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Ooogh

Rocking In The Granny Flat

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16 minutes ago, Tony M said:

Ha!  I'm older and slower that you.  No way I could keep up with the pace of your amp quests, but it's fascinating looking on and I will hopefully find my way to Happy valley soon to have a listen to whatever supects you have in custody at the time.

 

I guess it's possible the Magnus could be the holy grail, but my bet would have to be on a more mainstream solution, simply because that's the way it's worked out most often in my experience.

 

A bigger class A Passlabs would have to be a good bet, based on the evidence so far and would avoid the tube hassles you mentioned.  Unfortunately, that would be a rare beast in this neck of the woods. 

May I add that it is Tony’s Pass Labs currently residing in my rack on extended loan whilst I search for my next amplifier. Many thanks Tony. As always I am very thankful for the generosity and friendships that we have formed here in Adelaide due to SNA.  It is in my opinion that greatest asset of this site, the ability to connect people with a shared hobby to enjoy each other’s company. We have constant enjoyable GTG’s here and I have learnt more from our shared systems in the last few years than a lifetime prior mucking about with hifi. 

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On 18/07/2019 at 4:33 PM, Ooogh said:

And the winner is........actually none of them.

 

I love my Audions but this is a bridge too far. Via the 2 Ohm tap they do some wonderful things. Pull the speakers way out and you can walk through the sound stage. Stuff like 10CC’s ‘I’m not in love’ just cascades around the room. Again with Lou Reeds ‘Take a walk on the Wild side ‘ the girls march forward 10 feet. I am yet to hear a SS amp that nails this stuff properly. The tiny nuances that express vocal phrasing and great singers  is there, not to the point of the PSE Silver Nights but delivering the wonders of the 300B. However, the demands of the load down low are just too much. Bass lacks bounce ,drive and leading edge.

 

The 14 BSTT  Bryston is getting on. Obviously not lacking in wedding tackle but it is just too slow. Plenty of mid bass weight but no speed down low. Sounds a bit lazy. The 4B3 was a different kettle of fish, lightning fast with awesome bass control , detail in spades and true sparkle up top with no edge. That Bryston made electric guitar explode from the speakers. Bad mistake selling it.

 

Now the Pass Labs. It does so much right but just not enough. It treads the middle ground with out quite being wonderful. In the end it doesn’t do anything amazing. Great balance top to bottom but lack real sparkle up top, just plays it too safe. In my opinion great treble sits just on the correct side of getting ‘sharp and pointy’. It needs true zing, great treble has to shimmer. Bass is very good, lots of bounce and boing, fat enough and fast enough but falls short of what these speakers can do with a 4B3 and possibly shaded by a Yamaha B2. Soundstage is wide enough without extending walls like the Audions but not quite deep enough for me. Midrange is smooth and detailed but again not quite as detailed as the Audions and 4B3 are, in different ways, to me great valve detail and SS detail are capturing different parts of the equation.

 

So where does this leave me? Well I have heard these speakers do EVERYTHING I want a speaker to do. Just not all with one amp. I have the correct speakers, they dig deep < 30 Hz in room. They can be lightning fast , weighty and tonally correct down there. The mid range can seduce and capture the true essence of great vocalists, guitars can show the wood and nylon of acoustic and sheer explosive fury of electric. Treble can sparkle and shimmer. They image and soundstage with the best of them.

 

A big heavy hitting valve amp, Conrad Johnston comes to mind, might just do it. However a boat load of power valves can be a burden and the desire to continually roll valves, just to be sure,  gets expensive. I wouldn’t bother with less than a hundred Watts, probably want 200. VTL?

 

However, had a friends big Ayre blasting a pair of Gales last week and it was rocking. Hopefully get it over soon and give it a whirl.  I have a sneaking suspicion it might come pretty close to doing the business. As always, you just don’t know till you plug ‘em in.

Hey @Ooogh thanks for the detailed review, nothing like a 3 way amp shoot out to keep things interesting.

