Discussion: Can there be one true "best" amp?

dowto1000

Junior Member
Well guys, I am new to this forum, and this Thread caught my eye. I will give it my best, but I will be talking of MY own goals, not necessarily yours - DIY designing and building the BEST POSSIBLE amplifier for high efficiency speakers.

ALL of this is ..." the best " but ONLY .......IMHO and IME.

YMMV.


To play the SET game properly, or should I say optimally with 2A3s, or 46s, FIRST OFF, I find you need to be running 98 dB efficient or higher speakers.

Anyone ever hear of ALTEC Lansing and / or new GPA ??? :-)

Usually it will be a KISS... HIGH quality two-way speaker. IME, one-ways are ultimately not going to cut it versus a two-way. Also, I LIKE a 15 inch woofer, not a 12 inch., IME.

The Type 45 tube is bettered by the Type 46, triode connected, in my experience.

The Type 45 has lotsa nice sonic qualities to it, suckered me for two full years, but eventually " I " ( and another good listener have co-confirmed this ) : so "we" co- find it has a very broad and very shallow suck out in the middle midrange, ( that NO ONE has ever mentioned !!! ).

It is mostly noticeable on classical piano ( Beethoven Sonatas, Alfred Brendel, etc ).. On my hybrid VOTTs, this deficiency truly makes the Type 45 tube a "dead-end" waste of time and money deal IMHO..

Suggest you use a 46 triode-connected....... IF you want 1.3 Watts.

OK, back to 2A3s, and my search for the ultimate amplifier solution , again YMMV, you may have different audio goals than I have, its all IMHO, IME :

The best 2A3 vacuum tube choice, for the money today, IMHO, is easily the JJ 2A3-40. For many reasons.

The best 2A3 tube amp for high efficiency speakers ( ALTECS , Ale , etc ) will ALWAYS be a SET amp.

It will always be a two stage amp.

It will always have a mu of 70 to 100 driver tube.

It will be tube rectified.

It will NEVER employ a coupling cap or a interstage transformer couple, between the two stages.

Direct coupling only is optimal in design. It is sonically, the very very best way to couple !!

It will....very very important, have a L1/C1/L2/C2 filter system for the output tube's B+

L1 will always equal L2 in construction and specifications.

It will, very very important, have Ls that are 10 Ohms in DCR or less !!! ( Sadly, that eliminates 99.3% of the SETs ever built . ;-) )

It will have no capacitors larger than 60 uF total.

All caps will be FILM types. Its hard to beat, cost versus performance, many of the latest WIMA offerings ( DC LINK, FKP- ones, etc., etc.)

If you want to have the SET be something more than ordinary in performance, it will ALWAYS employ MULTIPLE film cap bypassing, at EVERY "C" location in the amp.

( Multiple film cap bypassing must be done, if you want to achieve the fullest musical expression from the SET. Only a few people know how to do this. )

It will have the best possible lay out, to preserve the performance potential inherent in a SET.

If I sound rigid, I am sorry, but I must tell you, when seeking the BEST possible result, I have found there is really only ONE optimal 2A3 amplifier SET solution, and it is easily proven, by the resultant performance.

Have fun with this, I surely do.


Dowto1000.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
dowto1000;n61002 said:
(snip)

If I sound rigid, I am sorry, but I must tell you, there is really only ONE optimal 2A3 amplifier SET solution, and it is easily proven, by the resultant performance.

(snip)

For starters, and I acknowledge and appreciate your caveats "IMHO, IME and YMMV". :)

If you will indulge me, though, I do have a couple of questions.

When you say that "there is really only one optimal 2A3 amplifier SET solution", what exactly does that mean? By what set of criteria? And according to what listening biases?

Secondly, how are you quantifying the proof? Listening? Measuring?

If it is one thing I have learned in my ~45 years of experience in our hobby, there are many valid "one true paths" out there.

It just depends on your perspective. ;)

I welcome the opportunity to get to know you and evaluate where we agree.....and where we do not. This respectful exchange of ideas is one of the things that makes our hobby fun.

