Just a CD player, and tube amp/pre. I was really looking hard at the ASL, when I saw a reference to Upscale Audio on audioreview.com ... they're an ASL rep too, so I went to their site and starting poking around. The "new tube" CD player sounded really good and worth a look, so I called Kevin, the owner of Upscale -- really nice guy and patient. We closed the CDP deal, then I started talking with another one of his guys, also very nice, and said, "check out the AE-25 super amp and the AE-3 pre-amp" (Audio Electronics) also sold by his company. Basically a Cary design, but is SET and has point-to-point wiring, all Class A, all for $1,200, which was more than I wanted to spend ... BUT it had more power that the 5W ASL entry-level and these guys have a great supply of NOS tubes and know what they're doing. Bottom line ... I got the amp/pre on order, and will mate with my '76 Khorns once I refinish the cabinets (in progress).

Worth a look!


If you don't like what is coming out, you wouldn't like what is going in." -PWK-


Klipsch 1968 ALK Cornwall "II"s (LF/RF)

ALK Belle Klipsch (Center)

Klipsch Heresy (RR/LR)

Klipsch KSW-12 sub

Sonic Frontiers Anthem AMP1 (driving Cornwalls)

Sonic Frontiers Anthem AMP1 (driving Heresy's)

Denon AVR-4800

Toshiba SD-3109 DVD

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Sorry Deaner,

if I had anything to say, I'd say it.

OK, a little. Even MH ran a pair of ProAcs (of moderate efficiency) with his 3.5 watter 2A3.

Don't be fooled by numbers.

I have no experience with any of the products you refer to, direct hand.

I suggest 'try-buy' scenarios. You'll know within a single weekend if it works or not.

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The AES AE-25 "SuperAmp" is NOT a Single-Ended Triode amp. It is a push pull amp that can be switched between triode and ultralinear.

Also, there are three basic versions of the SuperAmp as seen in the page below. Too bad the DJH version is so much more expensive - it does seem to be the best in theory.


This message has been edited by mobile homeless on 01-04-2002 at 06:24 AM

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  • 3 years later...

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