tube amp for klipsch cornwalls - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 02-16-2008, 02:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for something in the $1500 range and below for a good started tube amp. However, would consider something a little bit more expensive, say, up to 2k if theres a reasonable difference in quality, any suggestions?

Thanks,

Andrew

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post #2 of 36 Old 02-16-2008, 06:59 AM
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No, I wouldn't personally, nor would I ever use a tube amp again. However, I can tell you that the Cornwall was designed in the 1950's before there were solid state amps. It would be a good candidate for use with a low power tube amp.
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post #3 of 36 Old 02-16-2008, 08:03 AM
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You can definitely drive the Cornwalls with a low power tube amp, and there are many inexpensive (<$1500) tube amps on the market. Take some time to do some research and it would be helpful if you could audition the amp before committing to it. Also, you say amp but I assume you mean power amp. What are you doing for a pre-amp? Have you considered a tube integrated amp? If it was me, I'd look for "Made in USA." And the first thing that comes to mind is McIntosh. Maybe check out this site: www.audioclassics.com
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post #4 of 36 Old 02-16-2008, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

No, I wouldn't personally, nor would I ever use a tube amp again.


Why not ?????

Anyways, yes when it comes to Klipsch the only way to drive them, IMO, is with tubes. In your price range you have many (integrateds) to choose from........Prima Luna, Cayin, Melody, Jolida, Rogue, ARC, Cary to name but a few. ARC and Cary units in your range would likely be used offerings.
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post #5 of 36 Old 02-16-2008, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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well right now I have a yamaha rx-v1700 AVR powering my cornwalls and my sub. would that be considered my pre amp, and would I just hook up a tub amp to it? I'm assuming an integrated amp is the pre amp and power amp, and would also be the cheaper way to go. From what I've read, the bottom end sound of tube amps in my price range are a bit lacking so I'm guessing I might need a sub out on the tube amp as well, any suggestions?

Thanks,

Andrew

Video: Samsung PN648500AF, Panasonic TC-P60GT50
Audio: Onkyo TX-NR818 with B&K Reference 200.7, Behringer iNuke 3000DSP for subs
Speakers: Klipsch RF-7 II's, RC-64, RS-62's RSW-15, Dual DIY Stereo Integrity 18" Subwoofers
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post #6 of 36 Old 02-16-2008, 01:41 PM
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Is this going to be a 2 channel system?
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post #7 of 36 Old 02-16-2008, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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yeah its gonna be a 2 channel system

Video: Samsung PN648500AF, Panasonic TC-P60GT50
Audio: Onkyo TX-NR818 with B&K Reference 200.7, Behringer iNuke 3000DSP for subs
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post #8 of 36 Old 02-16-2008, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twitch54 View Post

Why not ?????

A choice between high price or colored sound. I once owned a transparent tube amp (Audio Research) and it was fine but not particularly powerful and way, way overpriced for the performance. On the plus side it once showed no audible difference with a more powerful solid state amp in a bias controlled listening test. Lesser tube amps I've encountered have been peaky and distorted. Colored sound. I don't think the amplifier is a particularly good place to color the sound in a system if that is the goal. That's why.
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post #9 of 36 Old 02-16-2008, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cviper View Post

yeah its gonna be a 2 channel system


sell the Yammie on the "Gon" and if $$$ allow, go the seperates route, otherwise as said before a nice tube integrated 25-50 watts, SET if you can afford it will make the Cornwall's sing !

As per "FMW's" comments, with all due respect he's been out of the loop regarding the tube scene to appreciate what the market now offers.
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post #10 of 36 Old 02-16-2008, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twitch54 View Post


As per "FMW's" comments, with all due respect he's been out of the loop regarding the tube scene to appreciate what the market now offers.

What is it that the market now offers that I should know about?
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post #11 of 36 Old 02-16-2008, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

What is it that the market now offers that I should know about?

Don't want to "Hijack" the original thread so I will make this my last rebuttal regarding your question.

Answer......... There are many mfgr's...ARC, BAT, CJ, Rouge, Cary to name but a few that produce wide bandwidth tube amps with plenty of power to satisfy the needs of any speaker system.

As you mentioned ARC before not being 'powerfull' enough, you have obviously not listened to the current REF series of amps, or how about VTL's "Siegried" monoblocks ??

One can argue the sonic merits and virtues all they want, even and odd order distortions, etc, etc. but to 'carte blanche' dismiss tube amps for the reasons you give is absurd !

