I have the Audio Note Kit 1 10th Anniversary Edition, and it's great, but there is a price and sonic quality difference between mine and the Frankenstein. If I had more money to spend, I would have it myself. There are quite a few owners here on Audiogon of the Frankenstein, and many of those have been through other world class amplifiers, and consider it to be one of the world's best in the low power SET 300b category.
If you are concerned about price, get the Audio Note, believe me, you'll be more than happy. If you do though, spend the additional coin and get the C-core version. If money was not a consideration for me, I would get the Frankenstein because members I respect that own it think so highly of it.
I believe you can't go wrong with either. The AN Kit 300b has earned a strong reputation(even more so when certain upgraded caps/transformers are chosen).There are very satisfied owners on this site for certain.
I've owned the Frankenstein Mark II for 6 years and I'm simply thrilled with it and have zero interest in replacing it. I truly feel you'll be happy with either of these SET amplifiers.If you can afford to do so, I'd get the upgrade output transformer and coupling capacitors for the Audio Note. The better parts really do matter.
Get the Franks. Make sure you get the latest versions. They will hold their value and will resell easily.
What kind of speakers? That may influence the amp choice.
I have the Dali Helicon 800 speakers which I believe are about 90 db sensitivity. My concern is that the 8 watts from the Frankenstein may be somewhat shy of driving them, whereas the Audio Note will deliver 2o watts going with parallel 300b's.
I have an Art Audio 845 with 16 watts that drives them with no strain.
I looked up the specs for your speakers. They are rated at 89.5 dB sensitivity and 4 ohms nominal impedance. I tried my Frankensteins with a pair of speakers that I owned that are rated at 89 dB and 8 ohms (never going below 6.5 ohms). The Franks did not work their best with that particular combination. The sound was congested and not very dynamic compared to other amps that I used with those speakers.
Specs on those Dalis also show 4 ohm impedance and fairly high watt recommendation. Not a great match to a low power tube amp on paper.
Yeah... back to the drawing board!
I'm going with the Audio Note Legends parallel 300b's. I feel confident 20 watts will satisfy my speakers.
Charles - your enthusiasm with the Franks was the reason that I drooled over them. I have a couple of very nice amps that I will be selling soon, so maybe my 2nd setup will be a Coincident system.
Mattzack2, you may want to check with the the AN KITS guys to make sure your speaker choice is optimal before pulling the trigger-best jet
I'll ask Brian about that.
Since I run the Dali's with 16 watts from the 845, I assumed that the 20 watts should be sufficient.
I am not sure how the impedance factors into the equation.
If you're happy with the 16 watt 845 SET driving your Dalis then there's a good chance the 20 watt PSET 300b may also be fine. Again I'd suggest getting the best output transformers you can afford(and 4 ohm taps). Matt, as much as I enjoy the Frankenstein, It wouldn't be the best choice with your speakers.
Best of Luck,
Thanks for chiming in. Audiogon has been a goldmine of expert advice for me. I appreciate all the help. - Matt
Brian sais the Audio Note will do 4, 8 and 16 ohm by request. I'm going with both 4 and 8 ohm terminals.
Really looking forward to this.
That makes sense, 8 watts is hardly an universal solution for many speakers in the marketplace. With appropriately chosen speakers the amplifier will sing.
I just purchased a pair of Audio Note AN-E lexus Signatures to match up with m\the AN kITS Legend monoblocks that I just started building.
I am a happy boy !
Congratulations and please keep us posted.