I bought a Bakoon 12R as a back-up for my AncientAudio SET 300b. It sounds great with my ZuDef4s - albeit different from any tube SET that I have heard. Not sure how it would sound with your Devore O/96. Have you considered a different tube amplifier? One with less heat output? I live in Washington, DC, which is often very hot and humid in the summer; and I have not had a heat problem.
How about the Rogue Audio Sphinx? This an integrated amp with a tube front end and a 100 watt class D output stage (so it should run cool!). Herb Reichert of Stereophile reviewed it and gave it two thumbs up!
Valvet E2 is quite a stunning amp. Runs medium warm. 10Audio just did a review on it.
From the first notes, I knew it was a keeper. Toes were tapping and a big smile on my face.
Vs my 300B amps it has a better lower end foundation and great rhythmic drive while still maintaining a glorious midrange.
Yamaha A-S2100. It can sound as good as a class A amp but will barely get warm with high-efficiency speakers like your Devores.
Not solid state, but the Leben CS 300X sounds awesome on the 0/96. Four EL84 output tubes don’t make much heat. Plenty of power to play any music loud if you so desire. Anyway, that’s what I would buy.
Rather than sacrifice your sound on account of heat (which both solid state and tube amps make), how about install a vent in the ceiling so you can vent hotter air out of the house? Its inexpensive (maybe $300) and is a lot cheaper than getting another amp, especially if you already like the amp you have.
The Leben CS 300X is a great match with the O96 speakers,
Interesting suggestion, atmasphere, I will look into that. But I still need a solid-state alternative, not just for the heat (which can be considerable in my listening room with a tube preamp and amp going), but also because I tend to fall asleep when I've got the system on for reading and background listening. And sometimes it's for 2-3 hours. So I don't want to be burning up my precious tubes while I'm snoring away.
How about a timer on your AC outlet? Or a circuit that senses that when there is no signal for a while, it shuts off?
I used to live in Asheville and it got pretty humid in the summer. It does that here in Minnesota too. So far, I've not had to resort to solid state and my amps are class A and 60 watts... and the air conditioning has no troubles keeping up.
A set of EL 84 tubes is less than 60.00. The Leben makes no more heat than a solid state amp unless you go class D.
Some Class D amplifiers are getting top ratings now.
Bel Canto REF600M Monoblock $4990/pr.
Are a top pick from TAS.
The new cubed Bryston amps are a much lower idle wattage use.
My Bryston 4B'SST² uses 200 watts at idle. The cubed 4B-3 uses less than 100 watts at idle due to lowering the Class A idle. (and they still sound better than the higher Class A idling squared.
Check the specs of new amplifiers on the web. see what the IDLE WATTAGE spec is. Lower is LESS HEAT.
Back in the day Class A was a good indicator of better sound. Not anymore. Amplifier designers have found good sound without the penalty of the heat and power consumption of high Class A
Thank for another suggestion, atmasphere. It's not a matter of the AC keeping up. The problem is the thermostat for our AC/heat pump is in our main living room, a long way from my man cave listening room. So that thermostat will read the temperature of the rest of the house, which might be 76 degrees, while the listening room is much warmer. My room stays comfortable when I use my smaller system in there, which has a Croft integrated. I'll figure something out.
Forgive me for saying so, but if you have O/96's and you fall asleep, you have bigger problems than too much heat. I have O/93's and they are so engaging, even at low volume, that I never nod off. I know that syndrome, I am no stranger to it. I used to fall asleep all the time while trying to listen to music. I had B&W 805 Matrixes and solid state gear and less than great cabling back then. Now with an ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 150se, Cardas Clear Beyond, and the DeVore's, it would take three glasses of wine and an Ambien (figuratively, I think that might be fatal in reality) for me to fall asleep. The DeVores need and deserve a great preamp and great cabling to bring them up to their true potential. So to your rather unique question, I have a smallish room, a big-ass amp, and I never get warm in the room. Are you perhaps blaming heat on your somnambulates?
