Reach out to Dave or James at Raven.
Your speakers are 92dB and you don't crank it loud so no problem. Heck even if you do crank it you should still be okay. The extra ten watts by the way is negligible. In case you were thinking you need it, the difference is a little more than 1dB. The main advantage with the Osprey is access to Dave and his collection of NOS tubes. Any other way I would never bother with tube rolling. But Dave knows his tubes. Good advice to call him. Either way, Osprey or Blackhawk, you should have no problem.
My previous speakers by the way were the same 92dB as yours. My room is bigger, and I do enjoy it loud. 50 tube watts was plenty. While the difference sounds like a lot in watts, it is only 2dB. Again that is in a bigger room and playing quite loud. I'm quite sure you will be fine on power.
Sound quality wise I am quite sure you will be better than fine.
i agree with tvad -- ring up clayton -- he is quite accessible and easy to talk to, very knowledgeable
if the tube amp you are considering has 4 ohm taps then it should be fine w 30 wpc push pull kt66 configuration if your room is of average size and you listen at reasonable levels
the issue/challenge w m3 sapphires is control and driving the dual 15 in woofers... so flea watt tube amps, no matter how sweet, need not apply
i am using 3 amps (alternating of course, not at the same time 🤓) with my m3s’s.... linear tube audio zotl 40 (45 wpc el34), audio research ref 75 (75 wpc kt120) and audio mirror set45 (45 wpc 6c33c)... all are driving the speakers with apparent ease/excellent control, and can play as clean and loud as i would ever want
in my conversations with clayton on tube amps driving the sapphires he repeated emphasized the need for proper 4 ohm taps off the output transformers of the amps i mentioned, in order for the tubes to get proper ’leverage’ interacting with the woofers
iirc - raven gives an in home trial money back... so trial should be painless
thanks so much for the info, Just curious as to which of your three amps you prefer? The fact that you also have the M3's is extremely helpful.
I am also looking at the LTA line and that would compare with the Raven Reflection in pricing. I'm new to this tube stuff never owning anything other than my grandmothers tube radio, lol. I do however have a Modwright Pioneer LX500 player which I love. I have wanted to experience the tube sound through these speakers and have an email out to Clayton. I appreciate your insight.
I had a Decware Torii II (25 watts/channel) and it wouldn't sufficiently drive Spatial Audio X3s. At least in my room to the levels that I like.
That said, your room is smaller and you listen at lower levels. And I would bet that Raven is using better transformers than Decware (maybe, maybe not). So you would more than likely be fine with the Osprey.
i like all three and at this time can’t pick a favorite
the audio mirrors... being SET has most bloom and classic tubey ’roundness’ and ’meati-ness’ - lovely sweet single ended sound but with plenty of power to grip the woofers and get loud with ease and no slurring
zotl 40 is least tubey sounding -- being output transformerless it plays closest to tip top solid state... pure extended crystalline highs, very specific imaging, fast, visceral bass -- with old stock mullards (or japanese equivalents), it still gives a nice degree of luscious tubey fleshed-out lower treble and midrange that SS can never do
arc ref 75 is kinda in the middle... some more warmth than zotl, not quite as sweet as vlad’s SETs but better deep bass -- due to the greatest power reserve, there is just an effortless quality to the sound that is captivating and it has the biggest broadest deepest image - note this amp is balanced in only, so makes more demands of upstream gear
so i alternate, listen intently, still trying to figure out how i would rank them
if you are new to tubes, i would suggest:
-- very important, make sure your m3s’s are FULLY broken before you audition $$$ amps... mine were still smoothing out towards their settled in character 1000 hrs in from new
-- i would give the raven 30 wpc a shot. given money back trial offer .. my guess is that it would fall between the audio mirror and the arc ref amps -- and that to me is roughly where the tonality a ’typical’ good sounding tube amp would fall in the ’skim milk to full fat’ spectrum -- and so it is a good place for you to start and hear what good tube amplfication will do w the spatials
@jjss49 Thanks for the input. I did contact Clayton about the Osprey and his response was ..."Yes, this amp is excellent and should have a good grip on the M3s. Good choice."
