I’ve owned QS gear for years and I think it is great stuff !
There's not only Horn Mono. There are more powerful amps there.
Their line preamp is $995 and pair of their Mono 120 is $3995.
If you need full function preamp, you can get used Audible Illusions Mod 3A used with phonostage.
'Quickies' can also be successfully driven by either passive preamp or solid state. Solid state preamp technically should give better transparency and lower noise floor.
If you finally want yo see what a Single Ended preamp sounds like without breaking the bank ,and Remote controlled options and a choice of 2 different
DIRECT Heated Triode https://simplepleasuretubeamps.wordpress.com/ preamplifiers. I bought a deluxe all Lundahl transformer based model .
This I can guarantee nothing but yhe best parts used money can buy to complement the superior craftsmanship. Check it out p..sent
If uou wanted to see my preamp and build let me know I will send you a few pictures. If this were CJ made or AR it would be 4X that without question.
I have a pair of diy model 19's, with gpa 416 drivers and crossovers, 811 horns and vintage 802g drivers.
I have had everything on them w5m mono blocks , st70 dynamo and ss macintosh, it all sounds fantastic with a pair of 19's.
I don't know if they can sound bad with any decent amp driving them.
They really need very little power to put out massive amounts of good sound.
Thank you all for the very informative posts.
For whatever reason, I saw horn and completely blocked the other options from QS out of my line of sight. But there they are with several power levels. I do not see where audible illusions makes tube amps, but I assume I don't necessarily have to stay with the same brand for amps and preamps.
This site is so over my head, I struggle to navigate the webpage. I'm afraid I may have been more ignorant than initially expected.
I am not familiar with the single ended amps and have only picked up limited information from my lurking. It seems the general idea is these guys can be powered with minimal (<5 watts) efficiently. That blows my mind. But will they get loud if it needs to get loud. Currently, these speakers are set up in a loft area. The loft is roughly 15-20 feet above a "great room." The listening would be in the loft with the speakers. Similarly, let's say for instance I worked my television into this setup for good two channel sound in movies. Would the 5 watts or less be enough, or am I wrong in thinking that would be impacted? In this setup (streaming/downloaded content, vinyl, television/bluray, etc.) are my options more limited? This is what I would ultimately like to achieve. I know some preamps don't include phono, but I have no problem adding one.
I see some mono options in the 100 watts plus category. Overkill? I fear that with the room setup, I would buy top quality equipment, but with the lack of power, it would be lost in the room.
I have always been a fan of McIntosh amps but worry about them not having some of the modern conveniences. I do not know this to be true, but was my initial thought. Has anyone successfully used, from Rogue Audio, an rp-1 or rp-5 with a set of their monoblocks with horn speakers? I may be back in overkill territory.
Thank you all for reading the above rambling. I know there is no "right" answer, but I certainly do appreciate any and every bit of information I can gather. As I embarrassingly didn't give a ton of information with my initial post, I hope some of the above can shed some light onto my objectives. I look forward to the responses! Thanks!
I was under the impression that the Altec 19's had about a 100db sensitivity rating which means they could easily be driven to very high levels by a flea watt amp, but that doesn't mean they have to be. I used a 50w class A solid state amp with mine and was quite happy. One problem that such a high sensitivity rating creates is that any noise in your source, pre-amp, or amp will be much more apparent. It would be essential (for me anyway) to insure that the pre-amp was very low noise, something that is difficult to obtain from many tube pre-amp's, and this issue is exacerbated when you are driving an amp with a high sensitivity combined with a pre-amp with a high output. Personally I would be looking for an integrated amp which would (should) solve the interface issues dealing with noise.
If I had my Altec's back (and I'd love to hear them again but I just don't have a room big enuf) I'd probably start out with a Primaluna Dialogue Integrated (One or Two) which has about 36wt in uni-linear and 20 wts in triode (costs about 1500 to 2000 used) for a more modern tube sound with some residual warmth with the right tubes. These amps are very tunable by simply changing tubes (big and small) using new production tubes. And, best of all, they are sort of idiot proof, both by virtue of their auto bias circuit and their tube protection circuits. IMHO, an ideal starting point (and potentially finishing point) in your quest.
FWIW, I think Quicksilver has some excellent products. Unfortunately they don't make an integrated unit so you must deal with the matching issues I mentioned above as well as the substantially increased cost.
We have a lot of horn customers. At 100db, its nice to have a little power behind the speaker, but in most rooms what that means is likely not going to be more than about 60 watts. For that matter, you'll do fine with only 30- and especially if you are going to use a transformer-coupled tube amp, 30 watts or so is where the best performing tube amps are. More than that in a push-pull design and bandwidth becomes limited.
You could also use an SET, but in many rooms most SETs will not have enough power. With SETs you want to have the speaker efficiency such that the amp does not need to make more than about 20% of its rated power; this is to keep distortion down (SETs typically make about 10% distortion at full power, which can color their presentation, but at much lower powers their distortion becomes hard to detect even with excellent test equipment).
