The Mcintosh 2102.
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The Quicksilver Horn Monos are indeed quiet, but see if you can try them out first. I found them to be less musical than their other offerings. I've owned the Mini Monos, and heard the Mid Monos with 90db speakers, and they made no noise.
I am using an Audion Silver Night MKII 7W SET with 104db Klipsch La Scala's, and I cannot hear a sound, even with my ear next to the speaker. I had another pair of SET amps that were wonderful when the music was playing, but could hear the hum during the quiet passages.
Another fantastic amp is the Audiomat Arpege. Very engaging for all types of music.
All the best,
I am definitely going to check out the ground loop issue immediately.
But, as regards the speaker issue, the ProAc 2.5s have an impendance curve of about 6.5ohms to 11ohms and an extemely benign phase angle which, even at 87db, makes them a very easy load. I've tried a well regarded speaker line that is marketed to SET users (92db model) and it was more difficult to drive properly than the 2.5s. Also, my room is small (11 x 13.5 x 8ft ceiling) and I sit at a medium distance so this also makes things better. I also tried a stand mounted two way rated at 91db which did not come to life like the ProAc. Finally, my amp is extremely well designed with huge Tamura trannies that are desgined for better drive characteristics than most SETs.
I have been poking around trying to find something easier to drive and as musical as the 2.5s for the last three years but have so far been unsuccessful. But I am looking for a 2nd amp with more power and will use for "power music" listening.
I agree with Marakanetz. What are you doing making a 300b work so hard. You should be looking at something with more like 100 watts/channel. Much of your noise is from having the volume so high. I'll bet these amps are silent on a 94db speaker??????????
Borrow some high powered amps and check it out.
1 watt = 87db
2 watts = 90db
4 watts = 93db
8 watts = 96db
16 watts = 99db
I know your amps can't put out more than this!
To get to THX levels with 87db speakers would take over 220 watts for 110db-your poor 300b's :( Wanna trade for my 120 mono's?
See my last entry. The 2.5s are an extremely easy load especially in a small room like mine (see my entry above!) although the 2A3 monos I owned a few years ago failed miserably. However, my Air Tight has more drive power than any other 300B amp I know and does great in my room with most types of music. However, I do hear buzzing/hum coming from speakers when being within 3-4 ft of them. I think it does have to do with some sort of grounding problem and am in process of checking things out through pre-amp company.
Also, phase angle also is very meaningful when choosing a partnering amp. I'm not real knowledgable about this fact but was able to find out the 2.5s have a begnin one and many speakers don't.
One thing, my experience with SETs (having owned four) is that the more efficient the speaker, the louder any noise in the system will be. I took my 2A3 monos to a friends house maybe three years ago and his Corner Horns were far noiser than any other one tried - they were the most efficient. By the way, I'm getting music as loud as I want with the volume control less than half engaged. Yes, when it's turned up beyond what I ever want to listen to (remember my small room) the amp's limitations become evident. However, this combo is the best I've used at home an that includes everything from another 300B amp (mono-blocks), 20wt 572 SET, 25wt OTL, 25wt S/S, 100wt S/S, and a 135wt P/P tube.
Elevick, thanks for the offer but this is the best SET I've ever heard and I'm keeping it even if something replaces it.
You have probably explored this option, but on my Wright Mono 10's I used a 3-into-2 prong adapter, and the hum disappeared almost entirely. With his 3.5 SET amp monoblocks, I found that the hum through the speakers had mostly to do with the quality of the 2A3 tube I was using. When I found an excellent NOS tube, the hum was reduced dramatically.
If those suggestions--and the ground loop check--don't work, I would take the amps to a tech and have them checked out. If there is no issue with the amps, it may be a problem worsened by the 2A3's being used.
Hope my amateur advice helps.
All the best,
Tomyran, I don't have issue with Sun Audio SV2A3 in my setup ( I borrowed this amp from a friend of my ) Definitely no buzz or any noise. with my Citation I preamp.
I'm using it with Jensen coaxial speakers and they sounded fine except for the bass. I prefer deeper and larger volume of bass from that 2A3.