I'll have to drop by sometime to feel it in the flesh 😉 

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For what it's worth, I'm powering a pair of Ambience 1800 References with a Pass Labs X 250.5.

They sound great. The crossovers have been replaced and the bass drivers are now not out of phase.

I supplement the bottom end with a set of ported subs running 12" Peerless drivers.

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20 hours ago, Willmax said:

Hey @Ooogh thanks for the detailed review, nothing like a 3 way amp shoot out to keep things interesting.

I'll have to drop by sometime to feel it in the flesh 😉 

Sounds like a winner Willmax, GTG here soon, was awaiting the arrival of an Ayre to do battle but it has had a little problem......very sad.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Pegasus said:

For what it's worth, I'm powering a pair of Ambience 1800 References with a Pass Labs X 250.5.

They sound great. The crossovers have been replaced and the bass drivers are now not out of phase.

I supplement the bottom end with a set of ported subs running 12" Peerless drivers.

You might just be talking my language Pegasus. I have just asked the question where the sweet spot in the Pass Labs range is and I have a feeling you might be sitting right in it. What are the specs on the 250? How far does it push class A before it switches into AB? How hard are you running the speakers before the needle starts to boogie showing the amp is starting to change classes?

 

Sounds like you must being enjoying some bloody good sound mate, I know what I am enjoying and that is a class up, half your luck! 

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1 hour ago, Ooogh said:

You might just be talking my language Pegasus. I have just asked the question where the sweet spot in the Pass Labs range is and I have a feeling you might be sitting right in it. What are the specs on the 250? How far does it push class A before it switches into AB? How hard are you running the speakers before the needle starts to boogie showing the amp is starting to change classes?

 

Sounds like you must being enjoying some bloody good sound mate, I know what I am enjoying and that is a class up, half your luck! 

X250.5 is 15 W Class A. The Ambiences are 96db efficient, so they don't need a lot of power. Tony Moore states 75w per channel maximum.

When the bass driver inductor coil was faulty, I managed to put 768W per channel into a .5ohm resistance through them.

The Pass Labs didn't raise a sweat. In normal use, the power meter barely moves.

I also have a very large pair of SGR passive speakers that appreciate a decent amount of current to drive the 13 inch Focal bass drivers.


Have a look at https://www.queenslandaudio.club/march-2019, https://www.queenslandaudio.club/2017-january and https://www.queenslandaudio.club/2016-janu

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28 minutes ago, Pegasus said:

X250.5 is 15 W Class A. The Ambiences are 96db efficient, so they don't need a lot of power. Tony Moore states 75w per channel maximum.

When the bass driver inductor coil was faulty, I managed to put 768W per channel into a .5ohm resistance through them.

The Pass Labs didn't raise a sweat. In normal use, the power meter barely moves.

I also have a very large pair of SGR passive speakers that appreciate a decent amount of current to drive the 13 inch Focal bass drivers.


Have a look at https://www.queenslandaudio.club/march-2019, https://www.queenslandaudio.club/2017-january and https://www.queenslandaudio.club/2016-janu

Big beast isn’t she. Almost as long as the Ribbons are high! I REALLY want some of that cake!

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3 hours ago, Ooogh said:

Sounds like a winner Willmax, GTG here soon, was awaiting the arrival of an Ayre to do battle but it has had a little problem......very sad.

 

 

Oh sorry to hear about that, hope that's not too bad?!

I'd be happy to throw my Yammy M-2 in the ring, curious how it would fare with the Gales as well given its 240 watts @ 8 ohms output.

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I'll just drop this pic in here if I may -- I found this whilst going through some files, and looks like people on here are mentioning Vfets, and Yamaha and various power amps such as Pass etc, etc. might find this of interest to see the size comparison of these amps. Poor little B-2 squashed between those cubes...:blink:

 

This pic was taken when I was auditioning some speakers a while back - B-2 & MF Pre are mine -- rest not.. 1201719045_withpass1.thumb.JPG.c91fed7a9999e06d9f5a71791f38bc40.JPG

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On 22/07/2019 at 10:13 PM, Willmax said:

Oh sorry to hear about that, hope that's not too bad?!

