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), Artephonos Energa (power-tube-amp), Peitho 303 (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.
Now after 3/4 year of listening, i am finally ready to write a story/review about my new tube-amp: the "Artephonos Energa". In 1 word it sounds "AMAZING"!
It has all the qualities i was looking for in a good tube-amp. It has a big ambience, it images very well, it has air, it goes deep in bass (even more then my former ss-amp, although with less "slam"), it has authority, it has very good dynamics and finally it has a very neutral tonal balance. Voices are superb.
Listening becomes a kind of dreaming. I am jawdroppingly sucked into the music as never before. And after i finished listening, it is like awakening from that dream and enjoying that i have made such a good choice.
Almost all of my music sounds better then ever before. My speakers (also damn good) have never sounded so well.
This week i want to go listen to new speakers designed/build by the same man, because i still would like a little more deep bass and a bigger sweet spot. After this timeperiod of listening i am ready for that. The Epos although will be a tough competitor, so i am curious what i will hear.
I'll keep you informed!
Now that's what it's all about - good job.
The listening session was yesterday in the afternoon. It was an experience to think about (very positively). I had about everything i wanted, presented in front of me. After a short "getting accustomed to the acoustics of the demoroom" with my Epos, and then changed speakers, i was captured by dynamics, mighty low end (not earthshaking, but the amount i wanted, a wider sweet spot, a nicely balanced sound, and a very open soundstage. Maybe the positioning was a little less good, but i did not want to change speakers again, convinced by the superb alround qualities of this one. The Peitho 303 stole my heart. Now looking for some cash because it is not cheap at all, but certainly not overpriced. Very much approved, this one!
Can you twist your dealers arm for a home dem on those Peithos ?. Nice looking amp by the way. Whats the valve complement , as mateys website is a bit barren with info.
This may or may not help but when I had my tube amplifier I went through a few speakers to find the 'right one'.
One thing I did notice at the time was that paper cones matched better, in my case at least.
Difficult to generalise, as valve amplifiers can sound different to each other, depending on power (and distortion )
Imho, a light, well damped and efficient paper cone (ala Audio Note etc) is/was difficult to better.
It will make most of the important first one or two watts.
Pretty ... and pretty proud of it
I have the epos es11 speakers. I bought them second hand (totally unblemished) I think they are superbly revealing and spacious. I have heard and compared others (including the superb LS50s) . But i would change other components in the hi fi chain before these speakers.
Harmon Kardon cd player - cambridge 840A v2
cheers - tonky
Oooh I bet you did too ,little minx you is .
Indeed , I'm not going to argue with that.
Why did you go back to listening to a box of trannies ?
I wish more peeps on here had the Retheps, lets have a try attitude , regarding valve amplification.
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