That's a pretty good endorsement so I may just move towards a trial of the amp. I am also very interested in the ZOTL40. My only source that offers balanced outs is my DAC RME-ADI-2 but also offers unbalanced as well. other sources Modwright Pioneer LX500 and SPL-Phonos have unbalanced RCA's. It's a lot of money for me so I'm weighing out the cost to pleasure ratio ;-) I do appreciate everyone's input
@lostman00771 It took me a while to dial them in with acoustic treatments, placement etc..and finally settled on the Octave V70 Class A which really is a stunning match for the M3’s. Plenty Plenty of power and the results are the best I’ve had in my 55 years of listening. I also upgraded my phono cartridges. Playing with the AT-Art9xa at the moment and the Hana Umami Red is on deck.
Highly recommend the Spatial line as well as the Octave line of amps.
@audiosaurusrex --- re: Octave V70 ... great choice! I'm in the process of auditioning some tube integrated amps to replace my Raven Blackhawk. Two amps that have been recommended highly by an individual whose opinion I value greatly are: Octave V70 and Qualition A50i. I'm trying to get an audition but it's proving to be very difficult. I would really appreciate it if you can provide some more insights on the Octave.
Thanks, for me I had always owned SS amps and have been dying to hear what a tube amp offers. The dealer that sold me my Acoustic Signature Triple X sells the Audio Hungary and raves about them. While I did not audition the Raven Osprey, I did audition the Octave V40SE from
They offer a very generous return policy if you are not satisfied, however that is only for in stock items. The class A was a special order they had two demo units of the V40 after hearing it with the Spatials I was convinced it was the right choice.
Granted it was substantially more money than the Osprey but I was already thinking the M3’s needed more muscle. A lot of the posters on Agon say you can drive them with like 12 watts I wasn’t confident in that.
So the Octave V70 Class A is an outstanding sounding amp throughout the frequency range and certainly improves with changes in tubes, power cords and yes even the fuse. It is so detailed that the imagery and soundstage are huge, deep and wide through the Sapphires. But not in a pretentious way, just as it should be real. The midrange is magical and that IMO is where the soundstage lives. Stock tubes are KT120’s, I swapped them with KT150’s improved bass response. The stock driver tubes JJ’s should be changed too at some point. Not that they’re bad but with Siemens ECC81’s and Telefunken ECC83’s the air between instruments is palpable. SR Orange for the fuse further lowers the noise floor as does the Octave Super Black Box which is very worth it but not essential at first. There are not too many reviews out there but the ones I’ve read say pretty much what I have said. Magical Midrange pure clean detailed but not really a tubey warm amp at all. After breaking it in I’m still in awe at how beautiful my music sounds, yes the music as it should be. The Safe and Sound dealer was wonderful to work with, Mike is the owner but you can ask for Aaron as well. I would recommend buying a V40se or another one of their demo units and that will give you an idea of the Octave signature sound. Then you can always return it in 30 days without any restocking charge, which Raven does. Let me know if I can help further and if your close by in Massachusetts your welcome to a listen
@audiosaurusrex -- thank you for the detailed response. I really like what I'm hearing -- magical midrange, clean detailed, not overly warm/tubey, huge soundstage, palpability.
Since you have had SS amps before, how do you compare bass and dynamics? I used to have an Audio Research GSi75, and while I really liked the amp, I was never impressed by the quality of the bass -- too loose and flabby. This is one area where the Luxman 590AXII just walked all over the ARC. Of course, I understand that tube amps have their limitations when it comes to bass, but having said that what are your thoughts on attributes like punch, tightness and control, especially when compared to your experience with SS amps?
