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Hi All,

 

I'm wanting to change my speakers and amp, and am looking for some advice.

 

Currently I have a Luxman PD290 TT, Rega Brio amp and a pair of Quad 12L Bookshelf speakers. It's a great system, with good sound, but a bit light on for my ears these days. I'm looking for something that will give me a bigger, warmer sound. I listen to a lot of Soul, Alt Country, Acoustic singer song writter music etc, all on vinyl.

 

I want to keep the turntable, but update the amp and speakers. I'd love some horn speakers and a valve amp, but don't think my budget will stretch that far. And I am happy to buy second hand. Budget would be $1000 each for amp and speakers, give or take. A friend recommended Tannoy Saturn s8 or s10 loudspeakers, but they seem to be few and far between.

 

Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.

 

Cheers, Neil

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Here is a great sounding combo to get you straight in there and within your budget range.


https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sound-Ss-123-Speakers-/283745314661

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1-x-Eric-McChansons-300B-SET-pEar-Amp-Valve-Tube-Stereo-integrated-NEW-/124312352004

 

The 3-way speakers are large 12-inch alnico type woofers, paper-doped midrange drivers and horn tweeters. The 300B SET amp design would complement these speakers very nicely. 👍👍👍

 

Edited by xlr8or
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You could keep an eye out for used options from these two shortlists below and there also many not on that list. For amps you could even find a separate preamp and amp combo that would blow away many integrated amps like a $500 built or $250 kit Stereo Coffee preamp and a very gutsy power amp to match.

 

When you find something come back here for comments.

 

 

And for amps

 

 

 

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I'd focus on speakers first. Try and hear a pair of the Pioneer SP-FS52 for $399 (plus shipping). They look boring as hell but might take you in an interesting direction. More scale and dynamics with good vocal presence. 

 

 

It might be a roll of the dice, but those speakers suggested by @xlr8or look pretty cool. Granted, some audiophile OCD tinkering might be necessary for best performance but various vintage Japanese speakers are being recognised as classics.

 

You haven't mentioned a cartridge but there could be a great value upgrade there, especially if you need a new stylus anyway.

 

 

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On 25/11/2020 at 10:26 PM, Al.M said:

or $250 kit Stereo Coffee preamp

Think they are $325 as a kit these days, or at least that's what they are in the ebay shop, his site has no price shown.

Edited by muon*
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21 hours ago, RCAJack said:

I'd focus on speakers first. Try and hear a pair of the Pioneer SP-FS52 for $399 (plus shipping). They look boring as hell but might take you in an interesting direction. More scale and dynamics with good vocal presence. 

 

 

It might be a roll of the dice, but those speakers suggested by @xlr8or look pretty cool. Granted, some audiophile OCD tinkering might be necessary for best performance but various vintage Japanese speakers are being recognised as classics.

 

You haven't mentioned a cartridge but there could be a great value upgrade there, especially if you need a new stylus anyway.

 

 

Thanks for the tip on the speakers. Regarding cartridge, I installed an Ortofon 2m Blue about 12 months ago. Noticed the change immediately, I had a pretty cheap cartridge before.

On 20/11/2020 at 5:30 PM, tortello77 said:
Price: $1250
Item Condition: Brand new
Shipping Options: Pickup available and you can audition.
Suburb or Town: Coburg North
State: VIC
Payment Method: Cash on Pickup, EFT
Reason for selling: Not needed

Further information: 2 months old, barely broken in. Pickup from Coburg North.

 
Photos:

 

PLEASE READ

  • If you are advertising multiple items, you must post one bulk price only, or post seperate ads for each item
  • If you include any reference to pricing whatsoever in this section (excluding RRP), your ad will not be approved
  • If you don't include photographs of the actual item being sold, your ad will not be approved

20200822_144107.jpg

20200822_144050.jpg

 

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On 25/11/2020 at 9:35 PM, xlr8or said:

Here is a great sounding combo to get you straight in there and within your budget range.


https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sound-Ss-123-Speakers-/283745314661

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1-x-Eric-McChansons-300B-SET-pEar-Amp-Valve-Tube-Stereo-integrated-NEW-/124312352004

 

The 3-way speakers are large 12-inch alnico type woofers, paper-doped midrange drivers and horn tweeters. The 300B SET amp design would complement these speakers very nicely. 👍👍👍

 

 

Hi,

 

thanks for the tips. I like the look of those speakers. If I was closer and could listen to them I'd be there, and I'm almost tempted to buy them on spec! I've put links to three that look interesting and and are closer to me (Brisbane). Any thoughts on these?

