Silverline Sonata III & McIntosh MC275?


I am planning to upgrade my speakers and I am just wondering if this combination works?

I currently have the Sonata I now and the C-220 / MC275 combo works quite well with them. Haven't seen much of the McIntosh & Silverline combos around. I heard that the Sonata III are totally different than the old Sonata I. What are the sonic-differences in between them two? I researched and researched and was so discouraged just because I haven't found any info with a system which consist the two, or even a person who tried this combo... Would like to get some advice before making the purchase. Thanks!
infinity_audio

I posted a few thoughts on the Sonata IIIs here at the ‘gone not long ago. Mine were bought brand new direct from Silverline.

Powerwise, I’d think your current power train would do very well with the newer version, IIIs. I’d also say your bass will improve substantially. Well into the midrange too I’d say as well the top end will be improved too.

As it stands now in my rig, I’m not looking to change anything major. Just cables maybe. .. or a power cord for the preamp.

I’ve used them with several amps, SS and tubes, and each power line had it’s own characteristics and presentation. My Dodds are arranged so the midrange is more pronounced given the array of tubes they have on board. They have sufficient speed and extension.

With the Odyssey Stratos SE, things are more evenly set across the bandwidth, and they produce better/tighter bass, yet lack the body that the tube mono blocks provide throughout the bandwidth.

With a Rotel 200wpc stereo amp (1080 I believe… I borrowed from a friend), the bottom end was more emphasized and the top end was a bit more strident. The tweeter in the Sonata IIIs is an exceptionally good Dynaudio unit, and it helped out with that amps song.

The presentation with either my Sony or ONkyo receiver are similar to the Stratos SE, yet not quite as well articulated and defined but with the same extension. The Sony having more pronounced bass lines, and the Onkyo being more balanced and refined overall… or more musical sounding, to use a overly used term.

I’ve had a fair number of speakers, (BW, Monitor Audio, Phase Tech, VSA, Yamaha, Sony, Canton, Bertagni, etc) and heard a good number of others out there. The Silverline Sonata IIIs sit at or just above the median in speakerage, and one will have to move a goodly ways on up the speaker food chain to better them overall. IMHO In the ‘close to’ but under $8K MSRP they present a very very, good selection.

In the $4K to $5K real world price range, for a mid sized, one foot square foot print, 40 inch tall, finely finished, good looking, inobtrusive, easily placed, great sounding, high fun factor speaker system, that can handle any sort of music and does very very well in an HT setup too.

Do get the largest spikes offered right off.

Were I to do it all over again, I’d only make one other change to them… I’d have gotten a different color. Or given a WHOLE LOT more thought to my redecorating choices. Mine are Piano gloss Maple. Not exceptionally well suited for an HT setup with a 115 inch screen 3 to 4ft. behind them…. But do-able for sure, I must say. Likely any piano gloss would have been a slight issue there. A fix was cutting out a thin piece of material and laying it over the top and sides to eliminate the reflective light coming off the screen.

They sit on the 14 ft wall in a roughly 14 x 21 x 8.3 closed off room, close to eight feet apart.

Hope that helped
Blindjim and I have differing viewpoints regarding the Sonata III and amplification matches, which just goes to illustrate that we all have different preferences.

I also own Sonata III. I tried a handful of amps with them, including two tube amps: VAC 160 MusicBlocs (160 wpc KT88), and Atma-Sphere M-60 (60 wpc OTL). In all cases, a Lamm L2 Reference preamp was used.
Neither amp produced a balanced tonal response. In each case, bass was loose and uncontrolled, and was reproduced with less volume than were midrange and treble frequencies. The result was a tipped up sound.

For me, the absolute best match is Pass Labs XA-60.5 Class A solid state amps. Tremendously controlled and fully realized bass. Superb tonal balance. Alan Yun voices his speakers with Pass Labs, and he demonstrates them with Pass Labs at audio shows. He recommended Pass Labs to me when I asked about amplification. For several months I resisted spending the money and tried to find less expensive alternatives. Belles solid state amplification worked well, as did a couple of digital amps. However, in the end, Pass Labs was so clearly superior that I wrote the check.

That's my experience with the Sonata III. As I wrote initially, Blindjim has a different point of view, and frankly, I don't think either of us is right or wrong. It comes down to the listener.

