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Thread: How can I get the best out of my Mini-1 and Klipsch KG4.5's

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jul 2017

    Location: Kent

    Posts: 10
    I'm Paul.

    Default How can I get the best out of my Mini-1 and Klipsch KG4.5's

    Hello All,

    This is my first post proper so I'll try to explain myself as best I can.

    I watch films and listen to music in my living room and having made do with a tiny 5.1 polk blackstone speaker package driven by a Marantz NR1605 AVR, the desire for better music in good old stereo has been overwhelming.

    As a result I've recently purchased an amptastic mini-1 and a pair of Klipsch KG4.5's. The KG4.5's have the improved titanium diaphragms from Bob Crites in the states and I will also be purchasing the capacitor upgrades in due course. I've modded the mini-1 to run as a power amp from the pre-outs on my Marantz and hooked it up to a Yuasa 12V SLA battery. The improvement in 2 channel has been substantial and very satisfying but now I've had time to adjust to this step up in performance I can't help thinking I'm not getting the best from the little mini-1 and new speakers.

    My thoughts are that the Marantz pre amp and dac are letting the side down but how do you guys think I can improve on things without losing the marantz and therefore multi channel capability altogether and buying say a beresford caiman seg or similar? I'm not totally against losing the marantz but it would still be a bonus if I could watch films in surround sound. I've thought of rca switches (to select between the av amp and a yet to be purchased pre/dac) or even a speaker wire switch but both these options seem like a hashed-up workaround just to keep the marantz.

    To give a little more info, the other speakers in my set up are a B&W CM centre (S1) and B&W M1 rears. Source components are SKY, media pc, amazon fire tv, PS4 (all via HDMI into AVR) and most of my music listening is done via spotify through the connect function on my NR1605.

    Any help would be much appreciated and if I'm trying to make two different shape pegs fit into the same hole do let me know

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 2,123
    I'm Tom.

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    Well personally I'd put a valve amp in there rather than the tripath, trial and error will tell you whether single ended will control that cone adequately or whether you'd be better off with a push pull amp.

    Actually an EL84 PP would be my starting point. Or push the boat out and run it with a Radford STA15. Will run happily with a passive pre.
    Speakers - 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys with custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Preamp - EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII with Ikeda IT345-CR1 and Ortofon 309 Limited tonearms; Cartridges: Miyajima Madake, Zero Mono 0.7 and Premium 1.0 retipped by Ana Mighty Sound with bamboo cantilever, Ortofon SPU Royal N and Shure M3D with Jico stylus; phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport.

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  3. #3
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 37,653
    I'm Grant.

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    I found the tripath a bit dull and slow on most speakers i used it on. Agree with Tom, A better amp will help a lot and is first stop. doesnt have to be valve but kipsch do respond to valves well
    Regards,
    Grant ....

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
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  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: A Strangely Isolated Place in Suffolk with far away trains passing by...

    Posts: 14,371
    I'm David.

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    I'm not a fan of those little amps I'm afraid and much as I admire the recent Klipsch models I heard, they are rather 'lively' to put it politely - not a downer, just be careful with them...

    To keep it simple and low-financial-loss if it didn't work for you, I was thinking of say, a Quad 306 power amp for the Klipsch. More than enough power, easy servicing and easy resale as long as condition inside and out is good. Smooth velvety sound will mimic a good valve amp in basic tone and the thing runs cool and should last for decades more if used with respect.
    Tear down these walls; Cut the ties that held me
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  5. #5
    Join Date: Jul 2017

    Location: Kent

    Posts: 10
    I'm Paul.

    Default

    Thanks Tom & Grant, was wondering if a valve amp might be the way to go but are you talking solely as standalone system or integrated with my Marantz AVR?

    I agree with you David re the newer Klipsch speaker but these ones are from the early 90's and were only produced for a few years. See them on the fleabay with the improved diaphrams and wanting a pair of efficient speakers, jumped in.

    Was looking at the Quad amps before I bought this refurbished mini-1 for a measly 70. Will defo take a look at other ways to power my Klipsch speakers though

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Forest of Dean, Glos & Cambrian mountains, Wales

    Posts: 9,056
    I'm Jerry.

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    Ah well, someone needs to come along and put the other side of the story.

    I'm a big fan of the Mini-1 amp and would strongly recommend you stay with it. Your pre and DAC (in that order) will be by far the limiting factors in your current system, imho.

    The Klipsch speakers look to be an easy load and the Mini-1 should sound fab with them.
    Having said that, I am sure the Klipsches would work really well with a valve amp as well!

