Tekton Pendragons - looking for low watt SET amp

As is my custom after many hours of comprehensive research, including investing time in these forums, I'm looking for first hand insight on marrying my Tekton Pendragons (fully upgraded and bought barely used at a ridiculous price) with a good line stage and low watt SET amp.

I believe I have settled on the Truth line stage and a pair of Coincident Dynamo 34SE Mk II's. I have read reviews on the Dynamo's use with Lore's.  I suppose my primary concern is this....can the Dynamo's adequately power a pair of 4 ohm Pendragon's up to 100db.  I'd prefer to not spend more than $5,000.

Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I've own two Art Audio Diavolo SETs.  I spent $6000 for the original in 2003 and recently, $8500, for the new Copper  Reference 300b Diavolo SET. The amplifier retails for $11,500.00USD  I can only tell you I arrived at my choice after listening to a myriad of amplifiers.  Very few SET amplifiers are this quiet, this DYNAMIC, this resolute, or this able to drive 2+ amps of current into a 2ohm load! Nothing made today looks as good, but more importantly, nothing bests their sound short of spending twice the money for Lamm's single ended offering. I highly advise you to consider the Diavolo Amplifier from Art Audio. I'm just a customer, but If you need any information, please let me know. I know the owner personally and I'll help you anyway I can to help you to afford one! 

100db hope you have a spare set of ears to use when you go deaf.

85 Decibels (dB) - the "Action Level" where hearing protection is required. 90 dB - the OSHA, 8 hour average exposure limit. 100 dB - exposures longer than 15 minutes are not recommended. 110 dB - regular exposure of more than 1 minute risks permanent hearing loss.

may want to rethink your loudness requirements.

Glen, don't forget about dynamic range.  I have many classical symphonic recordings in my collection that have been engineered with minimal or no dynamic compression, and can reach brief (1 or 2 second) peaks of about 105 db at my listening position, while having average volumes of perhaps 75 db.

To the OP -- It can be calculated that 8 watts into a pair of 95 db/1 watt/1 meter speakers will get you to just about 100 db at a listening distance of about 10 feet in an average sized room.  Having no experience with the Dynamo, however, I can't say if from a sonic standpoint it would be in its comfort zone in doing so.  Also, this assumes that the relevant specs are accurate.

Good luck.  Regards,
-- Al
Do you know how loud 8 watts is?  Back in the day, an elderly audio store owner in Philly used to have a watt meter hooked up for when us 20 somethings came in to hear music.  The music would be blasting from a 100 wpc amp into some 88 db speakers and when we looked at the watt meter, we were only listening to 1-1.5 watts of power.
Again, though, Lou, the dynamic range of the recordings that are listened to is a big variable. Most pop and rock recordings are compressed to very minimal dynamic ranges, often less than 10 db (which is a power ratio of 10:1 between the loudest notes and the softest notes). While some of the classical symphonic recordings I referred to above have a dynamic range of more than 50 db (a power ratio of 100,000:1 between the loudest notes and the softest notes, and that is not a typo).

When that kind of pop or rock recording is played at an average level of say 85 db at a typical listening distance, which would require very little power with 88 db speakers, it will sound much louder than the classical recordings I referred to above, that can reach brief peaks of 105 db and require 100 times as much power. (A 20 db increase corresponds to a power difference of 100x).  Our hearing mechanisms tend to judge loudness based on average volume, not on the volume of occasional brief peaks.

Also, without having specific technical data about the wattmeter that was used I would not by any means assume it was fast enough to fully capture the amplitude of brief dynamic peaks.

-- Al

Before I opened this post I was going to suggest the Art Audio Carissa. I was pleasantly surprised to see that jcarcopo had beat me to an Art Audio recommendation. I lived with the Carissa for about two years. It was astounding. It is the only piece of gear that I regret selling.

I completely concur with everything jcarcopo said about Art Audio amps. My Carissa was used with a speaker that had a 12" woofer and 12" passive radiator with a 3.2ohm low in the bass. That woofer handled everything from 700hz down and the Carissa pulled all the music from it and showed it who was boss. Besides driving the speaker correctly it was also one of the sweetest sounding amps I've heard. Unbelievable tone, detail, resolution and dynamic.

I don't usually gush about gear I have owned but any chance I get I'll sing the praises of Art Audio amps. If I had the means there would be a new Art Audio Carissa in my system tomorrow.


I appreciate the responses thus far. My reason for 100db is that I’m often in the kitchen quite some distance away from the speakers. I otherwise listen at about 80db.

I’ll certainly look into Art Audio, although the used market might be my only hope due to cost constraints.

yes i did forget the dynamic range my bad.

I do have a suggestion for a SET if your not set on amps.

I’ve recently picked up an Integrated amp from Triode labs sister company Finale Audio both out of Toronto Canada i’ve got the F3008 300b based integrated amp 8wch hammond chokes and Hashimoto output transformers and its to die for with very resonable pricing. all made in canada/usa (well the Hashimoto transformers are Japan of course) with a choice of transformers from James. Hammond, Hashimoto or thier own. Mines dead quiet and very extended with great bass (that was a surprise to me) and extended highs and of course the 300b mids to die for. definatly worth looking at and highly recomended. they have many to look at with lots of options in various price ranges they tend to put the moey into the parts and design so a little industrial looking but nice regardless.

the amp i have is 8wch and I drive 94db speakers (living voice Avatar 2’s) to great effect I’m mostly Jazz, blues, small ensamble, some rock and world music tosed in. they have more powerful amps as well ranging from around $1500 USD to well over $10k



oh i'm just a customer....
FWIW I'm also looking into SETs and have my eye on a Yamamoto A-08S (based on 45 tubes)