I'm listening to all sorts of music, including classic, jazz, rock and sometimes I like to turn the volume up!
I own Silverline Sonata III, and I have been experimenting with amps, including 160wpc KT88 push-pull tube monoblocks, 60wpc OTL tube monoblocks, and 500wpc MOSFET solid state monoblocks. I too like to turn up the volume and listen to rock and driving jazz.
The Sonata III work better with solid state amplification, IMO. Better tonal balance.
The Sixpacks, at 50wpc, will not get the job done.
What's your room size and how far are you sitting from them?
Lissnr, my room is about 6.5m to 4.5m, but it's a living room and not a dedicated listening room. So the speakers are placed in the first third of the longer side and the listening position is about 3m away from the speakers.
Hope this makes sense,
Your room is not to big and your speakers are quite effecient. (Silverline Sonata). 50 watts means very little as who knows how much drive one 50 watt amp has vs another 50 watt amp. I have a 45 watt Canary 300b push/pull amp that plays every bit as loud and dynamic as my previous 250 watt SS amp. I think it sounds more dynamic, larger scale and huge!!!!
I have also heard other 50 watt amps that lack juice and drive. I don't know your amps so I can't say for sure. My speakers are 90 db effecient and 4 ohm. They are in a larger room then yours, yet my 45 watts is plenty. Yes, I to love loud music at times.
Call Alan Yun of Silverline Audio and ask him for his advice. I did. He straight out told me for the music I listen to (rock and jazz mostly), anything less than 100wpc in a tube amp won't produce satisfactory results on the Sonata III loudspeakers, and Pass labs or Belles solid state amplification would yield the best results. My experimentation thus far confirms his advice, although there are a hundred tube amps I have not auditioned in my system, and one of them might really be magical.
Alan primarily voices and demos his speakers with a Pass Labs amplifier of significant wattage.
FWIW, my room is 20x16 and partially opens on to a 12x12 room on the back wall. My listening chair is 8 feet from the back wall, and 9 feet from the speakers. I listen nearfield.
I guess loud is pretty subjective. I play music at 85 - 90db when I consider it loud. This is the average weighting (c) on my rat shack sound level meter.
Interesting what loud is to one vs another.
Sounds pretty loud for me. Thanks for all the advices.
I'm open to different suggestions, so if someone has a great sounding alternative, please let me know.
Choose your speaker first, and then match an amp to the speaker.
If you're married to the AES Sixpacks, then consult an AES dealer for speaker recommendations.
That's my best advice.
My room is just over 4M wide, and just under 6M deep, with the speakers firing off the short wall. I've two openings towards the rear of the room and one on either side.
There's more than one way to skin a cat, as they say. I'm thinking the IIIs & your amp should do OK. i ran a BAT 60spc tube amp on mine and they sounded fine. Lots of volume. Not a lot of bass though. good punchy bass on tube amps seems an elusive thing generally speaking.
For me in my room, 92 - 94 db (avg), is more than I can handle for extended playing. maybe a song or two, but no more, then I need a break. the BAT vk60 did that on my sonata IIIs.
Consequently, I'd say SS is NOT a prerequsite for the Sonata IIIs to provide you volume. That's easy!
To do their best however is subjective! The real answer is going to be determined by your own tastes and preffs.
As far as I'm concerned the sonata IIIs are great speakers, period. given they're also in the over $7K retail range, having something comensurate to push them with might well be inorder too... I've found I can live pretty well with amps in the $5000 - $6000 range very often. More or less expense there ain't a bad thing either, I suppose, it's just my experience and was said above... "What sort of 50 wpc amp?". they ain't all equal. (also do try the 4 ohm taps off the amp, as well as the 8's if you get the Sonata IIIs... just a thought.).
The difference between SS and tubes on my Sonata III has to do with tonal balance across the frequency range, not with volume.
The tube amp emphasizes certain frequencies, and de-emphasizes others. The sound is unbalanced. Both tube amps I own(ed) had this effect, and each are highly regarded amplifiers.
The sound has better balance with the SS amp because no frequency is emphasized.
FWIW, I do not have the Silverline III's (I have the Bolero's) but I have heard them at Silverlines location in California. I think Tvads comments are probably right on, considering that you like rock and like to 'turn the volume up'. If I had bought the III's I'd probably have been looking for some very refined SS amps to balance out the bass possibilities and the upper frequencies. Now if I was willing to pass on some of the punch in the bass I think I could have found hog heaven with tubes. They really are fine speakers but they are not, as I suspect Tvad has found, necessarily plug and play.
My experience with tube amps and the Sonata III involves more than bass issues. The treble region with two of my tube amps has been overly aggressive and bright, and the midrange has been recessed.
This is why I have continually emphasized tonal balance in this thread rather than only bass response.
Tvad, Interesting observations about the III's mid-range being recessed. I'd hate to see what you thought of my Bolero's! :-) When you were considering tube amps were you also considering the type of power tubes used in them might contribute to the sonic signature? Type to type/brand to brand. I've found that selection can make some difference when it comes to linearity and dealing with coloration built into poweramps. FWIW.
No Newbee, I did not. I selected two highly regarded tube amps. One push-pull KT88 with 160 wpc, and one OTL 6AS7 with 60wpc. It's not as though they both sucked. The KT88 amps actually sound pretty darned good, but not as balanced as the SS amp.
Blindjim loves his Sonata III with the Dodd Audio 120 EL34 tube amps, so perhaps the EL34 based AES Sixpacks will be spectacular with the Sonata III.
Look, I've beaten this to death and I apologize for that. My observations simply reflect the recommendation made by the designer of the Sonata III.
I'm signing off this thread. Best of luck to the OP in his search.
Thanks to all for the advices, special thank to Tvad who really took his time to explain his experiments.
It seems that I will have to more research and listening before i make a decision.
But if someone has the perfect match for me, please let me know
Try Dodd 120 Mk II w/sonicap upgrades... or gary's newer editions the 150's.
I don't experience any of those issues Tvad mentioned he had with his.... and the recommendations of Alan were as to Tvads' own sonic prefs and tastes... and I would agree if rock and loud is desired... SS is likely the way to go.
I've no complaints however with my set up. None wat so ever... other than wanting Thor mono blocks perhaps.
Bauerp, While I assume you have already done so, if you haven't read the review of the III in 6 moons I suggest you do so. The guy that wrote it owned the II's and bought the III's.
From all I can tell, from my limited listening to it, he hits the nail on the head. He also reviewed my Boleros and I found his assessment right on target and his advise excellent. I highly recommend this reading before you write off the III's (and I don't usually even mention reviewers let alone recommend reading their stuff).
FWIW both Tvad and Blindjim have their own very different expectations of equipment, neither of which may even remotely resemble yours (or mine), and from a consumer expectation point of view I personally think the reviewer's observations might have more applicability to your needs than either.
FWIW. Good luck in making the right decision.