Now back to the original thread.........Horn loaded speakers sound BEST with tubes, I'm not asking you to take my word, just do yourself a survey or for that matter check out the various bits of feedback from this past years RMAF and see what powered 90 plus percent of the rooms with horn loaded speakers !
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post #12 of 36 Old 02-16-2008, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twitch54 View Post

One can argue the sonic merits and virtues all they want, even and odd order distortions, etc, etc. but to 'carte blanche' dismiss tube amps for the reasons you give is absurd !
!

Actually it is not absurd and, unlike your argument, is based on scientific testing rather than on beliefs and biases. I've owned products by ARC, Cary and others. The ARC, was clean enough to compete with a solid state amp in terms of "transparency" - a term you would understand. However it was ten times the price of the comparable solid state amp. None of the others were comparable either in measurement or sound quality.

I've owned tube amps that can deliver 150 wpc with 8 KT88's per side and that cost in excess of $8000. I've been in the business of selling vacuum tubes. I've written articles on tube amplification for audio publications. Calling my comments absurd is, in fact, ignorant.

Which of your over-$8000 tube amps compete favorably with a $500 solid state amp? By favorably I mean which ones exhibit a flat frequency response with inaudible distortion and a noise floor at least 80 db below the signal? If they don't they are "colored." That's another audiophile term just like "transparency." I'm trying communicate as colloquially as I can.

Now, is there something about horn loaded speakers that makes them sound better with tube amps? Nothing in the base of common audio knowledge would support that opinion. That makes it opinion and nothing more. It is written as a statement of fact but, in fact, it isn't.

Sorry, I took the comments personally. I shouldn't have done that. My bad. I apologize for finishing an argument I didn't start. My intent was to answer questions. Sorry the folks didn't like the answers. Obviously, I'm not welcome in this thread so I'll go away. Best luck to the OP in his quest.
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post #13 of 36 Old 02-16-2008, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

Now, is there something about horn loaded speakers that makes them sound better with tube amps? Nothing in the base of common audio knowledge would support that opinion. That makes it opinion and nothing more.


FMW, I appoligize for coments made, no 'persoanl' intent.

I merely am trying to point out that the majority of people who listened to horn loaded speakers prefer tubes, and if that amount of 'coloration' is the reason why then so be it.

Anyways ...no harm, no foul ! BTW, are you related to Julian Hirsch, sorry I could't resist !!
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post #14 of 36 Old 02-17-2008, 04:26 AM
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Apology accepted. No relationship to Julian Hirsch. In truth there haven't been many horn loaded speakers made in the history of audio. You might have to search pretty hard for people who have heard them at all, let alone expressed a preference for amplifier output devices.

I owned a Klipschorn once - back in the mono days. When stereo arrived on the scene, I couldn't afford a second one so I switched to bass reflex speakers that I could afford. I don't think I've heard a horn loaded speaker system since way back then. I know the Klipsch are still made. Anybody else making a horn enclosure these days?
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post #15 of 36 Old 02-17-2008, 05:08 AM
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Ok now that we got all THAT out of our systems.......

A year or so ago I was t h i s close to buying a pair of 'walls. I wanted a integrated tube amp with a phono section, an AR-XA, and back to the nostalgic days of the '60s. It can be done and it can be fun.

For the OP, he doesn't give us to much to go on to help him. Don't know what he's using for a transport - turntable, CDP, computer, etc. So that's kinda tough. I would tell him do a little research, set a price point, try to audition the equipment in his listening room, and enjoy the hell outta it.

BTW my Mac Mini was going to be my digital source out to an Alien DAC v.1.
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post #16 of 36 Old 02-17-2008, 05:10 AM
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added: ahhhhh, I feel such peace and harmony in the "2 Channel Audio" forum, I think I'll camp out here.
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post #17 of 36 Old 02-17-2008, 08:25 AM
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There is an Onix SP3 II integrated tube amp on Agon for $499. Was thinking of trying it myself, but probably won't. $499 is less than 1/2 price of new and the guy is including extra tubes.

I believe it's EL34 output with ~35wpc.

Seems to have favorable reviews from what I've found.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #18 of 36 Old 02-17-2008, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm was using a iPod with a docking station that came with the Yamaha as my audio source. I play cds sometimes through my dvd player which is going through a optical connection. If I get a tube amp, I'm probably just gonna keep using my iPod, with some rca connection.

Video: Samsung PN648500AF, Panasonic TC-P60GT50
Audio: Onkyo TX-NR818 with B&K Reference 200.7, Behringer iNuke 3000DSP for subs
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post #19 of 36 Old 02-17-2008, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone used the Antique Sound Lab AQ1003 DT? Looks like it got a decent review on enjoythemusic.com. just wondering if anyone has had any hands on experience with it?