If I had to do it all over again, I'd buy what I consider to be a more tube friendly speaker with a minimum nominal impedance of 8 ohms and a flat impedance curve (Sonata III do not have a flat impedance curve).
I would love to get a X250 to match my Sonata III but my space really doesn't allow a unit this big. I am keeping my MC275, i like the classic McIntosh sound when matched with my C220. Therefore, I really would like to keep my amplification set up. As I am pretty comfortable with the sound now, I am curious to know if going to a Sonata III will be an upgrade or not with the MACs. Seriously... there isn't a mac and sonata combo around... not one...
There is an Audiogon member who had a MAC 2275/Sonata III combo. I've been wracking my brain trying to remember his moniker. Perhaps he'll read this thread and chime in...
Member "Velo62"!

I am 98% certain he had a MC2275/Sonata III combo for a while.

Send him an email.
You want to know the sonic differences between the I and the III. Unless some one here has actually owned both you may have to rely on a mixing of the reviews on Soundstage (I believe) and 6moons. I like Potis' comments on 6moons. I bought the Bolero's and found his review of them, right after he reviewed the III's, to be very fair in its description. I have no reason to believe that his review of the III's would be far from the mark. From what he said, I would be cautious in matching them to a Mac 275 unless you know in advance that the tone would be to your liking. From what I have heard, the original Sonata, and its successor the II's had a warmer tone with somewhat lower resolution than the III's.

FWIW.

Infinity_audio

Neither Tvad nor I are in the employ of any audio makers firm, that I’m aware of, so both of us give our subjective responses on the Sonatas and other stuff pretty readily just to give back what’s been given to us.

Some of the music we listen to is the same in fact. How we perceive it differs… perhaps.

As I pointed out I bought mine new… was the first owner ever. According to Alan, he put mine together himself. I don’t know if that was the case for Tvads units. I was quite meticulous about their break in too.

I also use the 4 ohm impedance taps off the Dodd MK II 120wpc mono amps, not the 8’s, as one might initially think to do given the claimed impedance. The IIIs weren’t 100% run in when the dodds arrived, and I just didn’t like the sound on the 8 ohm taps of the mono blocks myself. Taking the advice of another member I switched to the 4’s and never looked back.

Untill I made that change I would agree 100% with Tvad about his findings, loose bass, and a tilted up presentation. The lower impedance taps of the Dodds fixed things completely however.

I think Tvad went with an outboard impedance matching transformer of sorts there for whatever reason. I never tried that route personally.

Ask Tvad if he tried taps other than the eight ohm taps on his tube amp setups.

The 275 has 4 ohm taps, right?

I’m exceptionally sensitive to the upper ranges of the bandwidth I assure you and simply can’t stand issues up there, brightness, brittleness, stridency, etched, etc. if it sounds close to any resemblance of such things I’ll go another way immediately.

Additionally, at the point of purchase and previous to it for a couple 3 years I had been talking with Alan off & on, as to which of his systems would best suit me, he said he used several amps McIntosh among others to test his speakers. In fact he offered to sell me either a Pass or Mc. SS Amp when I was in the market for one back then. A 352 & a 350x (I think). I was in the lot o watts campe then too, discounting tube amps abilities almost entirely, prior to any personal investigation.

Alan said he used his own SET amps and a few Mc tube amps. A 275 was one of them then. That was about 4 years ago or so but after the Sonata IIIs release for sure.

AS to near full range floor standing speakers with flat impedance curves that reside at 8 ohms or above, I’d like to know which ones are out there to choose from myself, as I’m very likely to remain in the hollow state arena for some time to come. That info seems to be quite a secret given so many speaker makers accounts of their own products numbers I’ve seen in reviews… especially near full range floor standers. Many show 8 ohm imp numbers. Many. Nearly as many say 4 ohms. It’s the exception rather than the rule to find a maker who divulges the impedance curves on their spec sheets… or otherwise offers them to the public as a rule.

Tastes are important as Tvad says…. Some folks are quite anal about their audio systems sonics, some are even fanatical, and others are just picky. Some, are simply never ever going to be satisfied… regardless what they have.