FWIW my speakers at home are 98 db and 16 ohms; I find 80 watts to be an ideal amount of power. 99 44/100% of the time its impossible to clip the amps.
So a lot depends on your room size and how lively it is, as well as how far you will be from the speakers and your own listening habits. If I were you before pulling the trigger on any amplifier I would audition a number of amplifiers using a list of cuts from your music library that show off various aspects of what a stereo should do: soundstage, dynamics, bass impact, detail and so on.
As far as room size, will the sound be impacted by not having a back wall more than 30 feet away? Again, the speakers are in a loft, where we'll be listening, but directly behind the seats will be that large open room.
One other point I failed to mention, the sitting position is only roughly 10 feet from the speakers. Is that far back enough? ...Do I need to consider another location for these speakers?
Thank you all for your time and consideration.
SETs seem to have quite the following, but for my application and based on the way I have all your input constructed in my head- I seem to agree; More power will be better. Thank you for the suggestions. I was not sure how the space behind me would impact the sound. I've never listened to music at home without a wall somewhere in the near vicinity behind me. Do you know the db and ohm for my 19s?
Seems like I can't lose going with power amps from quicksilver or as meadowman suggested a Rogue Audio stereo100 (or Cronus Magnum II integrated).
Have you run your Quicksilver monos with a Quicksilver preamp? As you've mentioned Atmasphere paired with Quicksilver, is it common to have different manufacturers for a preamp/power amp combo?
I have always wanted a pair of McIntosh monoblocks, but I have never had an opportunity to purchase them. I am somewhat apprehensive because it appears they all need some level of rebuild. That is a level of skill I have not mastered. Terry DeWick- I hear that name a lot but I have not found monoblocks and a preamp he is selling. Again, McIntosh has always excited me, but I don't know if I'm educated enough to make a good purchase. In this case, my ignorance scares me but I'm happy to hear thoughts of those more experienced. Thank you everyone.
Please visit Jeff Day's Blog, jeffsplace.me and you will find out most everything you might need to know about McIntosh and great speakers like Altec. Jeff formerly reviewed audio for 6moons; he currently is a reviewer at Positive Feedback. Great guy and it's easy to email him with comments or questions. Jeff's blog site has great information on Terry DeWick and many other stellar audio folks. Best, and good luck...Rob
I’m a vintage dealer and have had several model 19s in the past. It’s one of those speakers that straddles the efficiency and not so eficient fence. The model 19’s woofer does need a certain amount of power to come to life but a solid state amp will sound horrible with the horn section. Your best bet is a higher powered push/pull tube amp in the 50-100 watt range. Both Quicksilver & Jolida have nice sounding products in that range as does Atmosphere. SETs would normally be my first recommendation with vintage horns but in this case aren't going to do it for Model 19's woofer.
One can always find vintage Mcintosh tube amps on Ebay or the Gon. There is a pair of MC 60s on Ebay but they are priced a little high right now.
As for service, Terry Dewick will check them out for a very reasonable fee. A comment he mad to me was to the effect that you should never worry, these things are so easy to fix. Rebuild is a scary word but on the MC60s I own the initial service was about $350. To say they will probably last forever is pretty accurate.
My speakers are 101db efficient but they like the 60 watts and the headroom is a comfort. Nothing I hate worse than wondering if my amp is starting to clip.
Nothing wrong with Quicksilver or Atmosphere though. Quicksilver has always seemed to me to be a poor man's Mac. Atmosphere on the other hand has a rep as an absolutely top of the line product. Transformers in the old Macs are up there with the best ever produced.
Any of these three choices are going to be a lot of fun with the Altecs.
Great prices on Chinese amps but I stick with American made.
I agree with both you and Meadowman regarding Rouge Audio.
You may also want to consider the RP Preamps matched with the Hybrid Models as well. The Hydra and Medusa are very quiet and retain fantastic dynamics. An RP -1 with a Hydra falls right in your price range. You can also tube roll later on. As for McIntosh - they are not the same company you remember, Now owned by Fine Sounds. BTW there are Thales Speaker cable up on Agon which would really make your Altecs Sing!
There is a Golden Tube Audio se40 with full sonicraft upgrade, as well as Jupiter cap upgrade here for 850.
Full disclosure. I use to own this amp and it was fantastic. However, at the time I needed more tube watts. So, I sold it to the current seller. I went with a pair of Rogue m120's. But if all I needed was 40 watts of tube power this amp would still be with me.
Couple this amp with a new Audible Illusions 3b and your in heaven. You are also a hair under your budget.
i ran my Quicksilver mono amps with a Quicksilver Full Function preamp. It's a nice pre and built like a tank. I just feel like the Atmasphere sounds better in every way. At least in my system and in my listening room. I can't imagine finding better amps than the Quickies at that price point though.