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Al.M

Difference among good solid state amps regardless of price and build

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In reply to March Audio. 

What’s new is old again and defined by the market.... all in one box systems are over half a century old, but there will always be a market for us. - music lovers that will spend a bit extra in the chase for better sound.

the thrill of the chase, the talk, the discussions  and the arguments, all men and (some woman) make similar treks across different things...cars, art , music, hifi, etc....see the pattern? 

Edited by vassp1503562426
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4 minutes ago, vassp1503562426 said:

....see the pattern? 

 

Not really.

People like what they like and use whatever it is that makes them happy and engaged with the music. Why should we judge further or demand DBTs?:hyper:

Edited by rantan

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9 minutes ago, rantan said:

 

Not really.

People like what they like and use whatever it is that makes them happy and engaged with the music. Why should we judge further or demand DBTs?:hyper:

No judgment here, it’s ok to like something and stick to your guns, 

people shoulnt judge us unfortunately it’s part of human nature, so is talking crap about things they like whether it be cars, bikes, boats , hifi......there is your pattern. 

Edited by vassp1503562426

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1 minute ago, vassp1503562426 said:

No judgment here, it’s ok to like something and stack to your guns, 

people shoulnt judge us unfortunately it’s part of human nature, so is talking crap about things they like weather it be cars, bikes, boats , hifi......there is your pattern. 

My apologies.

I think I might agree with you but I am not sure.

 I cannot decipher the meaning of your post so could you please express it in another way?

 

No offence intended.

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1 minute ago, rantan said:

My apologies.

I think I might agree with you but I am not sure.

 I cannot decipher the meaning of your post so could you please express it in another way?

 

No offence intended.

Men like to discuss about topics they’re interested in,. Hifi is no different to boats, cars and music. The thrill of the chase is half the fun. Enjoy the ride. 

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1 hour ago, vassp1503562426 said:

In reply to March Audio. 

What’s new is old again and defined by the market.... all in one box systems are over half a century old, but there will always be a market for us. - music lovers that will spend a bit extra in the chase for better sound.

the thrill of the chase, the talk, the discussions  and the arguments, all men and (some woman) make similar treks across different things...cars, art , music, hifi, etc....see the pattern? 

 

I never suggested anything else. :)

Edited by March Audio

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Actually, in response to the original post, you don't necessarily get a return on an increase in price at all.  That's why people like me keep saying listen before you buy.

 

It is entirely possible that you could go from one amp that you quite like to another amp that you won't enjoy at all at twice the price.  

For example I very much enjoyed the Luxman L507u but didn't really like the L590 II as such.  The L590 II retailed at about $12K and the L507u for less than $8K, if I had to choose I'd definitely be taking the cheaper Luxman.

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On Vincent amps, I'm currently enjoying the SV-237 integrated. Still in trial mode but have to say it certainly doesn't sound flat or lifeless and there is excellent synergy with my Halcro disc player, in fact it's the best I've heard the Halcro sound so far.

 

Still getting to know it and tube rolling is on the cards down the track but so far so good and it didn't cost a bomb. :)

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20 hours ago, rantan said:

Why should we judge further or demand DBTs?:hyper:

Why should "we" not?

 

To put it another way do you think "we" should do away with all other testing (e.g. school, university, driving, flying, medical etc.) ?

What makes "we" audiophiles so special and precious to get let off the hook?

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  • Ooogh
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Good grief, what an absolute BRUTE of an amp! This thing reminds me of watching George Foreman working the heavy bag when he was undefeated. It just wants to break things in half. Me, my speakers, the house.....

 

The bass is prodigious, heavy ,deep. Stuff is rattling around here. Real thump. What it would do on the end of a pair of 12 or 18” drivers I hate to think. Not all the detail, overtones and stuff others produce but pure rock ‘n roll weight. Not one note I hasten to add, just not all the Audiophile filigree.

 

Not at all grainy ,hard or sharp. It also doesn’t fall over itself when things get complex, it hides detail in those situations but doesn’t become a mess, just deals with the meat and gravy while ignoring the chopped parsley. Mids and treble don’t ‘glow’ but again it gives you the story, it thrusts it on you. It doesn’t explode stuff at you, again it is a heavy weight that just breaks your jaw with a hook instead of jabbing you three times on the cheek.

 

It lacks the tonal complexity of the Pass Labs but where you listen to the nuisances of the snare with Counting Crows on the Pass it just smacks a snare hard in the living room.