Yes I didn't speak to the bass. I have owned Parasound, Krell, more recently SPL and then decided to switch to tubes. So the big difference in bass for me came when I went with an open baffle speaker. I came from Vandersteen 2 ce's which made the room shake. The M3's certainly don't do that, they're so very different. It took me a while to adjust to the change thinking I was missing something. I was wrong, in fact the Spatial's brought out everything in the music, just not over emphasized.
Even with the SS amps the bass was noticeably better, tighter and more detailed. The Octave was certainly leaner but again more real IMO. When I switched to the KT150's bass response improved even more. I think based on your room acoustics and getting the M3's dialed in the Octave is a stellar performer. The other thing I read after the fact that the V70 Class A seems to be optimized for 4 ohm again another match with the M3. @jjss49 is correct with his assessment on power. The Octave has the ability to use low power tubes KT88, 6550 which I tried and the difference is very noticeable. The higher power just makes the M3 so much fuller. Octave manufactures their own transformers and Andreas and family are very responsive to inquiries. I've emailed him quite a few times to ask for his expertise. Always responds even to my more mundane questions. Both Octaves I demoed are dead quiet and use the ecopower to save tube life. The V70 is autobias and the V40 you have to adjust. I found the V40se to be a beautiful amp with the M3's as well for half the money. Same price as the Osprey. The V70 Class A (Reflection price range) takes that beautiful midrange and IMO achieves what Clayton Shaw intended in his engineering of the M3 Sapphire.
@audiosaurusrex -- thank you, again. Your posts are really so helpful, there's nothing better than hearing from actual owners instead of professional reviewers or dealers. Also, appreciate the offer to visit your place. Unfortunately, TX is quite a ways from MA, otherwise I would have definitely taken you up on the offer.
BTW, do you know if your amp can take KT170s? I've heard that they take it to the next level.
This thread has gone on so long I now have had my Raven Blackhawk more than a month. Also last month at Chuxpona 21 we had the opportunity to run the Blackhawk with some 87dB speakers. https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/9675 We had no problem reaching nice loud levels even in spite of these power hogs! Also and even more importantly the Blackhawk made them come alive! They were first used with a high power SS amp that had them running rather closed in and veiled. With the Blackhawk it was a remarkable transformation, with a lot more open, detailed and expansive sound. Anyone listening blindfolded would have sworn the amps were reversed, with the Blackhawk sounding much more powerful and in control.
Back when first asked I was sure the Osprey would be fine. Now I can say for sure you do not even need the Osprey. Save your money. Get the Blackhawk. Thank me later.
@audiosaurusrex -- I got to listen to the Octave V70 courtesy of a great dealer, and I was simply amazed at the beautiful sound it produced. I eventually ended up buying the Audio Hungary Qualiton a50i, which I found to be equally good. I went with the Qualiton because it was a little bit less money and honestly I just fell in love with the chrome/silver finish. But in terms of sound quality, they are both neck to neck. You cannot go wrong with either one.
Blackhawk (sold mine 3 weeks ago) is also a decent amp and great value for the money, but not in the same class as these two. Not even close.
To be fair to Blackhawk, we really shouldn’t be comparing it to amps twice it’s price (Qualiton a50i -- $8 - 8.5K; Octave se v7 is probably similar in price). But in the end, like always, you get what you pay for. As good as the Blackhawk is, you’d be naive to expect it to slay anything above $5-6K. I think Raven’s Reflection is a better comparison. But the asking price is a bit much in today’s competitive market.
However, if someone wants to spend $4K on a tube integrated amp, Blackhawk is absolutely a top contender. If I were to buy more efficient speakers for my second system, I wouldn’t hesitate to get another Blackhawk in the future. I hope Dave and company can fill in the hole in their line up when it comes to the $5-12K range. There's less competition in this segment from chifi tube amp makers.
Agreed price to performance ratio. These are all phenomenal amps each I’m sure with its own sonic signatures and their companies have rich histories. The Raven Reflection is the same price as my V70 Class A but I had a local dealer that I was able to demo. I also emailed Andreas from Octave. I’m extremely satisfied in my decision. Interesting read: