I had the Wright WPA 3.5's for a while. Great amps and especially for the price. I replaced them in my low powered system with a J. Korneff 45 which you can get used for about the same price as the WPA 3.5s'. I use RCA biplate 2A3's in the Korneff (gives more dynamics without losing very much over 45 tubes- although I do use TJ mesh plate 45's now and then for light jazz or vocals). I personaly prefer the Korneff to the Wrights. By the way I am driving Soliloquy SM2A3's (designed by Dennis Had of Cary specifically for SET amps)or my Rogers 15 ohm LS 3/5 speakers.
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Another vote for type 45s. I have the Wright monoblocs. I once had the Korneff amp but the size and weight put me off. I never actually a/b'd the two but I do like type 45s. I also owned the Minimax preamp, very seductive. I can understand your choosing it over EVS nude attenuators. For me tube preamps are a necessary part of the chain for the type of musicality I'm looking for (I use the Wright preamp). -- Of course there is always the Wavelength Gemini 45/2A3 that is totally out of my price range. Never actually heard them but they get great reviews.
Have you considered that the problem might have more to do with the Bag End monitors than the Wright amps?
Those speakers were primarily intended for pro live sound setups like clubs or theaters, which has slightly different sonic priorities than private home systems. The current TA series is listed as being intended for:
Auditorium Sound Reinforcement
Church Sound Reinforcement
DJ Systems Installation
Foreground Music Systems
To quote the TA5000-C Time-Align (updated TA-15) review in On Stage:
"Before taking the TA5000-Cs out on a gig, I tested them in my studio. The TA5000-C sounded a mite lean in the midbass and bright and highly detailed on top."
Combining those types of speakers with 2A3 amps is a pretty sure bet for a more dry or lean sound. 2A3's are accurate, revealing, an magical but certainly no one would describe them as rich or lush in the way that other tubes are famous for.
But, I would bet that the Wrights, mated with proper speakers, are likely to produce more pleasing sound than the Bag End monitors with other amps.
Regardless, if you want a more lush or full sound, try a really good EL-34 amp, maybe even an 845 set. Along those lines, the most "lush" sounding amps I have ever heard are Cary 300B amps. For my tastes they are far too much so, but in a system that is slightly lean, the combination may be heavenly.
Instead of replacing the amps, consider trying a different output tube. I have Wright Mono 10 amps, which are Push-Pull 2A3 amps, and am really enjoying them especially after switching to Sophia Electric Princess 300B 2.5v tubes.
They are designed as 2A3 replacements, and are definitely lusher than the 2A3's and in my opinion, bring the amps to another level. They are expensive though, at over $300 for the pair, and take a VERY long time to break in fully (over 300 hours), but are really very good.
Thanks for the responses gang!Someone emailed me privately and suggested i may want to swap out the stock Sovtek 2A3 to get more of what i am looking for.Does anybody have any recommendations for a sweet, warmer and still punchy 2A3 tube?
Also,even though the minimax preamp is nice could i do better by upgrading in this department perhaps?Just actually got it not long ago and am definitely enjoying it.So perhaps things can even get better by a further upgrade here.Any suggestions for even better preamps that won't dig a hole in the savings to deeply?
Thanks for the help Darkmoebius.Ya know these speakers are also used as studio monitors and are really revealing.They can sound incredible with my system and it seems to have alot to do with the actual recording(cd)i am listening to.Maybe there are just alot of bad recordings because sometimes i play some discs and i am amazed how good things sound.Maybe it is the bad recordings that keep me wanting better equipment ; 0?
Do 45's have the punch that this Wright 2A3 have?I see Danner that you listen to classical music exclusively where i am all over the place with my listening habits.
Another way to 'lush out' your sound is to get a pair of Sophia Electric 2.5v 300B tubes. They are a direct plug in for the 2A3, but will give you more of a holographic sound. http://www.sophiaelectric.com
Thanks for the help people!!Perhaps when i get some more coin together i will spring for those Sophia Electric Princess's.Does anybody have any experience between their standard Princess and their premium Princess 300B?There is definitely over $100 difference for the premium.I think it is near the $450 a pair range.Getting pretty pricey for me for those tubes but apparantly people seem to think they are worth it.How much life do you get out of tubes like these?
Thanks for the links.Very interesting and news to me and perhaps a direction to look towards.Also was recommended the EH 2A3 but also understand it is not in the same league as the Sophia but also alot less money.Any thoughts on the EH2A3 compared to the Sovtek from anybody.I know Stew has had some comparisons but was wondering if anyone else compared them as well?
Well i finally have gotten the means to purchase the Sophia Princess 300B 2.5 tubes for the Wright 3.5's.I only have about 5 hours on them so far and i have to thank you guys who recommended this tube to me.If this tube continues to get better up to 300 hours of break in then i am in for one joyful ride i do believe.The amount of lushness i was looking for is here now.Very nice!The sound is nice and inviting top to bottom.Everyting has been improved thus far or as for what i was looking for i should add.Great tube so far and thanks again for the recommendation!!Yeah i am sitting back at my computer which is way out of the sweet spot and i am constantly looking around and listening with a smile on my face now.VERY NICE!! : )
Still looking for advice from you guys or help with my system to take it even further from here.Just how far can this thing go without getting crazy with the cash is the question i am asking myself now after just this fine tube replacement?
HAPPY NEW YEAR GANG!!!