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#346219 - 04/26/11 03:56 PM any one using Tubes with Axiom M80's??
sauniq Offline
buff

Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 43
Loc: winnipeg manitoba canada
I want to explore the world of Tube amplifiers and preamps and am wondering if anyone is using Tubes with the M80's.

I also have B%W and I have been told that the tubes do not do so well with them.

Can anyone give me some insight?

thanks
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#346226 - 04/26/11 04:24 PM Re: any one using Tubes with Axiom M80's?? [Re: sauniq]
medic8r Offline
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Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6469
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
*gets popcorn, kicks back*
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#346227 - 04/26/11 04:39 PM Re: any one using Tubes with Axiom M80's?? [Re: medic8r]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4116
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Whether solid state or tube, what your willing to spend is important. Tube amplifiers can tend to be more costly, so hopefully you are not working on a shoestring budget. Give us a budget and we will see what people can recommend. And yes, quality tube amplifiers can power speakers like the M80's.

BTW I am enjoying some AT headphones through a vacuum tube amp right now.
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#346228 - 04/26/11 04:49 PM Re: any one using Tubes with Axiom M80's?? [Re: sauniq]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Originally Posted By: sauniq
I want to explore the world of Tube amplifiers and preamps and am wondering if anyone is using Tubes with the M80's.

I also have B%W and I have been told that the tubes do not do so well with them.

Can anyone give me some insight?

The reason tube amps are sometimes contraindicated with particular speakers is not the speaker itself, but it's intended use. Large speakers, like the M80, are usually set up around 10 feet from the listener. The amount power required to achieve the desired playback volume at that distance is so much greater than what would be required at 2 feet, which would be more common with the intimate listening conditions of bookshelves or monitors.

More damage is done to a speaker with a lower power amp pushed far into clipping, than an over-powered amp playing very loud, but clean.

It's much easier to find a 100+ Watt solid state amp than a tube model, and much cheaper too.

So keeping with the generalities, that's why don't you see people pairing tubes with larger speakers so often. Not that it can't be done, it just may require more compromise or money than people want to allow.
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#346237 - 04/26/11 05:55 PM Re: any one using Tubes with Axiom M80's?? [Re: ClubNeon]
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 3127
Loc: CA, USA
saunig

The M80s are efficient. Efficiency is usually expressed as the sound volume in decibels measured at a distance of 1 meter from the speaker with 1 watt of power into the speaker. A speaker with 93 db efficiency will output 93 dbs (really loud) at 1 meter with an output of 1 watt from the amp into the speaker.

If you are sitting 3 meters from the speaker, the sound pressure level falls inversely proportional to the distance 1/r from the sound source. (Not the square of the distance!)

Therefore, if the output is really loud (93db) at one meter, it will still be plenty loud at 3 meters.

Now, Club Neon's concern about clipping with tube amps is misplaced. Tube amps clip softly. That will not damage your speakers.

That having been said, the M80s have twin tweeters and are rated at 4 ohm average resistance.

I would go with an integrated tube amp. There are many high current and high output tube amps which are notorious for their beautiful sound quality and ability to drive difficult loads:

Antique Sound Labs Hurricane, rated best amp by The Absolute Sound a few years ago. The Prima Luna Mystere amp should do a wonderful job with far fewer watts. 25-50 wpc should be sufficient to push M80s to very loud sound levels.

Pacific Creek makes some very nice tube amps, JoLida (great amps), Manley Labs (check out their Stingray). I'd check out the H.H. Scott vintage amps modified and upgraded by Mapleshade Audio (Pierre Sprey's outfit), I would also consider the Vincent hybrid tube/solid state amps. [I may pick one of these Vincents up soon]

Any of these 50 wpc tube amps should drive the M80s to high sound levels and provide you with the audio bliss of a good tube amp coupled with a pair of great speakers.