Roberjerman I have considered the Rogue Sphinx, but with the logistics of my setup, I need a separate preamp to be able to connect all my components, the amp has to be closer to the speakers. I'll figure it out.
I would consider the Linear Tube Audio Zotl10MkII which were paired with the Devore O93 speakers at RMAF. I don't believe the four EL84s would produce excessive heat...
Elizabeth good to see you posting again. Another vote for the Linear Tube Audio zolt10mkll.
Large amplifiers may seem to run cooler, only because they have more area to radiate heat.
The one sure way to know how much heat is being dissipated (at least for comparisons) s the wattage dissipated at idle.
Almost all of the energy at idle is being wasted as heat.
Most SS amps after idle level at reasonably efficient.
Class A and partial Class A are wasting more energy since the idle is at the full level rated at class A watts, even at idle.
Anyway, the idle wattage rating is what to look at.
Linear Tube Audio Zotl 10MkII
I cannot find any rating for idle wattage on the home page of the company, nor at any review.
I guess tube amp owners do not want to know!
Thanks for all the great suggestions thus far. fsonicsmith, I am responding to your post only because I don’t want anyone to get the impression that the 9/96 is putting me to sleep. I clearly stated that I tend to doze off only when I’m playing background music and reading. I’m always wide awake and engaged when I listen for the music, the 0/96 is the finest speaker I’ve ever had. I’m 65 and falling asleep/napping is now a guilty pleasure for me, I certainly don’t consider it a "problem." And the heating of the room in the summer with tube amps is real, I'm not the only person who has reported this. Not all of us blast the AC constantly, it's expensive and it's also noisy, and I don't like noise in my listening room.
Ladok, I apologize for my snarky and somewhat arrogant post. A few years ago our A/C had gone out of service and while my wife and I were waiting for our HVAC system to be replaced, I tried listening. At that time my amp was an ARC VS110 which is open-architecture with no cooling fans. I went from tolerably warm to insufferably hot within an hour. So I understand your predicament and I should not have used your post to attempt a segue into promoting high power amps with the DeVores which I acknowledge being something of a private non-industry-related agenda. I have no way to prove it, but it seems as though my Ref150se puts out less heat than my VS110 despite having the same number of output tubes.
the heating of the room in the summer with tube amps is real, I'm not
the only person who has reported this. Not all of us blast the AC
constantly, it's expensive and it's also noisy, and I don't like noise
in my listening room.
We have a customer in Guatemala City with our largest amp, the MA-3. That's a class A triode amp that makes over 500 watts. Despite the number of tubes, because it is so much more efficient, it does not run a whole lot hotter than our MA-2s, but:
He does not like air conditioning, and doesn't have it.
Yet he can play the amps all day and night in his listening room at any time of the year and it stays comfortable. The room is really not that large; about 17 feet wide and 20 feet deep at the most (I've been there). With two fairly small ducts in the ceiling above the amps, connected by ductwork similar to what you would use with a clothes drier, he conducts the heat out of the room and out of the house. The sound of the single fan he uses for this is barely audible at the listening chair. He controls the fan with a light switch on the wall. It really does work!
The Pass XA25 is a spectacular amp worth looking into. I run it with AZ Crescendo 2's, a 90 dB speaker, no complaints. At 96 dB the Devores would both rock the house and play low with finesse. The XA is 240 W at idle while my 125 W (tubed) ARC REF3 preamp has noticeably more heat. Go figure.
Thanks wlutke. Pass amps are high on my list, if I can find one that doesn't put out a lot of heat. Sounds like the XA25 might be the way to go.
fsonicsmith, no apology necessary. I've had my share of snarky moments.
Thanks wlutke. Pass amps are high on my list, if I can find one that
doesn't put out a lot of heat. Sounds like the XA25 might be the way to
While being some of the best solid state amps made, it would be incorrect to say that Pass amps don't make heat. A good number of them run class A, and class A operation makes heat- and often within 90% of the heat a class A tube amp makes of the same power, although generated at a lower temperature. But this is not to say they are not worthy of an audition!!