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Thread: Can SE amps play Rage Against The Machine

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    All the systems I have heard with SET amps and big horn speakers have been useless at doing rock recordings. Like a transistor radio sort of sound.
    There are other types of high-efficiency speakers available, than simply out-and-out horns. Tannoy DCs, for example, or the Eddingdales that Gaz uses

    Either of which will 'rock da house', in a reasonable sized room, with a good SET amp.

    Marco.
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  2. #22
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    Getting plenty of volume out of a horn/SET system isn't really problem. Getting rock music to play loudly without becoming a confused mess is where SETs fall down, in my experience. Maybe there are SETs that will do it and I just haven't experienced them, but I would advise the OP to hear for himself before parting with any cash.

  3. #23
    Join Date: Aug 2009

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    Quote Originally Posted by RothwellAudio View Post
    Getting plenty of volume out of a horn/SET system isn't really problem. Getting rock music to play loudly without becoming a confused mess is where SETs fall down, in my experience. Maybe there are SETs that will do it and I just haven't experienced them, but I would advise the OP to hear for himself before parting with any cash.
    In theory you can do it with very sensitive speakers, which is what everyone seems to be saying. I've got a low power valve amp and use it with 96db efficiency speakers but it will not go to the SPL I require for rock music without getting a little 'messy'

    To go above that you need proper horn loading and then you introduce a whole new raft of problems with colouration unless it is a multi-way system.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SL1200P CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'This is the sort of music I'd be listening to if I was going shopping for a training bra.'

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RothwellAudio View Post
    Maybe there are SETs that will do it and I just haven't experienced them, but I would advise the OP to hear for himself before parting with any cash.
    Trust me, Andrew, there are, but the best ones are neither commercially available, nor cheap. As a general rule of thumb, if you want top-notch performance, I'd avoid buying a valve amp (SET or P/P), built outside of China, that costs under 5k.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

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  5. #25
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    rock usually likes a bit of grunt, although my speakers do a reasonable job. they are fairly fast tho
    Regards,
    Grant ....

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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    In theory you can do it with very sensitive speakers, which is what everyone seems to be saying. I've got a low power valve amp and use it with 96db efficiency speakers but it will not go to the SPL I require for rock music without getting a little 'messy'
    It would if it was built better (read as, the designer had more budget available to spend on higher-quality parts). Therefore, its low power is not necessarily the limiting factor. Remember, it's not what you've got, but how you use it!

    You need to hear Gaz's Nick G-designed 8W SET amp, into his (92db - correct me here if necessary, Gaz) Eddingdales, in his room. There is NOTHING "messy" about the sound, nor is there any lack of 'grunt', which proves that SETs *can* rock, IF they're designed and paired with properly, speaker-wise, and you're not trying to use them in a stupidly big room.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    It would if it was built better (read as, the designer had more budget available to spend on higher-quality parts). Therefore, its low power is not necessarily the limiting factor. Remember, it's not what you've got, but how you use it!

    You need to hear Gaz's Nick G-designed 8W SET amp, into his (92db - correct me here if necessary, Gaz) Eddingdales, in his room. There is NOTHING "messy" about the sound, nor is there any lack of 'grunt', which proves that SETs *can* rock, IF they're designed and paired with properly, speaker-wise, and you're not trying to use them in a stupidly big room.

    Marco.
    Well my room is a factor in that I agree. I've no idea how large Gaz's room is.

    The limiting factor in my room is the amplifier's power output and nothing to do with the quality of the parts.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SL1200P CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'This is the sort of music I'd be listening to if I was going shopping for a training bra.'

  8. #28
    Join Date: Oct 2008

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    The Edingdales are 94db efficient, with an easy 8 Ohm load.
    Very easy to drive, and even with a "mighty" 8 or 9 watts on tap (depends on how you measure it) I cant get the volume past 10 o clock without pictureframes and a wall mounted acoustic guitar shaking themselves to bits.

