Buy the Audio Note CSS for sale right now on the 'Gon for $6500.00 shipped. A killer price.
The AN amp will work as good as a Kondo if not better.
The AN amp will work as good as a Kondo if not better.
I am using the Morrow Audio reference transformer-coupled 300B amplifiers with the Living Voice IBX-R2 speakers. The Morrow amplifiers are an excellent, all-out design, and the combination with the Living Voice speakers is heavenly. Mike's amps sell for about $6k, and the retail price would be multiples of that if he were selling through a traditional distributor/dealer network.
Kevin Scott mates his LV with top of the range PARALLEL 300B mono's - using WE glass! That some serious cash we're talking about. But a few things I would say to keep in mind about mating the LV - straight SET 300B will struggle. You need either PP or Parallel 300B ie. about 20watts. Else, it will limit your choice of music.
I personally mate my OBX-R2 with the TEAD Linear A and it works amazingly well BUT it's not a 300B sound at all. It's more of a top end chip amp (47labs et al) sound.
As for 300Bs or SET that I like - try Art Audio for non crazy money. Their 300B PP/parallel are lovely. Kevin sells them for people who can't afford Kondo's.
Read the request as it states $7000.00 or less.
What Kondo amp do you have on hand for $7000.00 or less that is better than the AN CSS for sale at $6500.00 including shipping.
This is not a debate on Kondo vs Audio Note UK. Get over it!
All of the responces have been to help out with different amps to work with Living Voice.
Hurry up and write back I really want to know.
Glory, you said, "The AN amp will work as good as a Kondo if not better."
What is AN amp, in your own room, better than Kondo, in your on room? (side by side comparison)
See my post carefully, i am not suggesting Kondo to him since it's, off course, over than 7K.
"This is not a debate on Kondo vs Audio Note UK. Get over it!"
Please see your statement again !
Just as I thought, you really don't have a Kondo amp on hand under $7000.00 that is better than the AN CSS for sale.
My wife and I spent a afternoon with Kevin Scott and had a listening session with his speakers and Kondo amps. Wonderful sounding and impressive. I have all AN gear and have heard a number of AN set ups and they also are wonderful sounding. To say it is ignorance and misleading that AN amp will sound as good or better than a Kondo amp is childish speaking. Kondo's gear IMHO is why over priced
where Peter has made some affordable amps that the average Joe can buy.
I agree with Boy_lah's assessment that the LV speakers need more juice than the typical 10wpc or so that a SET 300B amp can deliver to the extent you like to listen at lifelike decibel levels and you listen to music that demands a lot of power (e.g., rock, pop, orchestral). I use my SET 300B amps in a second system that is devoted almost exclusively to chamber music and small group jazz. In my medium-sized room, I get very satisfying, lifelike volume levels with this sort of music, but I am often using every bit of the clean power output capabilities of my 300B amps.
I am very interested by this tread. I have acquired some Living voice OBX-R2 and I am very happy with them. I've heard them with Conrad johnson and the match was pretty good. I am using a Lavardin It (solid state). Quite good but I am in the impression that Living voice speakers do prefer tube amplification.
They use to match Living voice with Border Patrol amplifier. By that time Border Patrol where located in the UK and the distribution in North america was limitated. Now Border Patrol are located in the USA. I've never heard them but they might worth a listen if you can schedule one. They also use Canary audio.
Windsurfer. The OBX-R2 are extremely transparent so what you feed it up front, you will hear it. Kevin Scott has gone through various 'quality' brands over time. Originally Canary Audio, then BP now Art Audio & Kondo.
Main thing Kevin tells me is go for ~20watts and a good amp and you'll be in heaven. And I agree!
I no longer own the OBX-R2's, but felt they mated very well with my 25 wpc New Audio Frontiers 845 SE integrated amp. This is an 845 based SET integrated that has been compared to the Kondo Ongaku amps. I have no idea of how they compare, as I've never had the pleasure of hearing the Ongakus. I do know that this is a fabulous integrated amplifier that occasionally turns up on Audiogon in the $4,500 range used. I believe they presently list for $9,500 dollars new.
I can't speak to the sound of any Kondo amp, as I've never heard them, or the OBX-R2's with any amp but my NAF 845 SE. I will say that this amp gets timbral nuances right in a stunning way, whether the raspy bark of a tenor sax, or the purr of a cello. Vocals are sublime. With the OBX-R2's being as transparent as they are, these qualities were nakedly apparent. I was often drawn in by the small details that great tube amps reveal, the breath of air through a flute, or the slight sound of moisture in the voice of a jazz chanteuse. Percussion instruments were particularly entrancing. If there are any Max Roach fans out there, the Japanese CD transfer of "Drums Unlimited" (not the version with "Hassan") is unforgettable on these speakers.
Regrettably, I recently sold my OBX-R2's for a small number of reasons. Primarily, I missed my Reynaud Offrandes, which offer similar qualities, but in a more full bodied, warmer, only slightly softened presentation. In comparison, I found the LV's a bit lean at times. My wife also greatly preferred the look of the Offies. I think the crossover boxes of the OBX-R2's were a bit much for her.
It's a shame that the New Audio Frontiers products don't generate much discussion in these groups lately. I think they are a great buy at the prices set by the new distributor, and an outright steal at the used prices when they show up on Audiogon. I've been through many fine tube, SS, and digital amps over the years. None have floated my boat anywhere close to the 845 SE
You have to keep in mind that the difference between 10wpc of amplification and 20wpc of amplification is only 3dB of SPL headroom. Whether that last 3dB will be important to you depends a lot on the size of your room, the style of music you prefer and your preferences with respect to peak decibel levels when listening.
You really can't speak in absolutes here unless you make the assumption that the system will be asked to reproduce a wide variety of music - including something like rock, pop, or orchestral music that will definitely benefit from the added headroom - in something other than a small acoustic space.
For ultimate drive performance, I do recommend folks here to try pairing the OBX-R2 with a 50w SET,
such as KR Kronzilla SX, to undestand the speaker full potential with all kind of music: drive ,stage,authority and energy from hell combining midrange from heaven.
Although this match must have a very liqiud full bodied source (prefered analogue & tube phono) since the KR has a very neutral balance.
But there are some good 845 SET/300B PP that will drive them very good as well, but again, this speaker deserves the best cables and source to full potential- they are more sensitive to that then other designs on the market
I'm using a Luxman L560 50wc Pure class A amp with my LV Avatar 2's with great results so don't rule out a good SS amp preferable class A. I also have some Welborne labsDDR45's mono's that sound great but not nearly enough power unfortunately (2wch haha) but I do prefer them with the tubes but there is good SS out there that will make them sing.