I like the Manley Snappers better
19 responses Add your response
Atma-sphere MA-1's should give you everything you need as well as heat your home. As with all amps speaker match is very important.
Power rating: 150 watts/channel into 8 ohms/145 watts into 4 ohms
Power bandwidth: 2 Hz - 75 kHz within .5 dB
Frequency Response: (1 watt): 1 Hz - 200 kHz within .5 dB (-3dB @ 1 Mhz)
Phase Shift: less than 1 degree @ 20 kHz
Power supply storage: 600 Joules/chassis
Output section rise time: 600V/micro-second
Power consumption: 500 watts/chassis
Tube compliment: 14 6AS7s and 4 6SN7s per channel
Input impedance: 100k/ohms single-ended; 200k balanced
Output impedance; 1 ohm
Signal-to-noise ratio -95 dB
The impedance curve of the V2 that is shown in "Chart 5" here indicates that its impedance is around 4 ohms in the mid-bass region, slightly higher in the deep bass and upper treble regions, and rises to around 10 ohms in the mid-range.
Which means that a tube amp having relatively high output impedance/low damping factor (such as the MA-1's, which are presently listed at the Atmasphere website as having an output impedance of 2.3 ohms) will produce a mid-range response that is more emphasized, and bass and treble responses that are less emphasized, than would result with a solid state amp having low output impedance/high damping factor (such as your MC501's).
The MC2301 has a damping factor of 15, corresponding to an output impedance of about 0.5 ohms. Relative to a solid state amp such as your MC501's (damping factor 100, output impedance 0.08 ohms), the MC2301's will emphasize the various parts of the spectrum in a similar direction as the Atmasphere's, but to a lesser degree.
I suspect that a pair of MC275's operated in parallel mono mode would have an output impedance close enough to that of a solid state amp that the resulting impedance interactions would be similar.
I have no idea which kind of response would be preferable to you, or with the speaker generally, but those are some factors to consider.
I highly recommend that you give the Octave MRE 130's a listen in that price range. You might be able to be find them at dealers for an introductory price as they are just now being carried.
I think you will have some tough decisions at that price point, that is why I suggest that you listen to a variety of amps before you splunk down that much money.
Oh, I also own MRE 130's and can speak of their merits driving B&W N800's with ease.
I auditioned the Manley Snappers with Jumbo Shrimp preamp in my system driving Montana EPS2 speakers. Although I have a few amps, my primaries in this system are MC501 and C2300. Listening mostly to vinyl through a very fine analog front end, I and an audiophile pal with excellent ears preferred the MC501 and C2300 combo. The Manleys are very nice, and I could live with them easily. But the overall listening experience, including bass foundation, midrange presence and detail, and musical coherence gave the nod to the Macs. We also found the Manleys to harden slightly under pressure in the upper mids with these speakers, which can be a little forward there anyway. I'll add as a caveat that the amps may not have been entirely broken in, though I'm not sure how much difference that would have made in my decision. I wanted to prefer them--the switch would have netted me a substantial pile of cash (this was before the big price increase)--but it just wasn't so for me. I should add that I own a Steelhead and a Stingray II, so I'm a Manley fan. But I'm not sure you'd find the Snappers to be a sonic upgrade from your current combo. YMMV.
That could well be. I tried them with the C2300, too, but that wasn't a good match, nor was the Shrimp with the MC501. Synergy is all. For example, I just got done auditioning a pair of PMC IB2i speakers with the Mac amps and preamp, and the combo was terribly boring. Swap in another SS amp, a Reference Line, with a Bent TAP-X passive, and they were very lively. Good to know the LS26 mates well with the Snappers.
A slight correction to my earlier post: The reference to a 0.5 ohm output impedance of the MC2301 applies to the 8 ohm output tap of the amp. If the 4 ohm tap is used instead (and that tap stands a good chance of being sonically preferable with this speaker in terms of amplifier loading), the output impedance would be about 0.27 ohms, bringing the tonal effects of impedance interaction somewhat closer to those of a solid state amp.
Sam -- thank you kindly!
In the "swing for the fence" category of tube amps, consider buying a used VTL Reference level Wotan MB-1250 Reference designed to "take control of the most demanding loudspeaker load and thunder out deep bass with the authority of a mighty ruler, while at the same time handling the delicate passages with speed and nimbleness of a youthful hero...the Wotan is probably the most powerful tube amplifier in continuous production in the world high-end audio industry. An awesome demonstration of the Wotan's unsurpassed power was setup for Hi Fi '98 in Los Angeles where we used 3 pairs of Wotans in a triamped system with the Martin-Logan Statement speaker systems." (specs)
For something a little more realistic -VTL's MB-450. The MB-450(specs) has "adjustable Damping Factor feedback control"
Just in case, there is a used pair of Wotan 1250($12,000) for sale here right now and two sets of MB-450 Sigs ($4,300 & $10,000)
I'm fairly certain the $4,300 MB-450 Sigs would fulfill your every need and save you ten grand at the same time. Read the many reviews. If you feel the urge for the ultimate in high-power tube amplification, unleash the Wotan. The term "effortless" would certainly apply in your system although a larger air conditioner may be needed.