 

Those 60 Class A Watts sound like four times the power the PassLabs rather than two. Switching to class A/B things are not as good. The sound thins out, looses the sheer weight. No lack of juice in Class A with my speakers however, I fear I would fry my ribbons, ears or mind before it gave up.

 

Given the price point Vincent sell this amplifier at it is remarkable value. Anyone tired of insipid sound and a lack of bottom end should do themselves a favour. Personally I think Vincent should produce a pure Class A 60 to 100 Watt amp at the same price. Do away with the ultimate power of the A/B section and invest those funds into refining what they have already achieved. I think that would be a very distinct amplifier that would find a lot of friends.

 

Need to spend some time in the garden, I feel like I just got beat up by something three weight divisions above me.

 

Meze Audio 970x250

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And here's a different perspective above on the Vincent SP-994. I hope Ooogh doesn't mind me Copy & Pasting this. For the OP's benefit it show's how in different Set-up's and personal tastes how different perspectives can be.

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@TerryO & @Cafad got it right with regards to synergy. I've heard Power Amps sound very average in the wrong set-up and yet sound very good when set up well.

 

The reason I posted @Ooogh impression of the Vincent SP-994 was to illustrate how an Amp can work for one person and not another.

 

Personally I've been a bit ambivalent about the SP-994. One of the reasons is I have the big SP-998 Mono's which punch miles above their price point. Being similarly Specced I was hoping the 994 would produce similar results, but it's a different sounding Beast.

 

But here's where the synergy comes in. I replaced another Power Amp which has only single Speaker outs, with the SP-994 into my Revel Ultima Studios. I just put the same Bi-wire Speaker Cables in (which I'd never tried with it before). Wow! What a difference the Cables made! These helped smooth and refine the Sound. So in the right Set-up the big 994 can sound very good indeed. But it is fussy, it's a "Big Rock" Amp (Melvins, Monster Magnet etc. kick ass) it needs Big Sounding Speakers which sound better with lot's of Current, good quality Tubes from Source and now as I've found, the Right speaker Cables. It's really Solid State Sounding and will not suit a Tube only person, and definitely not for "easy listening" music. In fact the SA-94 has also displayed a similar "fussiness". Set up "Right" it sounds very good, but because it's so fast and revealing it can Sound pretty ordinary in the wrong set-up. Another eg. is the Doge 8 Pre. which always Sounded "fatiguing" to me, but when matched with my upgraded Benchmark Plexus Power Amp, which is quite refined and laid back, sounds pretty good.

 

So to the OP some Amps may work in your set up some might not.

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Thanks for the write up Wayne and the different perspective on the 994 and yes as we have discussed many times it’s all about synergy and what works in one system won’t always in another and vice versa.

Talking about big powerful monster amps Cafad and I will be trying out and comparing one of the new Herschel HAL350 amps this weekend to the Technical Brain TB-Zero, the PrimaLuna/Supercharger combo and the impressive Mystere pre, Icon mono block combo.

 

Now that should prove an interesting session. I’ll give you a call a bit later at a more reasonable hour, I’m guessing you will be working this weekend but if your not you could always jump on a plane and come up, if it helps we have over 40 bottles of Shiraz and 5 cases of Asahi left over after the wedding that need to be consumed. ... :winky:

 

Talk soon.

 

cheers Terry

Edited by TerryO

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4 minutes ago, TerryO said:

Thanks for the write up Wayne and the different perspective on the 994 and yes as we have discussed many times it’s all about synergy and what works in one system won’t always in another and vice versa.

Talking about big powerful monster amps Cafad and I will be trying out and comparing one of the new Hershel amps this weekend to the Technical Brain, the PrimaLuna/Supercharger combo and the impressive Mystere pre, Icon mono block combo.

 

Now that should prove interesting, I’ll give you a call a bit later at a more reasonable hour.

 

cheers Terry

Can’t wait to hear about your findings Terry, I’m thinking of a Primaluna pre and Parasound combo myself. 

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5 hours ago, TerryO said:

Thanks for the write up Wayne and the different perspective on the 994 and yes as we have discussed many times it’s all about synergy and what works in one system won’t always in another and vice versa.

Talking about big powerful monster amps Cafad and I will be trying out and comparing one of the new Herschel HAL350 amps this weekend to the Technical Brain TB-Zero, the PrimaLuna/Supercharger combo and the impressive Mystere pre, Icon mono block combo.