My current hearing abilities, given an audiology exam I had just last week, said I’m in the middle of the mormal human hearing range, albeit quite sensitive more so than the majority to much of the discernable bandwidth…. According to what she related to me following the exam. Neither are both ears hearing exactly alike, but that’s true for the majority of humans. My left ear for ex. Is about -4db from my right one, and answered my often questioning of balanced sound staging…. So I now listen in the near field, and all is well. Many don’t experience as large as a 4 db differendce from one side to the other however. Usually it’s just 1 or 2 at most without some congenital or damage issue along the way.

My pitch and sensitivity otherwise are not affected. That is not to say I’m a human SPL meter or anything of the like, nor am I a frequency meter.

Bottom end was good with all the amps I tried them with, some bettered others. Ss was better than tubes in the tighter punchier more defined aspect…. But SS usually excels there over tube amps, anyways..

All amps used, however presented a good appraisal of the lower end. IMHO

I’ll add this and stop…. I liked the bass represented by the various amps and the IIIs. Some more than others. I kept them and the Dodds and was most satisfied.

I went on an HT binge shortly there after and needed/desired a good sub for it. I got a DD 15. on a whim I connected it off the thor preamp I’ve used as my sole/main pre throughout, and was nattily surprised at the differences, with sub and/or sans sub. As well I suppose I should have been after all.

You likely live well away from me but would be welcome to bring your amp here to see for yourself. But maybe you can do that in your area though, and naturally, everytime that will be best. Always.

I’m neither a gear hound or easily satisfied, my feedback and system list says as much if you look closely enough. Any thought I have now for change in the IIIs is as was already said, for esthetics primarily, but if I go there, I’d try to achieve another level of performance in the doing… and that’ll be ‘spensive. I don’t care to change for the sake of it. That won’t happen anytime soon either as I like what I’m getting now..

I think though, the real answer to your querry is Yes. The IIIs are better than the orig sonata… according to the reviews if nothing else, in many respects.

Of course there’s always Israel Bloom’s speakers, Coincident.Speaker Technology, and a few others. You might want to talk to him as well.

Very good luck which ever way you go.
Ask Tvad if he tried taps other than the eight ohm taps on his tube amp setups.

I tried 2 ohms, 4 ohms and 8 ohms. Using Speltz ZeroFormers, I also tried 12 ohms and 16 ohms (this was only tried with Atma-Sphere M-60 OTL amplifiers).

If I were buying speakers to match with tubes, I'd first consider: Coincident, Reference 3A, Audiokinesis, Classic Audio Reproductions, Devore, and Merlin.
I have a pair of Sonata Silverline III speakers for about 2 years. At first I had a pair of Cary 805 AV amps. The sound was excellent, I purchased these from Alan and he delivered them and helped me set them up. The Cary's were stolen and I replaced them with a pair of MBL 8011 mono amps. The MBL had deeper and firmer bass. The best improvement was to add bass traps in my room, this really brought out the deep bass that these speakers can produce. These speakers go very low. They replaced a pair of Focal Nova Utopia speakers that had a brutal tweeter and a fat bass. The Sonata's are keepers.
it seems if you buy them right from Alan, you should have no problems.

Tvad
have you heard the Ref 3a Vena? if so, think it's worth the $$$?

What Newbie said, and waht Alan said, led me to the IIIs... it was really a combination of the reviews & a filtering of info, along with another member who owned them for a goodly time, and ultimately the WAG theory led me to buy mine.

Unless BAT tube amps are vastly more powerful than McIntosh tube amps, I should think you will be fine with such a combination. A VK60 (60wpc) pushed them with ease. My preamp vol knob never got to the noon position.

With the Dodds, it doesn't get to 10.30 o'clock... and I have to use 21ft speaker cables currently.

With the Odyssey it's similar to the VK60, knob wise, and my SS Odyssey supposedly outputs 160 - 180wpc.

Power supplies are key. The dodd Tformers are about twice the size of the odyssey's, yet claim lower output. The BAT's too are quite large. From what I've seen of the Mac's, they're close to the BAT physically speaking.

Do get the biggest spikes though, if you pick the IIIs.
03-10-09: Blindjim
it seems if you buy them right from Alan, you should have no problems.
What problems are you referring to? Bass response due to amplifier match?

