Amplifiers for Talon Hawk monitors

Hi All,

I've been using a Levinson 23.5 amp with my Talon Hawks and just wondered if anyone had experience of a better ss amp match. I've also used expensive Audio Research, Plinius and Conrad Johnson amps with them and did not appreciate the match.

I've heard some good things about Edge and Halcro but would really appreciate any views and information about their actual or potential performance with the Talons.

Many thanks

I see your point but think that the 23.5 and old Ref 20 are not really the same beast. Have you seen the brief comparison at


Thanks again. I am very happy with it but no doubt will continue to tinker as is our way. On the sub issue, if you check the Audiogon link cited about and look at the article by R. L. Hardesty cited by Rauliruegas on the second page of the thread you can see how the Hawks can supercede expectations.
Dear Rives: IMHO if one amplifier is better than other with a specific speaker has to be/see ( between other things ) how good that amplifier match the speaker electrical impedance and for other way what the person is looking for: just sound or music.

I never had the opportunity to hear the Dgob system but I have almost clear what he are looking for ( music priorities ) and something that he wants to achieve is to be nearest to the recording.
I really like the Talons, as a fact time ago I recomended to Dgob stay with it and not change it.

Now and returning on subject as good as the VAC amplifiers are IMHO and due to its high output impedance anything that we hear/heard through it and the Talons will be " heavy colored sound " very far from what is in the recording, you can like it ( like you did/do and I respect that. ) or not but the fact is that that amplifiers can't be a good match ( for music ) not only to the Hawks but to other speakers.
In the other hand the 23.5 that own Dgob is a lot better match than the VACs.

Another subject that you have to know is that the 23.5 ( that own Dgob ) is a unique ML amplifier that has a very nice and unique up-grade that puts it in other quality performance level and IMHO above the VACs, the 23.5 give to Dgob music and music nearest to the recording with a lot lesser " distotions/colorations/noises/etc/etc " than the VACS.

Maybe I wrong but we can't change the Ohm's Law about impedance matching between the amp and speaker.

Now, mi opinion is only that just one more opinion, the important opinion is what Dgob thinks.

Regards and enjoy the music.

You are right about Ohm's law, but you probably know very little about Talon speakers impedance curve. They are about the flatest in the industry which makes them so easy to drive by many tube amplifiers. The max impedance is around 14 Ohms and the minimum is around 4. A nominal impedance of 6 ohms. The VAC is a perfect match for the Talons. We show with VAC regularly--why? Because it's such a great match. I have owned Levinson, reference 20.5 and 20.0 (still own these). I have compared them with the Talon speakers to the VAC directly on Hawks, Thunderhawks, and Firebirds. The VAC is better with all three speakers. This is not to say the 23.5 is a bad match--it's a great amp and will sound great with many speakers. Now I have also tested the VAC with my Martin Logan monoliths, which go down to about 1/2 an ohm. In this case the Levinsons were surperior. The VAC did not handle this very low impedance as well.
Dear Rives: The Talon electrical impedance swing goes from 4 Ohms to 14 Ohm, IMHO this is not the flatest one but I respect your point of view about.

Now, the VACs high output impedance ( this is a Vac design signature: unfortunatelly. ) makes that instead that to achieve a flat frequency response the VACs give a non-flat frequency response with deviation of more than ( plus-minus ) 2-3 dbs in random way and according that speaker impedance curve, this means: distortions and colorations because in some frequency range the VACs gives more volume and in other frequency ranges gives lowe volume, all those random changes in the volume ( SPL ) makes that the sound reproduction stay very far from the recording ( because those VACs changes does not exist in the recording ) where the Dgob 23.5 is nearer to the recording.

I know that you like what you hear through the VACs but does not means that it is correct ( for say the least ). I have a great respect and love for the music and I like to hear what is in the recording with the lower distortion/coloration/noises and the like, I'm not saying that I like cold or lean presentation no I like music ( the natural " colors " and tonal balance of music ), that's all.

Anyway, your music sound reproduction priorities are clear ( very clear ) that are different from mine and from the Dgob ones and its ok ( it will be boring if everybody thinks the same in the same way ) if you are satisfied ( that I think you are ) with what you have and your believes.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I have the Firebirds. Same as the Hawk but with an 11 inch wolfer. Right now I'm using the Lamm 1.2 Ref. mono's. An excellent combo. I also own a Gryphon Encore which is also excellent with the birds. I used to own the parasound JC 1's and they too were excellent. In fact Mike Farnsworth was at my house when I was running them and he liked the sound so much that he talked me into selling them to him. Wish I still had them.

After Farnsworth upgraded my crossover, the Firebirds are almost a straight 8 Ohm load. Not dropping below 6 Ohm. The original crossover went from 4 to 8 Ohm. I haven't checked the Hawk's impedance but 4 to 14 Ohm doesn't sound right. Maybe Rives can clarify.