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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really miss the musical sound of a tube amp (had an old Dynaco many moons ago). I currently have a Denon AVR-3808ci feeding two Energy RC-50s. The speakers are great but the amp lacks that tube sparkle that I miss. I was thinking of biamping the RC-50s with a tube top end powering the tweeters. The crossover is at 2.4KHz and I was going to add a further crossover before the tube amp at about 1.2KHz to filter out unwanted bass from entering the tube. Since the Denon runs about 110W/ch I was thinking that a 25-30w tube should be sufficient. Has anyone experience of this sort of thing? Will the crossover point be low enough to hear that signature tube sound? Will this affect the timbre of my front plane, i.e. should I also tube the tweeter in my center channel? Anything I should note or watch out for?
 

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I would think if your looking for the tube sound then mixing it with solid state would

defeat the purpose. Most of my friends that have been heavy into HI-FI swear by an

amp that runs class A to a certain point then switches to class A/B for dynamics.
 

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That's weird... why not just use a tube preamp and keep the SS amp for a hybrid setup similar to many Cary systems?
 

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you could definitely do it but i'd cut the mix between tube and ss at about 120 hz--probably also better to manage the bass more 'tightly' with the ss. if you do it let us know how it works out. i can tell you that I have tried biamping with my sunfire current source (more tubelike) to the mid/tweeter and voltage source output to woofers and it worked out well. ihave unbiampable focal be's now so i cant do it anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. I am kind of stuck at the xover point because I don't really want to remove the passive xovers in the speakers. I am a little worried that the high point of the xover (2.4KHz) is too high to enable the distinctive "tube sound". I may take a chance on a Chinese EL34 tube amp just to try things out. If worse comes to worse, I'll keep the tube for two channel and use a speaker switch to swap in the Denon for HT.
 

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Speaker switch? That's only going to degrade the sound, why bother using tubes and all then? Sounds like what you're trying to do is a lot of trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda /forum/post/15531406


Speaker switch? That's only going to degrade the sound, why bother using tubes and all then? Sounds like what you're trying to do is a lot of trouble.

I've used speaker switches before and never found them to degrade the sound to me. Its not a lot of trouble, its interesting.
 

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Let me get this straight. You are wanting to bi-amp 2-way speakers and use a tube amp for just the tweeter? That's nuts. All the people that I know who bi-amp, always do so splitting the tweeter/mid and the woofer(s).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Originally Posted by Rutgar /forum/post/15532023


Let me get this straight. You are wanting to bi-amp 2-way speakers and use a tube amp for just the tweeter? That's nuts. All the people that I know who bi-amp, always do so splitting the tweeter/mid and the woofer(s).

No. I will use a tube amp for the tweeter and a solid state amp (the Denon AVR) for the woofers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnergyOwner /forum/post/15532045


No. I will use a tube amp for the tweeter and a solid state amp (the Denon AVR) for the woofers.

If you prefer a tube sound, just use the tube amp on the whole speaker. A speaker of this caliber hardley merits getting so complicated with. And using a tube amp on just a tweeter is really out there IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutgar /forum/post/15532152


If you prefer a tube sound, just use the tube amp on the whole speaker. A speaker of this caliber hardley merits getting so complicated with. And using a tube amp on just a tweeter is really out there IMO.

So I can gather you have not tried this yourself then. I have heard this being done before with some success but I guess no one here has tried it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnergyOwner /forum/post/15532486


So I can gather you have not tried this yourself then. I have heard this being done before with some success but I guess no one here has tried it.

I have bi-amped several systems in the past. With mixed results. But I have never bi-amped just a tweeter.


Are those speakers even set up to do that? In other words, do those speakers have 2 sets of binding posts, 1 set for the highs, and the other for the lows? If so, then go ahead and try it. Most likely it wouldn't cause any issues as long as there is some sort of passive components (passive x-over) in the load with the drivers. Also, by using the internal x-overs of the speakers, there would be no need for you to limit the input signal of your tube amp, as you suggested. In fact, doing so may cause more problems than it solves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutgar /forum/post/15532743


I have bi-amped several systems in the past. With mixed results. But I have never bi-amped just a tweeter.


Are those speakers even set up to do that? In other words, do those speakers have 2 sets of binding posts, 1 set for the highs, and the other for the lows? If so, then go ahead and try it. Most likely it wouldn't cause any issues as long as there is some sort of passive components (passive x-over) in the load with the drivers. Also, by using the internal x-overs of the speakers, there would be no need for you to limit the input signal of your tube amp, as you suggested. In fact, doing so may cause more problems than it solves.

Yes, the speakers are bi-ampable and are currently running as such with the Denon driving both sets of drivers. I may try just the tube amp driving the whole speaker but I worry about clipping in an HT environment. I currently have no sub so the L/R speakers are taking all the LFE and I don't know if a 25-30w amp will be able to push that through without clipping. Maybe a sub needs to go into the mix.
 

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In the end,it's the sound; not only whatever particular amp type is used. I had been a true tube junkie for years.---At one point in HT mode I was burning 56 tubes to watch a movie. Of course the speakers are more important---in that--- unless the speakers are capable of resolving " all" from the source thru the amp --what amp--with budget speakers-- will only give you a restricted "taste".---TWO points to note;In general low priced tube amps will be soft ,maybe sweet,but soft.Very good SS amps are so tube-like and very dynamic. A quality outboard 2ch amp for the fronts will help your HT and 2 ch. An outboard x-over and 2 dif. amps will show you how fast money can dissapear/ with not that much in return.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by avguygeorge /forum/post/15533897


At one point in HT mode I was burning 56 tubes to watch a movie.

That's what I was afraid of. I'm not worried about the speakers, I think they sound as good as any others I have heard. I may start searching for an mono/2/3 channel SS that has a tube-like sound (plenty of even second-order harmonic distortion?).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda /forum/post/15528882


That's weird... why not just use a tube preamp and keep the SS amp for a hybrid setup similar to many Cary systems?

I think this is the simplest solution. Although my AVR doesn't have main inputs, I can set the pre-amp up in a tape loop or using one of my zones.
 

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How about a tubed preamp with HT bypass and continue to use your existing SS amp?


Rogue Perseus
http://www.rogueaudio.com/Products_Perseus.htm


Modwright SWL 9.0SE
http://www.modwright.com/pdf/SWLTubePreamp.pdf


or the soon to be shipping Peachtree Nova - this is an tube integrated but has a high quality DAC and pre-outs. Still waiting confirmation but I believe you can use the HT bypass and amp for FR/FL or use the preouts and HT bypass and use your SS amp for everything.

http://signalpathint.com/index.php/N...cing-Nova.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I did think about HT bypass but as I am using my AVR as a power amp, I can bypass the preamp using the AVR's input controls anyhow. At any rate, those are beyond my current budget as I'm not sure about how this is going to turn out so I'm going to start small.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnergyOwner /forum/post/15549462


I did think about HT bypass but as I am using my AVR as a power amp, I can bypass the preamp using the AVR's input controls anyhow. At any rate, those are beyond my current budget as I'm not sure about how this is going to turn out so I'm going to start small.

Fair enough, the nice thing about the Nova is the pre-outs. In your application you could use the preamp to drive FR/FL in 2 channel and HT and allow your AVR to drive surrounds and center. However, budget is king. Good luck!
 

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Have you looked into the Grant fidelity B-283 Tube procesor? It sounds like this may help you with the sonic results that you are after. A lot of people swear up and down by this little piece of equipment, and I think you can get it on ebay even cheaper than buying direct from Ian at Grant Fidelity. http://grantfidelity.com/site/B-283+...ocessor+Buffer
 
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