Perhaps Charles1dad will chime in with good suggestions as he has a similar setup and endlessly praises the Franks:) I have 45 & 300B amps with Lowthers and I am pretty happy with dynamic swings, tho I am currently in a small apartment.
A Macintosh MC275 amp.
300b amps are among my favorite amps. I'd think long and hard before you let go of the Franks.
A PP or PSE amp using a big triode like the 845 or 211 might work for you but I haven't found one that has that "magic" that SE seems to do. VAC and Canary make some powerful PP 300b amps if that's the road you need to travel.
If SE is your road, then maybe a Cary 805 Anniversary Edition. I use it to drive Magnepan 3.6's occasionally. It uses a 300b to drive either the 845 or 211 output tube. This would give you about 6 db more class A power than the Franks and 10 db in class A2 for those big peaks. Most important: It sounds good to me and as I said, I love a 300b amp. Used should be within your budget. Good luck.
I strongly suggest you change your preamp to the Coincident Statement. It really mates well with the Franks and extracts more oompf and dynamic power out of the Franks.
I have owned the Franks in a larger room than yours with good effect on large orchestral works like Reiner's Scheherezade. The TV4s don't need that much power.
My system is similar except I have the Total EclipseII speakers(possibly an easier load?) in a 14x 25x8 room that open into a 16x 25 space. I have no volume or sound pressure issues. However I do use the Coincident linestage which is a very powerful sounding with wonderful dynamic scale and gravitas. This linestage combined with the Frankenstein is superb! i most often listen to jazz,small combo and big band, both sound great. When I do occasionally play larger scale classical it handles it well, no congestion and maintains a sense of ease at 90-95db levels.
If large scale classical is your main music fare, then a bigger amp would likely fit your needs. The linestage will also make a significant difference. There are some trade offs,there are amplifiers with more power but may be hard pressed to equal what the Frankenstein does so well.
Best of Luck,
I agree with Onemuk , as I would think long and hard befor I let the Franks. I don't think I will ever let them go.
It may be my preamp, I was considering the Coincident but I need rca connections for my tuner, cdplayer and I also listen to vinyl.
I also like a remote control. I never used a preamp with dual volume controls. When I change the volume I guess I need to change them both ? It seems like a hassle, change both channels volume and keeping the balance between the channels correct ??
Most of my listening is 50% vinly, 25% cd's and 25% tuner ( TU-X1 ).
Thank you everyone for the excellent comments.
I may call Israel and dicsuss this.
Another point, the initial production CSL had 20db of gain and this was far too much for my system. the current CSL has 10db of gain which is just right for me. If you`re interested give Israel a call for his suggestion concerning gain choices.
I have not heard the Shindo preamp so I didn't comment on it. I've read it's a great preamp and I think I read that it has a high output impedance, maybe in the 1000's???. If that's true, you may benefit from another preamp. Synergy goes a long way.
No doubt that Coincident would be a great choice. I am very happy with a CJ ACT 2.2 and ART 3 for my pres. They do that "dynamic contrast" thing well. I enjoy their remote and there's plenty of rca inputs. No phono though, but I like the idea of choosing my own phono stage for that "synergy" thing. The "thing" is very big with me. :-)
I have auditioned Coincident Franks. with Coincident speakers (Pure Reference) on more, than one occassion, since I was going to buy that particular combo.
What was very clear to me, is that Frankensteins simply do not have enough power to drive these speakers adequately on dynamic music. I had exactly the same feeling, as you do.
All Coincident speakers have an efficiency rating of 92-94 dBs, which according to some measurements, is somewhat "optimistic", and even then, assuming the efficiency claims were accurate, there is no way in hell 6 Wt.of SE power is anywhere near enough to play dynamic music realistically.
My current speakers are 108 dB efficient and my amp is 25 Wt/Ch., and sometimes I get a feeling, that they could benefit from more power.
If you had a chance to listen to a speaker, similar to mine, you would understand, what "dynamic" really means.
And again, "dynamic" has nothing to do with the speaker's ability to play loud, absolutely nothing.
IMHO, i don't think you can address this issue with a different preamplifier, cables, etc.simply because, you cannot change certain laws of physics, there is no substitute for power in this particular instance.
I notice you have a Supratek Preamp,I assume the preamp is not a problem for your dynamics ?
