Edge Electronics-G3 or McIntosh-MA6900.
22 responses Add your response
Jbello is right. 104db efficient horns do not need that much power. They will get loud enough for a half deaf metal head with 20 watts. Spend money for increased quality of watts not increased number of watts.
The new K-horns use plastic horns and different crossovers from the originals. If you can find the metal horn versions with the AA crossovers you will be a little more pleased with the sound.
I know a guy that uses an Audio Refinement Complete integrated on older K-horns and it is more than enough to bring the house down. The new Complete (Alpha)has pre-out to feed a subwoofer which you may find you want down the road. The only drawback to the AR Complete with the horns is that the volume pot has a steep slope that makes it real loud real fast. With the horns you may find this true of lots of set-ups.
I would strongly second Bignerd's suggestion to seek out older Vintage Khorns rather than the newer ones. They can be had MUCH cheaper, and sound better to my ears in the various systems I've heard each with. As far as SS, don't even go there!!! If you are investing in the Khorns, run them with tubes; you will be MUCH happier with the sound. I've always found the Klipsh horn speakers from the Heritage line to sound rather harsh under SS amplification. If you absolutely must have SS I'd consider something that does not exhibit classic SS traits, but rather strives for more tube-like performance stressing midrange. SS Amps may also be tricky matches with the Khorns. With 104db horn speakers I'd be very careful in my selection of amps, and definitely try to audition, or buy at a price you can easily resell for. SS amps that fall into the category of the type I mention above are mostly lower wattage. The Portal Panache integrated would be the exception at 100wpc, but it has a wonderful midrange and is not at all harsh. Pass Labs Aleph 3 or 30 would be another, but you'd need a pre. You might also check into the Sugden amps, the First Watt amp by Nelson Pass (check on this before buying as that is a very proprietary design and reputedly does not work well with all speakers). Again, I'd really be careful with SS as a mismatch can really ruin your day. On the other hand it would be hard to go wrong with a tube amp. I like the Quicksilver line and would say the Horn Mono's would be a nice candidate. My own personal preference would be in lower powered SET amps (which I use with my LaScalas), or a low-powered push-pull using a pair of direct-heated tubes like 2A3s or 300Bs.
ive owned klipsch horns & i ran them with tubes & solid state,i prefered solid state any day over tubes,you hear all the time about how loud 5 or 10 watts will be with 104 db speakers,not 100% true,that statement is subjective to what each person thinks is loud & i will gaurentee you that 10 watts or even 30 or 40 watts will not even come close to giving you the listening level you described in your post.
the thing about khorns or any other 104 db efficient speaker is that they easily expose any weakness in the gear driving them & the biggest weakness of tube amps is the lack of a good strong bass & at loud listening levels the bass will become very loose & weak,allmost strained,from my experience people who like seriously loud music also prefer a good strong thumping bass & with tubes you wont get it.
try not to get too caught up in the whole plastic vs metal horn deal either,ive had all the horn types including the original wood type horns & at the listening levels you described none will make a difference.
klipschfan's suggestion is the best ive seen for what your looking for,try to stay away from midfi gear such as adcom,rotel,parasound ect & stay with top end gear,my personal favorite was the krell ksa 150 class a,that combo was like thunder & the khorns absulutely loved 150 wpc class a amplification.
104db @ 1watt
107db @ 2 watts
110db @ 4 watts
113db @ 8 watts
116db @ 16 watts
119db @ 32 watts
122db @ 64 watts and you start losing your hearing!
Follow the pattern.......
Every 10db doubles the perceived sound pressure/volume.
I spent many years with Hereseys then Cornwalls. My favorite amps were always Class A rated solid state amps by Threshold, Sumo, Pass Labs, Aragon and the sleeper of the bunch was Yamaha's M-80(there is a 60 and 45 also). The yamaha was an integrated too. I know there are a couple of Threshold 400A's floating around audiogon that will blow your mind, not your ears!
I would go with a tube amp, but if you want solid state, and I understand the desire to avoid tubes, then the 2 I've used succesfully with my Duos were a Naim Nait 5i (50 watts, $1500 new) and the Avantgarde model 5 (25W, $3,500 new). Both very musical with the Avantgarde having a bit more resolution. hmmmmmmmmmm both models have a 5. Coincidence? I think not!!!!
110db @ 4 watts
Jeez, do folks really listen to music at those levels? I thought ear damage starts to occur at over 100db? I suppose you are listening more than a meter away though, and you're talking about headroom here. But still, for me, I don't think with my musical preferences I'd every use those ceilings much.
I tried a class couple of class A ss amps with my LaScalas; a Bedini 25/25 and a Pass Aleph 5. Both were OK but, being used to listening with SET amps with the Scalas neither were anywhere near compelling enough to make me want to give them much of a chance. Neither threw a soundstage like the SET amps, and both grated on me overall. I found myself fatigued after listening for a few hours, more so on the Bedini than on the Aleph.
hi marco,i knew that you had lascalas & in your posts you said that & you also pointed out that you have tried ss amps with your's & that i assume was the basis for reccomending a tube amp,you also reccomended several different ss amps.
what i was pointing out was that if guys are going to tell huck55 that he is heading in the wrong direction then they should give some kind of information as to why they think that, most of the posts didnt answer hucks question at all but instead went on to tell him he was heading in the wrong direction without any explaination as to why.
HelloI have had my Khorns for about 10 yrs and have tried a fair amount of gear with them....I currently use BOTH tube and SS.
The better the amp, the better they sound REGARDLESS of watts....true they need very little to get going, right now for ss I am using
a Mac c46/mac252 and it sounds great.
I also have a Linn wakonda/lk100 also sounds very nice thru the Khorns.
For tube gear I use a VTL 2.5/st85(with triode switching) sounds great.for the money..VTL and K horns are a great match, I have also used the VTL IT85 also a great match.
The other combo I have used is a Mac C2200/restored Dynaco ST70...what a killer combo..damn if the Dynaco doesn't sound good...and its a bargain.
It seems in tubes the K horns fly with el34s.
Back to the original question, you may want to try a Mac 6500 int amp or the 6900 both fine units