Upgrading my SET amplifiers?

I am very happy with my Wright Sound 3.5/Lamhorn/Lowther EX 4 combo, but I know that the amps can be improved. I was looking for a Berning Siegfried, but nobody wants to sell this amp used and new is not longer available. I’ve read good things about Art Audio, Wavelength, Exemplar and the like, but I want to know from people who actually own those amplifiers or other very good SET amplifiers. I am willing to spend $ 3,000 / 4,000 in this upgrade. If possible, I prefer to buy used. Your help is greatly appreciated. Pablo.
If you are very happy with your Wright's, I might suggest that you keep them until you're certain that your next amp purchase is indeed an upgrade for you. I've not heard everything on the market, but I have heard SET amps costing as much as $18K that did not strike the tonal purity of the Wright's. Have you tried some different tubes as well? That can dramatically alter the sound of those amps. I've re-tubed my Wright's with 1950s Russian 2A3's and 6SN7's, and they sound extraordinary. They are still the most honest amplifiers that I've heard.

I'm not suggesting that you won't find something even more satisfying out there (you very well could), only that you might want to hold onto "I am very happy..." until you know for sure that something else doesn't end up spoiling your fun. Just a thought, FWIW.

By the way, where are you from in Argentina? Do you live there still?
My Wright 2A3s performed great on a variety of speakers, most recently a pair of B&W CDM1-SEs. I changed out the stock 2A3 to Sylvania NOS tubes. A modest improvement in sound resulted. I'd keep them and enjoy them. Put the money into a fine DAC, or branch out to different speakers, or a sub. Enjoy the Wrights!
You should check the SET asylum. Plenty of information there!

Thank you for your answer. I know (because I’ve read some of your threads) that you are a Wright Sound fan. I enjoy the amps immensely as well. My policy is not to sell my previous gear before, in my listening room and after a couple of months of careful listening, it is obvious that the new stuff sounds much better than the old one. I completely agree with you about the tonal purity of the Wrights. To me, that is their most important virtue. I have tried some tubes, but not many. Currently I am using the Sophia Mesh Plates, Sylvanias 6SN7s from the late 1940s and RCAs for the 5Y3 position.
I live in Philadelphia right now. I used to live in different Buenos Aires’ suburbs (Acassuso, Florida, San Martin). Do you know Argentina?


Thank you for the advice. I love the Lamhorn/Lowthers!. I won’t change them. And I have a REL Stadium II as a sub.

It seems that my thread has become a kind of “Wright Sound 3.5 fan club.” Best regards, Pablo.
My parents used to live in Palermo (BA), so I know Argentina pretty well.

I'm glad you understood where I was coming from. I was speaking less about the ranking of equipment, and more about the potential downside of tweaking your current state of contentment.

You could very well find something else out there that pleases you even more than the Wright's. As Skushino said, check the SET asylum for some ideas. You might take a drive up to NYC as well, as there are many different amps you could audition there.

I don't know what your source is, but after what we've been through with our system, I'm a firm believer in the crucial importance of the source. The band sounds only as good as its conductor, IMO.

I listen to vinyl and Cds, half and a half. The vinyl sounds better, but there are a lot of material that is not longer released on vinyl. I mostly listen to jazz (hard bop). My vinyl rig is Linn Sondek/Linn Ekos/Goldring Elite. My Cd player is an Electrocompaniet ECM 1 24/192. If I agree with you in principle about the importance of the source, the most dramatic change in the sonic signature of my system occurred when I bought the Lowthers. I still maintain a conventional speaker (Silverline Sonatas) driven by a Bottlehead Parabee 300b, and I used it with some material (rock, for instance). Regards, Pablo.
Very nice setup, Pablo.
When I spoke of the source, I meant the CD player and/or turntable. Upgrading the source has had the most significant effect on the music in my experience. The amps, speakers, and cables can only work with what they're given. That's where I would spend my money first, FWIW, on the source equipment.
Hi Pablo:

I am happy you are enjoying the LamHorns. Indeed they are incredible. I never heard them as fine as the day you were over.

I am adjusting to the Maggie 1.6qr. At ~ 1K, they are quite good with the Scott. I don't do much listening once the nice weather rolls around. One absolutely drastic difference between the Lamhorns and the Maggies are the dynamics, especially at modest volume levels. The Lamhorns with my AER even at low volume could give you that sense of dynamics and thus realism that I have never heard before from any speaker. In a year from now if my job situation is settled, who knows I might be back in the market for a pair. For now, though I have to say for the type of listening I do, and at the price, I am happy.

Are you using the subwoofer with the Lamhorns and if so, how well is it integrating?


The Wright 3.5's are great amplifiers and a great value. I had a buddies pair in my system on loan for a few weeks while he was traveling on biz. I enjoyed them immensely. However, I must say that I when they were returned and my Korneff 45 SE was reinstalled, I enjoyed the music even more.
Hi Don:

I am glad you are enjoying the Magnepan. Answering your question, yes, I use a REL Stadium II and, to me ears, the integration is great.


I have to try the Korneff, for sure. Right now I got a very good opportunity to buy a highly modified Golden Tube 300b SE at a very appealing price. The monoblocks are coming in a couple of weeks. I'll keep everybody posted on how they compare to my beloved Wrights. Pablo.
Hello Pablo:

What frequency are you crossing over at between the sub and the Lams?

I recently visited the RL Acoustique website. Robert has not updated it in 4 years!? It is the same as when I visited in 2002. I was looking out of curiousity for the new speaker you had mentioned he was developing.


Hi Don:

Currently I have the crossover at 35, but, over the years, and with different material, I've moved the frequency from 28 to 35. Regards, Pablo.
I own a Sanei 2A3 SET with all Tango transformers. Price second-hand about $1500. Made in Japan. Excellent sound and a good match with Lowthers! Some of the best SET's have been MIJ! I'd take any of them over a ModWright!
My mistake! I'd take any of them (MIJ SET amps) over Wright Sound?
Again, my mistake! Too small keypad on this smartphone. I'd take any MIJ SET (with Tango iron) over a Wright Sound, Wavelength, Cary, etc... It's the iron - and Tango is numero uno! No US wound iron is as good!
Instead of Lowthers I am planning to put my pair of Altec 755E's in a 2 cubic ft sealed cabinet. This should give good bass response down to about 40 hz and a sensitivity of about 103 db! A good match for my Sanei 2A3 SET!
755e you will get 100hz at about 94db in small sealed cabinet but your not going to listen and I know I am wasting my time