Oh and a very important aspect in hifi is immediacy.
So no class D. Class D is like a super fast and powerful jet plane but it loses against a motorbike the first few feet...
The Cary Audio solid state model SA 200.2 ES is the most dynamic amp I have owned. Even with less than sensitive speakers. I think it is little over $4k new from Cary Direct. Blistering fast.
Be interesting to hear how the GaN amps sound to drummers. I have a highly modified class D based on dual IceEdge AS 1200 modules. At 1200 wpc @ 4ohms it did a really good job of energizing my very large room BUT, I now have a LSA Voyager 350/600 wpc GaN amp which sounds significantly more potent. I wasn't prepared for that. Micro detail and strong drum thwacks, though they could be stronger (mods could help), especially better wire from the modules to the inputs
I have the impression that amps which double into 4 ohm, have zero
negative feedback and have high idle power consumption are the best for
high current low volume performance.
Actually what you're looking for is the right distortion signature. If the amp has that then the way the amp does it is unimportant. What you're looking for is an amp with a significant 2nd and 3rd harmonic, enough so that the higher orders are masked. This will cause the amp to sound smooth and if the amp is also fairly low in distortion, detailed as well. So you can't see this in the THD figures- you have to see a spectrum of the distortion components.
Also the distortion should be the same at all frequencies. Usually amps are tested for distortion at 100Hz, which isn't high enough to show what's going on. It should have the same THD at 100Hz, 1KHz and 10KHz.
You're probably looking for a solid state amp since your speakers are difficult to drive. You might want to keep in mind that making an amplifier work hard for a living will in all amplifiers cause the amp to make more distortion. Do not be fooled by claims that the difference is 'inaudible' or 'negligible'. It is easily heard as reduced detail and usually harsher and brighter. If you really want to hear what the snare and cymbals are doing, this is an important consideration.
Another issue with inefficient speakers is thermal compression in the voice coils. This is caused by heating of the voice coil with each bass note- it causes the voice coil to become harder to drive and if you simple turn up the volume to try to overcome the dynamic issue this imposes it gets worse. So you might consider getting a speaker that's easier to drive if you really want to hear what the drums are doing.
Wow, great response atmasphere !
The problem is that I have not heard a high efficiency speaker that sounds good. More efficiency usually means more coloration, thinner and unstable sound. Horns do not image well and the sound seems to originate from behind the speakers.
The problem is that I have not heard a high efficiency speaker that
sounds good. More efficiency usually means more coloration, thinner and
unstable sound. Horns do not image well and the sound seems to originate
from behind the speakers.
That sounds like a setup problem to me. Horns can image as well as anything else if you use their directivity to your advantage. Early reflections from side walls can be interpreted by the ear as harshness; so with horns you can prevent the side walls having such an influence by reducing the amount of reflection you hear.
I run horns at home and their imaging is pinpoint. Plenty of depth too. I would not association greater efficiency with coloration, but it is true that more efficient speakers can be more revealing: you really want your ducks in a row or else the speakers will show off what's wrong! My speakers are 98dB and go down to 20Hz; they are anything but 'thin' :) Their first breakup is at 35KHz so they are quite smooth too.
Put another way, there's no downside to having the speakers easy to drive until bass output suffers at efficiencies north of 100dB. At that point you might have to have subs (and subs can be a very viable way to do bass if you have something called a 'Distributed Bass Array'; google 'Audiokinesis Swarm for more on that....).
I'm not saying that a 1960s horn system is the way to go here; as far as that goes there are a lot of speakers from the 1960s that are pretty colored. I'm also not suggesting that you get something that is 105dB or the like; if you can get something that is in the mid 90s for efficiency and also a higher impedance that will mean you need less power to do the same sound pressure. For example, if your speaker is 88dB, and the new speaker is honestly 95dB, you'll need less than 1/4 the power to get the same sound pressure, and if the speaker is properly designed you won't lose any resolution or have any greater coloration- in fact it may sound more detailed and less colored simply on account of the fact that the amp is making less distortion.
Pay attention to impedance too- higher impedance loads on any amplifier result in less distortion. You can see this in the specs. A simple way any speaker manufacturer could make their product sound smoother and more detailed would simply be to make the speaker higher impedance. High end audio isn't about sound pressure so much as it is about nuance. Getting drums right is going to get other sounds right too- you get closer to the music.
As a drummer, what's important for me is the highs (tweeter) and how fast the decay is in the bass. I remember in 1978 when purchasing my 1st hifi system, I would go in with albums that I liked to show off the drum sound and listened for cymbal sounds (hi hat, large thick ride, cymbal bell strikes) to see which speaker sounded like the real thing. Same goes for bass drum and tom tom strokes, does each strike linger on or decay right away.
In 78, I purchased the ESS speakers with the Heil AMT mid/tweeter.
