Amp Choice for Acapella Campaniles

I purchased a set of Campaniles last summer and have been trying to optimize them since then both with respect to room placement and amps. The speakers utilize a plasma tweeter, a midrange (non-compression) horn using a Dynaudio driver and four 10" SEAS drivers for woofers in individual rather large sealed boxes (2 woofers per 30" by 12" by 28" box). I have to date tried two very different amps (Parasound JC-1's and Wolcott 220 mono tubes). The JC-1's are still breaking in but thus far are promising, still lacking the dimensionality and warmth of the tubes but with superior control of the bass and dynamics. I understand from the designer that the JC-1's will gain in both of these areas as they break in. Any suggestions with respect to other possibilities with these very revealing speakers. By the way, the JC-1's exhibit absolutely no brightness or zip in the top end. I think that 100 watts would be the minimum amp size needed.
Hi Fred, sorry I missed you at CES. I heard the Violins and was very impressed, they weren't playing anything with substantive bass when I was in the room, so I didn't really get to hear what they can do on the bottom end. But the highs from that tweeter were extraordinary. Due to ostensible kleptomania, the new Tenor 300W hybrid amps weren't available for auditioning at CES, but I really want to hear them. They might be a possibility for your Campaniles. If the Tenor boys are accurate in what they say they do, and I've no reason to doubt them given what I've heard with the OTL amps they make, these amps will definitely be worth an audition if you don't go with the JC-1's, which are very good also. Good luck. Mark
BTW, the stereo version of this amp is 150 W, which may be ample for your needs, and it's much less costly.
fred..having had tenor 75wis and recently trading them for a goldmund 29m, i can say,without stuttering,that it is a superb does everything the tenors do well and alot more..especially the bass dynamics..quickness,articulation and slamm.but amazingly it has the mid and high freq. beauty that is the hallmark of the tenors.if you're considering the new tenor 300w hybrid you need to try the goldmund also because it may,and i have not heard it either,be as good and save you some bucks.i have piega p-10s and use an audio tekne 'simona' tubed preamp with it and the combo is absolutely stunning.
I would have missed Fred too given the beautiful, but evil dentist you were with Saturday......Life appears to be good in Ohio as it appears you landed from the marital reconfiguration very nicely!
Why Bob, whatever are you talking about? Oh, her- that was just a tag along I was wandering around with, she saw the BIG speakers in your room, and we got to talking.......
It was nice seeing you, kudo's on the amps and the excellent reviews they've garnered. Sorry I missed the after hrs shindig, but I was tied up at the time. Literally. But that's another story for another time :-)
Yep, every man in the place was looking like Rin Tin Tin when she slinked into the room.....
Period & no doubt FM acoustics will sound best with Acapella speakers, but are extremely expensive
Hey Doc! Tied up with that darn tag along eh? I understand. As they say (who and the hell is "they" anyway?), it's a dirty job but somebody has to do it!!


Fmpnd, the dentist in question looked a lot like Kim Bassinger, only prettier and with auburn hair.....
Hi Fred,

It'll be interesting to hear how the JC-1s evolve over time. It is too bad we are so far apart (well, not that far in the overall scheme of things...) that we can't visit and hear each others systems without a lot of effort. Someday though...

Our new Edge Signature monoblocks are working out really nicely so far on our Campanile Highs, though they are still only a couple of weeks old. The Edge NL-10s are very nice with the Campaniles, but the Audio Aero Capitole (50 watt push-pull tubed) amplifier was more musical and satisfying and just plain wonderful in comparison (especially paired with Shunyata speaker cables) - with a richer texture and more engaging macro dynamics (this is an excellent system - the Audio Aero/Acapella Violin pair have won a number of best of shows in Frankfurt over the years).

But the Signature monoblocks with significantly more power - in an all Valhalla setup - is the best system, in terms of overall performace (especially PRaT, richness and general musicality), we have ever heard, anywhere (in the over 30hz frequency range - the amps still keep changing day-to-day in the deep bass regions - loose one day, overly constricted the next). And these amps are new, and Edge amps all take a very LONG time to break-in.