If so, you will see that Marty_t mentions that the bass response on his Sonata III was deeper and firmer when he mated them with MBL 8011 solid state amps. His speakers were delivered and set up by Alan.

03-09-09: Marty_t
I have a pair of Sonata Silverline III speakers for about 2 years. At first I had a pair of Cary 805 AV amps. The sound was excellent, I purchased these from Alan and he delivered them and helped me set them up. The Cary's were stolen and I replaced them with a pair of MBL 8011 mono amps. The MBL had deeper and firmer bass.

Perhaps I have missed the mention of the problems you are referring to.

I have not heard the Reference 3A speakers.
Tvad

RE what problems

Glad you asked.

Marty & my own IIIs were bought new... not preowned. Were your IIIs new, demo's, or used when you got them?

Both he and I found better bass response pretty easily and sooner than your experiences indicate. Marty tried only two sets of amps, I used 3, one being borrowed, and two receivers. in each of my own trials I found the IIIs to provide good to very good bass response. I’ve said as much many times in the past.

The consideration your own IIIs may have had internal issues could well be something to consider.

I don't expect speakers of this size to rattle the room all by themselves either, so my expectations of their bass production were elevated by their actual performance once they were entirely run in.

BTW What is your room size? Any bass or room acoustical treatments? Or do you think that plays a part here at all?

Naturally, as I was then quite pleased with any one of several amp combos.... until I added the DD15 sub... and let's face it, that sub addition is not a fair comparison for many floor standing speakers in general will benefit from such an addition. I mentioned it solely for disclosure.

I believe there are more factors to obtaining good bottom end sound than just the amp & speaker combo, as we all know now, or should.

Consequently, I feel somehow the non positive experiences you went through, using several amps, and transformers, says to me either your particular pair of IIIs had issues somehow, or the items you disclose are simply subjective more than any shortcomings of your Sonata IIIs.

Add in just the subjective aspect each of us presents to that equation and the actual synergy of each match becomes more so, an often diluded prospect. Then there's the room size (s) itself to consider which we have not thus far here.

If I were to fault the IIIs for any one thing, it would not be their bass response being flabby or loose... well not mine at least... nor would I say they are difficult to mate to an amp.

I'd more point to the mid range as not being quite as prominent as I would prefer, yet still very good in it's own right. AS it affords as much detail and resolution as I've heard with any other loudspeakers, but not quite as pronounced as my preffs generally are.

Lot's of people have bought these Silverline speakers, and I've noted only a couple who were disappointed or said they were difficult speakers to integrate into a system… and that’s one reason why I bought them myself.

I suspect that says something, when the majority of owners are satisfied, that’s a very good thing IMO.

I'd also re-itterate if at all [possible take your amp and listen to other speakers before hand... My best guess says the IIIs out perform the originals overall. The press online says that too.

The Mac 275 will drive them for sure, so it seems a safe guess that what ever is being obtained now with the Is, should be improved upon by replaceing them with the IIIs.

That’s the gist of this thread, isn’t it? Are the IIIs better than the originals, and will they do well with the current power train setup?

Regardless the actual choice for replacing the Sonata Is, and it doesn't have to be Silverline either, I hope it's a step up for the poster.
Jim, In defense of Tvad, although he has his own voice and can speak for himself, this thread is getting a bit long. Now I'll make it a bit longer rather than hear you guys wrangle.

In my opinion Tvad has exacting expectations (don't we all!) and the level of bass resolution with tube amps, at least the ones he tried, were not up to his level of expectations. Thats all.

None of us have definitive opinions about anything. Faced with the alternatives between the III's and the Bolero's I picked the Bolero's because they did what I wanted speakers to do using tubes. I doubt that either of you would be happy with them no matter how they were driven because we have very different expectations. If I had been confident that the III's might have sounded good (to me) with tubes I might have given them more consideration. But I guessed they wouldn't and I just didn't want to have to use SS amps, even Pass's (or according to my preferences, some of his old Threshold SA series amps).

I think what the OP should draw from this is that the III's are like a fine instrument, their sound is greatly affected by the choice of amps, and while they may be a much better speaker than the I's or II's he will have to be committed to finding the right amps to drive them, and hls Mac may or may not be the right amp for him. If he is not prepared to change it out he should either learn to be happy with what he has (my first choice, because he already is happy) or pick a speaker which may not be so critical of its source.

