Is there a reason why you are stuck between those two particular amps??
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To clarify, my current set up is a Cambridge 551p phono preamp, Pro Ject debut 3, and the Dali Zensor 1's. Any suggestions for a good amp with that set up would be helpful. It will also help give an idea of my budget range. I'm going to try my friends tube amp to see if it sounds okay. If not I have to explore other options. Thanks for any input.
Are GemTune tub amps decent? They are good ratings on Amazon, but I'm not sure how much I trust those reviews.
I've been curious about the following amp. Maybe someone here has tried one.
I believe they are basically a knockoff of a more expensive brand, but I've discovered that some knockoffs can be very good.
You might try ordering a couple of "inexpensive" integrateds from a site like Music Direct, which will allow you to audition them with your gear and return them if they don't work for you. Though I'm not sure if the customer has to pay for return shipping. I think the Marantz PM 5xxx and 6xxxx series integrateds are on closeout from a few online retailers. They are a highly regarded integrated in that price range.
Right now I'm using my friends Kilpsch RB-61 ii speakers with the Jolida FX-10. Those speakers are sensitive enough to accommodate the Jolida. Now I'm not sure if I should just offer to buy the Jolida and the Kilpsch and send back the Dali's. The Kilpsh are a little too big size wise for what I want however. I liked the fact that the Dali's were more compact.
Have you had a chance to hear the Dali's compared to the Klipsch's? Which speaker do you like the best? The NAD 316BEE is a good budget SS amp that would serve the Dali's well. Could be bought new within your budget. A factory refurbished one is offered on AG at about $100 less.
Have you tried the Dali's with the Jolida?
I haven't had a chance to listen with the Dali's yet. My hope is that the Jolida drives the Dali's enough for my liking. If not I'm then faced with a decision. Either buy the Klipsch's from my friend in order to accommodate the Jolida (which I'd rather not do since the Klipsch are larger in size than the Dali's) or keep the Dali's and look for another amp. I really do have my mind set on a tube amp though. It's just with my room, set up, AND MY WIFE'S OPINION; that the Dali's would be a better fit.
Tube rolling refers to the practice of replacing tubes with different ones to 'tune' a product to ones sonic liking. To roll tubes in an all tube integrated amp would cost at least 1/2 your integrated amp budget. Tube amplifiers are more expensive than SS ones of equal power. Jolida does make a budget 'hybrid' tube amp amplifier where tubes are used in the preamp stage and possess a SS amplifier. Don't remember the model number.
What are you using for a sources?
So far my set up is as follows:
Pro-Ject Debut III (about to be upgraded with a Ortofon Blue cartridge)
Cambridge Azur 551P MM Phono Preamp
Jolida FX-10 integrated tube amp
Dali Zensor 1's
I set up my Dali's with the Jolida last night and was pretty pleased with the results. The Jolida is powerful enough to where I'm satisfied with the volume level. However, when I power on the amp I can hear a very slight drone (I'm guessing this might be some type of interference with the cables/wires). Also when I push the volume to the highest level I can hear a slight hissing sound when a record is not playing. I'm sure the hissing is still in the background while my record is playing, although my ear is not as refined as others so it really doesn't bother me. I'm not sure if there is anything I can do about the hissing. I'm guessing it is a result of the speakers not being efficient enough to handle the Jolida.
I'm going to play around with it some this weekend to see if I can reduce any of the background noise. Again, it really doesn't bother me as it might some. My question now is if the actual music coming from the speakers is sonically (if that's even a word) better with the tube amp, or with a ss amp (regardless of the background stuff going on that I really don't notice when the record is playing. I might have to order a ss amp just to compare and decide.
Ok, now I'm worried about the FX-10 damaging my speakers. I was reading the Dali manual and it was discussing how a small amp will have more high frequency information and will put a strain on the tweeter. Does this strain only occur if you push the volume too high, or does it also occur at a moderate listening level. I really wanted this amp to work but I'm thinking I need to explore other options.
the hiss is normal for amps of that caliber. it could be a pre tube but i doubt it. your tweeter is in no danger unless you overdrive the amp and even then i doubt it would be blown. not sure if that jolida is amp enough for those speakers to start. speakers with such modest sensitivity numbers need some more power and may be a ss amp is your best bet. never heard them tho so... i think it would sing with a typical 50 watt ss amp and above
Ok, now I'm worried about the FX-10 damaging my speakers. I was reading the Dali manual and it was discussing how a small amp will have more high frequency information and will put a strain on the tweeter. Does this strain only occur if you push the volume too high, or does it also occur at a moderate listening level.The problem occurs when you clip (overload) the amplifier. When the amp is overload (distorted) the distortion has a lot of high frequencies at high power and the tweeter only handles a few watts, so it can be damaged. As long as you don't overload the amp you will be fine.
Old wives tales, summarized:
1. Tubes amps don’t have the detail of solid state amps.
2. Tube amps have flabby bass.
3. Tube amps don’t have the bass slam that solid state amps do.
4. Tube amps don’t have any dynamic headroom.
5. Tube amps are not as extended in the treble as solid state amps.
6. Tube amps run hot.
Wait…you can’t make a decision without at least few dozen more pages of opinions from your audio geek brethren (and sister-en). What the hell are you thinking? This sort of thing throws a monkey wrench into this entire operation…next you’re gonna claim the NAD sounds "real good" when, clearly, a D’Agostino would be SO MUCH better for a mere $72,000 more…or what about that pair of single ended class A hand (and foot) wired furniture melting 8 watt tube mono blocks with a passive preamp you completely ignored…come on man! Don't insult us obvious experts with this sort of dangerous and rebellious knee jerk behavior.
Also, as I've said before, tube amps make you "seem" more interesting, which is almost as valuable as actually being more interesting. Since you have gone for a SS amp, you can still cut holes in the top and stick tubes in it an light them up with tiny LEDs…this will insure some valuable street cred, but will also prove that your friends don't care very much.
Oh, so now we're talking about the "sound" of things? Tube amps make reproduced music sound more accurate in my experience, possibly due to the linearity and even order harmonic content inherint in tube performance, or the ability of tubes to burn my fingers…maybe some of both. I like to point out (low threshold of entertainment warning) the frequent SS amp hype that says things can sound "tube-like." I find tubes to be the most "tube-like" sounding, but I also think Nelson Pass is a swell guy.