I've not heard Atma-Sphere. I found the BAT to sound clean and accurate, but didn't hold my attention. I just couldn't get into the music. The DeHavilland has a beautiful, refined sound, but they are too polite for my tastes. The Quicksilver Triodes will both slam with rock, and sound sultry with jazz, or vocals. I think they would pair up well with your speakers. Don't get me wrong, the BAT and DeHavilland are very good. And as is always the case in this hobby, it's a matter of personal taste. I just felt more snap and life to the music with the Triodes.
Hope that helps. Good luck.
Thanks Boa2, I understand that Mike builds these as a "custom" product $5800).I don't suppose these come up for sale very often?? The 6-C33C-Bs were always one of my favorite tubes.Any exposure to them used in an OTL?
I'd have to disagree with the assessment made about the Dehavilland GM70.I run the Alon Lotus Sigs,open baffle,2001 model.They give tight quality bass,midrange in the you are there,and a very extended top end,the choice of tubes and interconnects can change the sound to either side of neutral,and will also dictate how much warmth.I play classic rock,jazz,vocals and I must say i'm very happy with the sound in MY SYSTEM..YMMV
of your list, quicksilvers are the ones with the magic. check cj, mac, arc, vac, and music reference as well, if a tube amp or amps is your destination.
Boa from reading your critques, it seems confusing, as you are prasing each, yet you say "its just not for me".
I prefer to give all the negatives and any positives about an amp/speaker and let the reader make up his own mind.
I wonder how you would feel about the Audio Research VS110?
"Oh its great N all, but not for me".
Whereas I come out directly and put the point directly, its too grainy, distorted and presents the music as if a smoky film were covering the music.
Plain and simple based on 3 speakers with it, Spendor 8, Cabasse Jersey, Magnaplanrs 1.6.
In spite of the fact that the ARC amp/pre combo placed a smoke screen over the music, I still was neither impressed with the Magnaplanrs nor the Spendors.
I just come out and say my opinion, there's no confusion at all, its direct. The reader can take it whats its worth.
Oh btw the California Labs cdp in that system may have put its cheap sound into the results. What a cheap sounding player that is. Did knowing to resolve the Audio reserach distortion.
They wanted like $3500 for that KT88 amp!
Have you considered the AES Sixpac amps? They are made by Cary, are very nice, and IMO are a bargain. For a few dollars more you can have Cary upgrade the speaker binding posts, add a balanced input, and install upgraded caps. You can change the KT-88 tubes for KT-66's if you like a warmer sound. They are 50wpc with KT-88 tubes. Here are a couple of reviews:
BTW I have no affiliation with Cary or AES; I just really like the amps.
I have some issues with the Cary gear,would rather consider the VAC Renaissanceor PHI series.
Same for the ARC and CJ,both have an identifiable signature on the music.Sorry -don't wish to offend!
Thanks for the observations.The GM-70 and Quickies are moving to the Front-of-the-Pack.
No further comment on the Atma-Shere/OTL route??
Many would be quite happy with the DeHavillands. But I could not get them to drive with the energy of the Quickies.
Tpsonic, any reason the Conrad Johnson MV60 (55 watts/ch with EL34 tubes) or MV60SE (60 watts/ch with 6550 outputs) aren't on your list?
I have the MV60 and find it very musical with more than adequate power. (I listen to a wide range of music, though 95 dB average is the high end of my volume range. 80 to 85 dB is a more typical volume and the amp powers my 87 dB/watt Spendor S5e's just fine to the highest volumes I listen at.) The 6550 MV60SE might be the better choice for the top & bottom end, but there is certainly no substitute for the magic of EL34's in the midrange.
I like Jaybo's recommend of Quicksilver, Did not see the model he mentioned, but the model used for sale, Silver 60 monos, at 40 lbs/per mono, has 4 EL34's per side. Really nice at $1680. Looks to pack a punch.
I agree with Tpsonic about the ARC's, "identifiable signature on the music", very much so. Heard my friends older 200 model and the new VS110's. Smokey, grainy, bland.
Heard one older CJ monos, again, has a "CJ house sound".
Man that Silver 60 monos looks tuff. Man wish I had the bucks.
You should add Quicksilver Mid Mono's to your list. They can use EL-34, KT-88 or KT-90 tubes and output between 50 and 60 watts. By trying different tube combinations, you can achieve almost any type of sound you desire. I currenty run a pair with Mazda 12AX7's, Amperex 6922's and Grove Tube EL34's. I've rolled over 30 combinations of tubes and this is the setup I like best.
The EL-34 based amps are certainly sweet,but lack top-bottom extension.Though like the midrange.
I am sorry to say that CJ gear has a signature and doesn't resolve down to the noise-floor.Have had their units in,while having equipment repaired.It glazed over some information IMHO.
I am heavily leaning toward a less used (unfamiliar sounding??) tube output (6C33C-b/GM-70).