    I've used quite a few of those little TA2020 amps like the Mini-1 with several different speakers and have never had a problem with the sound, quite the contrary, imo they punch so far above their weight it's kind of uncanny! Others report difficulties as per previous posts here, though. But you have the Mini-1 and say you are pleased with the improvement it brings, so I say stick with it!

    My suggestion would be to separate your music and AV electronics.
    Just swap speaker cables - or maybe there are cheap/decent speaker cable switch boxes? -- something like this would probably work fine. There are loads on ebay - just search for 'speaker switch box'.
    Last edited by jandl100; 21-07-2017 at 07:33.
    Jerry

    Spotify Premium streaming, Wadia 151 PowerDAC, MBL 116F.
    or
    Spotify Premium streaming, Cambridge Audio 851D DAC/pre, Pass Labs X150 power amp, MBL 116F.
    or
    >> Currently >> Spotify Premium streaming, Cambridge Audio 851D DAC/pre, LA Audio A-30 el84 integrated amp, MBL 116F.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Lincolnshire, Home by the Sea

    Posts: 3,696
    I'm Shaun.

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    Used to sell Klipsch 3.5's and 4.5's and frequently used them with Audion 300B SE amplifiers. Bloody sublime sounding combination but not really loud. Also used Audion ETSE Sterling EL34. Good but not quite as good.
    Marantz CD6005 into Audiolab MDAC
    Nottingham Analogue Interspace turntable with Origin Live Onyx tonearm/Denon DL103/Dynavector P75 MkIII phono stage

    Prima Luna Prologue preamp
    Prima Luna Dialogue Premium power amp/EL34

    B&W CM8 S2 loudspeakers

    Atlas Hyper interconnects
    Van Den Hul Teatrack biwired cables

    "Without this gift of rock and roll we'd all be wasting time"

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jul 2017

    Location: Kent

    Posts: 10
    I'm Paul.

    Default

    Thanks for the additional suggestions.

    Jerry, the mini-1 is now no more (probably should've kept it as a way of comparing future amp purchases, it was barely worth the hassle selling it tbh)

    Shaun, I'd love to be able to afford a 300B SE amp but alas funds do not allow such a lavish purchase.

    So everything is now sold save the Klipsch speakers and I now have a spanking new Beresford Caiman Seg. I just need a good power / integrated amp and I'm good to go once again but what should this amp be? Nearly bought a Quad 306 but just missed out, also been looking at Quad 405-2 and other SS amps within my budget of around 350. Then I see a Chinese tube with a decent reputation (by all accounts) It's a Yaqin MC-84L and all of a sudden I wonder if I should take a punt on the back of some good reviews of a brand that seems to have at least stood the test of time in far eastern terms.

    Anyone had any experience of Yaqin? Would you go for the bullet proof quad or a chinese tube that may indeed surpass any SS amp in sonic terms with my speakes but may cause probs in the future.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Lincolnshire, Home by the Sea

    Posts: 3,696
    I'm Shaun.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pepperamip View Post
    Shaun, I'd love to be able to afford a 300B SE amp but alas funds do not allow such a lavish purchase.
    Yes Paul I fully understand where you are coming from as these things are damn expensive but the very rolled off high frequencies of the 300B made the sting of the KG's tweeter sound really nice. It was a really bloody good combo.
    Marantz CD6005 into Audiolab MDAC
    Nottingham Analogue Interspace turntable with Origin Live Onyx tonearm/Denon DL103/Dynavector P75 MkIII phono stage

    Prima Luna Prologue preamp
    Prima Luna Dialogue Premium power amp/EL34

    B&W CM8 S2 loudspeakers

    Atlas Hyper interconnects
    Van Den Hul Teatrack biwired cables

    "Without this gift of rock and roll we'd all be wasting time"

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Forest of Dean, Glos & Cambrian mountains, Wales

    Posts: 9,056
    I'm Jerry.

    Default

    I've not heard the Yaqin MC84L but based on my experience of other Yaqin and similar amps I would expect it to sound very good.
    Some folks, though, have had major (catastrophic) problems using 220/230V Chinese valve amps on UK 240V mains (which is often 250V or more in practise).
    Jerry

    Spotify Premium streaming, Wadia 151 PowerDAC, MBL 116F.
    or
    Spotify Premium streaming, Cambridge Audio 851D DAC/pre, Pass Labs X150 power amp, MBL 116F.
    or
    >> Currently >> Spotify Premium streaming, Cambridge Audio 851D DAC/pre, LA Audio A-30 el84 integrated amp, MBL 116F.

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