Those speakers are very efficient and present a very stable load to an amplifier. Time to try a little bit of SET magic!
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I've owned the Super Eclipse III's for a few years now. They are outstanding speakers and very versatile in my own experience. I've used them with 8 watt SET amps with great success, though I think the low end drivers ultimately do require a bit more power. I've also used them with Modwright's KWA150 SS amp and that pairing was outstanding - even better with two of them (that's 450wpc - and it did not sound overkill and bested the single amp with 150wpc in that specific case, rendering better detail, staging, and airiness for lack of a better term). I'd get something with at least 25-30w minimum to push those large bass drivers, though they do sound pretty great with lower power SET, and if you were hankering to go that route they'd be great candidates to support that. If that sort of presentation is what you are after I'd suggest parallel SET or OTL for the added power. It will depend what your expectations are and what you are listening to. Great choice in speaker though.
I've used them with 8 watt SET amps with great success, though I think the low end drivers ultimately do require a bit more power.
In my system when pairing Super Eclipse III's with Coincident Frankenstein 300b amps, I have not found that to be the case. I have not found the combination lacking or rolling off.
In other direct comparisons I have found the Coincident Frankensteins to be on par with some 845 based SETs in terms of their ability to drive, so they may outperform their rating.
If you prefer tubes they should definitely be on your short list. ;)
I have the Coincident Total Eclipse2 and have used very good push-pull amps with very good results. However the Frankenstein MK 2 300b SET amps are in my opinion on a higher plane and sound superior to any PP amp I`ve heard thus far. Don`t be put off by it`s 8 watt power rating, this amp is quite powerful,dynamic and very big sounding in size and scale and truely has wonderful tone with a natural organic character. This amp would mate in a most beatiful manner with your speakers(they will certainly have no promblems with controlling the woofers.
Best of luck
Please note here.... different folks with the same or nearly the same units say different things about them.
your tastes and room will determine the best fit for you.
if they weren't so tall I'd have considered them long ago and did until I really eye'd their overall dimensions.
Despite the controversial accounts here, it's a very safe bet that Israels speakers can do well itty bitty powered amps and much more powerful ones... so amp shopping ought to be fun as you've many choices.
That said, the design does seem to favor amps with tubes, and amps that aren't extremely muscular. if it were me, I'd look to tube amps first though. Power will always gain one more control. More power, more control over the drivers. But with such a benign load the short list you entered here might ought be revised.
BTW.... exactly how does one go about losing an amp when moving? they ain't like sneakers or a toaster.
I should qualify my comments, as Blindjim does make a good point, that brings to mind others. Not only will the volume (not just area) of the room make a difference, but the amps themselves will also, of course. I'd also pay attention to the program material people are preferring as it may differ from your tastes. Though well-implemented SET amplification can serve a wide variety of music, it excels vastly with very specific music (acoustic, vocals, small ensemble, generally more simple arrangements), while other music (rock, orchestral, very dense, complex and layered music) is better served by other topologies...IMO (and I love SET). I was not using Israel's excellent 300B based amps which I've heard twice at shows with his speakers sounding wonderful in smallish hotel rooms. I used Mike Sanders' Quicksilver 300B SET amps, also known for a relatively strong bass among 300B's which are otherwise traditionally rather flabby in lower extension. Like Blum, Sanders utilizes way overbuilt transformers (each amp weighs about 38lbs). Not to say the amps are similar in other respects, but I think transformer size and quality makes a big difference in SET amps (as in other topologies as well). Blum's amps also do not give up the ghost readily in the low end from what I heard (smaller room than my own). BUT, IMO, In both cases, if the extremes in extension are critical to you, choose a different topology, like parallel SET (slightly better with more power and very similar qualities and drawbacks), or OTL (significantly better with not quite the same kind of glowing, holographic magic, but with magic of its own, and certainly a great midrange. That is assuming you like that kind of thing - In the case of SET some would point to coloration/distortion - while I'd say