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Crown Proamp vs Norh SE9 Tubes

334 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Blupro
Hey everyone,

I realize there's a few proamp threads, but my question is really tied to budget for 2-channel music or perhaps 2.1 music......

I purchased Axiom M22s a few months ago, and have been enjoying the heck out of them, but am using a integrated HT amp, a Yamaha 5750. I know I can make them sound better, but am looking to do so in the $500 price range.

Initially, I'd been looking at a Norh SE9 tube amp, as it's in my price range; but looking through these forums, wonder if I might be better served with a Crown xls402, which is similarly priced. The Crown seems like a much safer bet, as I dont have to order one in from Asia, but would a entry level proamp really sound as good as a entry level tube amp??

Any input regarding proamps vs tube amps would be greatly appreciated....
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The Norh isn't especially powerful, and being SET based likely has an appreciable output impedance (the manufaturer provides little information regarding specs or measurements). This suggests that the amp will also function as an equalizer whose cuts and boosts will be tied to the impedance curve of your speakers. The lower the impedance of your speaker, the greater those cuts and boosts will be. Euphonic if you will. If you overdrive the Norh, likely it will generate an appreciable amount of harmonics possibly at the expense of actual power generating the impression that it is louder than it really is.

If your needs are modest in that neither the material or volume isn't demanding, you may find you'll enjoy the unit. Alternatively, you should be able to hook up a Behringer UltraQ in between the amp and preamp sections of your Yamaha for $100 or so. It provides a bypass mode and allows you to dial in the amount of 'tubiness' you like. The Behringer is probably available at local pro audio shops like Guitar Center and I believe if you don't like it you'll be able to return it for a money back deal.

Good luck.
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Yeah, it's really tought to make any comparison between the two because they are such different critters.

"I know I can make them sound better..." what does this mean? Perhaps more precisely, what is it about the sound that you want to improve, or think needs improvement?
Hi Chu,

Thanks for the response. Cheaper solutions are better - I'd considered a DAC-ah for my CD player, but had never considered an equalizer for my current setup. Do you own a Behringer UltraQ, and if so, overall, how does it affect your sound?
Hey Who,

To be honest, everything about it. Clarity, warmth/realism over the full range, imaging, soundstaging......really, everything. Sorry for the overall vagueness...
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