Building the Audio Note Kit 1 SET amp...

Hi, Folks,
If anyone's interested, I've started a blog with lots of photos, documenting my ongoing build of the Audio Note Kit 1 300B SET amp. If you've ever thought of building any kit before and want to get a feel for what it's like, you're welcome to have a look!
Hi Rob,

Although I haven't personally used any SET's, low powered or otherwise, in my own system, I'm sure that would be a wonderful pairing for most listeners with the great majority of recordings, and for many listeners with all of their recordings. However, I also feel certain that at least a few recordings that would be listened to by some listeners would cause the amp to clip, or at best to experience a substantial rise in distortion.

My collection includes many classical symphonic recordings on labels such as Telarc, Sheffield, Reference Recordings, Chesky, etc., which have brief dynamic peaks that reach SPL's of 100 to 105 db at my 11 foot listening distance. I can't conceive of an 8 watt amplifier, no matter how robustly designed, being able to comfortably handle those peaks, even with the 94-98 db efficiencies of the Daedalus speakers.

That is why I chose a VAC amp which uses four 300B's per channel, in a push-pull parallel configuration capable of 65 watts. I wanted to draw a compromise between the magic that a 300B can offer in a SET configuration, and having power capability that would not be marginal (or worse) under any circumstances that could conceivably occur with my particular listening habits. And I made that choice while realizing that the cost of upgrading eight 300B's from the VAC-supplied Chinese tubes would be prohibitive.

Another point to keep in mind is that although the impedance curves of the Daedalus speakers are exceptionally flat, and they are extremely benign loads in terms of phase angles, their impedances are in the 6 to 8 ohm area (6 ohms in the case of my Ulysses), as contrasted for example with the 14 ohm nominal impedance of Charles' Coincidents. So I suspect that his Franks are capable of providing a bit more power when used with his speakers than they would be capable of with mine.

But as I say, I suspect that for many and perhaps most people the Franks would do just fine with the Daedalus speakers.

Best regards,
-- Al
Hello Almarg,

Thank you so much for your thoughts. I was once a heavy blues Rock n' Roller, but today I mostly listen to symphonic classical, London, Living Stereo, Decca, Telarc, etc., music from the movies, plus smaller chamber music, Jazz, 40s-50s male-female vocals such as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington type groups, accoustic folk, and a fair bit unusual groups similar to Loreena Mckinnet, Dead Can Dance, Mediterraen instruments. Of course I stll play Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and the like, Harry Belafonte, Sinatra, Martin and similar.

Daedalus is on my short list along with DeVore Orangutang 0/96, Line Magnetic WE 755, Coincident, Tannoy Prestige Line and do on.

Best, Rob

I have the Daedalus DA-RMa's. I don't listen at headbanger levels, but I drove mine fine with a 2.5-3 wpc 45 SET amp, in a fairly large room with an arced opening in the rear.

Many like higher powered (high current) amps with Lou's speakers, but I've been extremely happy driving them with SET amps. Currently using a 2A3 amp and it never even struggles.


Hi Al,
Given your primary music genre of large scale symphonic orchestra and chosen listening levels, you made a good amplifier choice. I know the VAC REN 30/30 and 70/70 well. The loudest I've had my Frankenstein was 95-100 db for some Doors and a Neil Young recording. Highest peak was 105 db during an Art Blakey drum solo on a T. Monk CD(that I cranked up) (C weighted/fast setting). Those occasions are rare for me. Usually I'm listening at an average of 75-83 db SPL. So most of the time my listening power output range of the amp is well under 1 watt(actually fractions of 1 watt). I sit 10 feet away from the speakers. So 8 watts is plenty for my particular needs.
Al you are right, having a speaker with a high load impedance is clearly an advantage for my SET amplifier.
You results aren't surprising to me. I know that Lou personally seems to prefer SS with his speakers. I've heard Daedalus models driven by big SS amps and tube amplifiers as well. IMO his speakers sound noticeably better with tube power amps. So I can imagine you and Al are getting very good results with your respective systems.