More power is not the answer. I used to own a pair of Ketrals(hot rod version) and I ran them beautifully with a N.E.W. Class A amp (only 20 watts). The Krestrels are fairly efficient and I never had a need for more power and I ran them in a large room. I've since upgraded my amp to a VAC PA80/80 and it did make a difference, but it should given the price difference.
Prfont I have a pair of Kestrals(nonrodded)with a Aragon4004. I have not tried any other pwr amp, but as said above they are fairly efficent. I'm looking to replace my amp if interested. I also have tried the Audible Illusions with the Aragon, great combo.
i think the kestral hot-rods are wery nice, but not the most detailed speakers in the world - prolly why yure getting better luck w/the rotel over the c-j amp: decent detailed solid-state vs tubed euphony, not the lack of power. subjectively, the c-j would actually play as loud or louder than the rotel, i'd bet. i'd look for the most bright, detailed, forward-sounding amp ewe can afford, to match w/these - something like an older krell or spectral. as 50 wpc should be enuff, it should not be too costly...i heard 'em driven fine w/a 55wpc alchemist amp...
Funny you should ask Prfont, I received my gift to myself today, a sonographe 250 fbo my kestrels. After 4 hours (not much) better soundstage, better able to hear into the hall, violins have lost their squeaks but still bite on a downbow, and Joni is even more ethereal. I can't listen to metal tweeters so not a detail freak, (kestrels are silk)and i've done a lot with placement, room treatment and cables (AQ topaz ic and dh labs t-14) with my very limited blue-collar budget. Everything will change over the next week, e-mail me if you like.
Thanks all for your input and insight. As I've changed so much so quickly, I think its time to settle in, fool with placement etc... I think I'll still probably end up swapping the CJ for something solid state - Bryston, McCormack, Marsh or ??. Still the comments on power and detail are probably right on. I don't consider myself a detail freak either but there is a clear loss of sparkle that the ES12's had that is missed, and I'm wondering if that can ever be "corrected" with different amps. Thanks again.
I use a Audiomat 30w tube integrated with great success. Not a warm tube amp. The smaller Marsh is great if you think you need power. check out goldmanaudio.com
if ewe miss that sparkle, there may be nothing that will "correct" those kestrels. ewe may have to try something like proacs...
Don't give up on the H.R. Kestrals! I certainly respect the more experienced opinions that allude to their lack of extreme detail (relative to speakers costing *much* more), but I don't feel as if I'm missing anything with mine. I've always been able to appreciate changes upstream, and do have that *sparkle* (without etch) on the high end. Alas, the conundrum when one changes a variable in their system - it all too often necessitates other changes in search of synergy. I would definitely recommend bi-wiring to allow the speakers to perform at their utmost. Also experiment with placement. I think you're on the right track with amps - audition Bryston or McCormack. Both great values, as are the Kestrals. Regards and Happy Holidays to all, -John
I have run my HR Kestrels quite successfully with a Music Reference RM-10 35wpc PP tube amp. This was recommended to me by Pat McGinty of Meadowlark. If you want to try SS I had the best luck with the Belles.
The best I have heard is with a tube ultralinear amp. I beg you to try this. The Kestrel Hot Rods are wonderful wonderful speakers. I had them hooked up one nite with the Ah! Tjoeb run direct into and Anthem Amp 1 and will tell you it was stunning. So musical. So I suggest the Anthem....or maybe the AES Super Amp. The Super Amp is a smidge out of you budget...not much...but worth it. While those speakers are sooo easy to set up to sound good...tweaking with rear wall distance and height via the spikes makes a HUGE diff....
Kevin, you are so right about spiking and results. I had been demo-ing these at home and very causually placed them on DH pads(not cones) thinking these would be fine-WRONG. Last night I placed the speakers on two spikes and one BDR cone (I only had 4 spikes) and WHOA! Totally new speaker! All my misgivings about these speakers were washed away. Sadly, perhaps tragically, my CJ MV 52 has been alternately blowing left and right channel fuses so I've can't see what they'll do here. But that's another story..... Thanks again all - I finally know what everyone has been raving about. I think I'm 95 % there, and can sit back and relax knowing these will be sticking around.
Prfont, I just auditioned the Meadowlark Kestral Hot Rod yesterday was driven by a plinius 8120? not so sure at Audio Alternative in Atlanta and it was a great time! Anyway your system is Stage 2, Audible Illusions Modulus 3 I would recommend an amp that I'm familier with......the winner is Aragon 8002(<$800 used).... would definately be a great match for your system and fit you budget. However you should try some Bryston 3BST, McCormack DNA .5 Deluxe as your speaker doesn't need much power beyond those amp that I said above 2B great... That's just my op. Happy New Year, Rute.
They do sound great, don't they? If a customer has a whacky room or a hollering wofe it's the perfect ticket. While any speaker will sound best with perfect placement the Kestrels and to a similar degree the Shearwaters are so forgiving. You know what else is easy to place? Avantgarde!!!!