Any chance of getting a listen to some Harbeths PP?
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.
Hmm now that really is the big question.
JRiver MC17 -> Cambridge Audio DACmagic+ -> Roksan Caspian M2 -> ProAc D18
However, its achilles heel is female vocals like Adele, Joss Stone or Simon & Garfunkel (remastered), Beatles (remastered) and it sounds a little cold.
Interesting, because that is probably the standout strength of my class D amplification... maybe you want it to sound more like a class D amp...or just start to casually audition more speakers to see whether they bring you what you are looking for
Observe the signature in its natural habitat.
According to Harbeth's list of dealers only Guildford Audio in my area. May call and ask a lot of questions later.
Amp: Leema Pulse; Source: Naim CD5i-2, Denon 260MKII, Pro-ject XP I; Speakers: PMC TB2i
Formerly known as plastic penguin
Class A amps are supposed to be warm, revealing and detailed, so perhaps a switch to a speaker with those characteristics? I'm sure there are many forum members who would be able to suggest suitable alternatives - Harbeth for example, has already been mentioned. I'd add one from left field - US maker Joseph Audio's Pulsar speaker is as warm and detailed as they get. If they are available in the UK, they might be worth a listen.
Alternatively, perhaps some mains treatment (if you don't already have any) such as PS Audio's Perfect Wave PS10 might help. Good luck!
PS I do use a class A amp - the Accuphase E-560.
Class A, B XYZ!!! . . . In all my years, it has never been a consideration, maybe that because I have always been a valve man . . . the bottom line has always been, what does the sound do for me? PP, you are looking at the greener grass over the fence . . . some of your music is to your liking, some not so good, may I respectfully suggest its the sours/material and treatment there of? You seem to me to be going around in circles rather than accepting that there are differences that cannot be resolved easily.
You note in your signature, "loads of cable" . . . why not back track, you might find a combination that is more to your liking and dont ignore the cheap stuff! Check through your system, the little points, cable connections etc., by the way, I believe . . . 'I know' cable can be direction, keep this in mind. I was getting unhappy with my sound a couple of weeks ago, worked through all connections and variables, finally found one of the speaker stand floor spikes was not grounded properly, all is now sweetness and light.
Reading these pages, it seems to me, often, a good sound is found, but there is always an itch . . . trying to scratch that itch throws everything off. The road back seems hard to find for some?
Dont bother with the music that is not engineered to your liking . . . I do this all the time with my preferred digital source, dip toe in, no, not my type of music, or, I dont remember it like that, move on quickly.
Many people say that class A amps sound warmer than other type of amps but this has not been my experience , it might just be a psychological effect because class A amps are warm or hot to the touch
Also I think people mistake the effects of class B crossover distortion as brightness or a cold sound so when they hear a class A or high bias class AB amplifier and it sounds smooth and detailed without any harsh grainy distortion the sound appears warmer or more ear friendly for want of a better description .
Changing speakers for others with a rolled off top or recessed mid can lessen some of the bad effects of class B crossover distortion but never eliminate it and only leads to frustration and disappointment in the long term IMO .
The only way to get that class A crossover distortion free sound is with a well designed class A or high bias class AB amplifier , this is why people like myself and CNO are constantly recommending these types of amplifier .
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 .
No I'm not chasing my tail. As we're all hi-fi nuts, it's good explore (other) possibilities. In the main I am very happy with my set-up - this thread has confirmed, mainly, that my system's weak link is the speakers. Like all of us - or most anyway - I'm trying to push the very feasible limits of my kit, and discovering how far one can manipulate the presentation.
Can't really ever seeing myself buying a valve or a Class A amp... just not practical: They tend to use more electricity than the average SS amp, proned to overheating (my amp is used between 4-6 hours most days), and I think those reasons are more of a compromise than my one or two current issues.
No doubt once I have the money then the RS6s will be history. As I mentioned from day one, over two years ago when I purchased the Leema, it'll act as a catalyst or hub in which my whole system will be built around. The Pulse has too many strengths to discard...
Changing speakers for others with a rolled off top or recessed mid can lessen some of the bad effects of class B crossover distortion but never eliminate it and only leads to frustration and disappointment in the long term IMO . .
Yes, I've found that PMC 'i' range has a slightly recessed midband, in comparison with the MAs, likewise Totems. In fact I find the Totem Arros slightly smoother than PMCs...
'Tail chasing' . . . a personal view looking from the 'outside in' . . . seems to be a problem associated with the; . . . "hifi nut"? In the old days, we used to go round and round, in danger of disappearing down the 7mm hole in the middle Now a little older and wiser, one has learned . . . set a goal, work towards it, achieving satisfaction on reaching the goal, but the 'goal' has to be clearly defined.
" . . . The Pulse has too many strengths to discard . . . " I'm certainly not saying dump the system or that it is poor, far from it, I suggested 'back track' on what you have in stock. I found this very rewarding last year, saved me money and frustration, giving surprise and pleasure on more than one occasion with subtleties I had missed . . .
As for valves overheating . . . thats a misconception I have heard many times . . . by their nature of operation, they 'look and get warm', drive them hard they get very warm . . . some more than others? . . . I have never had problems with 'overheating' . . . I've seen capacitors and resistors 'burn out' in 'solid state' circuits!
However, all that said . . . if one wants the best, one has to grasp the nettle, some times at a cost . . . ??????
I think you have muddied the waters a bit here by talking about Class A and Class B amplifiers. What you are hearing may be crossover distortion but I kinda doubt it. That's not to say that it doesn't exist, it is inherent in Class B amplifiers, but with modern amplifier design it's going to be a small factor and I'm not sure it would produce the results you describe anyway. What is certain is that if it is crossover distortion and you can't stand the effect then you are going to have to change the amp because trying to compensate for it will actually make things worse.
I think you are going to have fun trying to sort this out though!
PS WRT Adele the recording of "21" is to my mind (ears) very harsh and metallic (I suspect it has been compressed to make it sound good on cheap equipment) and I would never judge a hifi on the basis of how it sounded. In some ways it sounds better on my car's CD player than on my hifi!
What other female voices does it struggle with?
Depending on your musical taste, (even cheap) valve-amps give you qualities an (even expensive, whatever class) ss-amp can only dream of! Only the bass is a different story. Even cheap ss-amps give you stronger bass than expensive valve-amps. So, if your main interest is loud and/or rythmic popmusic, look elsewhere. Otherwise, depending on the importance of your energy-bill, a valve-amp will be the best choice imo.
Airport Express (still analog), Artephonos Energa (power-tube-amp), Peitho 303 (speakers). Panasonic TX-P42G30 (tv).
Not really sure what you mean by "backtrack". I have a very basic set-up, and all my cables, apart from speaker wires, I've had years.
My reading of valve is they get inherently warm. This is why most reviews I've read on here and other mags/online reviews advise you give them plenty of space. Like a light bulb that generates heat so does a valve, that's the basic concept of a valve...
Also, the amount of hours my amp is used the valves would need to change every couple of years.
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