OTL is more linear and neutral). God help you, there's always the old reliable standby push/pull which will tend to stress the ability to handle extension well at the sacrifice of that wonderful holographic soundstage that SET does oh so well. I have not heard Push/Pull come even close to the qualities of a great SET amp, though certainly have not heard everything out there. So my comment about 300B SET + Super Eclipse III's were based upon listening nearfield in a room of moderate volume (a bit under 2000 cu ft). It is also a rather challenging room. I don't doubt that 8W can serve the SEIII's very well. I enjoyed my 300B SET amps for about six years while other amps came and went in attempts to dethrone them, so this is coming from a big fan of what that type of amp is capable of. I also am very aware of what it's not capable of, at least my amps. When you compare amps directly within the same system over many years the strengths and weaknesses become pretty clear, as they do in the amp you are comparing them to. I ultimately chose what was, for me, a more versatile amp that served a much wider range of music very well, and found in direct comparison that I actually preferred it overall. The only thing I miss about my SET amps is that incredible holographic soundstage, which I think no amp topology does quite so well as SET can. On the other hand, putting some great high-power SS amps on SEIII's will grab the bass by the barnacles and bring out nuance and control you will not hear with any SET amp, including what I did hear of Blum's amps (which, to be fair, were on Super Victory speakers in both cases which have larger bass drivers than SEIII's I believe) - you will not, however have the same soundstage and magic. Opinions will differ...that's just my .02 cents based on my own experience and preferences.
I have had Coincident Total Eclipse Speakers for many years now and have run
them with Atma-Sphere MA-1 OTL's primarily, yet have sampled countless
other amps for the experience of it and to evaluate the amps performance
mostly, not the usual audiophile disease of never finding satisfaction. I live in
a very fertile community of valve amp designers and builders that often enjoy
the Coincident speakers for their revealing portrayal of music and as an
evaluation tool. It would be true to say that these speakers will make very
satisfying music and perform flawlessly with much smaller amps than the
MA-1's, I have heard many times as little as three watts do a very impressive
job yet, with watts comes some authority especially in the lower ranges.
Admittedly, predisposed to valves, for my personal tastes it would be more
than a bit of a step down to drive these beauties with semi-conductor style
amps. My experience is that valves take them to a whole different place and
the matching is as close to a perfect marriage as it comes. Mr. Blume's
speakers truly do it all and will be well suited with a very wide range of
amplification. IMHO you should listen to as many different options as humanly
possible, not only will you enjoy the experience, but learn things that all our
opinions can't teach. Hopefully you have audiophiles in your local and could
have a few listening parties. Happy listening!
Very wise advice from R_f_Sayles. Absolutely, if you do have the opportunity to try a wide variety of amps - do so and make your own choice. As you can see, both of us having done so came to very different conclusions as far as which amp worked best for each of us (though we are using different speakers within Blum's line). For me, what is gained by going to a high-current, high powered SS amp (KWA150) caused me to give up a six year love-affair with my SET amps. But I'd completely agree that neither yields the same qualities and each will have it's own strengths and weaknesses. One thing that has consistently impressed me with these speakers has been their versatility to sound great with a very wide range of amplification. I could not agree more with sayles' advice though - try it all out yourself and see what works for you.
I concur with both Jax2 & R_f_sayles. While I too have not heard the Coincident Frankensteins in my system, my Total Eclipse certainly want more than SET power especially in the low end. Tubes are essential, but I would consider 25-30 watts a good starting point. Of course, the rest of the system and the room it's in makes all the difference.
FWIW a 'high current' amplifier will not benefit you with Coincidents in general, as they tend to have higher impedances, which favor tubes. I think the lowest impedance of any of the models is 8 ohms, and some are 14. So the 'high current' aspect of transistor amplifiers is never invoked.
IME its a good idea to have some power on any of the Coincidents. You may think you are doing well with 7 watts, but when you hear what a clean 60 watts can do you might re-think that.
Israel's speakers favor tube amps and especially those that are zero feedback.