What would you recommend for an amp with more power ?
Do you like the Linear A ?
I always wondered how that amp would sound with my system.
Maril555 makes some good points, and once again proves nothing will satisfy everyone all the time. That Frankenstein-Pure Reference combo did`nt suit him( HEY IT HAPPENS) yet gon member montrjay has had that same pairing for several years and is ecstatic with all music genres to my understanding, yep,just the way it goes.
Maril555 is right, there`s a difference between playing loud and having dynamic contrasts, I get both with my system.
Abill if you live near Michigan I`d bring my CSL to you to audition. It that solves your problem, great. If that does`nt improve the matter, well you may just need a larger amp.
I do have Supratek Chenin, and it's MKII, I used to have Chenin and Cortese, as well, and I don't think it's your limiting factor, if anything, Suprateks are pretty dynamic.
Linear A is absolutely special amp., if 25 Wt is enough power for you, they are unlike anything else, I've had in my system. Very dynamic, beautiful tone and texture, very emotionally involving.
The amp, I'm sure will sound beautiful, is BAT VK-75SE, I used to have that, as well, albeit with a different speakers. They can be had used on A-gon for under $4K used.
It's replacement BAT Rex power amp is $15 K retail.
I'm thinking of trying one in my system.
It is true, we all have different tastes, but still, some aspects of music reproduction are not a subject of such, dynamic ability is one of them.It's simply either system does, or doesn't have it.
I listened to Franks and Pure Reference in comparison with 50 Wt/ch PP tube amp by another company in the same session, and there was no contest, Franks sounded dynamically restricted and bland. Actually a dealer, whom that system belonged to, didn't even want me to listen to Pure Reference with Franks, I insisted, but then asked him to switch back after 10 min., it was that obvious. And he is a dealer for both companies.
I don't doubt for a minute, there are people, who love the combo, and I read Tejay's posts. But hey, there are people, who claim listening to music at 65dB. and liking it.
I was at symphonic concert a couple of weeks ago, sitting mid-hall and took measurements with Analog Tools SPL meter- guess what- average level is about 85dB, and peaks are about 100 Db. Go tell.
In my personal opinion, if the system cannot reproduce this kind of dynamic contrasts faithfully, something is fundamentally wrong with it, timbre, tone,etc, notwhithstanding.
Your offer is too kind, I live in New England, 60 miles north of Boston Ma., but thank you.
Did you use any other premaps with your Coincident speakers before getting your CSL ?
Is it a hassle having a manual dual volume control ?
I'm not an impulse buyer and I'll do a lot of research before changing anything in my system.
I have a feeling changing my preamp would improve things.
My Frank's aren't going anywheres,90% of the time I am very content with my system but when I listen to classical it seems a little too polite.
Well back to saving more money and enjoy my music !!
Thank You for the comments.
We really don`t disagree, my bottom line is how does it sound to you in your system. The only point I`m making is other have found that combination ideal,in your case it certainly wasn`t,understandable. I use the Coincident TE speakers and don`t have the short comings you`ve expressed. Like you I attend live performances and can appreciate real dynamic weight and contrast. For what ever reason I`m able to reproduce this characteristic at home to my satisfaction .Obviously YMMV applies. Fortunately I`m not limited to 65db levels.
I do acknowledge the laws of physic and a good quality higher power amp might be the answer for Abill. I will say again I`d like him to at lease hear the CSL with his amplifier before he searches for another amp.
Abill the only other preamps I`ve heard with my system was a Quicksilver modified with Vcap and Sonicap-platinum capacitors, and a Audio Research REF 2.The improvement in weight,impact,dynamics and sheer presence was profound.
Regarding dual volume controls they`re fine and precise, no hassles. The CSL does lack a remote and it`s quite heavy and 2 chassis. The power supply is massive and the weight is due to big transformers and chokes, also big power supply capacitors.
Again Best of Luck.
upgrade to a nice 845 amp. More dynamic.
Here is an update of my situation with dynamics.
I was listening to my system last week when the rectifier tube flashed (in my Cortese pre)and made a hell of pop . Fortunately I was getting records ready to play and I turned off the power immediately, no damage. I replaced the GZ34 and also the pair of KT 66's. I couldn't believe the difference in sound, all the dynamics are there !So the lack of power were the tubes.