Same goes for today, I'm using a diamond tweeter in my current speakers.
Pass Labs w/Aerial Acoustics.
1966 June Slingerland WMP w/matching snare.
2014 Mahogany/Poplar/Mahogany Craviotto. w/matching snare. R.I.P Johnny.
Instanbul Mehmet and Agop
Of course I own a 70’s Acrolite and No. 400 Supraphonic (My first real drum - Original Owner.)
I use a Primaluna Evo 400 power amp via a Don Sachs Model 2 preamp. The preamp is very transparent and has an excellent attenuator. The Primaluna amp is not the last word on resolution but it is ballsy. It’s an odd but great sounding combo.
I can hear the air in the snare on most good recordings. Well-defined decay on cymbal overtones.
Sonor Delite, Birdseye Amber: 8/10/12/14/16/22
Clear Ambassador batters over Clear Diplomat resonant
Sonor 14x5.5 Steve Smith cast steel snare
Zildjian Constantinople 14” hats, 18” Constantinople crash, 17” medium A crash, 19” medium-thin A Crash, 21” K Special Dry Ride.
Try the ATC P2. Incredibly transparant, fast and speaker combination is perfect. I use it on the Magico S5. This will bring what you ask for.
Next steps is to combine the P2 with the ATC SCA2 pre-amp, you will be transported right into the studio.
I really should try ATC one day. It's just that I have seen comments that it needs many hours warmup until it really delivers.
Gotta be Class A.
All others are still ramping up the power after that big bass drum got thwacked.
Mark Levinson No. 383 integrated can do what you seek. But it is still about matching with the rest of the system.
Warming up the ATC you are right. From cold to great took 5 days for the P2, the SCA2 takes one day. I just leave them on and connected all the time. Had my experience with big 500 Naim’s and 250 ARC’s but nothing compares to ATC. Especially for musicians
Do not dismiss the Cary Audio SA 200.2 ES. Music just flowed as if the source through speakers were physically hardwired.
the difference is the 16 150 watt bipolar output devices and 57000 uf capacitance per channel.
the speed and microdynamics are amazing. https://www.caryaudio.com/products/sa-200-2-es/
Sandthemall, congrats on your Don Sachs (Roy Mottram design?) preamp.
You might want to look into Odyssey Audio.These amps are fast, dynamic and give a brilliant density to the music. These are sold factory direct. I have had these in my system powering my Revel Ultima Studios. Amazing.https://odysseyaudio.com/stratos-mono-amplifiers/
I am trying to give you an option that you may not like. A lot of AGon people recommend this for turntables. Save a little more to get to where you need to be. My recommendation is Ayre VX-5 Twenty. They can be had close to your budget. Everything is going up in price so you would want to jump quick. You are looking at $5500 to $6000. This amp will take on the fastest drummer. Every single note will come through you will be amazed. If you can’t wait or your budget is really $5k I get it. But keep your eye out for the Ayre VX-5 Twenty. It is the amp you just asked for. If you are in the Chicagoland area this store is a dealer and they let you try before you buy in your own home. https://holmaudio.com/
They sell used gear too incase you are looking for something else.
More audiophile hocus pocus.
If you're looking for the best natural sound setup for drums, you need to go Planar, as in Magnepan. No other type of speaker can compete with the speed and transparency of a Planar speaker. It's in the physics....Electrostats can compete with the speed, but not the dynamics. I own Magnepan 20.1's , as well as Acoustat Spectra 33's. For speed and transparency, nothing beats panels....
For the Magnepans I run Classe CAM350 Monoblocks. On the Acoustat Spectra's, Acoustat TNT200's Monoblocks
I had Maggie 3.5Rs but my room is volumetrically large. I added 2 SVS powered subs (Ultra & Plus) attempting to get them to blend I went through 3 Beringer and one DBX crap active XOs. I couldn’t afford a high price XLR active XO.
Current speakers are Emerald Physics 3.4s, which are open baffle 12" concentric drivers with 1" polyester tweeters. After going through a number of class D amps, including a EVS 1200 based on dual mono IceEdge AS 1200 modules, which took me closer to what I need. Then I got a LSA Voyager at 350/600, surprisingly it sounds much more powerful (and continuous) than the EVS1200, which is twice the wpc. What does this have to do with clean bass...
Emerald Physics also made a 2.8s which uses the 3.4 mid driver and 2 @ 15" carbon fiber woofers. I expect they will bring fast and powerful bass
If you're looking for the best natural sound setup for drums, you need
to go Planar, as in Magnepan. No other type of speaker can compete with
the speed and transparency of a Planar speaker.
Planars with permanent magnets won't be as fast as a driver with a field coil. This is because as current is applied to the voice coil, the magnetic field of the permanent magnets sags a bit. This causes the diaphragm to slow down.