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#291384 - 02/09/10 07:37 AM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: jakeman]
davidsch Offline
aficionado

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 678
Loc: Houston, Texas
 Originally Posted By: jakeman
Hey Rick, the McIntosh MC275 is one of the all time great classic amps judging by the length of time its been in production. Its a great amp to use with the M80s especially when listening to strings or female vocals. I prefer it with Classical music or jazz. Its bass reproduction is pretty good for a tube amp because of its high input impedance but still not as good as most SS amps.

The big downside of tube gear is maintenance. Failing or noisey tubes can be a PITA. I've found that Telefunken tubes sound best in the Macs and are more reliable.


John, have you ever listened to a Cary SLI-80 or a Manley Stingray? Those would probably be my leading candidates in the used market based on what I have read and my price point. And to the original poster, I hope that you got what you were after in this thread.

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#291386 - 02/09/10 07:48 AM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: tomtuttle]
jakeman Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 852
Loc: Toronto
Hey Tom, its a logical extension of this discussion of tube and SS amps. Like alot of stuff in audio you are going to get supporters and detractors about it. The idea has some merit since tubes on top and SS on the bottem supposedly plays to the relative strength of each topology. I can only share my own experience in that regard and YMMV. I didn't try bi-amping tubes and SS on an M80 but I suspect the issues involved would be much the same.

Firstly I used a 1400-2 to drive some 10" woofers and a McIntosh MC2102 to drive the other drivers. That sounded crappy for several reasons: the gain of the 2 amps was quite different so it threw off the speakers amplitude response, and the phase of the amps wasn't the same so I sensed timing was off or a lack of coherency as they say. Moreover both amps were still powering the speaker through its internal crossover network which had been optimized for a single amp and was likely causing further anomolies.

So I picked up an external crossover, first a DBX 223XL and then a Bryston 10B. I could adjust the crossover point and slope, gain, and with the 10B, phase. I spent several months tweaking to get the amps to mesh smoothly and while the 10B in particular really helped the speaker never really sounded coherent. I didn't feel like opening up and taking out the speakers internal crossover which some folks suggested so I abandoned that experiment instead after several months. So when people talk of biamping now I gently suggest using one amp or identical amps.

I'm sure alot depends on the speaker, amps and the room acoustics but there is too much hit and miss involved. Even if you get the gain right, its almost impossible to align phase across the band where the two amps overlap because of their different characteristics. After all what's being attempted in a way messes up the crossover network which was carefully designed for the particular speaker.

Recently a friend of mine has been trying to bi-amp a Martin Logan Summit (electrostat and cone drivers are already tough to time align ) with tubes and SS and to my ears it does not sound nearly as good as with one amp either, but he likes the sound and that's what counts. Besides much of the fun in audio comes from trying to get the best sound from our gear.
_________________________
John

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#291388 - 02/09/10 08:11 AM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: davidsch]
jakeman Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 852
Loc: Toronto
David, I've heard the Cary with some Tannoys , I forget which ones, and they sounded very pleasant. That amp switches between 80w Class a/b and 40 watts Class A. I preferred the sound of the Class A mode but that was at moderate volumes. Its a nice sounding amp no doubt about it.

The only Manleys I've heard are the Manley NeoClassic 250 monoblocs which are much more expensive and that much more capable than the Cary SLI-80. They were driving a pair of Sonus Fabers which aren't my favourite speaker either but still made them sound very nice with all types of music. A problem with good tube amps is the price sky rockets much more than SS, the more powerful the amp.


_________________________
John

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#291389 - 02/09/10 08:16 AM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: jakeman]
davidsch Offline
aficionado

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 678
Loc: Houston, Texas
Thanks for your input John.

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#291391 - 02/09/10 08:23 AM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: davidsch]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13333
Loc: Iowa
Glad to see ya back John. \:\)
_________________________
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M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#291402 - 02/09/10 10:44 AM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: SirQuack]
jakeman Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 852
Loc: Toronto
Hi Randy, Hope you are well. \:\)
_________________________
John

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#291408 - 02/09/10 11:40 AM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: jakeman]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8283
Loc: Tacoma
John and JohnK, thank you sincerely for your ongoing willingness to educate.

John, I do enjoy reading about your experiences. Thanks for taking the time.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#291422 - 02/09/10 12:40 PM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: tomtuttle]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Thanks for the write-up on your experiment John (jakeman). Interesting and potentially time saving read.

Cheers,
Dean
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#291544 - 02/09/10 07:35 PM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: jakeman]
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
I for one would love to hear the M80's w/ a tube amp, granted, that amp would have to have a bit of power.

I've used my M22's with a Sophia Baby and some ASL AV25 monoblocks, and the power improvement is noticeable. It's definitely a different sound vs my Pio 45TX. For me, it's a positive difference. I now use Von Schwiekert VR1's w/ the ASLs.

Slightly OT, but I've jury rigged the Sophia to work w/ headphones and it sounds quite good w/ my Grados. Enough that I've decided to keep this as my bedside tube amp.

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#291552 - 02/09/10 09:23 PM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: oldskoolboarder]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4078
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
On the topic of vacuum tubes...

So last week I noticed a channel imbalance, where the right channel was barely audible. I immediately thought faulty tube. So I removed the tube that was causing the problem, re-inserted it and everything has been fine since.

This leads to the question on proper maintenance? I am sure the pins/sockets need cleaning. What is the correct product to use and how often should this be done?
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-Max Payne

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