FWIW.
newbie..
understood

I reckon then I'm a lot easier to please than T... or got very very, lucky with the amp choices I made. Six one way, half dozen the other I suppose.

Either way, it is the buyer's choice to do with things as he or she sees fit. I'd sure not have gone thru all those itterations Tvad did. I know that much, and would have just sent them to Alan instead.

I'm sure sorry if I've acted adversarially here. I just like what I am getting from my own deal overall, and have had no such problems. Too, I've long since given up on attaining perfection in an imperfect world.

That path leads me to much greater ese and enjoyment way more often than not...

Thanks new...
For the record, I tried only four amps with my Sonata III: VAC 160 Musicblocs, Atma-Sphere M-60, Belles and Pass Labs.

The Belles and Pass Labs amps produced the best bass in terms of definition, clarity and control.

I have visited Silverline Audio at two CES shows. Each time, Alan has demonstrated his speakers using Pass Labs amplification. I imagine he endeavors to have his speakers sound their best at shows, and he uses the amplification that provides the sound he desires. What else need be said?

I've done nothing but offer my experiences with the Sonata III speakers using PP and OTL tube amps and solid state amps. I've not criticized anyone else's choices. We all hear differently and have different preferences. Why my balls are being broken here, I can't quite understand.
Can I ask you Silverline experts a related question? I have heard it said that in general, the speakers need room placement well away from rear or side walls. If so, I can not accomodate them. About 2ft in front of CD racks is the best I can manage. Has anyone any views on this? thanks
I haven't found the set up of my Silverlines any different that any other similar full range dynamic speakers I've used. They all worked a couple of feet from the wall behind them, the bass was a bit uneven, and the soundstage depth was compressed. I love my speakers and if I had no alternative I would move them back rather than replace them.

But would I have spent all that money on a high resolution speaker in the first place, probably not. I'd have lowered my expectations and gotten some less expensive but good quality speakers like Spendors. FWIW.
About 2ft in front of CD racks is the best I can manage. Has anyone any views on this? thanks
David12 (System | Threads | Answers)
What distance from the side walls is available to you?
Blindjim. Thanks for the email. I really appreciate your info as well as your prospective. The idea of posting a thread asking if someone around me has the speakers... really inspires me and I think I will be doing so. My listening space is very very tight. Sonata I right now yields a decent result, a bit thin in bass but the MC275 made up a bit to compensate it. A new problem now may arise which is that the speakers may cause booming. Honestly, I have absolutely no space for bass traps. However, a more opened top is definitely welcome for letting more details to come through. I know that I have to hear it for myself to know... but it is such a big operation to get it done. Buying them in without knowing the sound is such a gamble nowadays. Recession will make the task very tough if I want to sell the Sonata III after trying them without success. They are big too, in my case it will really become a headache if they are not the one...
Did you ever contact member, Velo62, who owned Sonata III and a MC2275 integrated amp?

Isn't the MC2275 power output similar to a MC275?
Tvad
“……I've done nothing but offer my experiences with the Sonata III speakers using PP and OTL tube amps and solid state amps. I've not criticized anyone else's choices. We all hear differently and have different preferences. Why my balls are being broken here, I can't quite understand.”

Take a breath and relax.

I suppose not only do we hear things differently, sometimes we percieve things which aren’t really there.

Honestly, Tvad, I simply don’t get it. My line of thought was how seemingly much effort and energy you spent to acquire a certain product or result with the IIIs, yet were unable to accomplish it.

That mystifies me…. Given my own exp with them.

I sincerely could only account for it one of two ways…

the units you bought were deficient somehow initially,

or

you’re one tuff hombre to satisfy.

A third came to mind as maybe you were trying to get blood out of a turnip, but I dismissed that one as you usually know what’ is up with what audiowise, or seem to.

Consequently I merely asked questions to those ends.

Newbie summarized things well enough for me, though I’d not wish to allow you to feel usurped, minimized, beleaguered or walk around with broken balls. Neither of which was ever my intent towards you, or anyone else for that matter. Period.

