I had a Valve Audio Exclame and still have a Predator for two years. I have no problems with bass responce - I think it is a very good amp all round.
Did you play around with speaker placement, etc? - I am not familiar with the Tempo's. My speakers is Vandersteen 2CE & Quattro.
Symphonic Line RG9/RG10 2nd hand. I own a Symphonic Line and ist not bass shy to MY ears. The La Musica that I own is a bit smoother then a RG9 or 10 I think. The amps don't turn out 100's of watts but inless you play at concert sounds levels most people don't need 100+ watts.
I thought my old tube power amps were bass shy until I put them on solid maple platforms and the platforms on the floor next to my rack. The platforms sat on soft footers and the amps were on brass cones spiked directly into the maple. What a nice difference across the board, not just bass... but I got the bass I wanted too.
Sugden. I've never owned an integrated with so much quickness, punch and still sweet delivery of vocals and acoustic piano. I own the A21SE.
Symphonic Line is very good.Depending on speaker impedance/efficiency,possibly a PrimaLuna Pro/Dia 2.
I've owned and auditioned many integrateds in the last 5 years. Bottom line is that the Predator's bass would likely be a different animal if you plopped it down in someone else's system and room with different speakers. (Cft's comments above echo this point) To me it sounds like the problem is not the Predator's ability with bass but likely a poor match and a lack of synergy in your system. If not a poor amp-speaker match, then maybe power cables?? Moving an integrated out of the system and replacing it is however preferable to changing speakers. (especially if the speakers potential have yet to be realized)
Check out the Cronus from Rogue Audio
for your price range ($1795 new). Good punch and very versatile bang for the buck (it even has a phono stage). It isn't always civil with quiet or acoustic material, but if you are looking for punch, you probably don't care.
If you can spend a few bucks more (about $2500 new I think), my favorite bang for the buck intro level tube integrated is the Manley Stingray
. I even liked it over the much more expensive ($3795) Audio Research VSi55
. I've had one for just over a year and so long as you feed it a signal from a quality source it will deliver all the punch and dynamics you would expect from separates at twice the price.
Try the Plinius 8200, or an older Musical Fidelity integrated such as the A308cr or A3.2cr. The Portal Panache gets good press, although I haven't heard one.
Thanks for the comments guys (and perhaps gals). I emailed Schalk (the man behind Valve Audio) and he said a cap replacement could do the trick. The stock caps are 4700uf 100v and he recommended a replacement of 10,000uf 100v. There are 4 power supply caps.
After he mentioned it I realized the Anthem Integrated 2 has significantly larger capacitors than the Predator.
The next step is to track down a local technician who can source some good caps and install them. I'd prefer not to sell the Predator as it is an amazing amp in every way, just a tad light on bass.
Right now my room is a 9'x9' box (horrible standing waves, not enough room to experience truly great bass) but I'll be moving in less than 4 months and the system will be in a room about 18'x14'. Hopefully that will allow the speakers to open up.
Cft: How do you like the Predator? I think it's an amazing value and honestly have no desire to move to another unit except for the bass issue. Another member here sold it off for ~$1800 recently so it was a no brainer. That's around $400 more than the typical price of a Simaudio Moon I-5 and to my ears the extra $500 is worth every penny.
Also, admittedly Audio Physic speakers aren't known to be on the heavy side in regards to bass and the spdif output of the Echo Gina24 could be affecting the sound in a major way. The MHDT Paradisea+ is a non-oversampling DAC so source jitter has a huge effect since the signal is not re-clocked.
Sorry in advance:
Sim and RW had me listening least
VAC and MAC unleashed the beast.
Plinius was good bet never stood
the same ground to Mastersound.
Listen to many because you will find
most sound like
I just love the Predator. Unfortunately I moved it to my no.2 system in my study - stunning detail & balance with the Vandy's though.
When I have the $$ I will be buying the Black Widow power amps.
This follow up is a long time coming. The Amperex tubes were removed and replaced with the stock Electro Harmonix which firmed things up a bit. Also, my external sound card was outputting in +4 mode which turns out didn't mix well with the inputs on the Predator. After testing a few things, the output gain on the sound card channels was turned down to -10 (consumer level) with a further 20db reduction in signal level through the Echo Audio mixer interface. From there I just leave the volume knob on the Predator around 10 o'clock and it sings.
Schalk also confirmed the above would lead to better dynamics as he mentioned the inputs were designed with the input signal of a cd player/dac in mind.
The truth is this thing has a ton of power. Unfortunately in my small apartment I may never have the opportunity to see what it can really do if given enough room to play at louder levels.
Again, another follow-up on this amp with a few more comments.
I have now moved to a new space and it has made a HUGE difference in the sound. My previous listening room was around 12x19 w/ hardwood floors and one of the walls consisted of glass doors and a window that stretched from the floor to the ceiling. Long story short, the room made everything too bright sounding. The comments regarding the amp lacking dynamics/kick/punchy bass were shortsighted and not a fault of the Predator. The problem was the bright room all the gear was hooked up in. Carpeted flooring and not having an all glass wall (with no curtains covering the glass btw) has resulted in a very satisfied customer. If you're looking at picking up one of these on the used market do not hesitate. There's one floating around on the forums for sale now and at the asking price it will easily surpass the sound qualities of a Simaudio Moon I-5 integrated - there really is no comparison.
Cft - You were right, the problem was not the amp but the room. Damn rooms!
You need to look into the Unison Research Unico SE. Better yet, there is a modded version. This amp has plenty of kick and is just a great integrated overall. Plenty of reviews you can look at.
Finally got a different pair of speakers hooked up to this beast of an integrated and OMFG.
The speakers are Mobile Fidelity OML-2 and the bass is thunderous. Guess those Audio Physic Tempo's were a bit wimpy on the low end. No need for a subwoofer with this set up now. Though I've picked up some Tube Audio Design gear it will be hard to part with this amp.
Haven't heard the Unison Unico but at this point there's no need for upgrading. Schalk (the man behind Valve Audio) knows how to build a damn fine sounding integrated.