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Tube-friendly speakers

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egoBen's picture
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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

Anatta wrote:

Dynaudios need an amplifier with a low output impedance (high damping factor) to control them, which means solid state; most tube amps have a high output impedance and can't control the woofer motion; it isn't about the power. For the Jadis I'd look at overdamped speakers which need little damping from the amplifier.

 

I'd try the Amphion Argon1 & Argon3 from Finland.

I actually own a pair of Amphion Argon 2 anniversary (basically the same as Argon 3), I like them a lot, beautiful and full sound, but these speakers do also prefer solid state in my opinion, the bass simply is more controlled. How come System Audio work so well, a danish brand?

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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

The speakers are built to different Q values (their inherent damping). A low Q speaker (critically damped or overdamped) will not need the electrical damping offered by an amplifier with a low outuput impedance (high damping factor). Such speakers are ATC which are overdamped IMO, but they are too insensitive for low power tube amps.

Now, if you have a high Q speaker (underdamped) the designer will expect to get the required damping from the amplifier, as is the case with Dynaudios and most speakers, otherwise the speaker will sound bloated and uncontrolled.

Another aspect to take into consideration is that a tube amplifier with a high output impedance will have a frequency response that follows the impedance of the speaker. Most speakers have an impedance rise at resonance in the bass region which translates into a bass boost from tube amps.

Bellow is the impedance of the Argon3, you can see the rise in impedance at about 70Hz; well, imagine this is the frequency response of your tube amp. An amplifier with a low output imedance (solid state) will not have its frequency response affected by the impedance of the speaker so you don't get that bass boost at resonance.

 

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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

If you're interested in the subject you may want to read these articles.

http://lenardaudio.com/education/14_valve_amps_7.html

http://lenardaudio.com/education/05_speakers_3.html

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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

Anatta wrote:

Now, if you have a high Q speaker (underdamped) the designer will expect to get the required damping from the amplifier, as is the case with Dynaudios and most speakers, otherwise the speaker will sound bloated and uncontrolled.

Another aspect to take into consideration is that a tube amplifier with a high output impedance will have a frequency response that follows the impedance of the speaker. Most speakers have an impedance rise at resonance in the bass region which translates into a bass boost from tube amps.

and those are exactly the reasons why I claim the best match match for a tube amp is flat panel ribbon speaker Smile.

first of all; they present almost purely resistive load (in most cases flat 4 Ohm load with a small bump in xover region). in such a case high output impedance of the amp is irrelevant because it sees almost constant impedance from the speakers. so it can't change its frequency response along with changing impedance as in case of moving coil speakers. below impedance plot of older Magnepan MG3.6/R for your information. (ideally the impedance of the ribbon tweeter could be slightly higher, the right hand side of the graph).

second of all; the problem with diaphragm control. planar bass panels work differently from moving coil cones. they have much larger surface so they have to make only minimal movement in order to excite the surrounding air accordingly. and because of the fact that the moving mass is much lighter than in case of moving coil speakers the the same air provides enough of necessary damping for the diaphragm! high or low damping factor of the amp is completely irrelevant in this case. that's one of the reasons why planar bass is so quick, tuneful and not exaggerated. (others being naturally low harmonic distortion in low bass region and also lack of "enclosure thump" so common in case of many box speakers.)

the only problematic feature may be lowish efficiency of planar speakers (usually between 80 - 86 dB @ 1m @ 1W) which does not go well with naturally lowish output power of the tube amps. however, when you take into account the fact that the sensitivity of planar speakers lowers at a half rate of typical moving coil speakers things start to look not so bad after all. in other words an 86dB/1m efficient planar speaker at 4 meters is as efficient as 92dB/1m moving coil equivalent!

if you can accommodate planar speakers in your room you should certainly consider them. mind you, I now own Mgneplanars MG12QR at the moment but used to have Dynaudio Focus 110. IMO Maggies now that they are fully ran in (and it takes an awful lot of time for those speakers to run in) beat Dyns in every aspect of audio reproduction. and the Dyns being no slouch either...

