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About Al.M

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  1. Did you mean Threshold amp, which model? I’m quite a cheapskate with amps by comparison among others. Since the 90s have tried or borrowed about 40 midfi and hi priced amps by today’s rrp of maybe mostly around $2k-6k some up to $12k rrp, the usual Luxmans, Rotel, NAD, Audiolab, Quad, Accuphase, Yamah, Metaxus, Naim, Belcanto, Chinese KT88 tubes, Goldmund clone, Passlabs F5 clone, Sumo Nine, many Class D, Plinius, old Krell, Nakamichi, Threshold, Parasound 555, Roksan, Jadis JA30 EL34 tune, Musical Fidelity etc. The ones that I would rate as being close to lower and above hi end sound with modest expense from around used priced $700 to $3000 include Krell KSA50 and KSA50s, Metaxus power amp, Sumo Nine, Naim 135, one set of Class D B&O Ice amp, Hypex N500, KT88 tube amp, Passlabs Aleph and 300B tube amp. The ones that that I have kept or would like to have retained that to me sound the same or close to really hi end amp systems I have heard are a Goldmund clone, Passlabs F5 clone, one set of Class D B&O modules and KT88 amp, Jadis JA30 tube, Passlabs Aleph, Bakoon amps. It has to be a standout sound above the rest of the pack like a Passlabs F5 or Bakoon sound with about 100-200W should do it to suit greater range of speakers that I have with all the extreme detail, imaging, liquidity, voice and clean sound would be ideal. Perhaps a big Passlabs X350 or similar may be worth a try at the right used price. Any recommendations along these lines would be great. Dull sounding, same-same sounding, silly expensive overrated arc welders or fancy fluff amps need not apply.
  2. Any in the range from Kef, Audioengine etc at nearest audio shops. High up on stands or wall mounted. A used Kef Ls50 is possible for $1k, and others like Jamo Concert 8, Proac Studio 100, Lenehan, Focal, various Dynaudio, Sonus Faber etc.
  3. 22 year old Chinese Spark 530 KT88 50w 32kg, great detail, imaging, voices and good drive
  4. What music do you listen and room size? LS50 is great and used about $900 but needs a better than average hi watt amp 100w plus to make them sing. Others like Jamo Concert 8, Lenehan, various Dynaudio, Legend, Focals, Spendor, various Sonos Faber, Proac Studio 100, VAF I91 etc. Keep eye out for $600-1000ish used Yamaha AS1100 integrated amp, Vincent 236 or 7, Musical Fidelity A3 and similar etc (See Cafad’s regular poster reviews of many integrated amps here on this forum for ideas). A separate tube preamp and power is even possible for around $1k. There is/was a pair of Class D monoblock amps for $400 and nice tube preamp for $600 recently would totally beat everything above. A streamer with DAC like Cambridge Audio, Pioneer, Yamaha etc for $300-800 can be found even an old Cambridge Audio NP30 for $250 is good. Google for streamer reviews of models. Used good old subs can be found for as little as $50 like the Sony SAW40 etc but see the usual Focal, B&W, REL, Krix etc. Basically just cast a wide net here and Gumtree and come back here for comments.
  5. Nope, definitely had and tried both side by side the KSA50s and KSA50. At the time of Chamila’s build release of the Goldmunds I think he made about 20 which people snapped up. I know a few in Perth who are using them. They have one advantage over the krells is a quiet blackness sound. A little sensitive on some tube preamps. The transformer in my one is similar to the one pictured above nothing fancy but Chamila’s using better Norotel toroidal I think. If you want a good amp with well above average special qualities and new parts, piece of mind for 10-20yrs a good way to go.
  6. I had the Krell 50s and compared it to the original model at home with several familiar speakers. It was not as good, something lost in the sound, less musical and a little shut in, though had slightly more refined treble. It was generally good and built like a tank 27kg, didn’t run extremely hot to touch. I have a Chinese cloned Goldmund 200w AB that gives both of these Krells a good run for the money for $700 delivered to Oz about 6years ago. Not massively built, 15kg runs very cool and quiet and can still achieve good results. Chamila in Perth built a number of these for customers for about $2kish with new parts and his quality sourced transformers. The website that made them is no longer. Has better treble than both Krells, very clean and sorted, good imaging, with tad less musicality than the Krell 50.