HP was right that these have the same character as the NL-10s - but the added power on the Campaniles really helps the notes to unfold and blossum, with huge amounts of richness and texture - both in time (amplitude) and timbre (frequency), effortlessly produced, with no overlap (lots of seperation), all against a clean dark background.

Yep, we like them :-) The musicality of tubes without all the bother. Of course, next week we get in the Lamm ML1.1's - an amp renowned for its musicality - and they will have to be broken-in as well. And at that time, when they are both fully broken-in, we will just have to see (hear) what tasty flavors of orgasmic sonic delights these two amps are capable of!

-Mike (Audio Federation)
Fred, Brian here from Artistic Audio. While I was at the CES show last January I spoke with the head designer of Acapella and he recommended using tube amps on the Campaniles. Having the Violon's in my showroom I can tell you that tubes work best on them as well. I would look for the best 50-100 watt tube amps available (preferably SET) and work from there. Your speakers will thank you for it, and so will your Ears!
Brian, I sure don't agree as the Campaniles respond to the current a good SS amp can provide.....Fred changed over from tubes to SS months ago after a very long break-in period and hasn't looked back....
Hey Bob and Brian. Don't fight, you're both right! :-)))

The Campaniles respond to high quality upstream equipment; the better the equipment the better the sound (though better is up to the ear of the beholder). I think Fred's Wolcotts, though very nice for specific speakers, are not up to the task to driving the Campaniles to their best effect and so he is finding the JC-1 works much better. And, though the head designer of Acapella likes EL34-based tube amps on his speakers, I know the Lamm ML1.1 (and I bet the WAVAC that Brian uses) has more finesse and control that no EL34-based amp that *I* know of can touch.

So, in conclusion :-), the 'best amp' works 'best', regardless if it is solidstate or tubed or hybrid, as the Acapellas are very revealing and, though quite forgiving in my experience, they do expose the quality of the amp (and other upstream components) without seeming to prefer any kind of technology over any other.

Mike is right in that the Acapella speakers do require the absolute finest electronics to work there magic! their seems to be no limit to how good they can get. What the Acapella speakers seem to want most is quality and purity of power, and not so much quantity of power. Take the Lamm and Wavac amps for example, these are both ultra pure sounding tube amps where as the Wolcotts are higher power but not as refined. I suppose i'm a bit spoiled in that I have been exposed to some of the finest tube amps ever made and I haven't found a solid state amp that even comes close to them. On the other hand if one can't afford the best tube designs then he or she will have to settle for a musical solid state amp that gets you 2/3rds of the way there.
While I understand that the right tube amplifier has many things to offer on these speakers, I must question Brian's experience, at least with respect to the Campanile High's which are a somewhat different animal from the Violons. The Campaniles each have 4 10" SEAS drivers in a sealed enclosure which benefit significantly from an amplifier capable of delivering high current and high damping. The Violon, in comparison, has a single woofer in a smaller cabinet whose frequency response does not extend as low as the Campaniles. I would be curious with respect to Mike and Nelli's comments as they have both the Lamm and Edge Signature amplifiers which each represent state of the art in their respective areas. I will say that I have heard very nice results from the Campaniles using a 50 watt Audio Aero amplifier but felt that the amp ocassionally ran out of steam.
Brian, you missed my point in that the Campaniles need CURRENT, not voltage....Ultra pure doesn't cut it in the bass, current and damping factor does......Sorry, but I'll "settle" for a contemporary SS design for these monoliths of speakers which have now disappeared at Fred Crowders place, a real trick with the outboard mounted horns....
The Campaniles may need more power than the 50 watt Audio Aero amps could provide (depending on the room size), but I would still trade off some of the bass slam and dynamics for the musicality of fine tubes!
if you heard the JC1s on fred's Campaniles, you would not have any notion that solid state is mutually exclusive from musicality.
From what i´ve heard Einstein audio is the best match for Acapella. simply magic =).