I said that already. Didn’t I?

some of those amps you listed when used by others with completely different loudspeakers yielded similar results. Less than satisfactory bass output and extension. This info is according to some other folks I have personally spoken with so it came as little surprise to me you experienced similar results with the IIIs… using namely the VAC 160’s and the Atmasphere amps.

to your credit, your experience (s) leave a legacy for others whose efforts fall along the same lines. And might save another from such ‘less than’ results by avoiding the combos you tried personally. Maybe.

You know audio nuts… they’re lible to try most anything at some point.

Infinity

I’ve had mine as close as 26 or 27 inches from rear of unit to the wall behind them. Further out is better. As close as 20 inches off the side walls. Measuring from the more vertical portion of the cabinent… not the slanted upper regions. Alan suggested as little as 18 inches off side walls…. And 30 off their back sides. He said this is how he sets them up at shows most often… if I understood him correctly

I’ve found them similar to the Sophias in that the geography of the soundscape doesn’t lay behind them quite so much as with other speakers, and extends more so firly evenly behind and forward of them.

Electronics and cabling choices there will gain you some more geography rearward of the front baffles. Bringing them out into the room more will help as well. Recordings too play some part there too, just not as much.

Given you can not move further into your room aways from the rear wall, and space is a real consideration, for a good bit less, those SR 17 or latter models are reputed to be very, very, nice indeed.

My SR 15s are IMO pretty nice monitors. I could live with them without a lot of trouble, though a sub would be a for sure item to be added too… and better still would be two small subs… like a pair of SVS, HSU, or even VElodyne SPL 10’s,

Maybe monitors should be a thought… or more thought given to units which can rest quite close to the wall behind them with good results.

The IIIs twin rear ports do necessitate more space off the wall behind them as will many rear ported speakers… vs. no rear ports.
I have visited Silverline Audio at two CES shows. Each time, Alan has demonstrated his speakers using Pass Labs amplification. I imagine he endeavors to have his speakers sound their best at shows, and he uses the amplification that provides the sound he desires. What else need be said?
Tvad Quote:

Maybe Alan just likes Pass, gets a really good deal from Pass, or he could be friends with someone at Pass? He may like the way Pass sounds and can't be bothered much or does not have the time to try alot of different amps with the Sonato's? Unless you know for sure I would not make that assessment. Not trying to bust your balls but I do know sometimes speaker manufacturers get good deals or loaners from amp/preamp company's just to get their products out there and if the speaker company likes the way they sound then great.
Samzx12, FWIW, but do not conclude that I agree with your premise about Alans promotion of Pass Amps. When I went to his 'show room' which is VERY modest, to audition my speakers, listen to the III's, as well as some stacked mini's, the Pass Amps were not connected, but they were in the background and I did wonder why. He was using very modest but modded, inexpensive, Monarchy Amps, an old, but probably modded CDP, and I forget what pre-amp.

Perhaps he was just trying to demonstrate what his speakers could sound like on inexpensive components (thinking I was some sort of cheapskate), or was just not trying to max out his equipment because of the nature of his show room and would not want you to conclude that what you heard was the best that they can do. Perhaps.

I could certainly understand why he would NOT use this stuff at a show though. If he did I don't think anyone would give him the attention and credit his products deserve. Alan is a pretty clever person, I think, and wouldn't risk a sale for any reason he could avoid.

As I said, no speculation from here, just a factual recounting of my observations.
Samzx12, your alternative explanations don't hold any water. Sorry.

Alan Yun doesn't just demo his speakers with Pass Labs, he voices his
speakers with Pass Labs. He told me this in a conversation I had with him
subsequent to my Sonata III purchase. If you have ever met Alan Yun, you
would know how exacting the man is. I do not believe he uses Pass Labs for
any other reason than the amplifiers provide transparent, refined power that
enables him to design his speakers to sound the way he wants them to
sound.

However, I really don't want this thread to turn into an unnecessary sidebar
about why Yun uses Pass Labs amps.

From my experience with the Silverline speakers I own, and
from hearing several models of Silverline speakers at audio shows, including
the modest Minuet model, Pass Labs amps drive Silverline speakers
exceptionally well.

In my system, Pass Labs XA-60.5 amps drive the Sonata III better than any
other amplification I have heard: transparent, extended and tonally balanced.
I suspect if you were to ask two local audiophiles who have heard all the
iterations of my Sonata III amplifier matches, they would agree. I am certain
at least one of them would.

