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Tube amplifier and choice of loudspeakers

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by drtube, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. drtube

    drtube
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    Hi,

    which Speakers shoule be selected for a Vaccum tube amplifier

    amp: push pull, 40Watt stereo.


    thanks
     
  2. 2morex

    2morex
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    I, too, am interested in a good match for tubes. I hear that the Ruarks are magical with tube integrates. If anyone else has any information I'd love to hear it as well. I am currently using a pair of AE aesprit 300s and as long as you do not push them too hard they sound really nice for their cost. I have contemplated the aelite 2 which is supposed to be a big improvement but like you cannot get any opinions.
     
  3. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Would always suggest a look at Triangle- the Titus, Comete and Antal are sensitive and quite lean sounding which allows them to show off the best traits of a valve amp without the usual drawabacks- slow bass and (often) a lumpy lower mid.
     
  4. THERMOACC

    THERMOACC
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    I have always been a fan of valve amps and have built a few over the years!
    From transformer coupled,single ended 300b`s to EL34 push/pull designes. All sound wonderfull when given the correct source and loudspeaker.
    I have two push/pull amps, the most used is a very heavily tuned copy of the Mullard 4-20 (4-valve, 20W, EL34`s).
    I have found that push pull amps favor speakers that have a very controlled bass and a slightly lifted high freq responce.I have always used home built transmission-line loudspeakers with p/p amps as they give larger scope for the tuning of low to mid bass......I do go on!!!
    As a last quote I have tried the speakers from my a/v setup, a pair of B+W 704`s on the Mullard copy and although they give good high and mid performance, the bass tends to lag behind and the definition is lost.
    Tube amps like careful pampering to sound at their best and all have very defined sonic signatures depending on their design and components used.
    Start tweaking loudspeakers (crossover,volume,ballast,....build some!!) and valves produce the most wonderfull sound!!!!!! :)
     
  5. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Hi...welcome to the forums.....a 40W tubed amp will cope with even relatively inefficient speakers pretty well.

    Like a few of the other contributors,I've owned a number of tubed amps previously,and currently have a pair of Quad IIs and 300b monoblocs.
    one thing that you will find is tat there can be an enormous variation in sound between different amps.....which are you currently using,as this may well have a bearing on your final choice of speakers.

    Push-pull amps are much less affected by impedance swings as regards the speakers also,which again gives you a wider choice than may be open to those with single ended amps.

    Essentially,look for speakers with reasonably smooth impedance curves,and no dips to very low values,as even with 4 ohm taps on your output transformers,this will result in loss of damping at low frequencies....good matching of output transformer and speaker impedance is if not crucial,then certainly very important.

    Be prepared to try as many makes as possible in your given price range(again,what did you have in mind?).

    With the amps I've used previously,i've used speakers from Linn,and B&W,neither of which would be classed as easy loads,but have worked very well.
     
  6. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Canton CD1's seem to be the best!!!

    Seriously though a rather open ended question - How big is the room?, How flexible is the budget?, What are your 'Reference' points and do they have to Fit with an existing room decor or not?

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  7. G a f f e r

    G a f f e r
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    I also have a 40W EL-34 push-pull valve amp.

    My speakers are Quad 12L's
    They really sing with this combo, especially after upgrading my cd player.

    The Quads have a sharp roll-off below 50Hz but are very flat tonally up to about 2000Hz (whereon they have a gradual roll-off from then).
    So if you want really deep bass extension, try adding a passive sub that kicks in below 50Hz or go for floorstanders

    The speakers tend to like mid-range, which is where our EL-34 valves tend to excel, so they're a good match.

    However, it does depend on what you listen to (although i feel my system works well with anything i throw at it).
    The problem with demo-ing is that very few shops sell valve amps, and those that do have their cheapest speakers starting at £2000 or so. There's no substitute for a good listen.....here are a few others which will sound good at various proces:
    PMC FB1 £1200 (floor)
    Totem Arro £875 (floor)
    B&W nautilus 805 £800 (stand)
    Quad 12L £500 (stand)
     
  8. rOAdeh

    rOAdeh
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    Gaffer74,

    my Quad11Ls are relatively insensitive (86db/m iirc) and i assume this is a trait carried on through with the 12Ls, i was always under the impression that only sensitive speakers (>90db/m) should be used with valve amps. Do you find the amp's volume a limitation? I am quite interested to see what valve amps sound like and due to the neutrality of the quad's they seemed like good speakers to test with..
     
  9. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    These would appear to be pretty difficult loads for the amp described (I'm assuming its 40wpc, not 20wpc?).

    I'd recommend some of the larger standmounts like the B&W 602 (90dB) or Focal 707S (92dB). They have high efficiency, sound great with all sorts of music and are very affordable (<£400).

    They are big brutes though and need plenty of space to breathe.

    I'm using a 30wpc 6L6 amp with my Focal 706's (90dB), and it drives them very loud indeed!

    If you have the money, floostanders from Living Voice have high efficiency and a great reputation with valve users. They start at £1700 though :( .

    As Tons says, the Triangle's should be a good match. Although I don't know many dealers who carry them. Certainly never seen them anywhere in London.

    DT
     
  10. SKA.face

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    I would also consider, Sonus Faber-Concertino homes,Pro -Acs,Spendor,and as suggested,Triangle.
     
  11. fama

    fama
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    I am using Cayin mt12 (12w)with Quad 11L and no problems
    with volume
     
  12. G a f f e r

    G a f f e r
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    My Quad 12L's have no problems being driven by my valve amp. The amp is 40Wpc push-pull (capable of driving 4 to 8 Ohms loads) and the speakers are 6ohm impedance, with sensitivity of 88dB.

    Again, my valve amp has no difficulty driving these speakers with any music at any volume. In fact, sitting 8 feet away, I get 75dB spl with the amp only at the 9'0clock setting. I haven't gone over half way on the volume because my ears start bleeding long before then with the spl level. :eek:
    In short: the valve amp is capable of driving my speakers effortlessly at all volumes

    (this is without the passive sub hooked up. With it, it goes louder (at 10'oclock, i'm way past 85dB SPL and going on to 90----yes I have hosted a few parties :D with this valve amp) even with the overall speaker load dipping to around 4 ohms)

    Alexs2 sums up what to look for quite well in the post above, generally you don't get the distortion you may at high volumes with transistor based amps, and get a smoother sweeter sound into the bargain (that you can enjoy at low levels too) :smashin:
    ...so don't limit yourself to what you listen to as most speakers are driven very well indeed (your ears are the best judge of all, so get some good demo sessions in :) )
     
  13. 2morex

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    I just hooked up a pair of Ruark prologue 2s to my 50 watt el34 based integrated and all I can say is WOW :thumbsup: . These things are not even broken in and they are wonderful, they simiply disappear. Do yourself the biggest favor, a go listen to the Ruarks. You will not be disappointed. :D
     

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