Do I need a subwoofer for my audio physic sparks?

Hi all, I recently got a rogue audio tempest magnum to go with my audio physic sparks. The setup has a great sound, but starts to break up a bit if i turn the volume way up. The integrated amp only has 60 watts. Do I need something else with more power? A separate preamp? Get a different integrated with more power? Or is the problem with the speakers? Do i need a subwoofer? (I didnt have this problem on my old cheapo yamaha solid state when i turned the volume way up. It didnt sound as nice, obviously, but it also didnt break up at these volumes.)

Any advice would be much appreciated. (I did a similar posting in the amps/preamps group.)

Showing 1 response by john_l

You may also have cooked a driver. Try listening to one channel at a time and with a different amp if possible. It's fairly easy to roast an audio physic driver. I know of two people who have had this happen to them. If it's a harsh distortion, this may be the case.

You may also have noisy or worn out tubes. A tube amp should not 'break up' like a sold state amp. It should just have a soft distortion that kicks in when it runs out of gas. It will distort if you are REALLY overdriving the amp in which case you need a different speaker. If it's a warm, gradual breakup (like eric clapton's guitar sound), then it may be worn out tubes or insufficient power. I doubt you are out of power.

Also, look for loose connections. Sometimes these will only show up at higher volumes.

Sparks are fairly small voiced. Putting a more powerful amp on them will allow them to play the mid-upper range of music louder, but will not give you a large soundstage or bass. Sixty tube watts should be a plenty for them.

Adding a subwoofer will give you a larger soundstage and more power. It may solve your problem. Because of their speed I would only go with an audio physic subwoofer, specifically the Luna. You should be able to use a REL too. I tried a few subs with my Audio Physic Avanti's and the result was a laughable speed mismatch. You will likely spend $1500 used for a Luna. Hard to find used.

Another choice would be to upgrade to the virgo II. You can find those for around $2500. Those have excellent bass. You should be able to drive them with 60 tube watts, though 100 would be better. I drove my virgo's fairly well with a 45w CJ mv-50 amp. I once put a 45w ARC integrated tube amp on my avanti's and it drove them pretty well. My 100w vt100 was a better match though.