 

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/pacific-paradise/speakers/sansui-sp300-classic-horn-speakers-1968-top-of-range-/1262282538

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/loganlea/speakers/leak-600-sandwich-speakers/1262183954

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/windsor/speakers/kef-104-reference-series-vintage-speakers/1261957160

 

 

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21 hours ago, RCAJack said:

I'd focus on speakers first. Try and hear a pair of the Pioneer SP-FS52 for $399 (plus shipping). They look boring as hell but might take you in an interesting direction. More scale and dynamics with good vocal presence. 

 

 

It might be a roll of the dice, but those speakers suggested by @xlr8or look pretty cool. Granted, some audiophile OCD tinkering might be necessary for best performance but various vintage Japanese speakers are being recognised as classics.

 

You haven't mentioned a cartridge but there could be a great value upgrade there, especially if you need a new stylus anyway.

 

 

I couldn't agree more, I also  have a p asir of Pioneer fs52 and they sound really good for the price!! Very natural sounding, good bass and detailed but not fatiguing highs. They are also quite forgiving on amps, but consider they are 87db and 6 ohm, they like current!!

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42 minutes ago, NeilW said:

 

Hi,

 

thanks for the tips. I like the look of those speakers. If I was closer and could listen to them I'd be there, and I'm almost tempted to buy them on spec! I've put links to three that look interesting and and are closer to me (Brisbane). Any thoughts on these?

 

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/pacific-paradise/speakers/sansui-sp300-classic-horn-speakers-1968-top-of-range-/1262282538

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/loganlea/speakers/leak-600-sandwich-speakers/1262183954

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/windsor/speakers/kef-104-reference-series-vintage-speakers/1261957160

 

 

 

Hey Neil - my vote goes to the Sansui SP300's. Please grab these before it's too late. It would be worth checking the condition of the woofer and midrange surrounds before purchasing. 👍

Edited by xlr8or
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1 hour ago, xlr8or said:

@NeilW This valve amp has just come up on fleabay in QLD. Lovely ECL86/EF86 stereo ten ten and old school A&R Melbourne iron magic.

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/vintage-valve-amplifier-/402580447571


The transformers are from Ferguson, another great Aussie manufacturer! PF174 power and OP447/15 outputs (I think). 
 

I do see some possible downsides here: the OP447/15 output transformers appear to be tapped for 3.75 and 15 ohm speakers (see page 2 of this PDF). There was a version of the transformer for 8 and 4 ohm speakers which would suit more of today’s speakers I reckon.
 

Pet peeve: ECL86/6GW8 valves aren’t exactly scarce but with no real substitutes, I wish they were cheaper and more plentiful. 
 

And no phono stage, of course.

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7 hours ago, xlr8or said:

@NeilW This valve amp has just come up on fleabay in QLD. Lovely ECL86/EF86 stereo ten ten and old school A&R Melbourne iron magic.

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/vintage-valve-amplifier-/402580447571

Hi, as a novice with no experience yet of valve amps, is that an amp that I would need to maintain/ fix a lot?

 

I need to do some reading and get an understanding of the different types of tube setups I think. I’ve heard them, and love the sound, but don’t know much about them technically. 
 

On a seperate note I’m about to jump in the car and drive up the coast to listen to those sansui sp300 horn speakers. Fingers crossed. 

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5 hours ago, RCAJack said:


The transformers are from Ferguson, another great Aussie manufacturer! PF174 power and OP447/15 outputs (I think). 
 

I do see some possible downsides here: the OP447/15 output transformers appear to be tapped for 3.75 and 15 ohm speakers (see page 2 of this PDF). There was a version of the transformer for 8 and 4 ohm speakers which would suit more of today’s speakers I reckon.
 

Pet peeve: ECL86/6GW8 valves aren’t exactly scarce but with no real substitutes, I wish they were cheaper and more plentiful. 
 

And no phono stage, of course.

 

You're right about the trannies being Ferguson. I can see them clearly marked on the iPad this morning with my glasses on. 😁

 

There may be the option of an 8 ohm tap available on the OPTs considering the unit was modified for audio use - fingers crossed - check with the seller. If the OP has opted for the Sansui SP300's with a nominal load of 8 ohm then this would be a good match.

