Is this the new stereo SE triode (~15W/channel)? If so, yes. It was driving a pair of Virgos & then Avanti III. Sounded very authoritative, not obviously lacking in power (maybe reaching its limits on the Avanti, playing LOUD). Sound was like a cross b/ween tube (some warmth there) and ss (w/out the euphonic roll-off on hi' you may find in some tube designs).
However, the A-Ps are relatively efficient speakers (~89db). What kind of efficiency are you looking at?
As to further info, I remember that welbornelabs used to deal with KR in the US (the tubes, at least).
Kind of an old thread, but for the record, I just bought an Antares. It is a 30 watt SET using the KR300BLX tube. I bought this amp because I am intrigued by the potential of an amplifier designed by the same maker and designer of the tube it uses.....in essence, an amp designed for the tube. I didn't need an amp. Have a couple of very good ones worth much more money. And I had some reservations about buying a KR product, as KR has had reliability problems with some of their stuff in the past. I got sucked into buying some VT6000 monos a couple of years ago, and ended up paying $1000. to ship one of them to Prague to get it fixed. Bummer! KR has also had problems keeping dealers and distibutors in the States. I've heard several reasons for this, but what ever they may be doesn't matter anymore. The bad experience I had with the VT6000 doesn't matter anymore. Why? Because the Antares is one of the best amps I have ever heard, BAR NONE!
I replaced a highly modified $8000. tube amp with it, and was blown away. Detail, attack, decay, natural tonality, breathtaking soundstage, iron-fisted bass, and all the reviewer cliche's apply to this amp. It is stunning. You would never guess it was 30 watts. It functions flawlessly. It is dead quiet. It looks cool. Very good build quality. It comes in a wooden crate that makes a nice dog house for your chihuahua. And, if you can find one, you can pick up an Antares highly discounted from their $4000. retail price. This has got to be the best bargain in high-end audio. Even at $4000., it's a steal. And probably the best kept secret in high-end audio, too. Wanna read a reviewer's opinion? www.enjoythemusic.com. A very accurate review from what I'm hearing. If you can find one of these, BUY IT!! It is an absolute steal, and embarrases anything I've heard under $10,000. I don't know what you would buy that would be better....Tenor perhaps? Halcro? That's the league it's in. I'm not kidding. But don't go crazy with the speakers. Mine are 89db, 7 ohms nominal. I would recommend that you treat it like a 30 watter to get the best from it, even if it does sound like more.
I just received mine!!! So far is burning-in. On my SF Guarneri - the best I have had in years !!!More later...
Prcinka, interested to read more about Antares+Guarneri. BTW, what cables R U using to hook the two?
Wow!So far I have tried some Yamamura's( I have them around so it was easy)The super expensive Quantum Series is good, but I was able to get very close with the lower M-5000...I have tried some home-brew silver...maybe more investigation needed.
I remember excellent results with Valhalla / spm (IC/speaker) and also with bearlabs (IC&speaker). I state this as an indication of sonic characteristics that I liked (I listen to classical) -- not to say that you MUST invest in giga$ wires of the Nordost Valhalla persuasion...;). Cheers
Just found out that my Antares doesn't have the 300BLX in it. The later versions have the 842HVD tube. It's a drop-in replacement for the 300blx, but performs far better. Take a look and see what in yours. The HVD stands for "very high dynamics".
I have that KR 842VHD also. I just talked to KR and I am waiting to get more info about it and possibly more what is the difference...I will let you know or you can e-mail me later email@example.com.
I let my buddy borrow the Antares to use with his BC Acousitque speakers. Now he wants one. Says it's the best amp he's heard. He was using an Air Tight. That's two friends who are buying an Antares after hearing mine. The other was using a Bel Canto 200.4. He spoke to Kron about the 842 tube. Kron says that it's much more dynamic, resolving, and powerful sounding than the 300BLX.
Also I just received the info. This tube will last and it is guaranteed for more then 20 000 hours of continuous use!!! It has a new type of glass and even better vacuum. They do not want to sell the tubes alone for simple reasons... only we owners of the amplifiers know why! Enjoy the nusic!
Hmm? How does KR GUARANTEE 20,000+ hours of continuous use?
Can KR really tell how many hours have been used on their tubes? thanx.
You know, if you would buy one and see how it is build, I think you would not ask...
Brandon, the guarantee on tube operation relates to the tubes' production specs (to 50.000 hrs of operation) and production technology -- so the manufacturer claims. Much higher vacuum, different materials including the appropriate glass, apparently.
So, lower operating cost. On the other hand, no tube rolling! Cheers
How is your Antares? I am already thinking of buying more Kron's stuff....
More news!!! go to the ARS website and Mr kron visit at ARS and read at the bottom of the page...