Atmasphere is right regarding ss amps with the Coincident speakers, they can/will sound good but with a quality tube amp good is elevated to a range of very good/great. I`m a long term owner of the Coincident Total Eclipse and have gotten fine sound using a top notch 100 watt push pull amp(Bella Extreme V-cap mono blocks by Bill Baker).I will tell you based on numerous and extended comparisions that the Frankenstein Mark2 amp is superior and drove the Total Eclipse superbly with ONLY 8 watts per channel. More power does`nt always equal better sound.Westborn I hope you get an opprotunity to hear this marvelous amp with your Super Eclipse speakers.
Atmasphere is right regarding ss amps with the Coincident speakers, they can/will sound good but with a quality tube amp good is elevated to a range of very good/great.
SS amps can/will sound good?...not necessarily IMO, nor necessarily will any tube amp be ideal IMO. When I spoke with him a few years ago Israel told me he used several different amps, to voice his speakers, including his own, of course. Regardless, I'm sure users will find there are those that do not pair off as well as others, and certainly did not mean to suggest that high-powered SS is the way to go - it's simply what I chose and what sounded best for me (my music, my room, my ears). The two that worked really well to my ears were the KWA150's I use, and the Ayre VX5e. Both are outstanding with the SE III's in every respect, and I would not hesitate recommending either (and I normally prefer tubes, or have for over ten years). My direct experience is relatively limited; I've only tried a few amps over the two years I've had my SEIII's, of the tube amps there were Quicksilver 300B SET's and Mini-Mites, VTL450's, and Cary SLA-70's. SS amps I've tried have been the Ayre V5XE, Bel Canto 1000's, Odyssey Stratos Dual Mono, and Modwright KWA150's. Of all of those, including the tube options, the Ayre and Modwright were my personal favorite combination, followed closely by the 300B's. None of the other combinations floated my boat quite the same. The best advice I can think to give is try them out yourself and see what works for you. Clearly no one can tell you what you will actually prefer when you put these speakers into your system in your room, and listen to your music with your own set of personal preferences. My experience has been that the speakers are very versatile and can work well with a wide variety of amps.
Matching the right amp to the right speaker is by far one of the greatest opportunities for that magic synergy in a Hifi system IMHO. Like the right cartridge to a tonearm it can make or break the reproduction of beautiful music. Being the "best" of the "best" so to speak, but not matching the needs of each other will result in something you see day in and day out here on AudioGon... people who just keep turning over gear with limited satisfaction. Like I referred to it earlier "a marriage" between the two is magic, anything else just tries to play the tune. Neither Jax2 nor AtmaSphere (Ralph) commented that AtmaSphere and Coincident have displayed at shows together in the past with nice review. Also Sue Kraft of Absolute Sound had reviewed AtmaSphere OTL's and Coincident loud speakers together and had them paired in her own reference system with excellent result. I realize a reviewer and magazine should have little to do with us buying, owning, and even loving our gear yet, I mention it because some value of observation may be helpful for you to work up a short list. I have no other connection with these two brands except for the fact that I happily own and thoroughly enjoy the music that they make and Ralph has been very kind and most helpful to me. Happy Listening!
I auditioned Coincident Pure Reference with Frankensteins SET
and Art Audio push-pull amps of about 40-50 Wt? back to back, in the same session, in a small room.
It was abundantly clear, that the speakers were more dynamic and engaging with the higher power push-pull amps on anything more complex, then just plain vocal type music.
If I had to make that choice b/w 8 Wt. SET and a higher power SET or push-pull, i would have never chosen Frankensteins for the type of music, I listen to- classical, rock, etc)
BTW, Pure Reference are an outstanding speaker.
Neither Jax2 nor AtmaSphere (Ralph) commented that AtmaSphere and Coincident have displayed at shows together in the past with nice review. Also Sue Kraft of Absolute Sound had reviewed AtmaSphere OTL's and Coincident loud speakers together and had them paired in her own reference system with excellent result.
There is a a list of speaker links (about 20) on Ralph's site (scroll down). I did not embellish further on the pairing, since my comment was purely speculative. Just to be clear; I have not heard Atmasphere+Coincident together, at a show or otherwise, but would bet they'd be great together based on those speakers I have heard Ralph's amps with.