 

6GW8 and EF86 valves can be found plenty and cheap locally in mixed auction lots - I see them everywhere. Even the more desirable ones from the 1950's. They were a popular addition to the valve man's arsenal box of replacement valves in the 1960's. What I like particularly about the Stereo Ten Ten is the choice of using a 5AR4/GZ34 rectifier. 👍👍👍

 

The absence of a valve-based phono stage is a valid note. However, I think the OP is also seeking a local second hand SNA, eBay, Gumtree etc find within his budget range.

 

Hope you agree with the validation shared above to go back to the 1960's @RCAJack🤣

Edited by xlr8or
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1 hour ago, NeilW said:

Hi, as a novice with no experience yet of valve amps, is that an amp that I would need to maintain/ fix a lot?

 

I am going to differ and say I don'ytthink this is the best choice for someone new to valves.  I don't think it will have 8 ohm outputs, and also, the way it is constructed will mean high voltages sitting exposed right on top while you are using it..

Edited by aussievintage
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The Sonique 6.5 Floorstanders at $850 in the Classifieds would be my choice of speakers...great foundation plus gives you $1200 for the amp. Solid State or Tube.......flip a coin.

Cheers

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On 27/11/2020 at 10:34 AM, xlr8or said:

 

Hey Neil - my vote goes to the Sansui SP300's. Please grab these before it's too late. It would be worth checking the condition of the woofer and midrange surrounds before purchasing. 👍

Oh sweet jesus, I got the Sansui's. How the hell can a 52 yr old speaker sound so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The detail is incredible, and they are effortless. I listened to some Coltrane when I was testing them, blew me away. I've got them back home and am listening to them just with my Rega Brio amp, and they are still just mind blowing!!!

 

I am one happy purchaser. Thanks xlr8or for the vote on these. Over the moon!!!!!

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1 hour ago, NeilW said:

Oh sweet jesus, I got the Sansui's. How the hell can a 52 yr old speaker sound so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The detail is incredible, and they are effortless. I listened to some Coltrane when I was testing them, blew me away. I've got them back home and am listening to them just with my Rega Brio amp, and they are still just mind blowing!!!

 

I am one happy purchaser. Thanks xlr8or for the vote on these. Over the moon!!!!!

 

I went looking for them today on Gumtree and saw they had sold. I knew someone was travelling to see them but waited here in patience to hear back. 😉

 

Congratulations on this awesome purchase. Please share some photos. 👍

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Rega brio doesn't look much but if it gives you enough power it's going to be hard to find anything noticeable better under $3k.

 

I would only add subwoofer to your system. Best improvement for bookshelf speakers. 

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12 hours ago, aussievintage said:

 

I am going to differ and say I don'ytthink this is the best choice for someone new to valves.  I don't think it will have 8 ohm outputs, and also, the way it is constructed will mean high voltages sitting exposed right on top while you are using it..

 

These are all pertinent points. 👍👍👍. I don't think the 8 ohm is available on this unit to match the OP's recent speaker purchase. Mind you my personal preference is always to use the 16 ohm tap over all other taps but that's just me liking it more than 8 ohm sound on the many valve amps I have come across. I recall 16 and 32 ohm taps being the common loads for many early units. Anything less than 8 ohm and you're better off with SS amplification.

 

A tube cage could be retrofitted to protect against the exposed circuit boards on the top. Again, if you like measuring stuff and don't have young kids and pets around then this is sexy stuff to have exposed. 😁

Edited by xlr8or
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1 hour ago, xlr8or said:

Mind you my personal preference is always to use the 16 ohm tap over all other taps but that's just me liking it more than 8 ohm sound on the many valve amps I have come across. I recall 16 and 32 ohm taps being the common loads for many early units. Anything less than 8 ohm and you're better off with SS amplification.

 

Using the wrong load on a given tap means the load line that the output valves operate on is at a different slope on the valve characteristics graph.  This usually means you will get less power out, and more distortion, assuming the design was correct to begin with.

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9 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

 

Using the wrong load on a given tap means the load line that the output valves operate on is at a different slope on the valve characteristics graph.  This usually means you will get less power out, and more distortion, assuming the design was correct to begin with.