I don't expect my preferences to extend to everyone (or anyone), however I
would hope that my experience married with Yun's recommendation and
application would, at the very least, motivate someone to consider
auditioning a Pass Labs amp with Silverline speakers to hear what is possible.

Of course, this does nothing to help the OP, who is trying to find speakers to
mate with his MC275. FWIW, doing a search of "MC275" and "MC-275" in the
Audiogon Virtual Systems returns a total of 32 systems using this amp.
Perhaps this is a good place to research speakers.
FWIW, doing a search of "MC275" and "MC-275" in the
Audiogon Virtual Systems returns a total of 32 systems using this amp. Perhaps this is a good place to research speakers.

Excellent advice Tvad, and an interesting thread. I am also looking for some easier to drive speakers after straying from my usual muscle amps (300-500wpc) to a pair of 100wpc monos. Your speaker list above is very similar to some I have considered except Classic Audio Reproductions (which I know nothing about) and Merlin (which I doubt have the level of impact I enjoy). Unfortunately, I have never had a chance to hear Silverlines.
Classic Audio Reproductions speakers are owned by Ralph Karsten and demonstrated at shows with Atma-Sphere amplification (and vice versa).

Big impact.
Alan Yun doesn't just demo his speakers with Pass Labs, he voices his
speakers with Pass Labs. He told me this in a conversation I had with him
subsequent to my Sonata III purchase. If you have ever met Alan Yun, you
would know how exacting the man is. I do not believe he uses Pass Labs for
any other reason than the amplifiers provide transparent, refined power that
enables him to design his speakers to sound the way he wants them to
sound.

Thats good Alan DOES voice his speakers with Pass. My point is and I do know for a fact that not all speaker manufacturers always use a particular company when showing their speakers at shows. I was not trying to argue but I dont think you said Alan only uses Pass in a previous thread? If you did then I apologize.

I am not trying to threadjack so carry on with the original question :)
My point is and I do know for a fact that not all speaker
manufacturers always use a particular company when showing their speakers at
shows. I was not trying to argue but I dont think you said Alan only uses Pass in
a previous thread?

Samzx12 (Threads | Answers)

I'm sorry, but I do not understand what you are trying to convey.

Also, if you click on the "markup tags" link under the Comments window where
you compose your message, you can learn how to publish a quotation.
03-11-09: Tvad
Classic Audio Reproductions speakers are owned by Ralph Karsten and demonstrated at shows with Atma-Sphere amplification (and vice versa).

This statement is a little confusing.

To be clear, Karsten owns a pair of Classic Audio Reproductions speakers, not the Classic Audio Reproductions company.
I have heard Alan's speakers at two HE shows in NYC. The first time, he was demonstrating the Boleros with his homemade flea-watt tube amp. (The sound was delicious, btw, and to date, the Boleros remain my dream speaker). I don't recall the CDP. The next time, he was showcasing his entry level models, the Prelude and the Minuet. Here, he made a point of the fact that he was using a cheap AM/FM receiver with a garage-sale CDP (Phillips?). Probably under $100 for both on ebay. The sound was impressive, to say the least.

My point is that, IMHO, Alan tries to design speakers to sound good with a variety of amps and source components. This is not to say that some gear won't have more synergy with Silverlines than others, or that some of Alan's designs are easier to match with an amp than others. Just my experience and $0.02.
Tvad what is not to understand what I meant? Are you trying to be difficult or what? Lets try again.

1. Company "A" may only use Pass Labs to audition their speakers at shows since they voiced their speakers with this particular amp. Nothing wrong with this!!!

2. Company "B" may use different amp manufacturers at each show and not a particular amp/preamp. Company "B" might be approached by multiple manufacturers to use their amps/preamps for a show. This could be a good thing because Company B's speakers sound good with alot of different amp/preamp combinations. Company B's philosophy is not to be tied to one amp/preamp at each show because it justifies its speakers are very versatile. This is not saying Sonata's don't sound good with amps other than Pass Labs.
Thanks for the examples, Samzx12. I understand now. I wasn't trying to be difficult.
Goodpoint Bondmanp. I didn't read your post before replying to Tvad but basically I am saying the same thing. I think its good to use multiple combo's :)
03-12-09: Bondmanp
I have heard Alan's speakers at two HE shows in NYC. The first time, he was
demonstrating the Boleros with his homemade flea-watt tube amp. (The
sound was delicious, btw, and to date, the Boleros remain my dream
speaker).

