Tube Monoblocks for heavy music on Khorns

What tube monoblocks would drive Khorns the best for big bass/heavy metal music? I obviously can't go the SET route for the BEST sound. I was thinking about some BIG monoblocks to help the Khorns 15" driver REALLY move. My room is small. I could even experiment with adding a large sub like a Velodyne HGS18 in the future, too. However, price is an issue. Another interesting Idea, what horn speakers can really compete with Khorn for around the same money for reproduction of bass, Etc??
My Rogue Audio monoblocks drive my Klipsch with outstanding results. (Klipsch Kg4, Klipsch Forte).

I expect they would do the same with yours.

You have nailed it!
Any good tube amp with 4 tubes per channel rated at 60-80 wpc into 8 Ohms would prolly suffice. I have used a small older McIntosh SS stereo power amp with great success with 50wpc. he Macs and Klipsch synergize well. I am otherwise a tube devotee. Can you buy Chinese because I really like my Opera Consonance Cyber 800 monoblocks. Quest for Sound has them he is an Agon dealer.I think you really do need substantial power to drive the woofers. You have to compete with the supersentive squawker. I have the same drivers in La Scalas. If you can, you might want to get the X-overs modded as well to give the speakers the best tonal balance. Bob Crites X-overs for instance, check out the Klipsch forums for details and discussion. I avoid subs but that's my preference.
Paul K. once reproduced a full symphony orchestra with 5 watts on his speakers in an auditorium so in a small room I can't see how all that much power would be necessary unless you really want to deafen yourself. If you are looking for the most visceral impact then go SS, for good tube sound 30 or 40 watts should drive you out of the room. A customer once took the Nelson Reed 804s I was demoing up to 108db and it had that effect on me. Remember that rock bass usually isn't all that low; just LOUD.
Don't forget that if you choose a tube amp with a lot of output tubes or one that is biased in Class A, it will likely heat up a small room. If you can easily control the temperature in the room, there would be no issue.
VAS 1 mononblocks, is the way to go. See them on the cayinusa site. I've used them with K-Horns and they are outstanding.
Best sound out of the Khorns has been through a Mesa Baron in triode.
I have k-horns and use a JJ integrated parallel single ended 300B amp. The best yet for me, BUT I also have a stereo Jadis Defy 7 at 100 watts with 6 6550's per chanel. On ROCK the Jadis really shines with little loss due to the higher volumes I assume. The tighter bass is noticable with the Jadis butt I still like the single ended sound on most other music.
No sub should ever be necessary.
I found that my 100 watt threshold amp had tons of bass at any volume.
Many years ago, while being interviewed, Paul K, stated that Mcintosh amps were a perfect match for his horns. I'm thinking MC30's? A classic combo.
1- Khorns
2- tube amp
3- heavy metal
4- small room

IMHO, pick any three. I suggest that you eliminate either 1 or 4.
I'm with Br3098. I had my KHorns in my 12' x 13' room and they are just too big. I found that they need room or that squaker makes your eyeballs bleed when you crank it up.
Out in the big room they are a much better fit and can play loud and sound good.
What about the hybrid (Tube, Tube, SS) running active with crossovers, slopes, delays and equalization done in one digital to analog conversion. This is done with my Apple Minimac and Apple Firewire compatible TC Electronic DAC Preamp?
The complexity will kill the impact. With K-horns you want things as simple as possible.
Atmasphere: What if all the same amps (hence all the same characterists) are used in an active system? For example, a s-30 on the bass, a s-30 on the mids and a s-30 on the treble. If all these are crossed over at low-level therefore not requiring highlevel crossovers it should INCREASE impact, right? EG same amps with same characteristics and reactance for all drivers;No high-level crossovers that mess with phase and cause loss of dB due to insertion loss;all amps have smaller bandwidths to amplifiy. Now...this versus a circuit with high level crossovers in addition to only having one amp amplifying the entire frequency band?? I would think the active system would have more impact, but maybe I'm missing something. Not to mention the multiple amps woud be time delayed to all reach the listening position simultaneously, in case speakers are not time-alligned. Thx!!
I have tried many amps with my Khorns and ended up with a custom 6 wpc OTL amp. I can't believe how good this combo is with plenty of power AND bass for my 23'x24' room (with a vaulted ceiling). Drop me an email if you would like to know more about the OTL amp, a guy in Italy custom builds these.
I had one of Will Vincent's Baldwin amp's once and remember it also being a good combo. There is an ad running right now for a pair of Baldwin mono blocks ( I think built by Will, but not for sale by him). I think Will would build you a custom pair of mono's for you.
IMO if you are gonna play LOUD you need to change the sqawker. To get the most out of your khorns I would go w ALK crossovers and his wood trachorn. The khorn is PIERCING at loud volume. I ran mine w/ 2 Mcintosh MC2102's in Mono w/ outstanding results. I now run 2 MC2000's in Mono w/ even better results. I've compared smaller tube amps as well and they were lacking in bass and dynamics. You can't beat larger tube amps w/ Khorns. don't know were you live but you can come have a listen.
Stimbo22, most horns (Khorns included) have high efficiency drivers that, because of their efficiency, are also highly reactive. Such drivers have a lot of back EMF because of the greater precision and efficiency of their magnetic motors.

The back EMF really messes with amplifiers have a low output impedance. However the passive crossover of the speaker is helpful, because it is a series element in the speaker, and so allows you to use amplifier with a moderate output impedance (at least) without too much trouble.

