I had the chance to hear a pair of Offrandes w/relatively low-powered tube amps (50w Quicksilvers), and I thought they sounded very nice. I would listen to them w/your PHI 30/30 first, as you might be suprised.
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Thanks Bojack. You may be right. I'm sure that the Phi 30/30 would sound very nice with the Offrandes, but this is also a financial decision. I've decided to re-allocate more of my resources into speakers, and less into electronics. The distributor does state that the Offies like some power to bring out the best in their bottom end. At any rate, I just listed my Phi 30/30 (with some regret). I wouldn't be too broken up if it didn't sell. Anybody want to buy a Honda Element ;-)?
When Bob Neil did his Reynaud review series for Positive fedback a few years ago, he had great success with both Audiomat & Blue Circle tubed components.
From his Offrande review:
"They strike me as being a very friendly load, which should respond well to any good amp that can deliver 50-150 watts into their 4 ohms, so long as it's not too cool sounding. An Audiomat Prelude integrated tube amp (EL 34's) comes to mind as an interesting alternative."
I'd take a BAT integrated over Musical Fidelity any day with the Reynauds. But, Audiomat and BC would be where I'd start looking. Manley and Unison Research would also be good possibilities.
Thank you Eril. That's a good suggestion. I have spoken with Bob at Amherst Audio, the U.S. distributor for Reynaud He favors Manley and Blue Circle. Manley is coming out with the Manta Ray, an integrated based on the monoblock Snappers. I also have an interest in the hybrid Blue Circle FtTH, especially since the BC phono stage is much more affordable than the Manley Steelhead, when I decide to add it. I love my vinyl, but listen to my tuner and CD player alot more.
I received a response from Jean Claude Reynaud, who indicated that it was difficult to make a specific recomendation, as people's tastes vary. As others have written, he said the speakers do not require alot of power, but will benefit from "some current" if I want to have "a deep low end that's tight." He stated that he did know the Manley Stingray is "a vivid amp that gives alot of joy to the music."
So, it sounds like the field is still pretty wide open. It may be a moot point, as so far, no takers for my Phi 30/30 currently being auctioned. At least now I have some reassurance that this amp is likely to sound just fine with the Offrandes if it doesn't sell. Thanks, everyone, for the advice.
I have had my Offrandes for about 6 years now, so they are a slightly different version than the newest, and according to Bob he thinks the newer versions need more juice.
On my particular Offrandes however, my best found match so far is the Wyetech Labs Onyx monos. These things put out some very powerful 13 watts. I have tried multiple SS amps in my system and owned several PP high powered tube amps and the Onyx smokes them all, with bass in particular.
Another newer addition to my system that has really elevated things way up in refinement is the New Audio Frontiers Absolute preamp. Haven't had a chance to get it side by side with some of the big guns, but so far I haven't heard the others do some of the stuff that the Absolute is doing in my system. By big guns I mean stuff like the ARC Ref3, CJ Act2, Aesthetix Callisto Sig, and the Nagra PL-P.
So since you are looking for an integrated I would highly recommend the NAF 845SE integrated that was listed yesterday.
BTW, smart move to go up to the Offrandes, they are freaking great. I dread the day that my drivers wear out or something, but hopefully that is like 20 years from now. They are definately one of the best monitors made, and most definately "full range" for a monitor. I once had them measured professionally in my old room and they hit 35Hz at 0db, 32Hz at -3db, and 27Hz at -10db.
Thanks for the great input. May I quote you to my wife on the "smart move" part? Just when I was about to get this sorted out, you have to complicate my life with all these SET amp temptations, and the NAF 845 SE looks VERY tempting.
I wonder how much of a difference there truly is with the newer Offrandes. Bob definitely seemed to favor Push Pull design tube amps or hybrids. How big is your listening room? Mine is about 300 SF, although with 2 large openings along one wall. I've had no experience with SET amps, although my PHI 30/30 does fine with the Trentes in there. I thought that SET's were used mainly with single driver speakers, or otherwise high effieciency speakers.
I have Offrandes. I have had them running with a Krell fpb 300cx/modwight 9.0 preamp, a pair of Manley snapper mono blocks/modwright, and now a Jeff Rowland Concerto integrated. All different, all good in thier own way.
I bought the Manleys based on Bob neill's info on his website. I loved the fatter bass from the manleys and they certainly are fast and dynamic. I lost some soundstage depth and width I loved with the Krell though.
The krell was rock solid from top to bottom, great dynamics, fast attack and decay. Great soundstage depth and width. The most nuetral of the 3. However the Rowland makes the most beautiful music of the 3.
The Rowland combines the atributes I like the most in the other 2 amps into one great looking, very cool running and easy to operate 250 watt integrated amplifier. It only weighs 35 pounds and doubles output to 500 watts @ 4 ohms which is the impedance of the Offrandes. Bass is very good but not as tight as the krell. It's a little warmer (tubier?) on the bottom like the Manleys which I like. Mids are lush and open. The all important vocals are absolutely stunning. Highs are very detailed but not hyperdetailed. Soundstage width and depth are better than either of the other systems, with very solid placement of insturments and vocals. There is a great feeling of the venue the music was recorded at. The soundstage is behind the speakers completely so you are not in the first row, you are back a little with a sense of space. The speakers completely dissapear on most music. There is great synergy between these two components. Also since my system is in my living room and no TV on the first floor the music is on a lot. The Rowland sounds better from other points in the house besides the sweet spot than my seperates did.
