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Thread: I'd like to try valve

  1. #11
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 33,673
    I'm Geoff.

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    There's a vintage Leak Stereo 20 somewhere in the Private Exhibitions for around £500.

    Don't be put off by the age, they are amongst the more reliable valve amps. The sound quality is excellent and the 'mere' twelve watts is actually pretty punchy.

    Handily, the Leak can be used effectively with a modest passive pre-amp very successfully. I've owned three of them and wouldn't mind another. Great bit of kit.

  2. #12
    Join Date: May 2017

    Location: West Sussex, UK

    Posts: 101
    I'm Steve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Maybe try and borrow a valve amp first to try in your system before you buy?
    Hi James,
    I only know one person with a valve amp and its quite an expensive on so wouldn't think it would be possible to borrow it.

  3. #13
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: West Wales

    Posts: 28
    I'm Alan.

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    The Dynaudio emit m20 speakers will be the limitation and thing you need to think about.
    They are relatively low sensitivity (86dbB) and low impedance at 4 ohms. You will need a powerful amp (in valve terms) to drive them and one with 4 ohm output taps transformer.

  4. #14
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,598
    I'm James.

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    Ok then at your budget I would consider a Croft or Firebottle valve preamp and if you wanted an all valve power amp then as Geoff has suggested a Leak Stereo 20. I have had this combination and it sounded very good indeed. Good valve power amps are fairly expensive and would probably be outside you budget but if you wanted to try a hybrid then I would recommend a Croft Series 7. You would also need a Step up transformer or head amp for the AT MC cartridge but these can be found for a reasonable price second hand if you bought a Croft preamp but a Firebottle preamp has a MC phono stage built in.

    Of course all these items would have to be sourced second hand to fit your budget but they all are usually available via sites like this, eBay or look on hifi shark.

  5. #15
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

    Posts: 1,244
    I'm Geoff.

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    I have been a long time user of valve amplification and still have an Art Audio Quintet power amp. Yes, valves offer a sound that is different from ss designs, but come with their own set of compromises. I would suggest that before committing to a valve design that you check out some of the newer amps that use pulse wave modulation technology including the latest Nuprime designs. I can thoroughly endorse the Nuprime designs and feel that they may offer what you are looking for in terms of SQ.

    Geoff

  6. #16
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

    Posts: 1,381
    I'm Lawrence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman_al View Post
    The Dynaudio emit m20 speakers will be the limitation and thing you need to think about.
    They are relatively low sensitivity (86dbB) and low impedance at 4 ohms. You will need a powerful amp (in valve terms) to drive them and one with 4 ohm output taps transformer.
    Totally agree, Dynaudio like lots of SS watts, unless you get some suitable speakers you will quickly tire of a lack of dynamics and tightness of bass and sell the amp on. Do it properly or not at all, a halfway house move to valves sadly won't work. Of course you can get a cheaper pair of speakers initially, Snells for example, and still get a cracking amp for £1000.

  7. #17
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Lincolnshire, Home by the Sea

    Posts: 3,956
    I'm Shaun.

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    Yeah certainly do agree with the comments made so far about speaker matching. It is essential to take care with low impedance speakers and low efficiency unless you have quite high Wattage and four Ohm outputs.
    MARANTZ CD6005 INTO AUDIOLAB M-DAC - PRIMA LUNA PROLOGUE THREE PREAMP - PRIMA LUNA DIALOGUE PREMIUM POWER AMP - SPENDOR S3/5R2 LOUDSPEAKERS - ATLAS HYPER INTERCONNECTS - TELLURIUM Q BLUE LOUDSPEAKER CABLES - ATACAMA STANDS - PRO-JECT SUPPORT PLINTH

  8. #18
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: Suffolk, UK

    Posts: 1,057
    I'm Paul.

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    With your speakers you will most likely be better of with something a bit beefy like a good push pull amp.
    ~Paul~

  9. #19
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 2,820
    I'm Tom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman_al View Post
    The Dynaudio emit m20 speakers will be the limitation and thing you need to think about.
    They are relatively low sensitivity (86dbB) and low impedance at 4 ohms. You will need a powerful amp (in valve terms) to drive them and one with 4 ohm output taps transformer.
    Spot on. You need a pretty powerful valve amp to drive these, a minimum KT88 70w push pull pentode amp. I would disagree on the 12w Leak itíll make a reasonable sound but fall well short of whatís available from these with more power.

    Frankly I would advise different speakers if you want to explore the world of valves
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Pre EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 / Ortofon 309 Limited tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Ortofon SPU Royal N + Shure M3D Jico stylus; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0 retipped by Ana Mighty Sound bamboo cantilever, Spirit '78' 3.0 conical from Ana, also vintage GE VRII, Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78, switchable in from tape loop; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily modded AN Kit DAC + Mutec MC3+USB.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Duncan 'Tuberhunter' 200w class D; preamp - Pass DCB1; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT1503 tonearm and vintage SPU-GE; SUTs - Ortofon 2-15k & Bob's Devices; Phono Stage: Schiit Mani; Digital - Trichord Genesis III CDP + Arcam rBlink; Schiit Multibit DAC.

  10. #20
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Sheffield/Peak District. UK

    Posts: 409
    I'm Richard.

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    I'm in the same boat except my speakers are much more sensitive. As a dip-my-toe-in-the-water approach I plumped for a WorldDesign KEL84 amp (I like a bit of DIY so went for the kit form). They also do a KT88 design either power or integrated and there's a DIY option for those with sufficient skills.
    Another option is a Class 'A' SS amp - perhaps a s/h Sugden?

    (I've only just built my KEL84 amp -yet to test it or wire it up to speakers....fingers crossed!)

    http://www.world-designs.co.uk/products.htm


    R

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