  7. They work to a point but as you mentioned not as good as traditional gyprock double layer, soundcheck, super check or soundblock materials in stud with decoupling seen here https://www.soundblock.com.au/technical-specifications Most likely reason due to lack of relative performance from insufficient sound transmission decoupling as the metal skin is hard up against the foam.
  8. Been a fan of the giant killing $50 eBay 6w Class T TA2024 since their intro in mid 90s with Passlabs F5 matching treble quality and had an older Bel Canto evo Class T amp that I thought wasn’t very well voiced or didn’t suit the speakers I had at the time resulting in quite lifeless sound.
  9. I have some B&O Ice 125 and 200 based amps and they are not bad, would rate them about as good as maybe $2-3k SS amps with the right matched speaker. In terms of grunt they do tend to puff out on certain speakers but the detail and treble response can be very sweet though with flattish imaging. I tried an early development basic build custom Hypex N500 and it seemed better than the B&O modules with more power, yet dry and clinical sounding. It was latter improved with better large toroidal transformer and other bits and the sound improved dramatically to being less clinical and sterile with deeper bass drive and better balance. It still falls short of either my KT88 tube 50w Chinese amp, custom Pass Labs F5 25W clone (both when matched to speakers at their power spec) and cloned 200W Goldmund Nemisis SS power amp, particularly in that the bass is somewhat one-noted, treble tad less refined and 2D-ish flat imaging still, less engaging sound. My subjective impression is the Hypex is a big leap going from say good midfi to lower hi end but starts to flatten out at this level compared to other amps I have. At present I remain unconvinced but open to trying different iterations of Class D amps that may have passed the mark.
  10. Also consider some used Class D power amps for around that money. There’s a few around here and Gumtree ATM.
  11. I had a pair of 20yr old Jamo Concert 8 using the Excel 17w magnesium woofer come over from Brisbane and the tweeter coils had frozen over and not working and the woofer surfaces bubbled over around the edges what looked like underlying corrosion, but looked very different to the DIYaudio.com pics. I’ve seen another one on the net for sale with similar. The other issue with the Jamo is the white resonance treatment dust like coating on the back of the woofer seems to deposit after years on floor inside the cabinet. Not sure if enough of it flys off to reduce the resonance damping from original custom spec. I have 20yr old VAF I66 speakers with twin 4 inch Seas Excel mids magnesium and no corrosion issues and they sound fabulously rich, detailed and image like the clappers. Can hear a little magnesium resonance peak honk.
  12. Thanks that’s just the sort of response I was looking for with experience of a range of amps from around $6k to $30k. What did you find different or better between say the $6k Vincent setup and higher cost items.
  13. I agree totally that amps sound different and generally better across the same price levels, up and down. Thanks for being so brave to comment as an owner of one off these $30-40k+ amps , that’s the sort thing I was looking for and some great reviews FWIW here https://www.audioshark.org/dagostino-audio-47/trying-out-dagostino-s250-13037-page2.html comparing it to many great amps Audio Research 250 (AuD$32k), Passlabs 380 and CH Precison M1 USD$54k). Review comments like sensational micro details etc. If we are going to spend up on gear, no harm with amp bling thrown in if the sound is great. Some inside pics below of the DA and CH amps below from the net, looks maybe deceiving but appears similar to many well built amps regardless of price
  14. Havnt used that Technics preamp but looks to be a serious one from the 70s. It may need servicing due to age. Seems to sell used for about $300-400. Most Av amps have very bland sound so the preamp would be better on a dedicated power amp around about the same cost. Try it see how it goes. The Luxman 410 is ok sounding but unlikely to be as good as the technics preamp teamed with a well matched power amp. If you don’t want to spend much on power amp you might go for something like a an Rotel, Technics or NAD etc power amp for maybe $150-300. If you want other recommendations on an integrated amp at same price with better sound there are Audiolab 8000A, Rotel 820, 920-960 etc, NAD 3020, Arcams etc, other Luxmans, Pioneer A400, Sansui, Sony ES series etc. The old Elac speaker is good enough to reveal differences in change of gear.
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