The revised Gallo is a detailed ,somewhat ruthless speaker,the OBs have more "body" and fullness (will post a picture soon).
Thank you for ALL the contributions ,so far.
Still no OTL comments??
OTL's, as a general rule, can sound stupendous. That is, so long as they are VERY carefully mated to the loudspeaker & cabling that they will drive. The higher the nominal impedance of the speaker, the better the OTL will work. The lower the impedance of the speaker, the more that the reactance of the speaker will "modulate" what one hears. Most would refer to this as a lack of "damping factor", but what it really boils down to is a lack of available current in the output stage of the amp.
If you look at the power output on most OTL's, you'll find that their power output actually goes UP as impedance climbs, which is the exact opposite of SS and most tubed gear ( to a certain extent ). As such, a 6 ohm nominal impedance may be too low for most OTL's, even though the Atma's are nice amps. I say this because most speakers that are "nominally rated" at 6 ohms will typically dip to 4 ohms or less. The "nominal" rating simply means that the average impedance "balances out" to the rated figure, taking into consideration the various peaks and dips involved.
Other than that, you might want to look at the availability of any tube that you'll be using. Are there lots available? Different brands to experiment with? What do they cost to replace? How hard is it to convert the unit from one type of tube to another? All of this comes into play if you intend on keeping these amps for an extended amount of time. Sean
OTL + seas + disaster.
Glad I could see a comment on the EL34's, "lacks top/bottom".
seems i got very lucky with my Jadis OR and her KT90's. seems 90's give best extention in bottom and highs. I've heard several 88 amps, bland.
>>I've heard several 88 amps, bland<<
Perhaps they do not match well with your speakers but, for the most part, KT88 tubes and the amps that are based around them, are not "bland". You need to get outside of the Seas box that apparently constrains your thinking.
I listed minimum impedance for each speaker being used.
I mich prefer the 88s,as opposed to either 34s/6550.The Prima Luna(kt-88) I currently use seems to better the AHT/VIVA set-up previously used.
Any Transcendant "The Beast" owners/builder-DIYers??
I wouldn't think either of the speakers you list would present a difficult load. The only question I have is the minimum impedance measurements. I'm assuming the 9 ohm and 6 ohm specs that you list are nominal impedance specs. The minimum impedance numbers are where any problems usually arise. My speakers are 87db, 6 ohm nominal, 3 ohm minimum, and require power and current to bring them to life. Although a 50wpc KT88 tube amp might sound fine on them, it wouldn't bring out their best performance.
FWIW the M-60 is fine with speakers that are described as above. The amp is not quite *that* load sensitive (as many tend to think it is). Most speakers that have a dip to 4 ohms due to the crossover will work fine. The real issue is efficiency- is 60 watts enough power? But that is moot in this thread.
I have purchased a pair of Transcendant Sound T-8 monoblocks at 80W/CH.I will report my findings as things progress.Much room for modifications.These amps are spec-ing out wonderfully>>.1mv DC offset.I understand that once you find a good workong set of PL-509s,you are in business for a good period of time.
Why not give Arthur Salvadors website A look he's got his picks and they are killer, and his ears are not ringing in profit.
Forgive me,the tube is the EL-509.
Hiend2 Would you disclose the web address and exactly what Arthur is picking.??
FWIW His info on the M-60 is based on an amp that was built about 7 years ago.
Thank you Atmasphere for the web link.Though I'm not sure the same synergy would apply to my system ,as it does to Arthurs'.Every one is entitled to their opinions (right or wrong).
I have noticed,of late,that those expressing an unpopular point of view or not falling in line are being silenced by a barrage of insulting comments.I,personally,have accused of being unprofessional and my credibility tarnished.I don't intend to point any fingers.My responses to these members have not seen the light of day,due to moderators discretion.This site seemed to be a free-flowing forum,where everyone was intitled to their opinions-no longer
For the record:I am a Walker Audio dealer,although I spend the majority of my time selling Omega Mikro.I had decided not to be a vendor for electronics as I feel their are too many flavors to choice from and with the current trend to proclaim certain brands as better or best.there is the chance of getting caught holding the proverbal "hot potato".I have had much exposure to many brands,especially during my stint at Salon 1 Audio (over 500 brands-I was front-end manager).It seems my small part in this industry has caused some to doubt my honesty.Many of them being "vendors" also.But I will not allow others who are vendors to smear my name or cause second guessing,when they themselves are not disclosing their standings in the industry.
I have come to the conclusion that I need to depart this environment for my own piece of mind.Music will always be a BIG portion of my life,but squabbling with other WILL NOT.I fully intend to relinquish my sales position by January 1.2007,after my contractial agreement ends.I will make a last post on the wonderful OTLs that I acquired,but will no longer venture into the forum posts.
My decision is final .
Too many egos here. People seem to forget that their opinions are only their opinions and not necessarily right or wrong. I, for one, usually make a quick statement of opinion then back off and ignore any rude comments. Too bad a few people have to spoil it for the many...