I'm the buddy Glreno let borrow his Antares. I had been driving my BC Acoustique Niles (93 db floor standers) with an Air Tight ATM-1, which I consider an outstanding amp. I'll say this. . .after listening to the Antares for less than an hour, I knew I had to have one. I kept the Antares for a week while GL was out of town, during which time I listened pretty extensively. It pained me to return it, so I bought one. . .should get it next week. I've owned some pretty good amps; Aronov LS9100 monos, Bryston 7B-ST's, Bel Canto 200.4. Nothing comes even close to the Antares. It is absolutely stunning. No need to regurgitate what GL said, his assessment is right on.
My Niles have large (10") internal drivers which all of my tube amps had difficulty keeping tight. . .always a little soft and, at times, mushy. The SS gear handled the bass, but I missed the mid range liquidity of tubes. I had thought about bi-amping; keeping the ATM-1 and adding perhaps a Bel Canto for the bass. Then I heard the Antares. The Antares does it all and does it right! The sound stage is stunning as well.
Finally, it's one cool looking amp! Kind of a futuristic-minimalist look. KR did this one up right in all areas. You owe it to yourself to hear this amp. . .better yet, buy it.
I believe this... I just have done some demos with the Antares for people here in Vancouver and all and I have to say all the people were just amazed at the performance level of this "small" amplifier. We used loudspeakers from Yamamura, Merlin, PRO-AC,Sonus Faber and Silverline. My favorite sound was Yamamura and SF.
It takes about 250 hours to get the best sound from this amp. I noticed a huge improvement in soundstage width and depth, and it seemed to relax a bit tonally. I believe this is attributed to the tubes breaking in. I know from experience that WE 300Bs take about 500 hours. For the person that wants to know how you warranty the tubes for 20,000 hours....they are actually warranteed for 2 years. They come with serial numbers and a warranty form that must be filled out and returned to Prague. If you do the math, two years of continuous use is less than 20,000 hours, but that's pretty incredible just the same.
Glreno, how things are globalising! The Antares I used (in Europe) offered 2yrs parts, BUT 20.000 hrs (or TEN years) of tube life!!! Well, 2 yrs is better than 1yr I guess. Plus you'll know if the tubes are defective within the 1st 4.000 hours of operation, surely.
Any comments about where to place the amplifier. I mean if you have tried some stands or granite?
I use a Tyler Acoustics amp stand filled with sand. It's the perfect size for the amp, and it weighs about 90 lbs once it's filled with sand. Also has spiked cone feet.
Seems to be an interesting amp. Is it also available in a monoblock configuration? Also, how are the other KR tube amps in comparison? And how much might this Kronzilla monster (these tubes are humongous!) cost?
Prcinka, Check out the Osiris Giza base. They are perfect for the KR amps. They can be found on Audiogon new or used
at good prices since they are now discontinued.
I don't about the mono configuration or the price of the Kronzilla. If you email KR, they will answer you usually within 24 hours.
Wouldn't you have to use two of the Gizas? I thought they were only 10" wide.
That would probably work pretty well then. Cheap too!
Another support possibility is a custom sized Neuance beta shelf. You'll need four cones under it, preferably ceramic(but not necessarily, YMMV). A Neuance will bear the weight and probably offer pace & clarity into the bargain. (costs less than $200, I believe).
Where do you get the Neuance? Do they have a web page? Also, I remember now what my concern was about the Osiris. I once cosidered for my speakers. How wide are the Gizas not incluiding the extruded supports? If it's 12" or less, I don't know that it would work.
Gizas are 14" wide not including the extruded supports at the corners. When it comes to amp stands, there are many quality choices to choose from.
What type of wood does Tyler Acoustics use in their stands?
I'm sure it's just 1/2" MDF. What makes it work is filling it with sand. Then it weighs about 90 lbs. Tyler will custom make them for different sizes. I've tried many different stands including Grand Prix Audio, Polycrystal, Osiris (not the Giza but the one with the rubber air blatters...they leak), and Sound Anchor. I've found that the improvements or differences are very minor. What did make a bigger difference was using "Feet of Silence" under the amp. They are weight limited though, and the KR is too heavy unbalanced to use them properly.
By the way, the one criticism I have of the KR Antares is that it is very insensittive. Hard to use with a passive or a pre-amp without a lot of gain. But KR will make them with whatever sensitivity you need. I sold mine to a friend and ordered one with 1V sensitivity.
Does KR have a US dirtributor? If your amps break, are you going to have to send them back to Prague for repair?
No, they have a repair contractor in Minnesota.
Hi, I am also talking to KR to be their Canadian distributor, so soon we will have a service here in Vancouver, BC
Sorry for the delay, Gl. The site is www.neuanceaudio.com .
Is this shelf for "on the shelf" use? Any experiences with it?