Jax2, Please except my apologies, I meant nothing by including you and
Atmasphere in my comment to support Westborn's query, and do realize much
has been said about the combination of these two fine pieces of equipment, with
good reason. Good suggestion to see the comments on the Atma-Sphere
website. I felt that maybe with Ralph being a proprietor, he may want to assume
a more humble demeanor and stick to the facts at hand and be helpful, as he
always does. Where I, being a very happy owner and with years of first hand
experience, free of any possible appearance of conflict in interest could
unabashedly recommend his beautifully musical Atma-Sphere amps for this
application with Coincident S.E's. That's all.
Happy (OTL...maybe) Listening!
Rf - really no apologies necessary at all. I took no offense. As I'm sure you know, Ralph is one of the good guys (I think he's the one on the stool), and I agree; he is more than generous in sharing his thoughts (and time) in these forums. I have never read anything from him here that I'd remotely consider anything but helpful and appropriate for a manufacturer. I would just assume if he had something useful to say that I'd leave it to him to decide whether or not to say it. Cool beans that you been enjoying his talents for years - from what I've heard of them at shows I can certainly understand why!
I just tried pairing up the victory model with coda csx amp I just purchased to use with usher cp-6311. Last night as my girlfriend went to a party and I had lots of free time so I just put the victory to see what would happen. Holy molyyy, I had never thought the coincident would pair well with solid state as I tried some with it before, I usually drive it with the type amp such as bat vk60. With the coda, the victory was extreamly (and scaryyy) detailed, extreamly transparent and the bass which was a little lean before with other amps I tried, just came out with deep tight and detailed. Wowwww. That is you may wanna give the coda a try, it may sound strange to use auch efiicient speakers with high power solid state but it is very good I don't know why.
Wowwww. That is you may wanna give the coda a try, it may sound strange to use auch efiicient speakers with high power solid state but it is very good I don't know why.
Yours is very similar to my experience. The two areas that really come to shine with my SEIII's with my KWA150's (SS amps) were bass (in spades), which seemed to be reaching lower, tighter and with more tonal texture apparent, and resolution, where I was hearing more subtle details that with various tube options I had missed. In the case of my amps this did NOT come at the expense of fatigue or any other major compromise (which was really surprising as my expectations would have been otherwise). I would say that soundstaging was superior with my SET amps, though that quality really did not suffer severely in the hands of the KWA's, but the SETs were a clear winner in that department (not surprising as this is what they're known for). Again, I think Israel's speakers are quite versatile in this way.
I run my Super EIII's with a pair of Nuforce Ref 9 SEV3's
which are fed by a Cary SLP-05. The system sounds terrific.
I am of the opinion the speakers are not difficult to drive and would sound great with either good SS or Tube amps. It is a matter of your taste and budget. Do use the wonderful spikes that are available from Coincident as they do help quite a bit.
Last year, I had a privilege of owning SE MK3, pairing with SS amps such as Plinius 200W class AB, Sugden Int Amp 20W class A SET, Meridian G57 200W class AB.
I thought Meridian G57/Coincident SE Mk3 paired well, using all Coincident Extreme cables, the result was disappointing. Same experience with Plinius/SE MK3.
They sounded dry. So i tried Sugden class A SET, 20W with Coincident. Sounded better: impressive sound field and mid range, very airy highs and controlled deep bass.
The difference with big class AB SS amps are transparency and details, with excellent punch and dynamics. However, they sounded coloured and dry, uninvolving, having the electronic sound that makes music not so musical and listenable.
Finally, i tried with my friend's 10W SET class A integrated amp, Grant Fidelity. Finally, the magic sound of SET is so musically enchanting, fatigue free, free of electronic glare and natural sounding but simply could not drive big movies and orchestra tracks well. Simply sounded slow on big sound.
So i sold my SE Mk3, and went back to my Dynaudio Contour 1.8MK2 and 2.0, they paired with Plinius and Meridian Class A/AB amps....for movies and orchestra.
Music preference is a personal choice, one man's food is another man's poison. i loved classical, jazz and movies.