I'll have to email Supratek to mention in 3 years I have replaced the Sovtek GZ34 tube 3 times.I get about 1000-1500 hours on the GZ34 tube. I tried some Mullards,Amperex,Phillips but they don't sound as good , Mick did a hell of a job voicing the preamp with Electro Harmonic and Sovtek tubes , I've yet to try a different make of tubes that sound better.
All the comments I got saying the Frank's have enough power for the Total Victory's are correct !
It is a very special 300b amp !
If anyone has listened to the Frankenstein amp's and the new release of the Dragon's I would be very interested in hearing your comments about the differences, expecially the bass and low level detail.
I don't think I will ever sell my Frank's , they are my go to amp when I want to just listen to the music and relax.
But once in a while when I get a little roudy and play my classical music very loud I would like to be blown away with a little more power but the Frank's are without a doubt the best 300b amps I have owned.
Thanks again for all the helpful comments.
Great news! I happy you were able to solve your problem so easily(and cheaply). I accept the fact that systems and individual taste can vary, but I found it hard to believe the lack of dynamics were due to your Frankenstein amplifier. Our speakers are similar in efficiency and load demand and dynamics(micro and macro) are one of the strenghts of this amplifier/speaker combination,among many other attributes.
I wish tou many years of blissful listening with your system.
I still own an excellent 100watt(60 watt triode) push-pull amplifier. If I only listened to large scale classical at"very" loud levels(95db and higher)or heavy bass content electronica,rap,hip-hop etc. at quite loud volume,the PP amp would be more ideal.
With those two exceptions, "all" other music at reasonable listening levels i.e. 70-90db, I`d prefer the Frankenstein MKII without question. In all other parameters it`s the superior sounding amplifier.
Audiogon member Jianming pang has experience with both the Frankenstein and DragonMKII. He is completely satisfied with the new Dragons.
I have heard the new Dragon MkII. It has tremendous dynamics with a purity that closes the gap between it and the Franks.
That being said, I will never replace the Franks. Should I wish to seek out my dynamics from my system, I would go the high quality pre amp route.
At this time, the Franks with the Pures gives me everything I need and more then I ever realized I wanted!
Listen preferences lean towards jazz,small scale classical and 60's to early eighties rock with an average of 85 spls (high 90's peak) measured from a seating position 7.2 ft from speakers with an spl meter app on my iPhone.
I owned the latest Franks II last year. For less than a year, i sold it. It was a huge mistake, please don't sell yours. If you like it's neutrality, purity and low level details extraction, nothing comes close to Franks. Yes, like you, i felt at times it was polite when listened to explosive classical and movies, it lacks the oomph...but i had passive preamp then. Preamp mades a huge difference. Save up for the Statement Linestage, I've owned it for 3 months now and regret i didn't do it earlier. Don't look else where....i did that and end up with disappointment and frustration.
If you must have dynamics and gutsier sound, go for Dragons MK2. I had first gen Dragons before upgraded to latest Dragon Mk2, huge difference! It came very close to Franks, but there is still a difference. For most music, Franks with Statement should satisfy most. If you can't compromise ultimate purity, transparency and low level details for a more explosive gutsier sound, Franks should stay in your system.
My suggestion: go for a used dragons and bi-amp with your Franks. If not possible, change your cd player to higher end model of Esoteric, separates are good. And get the latest Coincident Shotgun cables, they are the signature version of Extreme cables, essentially two extreme cables in one...it should made quite significant improvements and transformation to your sound. You will experience Franks like never before....i did that and never regret this route.
All the best!
I think Abill realizes the true gem he has in the Frankenstein MKII amplifier. Jimmy I agree with your opinion of the Statement linestage and hope Abill gets an opprotunity to hear it with his Franks one day.
Thank You Jianming_pang for taking the time to post.Your info is very helpful.I'm not in any hurry to change anything.I like your suggestion to update to Coincidents new ShotGun Cables. Trying to save but it's almost impossible in this economy.I'm spending more time enjoying what I have and trying some diy anti vibration tweeks.The last two or three days I'm fine tuning the location of my speakers.Last night I thing I found the speaker sweet spot,it's amazing the change I got from moving my speakers an eight of an inch this way or that way.
I also ordered more vibrapods (#1 and #2's)and also fine tuned the weights with lighter vibrapods,making one change at a time.
