Hi Rchan, I would be interested in this answer as well. However, i seriously doubt that any 300 B amp could drive the fairly inefficient GH's.
The GH's like a minimum of 50 watts/ch and come alive with 200+ watts/ch
IMHO. Which 300B amp are you considering?
The Cary CAD 300SE mono blocks were the ones that I was looking at. They are rated at 15 watts.
I also hear that the Wavac MD300B is suppose to be to die for but the problem is I rarely see them on Audiogon.
I have heard that you get 90% of the performance from a pair of Cary's which sell for about half the price of the Wavac.
What 300B amps were you looking at?
I am currently driving my GH with a McIntosh MC275-II. It sounds wonderful but I keep getting the itch to try 300B.
I would be interested in the Jadis 300b amps and probably
the Air Tight 845's ( single ended but not 300B's) and the Air Tight 300's.
Like you say the Wavac's and the Cary's are contenders as well. BUT, like
I said, I doubt any of them would be a fit for the GH's.
The GH's are so revealing that I am pretty sure that the single ended
amps would be easily heard distorting once they began to get overdriven.
Nonetheless, i am curious, like you, as to this match-up.
I own a pair of the GH's and have driven them with a couple 300b SET's. It is not my usual pairing but it works for me because I enjoy low and medium volume levels.
I think you should try it, assuming you are not a headbanger. I love the 300b and the single ended sound is something I think everyone in our hobby should at least try once in their lifetime. It may not be for everyone and it requires a compatable speaker but once I heard it I was hooked.
BTW, I have a lot of respect for Cary amps. I own their Rocket 88 and V12i that I use on my Maggies. They are push pull but have a triode switch so I'm half way there (triode but not single ended). In that case I need the extra horsepower.
Onemug, please tell us what amps you are referring to when you say 'a couple of
300 b SET's'?
Are you using one 300b amp per channel? Not sure what you mean.
In my very small room, I listen at low volume levels generally anyway, so
maybe a 300b might be an option. Although, unless I am mistaken, most
300b's can only put out about 15 watts/ch or less. Do you hear the clipping that must be occurring even at low levels given how inefficient the GH's are?
I only used one amp at a time, never biamped. The best one was the Art Audio Symphony II. It puts out 10 wpc, has a great power supply and transformers which all help contribute to the sound. I have not heard any clipping.
Food for thought: Average convesation is around 65 db. Averarge factory levels are 75 db. You get 86 db with "1" watt from the GH's at 1 meter. Even accounting for some variables, if you listen at "factory level" you may only be using a tenth of a watt.
Hi Onemug, I see what you are saying about the level required for the 10th of
a watt. However, I am not so sure that on bass transients etc. that the speaker
doesn't draw more juice ( Possibly a lot more). Currently, I use a 250 watt/ch amp and amazingly
in my small room that unit gets warm and seems to be working a little even at
BTW, I think the Art Audio amps are very fine. Definitely on my short list to try, along with the other amps mentioned.
There used to be an old a'phile saying... with 15watts you can fill a church.( Problem was with what?) ..:0)
Yes, no doubt those bass transients are going to want some power. I read once that transients can take up to 200 times the rms power to reproduce them. 200 times a 1/10 of a watt = 20 watts, beyond the scope of most 300b SET's. One rms "bell" louder and you'll need 200 watts, so you can run out of power real quick if you like to crank it. Transients are of such short duration that an amp with a strong power supply might pull it off to some degree.
When ss clips it's usually not pretty, pp tube is better but triodes clip pretty easy on the ears.
I'm experiencing that with my Cary V12i's and Maggie combo. This Cary is 100 wpc ultralinear and 50 triode. Triode sounds more powerful. Go figure. BTW, the Cary has el34's which are not triodes. There is a UL/Triode switch that changes the operation.
I wander if anyone else has any experience driving relatively inefficient speakers with low powered 300B amps? Thoughts?
I used Cary 300B Signature to drive B&W N805 without problem, but it took a year to break-in the N805. I also tried Forte 4A(50W class A) to drive N805 and found it was only a few more powerful than Cary 300B Signature. Then I bought B&W S805 and found they are much easier to drive than N805 thanks to their bigger magnet in the woofers. At that time, it took only 8 hours to break in the S805. I also tried Welbourne DRD 300B & J.C. Verdier 300B to drive S805 without any problems. I found J.C. Verdier 300B is the most powerful one of these 3 300B amps. So I sold the Cary's & Welbourne's.
Poorguy, do you have any idea how efficient the B&W S805 is?
The Sonus Faber GH's are pretty inefficient, on the order of 84- 86db
I would suspect that any speaker below 89db efficiency may not be a
very good match for low powered single ended tubes.
These amps may drive a lower efficiency speaker but I would suspect
would run out of steam very quickly on bass transients etc.
I am curious if anyone has any long term experience with this
apparent mis-match( low powered single ended amps matched up with lower efficiency speakers)( Onemug do you still use 300b's to drive your GH's?) I still want to try this combo myself, so far no opportunity.:0(
I haven't used my 300b (Art Audio Symphony II) on the GH's in awhile. Been using either a Pass XA30.5 or Marantz 8b.
I hope you can get a nice 300b when you do try the pairing. As Poorguy alluded to, not all 300b's are created equal.
B&W N805 & S805 both are 86dB of efficiency, but one is obviously easier to drive. So, efficiency doesn't make a lot of sense in my case maybe because I listen to them in nearfield- 7 feet to left & right speakers.
Actually, I had also tried Fi 300B for several days without success. I think running out of power on bass transient or not depends largely on how much energy stored in the output transformer of SET.
Well guys, i have decided to try a vintage ARC D-70 with the GH's.
Not sure on how this combo will play out, but will soon find out.
Will also try a 300B amp as well, if I can get my hands on one.
Why not use a loudspeaker designed for use with SET amplifiers? Using loudspeakers not designed for SET is very hit and miss mostly miss. And a reason why many do not enjoy SET. On your speaker most SET will be running into distortion on any peaks.
After searching high and low I'm leaning towards getting a pair of Cary CAD 805 AE.
I wanted to convince myself that I could live with 15 watts but in the end I think I am fooling myself.
Has anyone had a chance to try a pair of Cary CAD 805 AE's with their Sonus Faber GH? Any feedback would be much appreciated.
Cary 805 AE's will probably be a GREAT match for the GH's. Please post your findings once you have a chance to hear them.