Thanks for sharing that info, Bondamp. It's interesting that Alan chose to use
different amplification. Did he have a Pass Labs amp in the room? I wonder if
he decided he didn't want to ship his Pass amp for reasons of economy or risk
of damage. I believe the Pass Labs amp he used at the two shows I attended
is his own personal amplifier, rather than a Pass Labs show demonstrator.
Since he lives in California and the show you attended was in New York, the
cost and risk of shipping a 150 pound Pass Labs X-600.5 could be
prohibitive.

FWIW, at my request, Alan Yun did demonstrate his SR-17 speakers with his
Silverline tube amp (can't recall the tubes or power output, but it was his own
design, and an amp he sells). I thought the speakers sounded tipped-up and
too hot in the highs for my taste. This demo was not part of his primary
demonstration that he repeated throughout the show, which focused on his
new Prelude and Minuet models powered by the monster Pass Labs amplifier.

I had an extensive email conversation with Ralph Karsten during the time I
owned the Atma-Sphere M-60 amplifiers. He once listed Silverline speakers
on his list of tube friendly speakers. After doing some research into the
Sonata III model subsequent to our conversations, he determined the Sonata
III model did not fit his criteria for speakers that work well with his OTL tube
amps (due to the impedance curve and specifications), and he deleted them
from his list. I recall Ralph saying that the Sonata III could be made
tube friendly if the woofers were wired in parallel rather than in series (could
be the other way around...). Doing so would change the impedance curve and
eliminate the impedance dip in the bass frequencies.

However, Ralph did acknowledge that other speakers in the Silverline model
line-up, including the Bolero model, do fit his criteria for tube friendly
speakers .
Tvad: Honestly, I can't remember if there was any Pass gear in the room with the Boleros. It was a number of years ago. There was absolutely NO Pass gear, or any other gear than what I mentioned above in the more recent show where Alan showcased the Minuets and Preludes. I remember, at Alan's suggestion, moving around the room to hear the Minuets from different locations. I was looking for a subwoofer, too. There wasn't one, even though it sounded like too much bass output for such small speakers (both Minuets and Preludes).

I've heard horror stories of lost and damaged equipment at the NYC shows, and even one case of a rather large theft. Under those circumstances, using cheap electronics is understandable!

BTW, I've asked before, but I'd love to know if anyone has heard the Allegros (which seem to be Preludes with extra woofers). They are more in my real-world price range than the Boleros.
Bondmanp, FWIW, When I demo'd my Bolero's at Alan's I listened to some jazz over some stacked Minuets driven by Alan's inexpensive SS stuff, mentioned above, and probably what you heard at the show. Come to think about it, that is what was hooked up when I got there and Alan was anxious to demo it, even though he knew that was not why I came.

Anyway, they were very impressive - imaging was unbelievably good. If I could fault anything, it was that overall the sound was just a tad dark, not as balanced or finely detailed as either the Sonata or Bolero model, and obviously there was no deep bass, but what there was was quite good.

A set of good compromises at a very attractive price I think. Tonally they were more like the Bolero's than the III's. Personally, I think a lot of the attributes and differences (I observed) can be attributed to that little mod'ded Monarchy amp's interaction with the speakers. When I got my Bolero's home and set up, they did not sound much like they did at Alan's. They were much more open and balanced hooked up to some of my tubed stuff, not nearly as dark. But at Alans the III's never sounded dark at all.

The conclusion I reached was that for someone on a budget those stacked Minuets and a good sub woofer would be a great combo for someone on a budget, and in a small room, sans sub would be an even better deal.
The conclusion I reached was that for someone on a budget those stacked Minuets and a good sub woofer would be a great combo for someone on a budget...
Newbee (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers)

I absolutely agree. The Minuets were quite impressive. I thought the Preludes were equally impressive, and possessed a somewhat more weighty sound due to their lower bass response.
Thank you all for inputs.