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Amp options for Omega / Hoyt Bedfords / sensitive speakers

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Hi everyone,
Im possibly about to pick up some Omega or Hoyt Bedford speakers depending on how this week pans out and to say theres a plethora of choices is an understatement. Im a bit lost. These are high efficiency speakers around 93-97db so id say maybe 5+ watts minimum. The builder Louis recommends 7+ is optimal. I listen to lots of acoustic jazz, rock and hip hop but also complex orchestral passages on occasion. My partner listens to quite a bit of pop and deep house as well and since these are going in the lounge I'd say i need to be able to cover the range.

After having a bit of a look around the internet I'm seen a few options. I've read that Omegas prefer push pulls over SET but thats third hand info. I'm looking at the First Watt J2 (if i can find one), the Trafomatic Aries and am interested in Earle Westons amps. Aesthetically they suit the Omegas and he's got a good reputation here but its hard to see where his amps sit by reading through the forums. Are they competitive with Decware? Audio Note? Are they fast enough and tight enough in the bass for modern electronica? I would like to support local and have support i can trust though, that would be a positive.

As for flavour, I prefer treble air / sparkle and an expansive, holographic soundstage about most other descriptors. Clean and musical bass would be a plus and just a touch warmer than neutral suits me. With that being said, I know full rangers aren't known for their treble extension. Thus an audition this week.

But really I don't know what I'm talking about and ill take any and all suggestions. Less than $2000 would be great, happy to buy used. Could stretch to $2500 if it'll change my life.

 

 

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Hello Alex

 

I have owned both Omegas and Hoyt Bedfords and used a variety of valve and SS amps with them.  If you have the choice, I think you will find that the Omegas deliver better SQ than the Hoyt Bedfords.

 

My experience was that they are not as easy to drive as they might appear.   8wpc 300B amps certainly sound pleasant, but given your musical tastes they would probably not be punchy enough.  I would recommend at least 25wpc push-pull valve or SS class A.  F5 clones come up quite regularly on SNA and can be had for around $1000.  The F5 has a relatively low gain and so needs a ballsy preamp with a gain of 20+dB to get it going.  But the sound is divine.  However it needs at least a half-hour's warm-up to sound its best.

 

I have just taken delivery of a Cymer ST80 (80wpc push-pull).  It is very quiet with a punchy rich sound that would match Omegas/Hoyt Bedfords very well.  As a power amp it is about $2250 delivered, but it can be supplied as an integrated as well. (elson.silva@optusnet.com.au)

 

You should have quite a choice of amps in your price range.  Why not post a WTB ad and see what comes up?

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