For the last few months I changed my mind set to if it doesn't sound right it's not coincident products and it is paying off in spades !!
I am happy with my Coincident speakers, amps and cables.
My system imaging and dynamics are much improved since tweaking system and getting new preamp tubes.
I'll report back when I get the shotgun cables.
Thank you everyone I appreciate the comments.
Montejay , forgot to mention, thank you for the post on the Dragon II amps.
I don't think I can come up with the money for the Dragons but if I do come into some money I will get them.
Who knows I may win the lottery.
If you ever come close to buying a new Dragons Mk2, you may want to consider having an audition first. I'm sure you're familiar with the Franks, if you could hear (Franks) with Statement Linestage before you decide. Better still, if the combo can be paired with the shotgun cables, it would be ideal. If you're ever in Canada or if Israel would participate on future audio shows, you may want to visit him to discuss further or have a listen.
It's a big investment but let your ears be the judge, before you decide.
Personally, I would put my money first on a better preamp like Statement Linestage and Shotgun cables. Unless you're sure Dragons will meet more of your needs which requires high power amplification and a gutsier sound. You'll be surprise how better source, like Esoteric would add to the level of low level details, bass slam and impact.
When i owned the Franks Mk2 with a TVC passive preamp, there were two incidents that surprised or shook me....from Franks...a pair of 8 watts monoblock:
1. When playing a Jazz station from a Sansui TU-9900 FM tuner, the music stopped abruptly, and it felt like air was suddenly sucked out of the room! Shocking experience! i was actually doze off at my couch, and i jumped out from my slumber to find out what happen! Hilarious!!
2. When i played movies from an old DVD, i think it was "tomb raider" when angeline joie was swimming in the sea, there were very minor details i've never heard before.
Plus many other incidents from music recordings and movies i've heard, i wa able to hear more and made lots of new discoveries...the level of low level details extraction and excellent low noise floor still impresses me till this day. But many of my preferences requires higher power amplification...so i chose to plunge into getting the latest Dragons. The Franks by itself is very dynamic, i'm not sure if Dragons was necessarily more dynamic compared to Franks. But Dragons excel in low bass notes control and explosive sound.
Israel has all the above attributes in his system, probably more. I'm sure it'll change your experience. :) I'm glad placement of speakers improve your experience...currently this is an area i don't have much luxury on, plus i don't have dedicated ground lines. This, i believe, will enhance my system further.
Below comments were taken from Coincident's website, a customer review of CPRE but note the comments or comparison he made on Dragons (version prior to the latest release) and Franks. The new Franks close up the gap alot, but bi-amping solves his thirst for more power and keeping the refinement. Just saw Coincident's website that they participated in recent RMAF 2011, they had show case the latest dragons. :)
RMAF 2011 report (note the comments by reviewer of Franks and latest dragons):
If the M300B's 8 watts are not enough power (and they were more than enough for the P. R. Extreme), CST also makes the Dragon 211PP MK II (push/pull) monos based on the 211 output tube. If other 211 push/pull amps are any indication, the Dragon should provide 70 very powerful watts.
"I purchased the Coincident Dragon amps 2 years ago and was very pleased with their performance using them with TV2, PR and lastly Extremes. A powerful dynamic amp if ever there was one. I love them. I then auditioned the Frankenstein 2. It was an easy decision to purchase a pair. I did so thinking I would sell the Dragons and upgrade my tone arm. After some break in time with the Frankenstiens I began to hear detail yet unheard with the Dragons. I was ecstatic! At the same time I had been listening to the Dragons for 2 years. Like two old friends it was hard to say good by, so I hooked them up for possibly one last time. However I decided to leave the Frankensteins hooked up to the driver unit and the bass modules to the Dragons. I was blown away. I heard beautiful airy delightful highs and bass with GESTALT like never before. I was snake bitten. These 4 parts played as a whole like a professional four part harmony group plays as one. It was and is an unbelievable experience that I continue to delight in day after day. I could live with the PR and either of the Coincident amps and be very happy. I could live with the Extremes and either Coincident amps and be delighted. However the PR Extremes fired by both amplifiers are like a match made in heaven. They have to be heard together to be believed. I have been on what seems a quest, adding in and swapping out components for about 7 years. I can't imagine changing my present set up for many years to come if at all. "