You would have to get a seperate phono stage though.
Just an aside on the Offrandes. I have never looked for speakers since I bought these and I have changed out everything else several times. I love these speakers. I have a Totem lighting sub that I used with a pair of Sttaf speakers. I tried it with the Offrandes and it added nothing but time alignment issues. They are true full range monitors.
I guess I should also add my source components are a tubed Sony/Modwright cdp and a tubed Magna Dynalab 106t tuner with Acoustic Zen speakerwire and interconnects. Power cables are Signal. All plugged into a BPT 3.5 signature power conditioner.
All the best,
You really got me interested in the Concerto when we spoke a while back. I'm really excited about the Offrandes, which should arrive in a week or two. I actually came close to getting a Concerto, but decided to buck the popular opinion, and go in the opposite direction (see Soliver's post earlier). I'm expecting the 25 w.p.c. New Audio Frontiers 845 SE integrated to arrive tomorrow. Since most of my listening is jazz and chamber music late at night, I wanted to try a lower powered SET amp first. There was alot more harmony at home when I ran my VAC PHI 30/30's with the Trentes, than with my Spendor S8e's and Musical Fidelity KW500 integrated. Thanks for the great report. I'll post my impressions of the NAF/Offie combo in a few weeks.
After you receive the NAF 845 Integrated, you can tweek with some tube rolling. I especially recommend the Tung-Sol/Chatham rectifier that we use in the demo unit here. Although the RCA rectifier is very good, the T-S is significantly more transparent and detailed.
btw, for others our demo 845 Integrated Special Edition is available with addtl tubes including the Tung-Sol - just contact us if interested.
Jim Ricketts/tmh audio
I'm getting the last of the new old Offrandes. An new model is said to be coming out. It looks like the entire Reynaud line is being changed or updated. I've been waiting to see if a used pair would come up, but it doesn't seem that owners want to part with these, particularly as the current model is now out of production
The NAF amp arrived today, and it is truly a thing of beauty. The transformers are massive. The weight alone may be enough to get me off the so-called upgrade merry-go-round, but I'm anticipating that the sound will be sublime. It's torture to have this lovely integrated amp in my living room with no speakers to hook up. My Offrandes are on order. I'll be sure to post my impressions when they arrive.
Yep, the amp is heavy! I have found improved sonics by using quality after market footers/isolation components. I'm just not a fan of rubber feet.
btw, since Audax is no longer making the Aergel drivers used by JMR and others, what drivers will be in the new JMR designs?
I've always loved monitors - ie my '78 Rogers LS3/5A I still have and the Offrandes!
Jim Ricketts/tmh audio
I'm not sure about the new drivers. I've read that there will be somewhat of a redesign, but I'm not sure how significant the change will be. Supposedly, JMR has enough drivers in stock to service the current speakers in the field, but not to continue production further.
I agree with you on the use of isolation devices. I used a Symposium Ultra platform with my VAC amp, and felt that it made a significant difference in soundstaging and bass quality. I will likely use another one under my NAF integrated as well.
At long last my Offrandes have arrived. I've spent the past few weeks gazing logingly at my NAF 845 SE integrated sitting there with no speakers to drive. After listening to the combo now for about 5 hours, I have to say I'm over the moon.
I know from experience with the Trentes that these speakers have a long way to go before they are broken in. Right out of the box though, they are outstanding. I wish that I had purchased the speakers and amp at different times, so I would know where to credit what I'm hearing. I have to say that by far, this is the best imaging system I have heard. That includes my old Spica TC-50's and Totem Model 1's. The soundstage is wide, deeply layered, and rock steady. This is a very unexpected surprise, as the Trentes with the VAC PHI 30/30 did not come close.
As I had hoped, the presentation is at the same time vivid, but also pleasantly natural sounding. I'm sitting in about row three, just where I like to be. Altogether thrilling and captivating, but not harsh or shrill at all. I can tell that the bass has a way to go as the speakers break in, but honestly, I'd be overjoyed with this system, even if they stayed where they were. I can't imagine what I'll be hearing in a few hundred hours. If I ever try to sell one of these pieces, someone come to my house and slap me ;-)!
Soliver, thanks so much for bringing the New Audio Frontiers 845 SE to my attention. I never would have known about this integrated amp if you didn't bring it to my attention. This is a manufacturer that deserves to be much better known in the States. I'd also like to thank the distributor, Jim Ricketts, who was very generous in offering his time, even though I bought the amp from a privte party. I see that Jim is selling his demo model on Audiogon as I write this. I hope someone snatches it up.
Gary: Congrats on the new speakers. I own a pair of the Offrande Supreme v2s. They will improve significantly over the first 150 hrs, and continue to get better until they have reached about 500 hrs.
Dunno what speaker cables you are using but when I switched to Teresonic Clarison cables, they made a big difference. Clarity and treble extension noticeably improved as did bass and PRAT. I highly recommend them.