Tom: What's your price range? I have had two different ASL integrateds: An MG si15 and a FOX Ki22, neither of which would be a good match for your Proacs. However, they make some other very powerful amps, but the 200 watt hurricanes are about $5k!
You simply don't have enough headroom with a 300b amp (about 8 watts). With your speakers, I would want something like a VTL ST-150 or a pair of Rogue 120 Magnum monos. That's a lot of juice, and I'm willing to bet you a burrito that your Proacs will let you hear things that you never thought possible!
I do not know how a 300B amp compares to my Audio Note Soro SET amp that has 6L6 output tubes but my amp is only rated at 18 watts and easily drives my Trente speakers that are rated at 88db - to about all they can handle too. Watts ain't always watts as the Soro sounds like it has about 80 of them instead of 18.
I strongly urge you to look into one as I got mine for only $1300.00 and it has a terrific phono section as well.
just my 2 cents...
My Klipschorns are efficient and will present the noise of components ahead in the chain. Today, I am running two older units: Conrad Johnson MV75A1 tube amplifier and a Marantz 7T solid state preamp. There is some low level residual noise in the MV75A1 when played without the preamp being powered. When the 7T is powered, there is slightly more noise ... mostly hiss. To hear the residual noise, one must be within 2 feet of the mid/tweeters. Beyond 2 feet, the noise is not audible even beween tracks with the volume at near pain levels.
Crazy4blues - You owe me a burrito! The first two years of owning the 2.5s I had a Mesa Baron 150wt tube amp and have also used a 150wt SS and 25wt various tube and SS amps. The ProAcs sound best with the Air Tight ATM300 but, again, they are a very easy load, I listen in the relative nearfield, and my room is small. I know exactly what you mean, though, as I've gotten subtantially better bass from them and that's why about two years ago I bought a REL subwoofer. Tube and especially SETs sound far more powerful than the simple wattage rating. The SS Muse mono 150s never did sound powerful since the music just got louder, it didn't get more, um, "musical", if you know what I mean. I think that's why we all have tube amps.
And I know what Phil means since I've also owned 572 SETs which put out 15-20 wts and they drive the ProAcs wonderfully with deep and well defined bass. They actually did more realistic bass than the Mesa which simply pounded the bass region harder and louded.
I use a Placette remote volume control instead of pre-amp as I've also tried a bunch of those and even owned an $8,500.00 tube job. Nothing sounds more direct and transparent than what's being used now. (Hey, where's that guy who used to tell us we have to spend $15,000.00 to get a proper pre-amp?) A pre-amp will add another gain stage which may likely make any noise louder, if it doesn't add it's own.
I'd like to spend about $2,000.00 for a used tube amp and have been checking out various ALSs and ANs but, unfortunately, looks now matter to me so it's taking more time than it should. I'm havin' fun, though!
Tomryan, my new VAC Avatar Super is very quiet, even in Phono mode, with efficient speakers (Fab Audio "Stonehenges"). I recall someone running one with, I think, 2.5s and being very pleased. While researching amps, I noted comments about KT88s lacking the finess and musicality of, say, EL34's (used in the old Avatars). That's been a non-issue. The new Avatar Supers have a very musical presention along with superb control over speakers.
I bought a good integrated partly because it does away with pre-to-amp ICs and a VAC because they don't skimp on any section.
Incidentally, I permanently sidelined my AcousTech PH1P phono stage after using the Avatar's built-in phono stage (with their step-up x'former due to my low output MC cart). They really sing and and are dead quiet, even at high levels.
You should try the TRON high end tube amplifiers made by Graham Tricker at GT Audio in the UK. They are absolutely top class and designed to work with effcient speakers (Avantgarde Horns) and are absolutely SILENT. He makes a preamplifier (with MC phono) and his new power amps are either a 300B SET or a 845 push pull.
When you test his amps on full volume on phono with Avantgarde Trios (107db/W), there is absolute silence, even with your ear up to the speaker. I am buying one of his preamps to replace my Verdier Control B preamp, which is quiet, but not silent.
Sonically, they are right out of the top drawer. It is just a shame that not many people have heard of them.