Sorry, I haven't tried them all but am a happy owner of the Gaincard. For all I know is the Shigaraki sounds a tad warmer than the Gaincard. And, your giving up 5 wpc. But, that probably doesn't matter since Fostex are really easy to drive.
I think you will be happy as long as you take EMI/RFI and vibration into consideration.
can you expound on the EMI/RFI and vibration issue? What sort of specific problems do you have with them?
Regarding the issues I brought up, these are under the assumption that you are building a sensitive system. This type of system will probably more likely amplify interferences in the signal path. Yah, sorry for opening up a whole new can of worms.
To cause more trouble, how about getting rid of the Fostex for a pair of Jordan drivers that 47 labs uses? They are less efficient but a more flat response. They do roll off considerably above 15khz.
The Jordan JX-92s drivers do not require a helper tweeter, IMO.
Measured "by my ears" they seemed to have as much usable HF info as the little 3" Fostex driver (think it was an FE83)
The following link contains measurements.
My Stephens 8" 80FR drivers meet your description "roll off considerably above 15khz" and in comparison the Jordans sound more like my 8" coaxial drivers which have usable response to around 20K HZ due to their center mounted tweeters.
There is also an impedance graph @ the Jordan site that looks pretty good (fairly steady over a wide range) which perhaps explains why they work with 25 watt amplifiers (even though they are of low/moderate sensitivity).
Those Jordan drivers are 4.8 ohms. I wonder if they will benefit with autoformers that are on the ads here in low wattage application.
Is that (the impedance) a problem for the 47 Labs chip amp?
Changing it does alter the sound (my Bottlehead amps have 4 and 8 ohm transformer taps, plus some of my vintage amps have 4, 8 and 16 ohm taps), but if you are already in the synergistic ballpark then adjusting the impedance one way or the other offers no benefit.
Is this what the auto formers do, or is their more to them?
Ask Yoshi, @ 47 Labs USA/Sakura, about your amps characteristics VS the speaker load. Chances are that he may have an opinion based on using various speakers with the amplifier.
Which Fostex drivers will you be using (208S), also what type of enclosure?
I am going to drop in a pair of Fostex FE208 sigmas. I want to use what I already have, not having to plunge into another pair of drivers like the Jordan drivers. I think the Fostex will have better highs than the Jordans. The cabinets are those Garudas from ZHorn, a cross between many different designs....a back loaded horn with front output. I am running out of space, do not want to get more gear...cannot sleep on top of speaker cabinets and boxes, therefore of my choice of getting these cabinets and even getting the Shigaraki. If I am absolutely satisfied, I might be unloading gear via Audiogon. Strange how I used to be able to carry 60+ lbs amps without a problem, but now, I am either getting weak, old or do not feel the effort of moving and setting gear up is worth the effort.
Bemopti, I know exactly how you feel. I moved many times in the last ten years without any help. And, this was including the times when I had home theater gear including 60lbs amps, 80lbs+ speakers and a 120lbs TV. During my last move, even with smaller audio gear, I deferred my muscles to a moving company. I just can't carry anything heavy anymore.
Anyways, I think the Garudas is a good choice. Incase you don't know, visit http://www.thehornshoppe.com/. I think it is something similar and has a lot of good reviews.
Dave, I don't think I have any impedance problems. The Jordans and Gaincard are matched together by 47Labs after all. Even the 6moons' review of the Essence speaker is driven by the Shigaraki which has a much smaller PSU and 5 less wpc. But, I read a lot of posts stating the Gaincard and Shigaraki likes 8ohms or higher speakers. So, I am just wondering whether the autoformers will be a good tweak in my system. I am very weary about whether the autoformer will change the sound of my system though (adding impurities to the signal).
Regarding the autoformer, I think all it does it reduce the speakers resistance to make it easier to drive by the amp. I am not sure if there is anything more to them, or if I am correct at all.
Viggen, I do like these acronym, sounds like a Saab model. I do not trust those autotransformer anything in my path. I have read much of the work that goes into them, and people seem to like them, but if you see the reviews, the praised that come from using them, most of them come from owners of Atmasphere OTL or some other OTL design amps running what it seems to me more of a heavy loaded speakers. The drivers you have are nowhere near as difficult or outrageous as those that I have seen partnered in those reviews. I recall many of them being some sort of electrostats and some even using the Merlin VSM. There is no way I can see how the autotransformer will benefit CONSIDERABLY the set up you already own. I am striving for simplicity, closeness to the source and putting a autotransformer, I do not know if THAT is going to be too good. I know the designer of the AUTOTRANS said that the signal does not go looping around the winding cords, but WHY add more distance, one more something while you try to be immediate in the sound, with the mm between signal and amplification as with the CARD? I vote to dump the idea of adding the AUTOTRANSF.....it will change the sound, but I doubt it will be an improvement that might justify the cost of the time to get it and set it up.