Just my opinion and, as always, YMMV. :)
 

dowto1000

Junior Member
Hello !!

You ask some good questions , as follows

(1) When you say that "there is really only one optimal 2A3 amplifier SET solution", what exactly does that mean? By what set of criteria? And according to what listening biases?

(2) Secondly, how are you quantifying the proof? Listening? Measuring?

If it is one thing I have learned in my ~45 years of experience in our hobby, there are many valid "one true paths" out there.

It just depends on your perspective
. ;)

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

My answers :

Answer to question (1).

There is only one " best sounding " 2A3 amplifier in this world. I think I know what it is, but, I could be wrong, but I sincerely doubt it.

The criteria for making this judgement is by ME listening to the amplifier, in a variety of venues, over the last dozen years.

For example, the amp gets demonstrated each year in Denver, RMAF, usually in October, this year Oct 6-7-8th. At my expense, I make it my business to try to visit the Denver RMAF show each year since 2006, and listen for three days. It differs from year to year, and some years are better and some years are worse, so " I" have to figure out WHY the variability? Is it the equipment, or, the Manufacurer's time to set up, to do room optimization. After a dozen years, I think I know.

The criteria I use is ......HOW it sounds to me, and how it seems to remind me of a live, unamplified music event.

As to what listening biases, that is HARD to determine by me !!! I simply do not know.

I have attended my share of classical music concerts, unamplified, and I have a record collection of about 10,000 LPs. I have been a music listener, starting with my Mother nursing me while an ALTEC 604 ( phenolic spider) played in the background, December 1944. ( So, I was listening to an ALTEC 604.... 72 1/2 years ago !!! ) I don't know the answer to my biases, sir. My first audio Mentor was none other than Robert W. Fulton. We shared a very close relationship, in audio, and amp building ( P-P-P 6B4Gs, from scratch ) from 1978 till his death in 1988.

Answer to your second question (2) .


That is easy, Listening and not measuring. I don't think the measuring tools available, are adequate to make decisions by measuring alone, in the end, 'ya gotta listen !! . EEs tend to over-simplify what live music and audio really is !!

My test of a system , is how it strikes me listening-wise, over a longer time period. Is it playing consistent, and does it move me, emotionally, excite me or bore me. Is it FUN to listen to it??

The human act of listening to MUSIC, has not quite been duplicated yet by measurements. MOST EE's, I find, have a VERY hard time building equipment that sounds good, and that is satisfying to me. It takes GREAT listening skills, to pull it off, and coincidentally, certainly some EE knowledge. So, both are needed.

My beloved friend and Mentor, Mr Fulton designed trumpet mouthpieces by ear, and he also had a 2 Gigahertz Tektronics O'scope, to look at audio, way back in the early 1980s !!

Also sir, I have been DIY building , designing, zero negative feedback amps since 1982, for 35 years now, initially under Mr. Fulton's guidance. HE was the person who taught me how to build with a 2A3 or a 6B4G DHT.

The VERY FIRST thing Robert Fulton taught / told me about DHTs was " the amp's power supply chokes to the Finals have to be 20 Ohms or less, IF you can find them." . As you might know, almost ever one in audio routinely today uses 10 HY , at 100 Ohm chokes, without THINKING. Today, in 2017, I can't stand to listen to even two 10 Ohm chokes in series, so I now use two 6 Ohm chokes,........... plainly seen in my Type 46 amp photos I have posted. !!

So, If you and I are going to discuss 2A3 amps, my first question would be, " What is your listening experience to the Serious Stereo 2A3 SET DC amp ?." Since it was designed and built by Dennis Fraker of Serious Stereo in 1989, it has never been out-performed, assuming it had fresh tubes, by any other SET it has been compared to, is my understanding. Are you familiar with these monoblocks? How much have you heard them ?? They are costly, so I DIY my own, for MY own private use.

Google :

" Stephaen ( 6 moons ) Serious Stereo RMAF 2005 "

and

" Herb SUNDAY ( Stereophile ) Serious Stereo RMAF 2016 ".