 

Now that should prove an interesting session. I’ll give you a call a bit later at a more reasonable hour, I’m guessing you will be working this weekend but if your not you could always jump on a plane and come up, if it helps we have over 40 bottles of Shiraz and 5 cases of Asahi left over after the wedding that need to be consumed. ... :winky:

 

Talk soon.

 

cheers Terry

Yes Tezza, big weekend of work starting Tonight, Tomorrow and Sunday. That big Heschl should be an Awesome experience! Can't wait to get a report on your findings. No doubt all the different Amp set-ups will have their own Signature, and that's what I love about this "hobby". There's no absolute  "Right" or "Wrong".

 

Enjoy!

 

 

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On 08/10/2019 at 2:02 PM, lemarquis said:

On Vincent amps, I'm currently enjoying the SV-237 integrated. Still in trial mode but have to say it certainly doesn't sound flat or lifeless and there is excellent synergy with my Halcro disc player, in fact it's the best I've heard the Halcro sound so far.

 

Still getting to know it and tube rolling is on the cards down the track but so far so good and it didn't cost a bomb. :)

Nice to hear. None of the Vincent Products I've heard Sound remotely "Flat and Lifeless" either. I find that description of them to be the complete opposite of what I experience. Very strange.

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6 hours ago, initforthemusic said:

There's no absolute  "Right" or "Wrong".

@initforthemusic

Great to see people sticking up for their favourite flavour of amps. Passionate lot aren't we.

As for me I can't really comment on the high end of the amp world, sadly on a beer budget with a bourbon thirst.

I can say the Vincent amps have pleased me with a rock and roll head and the volume usually loud. I can only dream about the hi end stuff and am sure everything jumps up in sound when there is plenty of play money.. Seeing as this thread is about regardless of price and build of amps, I have to say the Vincent amp range is good value and hold their own in the price bracket, mabey even more.

Rob  

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I’ve always moved ‘up’ with amps:

 

Sony 2400

 

Roksan Caspian M2 stereo

 

Sanders Magtech Stereo

 

Longdog Audio p6

 

This is in terms of performance, weight and cost; I’m not saying bigger and more expensive is always better, but so far on my journey I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the increased benefits of improved amplification.

 

The P6 monoblocks are some of the best amps I’ve heard at any price and unless I come into serious money, they won’t be replaced (I’ve got the schematics and lots of spare transistors for them). I would consider fettling them in the future though.

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Took forever to find an Amp to sing with Dynaudio Contours and my Tannoys.

 

Aways sounded like a blanket was placed over the speakers.

 

Then one day auditioned a Class A Treshold - old Nelson Pass era.

The T 200 amp { 100 watts class A } made both speakers come to life in a way never encountered before.

 

Having tried numerous solid state class ABs monsters and Class D gear over a 6 year period including 

Big Rotel, Perraux, some Adcom 350 watt welding machine, Musical fidelity KW550 , Bryston 4 bsst, Balanced Audio Technology etc

 

Will never sell this piece of fine audio equipment. The sheer authority and air it gives made for example the Class D Bel Canto Reference 1000 watters sound like a plain 30 watt amp in comparison. 

 

Had the same experience on valve amps, stumbled across a Single ended Class A Valve amp for some 96db efficient ribbon hybrid speakers, results were also just magical and with additional goosebumps { Supratek Merlot monoblocks }.

Trial+error=synergy

649142033_thumb_09acc12c4d753dbab06dd979755dc93e.jpg

Edited by La scala

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5 minutes ago, La scala said:

Took forever to find an Amp to sing with Dynaudio Contours and my Tannoys.

 

Aways sounded like a blanket was placed over the speakers.

 

Then one day auditioned a Class A Treshold - old Nelson Pass era.

The T 100 amp { 100 watts class A } made both speakers come to life in a way never encountered before.

 

Having tried numerous solid state class ABs monsters and Class D gear over a 6 year period including 

Big Rotel, Perraux, some Adcom 350 watt welding machine, Musical fidelity KW550 , Bryston 4 bsst, Balanced Audio Technology etc

 

Will never sell this piece of fine audio equipment. The sheer authority and air it gives made for example the Class D Bel Canto Reference 1000 watters sound like a plain 30 watt amp in comparison. 