 

Agreed that's the theory but in practice I have measured more power output the higher the tap. Yes - it does break up earlier. I think you'll find valve amplification prefers the highest tap for maximum voltage and minimal current output for best sound from the OPTs. How the speaker behaves to this is what really counts. There are autoformers out there that fool most modern speakers to see 2x to 4x load of their nominal impedance to work with the highest taps on the OPTs.

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Rega Brio is a pretty capable performer and you could retain it. Spend the 2k budget that you have on a Wharfedale Lintons with Stands. It will get the big warm sound that you are looking for. Great for the genres that you like and a good pairing with the Brio.  

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9 hours ago, xlr8or said:

Agreed that's the theory but in practice I have measured more power output the higher the tap. Yes - it does break up earlier. I think you'll find valve amplification prefers the highest tap for maximum voltage and minimal current output for best sound from the OPTs.

 

Can't agree.  I have spent many hours optimising load lines for output valves on a spreadsheet using valve models.  There is definitely an optimum, and higher and lower is worse.

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37 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

 

Can't agree.  I have spent many hours optimising load lines for output valves on a spreadsheet using valve models.  There is definitely an optimum, and higher and lower is worse.

 

I agree with you for primary load from valve to OPT. I might have confused the point. Secondary OPT taps to speaker load was what I was referring to.

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1 hour ago, xlr8or said:

 

I agree with you for primary load from valve to OPT. I might have confused the point. Secondary OPT taps to speaker load was what I was referring to.

 

It's the same thing.  The secondary speaker load is what is reflected back into the primary , according to the turns ratio squared, and constitutes what the valve "sees" as it's load.

 

By using a different tap, you are changing the turns ratio, and hence changing  the impedance seen by the valve

Edited by aussievintage
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1 hour ago, aussievintage said:

 

It's the same thing.  The secondary speaker load is what is reflected back into the primary , according to the turns ratio squared, and constitutes what the valve "sees" as it's load.

 

By using a different tap, you are changing the turns ratio, and hence changing  the impedance seen by the valve

 

Thanks heaps - your reply is most helpful - probably the most helpful one to me to date. 👍👍👍

 

I've totally neglected the reflected load aspect back into the OPT impacting the primary load and valve output. Unfortunately, the brain has been fixated in dealing with the DC internals rather than the AC externals. 🤭🤭🤭

 

What happens in the case of the feedback versus no feedback option. Is the reflected load back in more influential?

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1 hour ago, xlr8or said:

What happens in the case of the feedback versus no feedback option. Is the reflected load back in more influential?

 

In the case of global feedback,  usually from the output tap back to the early gain stages in the amp,   the big thing happening when you change to a higher impedance tap, is you are increasing the negative feedback -  assuming you change the feedback  to the same tap - I initially wrote this comment from the point of view of building the amp, so, if you are just connecting the speakers differently to an an existing amp, there won't be much change.

 

However, the change, if any, due to using negative feedback or not, to the operating conditions of the output valves, will be small.

Edited by aussievintage
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21 hours ago, NeilW said:

Oh sweet jesus, I got the Sansui's. How the hell can a 52 yr old speaker sound so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The detail is incredible, and they are effortless. I listened to some Coltrane when I was testing them, blew me away. I've got them back home and am listening to them just with my Rega Brio amp, and they are still just mind blowing!!!

 

I am one happy purchaser. Thanks xlr8or for the vote on these. Over the moon!!!!!

Neil,

if you can stretch to a phono stage (like a little bear) or a pre amp. I'm going to suggest these wee beauties. They were highly praised when they came out, and I think they would match those Sanui's very well. Local (NZ) trade site. VTL tiny triode 25's. They've been on there a couple of times

https://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=2874623515

 

In fact, just looked again, they come WITH a pre amp. But, you'd still need a phono stage.

Edited by Graywulf
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@NeilW, well done Neil, keep the Brio and enjoy what you have sound wise for some time before venturing to your next upgrade, you may need to spend lots to get a reasonable improvement in sound per dollar, buy more LP's

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@NeilW These KT88 tube-based monoblocks are better suited to your SP300's. They are the only local ones I can find. You may want to give them a listen. 😁

 

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/bundall/stereo-systems/kt88-mono-block-audio-power-amplifiers-2pc/1257328927

Edited by xlr8or
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