    So plenty volume, but not just volume but deep tight TUNEFUL bass.
    The Edingdales go down to low 30's Hz and with an amp where the damping factor matches its deep and TIGHT.

    My amp was designed specifically for my speakers,
    so the SET amp/speaker voodoo thing is as good as it can be I guess.
    The amp is probably not a typical SET amp to be fair, aside Nick Gorhams technical wizardry the solid state regulation circuits are the product of the guys over at Audio Talk (DIY forum) getting their collective guru heads together and coming up with the circuit.
    State of the art and better than probably most commercial solutions.
    As Nick said, He wanted to see what happened when he surrounded SET with solid state, and he was "pleased" how the amp turned out.
    The transformers were the largest part of the cost, handwound, long waiting time and not cheap.

    Anyway,
    the point of all that was to go back to my earlier point:
    SET amps need a bit of extra thought to get them to show what they really can do and as Marco says, it ain't cheap to do it right.
    But model your system around that, the speaker choice and don't run the system in an exhibition hall and there's real magic there...trousers flapping, driving deep, tight low end...great for rock.
    Get the speakers right and a SET amp will shift air as good as anything else.

    My rooms not massive, but not tiny either...about 5 x 4 I think.
    As with most questions Hifi related there's no one single answer, except...it depends.

    Valve choice can make a difference to, had 3 different types of 300B in my amp now and unfortunately you get what you pay for with those too.



    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    It would if it was built better (read as, the designer had more budget available to spend on higher-quality parts). Therefore, its low power is not necessarily the limiting factor. Remember, it's not what you've got, but how you use it!

    You need to hear Gaz's Nick G-designed 8W SET amp, into his (92db - correct me here if necessary, Gaz) Eddingdales, in his room. There is NOTHING "messy" about the sound, nor is there any lack of 'grunt', which proves that SETs *can* rock, IF they're designed and paired with properly, speaker-wise, and you're not trying to use them in a stupidly big room.

    Marco.
    have hifi n stuff

  9. #29
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    I agree ie the cost aspect, and yes, in my Hibrid single ended amps, they use a lot of semiconductor circuitry to control "All aspects of the valve, so that it is held rock steady, even the heater circuits are unique, in that they do not use conventional regulators, but a form of single ended power amps of their own! I produced these amps over 15 years ago now, and although there are probably some things I may have done diffrently, they're sonic performance Always make me smile, when I get chance to realy listen to them...
    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    "Quite well" is an understatement, however, as you well know, their design is far from conventional, with them featuring the rather novel solid-state aspect of things. Also, if someone wanted a pair of monos built today, how much would you be asking, something like 15 grand?

    That would be out of most people's price range, although they'd be getting a pair of amps, which if produced, say, by someone such as AudioNote, would retail for probably 50k! And yours would almost certainly sound better.

    My point being, however, (and indeed as Gaz has also said, which I know you too will agree with) is that the best valve amps, either SET or push-pull, simply don't come cheap, as you can't get away with cutting corners, like you can with some SS amps.

    Ultimately, everything revolves around the size and quality of the transformers, and in general, good valve amps are also more labour intensive to build, especially those that are hardwired, point to point!

    Marco.
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyTD View Post
    I agree ie the cost aspect, and yes, in my Hibrid single ended amps, they use a lot of semiconductor circuitry to control "All aspects of the valve, so that it is held rock steady, even the heater circuits are unique, in that they do not use conventional regulators, but a form of single ended power amps of their own! I produced these amps over 15 years ago now, and although there are probably some things I may have done diffrently, they're sonic performance Always make me smile, when I get chance to realy listen to them...
    Absolutely.
    Regulation and power supply makes all the difference in hifi generally, but particularly with SET amps.

    Anthony's another one of the few (like Nick) who really knows his valve onions, be interesting to compare notes sometime.
    have hifi n stuff

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