 

Had the same experience on valve amps, stumbled across a Single ended Class A Valve amp for some 96db efficient ribbon hybrid speakers, results were also just magical and with additional goosebumps { Supratek Merlot monoblocks }.

Trial+error=synergy

649142033_thumb_09acc12c4d753dbab06dd979755dc93e.jpg

Very interesting La Scala.  What did the Treshold bring to the party that the big Bryston wasn’t delivering? I am guessing your Ribbons we’re Ambience Reference by the specs. Did you try the Bryston and Treshold with them?

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9 hours ago, Ooogh said:

Class A Treshold

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.

 

 

Edited by Al.M

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I had to cut the rest of my reply short as I had just boarded a plane.

 

My real answer to the OP’s question is that as I’ve moved up the amplification ladder, I’ve experienced several improvements: lower noise floor (more detail appears without sounding hyper detailed, it’s just there, instead of missing / being thrown at you), more power (please don’t equate raw watts with power here, there’s more to it than this, massive current delivery adds to authority, grip and bass clarity also), a sense of effortlessness with the entire frequency range (this really came to the fore when I moved to monoblocks) and coherence, this last one is hard to articulate and could be a result of all of the above, but the music just sounds right and there’s no ‘effort’ involved in listening now.

 

I’m probably preaching to the converted here, but to get the most out of your system as a whole, know what you’re looking for in the first place, do your homework and support your components with... good components!

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22 hours ago, Al.M said:

Did you mean Threshold amp, which model?

It’s a T 200  it’s runs very hot and not much fun lugging around. Miss that Simply Hi Fi shop in Subiaco, was ideal to borrow gear and cables etc to audition at home. Perth is now Simply stripped away with shop selection. gfc impacted hard here. Never heard anything impressive there when it comes to high end speakers like Big Wilson with the watchdog and numerous other huge $$ stuff,   except some BG Radia Ribbons. Maybe cause I was a ELS Stat aholic back then.

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 Janis, Accuphase, Krell machinery and  Plinius should have been well sorted amps.

 

IPerhaps a big Passlabs X350 or similar may be worth a try at the right used price. Any recommendations along these lines would be great.

Would only go for  the Pass XA class A amps.  Or any decent pure class A design, be it an old Gryphon, Krell etc 

Once was impressed with Meridian and Linn amps many moons ago on hungry Dynaudios. 

TBO I don’t really gel with much SS amps anymore, too direct - in your face - analytical ruthless - somewhat fatigue ing and lack somewhat musically.  Thank goodness for Valves. 

You know when real synergy locks on in your system, music can then raise goosebumps. 

Cheers V 

 

Edited by La scala

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On 14/10/2019 at 1:38 PM, Ooogh said:

Very interesting La Scala.  What did the Treshold bring to the party that the big Bryston wasn’t delivering? I am guessing your Ribbons we’re Ambience Reference by the specs. Did you try the Bryston and Treshold with them?

Yes did use them both on the ambience speakers, these things are so efficient and well sorted that even a basic amp will make them sing. The threshold made them too revealing and was permanently listening at concert levels cause you could - no fatigue with ribbons,  but Valves rock on these fine speakers.

Found in general efficient speakers don’t gel as well with solid state gear. Valves can give goosebumps with the Ambiences..

So this applies to conventional quality cone speakers

IMO the Bryston, although a very good rig did not offer anything unique such as the Treshold T200

 

It was a joy to discover something so different with the sound of this amp,  giving

 

smoothness with totally undiscovered detail and actual air to the treble 

midrange voicing very organic  also more detailed more speed / decay and clarity 

low to mid bass dynamics were off the chart, so much drive with uncanny control

bass definition really stood out 

whisper volume was just as full bodied as flat out,  sonic evenness regardless of gain

general improvements to sound staging, imaging and the speaker disappearing act etc

 

Yes very different indeed, really wonder why so little pure class A amps are available or on the market place. 

 

 

 

 

07647E19-439D-4BC9-AF0A-FB7327F074CD.jpeg

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F6BB8A19-54C4-47D5-BF33-97FFA420953D.jpeg

Edited by La scala

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On 07/10/2019 at 9:49 AM, Cafad said:

And yet, due to the whole synergy issue, in my system the Technical Brain sounded a bit different but nothing special. 

At my place it's ho-hum, at Terry's place it's astounding.  

 

That's the difference a different room and different speakers can make (same source, same interconnects, similar speaker cables).

...so where can one get one of these Technical Brain offerings...

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