I'd be happy to throw my Yammy M-2 in the ring, curious how it would fare with the Gales as well given its 240 watts @ 8 ohms output.

Sounds like a winner buddy. Ayre is back in action but depending if the owner gets the thumbs up from the missus it might be off to Melbourne for an update to hot rod status.

 

Gales unfortunately are not here, they reside with @Tony M...checked out a local pair two weeks back that almost ended up with @christosd but just not quite good enough veneers. There is a run on them at the moment!

 

If the Ayre stays in town a weekend catch up will be on the cards.

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On 23/07/2019 at 5:39 PM, The Fez said:

I'll just drop this pic in here if I may -- I found this whilst going through some files, and looks like people on here are mentioning Vfets, and Yamaha and various power amps such as Pass etc, etc. might find this of interest to see the size comparison of these amps. Poor little B-2 squashed between those cubes...:blink:

 

This pic was taken when I was auditioning some speakers a while back - B-2 & MF Pre are mine -- rest not.. 1201719045_withpass1.thumb.JPG.c91fed7a9999e06d9f5a71791f38bc40.JPG

Good grief, what are they ? XA 160 or 200’s? Or even bigger? Better hope there are no cracks in the slab or they could wreck the foundations.

Did you get to have a listen?

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They tell me it's not the size but how you use it that counts :lol:

 

But good grief that poor B2 must be shaking in his boots most likely giving the poor bugger performance anxiety.

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2 hours ago, Ooogh said:

Good grief, what are they ? XA 160 or 200’s? Or even bigger? Better hope there are no cracks in the slab or they could wreck the foundations.

Did you get to have a listen?

These big power amps are Pass X600.5. They woulda been in there to drive some humungus Duntech speakers...

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1 hour ago, The Fez said:

These big power amps are Pass X600.5. They woulda been in there to drive some humungus Duntech speakers...

Good lord, I figure they were probably up to the job, guess you could always grab an X1000 if they felt a little underpowered.

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33D3131F-1F16-4D3C-88EB-799B60C2C0D0.thumb.jpeg.42c80bf8dabbddcd96e6bd39c95b68c0.jpeg4434FD26-5404-4E59-BBEC-A707922AC573.thumb.jpeg.27bb75965c420e33539a41fce64acb23.jpeg8B5D3CDB-2E39-43AB-97F2-1BCBE1AA4C3D.thumb.jpeg.b67a2919413581314a204bb8331e71be.jpeg22398663-2892-4606-8635-BFB03C23A669.thumb.jpeg.e46e66611688650875eb1dbbb42781be.jpeg646D1A39-E7AB-442B-B320-8D205BE86D56.thumb.jpeg.871bf88ceceef9fbfa729972161c6ffc.jpeg42A6B27C-E6D9-4D86-9A07-F47392CADDCA.thumb.jpeg.27aeb5fb31859f677285c1e328f20551.jpegAF0F9452-9499-4FD0-8AE3-72828F65D8B4.thumb.jpeg.653f1c6af3199791efbb1e0385f42a94.jpegSix amps enter, only one can reign supreme. Ampapoloza 3, this time it’s personal

. Audion Silver Night push pull 300B Monoblocks. 20 Watts

M2 Yamaha 240 Watts Class AB

Yamaha B1 V-Fet 150 Watts

Ayre VX-5 150 Watts

Grant G100AS 70 Watts KT 77

PassLabs XA 30.5 30 Watts Class A 132 Watts class AB.

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I'm looking fwd to the outcome. Particularly with respect to the M2...Another amp that I would like to throw into that mix is the Yamaha B-2X.....Enjoy

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