PS: Cannot afford to pay moving people for the gear I have, cannot trust them with such sensitive equipment, so being a Do myself type, I am trying to DIET my extra audio pounds.
The 208's in horn loaded enclosures should be nice, plus easy to drive.
It's not the age that counts, just the lame factor.
"What a drag it is, to be/getting, old."
I'd try the Assemblage to check power requirements and then go from there.
If it's not enough power then forget SET (unless you can spend some big bucks). If the power seems right but you desire more 3D/detail then look into a better 300B SET amp.
Yup Bemopti, we actually have the same philosophy in terms of systems building. Instead of using the autoformers, I should look to getting a second Humpty. Supposedly, this will allow my system sound less stressed as what I thought the autoformer can do but possibly with more drawbacks.
I don't have a Viggen, but that is where my username is from. Reasons I don't have a Viggen:
Front wheel drive
Long throw clutch and not so close ratio shifter.
I cannot afford.
Dekay and Viggen, I wonder, I am getting my BC 2 picked up after a tech check up and they guy, who is an expert, knows a lot of people who actually designs the gear that many of us have heard about and possess, stated that all his clients, have gone to the simple full range SET or other minimal power camp to return to large behemoths and power sucking monoliths. He said that the sound of the SET camp is limited in the extremes and one can hear compression. Do you have any experiences with compression of lack of slam with the minimal power set up that you have? What about the extreme frequencies? I think my tech might have been exaggerating...for I think there are many ways of fix the end extreme compromise...Fostex sells tweers and have recommendations of installing them along with their fullrange. Furthermore, in the low end, I think I have cross it with a real fast and musical subwoofer. So, the question still stands, was he exaggerating or do you think he is right. I have plunged a couple of K on the SET or minimal camp gear, I wonder if I will ever be unsatisfied. If that is the case, I think I am going to a Asylum for audio lunatics who seem to hear and see visions, when toying with equipment. Tell me about your fullrange driver experiences. Viggen, you can tell me for it seems as if you have had different set ups before, as in your systems posts.
I know I am giving up a bit on bass and detail with the Jordan speakers. But I don't miss it at all. The system I got now is by far more musical and easy to listen to all day long. Plus, they are way better looking as well as easier on the knees and back. Then again, I am no bass or detail freak and am someone who is intrigued by small electronic gadgets such as the Card. Too bad I don't use a turntable because that Bent Audio MC step up transformer would look gorgeous in my system haha. OK, do you think that technician of yours know your taste very well? SET certainly isn't for everyone. I've read lots of people successfully integrate their Fullrange single drivers with REL subs. Visit that horn shoppe site I recommended, and there are more subs they recommend with Fostex drivers.
I use an extremely low power SET system. It has only 2wpc and I use Lowther single drivers loaded into my modded Voigt Pipes. In room response is quite good down to about 40Hz, and the top end is fine beyond 20KHz. There is a rapid dropoff below 40Hz, but it sounds quite nice to me, because I don't play organ music much. There is no way that you will get the "slam" like big multi-drivers with high power out of a system like this, but it is not anemic like many people would think. Detail and coherence are superb.
I agree with those people that you talked to, who mentioned that many audiophiles are taking the low power SET route, and abandoning the complex high powered low efficiency systems, and loving the change. That's what I did, and I am quite pleased that I did.
I have owned the 47 labs 50 watt ,best radio I ever owned picked up so much RF was hardly usable. Also screws for binding posts try ramming your wire in those also so small will move all over the place .The final music 6 had better sound no noise bit larger build.I use fostex f200a speakers and fe208ez also phy hp.But my SET amps all sound better.Happy listening
The key to a decent SET based system is using speakers of high sensitivity. An easy load (smooth impedance curve) would also seem to help make the most out of the available power.
If the 208's are an easy load and around 97 dB then they should be fine with the 300B amp in a small/medium sized room.
With my current rig (details including room size are listed) I do not experience compression, but then I also do not listen @ high SPL's. Though the setup does not do low bass it still manages to nicely portray dynamic swings in the music. Can't afford decent subs and would rather do without than screw up what's already good about the sound.
My previous setup (Audion 300B SET/Reynaud Twins) did compress a bit with certain complex material (fine with simpler music). It was better suited for a spare (11 x 14 x 8) bedroom, but we prefer to listen in the living room.
Other than the occasional crescendo, or rim shot if seated too close to the stage, I never experienced many "slams" in 30, or so, years spent listening to live music (no longer do so). Because of this I tend to stop taking a gear/music conversation seriously @ the point that this word is used to judge a musical system.
Even "The Who" never slammed me live. They may have been nauseatingly loud, but they never slammed me.