Perhaps you could come to Denver for this soon-upcoming RMAF, Oct 6-8th , Room 3017. I'll be there, say "hello" - will be listening ( volunteering, this year, unpaid ).

Dowto1000


 

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TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
dowto1000;n61006 said:
Hello !!

You ask some good questions , as follows

(1) When you say that "there is really only one optimal 2A3 amplifier SET solution", what exactly does that mean? By what set of criteria? And according to what listening biases?

(2) Secondly, how are you quantifying the proof? Listening? Measuring?

If it is one thing I have learned in my ~45 years of experience in our hobby, there are many valid "one true paths" out there.

It just depends on your perspective
. ;)

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

My answers :

Answer to question (1).

There is only one " best sounding " 2A3 amplifier in this world. I think I know what it is, but, I could be wrong, but I sincerely doubt it.

The criteria for making this judgement is by ME listening to the amplifier, in a variety of venues, over the last dozen years.

For example, the amp gets demonstrated each year in Denver, RMAF, usually in October, this year Oct 6-7-8th. At my expense, I make it my business to try to visit the Denver RMAF show each year since 2006, and listen for three days. It differs from year to year, and some years are better and some years are worse, so " I" have to figure out WHY the variability? Is it the equipment, or, the Manufacurer's time to set up, to do room optimization. After a dozen years, I think I know.

The criteria I use is ......HOW it sounds to me, and how it seems to remind me of a live, unamplified music event.

As to what listening biases, that is HARD to determine by me !!! I simply do not know.

I have attended my share of classical music concerts, unamplified, and I have a record collection of about 10,000 LPs. I have been a music listener, starting with my Mother nursing me while an ALTEC 604 ( phenolic spider) played in the background, December 1944. ( So, I was listening to an ALTEC 604.... 72 1/2 years ago !!! ) I don't know the answer to my biases, sir. My first audio Mentor was none other than Robert W. Fulton. We shared a very close relationship, in audio, and amp building ( P-P-P 6B4Gs, from scratch ) from 1978 till his death in 1988.

Answer to your second question (2) .


That is easy, Listening and not measuring. I don't think the measuring tools available, are adequate to make decisions by measuring alone, in the end, 'ya gotta listen !! . EEs tend to over-simplify what live music and audio really is !!

My test of a system , is how it strikes me listening-wise, over a longer time period. Is it playing consistent, and does it move me, emotionally, excite me or bore me. Is it FUN to listen to it??

The human act of listening to MUSIC, has not quite been duplicated yet by measurements. MOST EE's, I find, have a VERY hard time building equipment that sounds good, and that is satisfying to me. It takes GREAT listening skills, to pull it off, and coincidentally, certainly some EE knowledge. So, both are needed.

My beloved friend and Mentor, Mr Fulton designed trumpet mouthpieces by ear, and he also had a 2 Gigahertz Tektronics O'scope, to look at audio, way back in the early 1980s !!

Also sir, I have been DIY building , designing, zero negative feedback amps since 1982, for 35 years now, initially under Mr. Fulton's guidance. HE was the person who taught me how to build with a 2A3 or a 6B4G DHT.

The VERY FIRST thing Robert Fulton taught / told me about DHTs was " the amp's power supply chokes to the Finals have to be 20 Ohms or less, IF you can find them." . As you might know, almost ever one in audio routinely today uses 10 HY , at 100 Ohm chokes, without THINKING. Today, in 2017, I can't stand to listen to even two 10 Ohm chokes in series, so I now use two 6 Ohm chokes,........... plainly seen in my Type 46 amp photos I have posted. !!

So, If you and I are going to discuss 2A3 amps, my first question would be, " What is your listening experience to the Serious Stereo 2A3 SET DC amp ?." Since it was designed and built by Dennis Fraker of Serious Stereo in 1989, it has never been out-performed, assuming it had fresh tubes, by any other SET it has been compared to, is my understanding. Are you familiar with these monoblocks? How much have you heard them ?? They are costly, so I DIY my own, for MY own private use.

Google :

" Stephaen ( 6 moons ) Serious Stereo RMAF 2005 "

and

" Herb SUNDAY ( Stereophile ) Serious Stereo RMAF 2016 ".

Perhaps you could come to Denver for this soon-upcoming RMAF, Oct 6-8th , Room 3017. I'll be there, say "hello" - will be listening ( volunteering, this year, unpaid ).

Dowto1000



An interesting perspective.

On my way to the office and will respond in detail between meetings.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
dowto1000 - I will attempt to answer point by point.

You wrote:
There is only one " best sounding " 2A3 amplifier in this world. I think I know what it is, but, I could be wrong, but I sincerely doubt its.

We disagree on this fundemental point. There may be "one best sounding 2A3 amplifier in this world" to you but that does not mean that I will agree with your choice.

Different ears, different listening biases.

You wrote:
The criteria I use is ......HOW it sounds to me, and how it seems to remind me of a live, unamplified music event.

Here we agree with the caveat that we all perceive what is heard differently. Our individual ear/brain "circuit" determines how we perceive and, IMHO, drives why experienced Audiophiles can differ markedly on what sounds good.

You wrote:
That is easy, Listening and notmeasuring. I don't think the measuring tools available, are adequate to make decisions by measuring alone, in the end, 'ya gotta listen !! . EEs tend to over-simplify what live music and audio really is !!

My test of a system , is how it strikes me listening-wise, over a longer time period. Is it playing consistent, and does it move me, emotionally, excite me or bore me. Is it FUN to listen to it??

The human act of listening to MUSIC, has not quite been duplicated yet by measurements.

We are in agreement with the caveat that I try not to generalize about groups, including EEs. ;)

Work is getting in the way so I will stop here for now and respond to the balance of your points in a subsequent post. :)
 

dowto1000

Junior Member
Question Number One for TubeHiFiNut:

Q: Have you ever heard a Serious Stereo amp??

Yes or No please.

You cut and pasted and wrote this :

You wrote:

There is only one " best sounding " 2A3 amplifier in this world. I think I know what it is, but, I could be wrong, but I sincerely doubt it.

We disagree on this fundamental point. There may be "one best sounding 2A3 amplifier in this world" to you but that does not mean that I will agree with your choice.

Different ears, different listening biases.

I write now, here,

"Yes, there is no accounting for one's tastes."

But I have heard the story, at the 2005 RMAF, in Terry Cain's room, there was a BIG after hours SET amp shoot out, which I did not attend. They played all the show's best SETs they could, and at the end, I was told the Serious Stereo amp went into the system, and it wiped-out every SET amp they had A-Bing. Dennis Fraker got a standing ovation, led by Joe Fratus of ART AUDIO, and they all listened to the Serious Stereo amps for two more hours.

Then there is the 2016 report by Reichert , Herb. Google " Herb SUNDAY, ( STEREOPHILE ) Serious Stereo, RMAF 2016" .

I happened to have met Herb, for the first time, in 2016, in that listening session. Cool dude, was fun.

Knowing whats INSIDE the Serious Stereo amp, and the designer's philosophy, I am pretty sure it will be a long time until anyone exceeds that commercial amplifier's performance on ALTECs, or similar high efficiency speakers. Its that simple.

Heck, I outlined most of the principles of the design, my second day here, post #52.

So, I refer you sir, back to my first question....Have you heard the Serious Stereo amps in a GOOD system?

You appear to be serious about audio, so you should give these amps a very serious listen !! I have NO IDEA what you will think sir. That is your business.

As I started this response, I will end it " There is no accounting for one's taste. "

But that does not mean ( IMHO ) that there isn't one best sounding SET amp execution, above all the others. If you have no experience direct with HEARING these mono amps, RMAF is Denver, October 6-7-8th. Give a visit and a listen, Room 3017.

There should be a couple hundred demonstrators, and , if we are lucky, we can hear the MBL super system Must be 1/2 a million dollars in cost, but it IS lovely to me.... when MBL attends RMAF from Germany.

dowto1000
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
dowto1000;n61026 said:
Question Number One for TubeHiFiNut:

Q: Have you ever heard a Serious Stereo amp??

Yes or No please.

You cut and pasted and wrote this :

You wrote:

There is only one " best sounding " 2A3 amplifier in this world. I think I know what it is, but, I could be wrong, but I sincerely doubt it.

We disagree on this fundamental point. There may be "one best sounding 2A3 amplifier in this world" to you but that does not mean that I will agree with your choice.

Different ears, different listening biases.

I write now, here,

"Yes, there is no accounting for one's tastes."

But I have heard the story, at the 2005 RMAF, in Terry Cain's room, there was a BIG after hours SET amp shoot out, which I did not attend. They played all the show's best SETs they could, and at the end, I was told the Serious Stereo amp went into the system, and it wiped-out every SET amp they had A-Bing. Dennis Fraker got a standing ovation, led by Joe Fratus of ART AUDIO, and they all listened to the Serious Stereo amps for two more hours.

Then there is the 2016 report by Reichert , Herb. Google " Herb SUNDAY, ( STEREOPHILE ) Serious Stereo, RMAF 2016" .

I happened to have met Herb, for the first time, in 2016, in that listening session. Cool dude, was fun.

Knowing whats INSIDE the Serious Stereo amp, and the designer's philosophy, I am pretty sure it will be a long time until anyone exceeds that commercial amplifier's performance on ALTECs, or similar high efficiency speakers. Its that simple.

Heck, I outlined most of the principles of the design, my second day here, post #52.

So, I refer you sir, back to my first question....Have you heard the Serious Stereo amps in a GOOD system?

You appear to be serious about audio, so you should give these amps a very serious listen !! I have NO IDEA what you will think sir. That is your business.

As I started this response, I will end it " There is no accounting for one's taste. "

But that does not mean ( IMHO ) that there isn't one best sounding SET amp execution, above all the others. If you have no experience direct with HEARING these mono amps, RMAF is Denver, October 6-7-8th. Give a visit and a listen, Room 3017.

There should be a couple hundred demonstrators, and , if we are lucky, we can hear the MBL super system Must be 1/2 a million dollars in cost, but it IS lovely to me.... when MBL attends RMAF from Germany.

dowto1000

I perused the Serious Stereo site.

Nice looking gear.

I presume that your amps are based on the Serious Stereo amp?

To answer your question: No, I have not heard the Serious Stereo amp. There are undoubtedly lots of amps that I (and you, I'll wager) have not heard.

If I ever get the chance, I would love to hear it.

On the surface, though, one watt is not enough - even with my Lowthers - in my room.

Please clarify one point: Do you have any connection with Serious Stereo?
 

dowto1000

Junior Member
TubeHiFiNut;n61031 said:
dowto1000 - Please define what you mean by a "Serious Stereo Amp".

It is any 2A3 amp made by Serious Stereo, since 1989. They all share the same exact circuit, designed by Mr. Dennis Fraker of Livingston, MT. It will be a 2A3 amp, two stage, direct coupled, with a very fast , low-resistance power supply. Dennis had a LONG history as an audiophile, and was also in the movie theater ownership, designing, and maintenance business, most of his adult life.


He was a push-pull tube guy, VERY experienced and sharp audiophile. Was friends with ( and introduced me to ) Dr. Charles E. Halijac, Dean of the School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Alabama. Dennis also used to coach Nobu Shishido on tube amp design. When SETs first came out, as a private audiophile, he bought two, a Cary and a Fi 2A3 in the 1980s " to hear what it was all about"..

He heard SOME things with the Fi, that he liked, but there were many errors in layout, design, execution, so he modded his Fi 2A3 amp/s and sent his ideas to Don Garber. Then, afterwards, he built his own version of a SE 2A3 DC mono amp, much improved design wise, in 1989.

Dennis sold his Cary and Fi on AudioMart ( Don threatened him bodily harm for selling it, he tells me ). He started Serious Stereo in 1989, and no one I know has ever come close to matching HIS amp's performance level, in any other 2A3 amp, since 1989. Its basically a one man show !!

Dennis did not want to go into the amp and speaker building business, but he could not BUY one that pleased him in the late 1980s, so he developed his own.

I have studied the Fi and Serious Stereo amps, as well as all the Direct Coupled two stagers I can find, both - inside and out. All I can report is, there are many wonderful design attributes, inherent in each Serious Stereo 2A3 amp. Over the years, ( as Herb Reichert alludes to in his 2016 RMAF Stereophile article ), Dennis' implementations of the SAME 1989 circuit, get slightly more refined, mostly in his fabulous sense of optimized internal layout, parts choices, and his unique ability to execute an amp, par excellence .

You know sir, the fact that you are ASKING me " What is the Serious Stereo amp", tells me, you have short-changed yourself, in what is possible in High Efficiency audio performance.

The Serious Stereo amp is all about obtaining and maintaining the highest possible reliability and performance. There really is no comparison, to any other commercial amps, when A-Bed directly on a GOOD reference system. Anyone with any listening experience, will hear the difference. Where do you live, in the USA? Make plans to attend Denver RMAF October 6-7-8th. Stop in and YOU sir, can be the judge. ( or, visit Montana / Dennis ). I will be volunteering next month, ( am NOT an employee ) so look me up, in Room 3017.

What I write to you about, I believe with all my heart and all my soul. Dennis, BTW, is a really cool guy, a great person. To make this Kosher, " IMHO, IME, YMMV ", .........but I am right on 'de money here, I personally promise you. :-)

Have Fun, I Do.

Dowto1000
 

dowto1000

Junior Member
You write this :

" On the surface, though, one watt is not enough - even with my Lowthers - in my room. "

A 2A3 will do 3 Watts, not one, and more on instantaneous peaks with the type of UNIQUE low resistance, low storage supply we use. It will sound FAR more robust than other typical 2A3 executions one experiences.

But, as I said in my earliest post on 2A3s,
you need to have 98 dB or higher speakers, to play the SET game OPTIMALLY.

IME, IMHO, when you use an SEP amp, ( paralleled outputs ) or larger than 2A3 tubes, like 300Bs, you have "screwed the pooch" so to say, on the possinbbilty of having an OPTIMIZED sonic performance. IME, versus a 300B, the 2A3 is a better sounding device. Especially if employing, on a cost basis, the JJ 2A3-40, or an EML if you have deep pockets. Hard to beat a single one of those.

If your Lowthers are 98 dB, you are IN. If not, get a ALTEC MLTL, or something like Bill Fort's maybe, or a VOTT A7-800, and I will show you how to mod it to blow your mind !!! I did write, early on, NO single driver options will possibly be optimal, " IME, IMHO " .

Gotta run.


Dowto1000.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
dowto1000 - My Lowthers are 104db efficient. :)

The one watt was in reference to the 46 based SET amp. ;)

BTW, I have 300B and 845 based SET and EL84 based SEP amps and assure you that none of them "screwed the pooch". In fact, I find all of them to be incredibly satisfying.

Audio is a hobby with observational and subjective facets. Your system works for you and my system works for me - and it not up to either of us to tell the other person that one path is the only true and correct path.

Just my opinions and YMMV.
 

dowto1000

Junior Member
You write " BTW, I have 300B and 845 based SET and EL84 based SEP amps and assure you that none of them "screwed the pooch". In fact, I find all of them to be incredibly satisfying."

Why of course you find them incredibly satisfying, and that is good.........for you.. Fine.

For me, however, paralleled SE amps, triode connected pentodes, 300Bs, three-stage amps, 845 amps, ALL of THESE, are strictly for people who don't " get it " with high efficiency speakers.

People, running speakers under 98 dB, are FORCED to pick and use these many also-ran amplifier topologies you describe.

One needs 100 dB speakers, to easily make the kind of critical determinations "I" would seek and discuss herein this post and thread.


Nothing, from my experience, does as well as a nicely-executed SET 2A3 amp, for ME, on a well-wired, well executed 100 dB speaker, which is the topic of your break-away thread,.... this thread..