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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

acalex wrote:

egoBen wrote:

acalex wrote:

egoBen wrote:

acalex wrote:

Ben, which model of Jadis you have?

I have the JP15 pre and JA30 mono's. I like them very much, will probably keep forever, but it's only 2x30 watts after all, finding the perfect speakers is tricky.

I was very close to audition the new Harbeth 30.1 yesterday but there was a Wilson Audio demo in the store. How's it going for you?

Ben, don't get trapped by the low watt theory. I have heard the Jadis driving the Sonus Faber Cremona M (floorstanders) with ease..and it just does magic with the Sonus Faber Guarneri memento which are rated at 89dB only. As far as I am concerned, the level of volume I have tried it's more than enough for me for the everyday listening sessions...

I also would like to try soon the pre and monoblocks to see if there is any difference with the integrated. 

It's not the db's that is the issue, I can play loud as... and the volume pot is even made in a way that makes the sound very loud quickly! Some speakers are a bit slow in the bass if they aren't paired with 120 watts or more, for instance Dynaudio, which is a pity as they are amazing speakers and fill the whole room with beautiful atmosperic sounds.

I am very curious about Sonus Faber, how they would sound in my room that tends to make the bass boom very easily. The Harbeth P3ESR did not. Not my old Monitor Audios (BR5) either, but they were inferior to the Dynaudio's in most other aspects. If I only had a bigger and better room I could chose from a wider range of speakers.

I was interested in the DA60 and JA80's but they're both huge and very expensive. I heard the DA88 once. No problem with bass I can tell you. Smile

I am taking home the Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento some time soon, you are more than welcome to come by and have a listen if you want. I would also like to demo the 88, but I decided I am going to complete my system first...and I can assure you the DA50Signature with the Memento did not have any problem...

It would be great fun to visit you and listen to the Sonus Faber's, if you will take them home during a weekend I actually might be interested. It's Brussels right? A flight from where I live doesn't take very long and isn't too expensive either.

However, the Guarneri Memento's are a bit out of my price league, but the "house sound" of Sonus Faber might be pretty much the same over the product line? I've read that they become smoother, more entertaining and fuller in sound further up the price range, opposed to Dynaudio that can be described as the other way around by some.

Your DA50s is most likely a newer construction than my quite old mono's (from the 90's I think). I don't know if they sound any different though. They should match the same type of speakers!

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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento are home now...they are unbelievable and I can't think I was doubting...beautiful and powerful...can't wait to play more and more...vinyls just took life again...can't wait to have also the Akurate DS in place!

I am using for now Lavardin cables as they give an extra sparkle to an, otherwise, too dark sound. Next time I will borrow Siltech to see if there is any change.

Next step now is the rack, there is a nice Finite Elemente Signature as ex-demo...let's see  beauty, eh

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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

acalex wrote:

Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento are home now...they are unbelievable and I can't think I was doubting...beautiful and powerful...can't wait to play more and more...vinyls just took life again...can't wait to have also the Akurate DS in place!

I am using for now Lavardin cables as they give an extra sparkle to an, otherwise, too dark sound. Next time I will borrow Siltech to see if there is any change.

Next step now is the rack, there is a nice Finite Elemente Signature as ex-demo...let's see  beauty, eh

See if you can find some Vertere* or Telurium Q to experiment with.

Glad you are enjoying things.

*If you can't find Vertere, it's possible David of Kronos would work remotely with you....let me know if this appeals, and I'll see what I can do. You'd probably have to pay for them, with the ability to return if unsuitable....could be well worth the effort, though can't promise  anything.

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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

acalex wrote:

Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento are home now...they are unbelievable and I can't think I was doubting...beautiful and powerful...can't wait to play more and more...vinyls just took life again...can't wait to have also the Akurate DS in place!

I am using for now Lavardin cables as they give an extra sparkle to an, otherwise, too dark sound. Next time I will borrow Siltech to see if there is any change.