I agree with above audiogoners that bigger power has better control and authority on frequency extremes.
Still, i felt something missing and the sweet memories of tube SET class A sound continues to "haunt" me....finally, beginning of this year, 2010, i plunged into getting new Frankensteins 300B Mk2, 8W monoblocks driving my new pair of Coincident Triumph Extreme MK2 (not officially released on Coincident Website yet).
I sold my plinius active preamp, and got Coincident to make me a passive preamp. With their CST1 speaker cables to Extreme speaker cables, it was a dramatic change of experience: drop of noise floor, i hear harmonics and minute details clearer, also, the tube warmth was clearly conveyed. Not the false or articial warmth that you sometimes hear from SS amps or cd player, i'm talking of natural tube warmth if you've heard and know what i meant.
Still, after several months, i feel something is still missing. So i changed from total passive preamp to tvc passive preamp. It took the sound to a different level, sound stage, focus, transparency and details were several notches better....more musical.
I'm using mod OPPO Blu-Ray dvd player for all round purpose: cd, sacd, movies playback. As well as McIntosh MR78 FM tuner. I'm not exactly your typical audiophile guy, because i simply wanted the better experience of music and movies.
I'm in the midst of selling my FM tuner, to add a tube dac for better performance. As well as selling my speaker stand to add a matching passive sub to my excellent Triumph Extreme MK2 monitor speakers. I'm still torn between getting a SE Mk3 speakers now selling in audiogon, and a new matching passive sub from Coincident. To get a full range speakers or passive sub, i might need bigger amps to satify my low bass authoriative sound that i expect from big amps....so i'm opening up a can of worms....
I must say that Frankensteins 300MK2 8W monoblocks doesn't sound like any 300B tube amps i've ever heard before. It is neutral, dynamic and sounded more powerful than any flea powered amps i've heard. i concur with above audiogoners that the improved beefed up transformer on Frankensteins played a huge part.
I played movies with these Frankensteins and they don't sound like running out of steam. I'm sure the bigger powerful amps will sound more authoritative on the lower bass frequencies, which is important to "improving my quality of life" because playing movies and classical music is a big part of my musical experience.
So i had my Frankensteins up for sale last month, thank God, it wasn't sold and i've not regretted keeping it. Yes, i'm still keeping it, but i might one day try another class A SET amp 25W using KR52 tubes that i'm on the verge of ordering from another manufacturer which makes the tvc preamp. This manufacturer has the same design topology as Coincident: simple design and using quality components to produce superior sound.
But i don't regret owning Frankensteins, it's soooo pure, neutral, dynamic, natural, revealing, ultra low noise floor...it's quality is hard to match in this price range, and more so, it matched well with Coincident Speakers. If you like coloured or romantic sound, you need to look else where. But if you want a sound system that attracts no attention to iteself, Coincident is highly recommended, if you can afford it. :)
I forget to add to my experience with Frankensteins/Coincident Speakers:
Before jumping into conclusion the sound of the setup, please take into considerations like mine:
1. Optimised placement of speakers
2. Optmised settings on OPPO all purpose dvd player, most of time is no settings at all. Those settings alter the quality of sound, in most cases, deteriorate the sound.
3. Allow sufficient warm up time, since this is tube device, it sounded warmer, and natural after its initial warm up time.
4. Make sure the equipments are burn in before critical listening or making any judgement. If changing any equipment or even cables, the sound change. Let your system settle in, before making critical judgement.
Enjoy the music!!
lately I have been using two different amps for driving Coincident Total Victory II's, both with outstanding results- 1) The big Ayon Triton integrated (*80 watt triode mode); 2) custom built 211 SET.
As I have stated previously, with the larger Coincident speakers; big power SET's or a well-designed push-pull triode amp are my preferences over 12 years of pairing countless amp toplogies with the several different models of Coincident speakers I have owned...
I think it's pretty clear your speakers will pair with just about anything from 8wpc and up SS or tube. That is really one of the best things about Coincident speakers. Just decide what intrigues you the most and go for it. The rest is a matter of taste, technology preferences, and available options.