BTW, there are many tube amp manufacturers in China which are putting out excellent tube amps.
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#346270 - 04/26/11 09:43 PM Re: any one using Tubes with Axiom M80's?? [Re: 2x6spds]
Lampshade Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 1235
Loc: Millis, MA
I have a Manley Stingray and M80's. I will be hooking them up this weekend and I will report back back to you.
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#346281 - 04/26/11 10:44 PM Re: any one using Tubes with Axiom M80's?? [Re: sauniq]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10629
David, although this is an area in which mythologies flourish, there is insight of a factual nature available. The first point is to understand that any amplifier, regardless of the specific technology, only adds voltage from its power supply section to the weak incoming voltage to make it sufficient to drive speakers to loud levels. For example, if at a particular instant in time a tenth of a volt is incoming and the gain of the amplifier is a typical 28.3 times, the output voltage to the speaker is 2.83 volts. This results in 1 watt being used by the speaker when the impedance is 8 ohms(Ohm's Law; voltage squared divided by impedance). This is all that any amplifier with claims to high fidelity does. The sound isn't colored in any audible way, it's just made louder.

Having the voltage added in a tube rather than a transistor doesn't necessarily result in a flawed "tube sound" when properly designed. As the editor of the Audio Critic nicely summarizes in "Electronic Signal Paths Do Not Have a Personality!" , competently designed units amplify transparently. However, design inadequacies can creep into many tube designs, especially in having such a high output impedance as to result in frequency fluctuations when speaker impedance fluctuates. Dr. Toole, in discussing this in Sound Reproduction at p.423 states that: "To reviewers these are moderately discomfiting numbers because the inevitable conclusion is that tube power amplifiers, as a population, cannot allow loudspeakers to perform as they were designed"; and at p.425: "In summary, with tube amplifiers, the internal impedance is already so high that damage is done to the frequency responses of loudspeakers having normal impedance variations".

Of course, there is a small but at times highly vocal(and unfortunately sometimes rather strident, as we've witnessed) minority of listeners who claim that mysterious benefits appear when a tube is used to add the voltage. The fact that there's no credible evidence to support this is ignored. The classic Stereo Review blind listening tests still stand unchallenged(by real evidence, not just stubborn disagreement)and among other items showed that the $12,000 pair of tube amplifiers was indistinguishable from the $220 Pioneer receiver. Note in particular the detailed and sometimes flowery descriptions at the end of the article of the sound differences claimed before the blind sessions began and the brand labels and price tags disappeared.

So, if a correctly designed high power tube amplifier is purchased, it can drive speakers such as the M80s well, but the purchase price would be significantly higher and long-range maintenance reliability lower than readily available solid state units. This doesn't appear to be a very attractive world to "explore".
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#346293 - 04/26/11 11:24 PM Re: any one using Tubes with Axiom M80's?? [Re: JohnK]
Lampshade Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 1235
Loc: Millis, MA
I guess we don't need the forum anymore. We'll just have one post that says you should buy M22's and a receiver with Dolby PLII.

This is my last post. I try to have fun and be nice to people but I can't stand this anymore.
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#346294 - 04/26/11 11:36 PM Re: any one using Tubes with Axiom M80's?? [Re: Lampshade]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13572
Loc: Iowa
Asta la Vista
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#346301 - 04/27/11 12:52 AM Re: any one using Tubes with Axiom M80's?? [Re: SirQuack]
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 3127
Loc: CA, USA
Asta la vista?

John is a blow-hard. Quack is a flack. Anyone who disagrees with their reductionist arrogance is not welcome here. That's clear. Medic8r may try to change the subject in order to distract from the unpleasant truth ... and that is, there is only one acceptable opinion as to each tenet espoused by the faithful who have taken over this site.

Quack is glad to see you go, Lamp, after all, that 12000 post fella is one of the chorus.

JohnK, you've ruined this forum. You are immodest, dull and intolerant. You, and pmbuko, and quack and the usual suspects have reduced this forum to a backwater where a handful of the converted preach to a very small choir of the faithful.

Lamp, I hope you reconsider. Have pity on Axiom, they're probably afraid to cross these folks who have commandeered their site - although I think the faithful regard Alan Lofft as their rude-guru - so who knows.

At the end of the day, these people who've commandeered this site are not making Axiom look good. It really is a shame.


Edited by 2x6spds (04/27/11 12:56 AM)
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