If you get rid of the passive crossover, the only amplifiers that will work well without being excessively shrill (due to the interaction with the back EMF) will be ones that have a high output impedance.

The S-30 is one of these, as are a number of smaller SETs. So you *could* make that work, but OTOH you could have a slightly larger amplifier and the passive crossover, and it might work every bit as good, with a lot less complexity and a lot less invested.

BTW if anyone has ever wondered why transistors are often shrill and honky with horns, this back EMF issue is why. I should point out though that the back EMF will mess with any amplifier that uses a lot of feedback.
Atmasphere, Do you think that it is better to have two nice "Big" monoblocks with passive high level crossovers, or small SE amps if you want, then having an active system without passive crossovers in ALL cases? I know there are alot of considerations to avoid generalizing the answer. I have had true full range systems driven with one amp, however for hard music it seems like integrating a subwoofer always provided improved sound FOR ME.
Tjnif, if I ran the Khorns with active low level crossovers and obviously without passive high level crossovers I could simply turn the level down on the squaker, EQ out some offending frequencies or both. Also, I could time allign the drivers all with just one digital conversion in all and usually with less phase consideration as opposed to using high level crossovers. Your thoughts????
Stimbo22, I've used active crossovers quite a bit. They are very tricky to say the least. For the most part though, at least so far anyway, I have seen better results using one amplifier to drive the speaker while using a passive crossover.

One thing you want to consider is that nearly all drivers have nuances, odd little peaks and dips in their response. The designer of the crossover, if he is worth his salt, will accommodate these variances. Unless the active crossover is specifically designed for that speaker, it will only provide general curves with no accommodation for actual driver behavior.

I suspect this is why the best systems I have heard have all had passive crossovers.
Stimbo22, It is my opinion that if one has an "idea" that they have they should pursue it. I am not a "tweaker".... I researched a tried and true products and incorporated them in my system & was astounded w/ the results! I have NO need to go any other route.
I think you should pursue "your" path. Check out the alk engineering site, good info
Atmasphere, I have the ability to change the phase, frequency, slope, delay, HP, LP, band-pass, gain levels of all circuits with my Minimac. Also, while incorporating these crossovers I can take microphone measurements to see how the driver rolls off naturally as well as take in-room measurement of each driver on it's own. I also have a 31 band EQ to EQ the entire system or what not to get a flat in-room response, if even just for a reference point and go from there. All from the listening position! This is all done in one digital to analog conversion from one source. I do understand what you are saying about the passives and can see your point. In the end, what sounds right is right and you never know until then. But there is a lot going on here in this particular active system that could be advantageous.
Good point Tjnif. Sometimes I do not enjoy constant tweaking and would rather just hear music. I will check out the site. Thx
Atmasphere: I thought the passive high level crossover was one of the bigggest problems for tube amps. Wouldn't an active system alleviate THAT particular problem. I am sure it would create other problems, too??

I've spent a lot of time in the recording studio. I think you will find that the more you process the signal digitally, the less musical the final result will be.

An fact the more you process the signal, analog or digital, the less musical the result.

IOW, that is why most passive crossovers work better than active ones, unless the speaker designer designed the speaker for a particular active crossover.
K-Horns are so efficient, that you really don't need hardly any power at all. Heck, your iPod you could prob sufficiently drive them.

Obviously, being horns, you definitely want a tube amp - and there are many very good choices amongst low-powered tube amps currently available.

I love the A-S S30 - I own one - but, that amp really shines best with 16 ohm speakers or higher and I believe the K-Horns are only 8 ohms. (Using Hedlund Horns with AER mk 1 16 ohm drivers, I was nearly chased out of a large room by an A-S S30 during a suddenly loud passage).

Since you want a lot of head-banging capability and heavy driver control, I would look at any of the moderately powered amps from VTL, BAT, Audio Research, and Quicksilver.
It would be nice to do an A/B test with the same speakers in the same room: (A) with the passive crossovers and one amp. (B) without the passives but with actives, and at the same slope and frequencies. Also, each amp in the active circuit would be the same as the amp used in (A).
Atmasphere: What did you and Brian Cheney run at the CES? I thought he liked active systems, but he probably didn't use them at CES with you, did he???
Stimbo22, Brian seems to have designed his speakers so that he can use an active crossover. I suspect that if you were to open the cabinets, you would find some minor compensation components to deal with the characteristics of the drivers. The MA-2s were used to drive the midrange and ribbon tweeters, but IMO the amplifiers were overkill! They had *way* more power than was ever needed.
hello i drive my klipschorns whith rouge audio m-150
i have test many amps ss amps tube amps krell ksa-50 but rouge audio m-150 is wery god i have a krell krell ksp 7b preamplifier and mcintosh mcd 301 cd player
I agree with Atmasphere's response. people that consider purchasing active crossovers should first consult the speaker manufacturer to find out if any wave shaping is necessary in the crossover circuitry. This is not intuitive and you must speak with the speaker manufacturer to find this out. Several manufacturers, if not the majority incorporate wave shaping circuitry in their speaker crossover designs to compensate for cabinet issues, driver response issues, etc. Also, as has been mentioned, Khorns are extremely efficient and dont' require stupidly powerful amps to drive them. The issue of solid state vs tube is left up to you after extensive auditioning.