Video: Samsung PN648500AF, Panasonic TC-P60GT50
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post #20 of 36 Old 02-17-2008, 09:32 PM
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Somebody got Onix... it was $450, not $499.

Guess it wasn't you if you're still looking, eh?

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #21 of 36 Old 02-27-2008, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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no it wasn't me, I'm still looking, so many possibilities out there.

Video: Samsung PN648500AF, Panasonic TC-P60GT50
Audio: Onkyo TX-NR818 with B&K Reference 200.7, Behringer iNuke 3000DSP for subs
Speakers: Klipsch RF-7 II's, RC-64, RS-62's RSW-15, Dual DIY Stereo Integrity 18" Subwoofers
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post #22 of 36 Old 02-27-2008, 02:33 PM
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At 102 db 1watt/1meter sensitivity, you can use just about any tube amp, even a SET depending on your tastes/preferences. I'd probably go the used market and get more bang for the buck. At your price range you could easily get a Manley Stingray which is a great tube integrated for the price.

larry

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -- Thomas Alva Edison
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post #23 of 36 Old 02-28-2008, 09:48 AM
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I used to power a set of Cornwalls with an old Fisher SA-100, a 6BQ5 amp with about 12 wpc. Very nice sounding amps when restored and even when not.

For a new amp consider the Jolida 102, a nice little EL-84 integrated amp, 12 wpc or so, should drive Cornwalls nicely, I use one to drive 1961 Heathkit-Altecs of similar sensitvity. Jolida ia a nice sounding little unit; excellent clarity and tone.

That said I don't buy into the new orthodoxy that horns sound best with tubes; they sound best with good amps of whatever type. I've been using horns for well over 35 years and powered them with every type of amp available and heard good and bad results with both tubes and SS. Right now I have four hi-fis using horn speakers; one uses an old restored Fisher 500B tube receiver, one a new Jolida tube amp, one a Denon SS amp and another is bi-amped with a Teac T-amp on the treble and a big-hog QSC SS amp on the bass.
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post #24 of 36 Old 02-28-2008, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twitch54 View Post


I merely am trying to point out that the majority of people who listened to horn loaded speakers prefer tubes


Not true, I know dozens of hornys now and known many more over the years I've been in this hobby and most use SS amps. Many hornys today are into chip-amps big time; lots of them using Sonic Impacts and gain-clones. Many hornys use pro-sound SS amps too and Mac SS is very popular.
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post #25 of 36 Old 02-28-2008, 10:17 AM
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Tom. You're right. Definitely right.

However comma, for me, the appeal of such old-school speakers IS the old schoolness of it all.

(please note the word, phrase, term "oldschoolness" is now copyrighted and protected and will not be rebroadcast, used or inseminated without explicit authority of zoney99.)

A tube amp IS in-order and preferably a McIntosh amp.

However, (this time I'll use the punctuation point,) I think he'll have fun with whatever he uses. He's a lucky guy!
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post #26 of 36 Old 02-28-2008, 10:57 AM
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Zoney----I understand your views and agree to a great extent. Tubes are fun and hobbies are usually about fun, it's just that I'm able to indulge myself with both old school and new. The one unit I wouldn't give up is that Fisher 500B, it sounds as gorgeous as it looks.

Regards

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post #27 of 36 Old 02-28-2008, 12:14 PM
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Love the old-school walnut. Have the same, a mint Pan-Lock, for my McIntosh MA-6100, but somehow I prefer the "naked" look. Ah walnut, those were the days!

What's to the left of it BTW?
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post #28 of 36 Old 02-28-2008, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoney99 View Post


What's to the left of it BTW?

That's a mixer; the Fisher is in my music room and I besides hi-fi I also use the system to play a digital drumset and piano through.
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post #29 of 36 Old 03-02-2008, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Brennan View Post

Not true, I know dozens of hornys now and known many more over the years I've been in this hobby and most use SS amps. Many hornys today are into chip-amps big time; lots of them using Sonic Impacts and gain-clones. Many hornys use pro-sound SS amps too and Mac SS is very popular.

Tom, not doubting you for a moment. FWIW, I too have been around this hobby for a long time and can lay claim to the same statement with tubes..... so it's meaningless to argue !

Shall we agree the earth is still round ?? !!
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post #30 of 36 Old 03-03-2008, 09:15 PM
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A friend of mine has a pair of 'walls, and powers them with either McIntosh MC30's, or MC60's. (he has a pair of each)

The MC60's are a great match, IMO.
The MC30's are more than capable, as well.

When he first got the speakers, he was using a solid state Adcom. I walked away with a less than good first impression. Once he got some tubes behind them, it's like they became a totally different animal. YMMV.
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