Next step now is the rack, there is a nice Finite Elemente Signature as ex-demo...let's see  beauty, eh

Hey, I just spotted some second hand MA RX6 speakers in mint condition, on the website of an Antwerp based hifi-shop!  Smile

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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

DocG wrote:

Hey, I just spotted some second hand MA RX6 speakers in mint condition, on the website of an Antwerp based hifi-shop!  Smile

 

It's a very small world, ya know! shifty

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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

DocG wrote:

acalex wrote:

Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento are home now...they are unbelievable and I can't think I was doubting...beautiful and powerful...can't wait to play more and more...vinyls just took life again...can't wait to have also the Akurate DS in place!

I am using for now Lavardin cables as they give an extra sparkle to an, otherwise, too dark sound. Next time I will borrow Siltech to see if there is any change.

Next step now is the rack, there is a nice Finite Elemente Signature as ex-demo...let's see  beauty, eh

Hey, I just spotted some second hand MA RX6 speakers in mint condition, on the website of an Antwerp based hifi-shop!  Smile

Ahaha, yes are mine! ;) 

They are also on the most famous auction site Smile

Pictures will follow soon

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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

CnoEvil wrote:

acalex wrote:

Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento are home now...they are unbelievable and I can't think I was doubting...beautiful and powerful...can't wait to play more and more...vinyls just took life again...can't wait to have also the Akurate DS in place!

I am using for now Lavardin cables as they give an extra sparkle to an, otherwise, too dark sound. Next time I will borrow Siltech to see if there is any change.

Next step now is the rack, there is a nice Finite Elemente Signature as ex-demo...let's see  beauty, eh

See if you can find some Vertere* or Telurium Q to experiment with.

Glad you are enjoying things.

*If you can't find Vertere, it's possible David of Kronos would work remotely with you....let me know if this appeals, and I'll see what I can do. You'd probably have to pay for them, with the ability to return if unsuitable....could be well worth the effort, though can't promise  anything.

Would be glad to try things. For now I am trying Lavardin cable...can also try Siltech and Shunyata which are in stock at Francis'. If I can get speaker cables with the option of sending it back I will be glad to do it!

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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

acalex wrote:

Would be glad to try things. For now I am trying Lavardin cable...can also try Siltech and Shunyata which are in stock at Francis'. If I can get speaker cables with the option of sending it back I will be glad to do it!

A couple of quesions:

- What length cable do you need?

- What price bracket (ie. Pulse C;  Pulse X;  Pulse X Ref)?*...or you can discuss with Kronos, if I can set it up.

- Will you be jnterested in the i/c? 

* Prices given post 9 - http://www.whathifi.com/forum/accessories/an-evening-with-touraj-moghadd...

I suspect Vertere should provide what you are looking for, but may work best when combined with the i/c.

Let me know the answers, and I will report back as soon as I've spoken to them on what they can do / have available.

 

 

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egoBen's picture
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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

acalex wrote:

Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento are home now...they are unbelievable and I can't think I was doubting...beautiful and powerful...can't wait to play more and more...vinyls just took life again...can't wait to have also the Akurate DS in place!

I am using for now Lavardin cables as they give an extra sparkle to an, otherwise, too dark sound. Next time I will borrow Siltech to see if there is any change.

Next step now is the rack, there is a nice Finite Elemente Signature as ex-demo...let's see  beauty, eh

Congrats! As always, would be great to see pictures! Smile

And keep posting your impression of the speakers. At home and over time, you'll probably get a deeper sense of how they work in your room and with your music.

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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

Thanks! Already plugged in I could enjoy so much more...unbelievable! Everything sounds so smooth and relaxing...it's a pleasure to listen. I am sure I can still improve a lot the sound with

- Proper rack

- Proper cables (i/c, power, s/c)

- Proper electricity (need to move all my wifi stuff away and install a power bar)

- A few accessories (pads, clamp for turntable, etcc)

Here a few pictures of the speakers...

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RE: Tube-friendly speakers

This is a shot of a far-to-be-completed setup but starting to look nice  beauty, eh

The shelf will go and the low table will be replaced by a proper rack, the telephone, router and tv decoder will also be put somewhere else