My advice would be....not to move away from Tubes unless for something like a Sugden IA-4, Pathos Ethos or possibly a Lavardin.
The Electro is one of the best AB amps, but imo doesn't really sound like a Tube amp....but worth a listen with the LS50.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
This listening has been done. Tube-amp was the "Artephonos", a selfdesign by a former electronicsengineer with experience in (Philips) audio. It's price was (un)fortunately high, some 4.500 euro's, compared to 3.750 GBP. Ascociated equipment: My Epos ES-11 and Cayin CD50 cd-player.
The difference didn't seem so big in the beginning but after a while i was aware of more soundspace, real air in the sound, and less blooming, but (it seemed) lesser in total, bass then my Cayin amp. The bass was stronger articulated. And again i was impressed by the speakers! As was my host.
After listening home again, the next day, for the first time i am aware of the more digital (bit edgy) sound of my Airport Express DAC. It seems i have to work on that too.
Now i am considering
- Buy this Artephonos and buy bigger Epos speakers with more bass
- Buy an Electrocompaniet (gives a tubelike sound with power ?!) and Kef's LS 50 or leave the Epos or bigger (new) Epos.
- Buy a Creek Destiny 2 (power) and Kef's LS 50's or leave the Epos or bigger (new) Epos.
Any advice is appreciated!
Which Electrocompaniet amp are you interested in trying?
I demoed the EC5 MKii
earlier in the year...
a lovely amp, but didn't quite hit the heights of the Sugden. However, an Electrocompaniet pre/power would be a different story.
Which other sources are you thinking of trying?
Accuphase E350 amp, Electrocompaniet EMC1UP CDP, Siltech 25th Classic anniversary 330I XLR Harbeth Super HL5 on Sound Anchor Quod ELS63 stands, Chord Odessey2 speaker cable. Grado SR60 headphones.
I quess KEF think Electrocompaniet amps are a good match because they use them to develop and test their speakers at the Maidstone factory
To be honest I would say the Electrocompaniet EC13 integrated amp would be a perfect match , it is capable of hanging performers in 3 dimensional free space in a similar way to a good valve amp and it preserves the leading edge and decay of the notes very well and this is balanced with wonderfully textured and natural powerful bass that never gets distorted no mater how complex or dynamic the music gets .
The EC13 sounds more natural and open than the EC15 mk2 to me and it is cheaper too so a double bonus
If you wanted to go to a pre- power set up I would go straight to the EC 4.7 pre amp and AW 180 monoblocks or the AW 250 stereo power amp but this is a large jump up in price and performance .
Unfortunately even thought they are still very good the ECI5 MK2 and the new version of my power amp the AW 2X120 -M have been changed to be more AV oriented and have lost some of the Electrocompaniet magic in my opinion so this is why I recommend the models that I have .
A second hand EC1 5 MK1 would be another alternative that I would highly recommend or indeed the older AW120 DMB power amp that I use , but unfortunately they don't come up for sale very often .
As always give them a listen and see if they do what you want
Electrocompaniet EMC1UP Cd player , EC 4.7 pre , AW120 DMB power amp , PMC PB1i speakers . Isotek Titan / Nova , Nordost SPM speaker cable , Kimber KCAG balanced interconnects .
Linn LP12 Lingo , Ittok lv3 , Lyra Lydian , EAR834P .
"Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler." Albert Einstein .
You Electrocompaniet freak
All the best
Rick @ Musicraft
Musicraft (Derby), Specialist Hi-Fi/AV & Multimedia Dealer
good accurate audio monitoring and good sound reproduction to all
Thanks so far guys! The search will be continued. I'm not in a hurry.
In the meantime more advice is appreciated.
Which (cheap) DAC could tame the digital sound a bit ? No blooming bass or too much softening of the sound of course! I use an increasing amount of 256k AAC's from iTunes (because i don't want to buy complete cd's, as i usually buy only a few songs of the cd), but most still are Apple lossless.
Airport Express (still analog)/Meridian 206B (cd-player), Artephonos Energa (power-tube-amp), Epos ES-11 (speakers). Panasonic TX-P42G30 (tv).
Musical Fidelity V-Dac (old version is cheaper, but not quite as good).
The HRT streamer is a super piece of kit, in case it would suit.
Today i decided to have this "Artephonos" tube-amp. It costs a lot but i will never again be looking for a better tube-amp, not in this life. I will be buying better, bigger speakers too in a while. It could very well be from the same builder as my tube-amp. I'll keep you guys informed about further listening. The amp will be personally build by my supplier, and be ready in 6 weeks.
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