My costs, of getting a really great hi fi system, has been all the mistakes I made, and time in my life I wasted, to finally arrive where I have. I believe this universally applies to all.

Don't take anything I say as personal. I would hope, my comments might lead you to either Denver, Livingston, Montana, or my house in Missouri one day for a good listen. I would be pleased to assist you, if you liked what you heard. The offer is always intact.

Thanks.

Dowto1000

 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
dowto1000;n61096 said:
You write " BTW, I have 300B and 845 based SET and EL84 based SEP amps and assure you that none of them "screwed the pooch". In fact, I find all of them to be incredibly satisfying."

Why of course you find them incredibly satisfying, and that is good.........for you.. Fine.

For me, however, paralleled SE amps, triode connected pentodes, 300Bs, three-stage amps, 845 amps, ALL of THESE, are strictly for people who don't " get it " with high efficiency speakers.

People, running speakers under 98 dB, are FORCED to pick and use these many also-ran amplifier topologies you describe.

One needs 100 dB speakers, to easily make the kind of critical determinations "I" would seek and discuss herein this post and thread.


Nothing, from my experience, does as well as a nicely-executed SET 2A3 amp, for ME, on a well-wired, well executed 100 dB speaker, which is the topic of your break-away thread,.... this thread..

My costs, of getting a really great hi fi system, has been all the mistakes I made, and time in my life I wasted, to finally arrive where I have. I believe this universally applies to all.

Don't take anything I say as personal. I would hope, my comments might lead you to either Denver, Livingston, Montana, or my house in Missouri one day for a good listen. I would be pleased to assist you, if you liked what you heard. The offer is always intact.

Thanks.

Dowto1000

"Don't take anything you say as personal"? Believe me, the insults you've thrown my way don't even register on my "things to be concerned about" scale. ;)

Since you have made it abundantly clear that only your opinions matter and that anyone with a different opinion doesn't "get it", I no longer consider reading your opinions and rants as a worthwhile use of my time.

One other point: Your amps, and the Serious amps, might sound wonderful but, in my opinion, the way you present your ideas and designs is a complete cluster. You would get a lot further if you lost the chip on your shoulder and sought to inform, rather than dictate and insult.

Just my opinion and YMMV.....
 

dowto1000

Junior Member
Geeze, I don't think I have a chip on my shoulder at all. Sorry if you got that perception !! Came to talk audio, not play mind games. We were doing pretty well.

I have a question for you. I saw, under a post of yours, you saying the Lowthers you run are 104 dB efficient. Is that correct ??

If so, (a) I was unaware of this, sorry, and (b) what totally puzzles me is : WHY are you using the tube amps you have listed?? How did you arrive there, with those amplifier choices??

Most of the time, with 98-101 dB speakers, we listen at 1/10th to maybe 1/2 of a Watt. The amp HAS to perform at 1 Watt or less, really well.

We could advantageously - and interestingly talk about this, I believe. Up to you. I do have an idea or two to share, for you to consider..

Dowto1000.

Two other questions, (1) can you describe your speaker wire runs, amps to speakers. ?? (2) Are you able, set up, to DIY build a SET amp for yourself?? Thanks.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
As I've been ruminating on this thread, and considering the fact that I have nothing like the space necessary to run a large, full range, horn system, can an amp really be considered the "best", if it so dramatically limits your choice of speaker? That is, if an amp is so low on power that it eliminates 99% of speakers from consideration, can such an amp ever be considered the "best"?
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
Prime Minister;n61112 said:
As I've been ruminating on this thread, and considering the fact that I have nothing like the space necessary to run a large, full range, horn system, can an amp really be considered the "best", if it so dramatically limits your choice of speaker? That is, if an amp is so low on power that it eliminates 99% of speakers from consideration, can such an amp ever be considered the "best"?

For the sake of discussion, I'd say "no".

... but I still don't believe you don't have room for a big-boy dynamic loudspeaker system. Maybe not Altec A5s, but there are more -- reasonable -- options.
Heck, like a pair of Altec Santiagos! :)

The "Billfort" cabinets make the Santiagos look demure.

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